« AnteriorContinuar »
No. 156.] Wednesday, August 29, 1711. well with herself. A little spite is natural
to a great beauty: and it is ordinary to snap Sed tu simul obligasti
up a disagreeable fellow lest another should Perfidum votis caput, enitescis
have him. That impudent toad Bareface -Hor. Lib. 2, Od. viii. 5.
fares well among all the ladies he converses
with, for no other reason in the world but When once thou hast broke some tender vow, All perjurd, dost more charming grow!
that he has the skill to keep them from
explanation with one another. Did they I do not think any thing could make a know there is not one who likes him in her pleasanter entertainment, than the history heart, each would declare her scorn of him of the reigning favourites among the wo- the next moment; but he is well received men from time to time about this town. In by them because it is the fashion, and opsuch an account we ought to have a faith- position to each other brings them insensiful confession of each lady for what she bly into an imitation of each other. What liked such and such a man, and he ought adds to him the greatest grace is, that the to tell us by what particular action or pleasant thief, as they call him, is the most dress he believed he should be most suc- inconstant creature living, has a wonderful cessful. As for my part, I have always deal of wit and humour, and never wants made as easy a judgment when a man something to say; besides all which, he has dresses for the ladies, as when he is equip- a most spiteful dangerous tongue if you ped for hunting or coursing. The woman's should provoke him. man is a person in his air and behaviour To make a woman's man, he must not be quite different from the rest of our species. a man of sense, or a fool; the business is His garb is more loose and negligent, his to entertain, and it is much better to have manner more soft and indolent; that is to a faculty of arguing, than a capacity of say, in both these cases there is an apparent judging right. But the pleasantest of all endeavour to appear unconcerned and care- the women's equipage are your regular less. In catching birds the fowlers have a visitants; these are volunteers in their sermethod of imitating their voices, to bring vice without hopes of pay or preferment. them to the snare; and your women's men It is enough that they can lead out from a have always a similitude of the creature public place, that they are admitted on a they hope to betray in their own conversa- public day, and can be allowed to pass tion. A woman's man is very knowing in away part of that heavy load, their time, all that passes from one family to another, in the company of the fair. But commend has pretty little officiousness, is not at a me above all others to those who are loss what is good for a cold, and it is not known for your ruiners of ladies; these are amiss if he has a bottle of spirits in his the choicest spirits which our age propocket in case of any sudden indisposition. duces. We have several of these irresisti
Curiosity having been my prevailing ble gentlemen among us when the company passion, and indeed the sole entertainment is in town. These fellows are accomplished of my life, I have sometimes made it my with the knowledge of the ordinary occur business to examine the course of intrigues rences about court and town, have that sort as well as the manners and accomplish- of good-breeding which is exclusive of all ments of such as have been most successful morality, and consists only in being publicly that way. In all my observation, I never decent, privately dissolute, knew a man of good understanding a gene
It is wonderful how far a fond opinion of ral favourite; some singularity in his beha- herself can carry a woman, to make her viour, some whim in his way of life, and have the least regard to a professed known what would have made him ridiculous woman's man; but as scarce one of all woamong the men, has recommended him to men who are in the tour of gallantries ever the other sex. I should be very sorry to hears any thing of what is the common sense offend a people so fortunate as these of of sober minds, but are entertained with whom I am speaking; but let any one look a continual round of flatteries, they cannot over the old beaux, and he will find the be mistresses of themselves enough to man of success was remarkable for quarrel- make arguments for their own conduct ling impertinently for their sakes, for from the behaviour of these men to others, dressing unlike the rest of the world, or It is so far otherwise, that a general fame passing his days in an insipid assiduity for falsehood in this kind, is a recommenabout the fair sex to gain the figure he dation; and the coxcomb, loaded with famade amongst them. Add to this, that he vours of many others, is received like a must have the reputation of being well with victor that disdains his trophies, to be a other women, to please any one woman of victim to the present charmer. gallantry; for you are to know, that there is If you see a man more full of gesture than å mighty ambition among the light part of ordinary in a public assembly, if loud upor the sex to gain slaves from the dominion of no occasion, if negligent of the company others. My friend Will Honeycomb says around him, and yet laying wait for destroy it was a common bite with him, to lay ing by that negligence, you may take it for suspicions that he was favoured by a lady's granted that he has ruined many, a fair enemy, that is, some rival beauty, to be one. The woman's man expresses himself
