« AnteriorContinuar »
“ are made to fit the mouths of the people; this gen
“tleman takes his measures for his journey hither.
“. Your New Bedlam has been read and considered “ by some of your countrymen among us; and one “gentleman, who is now here as a traveller, says, “ your design is impracticable, for that there can be “no place large enough to contain the number of your “lunatics. He advises you therefore to name the .* ambient sea for the boundary of your hospital. If
“what he says be true, I do not see how you can .
“ think of any other inclosure; for according to his “ discourse, the whole people are taken with a verti“go; great and popular actions are received with “coldness and discontent; ill news hoped for with “impatience; heroes in your service are treated with “calumny, while criminals pass through your towns “, with acclamations.
* “This Englishman went on to say, you seemed at “ present to flag under a satiety of success, as if you “wanted misfortune as a necessary vicissitude. Yet
“alas! though men have but a cold relish of prosper
“rity, quick is the anguish of the contrary fortune. “He proceeded to make comparisons of times, sea“sons, and great incidents. After which he grew “too learned for my understanding, and talked of “Hanno the Carthaginian, and his irreconcileable ha“tred to the glorious commander Hannibal. Hanni“ble, said he, was able to march to Rome itself, and “brought that ambitious people, which designed no * less than the empire of the world, to sue for peace “in the most abject and servile manner? when fac“tion at home detracted from the glory of his actions, “, and after many artifices, at last prevailed with the “ senate to recal him from the midst of his victories, “in the very instant when he was to reap the benefit “of all his toils, by reducing the then common enemy “of all nations, which had liberty, to reason. When “Hannibal heard the message of the Carthaginianse
“-nators, who were sent to recal him, he was moved' “ with a generous and disdainful sorrow, and is report“red to have said, “Hannibal then must be conquer* ed, not by the arms of the Romans, whom he has of. “ ten put to flight, but by the envy and detraction of “ his country men. Norshall Scipio triumphso much in his fall as Hanno, who will smile to have purchased * the ruin of Hannibal, though attended with the fall of * Carthage.”
-* Will's Coffee-house, June 19, a THERE is a sensible satisfaction in observing the countenance and action of the people on some occasions. To gratify myself in this pleasure, I came Hither with all speed this evening with an account of the surrender of Douay. As soon as the battle-critics heard it, they immediately drew some comfort, in that it must have cost us a great deal of men. Others were so negligent of the glory of their country, that they went on in their discourse on the full house which is to be at Othello on Thursday, and the curiosity they should go with to see Wilks play a part so very .# ferent from what he had ever before appeared in, together with the expectation that was raised in that gay part of the town on that occasion. . ” This universal indolence and inattention among us to things that concern the public, made me look back, with the highest reverence on the glorious instances in antiquity, of a contrary behaviour in the like circumstances. Harry English, upon observing the room so little roused on the news, fell into the same way of, thinking. How unlike, said he, Mr. Bickerstaff, are we to the old Romans? There was not a subject of their state but thought himself as much concerned in the honour of his country, as the first officer'of the
commonwealth. How do I admire the messenger, who ran with a thorn in his foot to tell the news of a victory to the senate! He had not leisure for his private pain, till he had expressed his public joy ; nor could he suffer as a man, till he had triumphed as a Roman.
No. CLXXXVIII. THURSDAY, JUNE 22.
From my own Afiartment, June 21.
I WAS this morning looking over my letters, that I have lately received from my several correspondents; some of which, referring to my late papers, I have laid aside, with an intent to give my reader a sight of them. The first criticises upon my green house, and is as follows:
“Mr. Bickers TAFF, South Wales, June 7.
“THIS letter comes to you from my orangery, “ which I intend to reform as much as I can, accord“ing to your ingenious model, and shall only beg of “you to communicate to me your secret of preserv“ing grass-plots in a covered room ; for in the cli“ mate where my country-seat lies, they require rain “ and dews as well as sun and fresh air, and cannot “ live upon such fine food as your sifted weather. I “must likewise desire you to write over your green“ house the following motto:
“Hic ver perpetuum, atq; alienis mensibus aestas.”
Instead of your *
THE TATLER, 349 - - - - - og on ..., v - o,” or **** **** , “O ! quis me gelidis sub vallibus Haemi ... Sistat, & ingentiramorum protegat umbra so * * - * Which, under favour, is the panting of one in sum** mer after cool shades, and not of one in winter after “a summer-house. The rest of your plan is very “beautiful; and that your friend who has so well des“cribed it, may enjoy it many winters, is the hearty “ wish of
* * . . .
“His and your unknown, &c." * * This oversight of a grass-plot in my friend's greenhouse, puts me in mind of a like inconsistency in a celebrated picture, where Moses is represented as striking a rock, and the children of Israel quenching their thirst at the waters that flow from it, and run through a beautiful landscape of groves and meadows, which could not flourish in a place where water was to have been found only by a miracle. The next letter comes to me from a Kentish yeoman, who is very angry with me for my advice to parents, occasioned by the amours of Sylvia and Philander, as related in my paper, No. CLXXXV.
“I DO not know by what chance one of your “ Tatlers is got into my family, and has almost turned “ the brains of my eldest daughter Winifred, who has “ been so undutiful as to fall in love of her own head, “ and tells me a foolish heathen story that she has read in your paper, to persuade me to give my con“ sent. I am too wise to let children have their own “ wills in a business like marriage. It is a matter in which neither I myself, nor any of my kindred, were “ ever humoured. My wife and I never pretended to “ love one another like your Sylvias and Philanders; “ and yet, if you saw our fire-side, you would be satis
VOL. l II • G g
“ fied we are not always a squabbling. For my part, “I think that where man and woman come together “by their own good liking, there is so much fondling “ and fooling, that it hinders young people from mind“ing their business. I must therefore desire you to “change your note, and instead of advising us old folks, “who perhaps have more wit than yourself, to let “Sylvia know, that she ought to act like a dutiful “ daughter, and marry the man that she does not care “ for. Our great grandmothers were all bid to marry “ first, and love would come afterwards; and I do not “see why their daughters should follow their own in“ ventions. I am resolved Winifred shall not. “Yours, &c.”
This letter is a natural picture of ordinary contracts, and of the sentiments of those minds that lie under a kind of intellectual rusticity. This trifling occasion made me run over in my imagination the many scenes I have observed of the married condition, wherein the quintessence of pleasure and pain are represented as they accompany that state, and no other. It is certain, there are many thousands like the above mentioned yeoman and his wife, who are never highly pleased or distasted in their whole lives: but when we consider the more informed part of mankind, and look upon their behaviour, it then appears that very little of their time is indifferent, but generally spent in the most anxious vexation, or the highest satisfaction. Shakspeare has admirably represented both the aspects of this state in the most excellent tragedy of Othello. In the character of Desdemona, he runs through all the sentiments of a virtuous maid, and a tender wife. She is captivated by his virtue, and faithful to him, as well from that motive, as regard to her honour. Othello is a great and noble spirit, misled by the villany of a false friend to suspect her innocence, and resents it accord. ingly. When after the many instances of passion the