Imágenes de páginas

formed for a tragedian, and, when he pleases, deserves the admiration of the best judges: as I doubt not but he will in the Conquest of Mexico, which is acted for his own benefit, to-morrow night.

"C. | tice on his side. I have indeed very long

observed this evil, and distinguished those

of our women who wear their own, from No. 41.] Tuesday, April 17, 1711.

those in borrowed complexions, by the - Tu non inventa reperta es.

Picts and the British. There does not need

Ovid. Met. i. 654. Iany great discernment to judge which are So found, is worse than lost.

which. The British have a lively animated COMPASSION for the gentleman who aspect; the Picts, though never so beautiful, writes the following letter, should not pre- have dead uninformed countenances. The vail upon me to fall upon the fair-sex, if it muscles of a real face sometimes swell with were not that I find they are frequently soft passion, sudden surprise, and are flushfairer than they ought to be. Such impos- ed with agreeable confusions, according as tures are not to be tolerated in civil society, the objects before them, or the ideas preand I think his misfortune ought to be made sented to them, affect their imagination. public, as a warning for other men always But the Picts behold all things with the to examine into what they admire. same air, whether they are joyful or sad; "SIR,--Supposing you to be a person of

the same fixed insensibility appears upon

all occasions. A Pict, though she takes all general knowledge, I make my application to you on a very particular occasion. I have

that pains to invite the approach of lovers, a great mind to be rid of my wife, and

is obliged to keep them at a certain dishope, when you consider my case, you will

1 {tance; a sigh in a languishing lover, if be of opinion I have very just pretensions

|fetched too near her, would dissolve a feato a divorce. I am a mere man of the town,

ture; and a kiss snatched by a forward one, and have very little improvement, but what

might transfer the complexion of the misI have got from plays. I remember in The

tress to the admirer. It is hard to speak of Silent Woman,* the learned Dr. Cutberd,

these false fair ones, without saying someor Dr. Otter, (I forget which) makes one

thing uncomplaisant, but I would only reof the causes of separation to be Error

commend to them to consider how they like Persona, when a man marries a woman,

coming into a room new painted; they may and finds her not to be the same woman

assure themselves the near approach of a whom he intended to marry, but another.

| lady who uses this practice is much more

offensive. If that be law, it is, I presume, exactly my case. For you are to know, Mr. Spectator,

Will Honeycomb told us, one day, an adthat there are women who do not let their

venture he once had with a Pict. This husbands see their faces till they are mar

lady had wit, as well as beauty, at will; and ried.

made it her business to gain hearts, for no Not to keep you in suspense, I mean

other reason but to rally the torments of plainly that part of the sex who paint.

her lovers. She would make great adThey are some of them so exquisitely skil

vances to ensnare men, but without any ful this way, that give them but a tolerable

manner of scruple break off when there was pair of eyes to set up with, and they will

no provocation. Her ill nature and vanity make bosom, lips, cheeks, and eye-brows,

made my friend very easily, proof against by their own industry. As for my dear,

the charms of her wit and conversation; but never was a man so enamoured as I was of

her beauteous form, instead of being blemher fair forehead, neck, and arms, as well

ished by her falsehood and inconstancy,

every day increased upon him, and she had as the bright jet of her hair; but, to my great astonishment, I find they were all the

new attractions every time he saw her. effect of art. Her skin is so tarnished with

| When she observed Will irrevocably her this practice, that when she first wakes in

slave, she began to use him as such, and a morning, she scarce seems young enough

after many steps towards such a cruelty, to be the mother of her whom I carried to

she at last utterly banished him. The unbed the night before. I shall take the

happy lover strove in vain, by servile episliberty to part with her by the first oppor

| tles, to revoke his doom, till at length he tunity, unless her father will make her

was forced to the last refuge, a round sum portion suitable to her real, not her assumed

of money to her maid. This corrupt at countenance. This I thought fit to let him

tendant placed him early in the morning and her know by your means. I am, Sir,

behind the hangings in her mistress's dressyour most obedient, humble servant.'