wholly in that motion which we call strut- and accomplishments. But it is not, meting. An elevated chest, a pinched hat, a thinks, so very difficult a matter to make measurable step, and a sly surveying eye, a judgment of the abilities of others, espeare the marks of him. Now and then you see cially of those who are in their infancy. a gentleman with all these accomplishments; My common-place book directs me on this but, alas, any one of them is enough to undo occasion to mention the dawning of greatthousands; when a gentleman with such ness in Alexander, who being asked in his perfections adds to it suitable learning, youth to contend for a prize in the Olympic there should be public warning of his resi- games, answered he would, if he had kings dence in town, that we may remove our to run against him. Cassius, who was one wives and daughters. It happens some of the conspirators against Cæsar, gave as times that such a fine man has read all the great a proof of his temper, when in his miscellany poems, a few of our comedies, childhood he struck a play-fellow, the son and has the translation of Ovid's Epistles of Sylla, for saying his father was master of by heart. Oh if it were possible that such the Roman people. Scipio is reported to a one could be as true as he is charming! have answered, (when some fatterers at But that is too much, the women will share supper were asking him what the Romans such a dear false man: a little gallantry to would do for a general after his death,) hear him talk one would indulge one's self • Take Marius.' Marius was then a very in, let him reckon the sticks of one's fan, boy, and had given no instances of his say something of the Cupids in it; and then valour; but it was visible to Scipio from the call one so many soft names which a man manners of the youth, that he had a soul of his learning has at his fingers'-ends. formed for the attempt and execution of There sure is some excuse for frailty, when great undertakings. I must confess I have attacked by such a force against a weak very often with much sorrow bewailed the woman.' Such is the soliloquy of many a misfortune of the children of Great Britain, lady one might name, at the sight of one when I consider the ignorance and undisof those who make it no iniquity to go on cerning of the generality of schoolmasters. from day to day in the sin of woman- | The boasted liberty we talk of is but a mean slaughter.
reward for the long servitude, the many It is certain, that people are got into a heart-aches and terrors, to which our childway of affectation, with a manner of over- hood is exposed in going through a gramlooking the most solid virtues, and admiring mar-school. Many of these stupid tyrants the most trivial excellences. The woman exercise their cruelty without any manner is so far from expecting to be contemned of distinction of the capacities of children, for being a very injudicious silly animal, or the intention of parents in their behalf. that while she can preserve her features There are many excellent tempers which and her mien, she knows she is still the are worthy to be nourished and cultivated object of desire; and there is a sort of secret with all possible diligence and care, that ambition, from reading frivolous books, and were never designed to be acquainted with keeping as frivolous company, each side to Aristotle, Tully, or Virgil; and there are as be amiable in perfection, and arrive at the many who have capacities for understandcharacters of the Dear Deceiver and the ing every word those great persons have Perjured Fair,
C. writ, and yet were not born to have any
relish of their writings. For want of this
common and obvious discerning in those who No. 157.] Thursday, August 30, 1711.
have the care of youth, we have so many
hundred unaccountable creatures every Genius, natale comes qui temperat astrum, age whipped up into great scholars, that are Naturæ Deus humanæ, mortalis in unum.
for ever near a right understanding, and Quodque caput.
Hor. Lib. 2. Ep. ii. 187.
will never arrive at it. These are the scanIMITATED. -That directing pow'r,
dal of letters, and these are generally the Who forms the genius in the natal hour :
men who are to teach others. The sense That God of nature, who, within us still,
of shame and honour is enough to keep Inclines our action, not constrains our will. Pope. the world itself in order without corporal
I am very much at a loss to express by punishment, much more to train the minds any word that occurs to me in our language of uncorrupted and innocent children. It that which is understood by indoles in Latin. happens, I doubt not, more than once in a The natural disposition to any particular year, that a lad is chastised for a blockart, science, profession, or trade, is very head, when it is a good apprehension that much to be consulted in the care of youth, makes him incapable of knowing what his and studied by men for their own conduct teacher means. A brisk imagination very when they form to themselves any scheme often may suggest an error, which a lad of life. It is wonderfully hard indeed for a could not have fallen into, if he had been man to judge of his own capacity impar- as heavy in conjecturing as his master in tially. That may look great to me which explaining. But there is no mercy even tomay appear little to another, and I may be wards a wrong interpretation of his meancarried by fondness towards myself so far, ing, the sufferings of the scholar's body are as to attempt things too high for my talents to rectify the mistakes of his mind.
