Imágenes de páginas

bears to our indeed proper behaviour in reform the taste of a profane age; and pertheatres, may be some instance of its in- suade us to be entertained with divine congruity in the above-mentioned places. poems, whilst we are distinguished by so In Roman-catholic churches and chapels many thousand humours, and split into so abroad, I myself have observed, more than many different sects and parties; yet peronce, persons of the first quality, of the sons of every party, sect, and humour, are nearest relation, and intimatest acquaint- fond of conforming their taste to yours. ance, passing by one another unknowing as You can transfuse your own relish of a it were, and unknown, and with so little poem into all your readers, according to notice of each other, that it looked like their capacity to receive; and when you having their minds more suitably and more recommend the pious passion that reigns solemnly engaged; at least it was an ac- in the verse, we seem to feel the devotion, knowledgment that they ought to have been and grow proud and pleased inwardly, that so. I have been told the same even of we have souls capable of relishing what the Mahometans, with relation to the propriety Spectator approves. of their demeanour in the conventions of Upon reading the hymns that you have their erroneous worship; and I cannot but published in some late papers, I had a mind think either of them sufficient laudable to try yesterday whether I could write one. patterns for our imitation in this particular. The cxivth psalm appears to me an ad

'I cannot help, upon this occasion, re- mirable ode, and I began to turn it into our marking on the excellent memories of language. As I was describing the journey those devotionists, who upon returning from of Israel from Egypt, and added the Divine church shall give a particular account how Presence amongst them, I perceived a two or three hundred people were dressed: beauty in this psalm which was entirely a thing, by reason of its variety, so difficult new to me, and which I was going to lose; to be digested and fixed in the head, that and that is that the poet utterly conceals it is a miracle to me how two poor hours the presence of God in the beginning of it, of divine service can be time siifficient for and rather lets a possessive pronoun go so elaborate an undertaking, the duty of without a substantive, than he will so much the place too being jointly, and no doubt as mention any thing of divinity there. oft pathetically, performed along with it. “ Judah was his sanctuary, and Israel his Where it is said in sacred writ, that “the dominion or kingdom. The reason now woman ought to have a covering on her seems evident, and this conduct necessary: head because of the angels,” the last word for, if God had appeared before, there is by some thought to be metaphorically could be no wonder why the mountains used, and to signify young men. "Allowing should leap and the sea retire: therefore, this interpretation to be right, the text that this convulsion of nature may be may not appear to be wholly foreign to our brought in with due surprise, his name is present purpose.

not mentioned till afterward; and then, •When you are in a disposition proper with a very agreeable turn of thought, God for writing on such a subject, I earnestly is introduced at once in all his majesty. recommend this to you; and am, sir, your This is what I have attempted to imitate humble servant.'

T. in a translation without paraphrase, and to

preserve what I could of the spirit of the

sacred author. No. 461.] Tuesday, August 19, 1712. • If the following essay be not too incorri-Sed non ego credulis illus. Virg. Ecl. ix. 34. gible, bestow upon it a few brightenings

from your genius, that I may learn how to But I discern their flatt'ry from their praise.

write better, or to write no more.

Your Dryden.

daily admirer and humble servant, * &c.' For want of time to substitute something

PSALM CXIV. else in the room of them, I am at present obliged to publish compliments above my "When Israel, freed from Pharaoh's hand, desert in the following letters. It is no Len the proud tyrant and his land, small satisfaction to have given occasion to

The tribes with cheerful homage own

Their king, and Judah was his throne. ingenious men to employ their thoughts upon sacred subjects from the approbation “ Across the deep their journey lay, of such pieces of poetry as they have seen The deep divides to make them way: in my Saturday's papers. I shall never

The streams of Jordan saw, and fledt

With backward current to their head. publish verse on that day but what is writ

III. ten by the same hand:* yet I shall not ac

“The mountains shook like frighted sheep,
company those writings with eulogiums, Like lambs the little hillocks leap;
but leave them to speak for themselves. Not Sinai on her base could stand,

Conscious of sov'reign power at hand.
For the Spectator.

