« AnteriorContinuar »
1 My soul then entered into a flying-fish, and
in that state led a most melancholy life for the Dot having the gilt of speecw, ! have a space of six years. Several fishes of prey purlong time waited in vain for av opportunity of sued me when I was in the water ; and if I making myself known to you; and having at betook myse
ys, it was ten to one present the conveniencies of pen, ink, and but I had a flock of birds aiming at me. As paper, by me, I gladly take the occasion of I was one day flying amidst a fet of English giving you my history in writing, which ll.
ships, I observed a huge sea-gull whetting his could not do by word of mouth. You must bill, avd hovering just over my head : upon know, madam, that about a thousand years
Siny dipping into the water to avoid him, I fell ago I was an Indian brachman, and versed in
into the mouth of a monstrous shark, that swal. all those mysterious secrets which your Euro
lowed me down in an instant. pean philosopher, called Pythagoras, is said to I was some years afterwards, to my great have learned from our fraternity. I had so surprise, an eminent banker in Lombard-street; ingratiated myself, by my great skill in the
and, remembering how I had formerly suffered occult sciences, with a dæmon whom I used for
on I used for want of money, became so very sordid and to converse with, that he promised to grant
avaricious, that the whole town cried shame me whatever I should ask of him. I desired of me. I was a miserable little old fellow to that my soul might never pass into the body look upon; for I bad in a manner starved my. of a brute creature; but this, he told me, was self, and was nothing but skin and bone when not in his power to grant me. I then begged In died. that, into whatever creature I should chance
I was afterwards very much troubled and to transmigrate, I should still retain my me-lamazed to find m
lamazed to find myselfdwindled into an emmet. mory, and be conscious that I was the same
me I was heartily concerned to make so insigniperson who lived in difierent animals. This,
nis, ficant a figure, and did not know but some fie told me, was within his power, and accord-time or other Ümight be reduced to a mite, if ipoly promised, on the word of a dæmon, that I did not mend my manners. I therefore aphe would grant me what I desired. From that plied myseli with great diligence to the offices time forth I lived so very unblameably, that I lihat were allotted to me, and was generally was inade president of a collegcof brachmans, booked
ins, looked upon as the notablest ant in the whole an office which I discharged with great inte.
mole-hill. I was at last picked up, as I was grity until the day of my death. .
groaning under a burden, by an unlucky cockI was then shuffled into another human
sparrow, that lived in the neighbourhood, and body, and acted my part so well in it, that I had befo
that had before made great depredations upon our became first minister to a prince who reigned common
commonwealth. upon the banks of the Ganges. I here lived I then bettered my condition a little, and in great honour for several years, but by de- lived a whole summer in the shape of a bee; grees lost all the innocence of the brach- but being tired witb the painful and pepurious max. being obliged to rifle and oppress the life I had undergone in my two last transmipeople to enrich my sovereign; till at length grations I fell into the other extreme, and í became so odious, that my master, to returned drone. As I one day headed a parcover his credit with his subjects, shot me!
melty to plunder an hive, we were received through the heart with an arrow, as I was one so warmly by the swarm which defended day addressing myself to him at the head of nis
lit, that we were most of us left dead upon army.
the spot. • Upon my next remove, I found myself in 'I might tell you of many other transmigra. the woods under the shape of a jackal, and tions which I went througb: how I was a townsoon listed myself in the service of a lion. Irake, and afterwards did penance in a bay used to yelp near his den about midnight, gelding for ten years ; as also how I was a which was his time of rousing and seeking ar- tailor, a shrimp, and a tom-tit, In the last of ter prey. He always followed me in the rear, these my shapes, I was shot in the Christmas and when I had run down a fat buck, a wild holidays by a young jackanapes, who would goat, or an hare, after he had feasted very needs try his gun upon me. plentifully upon it himself, would now and But I shall pass over these and several oththen throw me a bone that was but half-picked, er stages of life, to remind you of the young for my encouragement ; but, upon my being beau who made love to you about six years unsuccessful in two or three chases, he gave since. You may remember, madam, how he me such a confounded gripe in his anger that I masked, and danced, and sung, and played a died of it.
