Imágenes de páginas

course of his fable, the principal particulars, tified by tradition. What further confirms which were generally believed among the Ro-me that this change of the feet was a celebra. mans, of Æneas's voyage and settlement in ted circumstance in the history of Æneas, is, Italy.

that Ovid has given a place to the same meta. The reader may find au abridgment of the morphosis in his account of the heathen iny. whole story, as collected out of the ancient his-thology. torians, and as it was received among the Ro. None of the critics I have met with have inans, in Dionysius Halicarnassus.

considered the fable of the neid in this light, Since none of the critics have considered and taken notice how the tradition on which Virgil's fable with relation to this history of it was founded authorizes those parts in it Æneas, it may not perhaps, be amiss to examine which appear most exceptionable. I hope the it in this light, so far as regards my present length of this retlection will not make it unpurpose. Whoever looks into the abridgment acceptable to the curious part of my reader. above-mentioned will find that the character The history which was the basis of Milton's of Eneas is Glied with piety to the gods, and a poem is still shorter than either that of the Iliad superstitious observation of prodigies, oracles, or Eneid. The poet has likewise taken care to and predictions. Virgil has not only preserved insert every circumstance of it in the body of his character in the person of Æneas, but has his fable. The ninth book, which we are here given a place in his poem to those particular to consider, is raised upon that brief account in prophecies which he found recorded of him in scripture, wherein we are told that the serpent history and tradition. The poet took the mat. was more subtle than any beast in the field; ters of fact as they came down to him, and that he teinpted the woman to eat of the for. circumstanced them after his own manner, to bidden fruit; that she was overcome by this make them appear the inore natural, agreeable, temptation, and that Adam followed her exor surprising. I believe very many readers ample. From these few particulars Milton has have been shocked at that ludicrous prophecy formed one of the most entertaining fables that which one of the harpies pronounces to the invention ever produced. He has disposed of Trojans in the third book; namely, that before these several circumstances among so many they had built their intended city they should agreeable and natural fictions of his own, that be reduced by hunger to eat their very tables. This whole story looks only like a comment upou But when they hear that this was one of the sacred writ, or rather seems to be a full and circumstances that had been transmitted to the complete relation of what the other is only an Romans in the history of Æueas, they will think epitome. I have insisted the longer on this the poet did very well in taking notice of it. consideration, as I look upon the disposition The historian above-mentioned acquaints us, and contrivance of the fable to be the principal that a prophetess had foretold Æneas, that he beauty of the ninth book, which has more story should take his voyage westward, till his com- in it, and is fuller of incidents, than any other panions should eat their tables; and that accor- in the whole poem. Satan's traversing the dingly, upon his landing in Italy, as they were globe, and still keeping within the shadow of eating their flesh upon cakes of bread for want the night, as fearing to be discovered by the of other conveniences, they afterwards fed on angel of the sun, who had before detected him. the cakes theinselves : upon which one of the is one of those beautiful imaginations with company said merrily, • We are eating our ta which he introduces this bis second series of ad bles. They immediately took the hint. savs ventures. Having examined the nature of every the historian, and concluded the prophecy to creature, and found out one which was the most be fulfilled. As Virgil did not think it proper proper for his purpose, he again returns to Parato omit so material a particular in the history dise; and, to avoid discovery, sinks by night of Æneas, it may be worth while to consider with a river that ran under the garden, and with how much judgment he has qualified it, rises up again through a tountain that issued and taken off every thing that inight have ap- from it by the tree of life. The poet, who, as peared improper for a passage in an heroic we have before taken notice, speaks as little as poem. The prophetess who foretells it is an possible in his own person, and, after the exhungry harpy, as the person who discovers it ample of Homer, fills every part of his work is young Ascanius.

with manners and characters, introduces a so

liloquy of this infernal agent, who was thus rest* Heus ctiam mensas consunimus, inquit lul:18!' less in the destruction of man. He is then de

Æn. vii. 116. scribed as gliding through the garden, under

the resemblance of a mist, in order to find out "Sec, we devour the plates on which we fed!"