" What power could make the deep divide ?
•Mr. Spectator,-You very much pro- Make Jordan backward roll bis tide ?
mote the interests of virtue, while you

Dr. Isaac Watts. | Jordan beheld their march, and fled With backward current to his head.-Watts's Ps.




• Addison.

Why did ye leap, ye little bills ?

certain carelessness, that constantly at And whence the fright that Sinai feels ?

tends all his actions, carries him on with V.

greater success than diligence and assiduity Let every mountain, every flood,

does others who have no share in this enRetire, and know th' approaching God, The King of Israel. See bim here;

dowment. Dacinthus breaks his word upon Tremble, thou earth, adore and fear.

all occasions, both trivial and important; VI.

and, when he is sufficiently railed at for " He thunderg—and all nature mourns ;

that abominable quality, they who talk of The rock to standing pools he turns.

him end with, After all, he is a very Plints spring with fountains at his word, And fires and seas confess their Lord."

pleasant fellow.' Dacinthus is an ill-natur"Mr. Spectator,—There are those ed husband, and yet the very women end who take the advantage of your putting a their freedom of discourse upon this subhalfpenny value upon yourself, above the ject, Byt, after all, he is very pleasant rest of our daily writers, to defame you in company.' Dacinthus is neither, in point public conversation, and strive

to make you of honour, civility, good-breeding, or goodunpopular upon the account of this said nature, unexceptionable; and yet all is anhalfpenny. But, if I were you, I would in- swered,,:For he is a very pleasant fellow.' sist upon that small acknowledgment for When this

quality is conspicuous in a man the superior merit of yours, as being a work who has, to accompany it, manly and virof invention. Give me leave, therefore, to tuous sentiments, there cannot certainly be do you justice, and say in your behalf, any thing which can give so pleasing a what you cannot yourself, which is, that gratification as the gayety of such a person; your writings have made learning a more

but when it is alone, and serves only to gild necessary part of good-breeding than it was a crowd of ill qualities, there is no man so before you appeared; that modesty is be- much to be avoided as your pleasant fellow. come fashionable, and impudence stands in A very pleasant fellow shall turn your good need of some wit, since you have put them name to a jest, make your character conboth in their proper lights. Profaneness, temptible, debauch your wife or daughter, lewdness, and debauchery, are not now and yet be received by the rest of the worlá

with welcome wherever he appears. It is qualifications; and a man may be a very fine gentleman, though he is neither a very ordinary with those of this character keeper nor an infidel.

to be attentive only to their own satisfacI would have you tell the town the story tions, and have very little bowels for the of the Sibyls, if they deny giving you two concerns or sorrows of other men; nay, pence. Let them know, that those sacred they are capable of purchasing their own papers were valued at the same rate after pleasures at the expense of giving pain two thirds of them were destroyed, as when to others. But they who do not consider there was the whole set. There are so

this sort of men thus carefully, are irremany of us who will give you your own author of the following letter carries the

sistibly exposed to their insinuations. The price, that you may acquaint your non-conformist readers, that they shall not have it, matter so high, as to intimate that the liberexcept they come in within such a day, ties of England have been at the mercy of under three pence. I do not know but you

a prince, merely as he was of this pleasant might bring in the Date Obolum Belisario

character. with a good grace. The witlings come in clusters to two or three coffee-houses

*MR. SPECTATOR,—There is no which have left you off; and I hope you give into as pride, or any other passion

passion which all mankind so naturally will make us, who fine to your wit, merry which appears in such different disguises: with their characters who stand out against it is to be found in all habits and comit. I am your most humble servant.

plexions. It is not a question, whether it •P. S. I have lately got the ingenious does more harm or good in the world; and authors of blacking for shoes, powder for if there be not such a thing as what we may colouring the hair, pomatum for the hands, call a virtuous and laudable pride? cosmetic for the face, to be your constant • It is this passion alone, when misapcustomers; so that your advertisements will plied, that lays us so open to flatterers; and as much adorn the outward man, as your he who can agreeably condescend to soothe paper does the inward.'


our humour or temper, finds always an

open avenue to our soul; especially if the No. 462.] Wednesday, August 20, 1712.

flatterer happen to be our superior.

