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I found myself upon a naked shore, with|ed the Grotto of Grief. It was a wide, hol. company whose afflicted countenances witness- low, and melancholy cave, sunk deep in a ed their conditions. Before us flowed a water, dale, and watered by rivulets that had a codeep, silent, and called the River of Tears, lour between red and black. These crept slow which, issuing from two fountains on an upper and balf congealed amongst its windings, and ground, encompassed an island that lay before mixed their heavy murmurs with the echo of us. The boat which plied in it was old and groans that rolled through all the passages. la shattered, having been sometimes overset by the most retired parts of it sat the doleful bethe impatience and haste of single passengers ing herself; the path to her was strewed with to arrive at the other side. This immediately goads, stings, and thorns; and her throne on was brought to us by Misfortune who steers it, which she sat was broken into a rock, with and we were all preparing to take our places, ragged pieces pointing upwards for her to lean when there appeared a woman of a mild and upon. A heavy mist hung above her; her composed behaviour, who began to deter us head oppressed with it reclined upon her arm. from it, by representing the dangers which Thus did she reign over her disconsolate subwould attend our voyage. Hereupon some whojects, full of berself to stupidity, in eternal knew her for Patience, and some of those too pensiveness, and the profoundest silence. On who until then cried the loudest, were per- one side of her stood Dejection, just dropping suaded by her, and returned back. The rest into a swoon, and Paleness wasting to a skeleof us went in, and she (whose good-nature ton ; on the other side were Care inwardly would not suffer her to forsake persons in trou- tormented with imaginations, and Anguish ble) desired leave to accompany us, that she suflering outward troubles to suck the blood might at least administer some small comfort from her heart in the shape of vultures. The or advice while we sailed. We were no sooner whole vault had a genuine dismalness in it. embarked but the boat was pushed off the which a few scattered lamps, whose blueish sheet was spread; and being filled with sighs, flames arose and sunk in their urns, discovered which are the winds of that country, we made to our eyes with increase. Some of us fell a passage to the further bank, through several down, overcome and spent with wbat they difficulties of which the most of us seemed ut- sufiered in the way, and were given over to terly regardless.
those tormentors that stood on either hand of When we landed, we perceived the island to the presence; others galled and mortified with bestrangely overcast with fogs, which no bright-pain, recovered the entrance, where Patiness could pierce, so that a kind of gloomy ence, whom we had left behind, was still horror sat always brooding over it. This bad waiting to receive us. something in it very shocking to easy tempers, With her (whose company was now become insomuch that some others, whom Patience had more grateful to us by the want we had found by this time gained over, left us here, and pri- of her) we winded round the grotto, and asvily conveyed themselves round the verge of the cended at the back of it, out of the mournful island to find a ford by which she told them dale in whose bottom it lay. On this eminthey might escape.
ence we haited, by her advice, to pant for For my part, I still went along with those breath; and lifting our eyes, which until then who were for piercing into the centre of the were fixed dowuwards, felt a sullen sort of place; and joining ourselves to others whom satisfaction, in observing, through the shades, we found upon the same journey, we marched wbat numbers had entered the island. This solemnly as at a funeral, through bordering satisfaction, which appears to have ill-nature hedges of roseniary, and through a grove of in it, was excusable, because it happened at a yew-trees, which love to overshadow tombs and time when we were too much taken up with flourish in the church-yards Here we heard our own concern, to have respect to that of on every side the wailings and complaints of others; and therefore we did not consider several of the inhabitants, who had cast them them as suffering, but ourselves as not suflerselves disconsolately at the feet of trees; anding in the most forlorn estate. It had also the as we chanced to approach any of these, we ground work of humanity and compassion in might perceive them wringing their hands, it, though the mind was then too dark and beating their breasts, tearing their hair, or, too deeply engaged to perceive it: but as we after some other manner, visibly agitated with proceeded onward, it began to discover itself, vexation. Our sorrows were heightened by the and, from observing that others were unhapinfluence of what we heard and saw, and one py, we came to question one another, when it of our number was wrought up to such a pitch was that we met, and what were the sad oc. of wildness, as to talk of hanging himselfcasions that brought us together. Then we upon a bough which shot temptingly across the heard our stories, and compared them, we path we travelled in ; but he was restrained mutually gave and received pity, and so by from it by the kind endeavours of our above- degrees became tolerable company mentioned companion).