the creature in which he designed to tempt our

first parents. This description has something Such an observation, which is beautiful in in it very poetical and surprising : the mouth of a boy, would have been ridiculous

So saying, through each thicket dank or dry, from any other of the company. Tam apt to Like a black mist low crcoping, he held on think that the changing of the Trojan feet His midnight search, where soonest he might find into water-nymphs, which is the most violent

The serpent: bim fast sleeping soon he found machine in the whole Æneid, and has given

In labyrinth of many a round self-rollid,

*His bead the midst, well stor'd with subtle wiles. offence to several critics, may be accounted for the same way. Virgil himself, before he begins The author afterwards gives us a descripthat relation, premises, that what he was going tion of the morning, which is wonderfully suitto tell appeared incredible, but that is was jus- able to a divine poem, and peculiar to that

first season of nature. He represents the earth from her husband, the many pleasing images before it was cursed, as a great altar breath-of nature which are intermixed in this part of ing out its incense from all parts, and sending the story, with its gradual and regular proup a pleasant savour to the nostrils of its gress to the fatal catastrophe, are so very reCreator; to which he adds a noble idea of markable, that it would be superfluous to Adam and Eve, as offering their morning wor- point out their respective beauties. ship, and filling up the universal concert of I have avoided mentioinng any particular praise and adoration :

similitudes in my remarks on this great work,

because I have given a general account of Now when a sacred light began to dawn

them in my paper on the first book. There is In Eden on the humid flowers, that breath'd Their morning incense; when all things that breathe one, however, in this part of the poem which From th' earth's great altar send up silent praise I shall here quote, as it is not only very beautiPo the Creator, and his nostrils fill

ful, but the closest of any in the whole poem; With grateful smell; forth came the human pair,

I mean that where the serpent is described as And join'd their vocal worship to the choir Of creatures wanting voice.

rolling forward in all his pride, animated by

the evil spirit, and conducting Eve to her The dispute which follows between our two destruction, while Adam was at too great a first parents is represented with great art. It distance from her to give her his assistance. proceeds from a difference of judgment, not of These several particulars are all of them passion, and is managed with reason, not with wrought into the following similitude : heat. It is such a dispute as we may suppose might have happened in Paradise, had man con

Hope elevates, and joy tinued happy and innocent. There is a great

Brightens his crest; as when a wandering fire

Compact of unctious vapour, which the night delicacy in the moralities which are interspers

Condenses, and the cold environs round, ed in Adam's discourse, and wbich the most or Kindled through agitation to a flame, dinary reader cannot but take notice of. That

(Which oft, they say, some evil spirit attends)

Hovering and blazing with delusive light, force of love which the father of mankind so

Misleads th' amaz'd nicht-Wanderer from his way finely describes in the eighth book, and which

To bogs and mires, and oft through pond or pool, is inserted in my last Saturday's paper, shows There swallow'd up and lost, from succour far. itself here in many fine instances; as in those fond regards he casts towards Eve at her part

The secret intoxication of pleasure, with all ing from him

those transient flushings of guilt and joy,

which the poet represents in our first parents Her long with ardent look his eye pursu'd

upon their eating the forbidden fruit, to those Delighted, but desiring more her stay.

faggings of spirit, damps of sorrow, and muOft he to her his charge of quick return

tual accusations which succeed it, are conceivRepeated; she to him as oft engaged To be return'd by noon amid the bow'r.

ed with a wonderful imagination, and describ

ed in very natural sentiments. In his impatience and amusement during When Dido, in the fourth Æneid, yielded to her absence :

that fatal temptation which ruined her, Vir

gil tells us the earth trembled, the heavens - Adam the while,

were filled with flashes of lightning, and the Waiting desirous her return, had wove

nymphs howled upon the mountain tops. Or choicest flow'rs a garland to adorn

Milton, in the same poetical spirit, has deHer tresses, and her rural labours crown, As reapers oft are wont their harvest queen.

scribed all nature as disturbed upon Eve's Great joy he promis'd to his thoughts, and new eating the forbidden fruit. Solace to her return, so long delay'd.