thousand tricks to gain you; and how he was In my next transmigration, I was again set at last carried off by a cold that he got under apon two legs, and became an Indian tax-ga- your window one night in a serenade. I was therer: but having been guilty of great extra-that unfortunate young fellow to whom you vagancies, and being married to an expensive were then so cruel. Not long after my shiftjade of a wife, I ran so cursedly in debt, thating that unlucky body, I found myself upon a 1 durst not show my head. I could no sooner hill in Æthiopia, where I lived in my present step out of my house but I was arrested by grotesque shape, till I was caught by a servant somebody or other that lay in wait for me. of the English factory, and sent over into As I ventured abroad one night in the dusk Great Britain. I need not inform you how I of the evening, I was taken up and hurried into came into your hands. You see, madam, this a dungeon, where I died a few months after. is not the first time that you have had me in a
chain: I am, however, very happy in this my plause of the whole board, when I had almost captivity, as you often bestow on me those kiss- eat my antagonist into convulsions. It was es and caresses which I would have given the then that I returned bis mirth upon him with world for when I was a man. I hope this dis- such success, as he was hardly able to swallow, covery of my person will not tend to my disad-though prompted by a desire of fame, and a vantage, but that you will still continue your passionate tondness for distinction. I had not accustomed favours to
endeavoured to excel so far, had not the com* Your most devoted humble servant, pany been so loud in their approbation of my
PUGG. victory. I don't question but the same thirst
after glory has often caused a man to drink .P. $. I would advise your little shock-quarts without taking breath, and prompted dog to keep out of my way ; for, as I look men to many other as difficult enterprises ; upon him to be the most formidable of my which, if otherwise pursued, might turn verivals, I may chance one time or other to ry much to a man's advantage. This ambigive him such a snap as he won't like.'
tion of mine was indeed extravagantly pursued; however, I cannot help observing, that
you hardly ever see a man commended for a No. 344.] Friday, April 4, 1712.
good stomach, but he immediately falls to In solo vivendi causa palato est.
eating more (though he had before dined), as "Juv. Sat. xi. 11. weil to confirm the person that commended
him in his good opinion of him, as to conSuch, whose sole bliss is eating: who can give
vince any other at the table who may have Bat that one brutal reason why they live.
been unattentive enough not to have done jus
tice to his character. • MR. SPECTATOR,
“I am, Sir, "I Think it has not yet fallen into your way
Your humble servant, to discourse on little ambition, or the many
•EPICURE MAMMON. whimsical ways men fall into, to distinguish themselves among their acquaintance. Such! 'MR. SPRCTATOR, observations, well "pursued, would make a "I have wrote to you three or four times, to pretty history of low life. I myself am got desire you would take notice of an impertinent into a great reputation, which arose (as most custom the women, the fine women, have late . extraordinary occurrences in a man's life seem ly fallen into, of taking snuff. This silly trick to do) from a mere accident. I was some days is attended with such a coquette air in some ago unfortunately engaged among a set of ladies, and such a sedate masculine one in gentlemen, who esteem a man according to the others, that I cannot tell which most to com. quantity of food he throws down at a meal. plain of; but they are to me equally disagree. Now I, who am ever for distinguishing myself able. Mrs. Santer is so impatient of being according to the notions of superiority which without it, that she takes it as often as she the rest of the company entertain, ate so im- does salt at meals : and as she affects a wonmoderately for their applause, as had like to derful ease and negligence in all her manner, have cost me my life. What added to my an upper lip mixed with snuff and the sauce is misfortune was, that having naturally a good what is presented to the observation of all who stomach, and having lived soberly for some have the honour to eat with her. The pretty time, my body was as well prepared for this creature her niece does all she can to be as discontention as if it had been by appointment. agreeable as her aunt ; and if she is not as ofI had quickly vanquished every glutton in com- fensive to the eye, she is quite as much to the pany but one, who was such a prodigy in his ear, and makes up all she wants in a confident way, and withal so very merry during the whole air, by a nauseous rattle of the nose, when the entertainment, that he insensibly betrayed me snuff is delivered, and the fingers make the to continue his coinpetitor, which in a little stops and closes on the nostrils. This, pertime concluded in a complete victory over my haps, is not a very courtly image in speaking rival; after which, by way of insult, I ate a of ladies ; that is very true : but where arises considerable proportion beyond what the spec- the offence? Is it in