I am confident that no boy, who will not thing as killing a man to cure him of a disde allured to letters without blows, will temper; when he comes to suffer punishever be brought to any thing with them. ment in that one circumstance, he is brcught A great or good mind must necessarily be below the existence of a raticnal creature, the worse for such indignities; and it is a and is in the state of a brute that moves sad change, to lose of its virtue for the im- only by the admonition of stripes. But since provement of its knowledge. No one who this custom of educating youth by the lash has gone through what they call a great is suffered by the gentry of Great Britain, school, but must remember to have seen I would prevail only that honest heavy lads children of excellent and ingenuous natures, may be dismissed from slavery sooner than (as has afterwards appeared in their man- they are at present, and not whipped on to hood;) I say no man has passed through their fcurteenth or fifteenth year, whether this way of education, but must have seen they expect any progress from them or an ingenuous creature expiring with shame, not. Let the child's capacity be forthwith with pale looks, beseeching sorrow, and examined, and he sent to some mechanic silent tears, throw up its honest eyes, and way of life, without respect to his birth, if kneel on its tender knees to an inexorable nature designed him for nothing higher: let blockhead, to be forgiven the false quantity him go before he has innocently suffered, of a word in making a Latin verse. The and is debased into a dereliction of mind child is punished, and the next day he for being what it is no guilt to be, a plain commits a like crime, and so a third with man. I would not here be supposed to the same consequence. I would fain ask have said, that our learned men of either any reasonable man, whether this lad, in robe, who have been whipped at school, the simplicity of his native innocence, full are not still men of noble and liberal minds; of shame, and capable of any impression but I am sure they had been much more from that grace of soul, was not fitter for so than they are, had they never suffered any purpose in this life, than after that that infamy. spark of virtue is extinguished in him, But though there is so little care, as I though he is able to write twenty verses in have observed, taken, or observation made an evening?
of the natural strain of men, it is no small Seneca says, after his exalted way of comfort to me, as a Spectator, that there is talking, “As the immortal gods never learnt any right value set upon the bona indoles any virtue, though they are endued with other animals: as appears by the followall that is good; so there are some men ing advertisement handed about the county who have so natural a propensity to what of Lincoln, and subscribed by Enos Thomas, they should follow, that they learn it al- a person whom I have not the honour to most as soon as they hear it.” Plants and know, but suppose to be profoundly learned vegetables are cultivated into the production in horseflesh: of finer fruits than they would yield with- •A chesnut horse called Cæsar, bred by out that care; and yet we cannot entertain James Darcy, esquire, at Sedbury, near hopes of producing a tender conscious spirit Richmond, in the county of York; his grandinto acts of virtue, without the same methods dam was his old royal mare, and got by as are used to cut timber, or give new shape Blunderbuss, which was got by Hemslyto a piece of stone.
Turk, and he got by Mr. Courant's Arabian, It is wholly to this dreadful practice that which got Mr. Minshul's Jew's-Trump. we may attribute a certain hardiness and Mr. Cæsar sold him to a nobleman (coming ferocity which some men, though liberally five years old, when he had but one sweat,) educated, carry about them in all their for three hundred guineas. A guinea a leap behaviour. To be bred like a gentleman, and trial, and a shilling the man. and punished like a malefactor, must, as T.
•ENOS THOMAS.' we see it does, produce that illiberal sauciness which we see sometimes in men of letters.
No. 158.] Friday, August 31, 1711. The Spartan boy who suffered the fox (which he had stolen and hid under his -Nos hæc novimus esse nibil.-Martial, xin. 2. coat,) to eat into his bowels, I dare say had We know these things to be mere trifles. not half the wit or petulance which we
Out of a firm regard to impartiality, I learn at great schools among us: but the glorious sense of honour, or rather fear of print these letters, let them make for me
or not. shame, which he demonstrated in that action, was worth all the learning in the world •MR. SPECTATOR,-I have observed without it.
through the whole course of your rhapIt is, methinks, a very melancholy con- sodies (as you once very well called them,) sideration, that a little negligence can spoil you are very industrious to overthrow all us, but great industry is necessary to im- that many of your superiors, who have prove us; the most excellent natures are gone before you, have made their rule of soon depreciated, but evil tempers are long writing. I am now between fifty and sixty, before they are exalted into good habits. and had the honour to be well with the first To help this by punishments, is the same men of taste and gallantry in the joyous I desire you,
reign of Charles the Second. We then had, solitude is an unnatural being to us.
