« AnteriorContinuar »
the greater freedom, when I was not under friend to no interests but those of truth and any impediment of thinking: I therefore virtue; nor a foe to any but those of vice threw myself into an assembly of ladies, and folly. Though I make more noise in but could not for my life get in a word the world than I used to do, I am still re among them; and found that if I did not solved to act in it as an indifferent spectachange my company, I was in danger of tor. It is not my ambition to increase the being reduced to my primitive taciturnity. number either of whigs or tories, but of
The coffee-houses have ever since been wise and good men; and I could heartily my chief places of resort, where I have wish there were not faults common to both made the greatest improvements; in order parties, which afford me sufficient matter to which I have taken a particular care to work upon, without descending to those never to be of the same opinion with the which are peculiar to either. man I conversed with. I was a tory at If in a multitude of counsellors there is Button's, and a whig at Child's, a friend to safety, we ought to think ourselves the sethe Englishman, or an advocate for the curest nation in the world. Most of our Examiner, as it best served my turn: some garrets are inhabited by statesmen, who fancy me a great enemy to the French watch over the liberties of their country, king, though in reality I only make use of and make a shift to keep themselves from him for a help to discourse. In short, I starving by taking into their care the prowrangle and dispute for exercise; and have perties of their fellow-subjects. carried this point so far, that I was once / As these politicians of both sides have like to have been run through the body for already worked the nation into a most unmaking a little too free with my betters. natural ferment, I shall be so far from en
In a word, I am quite another man to deavouring to raise it to a greater height, what I was.
that, on the contrary, it shall be the chief --Nil fuit unquam
tendency of my papers to inspire my counTam dispar sibi.
trymen with a mutual good-will and beneHer. Sat. iii. Lib. 1. 18.
volence. Whatever faults either party may Nothing was ever so unlike itself.
be guilty of, they are rather inflamed than My old acquaintance scarce know me; cured by those reproaches which they cast nay, I was asked the other day by a Jew at upon one another. The most likely meJonathan's, whether I was not related to a thod of rectifying any man's conduct, is by dumb gentleman, who used to come to that recommending to him the principles of coffee-house? But I think I never was bet- truth and honour, religion and virtue: and ter pleased in my life than about a week so long as he acts with an eye to these ago, when, as I was battling it across the principles, whatever party he is of, he cantable with a young Templar, his compa- not fail of being a good Englishman, and a nion gave him a pull by the sleeve, begging lover of his country. him to come away, for that the old prig| ! As for the persons concerned in this work, would talk him to death.
the names of all of them, or at least of such Being now a very good proficient in dis- | as desire it, shall be published hereafter: course, I shall appear in the world with until which time I must entreat the courthis addition to my character, that my teous reader to-suspend his curiosity, and countrymen may reap the fruits of my new- rather to consider what is written, than acquired loquacity.
who they are that write it. Those who have been present at public. Having thus adjusted all necessary predisputes in the university know that it is liminaries with my reader, I shall not trouusual to maintain heresies for argument's ble him with any more prefatory discourses, sake. I have heard a man a most impu- but proceed in my old method, and enterdent Socinian for half an hour, who has tain him with speculations on every useful been an orthodox divine all his life after. / subject that falls in my way. I have taken the same method to accomplish myself in the gift of utterance, having talked above a twelvemonth, not so much for the benefit of my hearers, as of myself, No. 557.] Monday, June 21, 1714. But, since I have now gained the faculty Quippe domum timet ambiguam Tyriosque bilingues. I have been so long endeavouring after, I
. Virg. n. i. 665. intend to make a right use of it, and shall He fears the ambiguous race, and Tyrians double think myself obliged for the future, to
tongu'd. speak always in truth and sincerity of THERE is nothing,' says Plato, “so de heart. While a man is learning to fence, lightful as the hearing or the speaking of he practises both on friend and foe; but truth.' For this reason there is no converwhen he is a master in the art, he never sation so agreeable as that of the man of inexerts it but on what he thinks the right tegrity, who hears without any intention to side.
