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Friday, February 8.
Nugis addere pondus. Hor.. Dear Spec. SI LAVING lately conversed much with the fair cm Sex on the Subject of your Speculations, (whicń
since their Appearance in Publick, have been the « chief Exercise of the Female loquacious Faculty) I found • the fair Ones poffefs’d with a Dissatisfaction at your pre• fixing Greek Motto's to the Frontispiece of your late Pa• pers; and, as a Man of Galantry, I thought it a Duty
incumbent on me to impart it to you, in Hopes of a
Reformation, which is only to be effected by a Reitora• tion of the Latin to the usual Dignity in your Papers, • which of late, the Greek, to the great Displeasure of your • Female Readers, has usurp'd; for tho' the Latin has the • Recommendation of being as unintelligible to them as • the Greek, yet being written of the fame Character with • their Mother-Tongue, by the Assistance of a Spelling« Book it's legible; which Quality the Greek wants : And • since the Introduction of Opera's into this Nation, the · Ladies are so charmed with Sounds abstracted from their • Ideas, that they adore and honour the Sound of Latin as • it is old Italian. I am a Solicitor for the fair Sex, and " therefore think my self in that Character more likely to
be prevalent in this Request, than if I fould subscribe • my self by my proper Name.
7. M. I desire you may insert this in one of your Speculations, to few my Zeal for removing the Disatisfaction of the Fair Sex, and restoring you to their Favour.
SIR, “ I Was some time since in Company with a young Of
ficer, who entertained us with the Conquest he had made over a Female Neighbour of his; when a Gentle
man who ftood by, as I suppose, envying the Captain's 'good Fortune, asked him what Reason he had to be* lieve the Lady admired him? Why, says he, my Lodg
ings are opposite to hers, and she is continually at her s Window either at Work, Reading, taking Snuff, or put• ting her self in some toying Posture on purpose to draw . my Eyes that way. The Confeffion of this vain Soldier * made me reflect on some of my own Actions ; for s you must know, Sir, I am often at a Window which • fronts the Apartments of several Gentlemen, who I doubt • not have the same Opinion of me. I must own I love to * look at them all, one for being well dressed, a second for « his fine Eye, and one particular one, because he is the " least Man I ever saw ; but there is something so easy and • pleasant in the Manner of my little Man, that I observe
he is a Favourite of all his Acquaintance. I could go on • to tell you of many others, that I believe think I have • encouraged them from my Window : But pray let me • have your Opinion of the Use of the Window in a beau * tiful Lady; and how often she may look out at the same • Man, without being supposed to have a Mind to jump $out to him.
Have for some Time made Love to a Lady, who re•1 ceived it with all the kind Returns I ought to exspect : But without any Provocation, that I know of, • Îhe has of late shunned me with the utmost Abhorrence,
insomuch that she went out of Church last Sunday in
the midst of Divine Service, upon my coming into the ' fame Pew. Pray, Sir, what must I do in this Business ?
EUPHU ES. Let her alone Ten Days.
Mr. SPECTATOR, York, Jan. 20. 1711-12. • W E have in this Town a sort of People who pre
tend to Wit and write Lampoons: I have lately been the Subject of one of them. The Scribler had
* not Genius enough in Verse to turn my Age, as indeed • I am an old Maid, into Rallery, for affecting a youthier • Turn than is confiftent with my Time of Day; and • therefore he makes the Title to his Madrigal, the Cha*racter of Mrs. Judith Lovebane, born in the Year 1680. • What I defire of you is, That you disallow that a Cox. « comb who pretends to write Verse, should put the most * malicious Thing he can fay in Prese. This I humbly s conceive will disable our Country Wits, who indeed • take a great deal of Pains to say any thing in Rhyme, tho' tliey fay it very ill.