| A considerable part of the troublesome road We had now gotten into the most dusky si. was thus deceived ; at length the openings lent part of the island, and by the redoubled among the trees grew larger, the air seemed sounds of sighs, which made a doleful whist-thinner, it lay with less oppression upon us, ling in the branches, the thickness of air, and we could now and then discern tracks in which occasioned faintish respiration, and the it of a lighter gayness, like the breakings of violent throbbings of heart which more and day, short in duration, much enlivening, more affected us, we found that we approach- and called in that country gleams of amusement. Within a short while these gleams be-/that can arrive at man. "* It is said this sengan to appear more frequent, and then brighter tence was received with an universal applause. and of a longer continuance : the sighs that There cannot be a greater argument of the hitherto filled the air with so much doleful general good understanding of a people, ness, altered to the sound of common breezes, than a sudden consent to give their approbaand in general the horrors of the island were tion of a sentiment which has no emotion in it. abated.
If it were spoken with ever so great skill in the When we had arrived at last at the ford by actor, the manner of uttering that sentence which we were to pass out, we met with could have nothing in it which could strike any those fashionable mourners who had been fer- but people of the greatest humanity, nay peoried over along with us, and who, being un- ple elegant and skilful in observations upon it. willing to go as far as we, had coasted by the It is possible be might have laid his hand on shore to find the place, were they waited our his breast, and, with a wivning insinuation in coming; that by showing themselves to the his countenance, expressed to his neighbour world only at the time when we did ; they that he was a man who made his case his own; might seem also to have been among the trou- yet I will engage a player in Covent-garden bles of the grotto. Here the waters that rolled might hit such an attitude a thousand times on the other side so deep and silent were before he would have been regarded. I have much dried up, and it was an easier matter heard that a minister of state in the reign of for us to wade over.
queen Elizabeth had all manner of books and The river being crossed, we were received ballads brought to him, of what kind soever, upon the further bank by our friends and ac- and took great notice how much they took quaintance, whom Comfort had brought out with the people ; upon which he would, and to congratulate our appearance in the world certainly might, very well judge of their preagain. Some of these blamed us for staying sent dispositions, and the most proper way of so long away from them, others advised us applying them according to his own purposes. against all temptations of going back again ; What passes on the stage, and the reception it every one was cautious not to renew our trou-meets with from the audience, is a very useful ble, by asking any particulars of the journey : instruction of this kind. According to what and all concluded that, in a case of so much you may observe on our stage, you see them melancholy and affliction, we could not have often moved so directly against all commun made choice of a fitter companion than Pa. sense and humanity, that you would be apt tience. Here Patience, appearing serene at to pronounce us a nation of savages. It canher praises, delivered us over to Comfort. not be called a mistake of what is pleasant, Comfort smiled at his receiving the charge: but the very contrary to it is what most assurimmediately the sky purpled on that side to edly takes with them. The other night, an which he turned, and double day at once old woman carried off with a pain in her side, broke in upon me.
with all the distortions and anguish of countenance which is natural to one in that condi
tion, was laughed and clapped off the stage. No. 602 Monday, October 6, 1712.