So saying, her rash hand in evil hour, But particularly in that passionate speech,

Forth reaching to the fruit, she pluck'd, she eat where, seeing her irrecoverably lost, he re Earth felt the wound, and Nature, from her seat solves to perish with her, rather than to live Sighing, through all her works gave signs of woe

That all was lost. without her: Some cursed fraud

Upon Adam's falling into the same guilt, the Of enemy hath beguil'd thee, yet unknown,

whole creation appears a second time in conAnd me with thee hath ruin'd; for with thee

Certain my resolution is to die :
How can I live without thee? how forego
Thy sweet converse and love so dearly join'd,

--He scrupled not to eat To live again in these wild woods forlorn ?

Agninst his better knowledge; not deceiv'd Should God create another Eve, and I

But fondly overcome with female charm. another rib afford, yet loss of thee

Earth trembled from her entrails, as again Would never from my heart; no, no! I feel

In pangs, and Nature gave a second groan; The link of nature draw me: flesh of flesh,

Sky low'r'd, and, muttering thunder, some sad drops Bone of my bone thou art, and from thy state

Wept at completing of the mortal sin. Mine never shall be parted, bliss or woe.

As all nature suffered by the guilt of our first The beginning of this speech, and the pre-parents, these symptoms of trouble and conparation to it, are animated with the same šternation are wonderfully imagined, not only spirit as the conclusion, which I have here as prodigies, but as marks of her sympathizing quoted.

in the fall of man. The several wiles which are put in practice Adam's converse with Eve, after having by the tempter, when he found Eve separated eaten the forbidden fruit, is an exact copy of that between Jupiter and Juno in the fourteenth intrigue, are advanced very far in years, and Iliad. Juno there approaches Jupiter with the beyond the pleasures and sallies of youth; girdle which she had received from Venus ; but now Will observes, that the young have upon which he tells her, that she appeared taken in the vices of the aged, and you shall inore charming and desirable than she had have a man of five-and-twenty, crafty, false, ever done before, even when their loves were and intriguing, not ashamed to over-reach, at the highest. The poet afterwards describes cozen, and beguile. My friend adds, that till them as reposing on a summit of Mount about the latter end of king Charles's reign Ida, which produced under them a bed of there was not a rascal of any eminence under flowers, the lotus, the crocus, and the bya- torty. In the places of resort for conversacinth; and concludes his description with tion, you now hear nothing but what relates their falling asleep.

to the improving men's fortunes, without reLet the reader compare this with the fol-gard to the methods towards it. This is so lowing passage in Milton, which begins with fashionable, that young men form themselves Adam's speech to Eve:

upon a certain neglect of every thing that is

candid, simple, and worthy of true esteem ; . For never did thy beauty since the day

and affect being yet worse than they are, by I saw thee first and wedded thee, adorn'd With all perfections, so inflame my sense

acknowledging, in their general turn of mind With ardour to enjoy thee, fairer now

and discourse, that they have not any reThan ever, bounty of this virtuous tree.

maining value for true honour and honesty ; So said ho, and forbore not glance or toy

preferring the capacity of being artful to gain Of amorous intent, well understood Of Eve, whose eye darted contagious fire.

their ends, to the merit of despising those Her hand he seized, and to a sh dy bank,

ends when they come in competition with their Thick over head with verdant roof embower'd, houesty. All this is due to the very silly pride He led her nothing loth; flowers were the couch,

that generally prevails, of being valued for the Pansies, and violets, and asphodel, And hyacinth, Earth's freshest softest lap.

ability of carrying their point; in a word, There they their fill of love and love's disport from the opinion that shallow and unexperiTook largely, of their mutual guilt the seal. enced people entertain of the short-lived force The solace of their sin, till dewy sleep

of cunning. But I shall, before I enter upon Oppress'd them.

