« AnteriorContinuar »
the discreet man, not the witty, nor the his thoughts to the end of every action, and learned, nor the brave, who guides the con- considers the most distant as well as the versation, and gives measures to the so- most immediate effects of it. He superciety. A man with great talents, but void sedes every little prospect of gain and adof discretion, is like Polyphemus in the fa- vantage which offers itself here, if he does ble, strong and blind, endued with an irre- not find it consistent with his views of an sistible force, which for want of sight is of hereafter. In a word, his hopes are full no use to him.
of immortality, his schemes are large and Though a man has all other perfections, glorious, and his conduct suitable to one and wants discretion, he will be of no great who knows his true interest, and how to consequence in the world; but if he has pursue it by proper methods. this single talent in perfection, and but a I have in this essay upon discretion, concommon share of others, he may do what sidered it both as an accomplishment and he plcases in his particular station of life. as a virtue, and have therefore described
At the same time that I think discretion it in its full extent; not only as it is converthe most useful talent a man can be master sant about worldly affairs, but as it regards of, I look upon cunning to be the accom- our whole existence; not only as it is the plishment of little, mean, ungenerous minds, guide of a mortal creature, but as it is in Discretion points out the noblest ends to us, general the director of a reasonable being. and pursues the most proper and laudable it is in this light that discretion is repremethods of attaining them. Cunning has sented by the wise man, who sometimes only private selfish aims, and sticks at mentions it under the name of discretion, nothing which may make them succeed. and sometimes under that of wisdom. It Discretion has large and extended views, is indeed (as described in the latter part of and like a well-formed eye, commands a this paper) the greatest wisdom, but at the whole horizon. Cunning is a kind of short- same time in the power of every one to sightedness, that discovers the minutest attain. Its advantages are infinite, but its objects which are near at hand, but is not acquisition easy; or to speak of her in the able to discern things at a distance. Dis- words of the apocryphal writer, whom I cretion, the more it is discovered, gives a quoted in my last Saturday's paper, * • Wisgreater authority to the person who pos- dom is glorious, and never fadeth away, yet sesses it. Cunning, when it is once de- she is easily seen of them that love her, tected, loses its force, and makes a man in- and found of such as seek her. She precapable of bringing about even those events venteth them that desire her, in making which he might have done, had he passed herself first known unto them. He that only for a plain man. Discretion is the seeketh her early, shall have no great traperfection of reason, and a guide to us in vel: for_he shall find her sitting at his all the duties of life: cunning is a kind doors. To think therefore upon her is the of instinct, that only locks out after our perfection of wisdom, and whoso watcheth immediate interest and welfare. Discre- for her shall quickly be without care. For tion is only found in men of strong sense she goeth about seeking such as are worthy and good understandings: cunning is often of her, showeth herself favourably unto to be met with in brutes themselves, and them in the ways, and meeteth them in in persons who are but the fewest removes every thought.'
C. from them. In short, cunning is only the mimic of discretion, and may pass upon weak men, in the same mannner as viva- No. 226.] Monday, November 19, 1711. city is often mistaken for wit, and gravity for wisdom.
-Mutum est pictura poema. The cast of mind which is natural to a
A picture is a poem without words. discreet man, makes him look forward into futurity, and consider what will be his con
+ I HAVE very often lamented and hinted dition millions of ages hence, as well as my sorrow in several speculations, that the what it is at present. He knows that the art of painting is made so little use of to the misery or happiness which are reserved improvement of our manners. When we for him in another world, lose nothing of consider that it places the action of the their reality by being placed at so great a aspect imaginable, that it does not only ex
person represented in the most agreeable distance from him. The objects do not appear little to him because
they are re- press the passion or concern as it sits upon and pains which lie hid in eternity, ap, nation, what strong images of virtue and He considers that those pleasures him who is drawn, but has under those fea
tures the height of the painter's imagiproach nearer to him every moment, and will be present with him in their full humanity might we not expect would be weight and measure, as much as those
* Wisdom of Solomon, chap. vi. ver. 12—16. pains and pleasures which he feels at this
+ This paper was written for the purpose of promoting very instant For this reason he is careful a subscription to Nicholas Dorigny's set of the Cartoons, to secure to himself that which is the which he had got the queen's permission to engrave. proper happiness of his; nature, and the The king was so m'ich pleased with the abilities of the
artist, that he conferred the honour of knighthood on ultimate design of his bring. He carries him.