those who commit, or those tators thought me obliged in honour to do. who observe it? As for my part, I have been The effect, however, of this engagement, has so extremely disgusted with this filthy physic made me resolve never to eat more for renown; hanging on the lip. that the most agreeable and I have, pursuant to this resolution, com- conversation, or person, has not been able to pounded three wagers I had depending on the make up for it. As to those who take it for no strength of my stomach, which happened very other end but to give themselves occasion for luckily, because it had been stipulated in our pretty action, or to fill up little intervals of disarticles either to play or pay. How a man of course, I can bear with them ; but then they common sense could be thus engaged is hard must not use it when another is speaking, who to determine; but the occasion of this is, to de- ought to be heard with too much respect, to adsire you to inform several gluttons of my ac- mit of offering at that time from hand to hand quaintance, who look on me with envy, that the snuff-box. But Flavilla is so far taken with they had best moderate their ambition in time, her behaviour in this kind, that she pulls out lest infamy or death attend their success. I her box (which is indeed full of good Brazil) in forgot to tell you, Sir, with what unspeakable the middle of the sermon; and, to show she has pleasure I received the acclamations and ap- the audacity of a well-bred woman, she offers
it to the men as well as the women who sit Adam, to detain the angel, enters afterwards near her: but since by this time all the world upon his own history and relates to him the knows she has a fine hand, I am in hopes she circumstances in which he found himself upon may give herself no further trouble in this his creation; as also his conversation with his matter. On Sunday was sevennight, when Maker, and his first meeting with Eve. There they came about for the offering, she gave her is no part of the poem more apt to raise the at charity with a very good air, but at the sampe tention of the reader, than this discourse of our time asked the church-warden if he would take great ancestor; as nothing can be more sura pinch. Pray, sir, think of these things in prising and delightful to us, than to hear the time, and you will oblige,
sentiments that arose in the first man, while he "Your humble servant.' was yet new and fresh from the hands of his
Creator. The poet has interwoven every thing
which is delivered upon this subject in holy writ No. 345.] Saturday, April 6, 1712.
with so many beautiful imaginations of his own, Sanctius his animal, mentisque capacius altæ
that nothing can be conceived more just and Deerat adhuc, et quod dominari in cxtera posset, natural than this whole episode. As our author Natus homo est.
Ovid, Met. Lib. i. 76. knew this subject could not be agreeable to
his reader, he would not throw it into the relaA crcature of a more exalted kind Was wanting yet, and then was man design'd: tion of the six days' work, but reserved it for a Conscious of thought, of more capacious breast, distinct episode, that he might bave an oppor
For empire form’d, and fit to rule the rest. Dryden. tunity of expatiating upon it more at large. · The accounts which Raphael gives of the Before I enter on this part of the poem, I canbattle of angels, and the creation of the world not but take notice of two shining passages in have in them those qualifications which the the dialogue between Adam and the Angel. critics judge requisite to an episode. They are The first is that wherein our ancestor gives an nearly related to the principal action, and have account of the pleasure he took in conversing a just connexion with the fable.
with him, which contains a very poble mural. The eighth book opens with a beautiful de
For while I sit with thee, I seem in heaven, scription of the impression which this discourse
And sweeter thy discourse is to my par of the archangel made on our first parents. Thin fruits of palm-trees (pleasantest to thirst Adam afterwards, by a very natural curiosity, And hunger both, from labour) at the honr inquires concerning the motions of those ce
Of sweet repast; they satiate and soon fill, Jestial bodies which make the most glorious
Though pleasant; but thy words, with grace divine
lunbued, bring to their sweetness no sutiety. appearance among the six days' work. The poet here, with a great deal of art, represents. The other I shall mention, is that in which Eve as withdrawing from this part of their con- the angel gives a reason why he should be glad. versation, to amusements more suitable to her to hear the story Adam was about to relate. sex. He well knew that the episode in this
For I that day was absept as befel. book, which is filled with Adam's account of
Bound on a voyage uncouth and obscure, his passion and esteem for Eve, would have
Far on excursion towards the gates of hell, been improper for her hearing, and has there Squar'd in full legion (such command we had) fore devised very just and beautiful reasons
To see that none thence issued forth a spy,
Or enemy, while God was in his work. for her retiring :
Lest le, incens d at such eruption bold,
Destruction with creation might have mix's.'