the various faces wbich folly, covered with arAs no poet seems ever to have studied Ho-'tifice, puts on to impose upor the unthinking, mer more, or to have more resembled him in produce a great authority for asserting that the greatness of genius, than Milton, I think nothing but truth and ingenuity has any lastI should have given but a very imperfect ac- ing good effect, even upon a man's fortune and count of its beauties. If I had pot observed interest. the most remarkable passages which look like Truth and reality have all the advantages parallels in these two great authors. I might, of appearance, and many more. If i he show of in the course of these criticism, have taken no- any thing be good for any thing, I am sure sintice of many particular lines and expressions cerity is better; for why does any man dissemwhich are translated from the Greek poet; but ble, or seem to be that which he is not, but beas I thought this would have appeared too 'cause he thinks it good to have such a quality mipute and over-curious. I have purposely as he pretends to ? for to counterfeit and disomitted them. The greater incidents however, semble is to put on the appearance of some are not only set off by being shown in the real excellency. Now the best way in the world same light with several of the same nature for a man to seem to be any thing, is really to in Homer, but by that means may be also be what he would seem to be. Besides, that it guarded against the cavils of the tasteless or is many times as troublesome to make good ignorant.

L. the pretence of a good quality, as to have it ;

and if a man have it not, it is ten to one but he No. 352.] Monday, April 14, 1712.

is discovered to want it, and then all his pains

and labour to seem to have it is lost. There Si ad honestatem nati sumus, ea aut solali expetenda est, aut certè omni pondere gravior est ha

a is something unnatural in painting, which a benda quam reliqua omnia.

Tull. skilful eye will easily discern from native

beauty and complexion. If we be made for honesty, either it is solely to be “It is bard to personate and act a part long; sought, or certainly to be estimated much more highly I for where truth is not at the bottom, nature than all other things.

will always be endeavouring to return, and will WILL HONEYCOMB was complaining to me peep out and betray herself one time or other. yesterday, that the conversation of the town Thorefore if any man think it convenient to is so altered of late years, that a fine gentle- seem good, let him be so indeed, and then his man is at a loss for matter to start discourse, goodness will appear to every body's satisfacas well as unable to fall in with the talk he tion; so that upon all accounts sincerity is true generally meets with. Will takes notice, that wisdom. Particularly as to the affairs of this there is now an evil under the sun which he world, integrity hath many advantages over supposes to be entirely new, because not men- all the fine and artificial ways of dissimulation tioned by any satirist, or moralist, in any age. and deceit ; it is much the plainer and easier, * Men,' said he, 'grow knaves sooner than much the safer and more secure way of dealthey ever did since the creation of the world ing in the world : it has less of trouble and before. If you read the tragedies of the last difficulty, of entanglement and perplexity, of age, you find the artful men, and persons of danger and hazard in it: it is the shortest and nearest way to our end, carrying us thither but with a crafty desiga to promote and adin a straight line, and will hold out and last vance more effectually their own interests ; longest. The arts of deceit and cunning do and therefore the justice of the Divine Provicontinually grow weaker and less effectu-dence hath hid his truest point of wisdom from al and serviceable to them that use them ; their eyes, that bad men might not be upon whereas integrity gains strength by use, and equal terms with the just and upright, and the more and longer any man practiseth it, serve their own wicked designs by honest and the greater service it does him, by confirming lawful means. his reputation, and encouraging those with Indeed, if a man were only to deal in the whom he hath to do to repose the greatest world for a day, and should never have octrust and confidence in him, which is an un-casion to converse more with mankind, ne, speakable advantage in the business and af- ver more need their good opinion or good fairs of life.

word, it were then no great matter (speak* Truth is always consistent with itself, and ing as to the concernments of this world) if needs nothing to help it out; it is always near a man spent his reputation all at once, and at hand, and sits upon our lips, and is ready to ventured it at one throw ; but if he be to condrop out before we are aware; whereas a lie is tinue in the world, and would have the advantroublesome, and sets a man's invention upon tage of. conversation whilst he is in it, let the rack, and one trick neeils a great wavy him make use of truth and sincerity in all more to make it good. It is like building upon his words and actions ; for nothing but this a false foundation, which constantstly stands in will last and hold out to the end : all other need of props to shore it up, and proves at last arts will fail, but truth and integrity will carmore chargeable than to have raised a sub-ry a man through, and bear him out to the stantial building at first upon a true and solid last.'

