Imágenes de páginas

human society,

Hor. Lib. 1. Sat. v. 44.

who are slaves to them may see, that in- j not think at all, or think himself very instead of advancing their reputations, they significant, when he finds an account of lead them to ignominy and dishonour. his head-ache answered by another's ask

Death is not sufficient to deter men who ing what news in the last mail. Mutual make it their glory to despise it; but if good-humour is a dress we ought to appear every one that fought a duel were to stand in whenever we meet, and we should make in the pillory, it would quickly lessen the no mention of what concerns ourselves, number of these imaginary men of honour, without it be of matters wherein our friends and put an end to so absurd a practice. ought to rejoice: but indeed there are When honour is a support to virtuous crowds of people who put themselves in no principles, and runs parallel with the laws method of pleasing themselves or others; of God and our country, it cannot be too such are those whom we usually call indomuch cherished and encouraged; but when lent persons. Indolence is, methinks, an the dictates of honour are contrary to intermediate state between pleasure and those of religion and equity, they are the pain, and very much unbecoming any part greatest depravations of human nature, by of our life after we are out of the nurse's giving wrong ambitions and false ideas of arms; such an aversion to labour creates what is good and laudable; and should a constant weariness, and one would think therefore be exploded by all governments, should make existence itself a burden. and driven out as the báne and plague of The indolent man descends from the dig

L, nity of his nature, and makes that being

which was rational merely vegetative. His

life consists only in the mere increase and No. 100.] Monday, June 25, 1711.

decay of a body, which, with relation to the

rest of the world, might as well have been Nil ego contulerim jucundo sanus amico. uninformed, as the habitation of a reason

able mind. The greatest blessing is a pleasant friend.

Of this kind is the life of that extraordiA man advanced in years, that thinks fit nary couple, Harry Tersett and his lady. to look back upon his former life, and call Harry was in the days of his celibacy one that only life which was passed with satis- of those pert creatures who have much faction and enjoyment, excluding all parts vivacity and little understanding; Mrs. Re which were not pleasant to him, will find becca Quickly, whom he married, had all himself very young, if not in his infancy: that the fire of youth and lively manner Sickness, ill-humour, and idleness, will could do towards making an agreeable wohave robbed him of a great share of that man. These two people of seeming merit space we ordinarily call our life. It is fell into each other's arms; and passion therefore the duty of every man that would being sated, and no reason or good sense in be true to himself, to obtain, if possible, a either to succeed it, their life is now at a disposition to be pleased, and place him- stand; their meals are insipid, and their self in a constant aptitude for the satisfac- time tedious; their fortune has placed them tions of his being. Instead of this, you above care, and their loss of taste reduced hardly see a man who is not uneasy in pro- them below diversion. When we talk.of portion to his advancement in the arts of these as instances of inexistence, we do not life

. An affected delicacy is the common mean, that in order to live it is necessary improvement we meet with in those who we should always be in jovial crews, or pretend to be refined above others. They crowned with chaplets of roses, as the do not aim at true pleasures themselves, merry fellows among the ancients are debut turn their thoughts upon observing the scribed; but it is intended, by considering false pleasures of other men. Such people these contraries to pleasure, indolence and are valetudinarians in society, and they too much delicacy, to show that it is prushould no more come into company than a dence to preserve a disposition in ourselves sick man should come into the air. If a to receive a certain delight in all we hear man is too weak to bear what is a refresh- and see. ment to men in health, he must still keep This portable quality of good-humour his chamber. When any one in Sir Roger's seasons all the parts and occurrences we company complains he is out of order, he meet with in such a manner, that there are immediaky calls for some posset-drink for no moments lost; but they all pass with so him; or which reason that sort of people much satisfaction, that the heaviest of loads who are ever bewailing their constitution in (when it is a load,) that of time, is never other places are the cheerfulest imaginable felt by us. Varilas has this quality to

the highest perfection, and communicates It is a wonderful thing that so many, and it whenever he appears. The sad, the they not reckoned absurd, shall entertain merry, the severe, the melancholy, show those with whom they converse, by giving a new cheerfulness when he comes amongst them the history of their pains

and aches; them. At the same time no one can repeat and imagine such narrations their quota of any thing that Varilas has ever said that the conversation. This is of all other the deserves repetition; but the man has that meanest help to discourse, and a man must innate goodness of temper, that he is wel

when he is present.