Terence's comedy, which I am speaking off,
is indeed written as if he hoped to please Melius, pejus, prosit, obsit nil vident nisi quod lubent. none but such as had as good a taste as himTer. Heaut. Act iv. Se. 1.
self. I could not but reflect upon the natural Better or worse, profitable or disadvantageous, they
description of the innocent young woman sce nothing but what they list.
made by the servant to his master. When
I came to the house,' said he, an old woman WHEN men read, they taste the matter with opened the door, and I followed her in, bewhich they are entertained, according as their cause I could, by entering upon them unaown respective studies and inclinations have wares, better observe what was your misprepared thein, and make their reflections tress's ordinary manner of spending her time, accordingly. Some, perusing Roman writers, the only way of judging any one's inclinawould find in them, whatever the subject of tions and genius. I found her at her needle the discourses were, parts which implied the in a sort of second mourning, which she wore grandeur of that people in their warfare, or for an aunt she had lately lost. She had their politics. As for my part, who am a nothing on but what showed she dressed onmere Spectator, I drew this morning conclu.lv for herself. Her hair hung negligently sions of their eminence in what I think great, about her shoulders. She had none of the to wit, in having worthy sentiments, from the arts with which others use to set themselves reading a comedy of Terence. The play was off, but had that negligence of person which the Self-Tormentor. It is from the beginning is remarkable in those who are careful of to the end a perfect picture of human life, but their minds. Then she had a maid who was I did not observe in the whole one passage that at work near her that was a slattern, because could raise a laugh. How well-disposed must her mistress was careless; which I take to be that people be, who could be entertained with another argument of your security in her ; satisfaction by so sober and polite soirth! In for the go-betweens of women of intrigue the first scene of the comedy, when one of the old men accuses the other of impertinence for
* Homo sum, et nihil humanum è me alionum pato. interposing in his affairs, he answers, 'I am
I am a man, and all calamities, a mao, and cannot help feeling any sorrow
That touch humanity, come home to meColmen.
are rewarded too well to be dirty. When jest is only in the very point that heads are you were named, and I told you desired to broken. I am confident, were there a scene see her she threw down her work for joy, written, wherein Pinkethman should break covered her face, and decently hid her tears.' his leg by wrestling with Bullock, and Dicky He must be a very good actor, and draw at- come in to set it, without one word said but tention rather from his own character than what should be according to the exact rules of the words of the author, that could gain it surgery, in making this extension, and binding among us for this speech, though so full of up his leg, the whole house should be in a nature and good sense.
roar of applause at the dissembled anguish of The intolerable folly and confidence of play- the patient, the help given by him who threw ers putting in words of their own, does in a him down, and the handy address and arch great measure feed the absurd taste of the au- looks of the surgeon. To enumerate the endience. But however that is, it is ordinary for trance of ghosts, the embattling of armies, the a cluster of coxcombs to take up the house to noise of heroes in love, with a thousand other themselves, and equally insult both the actors enormities, would be to transgress the bounds and the company. These savages, who want of this paper, for which reason it is possible all manner of regard and deference to the they may have hereafter distinct discourses ; rest of mankind, come only to show them- not forgetting any of the audience who shall selves to us, without any other purpose than set up for actors, and interrupt the play on the to let us know they despise us.
stage; and players who shall prefer the apThe gross of an audience is composed of plause of fools to that of the reasonable part two sorts of people, those who know no plea-Iof the company. sure but of the body, and those who improve or command corporeal pleasures, by the addi- Postcript to the Spectator, No. 502. tion of fine sentiments of the mind. At pre- N. B. There are in the play of the Selfsent, the intelligent part of the company are Tormentor of Terence, which is allowed a wholly subdued by the insurrections of those most excellent comedy, several incidents which who know no satisfactions but what they have would draw tears from any man of sense, and in common with all other animals.
not one which would move his laughter.-Spect. This is the reason that when a scene tending in folio. No. 521. to procreation is acted, you see the whole This speculation, No. 502, is controverted in pit in such a chuckle, and old lechers, with the Guard, No. 59, by a writer under the fic mouths open, stare at those loose gesticulations/titious name of Jobn Lizard; perhaps Doctor on the stage with shameful earvestness; when Edw. Young. the justest pictures of human life in its calm dignity, and the properest sentiments for the conduct of it, pass by like mere narration, as No. 503.] Tuesday, October 7, 1712. conducing only to somewhat much better which is to come after. I have seen the whole house
Deleo omnes dehinc ex animo mulieres.