T. foundation ; for sincerity is firm and substantial, and there is nothing hollow and unsound in it, and, because it is plain and open, fears

No 353.] Tuesday, April 15, 1712. Do discovery ; of which the crafty man is al In tenui labor

Virg. Georg. v. C. ways in danger ; and when he thinks he walks in the dark, all his pretences are so transpa

Though low the subject, it deserves our pains. rent, that he that runs may read them; he is THE gentleman who obliges the world in ge; the last man that finds himself to be fonndneral, and me in particular, with his thoughts out; and whilst he takes it for granted that upon education, has just sent me the following be makes fools of others, he renders himself ri-l letter: diculous. " Add to all this, that sincerity is the most

"SIR, compendious wisdom, and an excellent instru- 'I take the liberty to send you a fourth letment for the speedy despatch of business ; it ter upon the education of youth. In my last creates confidence in those we have to deal I gave you my thoughts upon some particular with, saves the labour of many inquiries, and tasks, which I conceived it might not be amiss brings things to an issue in a few words. It is to mix with their usual exercises, in order to like travelling in a plain beaten road, which give them an early seasoning of virtue: I commonly briogs a man sooner to his jour- shall in this propose some others, which I fancy ney's end than by-ways, in which men often might contribute to give them a right turn for lose themselves. In a word, wbatsoever con- the world, and enable them to make their way yenience may be thought to be in falsehood in it. and dissimulation, it is soon over ; but the in The design of learning is, as I take it, ei. convenience of it is perpetual, because it brings ther to render a man an agreeable companion a man under an everlasting jealousy and sus. to himself, and teach him to support solitude picion, so that he is not believed when he speaks with pleasure ; or, if he is not born to an estate, truth, nor trusted perhaps when he means ho to supply that defect, and furnish him with the nestly. When a man has once forfeited the means of acquiring one. A person who applies reputation of his integrity, he is set fast; and himself to learning with the first of these views nothing will then serve his turn, neither truth may be said to study for ornament; as he who aor falsehood.

proposes to himself the second, properly stu, ' And I have often thought, that God hath. dies for use. The one does it to raise himself in his great wisdom, hid from men of false and a fortune ; the other, to set off that which he is dishonest minds the wonderful advantages of already possessed of. But as far the greater truth and integrity to the prosperity even of part of mankind are included in the latter class, our worldly affairs: these men are so blinded I shall only propose some methods at present by their covetousness and ambition, that they for the service of such who expect to advance cannot look beyond a present advantage, nor themselves in the world by their learning. In forbear to seize upon it, though by ways never order to which I sball premise, that many more so indirect ; they cannot see so far as to the estates have been acquired by little accomremote consequences of a steady integrity, and plishments than by extraordinary ones ; those the vast benefit and advantages which it will qualities which make the greatest figure in the bring a man at last. Were but this sort of eye of the world, not being always the most men wise and clear-sighted enough to discern useful in themselves, or the most advantageous this, they would be honest out of very knave. to their owners. ry, not out of any love to honesty and virtue, ! • The posts which require men of shining



and uncommon parts to discharge them are sol •The want of it is very visible in many very few, that many a great genius goes out of learned persons, who, while they are admirthe world without ever having an opportunity ling the styles of Demosthenes or Cicero, want to exert itself; whereas persons of ordinary phrases to express themselves on the most endowments meet with occasions fitted to their common occasions. I have seen a letter from parts and capacities every day in the common one of these Latin orators which would have occurrences of life.