One might give many instances of this Nil ego prætulerim jocundo sanus amico.

in a late English monarch, under the title

of “The gayeties of king Charles II.” Nothing so grateful as a pleasant friend.

This prince was by nature extremely faPEOPLE are not aware of the very great miliar, of very easy access, and much deforce which pleasantry in company has lighted to see and be seen; and this happy upon all those with whom a man of that temper, which in the highest degree gratalent converses. His faults are generally tified his people's vanity, did him more overlooked by all his acquaintance; and a service with his loving subjects than all


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

his other virtues, though it must be con- and did the crown many and great services; fessed he had many. He delighted, though and it was owing to this humour of the king a mighty king, to give and take a jest, as that his family had so great a fortune shut they say: and a prince of this fortunate dis- up in the exchequer of their pleasant position, who were inclined to make an ill sovereign. The many good-natured condeuse of his power, may have any thing of scensions of this prince are vulgarly known; his people, be it never so much to their and it is excellently said of him, by a great prejudice. But this good king made gene- handt which writ his character, " That he rally a very innocent use, as to the public was not a king a quarter of an hour togeof this ensnaring temper; for, it is well ther in his whole reign.” He would reknown he pursued pleasure more than am- ceive visits even from fools and half madbition. He seemed to glory in being the men, and at times I have met with people first man at cock-matches, horse-races, who have boxed, fought at back-sword, balls, and plays; he appeared highly de- and taken poison before king Charles II. lighted on those occasions, and never failed In a word, he was so pleasant a man, that to warm and gladden the heart of every no one could be sorrowful under his goremspectator. He more than once dined with ment. This made him capable of baffling, his good citizens of London on their lord- with the greatest ease imaginable, all sug; mayor's day, and did so the year that Sir gestions of jealousy; and the people could Robert Viner was mayor. Sir Robert was not entertain notions of any thing terrible a very loyal man, and, if you will allow the in him, whom they saw every way agreeexpression, very fond of his sovereign; but, able. This scrap of the familiar part of what with the joy he felt at heart for the that prince's history I thought fit to send honour done him by his prince, and through you, in compliance to the request you lately the warmth he was in with continual toast- made to your correspondents. I am, sir, ing healths to the royal family, his lordship your most humble servant.' grew a little fond of his majesty, and en- T. tered into a familiarity not altogether so graceful in so public à place. The king understood very well how to extricate him- No. 463.] Thursday, August 21, 1712. self in all kinds of difficulties, and, with a hint to the company to avoid ceremony,

Omnia quæ sensu volvuntur vota diurno,

Pectore sopito reddit amica quies. stole off and made towards his coach, Venator defessa toro cum membra reponit, which stood ready for him in Guildhall- Mens tamen ad sylvas et sua lustra redit: yard. But the mayor liked his company so

Vanaque nocturnis meta ca vetur cquis. well, and was grown so intimate, that he Me quoque Musarum studium sub nocte silenti pursued him hastily, and catching him fast by the hand, cried out with a vehement In sleep when fancy is let loose to play, oath and accent, “Sir, you shall stay and

Our dreams repeat the wishes of the day.

Though farther toils his tired limbs refuse, take t'other bottle." The airy monarch The dreaming hunter still the chase pursues. looked kindly at him over his shoulder, and The judge a-bed dispenses still the laws with a smile and graceful air (for I saw him

And sleeps again o'er the unfinish'd cause.