Ter. Eun. Act ii. Sc. 3. . at some times in so proper a disposition, that indeed I bave trembled for the boxes, and From henceforward I blot out of my thoughts all mefeared the entertainment would end in a repre- inory of womankind. sentation of the rape of the Sabines.
I would not be understood in this talk to 'MR. SPECTATOR, argue that nothing is tolerable on the stage You have often mentioned with great vebut what has an immediate tendency to the hemence and indignation the misbehaviour of promotion of virtue. On the contrary, I can people at church ; but I am at present to talk allow, provided there is nothing against the to you on that subject, and complain to you interests of virtue, and is not offensive to good of one, whom at the same time I know not manners, that things of an indifferent nature what to accuse of, except it be looking too well may be represented. For this reason I have there, and diverting the eyes of the congre. no exception to the well-drawo rusticities in gation to that one object. However, I have the Country Wake; and there is something this to say, that she might have staid at her so miraculously pleasant in Dogget's acting own parish, and not come to perplex those who the awkward triumph and comic sorrow of are otherwise intent upon their duty. Hob in different circumstances, that I shall not Last Sunday was seven-night I went into be able to stay away whenever it is acted. Ja church not far from London-bridge ; but All that vexes me is, that the gallantry of I wish I had been contented to go to my own taking the cudgels for Gloucestershire, with parish, I am sure it had been better for me! the pride of heart in tucking himself up, and I say I went to church thither, and got into a taking aim at his adversary, as well as the pew very near the pulpit. I had hardly been other's protestation in the humanity of low accommodated with a seat, before there entered romance, that he could pot promise the 'squire into the aisle a young lady in the very bloom to break Hob's head, but he would, if he could, lof youth and beauty, and dressed in the most do it in love; then flourish and begin: I say elegant manner imaginable. Her form was what vexes me is, that such excellent touches such that it engaged the eyes of the whole as these, as well as the 'squires being out of congregation in an instant, and mine among all patience at Hob's success, and venturing the rest. Though we were all thus fixed upon himself into the crowd, are circumstances her, she was not in the least out of countehardly taken notice of, and the height of the nance, or under the least disorder, though un
attended by any one, and not seeming to know sweet and so strong. The organist observed particularly where to place herself. However, it, and he thought fit to play to her only, and she had not in the least a confident aspect, but she swelled every note, when she found she bad moved on with the most graceful modesty, thrown us all out, and bad the last verse to every one making way until she came to a seat herself in such a manner as the whole congrejust over-against that in which I was placed.gation was intent upon her, in the same manThe deputy of the ward sat in that pew, and ner as we see in the cathedrals they are on the she stood opposite to him, and at a glance into person who sings alone the anthem. Well; it the seat though she did not appear the least came at last to the sermon, and our young lady acquainted with the gentleman, was let in, would not loose her part in that neither; for with a confusion that spoke much admiration she fixed her eye upon the preacher, and as at the novelty of the thing. The service im- he said anything she approved, with one of mediately began, and she composed herself for Charles Mather's fine tablets she set down the it with an air of so much goodness and sweet- sentence, at once showing her fine hand, the ness, that the confession which she uttered, so gold pen, her readiness in writing, and her as to be heard where we sat, appeared an act of judgment in choosing wbat to write. To sum humiliation more than she had occasion for. up what I intend by this long and particular The truth is, her beauty had something so in- account, I appeal to you, whether it is reasonnocent, and yet so sublime, that we all gazed able that such a creature as this shall come upon her like a phantom. None of the pic- from a janty part of the town, and give hertures which we behold of the best Italian pain- self such violent airs, to the disturbance of an ters have any thing like the spirit which ap- innocent and inoffensive congregation, with peared in her countenance, at the different her subliunities. The fact, I assure you, was sentiments expressed in the several parts of as I have related: but I had like to have fordivine service. That gratitude and joy at a got another very considerable particular. As thanksgiving, that lowliness and sorrow at the soon as church was done, sbe immediately prayers for the sick and distressed, that tri- stept out of her pew, and fell into the finest umph at the passages which gave instances of pitty-patty air, forsooth, wonderfully out of the divine mercy, which appeared respectively countenance, tossing her head up and down, in her aspect, will be in my memory to my last as she swam along the body of the church. 