« AnteriorContinuar »
SPECTATOR. that the whole opera is performed in an opinion upon the subject of inusic; wleich 1 unknown tongue. We no longer under- shall lay down only in a problematical man stand the language of our own stage; inso- ner, to be considered by those who are much that I have often been afraid, when I masters in the art. have seen our Italian performers chattering in the vehemence of action, that they have been calling us names, and abusing | us among themselves; but I hope, since we
No. 19.] Thursday, March 22, 1710-11 do put such an entire confidence in them, Di bene fecerunt, inopis me quodque pusilli they will not talk against us before our
Finxerunt animi, raro et perpauca loquentis.
Hor. Lib. 1. Sat. iv. 17. faces, though they may do it with the same
Thank heaven that made me of an humble mind; safety as if it were behind our backs. In
To action little, less to words inclined! the mean time, I cannot forbear thinking how naturally a historian who writes two
OBSERVING one person behold another, or three hundred years hence, and does not who was an utter stranger to him, with a know the taste of his wise forefathers, will cast of his eye which, methought, expressed make the following reflection: In the be- an emotion of heart very different from what ginning of the eighteenth century, the Ita-could be raised by an object so agreeable lian tongue was so well understood in Eng- as the gentleman he looked at, I began to land, that operas were acted on the public considerz.not
the public consider, not without some secret sorrow, stage in that language.'
the condition of an envious man. Some One scarce knows how to be serious in have fancied that envy has a certain magithe confutation of an absurdity that shows cal force in it, and that the eyes of the enitself at the first sight. It does not want | vious have by their fascination blasted the any great measure of sense to see the ridi- enjoyments of the happy.. Sir Francis Bacon cule of this monstrous practice: but what says, some have been so curious as to remakes it the more astonishings it is not mark the times and seasons when the stroke the taste of the rabble, but of persons of of an envious eye is most effectually pernithe greatest politeness, which has esta- | cious, and have observed that it has been blished it.
when the person envied has been in any If the Italians have a genius for music circumstance of glory and triumph, At above the English, the English have a ge- such a time the mind of the prosperous man nius for other performances of a much I goes, as it were, abroad, among things withhigher nature, and capable of giving the out him, and is more exposed to the maligo mind a much nobler entertainment. Would nity. But I shall not dwell upon speculaone think it was possible (at a time when tions so abstracted as this, or repeat the an author lived that was able to write the many excellent things which one might Phædra and Hippolitus*) for a people to collect out of authors upon this miserable be so stupidly fond of the Italian opera, as affection; but, keeping the common road of scarce to give a third day's hearing to that life, consider the envious man with relation admirable tragedy? Music is certainly as to these three heads, his pains, his reliefs, very agreeable entertainment: but if it and his happiness. would take the entire possession of our! The envious man is in pain upon ali ocears, if it would make us incapable of hear-casions which ought to give him pleasure. ing sense, if it would exclude arts that | The relish of his life is inverted; and the have a much greater tendency to the re-objects which administer the highest satisfinement of human nature; I must confess faction to those who are exempt Ire I would allow it no better quarter than passion, give the quickest pangs to persons Plato has done, who banishes it out of his who are subject to it. All the perfections commonwealth.
of their fellow-creatures are odious. Youth, At present our notions of music are so beauty; valour, a
| beauty, valour, and wisdom are provocavery uncertain, that we do not know what tior
attions of their displeasure. What a wretched it is we like: only, in general, we are trans- and apostate state is this! to be offended ported with any thing that is not English: with excellence, and to hate a man because so it be of a foreign growth, let it be Ita-we approve him! The condition of the enlian, French, or High Dutch, it is the same vious man is the most emphatically miserathing. In short, our English music is quite / ble; he is not only incapable of rejoicing in rooted out, and nothing yet planted in its another's merit or success, but lives in a stead.
| world wherein all mankind are in a plot When a royal palace is burnt to the against his quiet, by studying their own ground, every man is at liberty to present | happiness and advantage. Will Prosper his plan for a new one: and though it be is an honest tale-bearer, he makes it his but indifferently put together, it may fur-| business to join in conversation with envious nish several hints that may be of use to a 1 mien. He points to such a handsome young good architect. I shall take the same li- tell
e the same li- I fellow, and whispers that he is secretly perty in a following paper, of giving my married to a great fortune. When they
doubt, he adds circumstances to prove it; * Phædra and Hippolitus, a tragedy by Edmund
dy hy Edmund and never fails to aggravate their distress, Smith, first acted in 1707.