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come to every body, because every man tions have seldom their true characters thinks he is so to him. He does not drawn till several years after their deaths. seem to contribute any thing to the mirth Their personal friendships and enmities of the company; and yet upon reflection must cease, and the parties they were enyou find it all happened by his being there. Igaged in be at an end, before their faults or I thought it was whimsically said of a gen- | their virtues can have justice done them. tleman, that if Varilas had wit, it would be When writers have the least opportunity the best wit in the world. It is certain, of knowing the truth, they are in the best when a well-corrected lively imagination disposition to tell it. and good-breeding are added to a sweet It is therefore the privilege of posterity disposition, they qualify it to be one of the to adjust the characters of illustrious pergreatest blessings, as well as pleasures of life. sons, and to set matters right between those

Men would come into company with ten antagonists, who by their rivalry for greattimes the pleasure they do, if they were ness divided a whole age into factions. We sure of hearing nothing which would shock can now allow Cæsar to be great man, them, as well as expected what would without derogating from Pompey, and celeplease them. When we know every per- brate the virtues of Cato without detracting son that is spoken of is represented by one from those of Cæsar. Every one that has who has no ill-will, and every thing that is been long dead has a due proportion of mentioned described by one that is apt to praise allotted him, in which, whilst he set it in the best light, the entertainment lived, his friends were too profuse, and his must be delicate, because the cook has enemies too sparing. nothing brought to his hand but what is According to Sir Isaac Newton's calcuthe most excellent in its kind. Beautiful lations, the last comet that made its appictures are the entertainments of pure pearance in 1680, imbibed so much heat minds, and deformities of the corrupted. by its approaches to the sun, that it would It is a degree towards the life of angels, have been two thousand times hotter than when we enjoy conversation wherein there red hot iron, had it been a globe of that in nothing presented but in its excellence: metal; and that supposing it as big as the and a degree towards that of demons, earth, and at the same distance from the where nothing is shown but in its degene sun, it would be fifty thousand years in racy.

T. cooling, before it recovered its natural tem

per. In the like manner, if an Englishman

considers the great ferment into which our No. 101.] Tuesday, June 26, 1711. political world is thrown at present, and Romulus, et Liber pater, et cum Castore Pollux,

how intensely it is heated in all its parts, Post ingentia facta, deorum in templa recepti ;

he cannot suppose that it will cool again in Dum terras hominumque colunt genus, aspera bella less than three hundred years. In such a Componunt, agros assignant, oppida condunt;

tract of time it is possible that the heats of Plora vere suis non respondere favorem Speratum meritis:

Hor. Lib. 2. Ep. i. 5.

the present age may be extinguished, and IMITATED.

our several classes of great men represented Edward and Henry, now the boast of fame,

under their proper characters. Some emiAnd virtuous Alfred, a more sacred name,

nent historian may then probably arise Aner a life of gen'rous toils endur'd,

that will not write recentibus odiis (as Ta. The Gaul subdu'd or property secur'd, Ambition humbled, mighty cities storm'd,

citus expresses it,) with the passions and Or laws establishd, and the world reform'd;

prejudices of a contemporary author, but Clos'd their long glories with a sigh, to find

make an impartial distribution of fame Th' unwilling gratitude of base mankind.-Pope.

among the great men of the present age. •CENSURE,' says a late ingenious author, I cannot forbear entertaining myself very is the tax a man pays to the public for often with the idea of such an imaginary being eminent.' It is a folly for an eminent historian describing the reign of Anne the man to think of escaping it, and a weakness first, and introducing it with a preface to to be affected with it. All the illustrious his reader, that he is now entering upon the persons of antiquity, and indeed of every most shining part of the English story. age in the world, have passed through this The great rivals in fame will be then disfiery persecution. There is no defence tinguished according to their respective against reproach but obscurity; it is a kind merits, and shine in their proper points of of concomitant to greatness, as satires and light. Such an one (says the historian) invectives were an essential part of a Ro- though variously represented by the wriman triumph.

ters of his own age, appears to have been a If men of eminence are exposed to cen- man of more than ordinary abilities, great sure on one hand, they are as much liable application, and uncommon integrity: nor to flattery on the other. If they receive was such an one (though of an opposite reproaches which are not due to them, they party and interest) inferior to him in any likewise receive praises which they do not of these respects. The several antagonists deserve. In a word, the man in a high post who now endeavour to depreciate one anis never regarded with an indifferent eye, other, and are celebrated or traduced by but always considered as a friend or an ene- different parties, will then have the same my. For this reason persons in great sta- | body of admirers, and appear illustrious in

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Pludr. Fab. xiv. 3:

the opinion of the whole British nation. , which we must show to old English writers,
The deserving man, who can now recom- or if we look into the variety of his subjects,
mend himself to the esteem of but half his with those several critical dissertations,
countrymen, will then receive the appro- moral reflections,
bations and applauses of a whole age.

