Imágenes de páginas

else expected, but the pleasure of the ears occasion of that tragedy, and fill the mind and eyes, the least diminution of that plea- with a suitable horror; besides that the sure is the highest offence. In acting, witches are a part of the story itself, as we barely to perform the part is not com- find it very particularly related in Hector mendable, but to be the least out is con- | Boetius, from whom he seems to have taken temptible. To avoid these difficulties and it. This therefore is a proper machine, delicacies, I am informed, that while I was where the business is dark, horrid, and out of town, the actors have flown into the bloody; but is extremely foreign from the air, and played such pranks, and run such affair of comedy. Subjects of this kind, hazards, that none but the servants of the which are in themselves disagreeable, can fire-office, tilers, and masons, could have at no time become entertaining, but by been able to perform the like. * The author passing through an imagination like Shakof the following letter, it seems, has been of speare's to form them; for which reason the audience at one of these entertainments, Mr. Dryden would not allow even Beauand has accordingly complained to me upon mont and Fletcher capable of imitating it; but I think he has been to the utmost him. degree severe against what is exceptiona

“But Shakspeare's magic could not copied be: ble in the play he mentions, without dwell Within that circle none durst walk but he." ing so much as he might have done on the author's most excellent talent of humour.

I should not, however, have troubled The pleasant pictures he has drawn of life

| you with these remarks, if there were not should have been more kindly mentioned,

something else in this comedy, which wants at the same time that he banishes his

to be exorcised more than the witches: I witches, who are too dull devils to be at

mean the freedom of some passages, which

I should have overlooked, if I had not obtacked with so much warmth.

served that those jests can raise the loudest *MR. SPECTATOR,–Upon a report that mirth, though they are painful to right Moll White had followed you to town, and sense, and an outrage upon modesty. was to act a part in the Lancashire Witches, We must attribute such liberties to the I went last week to see that play. It was taste of that age: but indeed by such remy fortune to sit next to a country justice presentations a poet sacrifices the best part of the peace, a neighbour (as he said) of of his audience to the worst; and, as one Sir Roger's, who pretended to show her to / would think, neglects the boxes, to write us in one of the dances. There was witch- to the orange-wenches. craft enough in the entertainment almost to 'I must not conclude till I have taken incline me to believe him; Ben Johnson notice of the moral with which this comedy was almost lame; young Bullockt narrowly ends. The two young ladies having given saved his neck; the audience was astonish- a notable example of out-witting those who ed, and an old acquaintance of mine, a per- had a right in the disposal of them, and son of worth, whom I would have bowed to marrying without consent of parents, one in the pit, at two yards' distance did not of the injured parties, who is easily reconknow me.

ciled, winds up all with this remark, If you were what the country-people reported you, a white witch, I could have

-Design whate'er we will,

There is a fate which over-rules us still."' wished you had been there to have exorcised that rabble of broomsticks, with which! We are to suppose that the gallants are we were haunted for above three hours. I men of merit, but if they had been rakes, could have allowed them to set Clod in the the excuse might have served as well. tree, to have scared the sportsmen, plagued Hans Carvel's wife was of the same princithe justice, and employed honest Teague ple, but has expressed it with a delicacy with his holy water. This was the proper which shows she is not serious in her exuse of them in comedy, if the author had cuse, but in a sort of humorous philosophy stopped here; but I cannot conceive what turns off the thought of her guilt, and says, relation the sacrifice of the black lamb,

"That if weak women go astray, and the ceremonies of their worship to the Their stars are more in fault than they." devil,t have to the business of mirth and

*This no doubt is a full reparation, and humour. •The gentleman who writ this play, and

dismisses the audience with very edifying has drawn some characters in it very justly,

impressions. appears to have been misled in his witch-l,

«These things fall under a province you craft by an unwary following the inimitable

with have partly pursued already, and therefore Shakspeare. The incantations in Macbeth

demands your animadversion, for the regu

lating so noble an entertainment as that of have a solemnity admirably adapted to the

the stage. It were to be wished, that all

who write for it hereafter would raise their * Alluding to Shadwell's comedy of the Lancashire

I genius by the ambition of pleasing people Witches, which being considered a party play, had a good run at this time. It was advertised for the very night in which this Number is dated.

who show nothing of the human species but The names of two actors then upon the stage. I Different incidents in the play of the Lancashire Witches.

