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EVERY Man that goes to a Play is not obliged to • have either Wit or Understanding ; and I infift upon it, • that all who go there should see something which may • improve them in a Way of which they are capable. In • short, Sir, I would have something done as well as said • on the Stage. A Man may havean active Body, though • he has not a quick Conception; for the Imitation there• fore of such as are, as I may fo speak, corporeal Wits or • nimble Fellows, I would fain ask any of the present • Mifmanagers, Why should not Rope-dancers, Vaulters, • Tumblers, Ladder-walkers, and Posture-makers appear • again on our Stage? After such a Representation, a Five• bar Gate would be leaped with a better Grace next Time • any of the Audience went a Hunting. Sir, these Things • cry loud for Reformation, and fall properly under the • Province of SPECTATOR General; but how indeed • should it be otherwise, while Fellows (that for Twenty • Years together were never paid but as their Master was s in the Humour) now presume to pay others more than
ever they had in their Lives ; and in Contempt of te • Practice of Persons of Condition, have the Insolence to • owe no Tradesman a Farthing at the End of the Week, • Sir, all I propose is the publick Good; for no one can • imagine I shall ever get a private Shilling by it: There• fore I hope you will recommend this Matter in one of • your this Week's Papers, and desire when my House • opens you will accept the Liberty of it for the Trouble .* you have receiv'd from,
• SIR, P.S I have Assurances Your Humble Servant,
that the Trunk-maker
Mr. SPECTATOR, • W E whose Names are subscribed, think you the
propereft Person to signify what we have to offer the Town in Behalf of our selves, and the Art • which we profess, Mufick. We conceive Hopes of your · Favour from the Speculations on the Mistakes which the
Town run into with Regard to their Pleasure of this • Kind; and believing your Method of judging is, that
• you consider Musick only valuable, as it is agreeable to, • and heightens the Purpose of Poetry, we consent that " That is not only the true Way of relishing that Plea• sure, but also, that without it a Composure of Musick is • the fame thing as a Poem, where all the Rules of Po• etical Numbers are observed, that the Words of no Sense S or Meaning; to say it shorter, meer musical Sounds are ' in our Art no other than nonesense Verses are in Poetry. • Musick therefore is to aggravate what is intended by • Poetry ; it must always have some Passion or Sentiment • to express, or else Violins, Voices, or any other Organs • of Sound, afford an Entertainment very little above the • Rattles of Children. It was from this Opinion of the • Matter, that when Mr. Clayton had finished his Studies ' in Italy, and brought over the Opera of Arfinoe, that Mr. "Hzym and Mr. Dieupart, who had the Honour to be • well known and received among the Nobility and Gen• try, were zealously inclined to assist, by their Solicita' tions, in introducing so elegant an Entertainment as the • Italian Mufick grafted upon English Poetry. For this • End Mr. Dieupart and Mr. Haym, according to their fe• veral Opportunities, promoted the Introduction of Ar• finoe, and did it to the best Advantage so great a Novelty • would allow. It is not proper to trouble you with Par« ticulars of the juft Complaints we all of us have to make; • but so it is, that without Regard to our obliging Pains,
we are all equally set aside in the present Opera. Our • Application therefore to you is only to insert this Letter
in your Papers, that the Town may know we have all • Three joined together to make Entertainments of Mu• fick for the future at Mr. Clayton's House in York-Build• ings. What we promise our selves, is, to make a • Subscription of Two Guineas, for eight Times; and ự that the Entertainment, with the Names of the Au• thors of the Poetry, may be printed, to be sold in the “ House, with an Account of the several Authors of the • Vocal as well as the Initrumental Mufick for each Night; • the Money to be paid at the Receipt of the Tickets, at • Mr. Charles Lillie's. It will, we hope, Sir, be easily al• lowed, that we are capable of undertaking to exhibit by • our joint Force and different Qualifications all that can • be done in Mufick; but leit you mould think so dry a
thing • thing as an Account of our Proposal should be a Mat• ter unworthy your Paper, which generally contains • something of publick Use ; give us Leave to say, that • favouring our Design is no less than reviving an Art, ' which runs to Ruin by the utmost Barbarism under an ' Affectation of Knowledge. We aim at establishing some • settled Notion of what is Musick, at recovering from • Neglect and Want very many Families who depend up
on it, at making all Foreigners who pretend to succeed ' in England to learn the Language of it as we our selves ' have done, and not be so insolent as to expect a whole " Nation, a refined and learned Nation, should submit to • learn them. In a Word, Mr. SpectATOR, with all • Deference and Humility, we hope to behave our selves
in this Undertaking in such a Manner, that all English " Men who have any Skill in Mufick may be furthered in * it for their Profit or Diversion by what new Things we 'Thall produce; never pretending to surpass others, or af * serting that any Thing which is a Science is not attair• able by all Men of all Nations who have proper Genius * for it: We say, Sir, what we hope for is not expected
will arrive to us by contemning others, but through the i utmost Diligence recommending our selves.