That this last allusion may not give my deceive. reader a wrong idea of my design in this Among all the accounts which are given paper, I must here inform him, that the of Cato, I do not remember one that more author of it is of no faction; that he is a redounds to his honour than the following
passage related by Plutarch. As an advo-than from London to Bantam; and thou cate was pleading the cause of his client knowest the inhabitants of one of these before one of the prætors, he could only places do not know what is done in the produce a single witness in a point where other. They call thee and thy subjects the law required the testimony of two per- barbarians, because we speak what we sons; upon which the advocate insisted on mean; and account themselves a civilized the integrity of that person whom he had people, because they speak one thing and produced; but the prætor told him, that mean another; truth they call barbarity, where the law required two witnesses he and falsehood politeness. Upon my first would not accept of one, though it were landing, one, who was sent from the king Cato himself. Such a speech from a per- of this place to meet me, told me that he son who sat at the head of a court of jus- was extremely sorry for the storm I had tice, while Cato was still living, shows us, met with just before my arrival. I was more than a thousand examples, the high troubled to hear him grieve and afflict himreputation this great man had gained among self upon my account; but in less than a his contemporaries upon the account of his quarter of an hour he smiled, and was as sincerity.
merry as if nothing had happened. Another When such an inflexible integrity is a who came with him told me hy my interlittle softened and qualified by the rules of preter, he should be glad to do me any serconversation and good-breeding, there is / vice that lay in his power. Upon which I not a more shining virtue in the whole cata- desired him to carry one of my portmanlogue of social duties. A man however teaus for me; but, instead of serving me ought to take great care not to publish him- according to his promise, he laughed, and self out of his veracity, nor to refind his be- bid another do it. I lodged, the first week, hayiour to the prejudice of his virtue. at the house of one who desired me to think
This subject is exquisitely treated in the myself at home, and to consider his house most elegant sermon of the great British as my own. Accordingly, I the next mornpreacher. * I shall beg leave to transcribe ing began to knock down one of the walls out of it two or three sentences, as a proper of it, in order to let in the fresh air, and introduction to a very curious letter, which had packed up some of the household I shall make the chief entertainment of this goods, of which I intended to have made speculation,
thee a present; but the false varlet no • The old English plainness and sincerity, sooner saw me falling to work, but he sent that generous integrity of nature, and ho word to desire me to give over, for that he nesty of disposition, which always argues would have no such doings in his house. I true greatness of mind, and is usually ac had not been long in this nation before I companied with undaunted courage and re- was told by one, for whom I had asked a solution, is in a great measure lost among us. certain favour from the chief of the king's
The dialect of conversation is now-a- servants, whom they here call the lord days so swelled with vanity and compli-treasurer, that I had eternally obliged him. ment, and so surfeited (as I may say) of I was so surprised at his gratitude, that I expressions of kindness and respect, that if could not forbear saying, “What service a man that lived an age or two ago should is there which one man can do for another, return into the world again, he would really that can oblige him to all eternity!” Howwant a dictionary to help him to under- ever, I only asked him, for my reward, that stand his own language, and to know the he would lend me his eldest daughter during true intrinsic value of the phrase in fashion; my stay in this country; but I quickly found and would hardly at first believe at what a that he was as treacherous as the rest of his low rate the highest strains and expres- countrymen. sions of kindness imaginable do commonly ! 'At my first going to court, one of the pass in current payment; and when he great men almost put me out of counteshould come to understand it, it would be a nance, by asking ten thousand pardons of great while before he could bring himself, me for only treading by accident upon my with a good countenance, and a good con- toe. They call this kind of lie a compliscience, to converse with men upon equal ment; for, when they are civil to a great terms and in their own way.'
man they tell him untruths, for which thou I have by me a letter which I look upon wouldest order any of thy officers of state as a great curiosity, and which may serve to receive a hundred blows upon his foot. I as an exemplification to the foregoing pas- do not know how I shall negotiate any thing sage, cited out of this most excellent pre- with this people, since there is so little crelate. It is said to have been written in dit to be given to them. When I go to see king Charles the Second's reign by the the king's scribe, I am generally told that ambassador of Bantam, t a little after his he is not at home, though perhaps I saw arrival in England.
him go into his house almost the very mo• Master, -The people where I now
ment before. Thou wouldest. fancy that am have tongues farther from their hearts
the whole nation are physicians, for the
first question they always ask me is, how I * Archbishop Tillotson, vol. ii. sermon i. folio edition
do; I have this question put to me above a In 1682.
