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No. 393.] Saturday, May 31, 1712. through the mind of the beholder, upon
surveying the gay scenes of nature: he has Nescio qua præter solitum dulcedine læti.
Virg. Georg. i. 413.
touched upon it twice or thrice in his PaUnusual sweetness purer joys inspires.
radise Lost, and describes it very beauti
fully under the name of 'vernal delight,' in LOOKING over the letters that have been
that passage where he represents the devil sent me, I chanced to find the following himself as almost sensible of it: one, which I received about two years ago
Blossoms and fruits at once a golden brue from an ingenious friend who was then in
Appear'd, with gay enameli'd colours mixt: Denmark.
On which the sun more glad impressd his beams
Than in fair evening cloud, or humid bow, Copenhagen, May 1, 1710. When God hath shower'd the earth; so lovely seemd *DEAR SIR,- The spring with you has That landskip, and of pure now purer air already taken possession of the fields and
Meets his approach, and to the heart inspires
Verna delight, and joy able to drive woods. Now is the season of solitude, and
All sadness, but despair, &c. of moving complaints upon trivial sufferings. Now the griefs of lovers begin to
Many authors have written on the vanity flow, and the wounds to bleed afresh. I,
of the creature, and represented the bartoo, at this distance from the softer climates,
renness of every thing in this world, and its am not without my discontents at present.
incapacity of producing any solid or subYou may perhaps laugh at me for a most
stantial happiness. As discourses of this romantic wretch, when I have disclosed to
nature are very useful to the sensual and you the occasion of my uneasiness: and yet
voluptuous, those speculations which show I cannot help thinking my unhappiness
the bright side of things, and lay forth real, in being confined to a region which
those innocent entertainments which are to is the very reverse of Paradise. The seasons
be met with among the several objects that here are all of them unpleasant, and the
encompass us, are no less beneficial to men country quite destitute of rural charms. I
of dark and melancholy tempers. It was have not heard a bird sing, nor a brook
for this reason that I endeavoured to remurmur, nor a breeze whisper, neither
commend a cheerfulness of mind in my two have I been blest with the sight of a flow
last Saturday's papers, and which I would ery meadow, these two years. Every wind
still inculcate, not only from the considera
tion of ourselves, and of that Being on whom here is a tempest, and every water a tur
we depend, nor from the general survey of bulent ocean. I hope, when you reflect a little, you will not think the grounds of my
that universe in which we are placed at complaint in the least frivolous and unbe
present, but from reflections on the parcoming a man of serious thought; since the
ticular season in which this paper is writlove of woods, of fields and flowers, of rivers
ten. The creation is a perpetual feast to and fountains, seems to be a passion im
the mind of a good man; every thing he sees planted in our natures the most early of any,
cheers and delights him. Providence has even before the fair sex had a being. I
imprinted so many smiles on nature, that it
is impossible for a mind which is not sunk am, sir, &c.
in more gross and sensual delights, to take Could I transport myself with a wish, a survey of them without several secret from one country to another, I should choose sensations of pleasure. The psalmist has, to pass my winter in Spain, my spring in in several of his divine poems, celebrated Italy, my summer in England, and my au- those beautiful and agreeable scenes which tumn in France. Of all these seasons there make the heart glad, and produce in it that is none that can vie with the spring for vernal delight which I have before taken beauty and delightfulness. It bears the notice of. same figure among the seasons of the year, Natural philosophy quickens this taste that the morning does among the divisions of of the creation, and renders it not only the day, or youth among the stages of life. pleasing to the imagination, but to the unThe English summer is pleasanter than that derstanding. It does not rest in the murof any other country in Europe, on no other mur of brooks and the melody of birds, in account but because it has a greater mix- the shade of groves and woods, or in the ture of spring in it. The mildness of our embroidery of fields and meadows; but conclimate, with those frequent refreshments siders the several ends of Providence which of dews and rains that fall among us, keep are served by them, and the wonders of ap a perpetual cheerfulness in our fields, divine wisdom which appear in them. It and fill the hottest months of the year with heightens the pleasures of the eye, and a lively verdure.