| by assuring them, that to his knowledge, R.
ne has an uncle will leave him some thou-am not mistaken in myself, I think I have sands. Will has many arts of this kind to a genius to escape it. Upon hearing in a torture this sort of temper, and delights in coffee-house one of my papers commended, it. When he finds them change colour, and I immediately apprehended the envy that say faintly they wish such a piece of news would spring from that applause; and thereis true, he has the malice to speak some fore gave a description of my face the next good or other of every man of their ac- day; being resolved, as I grow in reputaquaintance.
tion for wit to resign my pretensions to The reliefs of the envious man are those beauty. This, I hope, may give some ease little blemishes and imperfections that dis- to those unhappy gentlemen who do me the cover themselves in an illustrious charac-honour to torment themselves upon the acter. It is a matter of great consolation to an count of this my paper. As their case is envious person, when a man of known honour very deplorable, and deserves compassion, does a thing unworthy himself, or when any I shall sometimes be dull, in pity to them, action which was well executed, upon bet- and will, from time to time, administer ter information appears so altered in its cir- consolations to them by further discoveries cumstances, that the fame of it is divided of my person. In the meanwhile, if any among many, instead of being attributed to one says the Spectator has wit, it may be one. This is a secret satisfaction to these some relief to them to think that he does malignants; for the person whom they be- not show it in company. And if any one fore could not but admire, they fancy is praises his morality, they may comfort nearer their own condition as soon as his themselves by considering that his face is merit is shared among others. I remember none of the longest. some years ago there came out an excellent poem without the name of the author. The little wits, who were incapable of writing No. 20.7 Friday, March 23, 1710-11. it, began to pull in pieces the supposed writer. When that would not do, they ----Kuvos Opep.CT' =%wya took great pains to suppress the opinion
Hom. Il. i. 225. that it was his. That again failed. The
Chou dog in forehead ! Pope. next refuge was to say it was overlooked AMONG the other hardy undertakings by one man, and many pages wholly writ- which I have proposed to myself, that of ten by another. An honest fellow, who sat the correction of impudence is what I have amongst a cluster of them in debate on this very much at heart. This in a particular subject, cried out, “Gentlemen, if you are manner is my province as Spectator; for it sure none of you yourselves had a hand in it, is generally an offence committed by the you are but where you were, whoever writ eyes, and that against such as the offenders it.' But the most usual succour to the en- | would perhaps never have an opportunity vious, in cases of nameless merit in this of injuring any other way. The following kind, is to keep the property, if possible, letter is a complaint of a young lady, who unfixed, and by that means to hinder the sets forth a trespass of this kind, with that reputation of it from falling upon any par-command of herself as befits beauty and ticular person. You see an envious inan innocence, and yet with so much spirit as clear up his countenance, if in the relation sufficiently expresses her indignation. The of any man's great happiness in one point, whole transaction is performed with the you mention his uneasiness in another. eyes; and the crime is no less than emWhen he hears such a one is very rich he ploying them in such a manner, as to divert turns pale, but recovers when you add that the eyes of others from the best use they he has many children. In a word, the only can make of them, even looking up to sure way to an envious man's favour, is not / heaven. to deserve it.
But if we consider the envious man in There never was (I believe) an acceptdelight, it is like reading of the seat of a able man but had some awkward imitators. giant in a romance; the magnificence of his Ever since the Spectator appeared, have I nouse consists in the many limbs of men remarked a kind of men, whom I choose to whom he has slain. If any who promised call Starers; that without any regard to themselves success in any uncommon un- time, place, or modesty, disturb a large dertaking miscarry in the attempt, or he company with theirimpertinent eyes. Specthat aimed at what would have been useful | tators make up a proper assembly for a and laudable, meets with contempt and de- puppet-show or a bear-garden; but devout rision, the envious man, under the colour supplicants and attentive hearers are the of hating vainglory, can smile with an in- audience one ought to expect in churches. ward wantonness of heart at the ill effect it I am, sir, member of a small pious congrec may have upon an honest ambition for the gation near one of the north gates of this future.