$ The concluding distich of Shadwell's play


risibility, to seek their diversion at the is all my attention broken! my books are bear-garden, or some other privileged blank paper, and my friends intruders. I place, where reason and good manners have no hope of quiet but from your pity. have no right to disturb them.

To grant it would make more for your ' August 8, 1711.

I am, &c.' triumph. To give pain is the tyranny, to

make happy the true empire of beauty. If you would consider aright, you would find

an agreeable change in dismissing the atNo. 142.] Monday, August 13, 1711.

tendance of a slave, to receive the com

plaisance of a companion. I bear the former Irrupta tenet copula, Hor. Lib. 1. Od. xiii. 33. in hopes of the latter condition. As I live Whom love's unbroken bond unites.

in chains without murmuring at the power

which inflicts them, so I could enjoy freeThe following letters being genuine, and dom without forgetting the mercy that gave the images of a worthy passion, I am will- it. I am, Madam, your most devoted, most ing to give the old lady's admonition to my- obedient servant.”* self, and the representation of her own happiness, a place in my writings,

• Though I made him no declarations in

his favour, you see he had hopes of me

August 9, 1711. when he writ this in the month following. MR. SPECTATOR,-I am now in the sixty-seventh year of my age, and read you

“ September 3, 1671. with approbation; but methinks you do not

“Madam,-Before the light this morning strike at the root of the greatest evil in life. I dawned upon the earth, I awaked, and lay which is the false notion of gallantry in love.

in expectation of its return, not that it could It is and has long been, upon a very iu / give any new sense of joy to me, but as I foot: but I who have been a wife forty | hoped it would bless you with its cheerful years, and was bred up in a way that has | face, after a quiet which I wished you last made me ever since very happy, see nigr

see night. If my prayers are heard, the day through the folly of it. In a word. sir. I appeared with all the influence of a merciful when I was a young woman, all who C

oung woman "u" who Creator upon your person and actions. Let avoided the vices of the age were very s carefully educated, and all fantastical ob- being that disposes their hearts, I contemn jects were turned out of our sight. The their low images of love. I have not a tapestry-hangings, with the great and ve-| thought which relates to you, that I cannerable simplicity of the scripture stories, not with

not with confidence beseech the All-seeing had better effects than now the loves of

Power to bless me in. May he direct you Venus and Adonis, or Bacchus and Ariadne,

in all your steps, and reward your innoin your fine present prints. The gentle

cence, your sanctity of manners, your pruman I am married to, made love to me in dent youth, and becoming plety, with the rapture, but it was the rapture of a Chris- continuance of his grace and protection. tian and a man of honour, not a romantic This is an unusual language to ladies; but hero or a whining coxcomb. This put our you have a mind elevated above the giddy life upon a right basis. To give you an

notions of a sex insnared by flattery and idea of our regard one to another, I enclose

misled by a false and short adoration into a to you several of his letters writ forty years / solid and long contempt. Beauty, my fairest ago, when my lover; and one writ the other creature, palls in the possession, but I love day, after so many years cohabitation.

also your mind: your soul is as dear to me . Your servant,' 'ANDROMACHE.' as my own; and if the advantages of a li

beral education, some knowledge, and as “August 7, 1671. much contempt of the world, joined with “ MADAM,-If my vigilance, and ten the endeavours towards a life of strict virthousand wishes for your welfare and re-tue and religion, can qualify me to raise dose, could have any force, you last night new ideas in a breast so well disposed as slept in security, and had every good angel your's is, our days will pass away with joy; in your attendance. To have my thoughts and old age, instead of introducing melanever fixed on you, to live in constant fear choly prospects of decay, give us hope of of every accident to which human life is eternal youth in a better life. I have but liable, and to send up my hourly prayers few minutes from the duty of my employto avert them from you: I say, madam, ment to write in, and without time to read thus to think, and thus to suffer, is what I over what I have writ, therefore beseech do for her who is in pain at my approach, you to pardon the first hints of my mind, and calls all my tender sorrow imperti- which I have expressed in so little order. nence. You are now before my eyes, my I am, dearest creature, your most obedient eves that are ready to flow with tenderness, most devoted servant." but cannot give relief to my gushing heart, that dictates what I am now saying, and

* This and the following letters in this Number are

all genuine, having been written by Sir Richard Steele, yearns to tell you all its achings. 'How art

to Miss Scurlock, afterwards Lady Steele.-See Steele's thou, oh my soul, stolen from thyself! how / Letters, Vol. II.'