raises such a rational admiration in the In the opening of the spring, when all soul as is little inferior to devotion. nature begins to recover herself, the same It is not in the power of every one to animal pleasure which makes the birds offer up this kind of worship to the great sing, and the whole brute creation rejoice, Author of nature, and to indulge these rises very sensibly in the heart of man. I more refined meditations of heart, which know none of the poets who have observed are doubtless highly acceptable in his sight; 50 well as Milton those secret overflow- I shall therefore conclude this short essay ings of gladness which diffuse themselves on that pleasure which the mind naturally conceives from the present season of the verses, and working from the observation year, by the recommending of a practice of such their bias in all matters wherein he for which every one has sufficient abilities. has any intercourse with them: for his ease
I would have my readers endeavour to and comfort he may assure himself, he need moralize this natural pleasure of the soul, not be at the expense of any great talent or and to improve this vernal delight, as Mil- virtue to please even those who are poston calls it, into a Christian virtue. When sessed of the highest qualifications. Pride, we find ourselves inspired with this pleasing in some particular disguise or other, (often instinct, this secret satisfaction and compla- a secret to the proud man himself) is the cency arising from the beauties of the crea- most ordinary spring of action among men. tion, let us consider to whom we stand in- You need no more than to discover what a debted for all these entertainments of sense, man values himself for; then of all things and who it is that thus opens his hand and admire that quality, but be sure to be failfills the world with good. The apostle in- ling in it yourself in comparison of the man structs us to take advantage of our present whom you court. I have heard, or read, temper of mind, to graft upon it such a re- of a secretary of state in Spain, who served ligious exercise as is particularly conform- a prince who was happy in an elegant use able to it, by that precept which advises of the Latin tongue, and often writ dethose who are sad to pray, and those who spatches in it with his own hand. The king are merry to sing psalms. The cheerful- showed his secretary a letter he had writness of heart which springs up in us from ten to a foreign prince, and, under the colour the survey of nature's works, is an admira- of asking his advice, laid a trap for his apble preparation for gratitude. The mind plause. The honest man read it as a faithhas gone a great way towards praise and ful counsellor, and not only excepted against thanksgiving, that is filled with such secret his tying himself down too much by some gladness-a grateful reflection on the su- expressions, but mended the phrase in preme cause who produces it, sanctifies it others. You may guess the despatches in the soul, and gives it its proper value. that evening did not take much longer Such an habitual disposition of mind conse- time. Mr. Secretary as soon as he came to crates every field and wood, turns an ordi- his own house, sent for his eldest son, and nary walk into a morning or evening sa- communicated to him that the family must crifice, and will improve those transient retire out of Spain as soon as possible: for,' gleams of joy which naturally brighten up said he, “the king knows I understand Latin and refresh the soul on such cccasions, into better than he does.' an inviolable and perpetual state of bliss This egregious fault in a man of the world and happiness.
should be a lesson to all who would make their fortunes; but regard must be carefully
had to the person with whom you have to No. 394.] Monday, June 2, 1712.
do; for it is not to be doubted but a great
man of common sense must look with secret Bene colligitur hæc pueris et mulierculis et servis et ser- indignation, or bridled laughter, on all the
vorum similimis liberis esse grata: gravi vero homini et ea quæ fiunt judicio certo ponderanti, probari posse nullo modo.-Tull.
faces to approve and smile at all he says in
the gross. It is good comedy enough to It is obvious to see, that these things are very accept. able to children, young women, and servants, and to such as most resemble servants; but that they can by and playing an humble admirer's counteno means meet with the approbation of people of Inance from one thing to another, with such thought and consideration.