Among the several persons that Aourish The following part of the paragraph is
in this glorious reign, there is no question so much to my advantage, and beyond any
but such a future historian, as the person thing I can pretend to, that I hope my rea-
of whom I am speaking, will make mention der will excuse me for not inserting it.
of the men of genius and learning, who

have now any figure in the British nation.
For my own part, I often flatter myself with
the honourable mention which will then be No. 102.] Wednesday, June 27, 1711.
made of me; and have drawn up a para-
graph in my own imagination that I fancy -Lusus animo dehent aliquando dari,
will not be altogether unlike what will be

Ad cogitandum melior ut redeat sibi.
found in some page or other of this imagi-
pary historian.

The mind ought sometimes to be diverted, that it

may return the better to thinking.
It was under this reign, says he, that the
Spectator published those little diurnal es-

I do not know whether to call the followsays which are still extant. We know very ing letter a satire upon coquettes, or a relittle of the name or person of this author, presentation of their several fantastical acexcept only that he was a man of very short complishments, or what other title to give face, extremely addicted to silence, and so it; but as it is I shall communicate it to the great a lover of knowledge, that he made a public. It will sufficiently explain its own voyage to Grand Cairo for no other reason, intentions, so that I shall give it my reader but to take the measure of a pyramid. His at length, without either preface or postchief friend was Sir Roger De Coverley, a

script. whimsical country knight, and a Templar MR. Spectator,—Women are armed whose name he has not transmitted to us. with fans as men with swords, and someHe lived as a lodger at the house of a times do more execution with them. To widow-woman, and was a great humourist the end therefore that ladies may be entire in all parts of his life. This is all we can mistresses of the weapon which they bear, affirm with any certainty of his person and I have erected an academy for the training character. As for his speculations, not- up of young women in the exercise of the withstanding the several obsolete words and fan, according to the most fashionable airs obscure phrases of the age in which he lived, and motions that are now practised at court. we still understand enough of them to see The ladies who carry fans under me are the diversions and characters of the English drawn up twice a-day in my great hall, nation in his time; not but that we are to where they are instructed in the use of their make allowance for the mirth and humour arms, and exercised by the following words of the author, who has doubtless strained of command:-Handle your fans, Unfurl many representations of things beyond the your fans, Discharge your fans, Ground truth. For if we interpret his words in their your fans, Recover your fans, Flutter your literal meaning, we must suppose that wo-fans. By the right observation these few men of the first quality used to pass away plain words of command, a woman of a tolewhole mornings at a puppet-show; that rable genius, who will apply herself dilithey attested their principles by their gently to her exercise for the space of but patches; that an audience would sit out an one half-year, shall be able to give her fan evening, to hear a dramatical performance all the graces that can possibly enter into written in a language which they did not that little modish machine. understand; that chairs and flower-pots But to the end that my readers may were introduced as actors upon the British form to themselves a right notion of this exstage; that a promiscuous assembly of men ercise, I beg leave to explain it to them in and women were allowed to meet at mid- all its parts. When my female regiment night in masks within the verge of the court; is drawn up in array, with every one her with many improbabilities of the like na- weapon in her hand, upon my giving the ture. We'must, therefore, in these and the word to Handle their fans, each of them like cases, suppose that these remote hints shakes her fan at me with a smile, then and allusions aimed at some certain follies gives her right-hand woman a tap upon the which were then in vogue, and which at shoulder, then presses her lips with the expresent we have not any notion of. We tremity of the fan, then lets her arms fall may guess by several passages in the specu- in an easy motion, and stands in readiness lations, that there were writers who en- to receive the next word of command. All deavoured to detract from the works of this this is done with a close fan, and is generally author; but as nothing of this nature is come learned in the first week. down to us, we cannot guess at any objec- •The next motion is that of unfurling the tions that could be made to his paper. If fan, in which are comprehended several We consider his style with that indulgence little Airts, and vibrations, as also gradual

