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and makes those faults habitual which are produced by frequent excesses.
I shall now proceed to show the ill effects which this vice has on the bodies and fortunes of men; but these I shall reserve for the subject of some fu
No 570. WEDNESDAY, JULY 21, 1714.
HOR. Ars Poet. ver.320.
THERE is scarcely a man living who is not actuated by ambition. When this principle meets with an honest mind and great abilities, it does infinite ser. vice to the world; on the contrary, when a man only thinks of distinguishing himself without being thus, qualified for it, he becomes a very pernicious or a very
ridiculous creature. I shall here confine myself to that petty kind of ambition, by which some men grow eminent for odd accomplishments and trivial performances. How many are there whose whole reputation depends upon a pun or a quibble? You may often see an artist in the streets gain a circle of admirers by carrying a long pole upon his chin or forehead in a perpendicular posture. Ambition has taught some to write with their feet, and others to walk upon their hands. Some tumble into fame,
others grow immortal by throwing themselves through a hoop.
• Cætera de genere boc, adeo sunt multa, loquacem.
HOR. 1. Sat. i. 13.
I am led into this train of thought by an adven. ture I lately met with.
I was the other day at a tavern, where the master of the house* accommodated us himself with every thing we wanted, I accidentally fell into a discourse with him; and talking of a certain great man, who shall be nameless, he told me that he had sometimes the honour to treat him with a whistle; adding (by way of parenthesis) for you must know, gentlemen, that I whistle the best of any man in Europe.' This naturally put me upon desiring him to give us a sample of his art; upon which he called for a caseknife, and, applying the edge of it to his mouth, converted it into a musical instrument, and entertained me with an Italian solo. Upon laying down the knife, he took up a pair of clean tobacco pipes ; and, after having slid the small end of them over the table in a most melodious trill, he fetched a tune out of them, whistling to them at the same time in concert. In short, the tobacco-pipes became musical pipes in the hands of our virtuoso, who confessed to me, ingenuously, he had broke such quantities of them, that he had almost broke himself before he had brought this piece of music to any
This man's name was Daintry. He was in the trained hands, and commonly known by the name of captain Daintry.
fection. I then told him I would bring a company of friends to dine with him next week, as an encou. ragement to his ingenuity ; upon which he thanked me, saying that he would provide himself with a Rew frying-pan against that day. I replied, that it was no matter; roast and boiled would serve our turn. He smiled at my simplicity and told me that it was his design to give us a tune upon it. As I was surprised at such a promise, he sent for an old frying-pan, and grating it upon the board, whistled to it in such a melodious manner,
could scarcely distinguish it from a bass-viol. He then took his seat with us at the table, and, hearing my friend that was with me hum over a tune to himself, he told him if he would sing out, he would accom. pany his voice with a tobacco-pipe. As my friend has an agreeable bass, he chose rather to sing to the frying-pan, and indeed between them they made up a most extraordinary concert. Finding our land. Jord so great a proficient in kitchen music, I asked him if he was master of the tongs and key. He told me that he had laid it down some years since, as a little unfashionable ; but that, if I pleased, he would give me a lesson upon the gridiron. He then informed me, that he had added two bars to the gridiron, in order to give it a greater compass of sound; and I percrived was as well pleased with the invention as Sappho could have been upon adding two strings to the lute. To be short, I found that his whole kitchen was furnished with musical instruments: and could not but look upon this ar. tist as a kind of burlesque musician.
He afterwards, of his own accord, fell into the imitation of several singing birds. My friend and I toasted our mistresses to the nightingale, when all of a sudden we were surprised with the music of the
thrush. He next proceeded to the skylark, mounting up by a proper scale of notes, and afterwards falling to the ground with a very easy and regular descent. He then contracted his whistle to the voice of seve. ral birds of the smallest size. As he is a man of a larger bulk and higher statue than ordinary, you would fancy him a giant when you
upon him, and a tom-tit when you shut your eyes. I must not omit acquainting my reader that this accomplished person was formerly the master of a toy. shop near Temple-bar; and that the famous Charles Mather was bred up under him. I am told that the misfortunes which he has met with in the world are chiefly owing to his great application to his music; and therefore cannot but recommend him to my readers as one who deserves their favour, and may afford them great diversion over a bottle of wine, which he sells at the Queen's-arms, near the end of the little piazza in Covent-garden.
Dual 9 ta3923) bu3
N° 571. FRIDAY, JULY 23, 1714,
As the work I hare engaged in will not only consist of papers of humour and learning, but of several essays moral and divine, I shall publish the following one, which is founded on a former Spectator, and sent me by, a particular friend, not questioning but it will please such of my readers as think it no disparagement to their understandings to give way sometimes to a serious thought.
'In your paper of Friday the 9th instant you had occasion to consider the ubiquity of the Godhead, and at the same time to show, that, as he is present to every thing, he cannot but be atten. tive to every thing, and privy to all the modes and parts of its existence : or, in other words, that the omniscience and omnipresence are co-existent, and run together through the whole infinitude of space. This consideration might furnish us with many in. centives to devotion, and motives to morality ; bụt, as this subject has been handled by several excellent writers, I shall consider it in a light wherein I have not seen it placed by others.
First, How disconsolate is the condition of an intellectnal being, who is thus present with his Maker, but at the same time receires no extraor. dinary benefit or advantage from this his presence!