city; much the greater part of us indeed Having thoroughly considered the nature are females, and used to behave ourselves of this passion, I have made it my study in a regular and attentive manner, till very how to avoid the envy that may accrue to lately one whole aisle has been disturbed me from these my spe 'ulations; and if I by one of these monstrous Starers; he is
the head taller than any one in the church; outlaw in good breeding, and therefore but for the greater advantage of exposing what is said of him no nation or person can himself, stands upon a hassock, and com- be concerned for. For this reason one may mands the whole congregation, to the great be free upon him. I have put myself to annoyance of the devoutest part of the au- great pains in considering this prevailing ditory; for what with blushing, confusion, i quality, which we call impudence, and have and vexation, we can neither mind the taken notice that it exerts itself in a difprayers or sermon. Your animadversion ferent manner, according to the different upon this insolence would be a great favour soils wherein such subjects of these domito, Sir,
nions as are masters of it, were born. ImYour most humble servant, pudence in an Englishman, is sullen and
'S. C. linsolent; in a Scotchman it is untractable I have frequently seen of this sort of fel and rapacious; in an Irishman absurd and lows, and do think there cannot be a greater
fawning. As the course of the world now aggravation of an offence, than that it is
runs, the impudent Englishman behaves committed where the criminal is protected
like a surly landlord, the Scot like an illby the sacredness of the place which he
received guest, and the Irishman like a violates. Many reflections of this sort might stranger, who knows he is not welcome. be very justly made upon this kind of be-There is seldom any thing entertaining haviour, but a Starer is not usually a per
or either in the impudence of a South or North son to be convinced by the reason of the Briton; but that of an Irishman is always thing; and a fellow that is capable of show
comic. A true and genuine impudence is ing an impudent front before a whole con- ever the effect of ignorance, without the gregation, and can bear being a public least, sense of
Tic least sense of it. The best and most suc spectacle, is not so easily rebuked as to
cessful Starers now in this town are of that amend by admonitions. If, therefore, my
nation; they have usually the advantage of correspondent does not inform me that the stature mentioned in the above letter of within seven days after this date the bar
my correspondent, and generally take their barian does at least stand upon his own sta
stands in the eye of women of fortune; insolegs only, without an eminence, my friend
much that I have known one of them, three Will Prosper* has promised to take a has
months after he came from plough, with a sock opposite to him, and stare against him
tolerable good air, lead out a woman from in defence of the ladies. I have given him a play, which one of our own breed, after directions, according to the most exact
four years at Oxford, and two at the Temrules of optics, to place himself in such a
ple, would have been afraid to look at. manner, that he shall meet his eyes wher- I cannot tell how to account for it, but ever he throws them. I have hopes that these people have usually the preference to when Will confronts him, and all the ladies. | our own fools, in the opinion of the sillier in whose behalf he engages him. cast kind part of womankind. Perhaps it is that an looks and wishes of success at their cham- |
| English coxcomb is seldom so obsequious as
me, and feel a an Irish one; and when the design of pleaslittle of the pain he has so often put others ing is visible, an absurdity in the way toto, of being out of countenance.
ward it is easily forgiven. It has, indeed, been time out of mindl But those who are downright impudent, generally remarked, and as often lamented, and go on without reflection that they are that this family of Starers have infested such, are more to be tolerated, than a set public assemblies, I know no other way to
of fellows among us who profess impudence obviate so great an evil, except, in the case
with an air of humour, and think to carry of fixing their eyes upon women, some male
off the most inexcusable of all faults in the friend will take the part of such as are un
world, with no other apology than saying in der the oppression of impudence, and en- & gay tone,,
a gay tone, 'I put an impudent face upon
put an impud counter the eyes of the Starers wherever
the matter.' No; no man shall be allowed they meet them. While we suffer our wo
the advantages of impudence, who is conmen to be thus impudently attacked, they
scious that he is such. If he knows he is have no defence, but in the end to cast
| impudent, he may as well be otherwise; and yielding glances at the Starers. In this
it shall be expected that he blush, when he case, a man who has no sense of shame, has
sees he makes another do it. For nothing the same advantage over his mistress, as he
can atone for the want of modesty: without who has no regard for his own life has over
which beauty is ungraceful, and wit dem his adversary. While the generality of the
testable. world are fettered by rules, and move by proper and just methods; he, who has no respect to any of them, carries away the No. 21.] Saturday, March 24, 1710-11. reward due to that propriety of behaviour, with no other merit, but that of having |
- Locus est et pluribus umbris. Hor. Lib. 1. Ep. v. 28 neglected it.
There's room enough, and each may bring his friend.