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and deliberate openings, with many volun- | There is the angry flutter, the modish tary fallings asunder in the fan itself, that Autter, the timorous flutter, the confused are seldoin learned under a month's prac- Autter, the merry flutter, and the amorous tice. This part of the exercise pleases the Autter. Not to be tedious, there is scarce spectators more than any other, as it dis- any emotion in the mind which does not covers on a sudden an infinite number of produce a suitable agitation in the fan; incupids, garlands, altars, birds, beasts, rain- somuch, that if I only see the fan of a dis bows, and the like agreeable figures, that ciplined lady, I know very well whether display themselves to view, whilst every she laughs, frowns, or blushes. I have one in the regiment holds a picture in her seen a fan so very angry, that it would have hand.

been dangerous for the absent lover who • Upon my giving the word to Discharge provoked it to have come within the wind their fans, they give one general crack that of it; and at other times so very languishmay be heard at a considerable distance ing, that I have been glad for the lady's when the wind sits fair. This is one of the sake the lover was at a sufficient dismost difficult parts of the exercise, but I tance from it. I need not add, that a fan is have several ladies with me, who at their either a prude or coquette, according to the first entrance could not give a pop loud nature of the person who bears it. To conenough to be heard at the farther end of a clude my letter, I must acquaint you that I room, who can now discharge a fan in such have from my own observations compiled a a manner, that it shall make a report like little treatise for the use of my scholars, ena pocket pistol. I have likewise taken care titled, The Passions of the Fan; which I (in order to hinder young women from let- will communicate to you, if you think it ting off their fans in wrong places or on un- may be of use to the public. I shall have a suitable occasions) to show upon what sub-general review on Thursday next; to which ject the crack of a fan may come in properly: you shall be very welcome if you will hoI have likewise invented a fan, with which nour it with your presence. I am, &c. a girl of sixteen, by the help of a little wind *P.S. I teach young gentlemen the whole which is enclosed about one of the largest art of gallanting a fan. sticks, can make as loud a crack as a •N. B. I have several little plain fans woman of fifty with an ordinary fan. made for this use, to avoid expense.' L.

• When the fans are thus discharged, the word of command in course is to ground their fans. This teaches a lady to quit her No. 103.] Thursday, June 28, 1711. fan gracefully when she throws it aside in order to take up a pack of cards, adjust a

-Sibi quivis curl of hair, replace a falling pin, or apply

Speret idem: sudet multum, frustraque laboret herself to any other matter of importance.

Such all might hope to imitate with ease: This part of the exercise, as it only con- Yet while they strive the same success to gain, sists in tossing a fan with an air upon a long Should find their labour and their hopes are vain, table (which stands by for that purpose,) may be learned in two days' time as well as My friend, the divine, having been used in a twelvemonth.

with words of complaisance (which he "When my female regiment is thus dis- thinks could be properly applied to no one armed, I generally let them walk about the living, and I think could be only spoken of room for some time; when on a sudden him, and that in his absence,) was so ex(like ladies that look upon their watches tremely offended with the excessive way of after a long visit) they all of them hasten speaking civilities among us, that he made to their arms, catch them up in a hurry, a discourse against it at the club, which he and place themselves in their proper sta- concluded with this remark, 'that he had tions upon my calling out, Recover your not heard one compliment made in our sofans. This part of the exercise is not diffi- ciety since its commencement.' Every one cult, provided a woman applies her thoughts was pleased with his conclusion; and as to it.

each knew his good-will to the rest, he was • The fluttering of the fan is the last, and convinced that the many professions of indeed the master-piece of the whole exer- kindness and service, which we ordinarily cise; but if a lady does not mispend her meet with, are not natural where the heart time, she may make herself mistress of it is well inclined; but are a prostitution of in three months. I generally lay aside the speech, seldom intended to mean any part dog-days and the hot time of the summer of what they express, never to mean all for the teaching this part of the exercise; they express. Our reverend friend, upon for as soon as ever I pronounce Flutter this topic, pointed to us two or three parayour fans, the place is filled with so many graphs on this subject in the first sermon zephyrs and gentle breezes as are very re- of the first volume in the late archbishop's freshing in that season of the year, though posthumous works.* I do not know that I they might be dangerous to ladies of a ten- ever read any thing that pleased me more, der constitution in any other. • There is an infinite variety of motions from John, chap. 1. ver. 47, being the last discourse he

* See Archbishop Tillotson's Sermon on Sincerity, to be made use of in the flutter of a fan. I preached, July 29, 1694. He died Nov. 24. following.