instilled into the mind from the labours of aspect. The figures of the eleven apostles the pencil? This is a poetry which would are all in the same passion of admiration, be understood with much less capacity, but discover it differently according to their and less expense of time, than what is character. Peter receives his master's taught by writings; but the use of it is gene- orders on his knees, with an admiration rally perverted, and that admirable skill mixed with a more particular attention: prostituted to the basest and most unwor- the two next with a more open ecstasy, thy ends. Who is the better man for be- though still constrained by an awe of the holding the most beautiful Venus, the best divine presence, The beloved disciple, wrought Bacchanal, the images of sleeping whom I take to be the right of the two first Cupids, languishing nymphs, or any of the figures, has in his countenance wonder representations of gods, goddesses, demi- drowned in love; and the last personage, gods, satyrs, Polyphemes, sphynxes, or whose back is towards the spectators, fawns? But if the virtues and vices, which and his side towards the presence, one are sometimes pretended to be represented would fancy to be St. Thomas as abashed under such draughts, were given us by the by the conscience of his former diffidence; painter in the characters of real life, and which perplexed concern it is possible the persons of men and women whose Raphael thought too hard a task to draw, actions have rendered them laudable or but by this acknowledgment of the diffiinfamous, we should not see a good history-culty to describe it. piece without receiving an instructive lec The whole work is an exercise of the ture. There needs no other proof of this highest piety in the painter; and all the truth, than the testimony of every reason- touches of a religious mind are expressed able creature who has seen the cartoons in in a manner much more forcible than can her majesty's gallery at Hampton-court. possibly be performed by the most moving These are representations of no less actions eloquence. These invaluable pieces are than those of our Blessed Saviour and his very justly in the hands of the greatest and apostles. As I now sit and recollect the most pious sovereign in the world, and canwarm images which the admirable Raphael not be the frequent object of every one at has raised, it is impossible even from the their own leisure: but as an engraver is to faint traces in one's memory of what one has the painter what a printer is to the author, not seen these two years, to be unmoved at it is worthy her majesty's name that she the horror and reverence which appear in has encouraged that noble artist Monsieur the whole assembly when the mercenary Dorigny, to publish these works of Raphael. man fell down dead; at the amazement of We have of this gentleman a piece of the the man born blind, when he first receives Transfiguration, which, I think, is held a sight; or at the graceless indignation of the work second to none in the world. sorcerer, when he is struck blind. The Methinks it would be ridiculous in our lame when they first find strength in their people of condition, after their large bounfeet, stand doubtful of their new vigour. ties to foreigners of no name or merit, The heavenly apostles appear acting these should they overlook this occasion of hav: great things with a deep sense of the in- ing for a trifling subscription, a work which firmities which they relieve, but no value it is impossible for a man of sense to beof themselves who administer to their hold, without being warmed with the noblest weakness. They know themselves to be sentiments that can be inspired by love, but instruments; and the generous distress admiration, compassion, contempt of this they are painted in when divine honours world, and expectation of a better. are offered to them, is a representation in It is certainly the greatest honour we can the most exquisite degree of the beauty of do our country, to clistinguish strangers of holiness. When St. Paul is preaching to merit who apply to us with modesty and the Athenians, with what wonderful art diffidence which generally accompanies meare almost all the different tempers of man- rit. No opportunity of this kind ought to kind represented in that elegant audience? be neglected; and a modest behaviour should You see one