The dozing racer bears his chariot roll, at the time, and do now) repeated this line Smacks the vain whip, and shuns the fancy'd goal. of the old song:

Me too the Muses, in the silent night, " He that is drunk is as great as a king ;"

With wonted chimes of jingling verse delight. and immediately turned back and complied

I was lately entertaining myself with with his landlord.

comparing Homer's balance, in which JuI give you this story, Mr. Spectator, piter is represented as weighing the fates because, as I said, I saw the passage; and of Hector and Achilles, with a passage of I assure you it is very true, and yet no com

Virgil, wherein that deity is introduced as mon one; and when I tell you the sequel, weighing the fates of Turnus and Æneas. you will say I have a better reason for it! | I then considered how the same way of This very mayor,afterwards erected a statue thinking prevailed in the eastern parts of of his merry monarch in Stocks-market, * the world, as in those noble passages of

Scripture, wherein we are told, that the *. The Mansion house and many adjacent buildings, great king of Babylon, the day before his stand on the site of Stocks-market; which took its death, had been "weighed in the balance, name from a pair of stocks for the punishment of of. and been found wanting.' In other places early as the year 1231. This was the great market of of the holy writings, the Almighty is dethe city during many centuries. In it stood the famous scribed as weighing the mountains in scales, equestrian statue erected in honour of Charles II. by making the weight for the winds, knowing his most

loyal subject sir Robert Viner, lord mayor the balancings of the clouds; and in others, horn) of John Sobieski, King of Poland, trampling on a as weighing the actions of men, and laying Turk. The good knight caused some alterations to be their calamities together in a balance. made and christened the Polish Monarch by the name of Charles, and bestowed on the turbaned Turk that of Oliver Cromwell; and thus, new named, it arose on common-council, on Robert Viner, Esq. who remored this spot in honour of his convivial monarch. The it to grace his Pennant's London, p. 308 statue was removed in 1738, to make room for the | Sheffield duke of Buckingham, who said, that, on a Mansion-house. It remained many years afterward premeditation, Charles II. could not act the part of a in an inn-yard; and in 1779 it was bestowed, by the king for a moment.

Judicibus lites, auriga somnia currus.

Artibus assuetis solicitare solet.


[ocr errors]

Milton, as I have observed in a former pa- , and many weights of the like nature, in one per, had an eye to several of these forego- of them; and seeing a little glittering ing instances in that beautiful description, weight lie by me, I threw it accidentally wherein he represents the archangel and into the other scale, when, to my great the evil spirit as addressing themselves for surprise, it proved so exact a counterpoise, the combat, but parted by the balance that it kept the balance in an equilibrium. which appeared in the heavens, and weigh- This little glittering weight was inscribed ed the consequences of such a battle.

upon the edges of it with the word. Vanity.' 'Th' Eternal to prevent such horrid fray,

I found there were several other weights Hung forth in heav'n his golden scales, yet seen which were equally heavy, and exact counBetwixt Astrea and the Scorpion sign:

terpoises to one another; a few of them I Wherein all things created first he weigh'd, The pendulous round earth, with balanc'd air,

tried, as Avarice and Poverty, Riches and In counterpoise, now ponders all events,

Content, with some others. Battles and realms; in these he put two weights, There were likewise several weights that The sequel each of parting and of fight. The latter quick upflew and kick'd the beam;

were of the same figure, and seemed to cor Which Gabriel spying, thus bespake the fiend : respond with each other, but were entirely “Satan, I know thy strength, and thou know'st mine, different when thrown into the scales; as Neither our own, but giv'n. What folly then To boast what arms can do, since thine no more

Religion and Hypocrisy, Pedantry and Than beav'n permits ; nor mine, though doubled now Learning, Wit and Vivacity, Superstition To trainple thee as mire! For proof look up, and Devotion, Gravity and Wisdom, with And read thy lot in yon celestial sign, (weak, Where thou art weighid and shown low light, how many others. If thou resist." The fiend look'd up, and knew I observed one particular weight lettered His mounted scale aloft; nor more but fled

on both sides; and upon applying myself to Murm'ring, and with him tied the shades of night.'