I hundred times a-day, Nay, they are not
only thus inquisitive after my health, but of any other person would be, in case we wish it in a more solemn manner, with a would change conditions with him. full glass in their hands, every time I sit As I was ruminating upon these two rewith them at table, though at the same marks, and seated in my elbow chair, I time they would persuade me to drink their insensibly fell asleep; when on a sudden, liquors in such quantities as I have found methought, there was a proclamation made by experience will make me sick. They by Jupiter, that every mortal should bring often pretend to pray for thy health also in in his griefs and calamities, and throw them the same manner; but I have more reason together in a heap. There was a large to expect it from the goodness of thy con- plain appointed for this purpose. I took my stitution than the sincerity of their wishes, stand in the centre of it, and saw with a May thy slave escape in safety from this great deal of pleasure the whole human double-tongued race of men, and live to lay species marching one after another, and nimself once more at thy feet in the royal | throwing down their several loads, which city of Bantam !
immediately grew up into a prodigious mountain, that seemed to rise above the
clouds. No. 558.] Wednesday, June 23, 1714. There was a certain lady of a thin airy Qui fit, Mæcenas, ut nemo, quam sibi sortem
shape, who was very active in this solemSeu ratio dederit eu fors objecerit, illa
nity. She carried à magnifying glass in Contentus vivat: laudet diversa sequentes?
one of her hands, and was clothed in a loose O fortunati mercatores, gravis annis Miles ait, multo jam fractus membra labore !
flowing robe, embroidered with several Contra mercator, navim jactantibus austris,
figures of fiends and spectres, that discovMilitia est potior. Quid enim ? concurritur: hora ered themselves in a thousand chimerical Momento cita mors venit, aut victoria læta. Agricolam laudat juris legumque peritus,
shapes, as her garment hovered in the Sub galli cantum consultor ubi ostia pulsat.
wind. There was something wild and disIlle, datis vadibus, qui rure extractus in urbem est, tracted in her looks. Her name was Fancy. Solos felices viventes clamat in urbe. Cætera de genere hoc (adeo sunt multa) loquacem
She led up every mortal to the appointed Delassare valent Fabium. Ne te morer, audi place, after having very officiously assisted Quo rem deducam. Si quis Deus, en ego, dicat, him in making up his pack, and laying it Tam faciam quod vultis: eris tu, qui modo miles,
upon his shoulders. My heart melted withMercator: tu consultus modo, rusticus. Hinc vos, Vos hinc mutatis discedite partibus. Eja,
in me to see my fellow-creatures groaning Quid statis? Nolint. Atqui licet esse beatis.
under their respective burdens, and to conHor. Sat. i. Lib. 1. 1.
sider that prodigious bulk of human calaWhence is't, Mæcenas, that so few approve
mities which lay before me. The state they're plac'd in, and incline to rove;' Whether against their will by fate impos'd,
There were however several persons who Or by consent and prudent choice espous'd ?
gave me great diversion upon this occasion. Happy the merchant the old soldier cries,
I observed one bringing in a fardel very Broke with fatigues and warlike enterprise The merchant, when the dreaded hurricane
carefully concealed under an old embroiTosses his wealthy cargo on the main,
dered cloak, which, upon his throwing it Applauds the wars and toils of a campaign:
into the heap, I discovered to be Poverty. There an engagement soon decides your doom, Bravely to die, or come victorious home.
Another, after a great deal of puffing, threw The lawyer vows the farmer's life is best,
down his luggage, which, upon examining, When at the dawn the clients break his rest.
I found to be his wife.
There were multitudes of lovers saddled With thousands more of this inconstant race, with very whimsical burdens composed of Would tire e'en Fabius to relate each case.
darts and flames; .but, what was very odd, Not to detain you longer, pray attend
though they sighed as if their hearts would The issue of all this: Should Jove descend, And grant to every man his rash demand,
break under these bundles of calamities, To run his lengths with a neglectful hand;
they could not persuade themselves to cast First, grant the harass'd warrior a release ; Bid him to trade, and try the faithless seas,
them into the heap, when they came up to To purchase treasure and declining ease;
to it; but, after a few faint efforts, shook Next call the pleader from his learned strife,
their heads, and marched away as heavy To the calm blessings of a country life;
loaden as they came. I saw multitudes of And, with these separate demands dismiss Cach suppliant to enjoy the promis'd bliss :
old women throw down their wrinkles, Don't you believe they'd run? Not one will move, and several young ones who stripped themChough proffer'd to be happy from above. ---Horneck.