There is no question but our poet drew the With lowliness majostic from her seat,
image in what follows from that in Virgil's sixth And grace that won who saw to wish her stay,
book, where Æneas and the Sybil stand before Rose ; and went forth among her fruits and flowers, To visit how they prosperid, bud and bloom,
the adamantine gates, which are there described Her nursery: they at her coming sprung,
as shut upon the place of torment, and listen And, touch by her fair tendance, gladlier grew. to the groans, the clank of chains, and the Yet went sbe not, as not with such discourse
noise of iron whips, that were heard in those Delighted, or not capable her car Of what was high: such pleasure she reserv'd, regions of pain and sorrow. Adam relating. She sole auditress;
- Fast we found, fast shut Her husband the relater she prefer'd
The dismal gates, and barricado'd strong; Before the angel, and of him to ask
But long ere our approaching heard within Chose rather: lie, she know, would intcrmis
Noise, other than the sound of dance or song,
Tornent, and loud lament, and furious rage.'
Adam then proceeds to give an account of
his condition and sentiments immediately after The angel's returning a doubtful answer to his creation. How agreeably does he represent Adam's inquiries, was not only proper for the the posture in which he found himself, the demoral reason which the poet assigns, but be 'lightful landscape that surrounded him, and the cause it would have been highly absurd to have gladness of heart which grew up in him on given the sanction of an archangel to any par- that occasion! ticular system of philosophy The chief points in the Ptolemaic and Copernican hypotheses
As new wak'd from soundest sleep, are described with great conciseness and per
Soft on the flow'ry herb I found ne laid
In balmy sweat, which with his beams the sun spicuity, and at the same time dressed in very
Soon dry'd, and on the reeking moisture sed. pleasing and poetical images.
Straight toward heaven my wond'ring eyes I turn'd
And gaz'd awhile the ample sky; till rais'd
ment, is as fine a part as any in the whole poem. By quick instinctive motion, up I sprung, As thitherward endeavouring, and upright
The more the reader examines the justness and Stood on my feet. Abont une round I waw
delicacy of its sentiments, the more he will Hill, dale, and shady woods, and sunny plains, find himselt pleased with it. The poet has And liquid lapse of murmuring streams: by these, wonderfully preserved the character of maCreatures that liv'd and movi, snd walk'd, or tlew, Birds on the branches warbling; all things suill'd
jesty and condescension in the Creator, and, Wicha fragrance, and with joy my heart o ertiow'd' at the same time, that of humility and adora
ration in the creature, as particularly in the Adam is afterwards described as surprised at following lines: bis own existence, and taking a survey of himself and of all the works of nature. He like-l “Thus I presumptuous; and the vision bright, wise is represented as discovering, by the light: As with a smile more brighten'd, thus repli'd, &c.
I with leave of speech imploril, of reason, that he, and every thing about him, And humble depremiou, thus replid: must have been the effect of some Being in-: “Let not my words offend thee, Heavenly Power, Snitely coad and powerful and that this Being My Maker, be propitious while I speak,' &c. had a right to his worship and adoration. His!
Adam then proceeds to give an account of first address to to Sun, and to those parts of hi
his second sleep, and of the dream in which he the creation which made the most distinguished
beheld the formation of Eve. The new pasfigure, is very natural and amusing to the ima.
sion that was awakened in him at the sight of gination :
her is touched very finely. * Thou Sun,' said I, . Fair light,
• Under his forming hands a creature grew, And thou enlighten'd earth, yo fresh and gay, Ye hills, and dades, ye rivers, woods, and plains,
Manlike, but diff'rent sex: so lovely fair, And ve that live and move, fair creatures, tell,
That what seenu'd far in all the world, seem'd now Tell, if ye saw, how caine I thus ? how here?'