the reading of it, I found on one side writ. These several amusing thoughts having ten, 'In the dialect of men,' and underneath taken possession of my mind some time be- it, Calamities:' on the other side was writfore I went to sleep, and mingling them- ten, “In the language of the gods,' and unselves with my ordinary ideas, raised in derneath • Blessings.' I found the intrinsic my imagination a very odd kind of vision. | value of this weight to be much greater I was, methought, replaced in my study, than I imagined, for it overpowered Health, and seated in my elbow-chair, where I had Wealth, Good-fortune, and many other indulged the foregoing speculations with weights, which were much more ponderous my lamp burning by me as usual. Whilst in my hand than the other. I was here meditating on several subjects of There is a saying among the Scotch, that morality, and considering the nature of an ounce of mother-wit is worth a pound many virtues and vices, as materials for of clergy: I was sensible of the truth of this those discourses with which I daily enter- saying, when I saw the difference between tain the public, I saw, methought a pair of the weight of Natural Parts and that of golden scales hanging by a chain of the Learning. The observations which I made same metal, over the table that stood be- upon these two weights opened to me a fore me; when, on a sudden, there were new field of discoveries; for notwithstandgreat heaps of weights thrown down on ing the weight of Natural Parts was much each side of them. I found, upon examin- heavier than that of Learning, I observed ing these weights, they showed the value that it weighed a hundred times heavier of every thing that is in esteem among men. than it did before, when I put Learning I made an essay of them, by putting the into the same scale with it." I made the weight of wisdom in one scale, and that of same observation upon Faith and Morality; riches in another; upon which the latter, to for, notwithstanding the latter cutweighed show its comparative lightness, immediate the former separately, it received a thouly flew up and kicked the beam.

sand times more additional weight from its But, before I proceed, I must inform my conjunction with the former, than what it reader, that these weights did not exert had by itself. This odd phenomenon show, their natural gravity till they were laid in ed itself in other particulars, as in Wit and the golden balance, insomuch that I could Judgment, Philosophy and Religion, Jusnot guess which was light or heavy whilst tice and Humanity, Zeal and Charity, I held them in my hand. This I found by depth of Sense and perspicuity of Style, several instances; for upon my laying a with innumerable other particulars too long weight in one of the scales, which was in- to be mentioned in this paper. scribed by the word • Eternity,' though I As a dream seldom fails of dashing serithrew in that of Time, Prosperity, Afflic- ousness with impertinence, mirth with tion, Wealth, Poverty, Interest, Success, gravity, methought I made several other with many other weights, which in my experiments of a more ludicrous nature, by hand seemed very ponderous, they were one of which I found that an English octavo not able to stir the opposite balance; nor was very often heavier than a French could they have prevailed, though assisted folio; and, by another, that an old Greek with the weight of the Sun, the Stars, and or Latin author weighed down a whole lithe Earth.

brary of moderns. Seeing one of my SpecUpon emptying the scales, I laid several tators lying by me, I laid it into one of the titles and honours, with Pomp, Triumphs, scales, and flung a twp-penny piece into VCL. II.


the other. The reader will not inquire | ing of wisdom. Poverty turns our thoughts into the event, if he remembers the first too much upon the supplying of our wants, trial which I have recorded in this paper. and riches, upon enjoying our superfluities; I afterwards threw both the sexes into the and, as Cowley has said in another case, balance; but as it is not for my interest to 'It is hard for a man to keep a steady eye disoblige either of them, I shall desire to upon truth, who is always in a battle or a be excused from telling the result of this triumph.' experiment. Having an opportunity of this If we regard poverty and wealth, as they nature in my hands, I could not forbear are apt to produce virtues or vices in the throwing into one scale the principles of a mind of man, one may observe that there Tory, and into the other those of a Whig; is a set of each of these growing out of but, as I have all along declared this to be poverty, quite different from that which a neutral paper, I shall likewise desire to rises out of wealth. Humility and patience, be silent under this head also, though upon industry and temperance, are very often examining one of the weights, I saw the the good qualities of a poor man. Huword "TEKEL'engraven on it in capital manity, and good-nature, magnanimity and letters.