• The two next were written after the at this time, but if you saw the poor withday of our marriage was fixed.

ered hand which sends you these minutes, “September 25, 1671.

|I am sure you will smile to think that there “MADAM,- It is the hardest thing in

is one who is so gallant as to speak of it

still as so welcome a present, after forty the world to be in love, and yet attend business. As for me, all that speak to me

years' possession of the woman whom he find me out, and I must lock myself up, or

he writes to other people will do it for me. A gentle

“June 23, 1711. man asked me this morning, "What news "Madam,-I heartily beg your pardon from Holland,' and I answered, “She is for my omission to write yesterday. It was exquisitely handsome.' Another desired no failure of my tender regard for you; but to know when I had been last at Windsor. having been very much perplexed in my I replied, "She designs to go with me.'I thoughts on the subject of my last, made Pr’ythee, allow me at least to kiss your me determine to suspend speaking of it hand before the appointed day, that my until I came myself. “But my lovely creamind may be in some com posure. Me-ture, know it is not in the power of age, or thinks I could write a volume to you, but misfortune, or any other accident which all the language on earth would fail in say- hangs over human life, to take from me the ing how much, and with what disinterested pleasing esteem I have for you, or the mepassion, I am ever your's.”

mory of the bright figure you appeared in,

when your gave your hand and heart to, “Sept. 30, 1671, 7 in the morning. Madam, your most grateful husband, and “ DEAR CREATURE,—Next to the in- obedient servant."

T. fluence of heaven, I am to thank you that I see the returning day with pleasure. To pass my evenings in so sweet a conversa-I No

No. 143.]

7 tion, and have the esteem of a woman of

Tweedau. Aucvor 14. 1711

Tuesday, August 14, 1711. your merit, has in it a peculiarity of happi Non est vivere, sed valere, vita. ness no more to be expressed than returned.

Martial, Epig. Mex. 6. But I am, my lovely creature contented

For life is only life, when blest with health. to be on the obliged side, and to employ

It is an unreasonable thing some men all my days in new endeavours to convince expect of their acquaintance. They are you and all the world of the sense I have ever complaining that they are out of order, of your condescension in choosing, Madam, or displeased, or they know not how, and your most faithful, most obedient humble are so far from letting that be a reason for servant.”

retiring to their own homes, that they

make it their argument for coming into • He was, when he writ the following company. What has any body to do with letter, as agreeable and pleasant a man as accounts of a man's being indisposed but any in England.

his physician? If a man laments in com“ October 20, 1671. pany, where the rest are in humour enough “ MADAM, -I beg pardon that my paper to enjoy themselves, he should not take it is not finer, but I am forced to write from ill if a servant is ordered to present him a coffee-house where I am attending about with a porringer of caudle or posset-drink, business. There is a dirty crowd of busy by way of admonition that he go home to faces all around me talking of money, while bed. That part of life which we ordinarily all my ambition, all my wealth, is love; understand by the word conversation, is an love, which animates my heart, sweetens indulgence to the sociable part of our my humour, enlarges my soul, and affects make; and should incline us to bring our every action of my life. It is to my lovely proportion of good-will or good-humour charmer, I owe that many noble ideas are among the friends we meet with, and not continually affixed to my words and actions: to trouble them with relations which must it is the natural effect of that generous pas- of necessity oblige them to a real or feigned sion to create in the admirers some simili- affliction. Cares, distresses, diseases, uneatude of the object admired; thus my dear sinesses, and dislikes of our own, are by no am I every day to improve from so sweet a means to be obtruded upon our friends. If companion. Look up, my fair one, to that we would consider how little of this vicisheaven which made thee such, and join situde of motion and rest, which we call life, with me to implore its influence on our ten-is spent with satisfaction, we should be der innocent hours, and beseech the author more tender of our friends, than to bring of love to bless the rites he has ordained, them little sorrows which do not belong to and mingle with our happiness a just sense them. There is no real life but cheerful of our transient condition, and a resignation

life; therefore valetudinarians should be to his will, which only can regulate our sworn, before they enter into company, not minds to a steady endeavour to please him to say a word of themselves until the meetand each other. I am, for ever, your

ing breaks up. It is not here pretended, faithful scrvant.”