Crecch. I take an impudent fellow to be a sort of
I AM sometimes very much troubled, * See Spect. No. 19.
| when I reflect upon the three great profes
sions of divinity, law, and physic; how they house more than Westrinster-hall, and are are each of them overburdened with prac- seen in all public assemblies, except in a titioners, and filled with multitudes of in- court of justice. I shall say nothing of those genious gentlemen that starve one another. silent and busy multitudes that are ein
We may divide the clergy into generals, ployed within doors in the drawing up of field officers, and subalterns. Among the writings and conveyances; nor of those first we may reckon bishops, deans, and greater numbers that palliate their want of archdeacons. Among the second are doc- business with a pretence to such chamber tors of divinity, prebendaries, and all that practice. wear scarfs. The rest are comprehended. If, in the third place, we look into the under the subalterns. As for the first class, profession of physic, we shall find a most our constitution preserves it from any re- formidable body of men. The sight of them dundancy of incumbents, notwithstanding is enough to make a man serious, for we competitors are numberless. Upon a strict may lay it down as a maxim, that when a calculation, it is found that there has been nation abounds in physicians, it grows thin a great exceeding of late years in the second of people. Sir William Temple is very division, several brevets have been granted much puzzled to find out a reason why the for the converting of subalterns into scarf Northern Hive, as he calls it, does not send officers; insomuch, that within my memory out such prodigious swarms, and over-run the price of lutestring is raised above two- the world with Goths and Vandals, as it pence in a yard. As for the subalterns, they did formerly; but had that excellent author are not to be numbered. Should our clergy observed that there were no students in once enter into the corrupt practice of the physic among the subjects of Thor and laity, by the splitting of their freeholds, Woden, and that this science very much they would be able to carry most of the flourishes in the north at present, he might elections in England.
have found a better solution for this diffiThe body of the law is no less incumbered culty than any of those he has made use of, with superfluous members, that are like This body of men in our own country may Virgil's army, which he tells us was so be described like the British army in crowded, many of them had not room to Cæsar's time. Some of them slay in chause their weapons. This prodigious society riots, and some on foot. If the infantry do of men may be divided into the litigious and less execution than the charioteers, it is peaceable. Under the first are compre- because they cannot be carried so soon into ħended all those who are carried down in all quarters of the town, and despatch so coachfuls to Westminster-hall, every morn- much business in so short a time. “Besides ing in term time. Martial's description of this body of regular troops, there are stragthis species of lawyers is full of humour:. glers, who without being duly listed and 'Iras et verba locant.
enrolled, do infinite mischief to those who “Men that hire out their words and an- are so unlucky as to fall into their hands. ger:' that are more or less passionate ac- ! There are, besides the above-mentioned, cording as they are paid for it, and allow innumerable retainers to physic, who, for their client a quantity of wrath proportiona-want of other patients, amuse themselves ble to the fee which they receive from him. | with the stifling of cats in an air-pump, cutI must, however, observe to the reader, ting up dog's alive, or impaling of insects that above three parts of those whom Í upon the point of a needle for microscópical reckon among the litigious are such as are observations; besides those that are emonly quarrelsome in their hearts, and have ployed in the gathering of weeds, and the no opportunity of showing their passion at chase of butterflies: not to mention the the bar. Nevertheless, as they do not know cockleshell-merchants and spider-catchers, what strifes may arise, they appear at the When I consider how each of these prohall every day. That they may show them- fessions are crowded with multitudes that selves in a readiness to enter the lists, when- seek their livelihood in them, and how ever there shall be occasion for them.
many men of merit there are in each of The peaceable lawyers are, in the first them, who may be rather said to be of the place, many of the benchers of the several science, than the profession, I very, much inns of court, who seem to be the dignitaries wonder at the humour of parents, who will of the law, and are endowed with those not rather choose to place their sons in a qualifications of mind that accomplish a way of life where an honest industry canman rather for a ruler than a pleader. not but thrive, than in stations where the These men live peaceably in their habita- | greatest probity, learning, and good sense tions, eating once a day, and dancing once may miscarry. How many men are country a year, * for the honour of their respective curates, that might have made themselves societies.