ing-room. He stood very conveniently to

observe, without being seen. The Picť be. I cannot tell what the law, or the parents gins the face she designed to wear that day,

and I have heard him protest she had * Epicone, or The Silent Woman, a comedy by Ben Jonson. It is much to be regretted that this fine comedy

to be the same woman. As soon as he saw has for several years been totally neglected by the managers of our theatres. Unless the public taste has greatly declined from what it was, this excellent performance would certainly be more acceptable than the flippant vulgar nonsense with which we are so often annoyed from the pens of some of our mouern dramatists. I verse of Cowley:

s'I'h' adorning thee with so much art,

Such is the shout, the long applauling note,
Is but a barbarous skill;

At Quin's high plume, or Oldfield's petticoati
"l'is like the pois'ning of a dart,

Or when from court a birth-day suit bestow'd
Too apt before to kill.'

Sinks the lost actor in the tawdry load.
The Pict stood before him in the utmost

Booth enters- hark! the universal peallerede

But has he spoken------Not a syllablecom confusion with the prettiest smirk imagina What shook the stage, and made the people stare? ble on the finished side of her face, pale as | Cato's long wig, flowr'd gown, and lacker'd chair.

Pope ashes on the other. Honeycomb seized all her galley-pots and washes, and carried off |

ARISTOTLE has observed, that ordinary his handkerchief full of brushes, scraps of

scrans of writers in tragedy endeavour to raise terror Spanish wool, and phials of unguents. The

and pity in their audience, not by proper lady went into the country: the lover was

sentiments and expressions, but by the cured.

dresses and decorations of the stage. There It is certain no faith out to be kent is something of this kind very ridiculous in with cheats, and an oath made to a Pict is the English theatre. When the author has of itself void. I would therefore exhort all

sua mind to terrify us, it thunders; when he the British ladies to single them out, nor do

to would make us melancholy, the stage is I know any but Lindamira who should be

id he darkened. But among all our tragic artiexempt from discovery; for her own com

fices, I am the most offended at these which plexion is so delicate that she ought to be are made use of to inspire us with magnifiallowed the covering it with paint, as a

as cent ideas of the persons that speak, The punishment for choosing to be the worst |

vorst ordinary method of making a hero, is to piece of art extant, instead of the master

asterclap a huge plume of feathers upon his piece of nature. As for my part, who have !

head, which rises so very high, that there no expectations from women, and consider.

"consider is often a greater length from his chin to them only as they are part of the species, I.

jes. I the top of his head, than to the sole of his do not half so much fear offending a beauty

foot. One would believe, that we thought a as a woman of sense; I shall therefore pro

great man and a tall man the same thing. duce several faces which have been in pub-1.

puh. This very much embarrasses the actor, lic these many years, and never appeared.

who is forced to hold his neck extremely It will be a very pretty entertainment in the

stiff and steady all the while he speaks; and playhouse, (when I have abolished this cus

notwithstanding any anxieties which he tom) to see so many ladies, when they first pretends for his mistress, his country, or lay it down, incog. in their own faces.

his friends, one may see by his action, that In the mean time, as a pattern for im

his greatest care and concern is to keep the proving their charms, let the sex study the

plume of feathers from falling off his head. agreeable Statira. Her features are en

For my own part, when I see a man utterlivened with the cheerfulness of her mind,

ing his complaints under such a mountain and good humour gives an alacrity to her

of feathers, I am apt to look upon him raeyes. She is graceful without affecting an

ther as an unfortunatę lunatic than a disair, and unconcerned without appearing

tressed hero. As these superfluous ornacareless. Her having no manner of art in

ments upon the head make a great man, a her mind, makes her want none in her princess generally receives her grandeur person.

from those additional incumbrances that fall How like is this lady, and how unlike is into her tail; I mean the broad sweeping a Pict, to that description Dr. Donne gives tr of his mistress?