selves of a tawny skin. There were very . It is a celebrated thought of Socrates, great heaps of red noses, large lips, and that if all the misfortunes of mankind were rusty teeth. The truth of it is, I was surcast into a public stock, in order to be prised to see the greatest part of the equally distributed among the whole spe- mountain made up of bodily deformities. cies, those who now think themselves the Observing one advancing towards the heap most unhappy, would prefer the share they with a larger cargo than ordinary upon his are already possessed of before that which back, I found upon his near approach that could fall to them by such a division. Ho- it was only a natural hump, which he disrace has carried this thought a great deal posed of, with great joy of heart, among farther in the motto of my paper, which this collection of human miseries. There implies, that the hardships or misfortunes were likewise distempers of all sorts; we lie under are more easy to us than those thongh I could not but observe, that there
were many more imaginary than real. One and wondered how the owners of them ever little packet I could not but take notice of, came to look upon them as burdens and which was a complication of all the diseases grievances. incident to human nature, and was in the As we were regarding very attentively hand of a great many fine people: this this confusion of miseries, this chaos of was called the spleen. But what most of calamity, Jupiter issued out a second proall surprised me, was a remark I made, clamation, that every one was now at liberty that there was not a single vice or folly to exchange his affliction, and to return to thrown into the whole heap; at which I his habitation with any such other bundle was very much astonished, having conclud- as should be delivered to him. ed within myself, that every one would take Upon this, Fancy began again to bestir this opportunity of getting rid of his pas- herself, and, parcelling out the whole heap sions, prejudices, and frailties.
with incredible activity, recommended to I took notice in particular of a very pro- every one his particular packet. The hurry fligate fellow, who I did not question came and confusion at this time was not to be exloaded with his crimes: but upon searching pressed. Some observations which I made into his bundle I found, that instead of upon this occasion, I shall communicate to throwing his guilt from him, he had only the public. A venerable gray-headed man, laid down his memory. He was followed who had laid down the colick, and who Í by another worthless rogue, who flung found wanted an heir to his estate, snatchaway his modesty instead of his ignorance. ed up an undutiful son that had been
When the whole race of mankind had thrown into the heap by his angry father. thus cast their burdens, the phantom which The graceless youth, in less than a quarter had been so busy on this occasion, seeing of an hour, pulled the old gentleman by the me an idle Spectator of what had passed, beard, and had like to have knocked his approached towards me. I grew uneasy at brains out; so that meeting the true father, her presence, when of a sudden she held who came towards him with a fit of the her magnifying glass full before my eyes. gripes, he begged him to take his son again, I no sooner saw my face in it, but was and give him back his colick; but they startled at the shortness of it, which now were incapable either of them to recede appeared to me in its utmost aggravation. from the choice they had made. A poor The immoderate breadth of the features galley-slave, who had thrown down his made me very much out of humour with chains, took up the gout in their stead, but my own countenance, upon which I threw made such wry faces, that one might easily it from me like a mask. It happened very perceive he was no great gainer by the luckily that one who stood by me had just bargain. It was pleasant enough to see the before thrown down his visage, which it several exchanges that were made, for seems was too long for him. It was indeed sickness against poverty, hunger against extended to a most shameful length; I be- want of appetite, and care against pain. lieve the very chin was, modestly speaking, The female world were very busy among as long as my whole face. We had both of themselves in bartering for features: one us an opportunity of mending ourselves; and was trucking a lock of gray hairs for a carall the contributions being now brought in, buncle, another was making over a short every man was at liberty to exchange his waist for a pair of round shoulders, and a misfortunes for those of another person. third cheapening a bad face for a lost reBut as there arose many new incidents in putation: but on all these occasions there the sequel of my vision, I shall reserve was not one of them who did not think the them for the subject of my next paper. new blemish, as soon as she had got it into
her possession, much more disagreeable
than the old one. I made the same observNo. 559.] Friday, June 25, 1714.
ation on every other misfortune or calamity Quid causæ est, merito quin illis Jupiter ambas which every one in the assembly brought Iratus buccas inflet, neque se fore posthac
upon himself in lieu of what he had parted Tam facilem dicat, votis ut præbeat aurem?
Hor. Sat. i. Lib. 1. 20.
with: whether it be that all the evils which Were it not just that Jove, provok'd to heat,
befal us, are in some measure suited and Should drive these triflers from the hallow'd seat, proportioned to our strength, or that every And unrelenting stand when they entreat?