perplexity, that he knows not what to sneer I HAVE been considering the little and in approbation of. But this kind of comfrivolous things which give men accesses to plaisance is peculiarly the manner of courts; one another, and power with each other, in all other places you must constantly go not only in the common and indifferent ac- further in compliance with the persons you cidents of life, but also in matters of greater have to do with, than a mere conformity of importance. You see in elections for mem- looks and gestures. If you are in a country bers to sit in parliament, how far saluting life, and would be a leading man, a good rows of old women, drinking with clowns, stomach, a loud voice, and rustic cheerfuland being upon a level with the lowest part ness, will go a great way, provided you are of mankind in that wherein they themselves able to drink, and drink any thing.' But I are lowest, their diversions, will carry a was just now going to draw the manner of candidate. A capacity for prostituting a behaviour I would advise people to practise man's self in his behaviour, and descending under some maxim; and intimated, that to the present humour of the vulgar, is per- every one almost was governed by his pride. haps as good an ingredient as any other for There was an old fellow about forty years making a considerable figure in the world; ago so peevish and fretful, though a man of and if a man has nothing else or better to business, that no one could come at him; think of, he could not make his way to but he frequented a particular little coffeewealth and distinction by properer me- house, where he triumphed over every body thods, than studying the particular bent or at trick-track and backgammon. The way inclination of people with whom he con-| to pass his office well, was first to be insulted
hy him at one of those games in his leisure. But, though I hope for the best, I shall hours; for his vanity was to show that he not pronounce too positively on this point, was a man of pleasure as well as business. till I have seen forty weeks well over; at Next to this sort of insinuation, which is which period of time, as my good friend called in all places (from its taking its birth Sir Roger has often told me, he has more in the household of princes) making one's business as justice of peace, among the discourt, the most prevailing way is, by what solute young people in the country, than at better-bred people call a present, the vul- any other season of the year, gar a bribe. * I humbly conceive that such Neither must I forget a letter which I a thing is conveyed with more gallantry in received near a fortnight since from a lady, a billet-doux that should be understood at who, it seems, could hold out no longer, tells the Bank, than in gross money: but as to ing me she looked upon the month as then stubborn people, who are so surly as to ac-out, for that she had all along reckoned by cept of neither note nor cash, having for the new style. merly dabbled in chemistry, I can only say, On the other hand, I have great reason that one part of matter asks one thing, and to believe, from several angry letters which another another, to make it fuent; but have been sent to me by disappointed lovers, there is nothing but may be dissolved by a that my advice has been of very signal serproper mean. Thus, the virtue which is vice to the fair sex, who, according to the too obdurate for gold or paper, shall melt old proverb, were forewarned, forearmed.' away very kindly in a liquid. The island. One of these gentlemen tells me, that he of Barbadoes (a shrewd people) manage all would have given me a hundred pounds, their appeals to Great Britain 'by a skilful rather than I should have published that distribution of citron water* among the paper; for that his mistress, who had prowhisperers about men in power, Generous mised to explain herself to him about the wines do every day prevail, and that in great beginning of May, upon reading that dispoints, where ten thousand times their value course told him, that she would give him would have been rejected with indignation, her answer in June.
But, to wave the enumeration of the sun- Thyrsis acquaints me, that when he dedry ways of applying by presents, bribes, sired Sylvia to take a walk in the fields, she management of people's passions and affec- told him, the Spectator had forbidden her. tions, in such a manner as it shall appear Another of my correspondents, who that the virtue of the best man is by one writes himself Mat Meager, complains method or other corruptible, let us look out that, whereas he constantly used to breakfor some expedient to turn those passions fast with his mistress upon chocolate; going and affections on the side of truth and ho- to wait upon her the first of May, he found nour. When a man has laid it down for a his usual treat very much changed for the position, that parting with his integrity, in worse, and has been forced to feed ever the minuter circumstance, is losing so much since upon green tea, of his very self, self-love will become a vir! As I begun this critical season with a tue. By this means good and evil will be caveat to the ladies, I shall conclude it the only objects of dislike and approbation; with a congratulation, and do most heartily and he that•injures any man, has effectually wish them joy of their happy deliverance. wounded the man of this turn as much as They may now reflect with pleasure on if the harm had been to himself. This the dangers they have escaped, and look seems to be the only expedient to arrive at back with as much satisfaction on the perils an impartiality; and a man who foļlows the that threatened them, as their great granddictates of truth and right reason, may by mothers did formerly on the burning ploughartifice be led into error, but never can into shares, after having passed through the guilt,
ordeal trial. The instigations of the spring are now abated. The nightingale gives
over her love-labour'd song,' as Milton No. 395.] Tuesday, June 3, 1712. phrases it; the blossoms are fallen, and the Quod nunc ratio est, impetus ante fuit.
beds of flowers swept away by the scythe
Ovid. Rem. Amor. 10. of the mower, 'Tis reason now, 'twas appetite before.
I shall now allow my fair readers to . BEWARE of the ides of March,' said the return to their romances and chocolate, Roman augur to Julius Cæsar: Beware of provided they make use of them with modethe month of May,' says the British Spec-ration, till about the middle of the month, tator to his fair country-women. The cau
when the sun shall have made some protion of the first was unhappily neglected, gress in the Crab
gress in the Crab. Nothing is more danand Cæsar's confidence cost him his life. í gerous than too much confidence and secuam apt to fatter myself that my pretty
rity. The Trojans, who stood upon their readers had much more regard to the ad- / guard all the while the Grecians lay before vice I gave them, since I have yet received
their city, when they fancied the siege was very few accounts of any notorious trips
raised, and the danger past, were the very made in the last month.