that we should be always sitting with

chaplets of flowers round (nur heads, or he I will not trouble you with more letters | crowned with roses in order to make our entertainment agreeable to us; but if (as it moment is not of half the duration as is is usually observed) they who resolve to be his ordinary sleep. Thus is his being one merry, seldom are so, it will be much more uniform and consistent series of cheerful unlikely for us to be well-pleased, if they diversions and moderate cares, without fear are admitted who are always complaining or hope of futurity. Health to him is more they are sad. Whatever we do, we should than pleasure to another man, and sickness keep up the cheerfulness of our spirits, and less affecting to him than indisposition is never let them sink below an inclination at to others. least to be well-pleased. The way of this, I must confess, if one does not regard is to keep our bodies in exercise, our minds life after this manner, none but idiots can at ease. That insipid state wherein neither pass it away with any tolerable patience. are in vigour, is not to be accounted any part | Take a fine lady who is of a delicate of our portion of being. When we are in the frame, and you may observe, from the hour satisfaction of some innocent pleasure, or she rises, a certain weariness of all that pursuit of some laudable design, we are in passes about her. I know more than one the possession of life, of human life. For- / who is much too nice to be quite alive. tune will give us disappointments enough, They are sick of such strange frightful and nature is attended with infirmities people that they meet; one is so awkward, enough, without our adding to the unhappy and another so disagreeable, that it looks side of our account by our spleen or ill-like a penance to breathe the same air with humour. Poor Cottilus, among so many real them." You see this is so very true, that evils, a chronical distemper and a narrow a great part of ceremony and good-breedfortune, is never heard to complain. That ing among the ladies turns upon their unequal spirit of his, which any man may easiness; and I will undertake, if the howhave, that like him will conquer pride, | d’ye-servants of our women were to make vanity, and affectation, and follow nature, a weekly bill of sickness, as the parish is not to be broken, because it has no points clerks do of mortality, you would not find, to contend for. To be anxious for nothing in an account of seven days, one in thirty but what nature demands as necessary, if that was not downright sick or indisposed, it is not the way to an estate, is the way to or but a very little better than she was, what men aim at by getting an estate. / and so forth. This temper will preserve health in the It is certain that to enjoy life and health body, as well as tranquillity in the mind. I as a constant feast, we should not think Cottilus sees the world in a hurry, with the pleasure necessary, but if possible, to arsame scorn that a sober person sees a man rive at an equality of mind. It is as mean drunk. Had he been contented with what to be overjoyed upon occasions of good forhe ought to have been, how could, says he, tune, as to be dejected in circumstances of such a one have met with such a dis- distress. Laughter in one condition is as appointment? If another had valued his unmanly as weeping in the other. We mistress for what he ought to have loved should not form our minds to expect transher, he had not been in her power. If her port on every occasion, but know how virtue had had a part of his passion, her to make it enjoyment to be out of pain. levity had been his cure; she could not Ambition, envy, vagrant desire, or imperthen' have been false and amiable at the tinent mirth, will take up our minds, withsame time.

out we can possess ourselves in that sobriety Since we cannot promise ourselves con- of heart which is above all pleasures, and stant health, let us endeavour at such a can be felt much better than described. temper as may be our best support in the But the ready way, I believe, to the right decay of it. Uranius has arrived at that enjoyment of life, is, by a prospect towards composure of soul, and wrought himself up another, to have but a very mean opinion to such a neglect of every thing with which of it. A great author of our time* has set the generality of mankind is enchanted, this in an excellent light, when, with a phithat nothing but acute pains can give him losophic pity of human life, he spoke of it disturbance, and against those too he will in his Theory of the Earth in the following tell his intimate friends he has a secret manner: which gives him present ease. Uranius is "For what is this life but a circulation of so thoroughly persuaded of another life, and little mean actions? We lie down and rise endeavours so sincerely to secure an in- again, dress and undress, feed and wax terest in it, that he looks upon pain but as hungry, work or play, and are weary, and a quickening of his pace to a home where then we lie down again, and the circle rehe shall be better provided for than in his turns. We spend the day in trifles, and present apartment. Instead of the me- when the night comes we throw ourselves lancholy views which others are apt to into the bed of folly, amongst dreams, and give themselves, he will tell you that he broken thoughts, and wild imaginations. has forgot he is mortal, nor will he think of Our reason lies asleep by us, and we are himself as such. He thinks at the time of for the time as arrant brutes as those that his birth he entered into an eternal being; and the short article of death he will not * Dr. Thomas Burnet, Master of the Charter-house. allow an interruption of life; since that I author of "Telluris sacra Theoria."