Meun, or in her summ'd up, in her contain'd,
Sweetness into my heart, unfelt before;
Aud into all things from her air inspir'd going to sleep, he fancies himself losing his ex
The spirit of love and amorous delight.' istence, and falling away into nothing, can never be sufficiently admired. His dream, in Adam's distress upon losing sight of this which be still preserves the consciousness of beautiful phantom, with his exclamations of his existence, together with his removal into joy and gratitude at the discovery of a real the garden which was prepared for his recep- creature who reseinbled the apparition which tion, are also circumstances finely imagined, had been presented to himn in his dream ; the and grounded upon what is delivered in sacred approaches he makes to her, and his manner story.
of conrtship, are all laid together in a most exThese and the like wonderful incidents in quisite propriety of sentiments. this part of the work, have in them all the Though this part of the poem is worked up beauties of novelty, at the same time that they with great warmth and spirit, the love which is have all the graces of nature.
described in it is every way suitable to a state They are such as none but a great genius of innocence. If the reader compares the decould have thought of; though, upon the pe- scription which Adam here gives of his leading rusal of them, they seem to rise of themselves Eve to the nuptial bower, with that which from the subject of which he treats. In a word, Mr. Dryden has made on the same occasion in though they are natural, they are not obvious; a scene of his Fall of Man, he will be sensible which is the true character of all fine writing. of the great care which Milton took to avoid all
The impression which the interdiction of the thoughts on so delicate a subject that might be tree of life left in the mind of our first parent offensive to religion or good manners. The senis described with great strength and judgment ; timents are chaste, but not cold ; and convey as the image of the several beasts and birds pas. to the mind ideas of the most transporting passing in review before him is very beautiful and sion, and of the greatest purity. What a noble lively :
mixture of rapture and innocence has the author
joined together, in the reflection which Adam - Each bird and beast behold
makes on the pleasures of love, compared to Approaching two and two, these cow'ring low With blandishment; each bird stoop'd on his wing.
those of sense! I nam'd them as they pass'd
• Thus have I told thee all my state, and brought
My story to the sum of earthly bliss Adam in the next place, describes a confer-1
Which I enjoy; and must confess to find ence which he held with his Maker upon the
In all things else delight indeed, but such subject of solitude. The poet here represents As us'd or not, works in the mind no chango the Supreme Being as making an essay of his
Nor vehement desire; these delicacies
I mean of taste, sight, smell, herbs, fruits, and flowers, own work, and putting to the trial that reason
Walks, and the melody of birds: but hero ing faculty with which he had endued his crea Far otherwise, transported I behold, ture. Adam urges, in this divine colloquy, the Transported touch; here passion first I felt, impossibility of his being happy, though he
Commotion strunge! in all enjoyments else
Superior and unmov'd, here only weak was tbe inbabitant of Paradise, and lord of the
Against the charm of beanty's pow'rful glance. whole creation, without the conversation and Or nature fail'd in me, and left some part society of some rational creature who should Not proof enough such object to sustain; partake those blessings with him. This dia
Or from my side subducting, took perhaps
More than enough; at least on her bestow'd logue, which is supported chiefly by the beauty
Too much of ornament, in outward show of the thoughts, without other poetical oroa Elaborate, of inward losy exact.
When I approach
I fording any future assistance where it ought to Her loveliness, so absolute she seems,
be. Let him therefore reflect, that if to bestow And in hersell complete, so well to know
be in itself laudable, should not a man take Her own, that what she wills to do or say, Seems wisest, virtuousest, discreetest, best;
care to secure an ability to do things praiseAll lugher knowledge in her presence falls
worthy as long as he lives? Or could there be Degraded: wisdom in discourse with her
a more cruel piece of raillery upon a man who Loses, discountenanc'd, and like folly shows:
should have reduced his fortune below the caAuthority and reason on her wait, As one intended first, not after made
pacity of acting according to his uatural temOccasionally ; and to consummate all,
per, than to say of him,'' That gentleman was Greatness of mind and uobleness their seat
generous ?' My beloved author therefore has, in Budd in her loveliest, and create an awe About her, as a guard angelic plac'd.'