I am, SIR,
Yeur humble Servant,
Susanna Lovebane, Mr. SPECTATOR, • 17 E are several of us, Gentlemen and Ladies, whe
W board in the same House, and after Dinner one of our Company (an agreeable Man enough otherwise) stands up and reads your Paper to us all. We are the ci
vileft People in the World to one another, and therefore * I am forced to this way of defiring our Reader, when
he is doing this Office, not to stand afore the Fire. This ' will be a general Good to our Family this cold Weather, ' He will, I know, take it to be our common Request . when he comes to these Words, Pray, Sir, fit down ; * which I desire you to insert, and you will particularly oblige Your daily Reader,
Charity Froft. SIR, '. Am a great Lover of Dancing, but cannot perform • fo well as some others; however, by my Out-of• the-way Capers, and some original Grimaces, I don't ' fail to divert the Company, particularly the Ladies, who • laugh immoderately all the Time. Some who pretend
to be my Friends, tell me they do it in Derifion, and • would advise me to leave it off, withal that I make my felf ridiculous. I don't know what to do in this Affair,
& but I am resolved not to give over upon any Account, a 'till I have the opinion of the SpectATOR.
Your humble Servant,
TF Mr. Trott is not aukward out of Time, he has a
Right to Dance let who will Laugh : But if he has no Ear he will interrupt others; and I am of Opinion he should sit still. Given under my Hand this Fifth of February, 1711-12.
The SPECTATO Ri..
N° 297. Saturday, February 9..
- velut fi Egregio infper sos reprendas corpore nevos. Hor. A FTER what I have said in my last Saturday's Pa
per, I fall enter on the Subject of this without
further Preface, and remark the several Defects which appear in the Fable, the Characters, the Sentiments, and the Language of Milton's Paradise Loft; not doubting but the Reader will pardon me, if I alledge at the same time whatever may be said for the Extenuation of such Defects. The first Imperfection which I fall observe in the Fable is, that the Event of it is unhappy.
THE Fable of every Poem is, according to Aristotle's Division, either Simple or Implex. It is called Simple when there is no change of Fortune in it; Implex, when the Fortune of the chief Actor changes from Bad to Good, or from Good to Bad. The Implex Fable is thought the most perfect ; I suppose, because it is more proper to ftir. up the Passions of the Reader, and to surprise him with a. greater Variety of Accidents.
THE Implex Fable is therefore of two kinds ; In the first the Chief Actor makes his Way through a long Series, of Dangers and Difficulties, till he arrives at Honour and
Prosperity, as we see in the Story of Ulyses. In the second, the chief Actor in the Poem falls from some eminent Pitch of Honour and Prosperity, into Misery and Disgrace. Thus we see. Adam and Eve finking from a State of Innocence and Happiness, into the most abject Condition of Sin and Sorrow.
THE most taking Tragedies among the Ancients were built on this last fort of Implex Fable, particularly the Tragedy of O Edipus, which proceeds upon a Story, if we may believe Aristotle, the most proper for Tragedy that could be invented by the Wit of Man. I have taken fome Pains in a former Paper to shew, that this kind of Implex Fable, wherein the Event is unhappy, is more apt to affect an Audience than that of the first kind ; notwithstanding many excellent Pieces among the Ancients, as well as most of those which have been written of late Years inour own Country, are raised upon contrary Plans. I must however own, that I think this kind of Fable which is the most perfect in Tragedy, is not so proper for an Heroick Poem. :
MILTON seems to have been sensible of this Imperfection in his Fable, and has therefore endeavoured to Cure it by several Expedients ; particularly by the Mortification which the great Adversary of Mankind meets with upon his Return to the Assembly of Infernal Spirits, as it is described in a beautiful Passage of the Tenth Book; and likewise by the Vision wherein Adam at the Close of the Poem sees his Off-spring triumphing over his great Enemy, and himself restored to a happier Paradise than that from which he fell.
THERE is another Objection against Milton's Fable, which is indeed almost the same with the former, tho? placed in a different Light, namely, That the Hero in the Paradise Loft is unsuccessful, and by no means a Match for his Enemies. This gave Occasion to Mr. Dryden's Refle, ction, that the Devil was in reality Milton's Hero. I think I have obviated this Objection in my first Paper. The Pai radise Lost is an Epicor a Narrative Poem, and he that looks foran Heroin it, searches forthat which Milton never intended; but if he will needs fix the Name of an Hero upon any Person in it, 'cis certainly the Mefiah who is the Hero, both in the Principal Action, and in the chief Episodes.