credulous of all that is said; alarm us to examine whether we do not lose another wrapt up in deep suspense; another something excellent, under that disadvantage saying, there is some reason in what he in the possessor of that quality. My skill says; another angry that the apostle de- in paintings, where one is not directed by stroys a favourite opinion which he is the passion of the pictures, is so inconsiderunwilling to give up; another wholly con- able, that I am in very great perplexity 'vinced, and holding out his hands in rapture; when I offer to speak of any performances while the generality attend, and wait for of painters of lands capes, buildings, cr sinthe opinion of those who are of leading gle figures. This makes me at a loss how characters in the assembly. I will not pre- to mention the pieces which Mr. Boul extend so much as to mention that chart on poses to sale by auction on Wednesday next which is drawn the appearance of our in Chandos Street : but having heard him blessed Lord after his resurrection. Pre-commended by those who have bought of sent authority, late sufferings, humility and him heretofore, for great integrity in his majesty, despotic command, and divine dealing, and overh card him himself (though love, are at once seated in his celestial la laudable painter ) say, nothing of his own
was fit to come into the room with those he! •Mr. SPECTATOR,—The lover's leap, had to sell, I feared I should lose an occa- which you mention in your 223d paper, sion of serving a man of worth, in omitting was generally, I believe,, a very effectual to speak of his auction.
cure for love, and not only for love, but for all other evils. In short, sir, I am afraid
it was such a leap as that which Hero took No. 227.] Tuesday, November 20, 1711.
to get rid of her passion for Leander. A
man is in no danger of breaking his heart, Ωμοι εγω, τι σαθω ; τι ο δυσσοος ; ουχ υπακούεις; Ταν βαιταν αποδυς εις κυματα τηνα αλευμαι
who breaks his neck to prevent it. I know Ωπερ τως δυννως σκοπιαζεται Ολπις ο γριπενς.
very well the wonders which antient auΚηκα μη σοβανω, το γε μαν τεον αδυ τετυκται. thors relate concerning this leap; and in
Theocr. Idyl. iii. 2.
particular, that very many persons who Wretch that I am! ah, whither shall I
tried it, escaped not only with their lives, Will you not hear me, nor regard my woe? I'll strip, and throw me from yon rock so high,
but their limbs. If by this means they got Where Olpis sits to watch the scaly fry.
rid of their love, though it may in part be Should I be drown'd, or 'scape with life away, ascribed to the reasons you give for it; why If cur'd of love, you, tyrant, would be gay.-P.
may we not suppose that the cold bath, In my last Thursday's paper, I made into which they plunged themselves, had mention of a place called the Lover's also some share in their cure? A leap into Leap, which I find has raised a great cu- the sea, or into any creek of salt waters, very riosity among several of my correspondents. often gives a new motion to the spirits, and I there told them that this leap was used to a new turn to the blood: for which reason be taken from a promontory of Leucas. we prescribe it in distempers which no This Leucas was formerly a part of Acar- other medicine will reach. I could pronania, being joined to it by a narrow neck duce a quotation out of a very venerable of land, which the sea has by length of time author, in which the frenzy produced by overflowed and washed away; so that at love is compared to that which is produced present Leucas is divided from the conti- by the biting of a mad dog. But as this nent, and is a little island in the Ionian sea. comparison is a little too coarse for your The promontory of this island, from whence paper, and might look as if it were cited to the lover took his leap, was formerly call- ridicule the author who has made use of it; ed Leucate. If the reader has a mind to I shall only hint at it, and desire you to conknow both the island and the promontory sider whether, if the frenzy produced by by their modern titles, he will find in his these two different causes be of the same map the ancient island of Leucas under the nature, it may not very properly be cured name of St. Mauro, and the ancient pro- by the same means. I am, sir, your most montory of Leucate under the name of humble servant, and well-wisher, the Cape of St. Mauro.