If the I humbly presume, as good understandings men of good understanding would forget a among us as any now can pretend to. As little of their severity, they would find their for yourself, Mr. Spectator, you seem with account in it: and their wisdom would have the utmost arrogance to undermine the a pleasure in it, to which they are now very fundamentals upon which we con- strangers. It is natural among us when ducted ourselves. It is monstrous to set up men have a true relish of our company and for a man of wit, and yet deny that honour our value, to say every thing with a better in a woman is any thing else but peevish- grace; and there is, without designing it, ness, that inclination is not'* the best rule something ornamental in what men utter of life, or virtue and vice any thing else but before women, which is lost or neglected in health and disease. We had no more to do conversations of men only. Give me leave but to put a lady in a good humour, and all to tell you, sir, it would do you no great we could wish followed of course. Then, harm if you yourself came a little more into again, your Tully, and your discourses of our company: it would certainly cure you another life, are the very bane of mirth and of a certain positive and determining mangood-humour. Pr’ythee do not value thy- ner in which you talk sometimes. In hopes self on thy reason at that exorbitant rate, of your amendment, I am, sir, your gentle and the dignity of human nature; take my
reader.' word for it, a setting-dog has as good rea- MR. SPECTATOR,-Your professed reson as any man in England. Had you (as gard to the fair sex, may perhaps make by your diurnals one would think you do, them value your admonitions when they set up for being in vogue in town, you should will not those of other men. have fallen in with the bent of passion and sir, to repeat some lectures upon subjects appetite; your songs had then been in every you have now and then in a cursory manpretty mouth in England, and your little distichs had been the maxims of the fair Spectator wholly write upon good-breeding;
ner only just touched. I would have a and the witty to walk by: but, alas, sir, and after you have asserted that time and what can you hope for, from entertaining place are to be very much considered in all people with what must needs make them like themselves worse than they did before behaviour at church. On Sunday last a
our actions, it will be proper to dwell upon they read you? Had you made it your grave and reverend man preached at our business to describe Corinna charming, Church. though inconstant, to find something in hu- in his accent; but without any manner of
There was something particular man nature itself to make Zoilus excuse affectation. This particularity a set of gig. himself for being fond of her; and to make glers thought the most necessary thing to every man in good commerce with his own be taken notice of in his whole discourse, reflections, you had done something worthy and made it an occasion of mirth during our applause; but indeed, sir, we shall not the whole time of sermon. You should see commend you for disapproving us. I have one of them ready to burst behind a fan, a great deal more to say to you, but I shall another pointing to a companion in another sum it all up in this one remark. In short, seat, and a third with an arch composure, sir, you do not write like a gentleman, I as if she would if possible stifle her laugham, sir, your most humble servant.'
ter. There were many gentlemen who MR. SPECTATOR,-The other day we looked at them steadfastly, but this they were several of us at a tea-table, and ac- took for ogling and admiring them. There cording to custom and your own advice had was one of the merry ones in particular, the Spectator read among us. It was that that found out but just then that she had paper wherein you are pleased to treat with but five fingers, for she fell a reckoning the great freedom that character which you pretty pieces of ivory over and over again, call a woman's man, We gave up all the to find herself employment and not laugh kinds you have mentioned, except those out. Would it not be expedient, Mr. Specwho, you say, are our constant visitants. I tator, that the church-warden should hold was upon the occasion commissioned by the up his wand on these occasions, and keep company to write to you and tell you, so that the decency of the place, as a magistrate we shall not part with the men we have at does the peace in a tumult elsewhere?' present, until the men of sense think fit to
•MR. SPECTATOR, I am a woman's relieve them, and give us their company in man, and read with a very fine lady your their stead. You cannot imagine but that
paper, wherein you fall upon us whom you we love to hear reason and good sense bet
what do you think I did? You must ter than the ribaldry we are at present en- know she was dressing, and I read the tertained with; but we must have company, Spectator to her, and she laughed at the and among us very inconsiderable is better places where she thought I was touched; I than none at all.' We are made for the threw away your moral, and taking up her cements of society, and came into the world girdle, cried out, to create relations amongst mankind; and
"Give me but what this riband bound,
Take all the rest the sun goes round.'* * Spect, in folio. In the 8vo. edition of 1712, not'
* Waller's verses on a lady's girdlc.
was left out.
Mortales hebetat visus tibi, et humida circum
She smiled, sir, and said you were a and affability that familiarized him to my pedant; so say of me what you please, read imagination, and at once dispelled all the Seneca, and quote him against me if you fears and apprehensions with which I apthink fit.