next night burnt in their beds. I must also
observe, that as in some climates there is Then commonly called Barbadoes water, I perpetual spring, so in some female consti:
tutions there is a perpetual May. These, ceived about half a year ago from a gentleare a kind of varcıudinarians in chastity, man at Cambridge, 'who styles himself Pewhom I would continue in a constant diet. ter de Quir. I have kept it by me some I cannot think these wholly out of danger, months; and, though I did not know at first till they have looked upon the other sex at what to make of it, upon my reading it over least five years through a pair of spectacles. very frequently I have at last discovered Will Honeycomb has often assured me, that several conceits in it: I would not therefore it is much easier to steal one of this species, have my reader discouraged if he does not when she has passed her grand climacteric, take them at the first perusal. than to carry off an icy girl on this side five-and-twenty; and that a rake of his ac
• To the Spectator. quaintance, who had in vain endeavoured to From St. John's College, Cambridge, Feb. 3, 1712. gain the affections of a young lady of fifteen, "SIR,_The monopoly of puns in this unihad at last made his fortune by running versity has been an immemorial privilege away with her grandmother.
of the Johnians:* and we can't help resentBut as I do not design this speculation for sing the late invasion of our ancient rights as the evergreens of the sex, I shall again ap- to that particular, by a little pretender to ply myself to those who would willingly I clenching in a neighbouring college, who in listen to the dictates of reason and virtue, application to you by way of letter, a while and can now hear me in cold blood. If ago, styled himself Philobrune. Dear sir, there are any who have forfeited their inno- as you are by character a professed wellcence, they must now consider themselves wisher to speculation, you will excuse a reunder that melancholy view in which Cha-I mark which this gentleman's passion for the mont regards his sister, in those beautiful brunette has suggested to a brother theorist; lines:
it is an offer towards a mechanical account - Long she flourish'd,
of his lapse to punning, for he belongs to a Grew sweet to sense, and lovely to the eye.
set of mortals who value themselves upon an Till at the last a cruel spoiler came, Cropt this fair rose, and rifled all its sweetness,
uncommon mastery in the more humane and Then cast it like a loathsome weed away,' polite parts of letters. On the contrary, she who has observed
• A conquest by one of this species of the timely cautions I gave her, and lived up
females gives a very odd turn to the into the rules of modesty, will now flourish I tellectuals of the captivated person, and like 'a rose in June,' with all her virgin
very different from that way of thinking blushes and sweetness about her. I must,
which a triumph from the eyes of another, however, desire these last to consider, how
more emphatically of the fair sex, does geshameful it would be for a general who has
nerally occasion. It fills the imagination made a successful campaign, to be surprised
with an assemblage of such ideas and picin his winter quarters. It would be no less
tures as are hardly any thing but shade, dishonourable for a lady to lose, in any other
such as night, the devil, &c. These pormonth in the year, what she has been at the
traitures very near overpower the light of pains to preserve in May.
the understanding, almost benight the faThere is no charm in the female sex that
culties, and give that melancholy tincture can supply the place of virtue. Without
to the most sanguine complexion, which innocence, beauty is unlovely, and quality
this gentleman calls an inclination to be in a contemptible; good-breeding degenerates
brown-study, and is usually attended with into wantonness, and wit into impudence.
worse consequences in case of a repulse. It is observed, that all the virtues are re
During this twilight of intellects the patient presented by both painters and statuaries
is extremely apt, as love is the most witty under female shapes; but if any of them has
passion in nature, to offer at some pert sala more particular title to that sex, it is mo
| lies now and then, by way of flourish, upon desty Ishall leave it to the divines to the amiable enchantress, and unfortunately
I stumbles upon that mongrel miscreated (to guard them against the opposite vice, as
speak in Miltonic) kind of wit, vulgarly they may be overpowered by temptations. It is sufficient for me to have warned them
termed the pun. "It would not be much
amiss to consult Dr. T— W— (who is against it, as they may be led astray by instinct.
certainly a very able projector, and whose I desire this paper may be read with
system of divinity and spiritual mechanics more than ordinary attention, at all tea
obtains very much among the better part of tables within the cities of London and West
our under-graduates) whether a general minster.
intermarriage, enjoined by parliament, between this sisterhood of the olive-beauties and the fraternity of the people called qua
kers, would not be a very serviceable exNo. 396.] Wednesday, June 4, 1712. '
pedient, and abate that overflow of light
which shines within them so powerfully, Barbara, Celarent, Darii, Feri), Baralipion.
that it dazzles their eyes, and dances them Having a great deal of business upon my into a thousand vagaries of error and enthu. hands at present, I shall beg the reader's leave to present him with a letter that I re-l • The students of St. John's College.