and finds constant employment for a boy

who stands behind her to open and spread Her pure and eloquent blood Spoke in her cheeks, and so distinctly wrought,

it to advantage. I do not know how others That one would almost say her body thought.' are affected at this sight, but I must conADVERTISEMENT.

fess, my eyes are wholly taken up with the

page's part; and as for the queen, I am not A young gentlewoman of about nineteen years of age (bred in the family of a person of quality, lately deceased) who paints the finest flesh-colour, wants a place, and is to be heard of at the house of Mynheer Grotesque, a Dutch painter in Barbican.

N. B. She is also well skilled in the drapery part, and puts on hoods, and mixes ribands so as to suit the colours of the face with great art and success.

to see a queen venting her passion in a disordered motion, and a little boy taking care

all the while that they do not ruffle the tail No. 42.] Wednesday, April 18, 1711. of her gown. The parts that the two per

sons act on the stage at the same time are Garganum mugire putes nemus, aut mare Tuscum;

very different. The princess is afraid lest Tanto cum strepitu ludi spectantur, et artes, Divitiæque peregrina; quibus oblitus actor

she should incur the displeasure of the king Cum stetit in scena, concurrit dextera lævæ.

her father, or lose the hero her lover, Dixit adhuc aliquid ? Ni) sane. Quid placet ergo? Lana Tarentino violas imitata veneno.

whilst her attendant is only concerned lest Hor. Lib. 2. Ep. i. 202. she should entangle her feet in her petticoat.

We are told, that an ancient tragic poet, IMITATED. Loud as the wolves, on Orca's stor ny steep,

to move the pity of his audience for his Howl to the roarings of the northern deep:

exiled kings and distressed heroes, used to


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make the actors represent them in dresses! A good poet will give the reader a more and clothes that were thread-bare and de- lively idea of an army or a battle in a de. cayed. This artifice for moving pity, seems scription, than if he actually saw them as ill-contrived as that we have been speak- drawn up in squadrons and battalions, or ing of, to inspire us with a great idea of the engaged in the confusion of a fight. Our persons introduced upon the stage. In short, minds should be opened to great concepI would have our conceptions raised by the tions, and inflamed with glorious sentiments dignity of thought and sublimity of expres- by what the actor speaks more than by sion, rather than by a train of robes or a what he appears. Can all the trappings plume of feathers.

lor equipage of a king or hero, give Brutus Another mechanical method of making half that pomp and majesty which he re great men, and adding dignity to kings and ceives from a few lines in Shakspeare? queens, is to accompany them with halberds and battle-axes. Two or three shifters of scenes, with the two candle-snuffers, make up a complete body of guards upon the En-No. 43.] Thursday, April 19, 1711. glish stage; and by the addition of a few Hæ tibi erunt artes, pacisque imponere morem, porters dressed in red coats, can represent Parcere subjectis, et debellare superbos. above a dozen legions. I have sometimes

Virg. Æn. vi. 853. seen a couple of armies drawn up together

Be these thy arts, to bid contention cease,

Chain up stern war, and give the nations peace; upon the stage, when the poet has been dis

O’er subject lands extend thy gentle sway, posed to do honour to his generals. It is And teach with iron rod the haughty to obey. impossible for the reader's imagination to THERE are crowds of men whose great multiply twenty men into such prodigious misfortune it is that they were not bound multitudes, or to fancy that two or three to mechanic arts or trades; it being absohundred thousand soldiers are fighting in a lutely necessary for them to be led by some room of forty or fifty yards in compass. In continual task or employment. These are cidents of such a nature should be told, not such as we commonly call dull fellows; represented.

persons, who for want of something to do, --- Non tamen intus

out of a certain vacancy of thought, rather Digna geri promes in scenam: inultaque tolles

than curiosity, are ever meddling with Ex oculis, quæ mox narret facundia præsens.' Hor. Ars Poet, ver. 182.