the sentence on the top of my paper, turned his
eye with a certain satiety from beholding the These sentiments of love in our first parent, addresses to the people by largesses and public gave the angel such an insight into human na-entertainments, which he asserts to be in gefure, that he seems apprehensive of the evils ineral vicious, and are always to be regulated which might befall the species in general, as according to the circumstances of time and a well as Adam in particular, from the excess of man's own fortune. A constant benignity in his passion. He therefore fortifies him against commerce with the rest of the world, which it by umely admonitions; which very artfully ought to run through all a man's actions, has prepare the mind of the reader for the occur- edects more useful to those whom you oblige rences of the next book, where the weakness, and is less ostentatious in yourself. He turns of which Adam here gives such distant dis- his recommendation of this virtue on commercoveries, brings about tbat fatal event which is cial life: and, according to him, a citizen who the subject of the poem. His discourse, which is frank in his kindness, and abhors severity follows the gentle rebuke he received from the in his demands: he who, in buying, selling angel, shows that his love, however violent it lending, doing acts of good neighbourhood, is might appear, was still founded in reason, and just and easy; he who appears naturally averse consequently not improper for Paradise : to disputes, and above the sense of little sus
ferings; bears a noble character, and does much • Neither her outside form' so fair, nor aught
more good to mankind than any other inan's in procreation common to all kinds, (Though higher of the genis bed by far,
fortune, without commerce, can possibly supAnd with mysterious reverence I deein)
port. For the citizen above all other men, has So much delights me, as those graceful acts, opportunities of arriving at the highest fruit Those thousand decencies that daily flow
of wealth,' to be liberal without the least ex. From all her words and actions, mixt with love And swert compliance, which declare unfeign'd
pense of a man's own fortune. It is not to be Union of mind, or in us both one soul:
denied but such a practice is liable to hazard : Harmony to behold in wedded pair!
but this therefore adds to the obligation, that,
among traders, he who obliges is as much conAdam's speech, at parting with the angel, has
cerned to keep the favour a secret as he who in it a deference and gratitude agreeable to an
receives it. The unhappy distinctions among inferior pature, and at the same time a certain
us in England are so great, that to celebrate dignity and greatness suitable to the father of
the intercourse of commercial friendship (with mankind in his state of innocence. L.
which I am daily made acquainted) would be to raise the virtuous man so many enemies of
the contrary party. I am obliged to conceal · No. 346.] Monday, April 7, 1712.
all I know of 'Tom the Bounteous,' who lends Conseutudinem benignitatis largitioni munerum longè at the ordinary interest, to give men of less forantepono. Hæc est gravium hoininum atque magnorum; tune opportunities of making greater advanilla quasi assentatorum populi, multitudinis levitatem vo- tages. He conceals, under a rough air and luptate quasi titullantium.
distant behaviour, a bleeding compassion and I esteem a habit of benignity grestly preferable to mu-womanish tenderness. This is governed by the nificence. The former is peculiar to great and distin- most exact circumspection, that there is no inguished persons; the latter belongs to flatterers of the la.
edustry wanting in the person whom he is to people, who tickle the levity of the multitude with a kind of pleasure.
serve, and that he is guilty of no improper ex
penses. This I know of Tom; but who dare WAEx we consider the offices of human life, say it of so known a tory? The same care I was there is, methinks, something in what we ordi- forced to use some time ago, in the report of narily call generosity, which, when carefully another's virtue, and said fifty instead of an examined, seems to flow rather from a loose and hundred, because the man I pointed at was a unguarded temper than an honest and liberal whig. Actions of this kind are popular, withmind. For this reason it is absolutely necessary lout being invidious: for every man of ordinary that all liberality should have for its basis and circumstances looks upon a man who has this support frugality. By this means the benefi- known benignity in his nature as a person ready cent spirit works in a man from convictions of to be his friend upon such terms as he ought to reason, not from the impulse of passion. The expect it; and the wealthy who may envy such generous man in the ordinary acceptation, with a character. can do no iniury to its interests. out respect of the demands of his family, will but by the imitation of it, in which the good soon find upon the foot of his account, that he citizen will rejoice to be rivalled. I know not has sacrificed to fools, knaves, flatterers, or the how to form to myself a greater idea of human deservedly unhappy, all the opportunities of af- life, than in what is the practice of some wealthy