sleep in the stalls, or in the field. Are She has not lost the native simplicity of her not the capacities of man higher than aspect, to substitute that patience of being these? And ought not his ambition and ex- stared at, which is the usual triumph and pectations to be greater? Let us be adven- distinction of a town lady. In public assemturers for another world. It is at least a blies you meet her careless eye diverting fair and noble chance; and there is nothing itself with the objects around her, insensiin this worth our thoughts or our passions. bie that she herself is one of the brightest If we should be disappointed, we are still in the place. no worse than the rest of our fellow mor Dulcissa is of quite another make, she is tals; and if we succeed in our expecta- almost a beauty by nature, but more than tions, we are eternally happy. T. one by art. If it were possible for her to

let her fan or any limb about her rest, she

would do some part of the execution she No. 144.) Wednesday, August 15, 1711. | meditates; but though she designs herself Noris quam elegans formarum Spectator siem.

| a prey, she will not stay to be taken. No Tor. Eun. Act. iii. Se.5. I painter can give you words for the differYou shall see how nice a judge of beauty I am.

ent aspects of Dulcissa in half a moment, BEAUTY has been the delight and tor- / wherever she appears: so little does she ment of the world ever since it began. The ac

an. The accomplish what she takes so much pains philosophers have felt its influence so sen

for, to be gay and careless sibly, that almost every one of them has

Merab is attended with all the charms of left us some saving or other: which inti- / woman and accomplishments of man. It mated that he too well knew the power of is not to be doubted but she has a great it. One* has told us, that a graceful person deal of wit, if she were not such a beauty; is a more powerful recommendation than and she would have more beauty had she the best letter that can be written in our not so much wit. Affectation prevents her favour. Anothert desires the possessor of it excellences from walking together. If she to consider it as a mere gift of nature, and has a mind to speak such a thing, it must not any perfection of his own. A thirdt be done with such an air of her body; and calls it a short-lived tyranny; a fourth s a * silent fraud.' because it imposes upon us less, there is such a smart thing to be said without the help of language: but I think at the same time, that the design of being Carneades spoke as much like a philoso

philoson | admired destroys itself. Thus the unhappy pher as any of them, though more like

Merab, though a wit and a beauty, is ala lover, when he calls it royalty without

lowed to be neither, because she will always force.' It is not indeed to be denied, but

of indeed to be denied but l be both. there is something irresistible in a beaute-|

Albacinda has the skill as well as power ous form; the most severe will not pretend, OF P

ill not pretend, of pleasing. Her form is majestic, but her that they do not feel an immediate prepos-aspect humble. All good men should be. session in favour of the handsome. No one ware of the destroyer. She will speak to denies them the privilege of being first you like your sister, until she has you sure; heard, and being regarded before others in but is the most vexatious of tyrants when matters of ordinary consideration. At the

| you are so. Her familiarity of behaviour, same time the handsome should consider

her indifferent questions, and general conthat it is a possession, as it were foreign to versation, make the silly part of her votathem. No one can give it himself or pre

ries full of hopes, while the wise fly from serve it when they have it. Yet so it is. I her power. She well knows she is too that people can bear any quality in the beautiful and too witty to be indifferent to world better than beauty. It is the conso- any who converse with her, and therefore lation of all who are naturally too much knows she does not lessen herself by faaffected with the force of it. that a little miliarity, but gains occasions of admiration attention, if a man can attend with judg- by seeming ignorance of her perfections. ment, will cure them. Handsome people

eople! Eudosja adds to the height of her stature usually are so fantastically pleased with a nobility of spirit which still distinguishes themselves, that if they do not kill at first

her above the rest of her sex. Beauty in sight, as the phrase is, a second interview

others is lovely, in others agreeable, in disarms them of all their power. But others attractive, but in Eudosia it is comshall make this paper rather a warning

manding. Love towards Eudosia is a senpiece to give notice where the danger is,

timent like the love of glory. The lovers than to propose instructions how to avoid

of other women are softened into fondness, it when you have fallen in the way of the admirers of Eudosia exalted into amit. Handsome men shall be the subject of | Dition. another chapter, the women shall take up

| Eucratia presents herself to the imaginathe present discourse.

ption with a more kindly pleasure, and as Amaryllis, who has been in town but one she is woman, her praise is wholly femiwinter, is extremely improved with the arts nine. If we were to form an image of dig: of good-breeding, without leaving nature.

e nity in a man, we should give him wisdom

and valour, as being essential to the cha* Aristoue. Plato. I Socrates. $ Theophrastus. Iracter of manhood. In like manner, f you

« AnteriorContinuar »