siasm, These reflections may impart some pearance of grief; but when one told them light towards a discovery of the origin of of any calainity that hail befallen even the punning among us, and the foundation of its nearest of their acquaintance, would immeprevailing so long in this famous body. It diately reply, What is that to me?' If you is notorious from the instance under consi- aggravated the circumstance of the afficderation, that it must be owing chiefly to the tion, and sliowed how one misfortune was use of brown jugs, muddy belch, and the followed by another, the answer was still, fumes of a certain memorable place of ren-l'All this niay be true, and what is it to me)! dezvous with us at meals, known by the For my own part, I am of opinion, com name of Staincoat Hole: for the atmosphere passion does not only refine and civilize hu of the kitchen, like the tail of a comet, pre- man nature, but has something in it more dominates least about the fire, but resides pleasing and agreeable than what can be behind, and fills the fragrant receptacle met with in such an indolent happiness, above mentioned. Besides, it is further such an indifference to mankind, as that in observable, that the delicate spirits among which the Stoics placed their wisdom. As us, who declare against these nauseous pro- | love is the most delightful passion, pity is ceedings, sip tea, and put up for critic and nothing else but love softened by a degree amour, profess likewise an equal abhor- of sorrow In short, it is a kind of pleasing rence for punning, the ancient innocent di- anguish, as well as generous sympathy, that version of this society. After all, sir, though knits mankind together, and blends them in it may appear something absurd that I seem the same common lot. to approach you with the air of an advocate Those who have laid down rules for rhefor punning, (you who have justified your toric or poetry, advise the writer to work censures of the practice in a set dissertation himself up, if possible, to the pitch of sorupon that subject*) yet I am confident you row which he endeavours to produce in will think it abundantly atoned for by ob- others. There are none therefore who stir serving, that this humbler exercise may be up pity so much as those who indite their as instrumental in diverting us from any in- own sufferings. Grief has a natural elonovating schemes and hypotheses in wit, as quence belonging to it, and breaks out in dwelling upon honest orthodox logic would more moving sentiments than can be supbe in securing us from heresy in religion. plied by the finest imagination. Nature on Had Mr.
W n 'st researches been con- this occasion dictates a thousand passionate fined within the bounds of Ramus or Crack- things which cannot be supplied by art. enthorp, that learned news-monger might It is for this reason that the short speeches have acquiesced in what the holy oracles or sentences which we often meet with in pronounced upon the deluge like other history make a deeper impression on the Christians; and had the surprising Mr. mind of the reader than the most laboured
y been content with the employment strokes in a well-written tragedy. Truth of refining upon Shakspeare's points and and matter of fact sets the person actually quibbles (for which he must be allowed to before us in the one, whom fiction places at have a superlative genius,) and now and a greater distance from us in the other. I do then penning a catch or a ditty, instead not remember to have seen any ancient or of inditing odes and sonnets, the gentle- modern story more affecting than a letter of men of the bon gout in the pit would Ann of Bologne, wife to king Henry the never have been put to all that grimace in Eighth, and mother to Queen Elizabeth, damning the frippery of state, the poverty which is still extant in the Cotton library, and ļanguor of thought, the unnatural wit, as written by her own hand. and inartificial structure of his dramas. I Shakspeare himself could not have made am, şir, your very humble servant, her talk in a strain so suitable to her conPETER DE QUIR,' dition and character. One sees in it the
expostulation of a slighted lover, the resent
ment of an injured woman, and the sorrows No. 397.] Thursday, June 5, 1712.
of an imprisoned queen. I need not acquaint
my readers that this princess was then unDolor ipse disertam
der prosecution for disloyalty to the king's Fecerat
Ovid. Met. xiii. 225. bed, and that she was afterwards publicly Her grief inspired her then with eloquence. beheaded upon the same account; though
this prosecution was believed by many to As the stoic philosophers discard all pas- |
proceed, as she herself intimates, rather sions in general, they will not allow a wise
from the king's love to Jane Seymour, man so much as to pity the afflictions of than fro
than from any actual crime of Ann of Bo another, If thou seest thy friend in trou
logne, ble,' says Epictetus, thou mayest put on a Jook of sorrow, and condole with him, but
Queen Anne Boleyn's last letter to King take care that thy sorrow be not real.' The
Henry. more rigid of this sect would not comply so far as to show eyen such an outward ap- Cotton Lib.') Your grace's displeasure, and
| Otho C. 10. my imprisonment, are things • See Spect. No. 61.
Mr. Whistoņ. | so strange unto me, as what to write, og