1, hour. I protest to you, sir, that she suspend with several others of the inhabitants, followed ed the devotion of every one around her; and her out, and saw her hold up her fan to a hackthe ease she did every thing with, soon dispers- ney-coach at a distance, who immediately ed the churlish dislike and hesitation in ap- came up to her, and she whipping into it with proving what is excellent, too frequent among great nimbleness, pulled the door with a bowus, to a general attention and entertainment ing mien, as if she had been used to a better in observing her behaviour. All the while glass. She said aloud, “ You know where to that we were gazing at her, she took notice of go," and drove off. By this time the best of no object about her, but had an art of seeming the congregation was at the church-door, and awkwardly attentive, whatever else her eyes I could hear some say, “A very fine lady ;" were accidentally thrown upon. One thing others, “ I'll warrant you she is no better than indeed was particular, she stood the whole she should be:" and one very wise old lady service, and never kneeled or sat; I do not said she ought to have been taken up. Mr. question but that it was to show herself with Spectator, I think this matter lies wholly bethe greater advantage, and set forth to better fore you : for the offence does not come under grace her hands and arms, lifted up with the any law, though it is apparent this creature most ardent devotion; and her bosom, the came among us only to give herself airs, and fairest that was ever seen, hare to observation; enjoy her full swing in being admired. I de while she, you must think, knew nothing of the sire you may print this, that she may be conconcern she gave others, any other than as an fined to her own parish; for I can assure example of devotion, that threw hierself out. you there is no attending any thing else in a without regard to dress or garment, all contri- place where she is a novelty. She has been tion, and loose of all worldly regards in ex- talked of among us ever since, under the stacy of devotion. Well; now the organ was name of " the phantom :" but I would adto play a voluntary, and she was so skillful in vise her to come no more ; for there is so music, and so touched with it, that she kept strong a party made by the women against time not only with some motion of her head, her, that she must expect they will not be exbut also with a different air in her counte-celled a second time in so outrageous a mannance. When the music was strong and bold, ner, without doing her some insult. Young she looked exalted, but serious; when lively women, who assume after this rate, and aland airy, she was smiling and gracious; when fect exposing themselves to view in congrethe notes were more soft and languishing, she gations at the other end of the town, are was kind and full of pity. When she had now not so mischievous, because they are rivalled made it visible to the whole congregation, by by more of the same ambition, who will not her motion and ear, that she could dance, and let the rest of the company be particular : she wanted now only to inform us that she but in the name of the whole congregation could sing too; when the psalm was given where I was, I desire you to keep these out, her voice was distinguished above all the agreeable disturbances out of the city, where rest, or rather people did not exert their own sobriety of manners is still preserved, and in order to hear her. Never was any hcard so all glaring and ostentatious behaviour, even
in things laudable, discountenanced. I wish thing which is immodest than we men are, you may never see the phantom, and am, these are ever harping upon things they
ought not to allude to, and deal mightily in •Your most humble servant, double meanings. Every one's own observa• RALPH WONDER. tion will suggest instances enough of this
kind, without my mentioning any; for your No. 504) Wednesday, October 8, 1712. double meaners are dispersed up and down
through all parts of the town or city where Lepus tute es, et pulpamentum quæris.
there are any to offend, in order to set off Ter. Eun. Act iji. Sc. 1.