I am, sir, your humble ser- proached him. He lifted me from the vant.'
ground, and taking me by the hand,
thy soliloquies; follow me. No. 159.] Saturday, September 1, 1711.
• He then led me to the highest pinnacle
of the rock, and placing me on the top of it, -Omnem, quæ nunc obducta tuenti
“Cast thy eyes eastward,” said he, “and Caligat, nubem eripiam. -- Virg. Æn. jj. 604.
tell me what thou seest.”—“I see," said I, The cloud, which, intercepting the clear light, “a huge valley, and a prodigious tide of Hangs o'er thy eyes, and blunts thy mortal sight, water rolling through it.”—"The valley I will remove.
that thou seest,” said he, “is the Vale of When I was at Grand Cairo, I picked Misery, and the tide of water that thou up several oriental manuscripts which I seest, is part of the great tide of eternity.” have still by me. Among others, I met with “ What is the reason," said I, “ that the one entitled, The Visions of Mirza, which tide I see rises out of a thick mist at one I have read over with great pleasure. I end, and again loses itself in a thick mist at intend to give it to the public when I have the other?"--"What thou seest,” said he, no other entertainment for them; and shall" is that portion of eternity which is called begin with the first vision, which I have time, measured out by the sun, and reachtranslated word for word as follows: ing from the beginning of the world to its
‘On the fifth day of the moon, which, consummation.”—“Examine now,” said according to the custom of my forefathers, he, “this sea that is bounded with darkness I always keep holy, after having washed at both ends, and tell me what thou discomyself, and offered up my morning devo- verest in it.”—“I see a bridge,” said I, tions, I ascended the high hills of Bagdat,“ standing in the midst of the tide.”—“The in order to pass the rest of the day in medi- bridge thou seest,” said he, “is human tation and prayer. As I was here airing life, consider it attentively." Upon a more myself on the tops of the mountains, I fell | leisurely survey of it, I found that it coninto a profound contemplation on the vanity sisted of three-score and ten entire arches, of human life; and passing from one thought with several broken arches, which added to another, “Surely,” said I, “man is but to those that were entire, made up the a shadow, and life a dream.” Whilst I number about an hundred. As I was countwas thus musing, I cast my eyes towards ing the arches, the genius told me that this the summit of a rock that was not far from bridge consisted at first of a thousand arches: me, where I discovered one in the habit of but that a great flood swept away the rest, a shepherd, with a little musical instrument and left the bridge in the ruinous condition in his hand. As I looked upon him he ap- I now beheld it. “But tell me farther," plied it to his lips, and began to play upon said he, “what thou discoverest on it.”. it. The sound of it was exceeding sweet, “I see multitudes of people passing over and wrought into a variety of tunes that it," said I, “and a black cloud hanging on were inexpressibly melodious, and alto- each end of it.” As I looked more attengether different from any thing I had ever tively, I saw several of the passengers heard. They put me in mind of those dropping through the bridge into the great heavenly airs that are played to the de- tide that flowed underneath it; and upon parted souls of good men upon their first farther examination, perceived there were arrival in Paradise, to wear out the im- innumerable trap-doors that lay concealed pressions of the last agonies, and qualify in the bridge, which the passengers no them for the pleasures of that happy place. sooner trod upon, but they fell through My heart melted away in secret raptures. them into the tide, and immediately disap
• I had often been told that the rock be- peared. These hidden pit-falls were set fore me was the haunt of a Genius; and that very thick at the entrance of the bridge, so several had been entertained with music that throngs of people no sooner broke who had passed by it, but never heard that through the cloud, but many of them fell the musician had before made himself visi-into them. They grew thinner towards ble. When he had raised my thoughts by the middle, but multiplied and lay closer those transporting airs which he played, to together towards the end of the arches that taste the pleasures of his conversation, as I were entire. looked upon him like one astonished, he •There were indeed some persons, but beckoned to me, and by the waving of his their number was very small, that continued hand directed me to approach the place a kind of hobbling march on the broken where he sat. I drew near with that reve-arches, but fell through one after another, rence which is due to a superior nature; being quite tired and spent with so long a and as my heart was entirely subdued by walk. the captivating strains I had heard, I feil "I passed some time in the contemplation down at his feet and wept. The genius of this wonderful structure, and the great smiled upon me with a look of compassion I variety of objects which it presented. My