things for which they are unfit. I cannot

give you a notion of them better, than by * Yet there are things improper for a scene, Which men of judgment only will relate.'' presenting you with a letter from a gentle

Roscommon. man, who belongs to a society of this order I should, therefore, in this particular, re-of men, residing at Oxford. commend to my countrymen the example of the French stage, where the kings and Oxford, April 13, 1711, 4 o'clock in queens always appear unattended, and

the morning. leave their guards behind the scenes. I "SIR, --In some of your late speculations, should likewise be glad if we imitated the I find some sketches towards a history of French in banishing from our stage the clubs; but you seem to me to show them in noise of drums, trumpets, and huzzas; somewhat too ludicrous a light. I have which is sometimes so very great, that well weighed that matter, and think, that when there is a battle in the Haymarket the most important negociations may best theatre, one may hear it as far as Charing- be carried on in such assemblies. I shall, cross.

therefore, for the good of mankind (which I have here only touched upon those par- I trust you and I are equally concerned for ticulars which are made use of to raise and propose an institution of that nature for ex aggrandize the persons of a tragedy; and ample sake. shall show, in another paper, the several I must confess that the design and transexpedients which are practised by authors actions of too many clubs are trifling, and of a vulgar genius to move terror, pity, or manifestly of no consequence to the natior admiration, in their hearers.

or public weal. Those I will give you up. The tailor and the painter often contri- But you must do me then the justice to own, bute to the success of a tragedy more than that nothing can be more useful or laudathe poet. Scenes affect ordinary minds as ble, than the scheme we go upon. To much as speeches; and our actors are very avoid nicknames and witticisms, we cal sensible, that a well-dressed play has some ourselves the Hebdomadal Meeting. Our times brought them as full audiences as a president continues for a year at least, ana well-written one. The Italians have a very, sometimes four or five; we are all grave, good phrase to express this art of imposing serious, designing men, in our way: we upon the spectators by appearances; they think it our duty, as far as in us lies, to call it the Fourheria della scena.' The take care the constitution receives no harm knavery or trickish part of the drama.' But -Ne quid detrimenti res capiat publica.however the show and outside of the tragedy To censure doctrines or facts, persons or may work upon the vulgar, the more un- things, which we do not like; to settle the derstanding part of the audience immedi- nation at home, and carry on the war ately see through it, and despise it. 1 abroad, where and in what manner we see fit. If other people are not of our opinion, I to their inquiries, which dull fellows do not we cannot help that. It were better they make for information, but for exercise. I were. Moreover, we now and then con- do not know but this may be a very good descend to direct, in some measure, the way of accounting for what we frequently little affairs of our own university.


see, to wit, that dull fellows prove very Verily, Mr. Spectator, we are much good men of business. Business relieves offended at the act for importing French them from their own natural heaviness, by wines. A bottle or two of good solid edi-furnishing them with what to do; whereas fying port at honest George's, made a night business to mercurial men, is an interrupcheerful, and threw off reserve. But this tion from their real existence and happiplaguy French claret will not only cost us ness. Though the dull part of mankind are more money, but do us less good. Had we harmless in their amusements, it were to been aware of it before it had gone too far, be wished they had no vacant time, because I must tell you, we would have petitioned they usually undertake something that to be heard upon that subject. But let that makes their wants conspicuous, by their pass.

manner of supplying them. You shall selI must let you know likewise, good sir, dom find a dull fellow of good education, that we look upon a certain northern prince's but if he happens to have any leisure upon march, in conjunction with infidels, to be his hands, will turn his head to one of those palpably against our good-will and liking; two amusements for all fools of eminence, and, for all monsieur Palmquist, a most politics or poetry. The former of these dangerous innovation: and we are by no arts is the study of all dull people in genemeans yet sure, that some people are not ral; but when dulness is lodged in a perat the bottom of it. At least my own pri- son of a quick animal life, it generally exvate letters leave room for a politician, well erts itself in poetry. One might here versed in matters of this nature, to suspect mention a few military writers, who give as much, as a penetrating friend of mine great entertainment to the age, by reason tells me.