ESCULAPIUS.' Since I am engaged thus far in antiquity, I must observe that Theocritus in the
• Mr. SPECTATOR,I am a young womotto prefixed to my paper, describes one
man crossed in love. My story is very long of his despairing shepherds addressing him- and melancholy. To give you the heads of self to his mistress after the following man-it, a young gentleman, after having made ner: “Alas! what will become of me? his applications to me for three years toWretch that I am! Will you not hear me? gether, and filled my head with a thousand I'll throw off my clothes and take a leap dreams of happiness, some few days since into that part of the sea which is so much married another. Pray tell me in what part frequented by Olpis the fisherman. And of the world your promontory lies, which though I should escape with my life, I you call the Lover's Leap, and whether know will be pleased with it." I shall one may go to it by land? But, alas! I am leave it with the critics to determine whe- afraid it has lost its virtue, and that a wother the place, which this shepherd so
man of our times would find no more relief particularly points out, was not the above-in taking such a leap, than in singing a mentioned 'Leucate, or at least some other hymn to Venus. So that I must cry out with lover's leap, which was supposed to have Dido, in Dryden's Virgil: had the same effect. I cannot believe, as Ah! cruel heav'n, that made no cure for love! all the interpreters do, that the shepherd
Your disconsolate servant, means nothing farther here than that he
ATHENAIS.' would drown himself, since he represents the issue of his leap as doubtful, by adding, MISTER SPICTATUR,-My heart is so that if he should escape with his life, he full of lofes and passions for Mrs. Gwiniknows his mistress would be pleased with frid, and she is so pettish and overrun with it: which is, according to our interpreta- cholers against me, that if I had the good tion, that she would rejoice any way to get happiness to have my dwelling (which is rid of a lover who was so troublesome to her. placed by my crete-cranfather upon the
After this short preface, I shall present pottom of an ill) no_farther distance but my reader with some letters which I have twenty mile from the Lofer's Leap, I would received upon this subject. The first is sent indeed endeafour to preak my neck upon me by a physician.
it on purpose. Now, good Mr. Spictatur
of Crete Pritain, you must know it, there tances. Of this make is that man who is is in Caernarvonshire a very pig mountain, very inquisitive. You may often observe, the clory of all Wales, which is named Pen- that though he speaks as good sense as any mainmaure, and you must also know, it is man upon any thing with which he is well no crete journey on foot from me; but the acquainted, he cannot trust to the range of road is stony and bad for shooes. Now, his own fancy to entertain himself upon that there is upon the forehead of this mountain foundation, but goes on still to new inquia very high rock, (like a parish steeple) ries. Thus, though you know he is fit for that cometh a huge deal over the sea; so the most polite conversation, you shall see when I am in my melancholies, and I do him very well contented to sit by a jockey, throw myself from it, I do tesire my fery giving an account of the many revolutions good friend to tell me in his Spictatur, if I in his horse's health, what potion he made shall be cure of my griefous lofes; for there him take, how that agreed with him, how is the sea clear as class, and as creen as the afterwards he came to his stomach and his leek. Then likewise if I be drown and exercise, or any the like impertinence; and preak my neck, if Mrs. Gwinifrid will not be as well pleased as if you talked to him sofe me afterwards. Pray be speedy in on the most important truths. This humour your answers, for I am in crete haste, and is far from making a man unhappy, though it is my tesires to do my business without it may subject him to raillery; for he geneloss of time. I remain with cordial affec- rally falls in with a person who seems to be tions, your ever lofing friend,
born for him, which is your talkative fel• DAVYTH AP SHENKYN. low. It is so ordered, that there is a secret .P. S. My law-suits have prought me to bent, as natural as the meeting of different London, put I have lost my causes; and so sexes, in these two characters, to supply have made my resolutions to go down and each other's wants. I had the honour the leap before the frosts begin; for I am apt to other day to sit in a public room, and saw take colds.'
an inquisitive man look with an air of satisRidicule, perhaps, is a better expedient talkers.