evil becomes more supportable by our be
ing accustomed to it, I shall not determine. In my last paper, I gave my reader a I could not from my heart forbear pitying sight of that mountain of miseries which the poor hump-backed gentleman mentionwas made up of those several calamities ed in the former paper, who went off a very that afflict the minds of men. I saw with well shaped person with a stone in his unspeakable pleasure the whole species bladder; nor, the fine gentleman who had thus delivered from its sorrows; though at struck up this bargain with him, that limpthe same time, as we stood round the heap, ed through i whole assembly of ladies, who and surveyed the several materials of used to admire him, with a pair of shoulders which it was composed, there was scarcely peeping over his head. a mortal in this vast multitude, who did not I must not omit my own particular addiscover what he thought pleasures of life, I venture. My friend with a long visage had
no sooner taken upon him my short face, I judgment of his neighbour's sufferings; for but he made such a grotesque figure in it, which reason also I have determined never that as I looked upon him I could not for- to think too lightly of another's complaints, bear laughing at myself, insomuch that I but to regard the sorrows of my fellowput my own face out of countenance. The creatures with sentiments of humanity and poor gentleman was so sensible of the ridi- compassion. cule, that I found he was ashamed of what he had done: on the other side, I found that I myself had no great reason to triumph, No 6607 Mond
ph; No. 560.] Monday, June 28, 1714. for as I went to touch my forehead I missed the place, and clapped my finger upon my
Verba intermissa retentat. upper lip. Besides, as my nose was exceed
- Ovid, Met. Lib. i. 746. ing prominent, I gave it two or three un He tries his tongue, his silence softly breaks. lucky knocks as I was playing my hand
Dryden. about my face, and aiming at some other EVERY one has heard of the famous conpart of it. I saw two other gentlemen by juror, who, according to the opinion of the me who were in the same ridiculous cir- l 'vulgar. has studied himself dumb: for cumstances. These had made a foolish
which reason, as it is believed, he delivers swap between a couple of thick bandy legs out his oracles in writing. Be that as it and two long trap-sticks that had no calves will, the blind Tiresias was not more fato them. One of these looked like a manmous in Greece than this dumb artist has walking upon stilts, and was so lifted up been for some years last past in the cities of into the air, above his ordinary height, that London and Westminster. Thus much for his head turned round with it; while the the profound gentleman who honours me other made such awkward circles, as he with the following epistle. attempted to walk, that he scarcely knew how to move forward upon his new sup
From my cell, June 24, 1714. porters. Observing him to be a pleasant Sir,-Being informed that you have kind of fellow, I stuck my cane on the lately got the use of your tongue, I have ground, and told him I would lay him a some thoughts of following your example, bottle of wine that he did not march up to that I may be a fortune-teller, properly it on a line that I drew for him in a quarter speaking. Iam grown weary of my taciturof an hour.
nity, and having served my country many The heap was at last distributed among years under the title of “the dumb doctor, the two sexes, who made a most piteous I shall now prophesy by word of mouth, and sight, as they wandered up and down under (as Mr. Lee says of the magpie, who you the pressure of their several burdens. The know was a great fortune-teller among the whole plain was filled with murmurs and ancients) chatter futurity. I have hitherto complaints, groans and lamentations. Ju-chosen to receive questions and return anpiter at length taking compassion on the swers in writing, that I might avoid the tea poor mortals, ordered them a second time diousness and trouble of debates, my querists to lay down their loads, with a design to being generally of a humour to think that give every one his own again. They dis- they have never predictions enough for charged themselves with a great deal of their money. In short, sir, my case has pleasure: after which, the phantom who been something like that of those discreet ħad led them into such gross delusion was animals the monkeys, who, as the Indians commanded to disappear. There was sent tell us, can speak if they would, but purin her stead a goddess of a quite different posely avoid it that they may not be made figure; her motions were steady and com- to work. I have hitherto gained a liveli. posed, and her aspect serious but cheerful. hood by holding my tongue, but shall now She every now and then cast her eyes to- open my mouth in order to fill it. If I ap wards heaven, and fixed them upon Jupiter: pear a little word-bound in my first solu. her name was Patience. She had no sooner tions and responses, I hope it will not be placed herself by the Mount of Sorrows, imputed to any want of foresight, but to but, what I thought very remarkable, the the long disuse of speech. I doubt not by whole heap sunk to such a degree, that it this invention to have all my former cusdid not appear a'third part so big as it was tomers over again; for, if I have promised before. She afterwards returned every any of them lovers or husbands, riches or man his own proper calamity, and teaching good luck, it is my design to confirm to him how to bear it in the most commodious them, viva voce, what I have already given manner, he marched off with it contentedly, them under my hand. If you will honour being very well pleased that he had not me with a visit, I will compliment you with been left to his own choice as to the kind of the first opening of my mouth: and if you evil which fell to his lot.
please, you may make an entertaining diaBesides the several pieces of morality to logue out of the conversation of two dumb be drawn out of this vision, I learnt from men. Excuse this troubie, worthy sir, from it never to repine at my own misfortunes, one who has been a long time, your silent or to envy the happiness of another, since admirer, it is impossible for any man to form a right!