that the stupidity of their heads is quickened We think we have at least done the bu- by the alacrity of their hearts. This consiness with the malcontents in Hungary, stitution in a dull fellow, gives vigour to and shall clap up a peace there.

nonsense, and makes the puddle boil, which What the neutrality army is to do, or would otherwise stagnate. The British what the army in Flanders, and what two Prince, that celebrated poem, which was or three other princes, is not yet fully de- written in the reign of King Charles the termined among us; and we wait impa Second, and deservedly called by the wits tiently for the coming in of the next Dyer, of that age incomparable, was the effect of who you must know is our authentic intel- such a happy genius as we are speaking of. ligence, our Aristotle in politics. And, From among many other distichs no less to indeed, it is but fit there shruld be some be quoted on this account, I cannot but redernier resort, the absolute decider of all | cite the two following lines: controversies.

"A painted vest Prince Voltager had on, "We were lately informed that the gal-1 Which from a naked Pict his grandsire won.'* lant trained-bands had patrolled all night! Here, if the poet had not been vivacious. long about the streets of London. We in

in as well as stupid, he could not, in the deed could not imagine any occasion for it,

imagine any occasion for it, warmth and hurry of nonsense, have been we guessed not a tittle on it aforehand, we capable of forgetting that neither Prince were in nothing of the secret; and that city Voltager. nor his grandfather, could strin tradesmen, or their apprentices, should do la naked man of his doublet: but a fool of a duty or work through the holidays, we colder constitution would have stayed to thought absolutely impossible. But Dyer have flaved the Pict, and made buff of his being positive in it, and some letters from skin. for the wearing of the conqueror. other people, who had talked with some "To bring the

To bring these observations to some usewho had it from those who should know, giving some countenance to it, the chairman

* Absurd as these lines are, they found an apologist reported from the committee appointed to in the late Edward King, esq. who, in his Munimenta examine into that affair, that it was possi Antiqua, after alluding to the practice of tattooing beble there might be something in it. I have

ing prevalent amongst the Britons, Picts, and other

northern nations, continues—"The figures thus mark much more to say to you, but my two good ed, however, were as indelible as they were honourable

and they were even badges of their chieftains; insomuch that it is not quite impossible to make sense of

those lines, so elegantly censured in the Spectator, foi ready. I am, in the meantime, Mr. Spec-|

their burlesque nonsense:tator, your admirer and humble servant,

A painted vest Prince Voltager had on,

Wliich from a naked Pict his grandsire 2012
For amongst a people, such as the ancient Britons, who

were so barbarous that, like the Scythians, they deemed tends only to novelty, and not satisfaction the skulls of their enemies

the skulls of their enemies an ornament to their horse. trappings, it is not absolutely impossible to suppose that

| the skin of a poor painted Pict, as well as the skin of a to them, to come to certainty in any thing, Wolf, might be worn as a trophy!” for that would gravel them, and put an end

Munimenta Antiqua, vol. i. p. 186


ful purpose of life, what I would propose Why thy canoniz'd bones, hearsed in death, should be, that we imitated those wise na

Have burst their cearments? Why the sepulchre,

Wherein we saw thee quietly inurn'd, tions wherein every man learns some handi Hath op'd his ponderous and marble jaws, craft-work.-Would it not employ a beau, To cast thee up again? What may this mean? prettily enough, if, instead of eternally