We are, SIR,
N° 259. Thursday, December 27.
Qaod decet honefum eft, & quod honeftum eft decet. Tull.
THERE are some Things which cannot come un
der certain Rules, but which one would think could
not need them. Of this kind are outward Civibiries and Salutations. These one would imagine might
be regulated by every Man's common Sense without the Help of an Instructor ; but that which we call common Sense suffers under that Word ; for it sometimes implies' no more than that Faculty which is common to all Men, but sometimes signifies right Reason, and what all Men should consent to. In this latter Acceptation of the Phrase, it is no great Wonder People err so much against it, since it is not every one who is possessed of it, and there are fewer, who, against common Rules and Fashions, dare obey its Dictates. As to Salutations, which I was about to talk of, I observe, as I strole about Town, there are great Enormities committed with regard to this particular. You shall sometimes see a Man begin the Offer of a Salutation, and observe a forbidding Air, or escaping Eye, in the Person he is going to salute, and stop short in the Pole of his Neck. This is the Person who believed he could do it with a good Grace, and was refused the Opportunity, is justly resented with a Coldness in the whole ensuing Season. Your great Beauties, People in much Favour, or by any Means or for any purpose overflattered, are apt to practise this which one may call the preventing Aspect, and throw their Attention another Way, leit they should confer a Bow or a Curtsy upon a Person who might not appear to deserve that Dignity. Others you shall find so obsequious, and so very courteous, as there is no escaping their Favours of this Kind. Of this Sort may be a Man who is in the fifth or fixth Degree of Favour with a Minister ; this good Creature is resolved to Mew the World, that great Honours cannot at all change his Manners, he is the same civil Person he ever was. He will venture his Neck to bow out of a Coach in full Speed, at once, to fhew he is full of Business, and yet is. not so taken up as to forget his old Friend. With a Man, who is not so well formed for Courtship and elegant Behaviour, such a Gentleman as this fe.dom finds his Account in the Return of his Compliments, but he will still go on, for he is in his own Way, and must not omit; let the Neglect fall on your Side, or where it will, his Business is will to be well-bred to the End. I think I have read, in one of our English Comedies, a Description of a Fellow that affected knowing every Body, and for Want of Judgment in Time and Place, would bow and smile
in the Face of a Judge sitting in the Court, would fit in an opposite Gallery and smile in the Minister's Face as he came up into the Pulpit, and nod as if he alluded to some Familiarities between them in another Place. But now I happen to speak of Salutation at Charch, I must take notice that several of my Correspondents have importuned me to consider that Subject, and settle the Point of Decorum in that Particular.
I do not pretend to be the best Courtier in the World, but I have often on publick Occasions thought it a very great Absurdity in the Company (during the Royal Presence) to exchange Salutations from all parts of the Room, when certainly common Sense should suggeit, that all Regards at that Time should be engaged, and cannot be diverted to any other Object, without Disrespect to the Sovereign. But as to the Complaint of my Correspondents, it is not to be imagined what Offence some of them take at the Custom of Saluting in Places of Worship. I have a very angry Letter from a Lady, who tells me of one of her Ac. quaintance, out of meer Pride and a Pretence to be rude, takes upon her to return no Civilities done to her in Time of Divine Service, and is the most religious Woman for no other Reason but to appear a Woman of the best Quality in the Church. This absurd Custom had better be abolished than retained, if it were but to prevent Evils of no higher a Nature than this is ; but I am informed of Objections much more considerable: A Dissenter of Rank and Diftinction was lately prevailed upon by a Friend of his to come to one of the greatest Congregations of the Church of England about Town: After the Service was over, he declared he was very well satisfied with the little Ceremony which was used towards God Almighty; but at the same Time he feared he should not be able to go through those required towards one another : As to this point he was in a State of Despair, and feared he was not well-bred enough to be a Convert. There have been many Scandals of this kind given to our Protestant Dissenters from the outward Pomp and Respe&t we take to our selves in our Religious Assemblies. A Quaker who came one Day into a Church, fixed his Eye upon an oid Lady with a Carpet larger than that from the Pulpit before her, expecting when the would hold forth. An Anabaptift who designs