Ausus idem

Hor. Ars Poct. v. 240.



and as it is the praise of Longinus, that he in justification of this hollow kind of con speaks of the sublime in a style suitable to versation, that there is no harm, no real it, so one may say of this author upon sin- deceit in compliment, but the matter is cerity, that he abhors any pomp of rhetoric well enough, so long as we understand one on this occasion, and treats it with a more another; et verba valent ut nummi, “words than ordinary, simplicity, at once to be a are like money;” and when the current preacher and an example. With what value of them is generally understood, no command of himself does he lay before us, man is cheated by them. This is something, in the language and temper of his profes- if such words were any thing; but being sion, a fault, which, by the least liberty and brought into the account, they are mere warmth of expression, would be the most cyphers. However, it is still a just matter lively wit and satire! But his heart was of complaint, that sincerity and plainness better disposed, and the good man chastised are out of fashion, and that our language is the great wit in such a manner, that he was running into a lie; that men have almost able to speak as follows:

quite perverted the use of speech, and '-Amongst too many other instances of made words to signify nothing; that the the great corruption and degeneracy of the greatest part of the conversation of manage wherein we live, the great and general kind is little else but driving a trade of diswant of sincerity in conversation is none of simulation; insomuch, that it would make the least. The world is grown so full of a man heartily sick and weary of the world dissimulation and compliment, that men's to see the little sincerity that is in use and words are hardly any signification of their practice among men.' thoughts; and if any man measures his When the vice is placed in this conwords by his heart, and speaks as he thinks, temptible light, he argues unanswerably and does not express more kindness to every against it, in words and thoughts so natural, man, than men usually have for any man, that any man who reads them would imahe can hardly escape the censure of want gine he himself could have been the author of breeding. The old English plainness and of them. sincerity, that generous integrity of nature, • If the show of any thing be good for any and honesty of disposition, which always thing, I am sure sincerity is better: for why argues true greatness of mind, and is usu- does any man dissemble, or seem to be that ally accompanied with undaunted courage which he is not, but because he thinks it and resolution, is in a great measure lost good to have such a quality as he pretends amongst us. There has been a long endea- to? For to counterfeit and dissemble, is to vour to transform us into foreign manners put on the appearance of some real exceland fashions, and to bring us to a servile lence. Now the best way in the world to imitation of none of the best of our neigh- seem to be any thing, is really to be what bours, in some of the worst of their qualities. he would seem to be. Besides that, it is The dialect of conversation is now-a-days many times as troublesome to make good 80 swelled with vanity and compliment, and the pretence of a good quality, as to have 80 surfeited (as I may say) of expressions it; and if a man have it not, it is ten to one of kindness and respect, that if a man that but he is discovered to want it; and then lived an age or two ago should return into all his pains and labour to seem to have it, the world again, he would really want a are lost. dictionary to help him to understand his In another part of the same discourse he own language, and to know the true intrinsic goes on to show, that all artifice must natuvalue of the phrase in fashion, and would rally tend to the disappointment of him that hardly at first believe at what a low rate practises it. the highest strains and expressions of kind- "Whatsoever convenience may be thought ness imaginable do commonly pass in cur- to be in falsehood and dissimulation, it is rent payment: and when he should come soon over; but the inconvenience of it is to understand it, it would be a great while perpetual, because it brings a man under before he could bring himself with a good an everlasting jealousy and suspicion, so countenance and a good conscience to con- that he is not believed when he speaks verse with men upon equal terms, and in truth, nor trusted when perhaps he means

honestly. When a man hath once forfeited And in truth it is hard to say, whether the reputation of his integrity, he is set fast, it should more provoke our contempt or our and nothing will then serve his turn, neither pity, to hear what solemn expressions of truth nor falsehood.'

R. respect and kindness will pass between men, almost upon no occasion; how great honour and esteem they will declare for No. 104.] Friday, June 29, 1711. one whom perhaps they never saw before, and how entirely they are all on a sudden

Qualis equos Threissa fatigat devoted to his service and interest, for no


Virg. En. I. 340. reason; how infinitely and eternally obliged

With such array Harpalyce bestrode

Dryden. to him, for no benefit; and how extremely they will be concerned for him, yea and It would be a noble improvement, or aflícted too, for no cause. I know it is said, rather a recovery of what we call good

their own way:

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Her Thracian courser.

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