That thou, dead corse, again in complete steel

Revisit'st thus the glimpses of the moon, playing with a snuff-box, he spent some Making night hideous ?' part of his time in making one? Such a method as this would very much conduce I do not therefore find fault with the artito the public emolument, by making every fices above mentioned, when they are inman living good for something; for there troduced with skill, and accompanied by would then be no one member of human proportionable sentiment and expressions society, but would have some little pre- in the writing. tension for some degree in it; like him | For the moving of pity, cur principle mawho came to Will's coffee-house, upon the chine is the handkerchief: and indeed in merit of having writ a posy of a ring. R. our common tragedies, we should not know

very often that the persons are in distress

by any thing they say, if they did not from No.44.] Friday, April 20, 1711. .

time to time apply their handkerchiefs to

their eyes. Far be it from me to think of Tu quid ego, et populus mecum desideret, audi.

banishing this instrument of sorrow from Hur. Ars Poet. ver. 153.

the stage; I know a tragedy could not subNow hear what every auditor expects.

sist without it: all that I would contend for, Roscommon.

" is to keep it from being misapplied. In a AMONG the several artifices which are word, I would have the actor's tongue symput in practice by the poets to fill the minds | pathize with his eyes. of an audience with terror, the first place. A disconsolate mother, with a child in is due to thunder and lightning, which her hand, has frequently drawn compassion are often made use of at the descending from the audience, and has therefore gained of a god, or the rising of a ghost, at the a place in several tragedies. A modern vanishing of a devil, or at the death ci a writer, that observed how this had took in tyrant. I have known a bell introduced other plays, being resolved to double the into several tragedies with good effect; and distress, and melt his audience twice as have seen the whole assembly in a very much as those before him had done, great alarm all the while it has been ring- brought a princess upon the stage with a ing. But there is nothing which delights little boy in one hand, and a girl in the and terrifies our English theatre so much other. This too had a very good effect. A as a ghost, especially when he appears in third poet being resolved to outwrite all his a bloody shirt. A spectre has vexy often predecessors, a few years ago introduced saved a play, though he has done nothing three children with great success: and, as I but stalked across the stage, or rose through

am informed, a young gentleman, who is a cleft of it, and sunk again without speak fully determined to break the most obduing one word. There may be a proper rate hearts, has a tragedy by him, where the season for these several terrors; and when first person that appears upon the stage is they only come in as aids and assistances an afflicted widow in her mourning weeds, to the poet, they are not only to be excused, with half a dozen fatherless children atbut to be applauded. Thus the sounding tending her, like those that usually hang of the clock in Venice Preserved, makes about the figure of Charity. Thus several the hearts of the whole audience quake; incidents that are beautiful in a good writer, and conveys a stronger terror to the mind become ridiculous by falling into the hands than it is possible for words to do. The ap- of a bad one.... pearance of the ghost in Hamlet is a mas- But among all our methods of moving ter-piece in its kind, and wrought up with pity or terror, there is none so absurd and all the circumstances that can create either barbarous, and what more exposes us to attention or horror. The mind of the rea- | the contempt and ridicule of our neighder is wonderfully prepared for his recep-] bours, than that dreadful butchering of one tion by the discourses that precede it. His another, which is very frequent upon the dumb behaviour at his first entrance, | English stage. To delight in seeing men strikes the imagination very strongly; but stabbed, poisoned, racked, or impaled, is every time he enters, he is still more ter- certainly the sign of a cruel temper: and as rifying. Who can read the speech with this is often practised before the British which young Hamlet accosts him, without audience, several French critics, who think trembling.

these are grateful spectacles to us, take Hor. Look, my lord, it comes !

occasion from them to represent us a peoHam. Angels and ministers of grace defend us! ple that delight in blood. It is indeed very Be thou a spirit of health, or goblin damn'd;

odd to see our stage strewed with carcases Bring with thee airs from heav'n, or blasts from hell; Be thy intents wicked or charitable;

in the last scenes of a tragedy; and to obThou com'st in such a questionable shape

serve in the wardrobe of the playhouse seThat I will speak to thee. I'll call thee Hamlet, King, Father, Royal Dane.-Oh! answer me.

veral daggers, poniards, wlieels, bowls for Let me not burst in ignorance; but tell

poison, and many other instruments of

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