been deservedly laughed at by a common atI am acquainted with two persons who torney. were formerly school-fellows,* and have been “Under this head of writing, I cannot omit good friends ever since. One of them was not accounts and short-hand, which are learned only thought an impenetrable blockhead at with little pains, and very properly come into school, but still maintained his reputation at the number of such arts as I have been here the university; the other was the pride of his recommending. master, and the most celebrated person in the "You must doubtless, Sir, observe, that I college of which he was a member. The man have hitherto chiefly insisted upon these things of genius is at present buried in a country par- for such boys as do not appear to have any sonage of eight-score pounds a year; while thing extraordinary in their natural talents, the other, with the bare abilities of a common and consequently are not qualified for the finer scrivener, has got an estate of above an hun. parts of learning : vet I believe I might carry dred thousand pounds

this matter still further, and venture to assert, I fancy, from what I have said, it will al-Ithat a lad of genius has sometimes occasion most appear a doubtful case to many a weal- for these little acquirements, to be as it were thy citizen, whether or no he ought to wish the fore-runners of his parts, and to introduce bis son should be a great genius : but this I am bim into the world, sure of, that nothing is more absurd than to History is full of examples of persons who, give a lad the education of one, whom naturelthough they have had the largest abilities, has not favoured with any particular marks of have been obliged to insinuate themselves indistinction.

to the favour of great men, by these trivial ac• The fault therefore of our grammar-schools

complishments ; as the complete gentleman, 1$, that every boy is pushed on to works of ge- in some of our modern comedies, makes his nius: whereas it would be far more advantage- first advances to his mistress under the disous for the greatest part of them to be taught guise of a painter or a dancing-master. such little practical arts and sciences as do not° The difference is, that in a lad of genius require any great share of parts to be master these are only so many accomplishments, of them, and yet may come often into play which in another are essentials ; the one diduring the course of a man's life.

verts himself with them, the other works at Such are all the parts of practical geome-Ithem. In short, I look upon a great genius, try. I have known a man contract a friend-1 with these little additions, in the same light ship with a minister of state, upon cutting alas I regard the Grand Seignior, who is oblig. dial in his window; and remember a clergy-led by an express command in the Alcoran, to man who got one of the best benefices in the

learn and practise some handicraft trade ; west of England, by setting a country gentle.

though I need not to have gone for my inman's affairs in some method, and giving him stance farther than Germany, where several an exact survey of his estate.

emperors have voluntarily done the same thing. • While I am upon this subject, I cannot for

for. Leopold the last worked in wood : and I have bcar mentioning a particular which is of use he

use heard there are several handicraft works of in every station of life, and which, methinks, This makin

nks, bis making to be scen at Vienna, so neatly every master should teach scholars ; I mean

an turned, that the best joiner in Europe might the writing of English letters. To this end,

safely own them without any disgrace to his instead of perplexing them with Latin epistles,

profession.* themes and verses, there might be a punctual

I would not be thought, by any thing I correspondence established between two boys, have said. to be against improving a boy's who might act in any imaginary parts of busi

genius to the utmost pitch it can be car. ness, or be allowed sometinies to give a range ried. What I would endeavour to show in to their own fancies, and communicate to each

ach this essay is, that there may be methods other whatever trifies they thought fit, pro-Itaken to make learning advantageous even vided neither of them ever failed at the ap

to the meanest capacities. pointed time to answer his correspondent's

I am, Sir, letter.

Yours, &c. I believe I may venture to aflirm, that the generality of boys would find themselves more No. 354.7 Wednesday, April 16, 1712. advantaged by this custom, when they come

- Cum magnis virtutibus affers to be men, than by all the Greek and Latin Grande supercilium

Jur. Sat. vi. 165 their masters can teach them in seven or eight Their signal virtues hardly can be borne, years.

Dash'd as they are with superellious scorn.

"MR. SPECTATOR, * "Swift, and Mr. Stratford a merchant. 'Stratford is • You have in some of your discourses deworth a plumb, and is now lending the government 40,1 .cribed most sort of women in their distinct 0001. yet we were educated together at the same school and university. Swift's Works, vol. xxij. p. 10 er. 800.- The well-known lahours of the czar Peter may be Stratford was afterwards a bankrupt." Chalmers added to thosc enumerated above.

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