a sense of honour, are as often the qualifiI made many other experiments; and cations of the rich. On the contrary, pothough I have not room for them all in this verty is apt to betray a man into envy, day's speculation, I may perhaps reserve riches into arrogance; poverty is too often them for another. I shall only add, that upon attended with fraud, vicious compliance, my awaking, I was sorry to find my golden repining, murmur and discontent. Riches scales vanished; but resolved for the future expose a man to pride and luxury, a foolto learn this lesson from them, not to de- ish elation of heart, and too great a fondspise or value any thing for their appear- ness for the present world. In short, the ances, but to regulate my esteem and pas- middle condition is most eligible to the man sions towards them according to their real who would improve himself in virtue; as I and intrinsic value.

C. have before shown it is the most advan

tageous for the gaining of knowledge. It

was upon this consideration that Agur No. 464.] Friday, August 22, 1712.

founded his prayer, which, for the wisdom

of it, is recorded in holy writ. •Two things Auream quisquis mediocritatem

have I required of thee; deny me them not Diligit, tutis caret obsoleti

before I die. Remove far from me vanity

and lies, give me neither poverty nor riches; The golden mean, as she's too nice to dwell

feed me with food convenient for me; lest Among the ruins of a filthy cell,

I be full and deny thee, and say, Who is So is her modesty withal as great,

the Lord? or lest I be poor and steal, and To balk the envy of a princely seat.-Norris.

take the name of my God in vain.” I am wonderfully pleased when I meet I shall fill the remaining part of my pa. with any passage in an old Greek or Latin per with a very pretty allegory, which is author that is not blown upon, and which wrought into a play by Aristophanes the I have never met with in a quotation. Of Greek comedian. It seems originally dethis kind is a beautiful saying in Theognis: signed as a satire upon the rich, though, in “Vice is covered by wealth, and virtue by some parts of it, it is like the foregoing dispoverty;' or to give it in the verbal trans- course, a kind of comparison between sation, Among men there are some who wealth and poverty. have their vices concealed by wealth, and Chremylus, who was an old and a good others who have their virtues concealed by man, and withal exceeding poor, being depoverty.' Every man's observation will sirous to leave some riches to his son, consupply' him with instances of rich men, sults the oracle of Apollo upon the subject. who have several faults and defects that The oracle bids him follow the first man are overlooked, if not entirely hidden, by he should see upon his going out of the means of their riches; and I think, we can- temple. The person he chanced to see was not find a more natural description of a poor to appearance an old sordid blind man, but, man, whose merits are lost in his poverty, upon his following him from place to place, than that in the words of the wise man: he at last found, by his own confession, that • There was a little city, and few men with- he was Plutus the god of riches, and that in it; and there came a great king against he was just come out of the house of a miser. it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks Plutus farther told him, that when he was a against it. Now there was found in it a boy, he used to declare, that as soon as he

wise man, and he, by his wisdom, de- came to age he would distribute wealth to livered the city; yet no man remembered none but virtuous and just men; upon which that same poor man. Then, said I, wisdom Jupiter considering the pernicious conseis better than strength; nevertheless, the quences of such a resolution, took his sight poor man's wisdom is despised, and his away from him, and left him to stroll about words are not heard.'

the world in the blind condition wherein The middle condition seems to be the Chremylus beheld him. With much ado most advantageously situated for the gain- Chremylus prevailed upon him to go to his

Sordibus tecti, caret invidenda
Sobrius aula.

Hor. Od. x. Lib. 2. 5.


« AnteriorContinuar »