themselves. These men are mighty loud You are a hare yourself, and want dainties, forsooth. laughers, . and held very pretty gentlemen
with the sillier and unbred part of woman It is a great convenience to those who want kind. But above all already mentioned, or wit to furnish out a conversation, that there any who ever were, or ever can be in the is something or other in all companies where world, the happiest and surest to be pleasant, it is want d substituted in its stead, which, are a sort of people whom we have not inaccording to their taste, does the business as deed lately heard much of, and those are your well. Of this natue is the agreeable pastime biters.' in country-halls of cross purposes, questions A biter is one who tells you a thing you have and commands, and the like. A little supe- no reason to disbelieve in itself, and perhaps rior to these are those who can play at cram-s has given you, before he bit you, no reason to bo, or cap verses. Then above them are such disbelieve it for his saying it; and, if you give as can make verses, that is, rhyme; and him credit, laughs in your face, and triumphs among those who have the Latin tongue, that he has deceived you. In a word, a biter such as use to make what they call golden is one who thinks you a fool, because you do verses. Commend me also to those who have not think him a knave. This description of not brains enough for any of these exercises, him one may insist upon to be a just one ; for and yet do not give up their pretensions to what else but a degree of knavery is it, to demirth. These can slap you on the back una- pend upon deceit for what you gain of anowares, laugh loud, ask you how you do with ther, be it in point of wit, or interest, or a twang on your shoulders, say you are dull any thing else ? to-day, and laugh a voluntary to put you in This way of wit is called “ biting,' by a mehumour; not to mention the laborious way taphor taken from beasts of prey, which deamong the miner poets, of making things your harmless and unarmed animals, and look come into such and such a shape, as that of upon them as their food wherever they meet an egg, an haud, an axe, or any thing that them. The sharpers about town very ingenobody had ever thought on before for that niously understood themselves to be to the purpose, or which would have cost them a undesigning part of mankind what foxes are great deal of pains to accomplish if they did. to lambs, and therefore used the word biting, But all these methods, though they are mecha. to express any exploit wherein they had overnical, and may be arrived at with the smallest reached any innocent and inadvertent man of capacity, do not serve an honest gentleman his purse. These rascals of late years have who wants wit for his ordinary occasions ; been the gallants of the town, and carried it therefore it is absolutely necessary that the with a fashionable haughty air, to the discoupoor in imagination should save something ragement of modesty, and all honest arts. which may be serviceable to them at all hours, Shallow fops, who are governed by the eye, upon all common occurrences. That which and admire every thing that struts ip vogue, we call punning is therefore greatly affected took up from the sharpers the phrase of bitby men of small intellects. These men need ing, and used it upon all occasions, either to not be concerned with you for the whole sen- disown any nonsensical stuff they should talk tence; but if they can say a quaint thing, or themselves, or evade the force of what was bring in a word which sounds like any word reasonable said by others. Thus, when one you have spoken to them, they can turn the of these cunning creatures was entered into a discourse, or distract you so that you cannot debate with you, whether it was practicable go on, and by consequence, if they cannot be in the present state of affairs to accomplish as witty as you are, they can hinder your be- such a proposition, and you thought he had ing any wittier than they are. Thus, if you let fall what destroyed his side of the question, talk of a candle, he can deal with you; and as soon as you looked with an earnestness if you ask him to help you to some bread, a ready to lay hold of it, he immediately cried, punster should think himself very ill-bred' if Bite,' and you were immediately to acknow, he did not; and if he is not as well-bred' as ledge all that part was in jest. They carry yourself, he hopes for 'grains' of allowance. this to all the extravagance imaginable; and if do not understand that last fancy, you must if one of these witlings knows any particurecollect that bread is made of grain ; and solars which may give authority to what he they go on for ever, without possibility of be says, he is still the more ingenious if he iming exhausted.
poses upon your credulity. I remember a reThere are another kind of people of small markable instance of this kind. There came faculties, who supply want of wit with want up a shrewd young fellow to a plain young of breeding; and because women are both by man, his countryman, and taking him aside nature and education more offended at any with à grave concerned countenance, goes on