aldermen of London, by a right improveAnother numberless branch of peaceable ment of a sinaller sum of money than what lawyers are those young men who, being is usually laid out upon a learned education? placed at the inns of court in order to study |A sober, frugal person, of slender parts, and the laws of their country, frequent the play- a slow apprehension, might have thrived
in trade, though he starves upon physic; as * See Dugdale's Origines Juridiciales. la man would be well enough pleased to buy
silks of one whom he would not venture to boldens me, who am the wild boar that was feel his pulse. Vagellius is careful, studi- killed by Mrs. Tofts, to represent to you, ous, and obliging, but withal a little thick-that I think I was hardly used in not ħavsculled; he has not a single client, but might ing the part of the lion of Hydaspes given have had abundance of customers. The to me. It would have been but a natura? misfortune is, that parents take a liking to step for me to have personated that noble a particular profession, and therefore desire creature, after having behaved myself to their sons may be of it: whereas, in so great | satisfaction in the part above-mentioned. an affair of life, they should consider the That of a lion is too great a character for genius and abilities of their children, more one that never trod the stage before but than their own inclinations.
upon two legs. As for the little resistance It is the great advantage of a trading na- which I made, I hope it may be excused, tion that there are very few in it so dull and when it is considered that the dart was heavy, who may not be placed in stations thrown at me by so fair a hand. I must of life, which may give them an opportunity confess I had but just put on my brutality; of making their fortunes. A well-regulated and Camilla's charms were such, that becommerce is not, like law, physic, or di-holding her erect mien, hearing her charmvinity, to be overstocked with hands; buting voice, and astonished with her graceful on the contrary flourishes by multitudes, motion, I could not keep up to my assumed and gives employment to all its professors. fierceness, but died like a man. Fleets of merchantmen are so many squad
I am, Sir, rons of floating shops, that vend our wares
Your most humble admirer, and manufactures in all the markets of the
* THOMAS PRONÉ world, and find out chapmen under both
MR. SPECTATOR, the tropics.
This is to let you understand, that the playhouse is a representation of the world
| in nothing so much as in this particular, No. 22.] Monday, March 26, 1710-11. | that no one rises in it according to his merit.
I have acted several parts of householdQuodquemque ostendis mihi sic, incredulis odi.
stuff with great applause for many years: , Hor. Ars Poet. ver. 5.
I am one of the men in the hangings in Whatever contradicts my sense I hate to see, and never can believe. Roscommon, "The Emperor of the Moon; I have twice
performed the third chair in an English THE word Spectator being most usually opera: and have rehearsed the pump in understood as one of the audience at public, The Fortune-Hunters,' I am now grown representations in our theatres, I seldom old, and hope you will recommend me so fail of many letters relating to plays and efféctually, as that I may say something operas. But indeed there are such mon- before I go off the stage: in which you will strous things done in both, that if one had do a great act of charity to not been an eye-witness of them, one could
Your most humble servant, not believe that such matters had really
WILLIAM SCREENE.' been exhibited. There is very little which concerns human life, or is a picture of na
| “Understanding that Mr. Screene has ture, that is regarded by the greater part| of the company. The understanding is dis- | writ to you, and desired to be raised from missed from our entertainments. Our mirth dumb and still parts; I desire, if you give is the laughter of fools, and our admiration him motion or speech, th
him motion or speech, that you would adthe wonder of idiots: else such improbable. (vance me in my way, and let me keep on monstrous, and incoherent dreams could in
muål in what I humbly presume I am a master, to not go off as they do, not only without the
wit, in representing human and still life toutmost scorn and contempt, but even with gether. I have several times acted one of the loudest applause and approbation. But
| the finest flower-pots in the same opera the letters of my correspondents will repre
wherein Mr. Screene is a chair; therefore, sent this affair in a more lively manner than
upon his promotion, request that I may any discourse of my own; I shall therefore
succeed him in the hangings, with my hand give them to my reader with only this pre
in the orange-trees, paration, that they all come from players,
Your humble servant, and that the business of playing is now so
"RALPH SIMPLE. managed, that you are not to be surprised SIR, Drury-lane, March 24th, 1710-11. when I say one or two of them are rational, I saw your friend the Templar this others sensitive and vegetative actors, and evening in the pit, and thought he looked others wholly inanimate. I shall not place very little pleased with the representation these as I have named them, but as they of the mad scene of the Pilgrim.* I wish, have precedence in the opinion of their au- sir, you would do us the favour to animaddiences.
vert frequently upon the false taste the MR. SPECTATOR,
1 * A comedy by Beaumont and Fletcher; it was re
: vived at Drury Lane in 1700, with a new prolate and notice of the epistles of other animals, em-1 epilogue by Dryden.