faction upon the approach of one of these against love than sober advice,
and I am of down by him, and rubbing his head, leaning
The man of ready utterance sat opinion, that Hudibras and Don Quixote on his arm, and making an uneasy countemay be as effectual to cure the extrava- nance, he began; “There is no manner of gances of this passion, as any of the old phi- news to-day. I cannot tell what is the matlosophers. I shall therefore publish very ter with me, but I slept very ill last night; speedily the translation of a little Greek whether I caught cold or nó, I know not, manuscript, which is sent me by a learned but I fancy I do not wear shoes thick friend. It appears to have been a piece of enough for the
weather, and I have coughed those records which were kept in the tem- all this week. It must be so, for the custom ple of Apollo, that stood upon the promon- of washing my head winter and summer tory of Leucate. The reader will find it to with cold water, prevents any injury from be a summary account of several persons the season entering that way: so it must who tried the lover's leap, and of the suc come in at my feet; but I take no notice of cess they found in it. As there seem to be it: as it comes so it goes. Most of our evils in it some anachronisms, and deviations proceed from too much tenderness; and our from the ancient orthography, I am not faces are naturally as little able to resist the wholly satisfied myself that it is authentic, cold as other parts. The Indian answered and not rather the production of one of those very well to an European, who asked him Grecian sophisters, who have imposed upon how he could go naked, “I am all face.”. the world several spurious works of this I observed this discourse was as welcome nature. I speak this by way of precaution, to my general inquirer as any other of more because I know there are several writers of consequence could have been; but somebody uncommon erudition, who would not fail to calling our talker to another part of the room, expose my ignorance, if they caught me the inquirer told the next man who sat by tripping in a matter of so great inoment. him, that Mr. Such-a-one, who was just C.
gone from him, used to wash his head in
cold water every morning; and so repeated No. 228. ] Wednesday, November 21, 1711. him. The truth is, the inquisitive are the
almost verbatim all that had been said to Percunctatorum fugito, nam garrulus idem est.
funnels of conversation: they do not take in Hor. Lib. 1. Ep. xviii. 69. any thing for their own use, but merely to Th' inquisitive will blab; from such refrain ; pass it to another. They are the channels Their leaky ears no secret can retain.-Shard.
through which all the good and evil that is THERE is a creature who has all the or-spoken in town are conveyed. Such as are gans of speech, a tolerable good capacity offended at them, or think they suffer by for conceiving what is said to it, together their behaviour, may themselves mend that with a pretty proper behaviour in all the inconvenience; for they are not a malicious occurrences of common life; but naturally people, and if you will supply them, you very vacant of thought in itself
, and there may contradict any thing they have said fore forced to apply itself to foreign assis- / before by their own mouths. A farther ac
count of a thing is one of the gratefullest | that Caius Gracchus, the Roman, was fregoods that can arrive to them; and it is sel- quently hurried by his passion into so loud dom that they are more particular than to and tumultuous a way of speaking, and so say, “The town will have it, or I have it strained his voice as not to be able to profrom a good hand;' so that there is room for ceed. To remedy this excess, he had an the town to know the matter more particu- ingenious servant, by name Licinius, always larly, and for a better hand to contradict attending him with a pitch-pipe, or instruwhat was said by a good one.
ment to regulate the voice; who, whenever I have not known this humour more ridi- he heard his master begin to be high, imculous than in a father, who has been ear- mediately touched a soft note, at which 'tis nestly solicitous to have an account how his said, Caius would presently abate and grow son has passed his leisure hours; if it be in calm. a way thoroughly insignificant, there cannot •Upon recollecting this story, I have frebe a greater joy than an inquirer discovers quently wondered that this useful instruin seeing him follow so hopefully his own ment should have been so long discontinued, steps. But this humour among men is most especially since we find that this good office pleasant when they are saying something of Licinius has preserved his memory for which is not wholly proper for a third per- many hundred years, which, methinks, son to hear, and yet is in itself indifferent. should have encouraged some one to have The other day there came in a well-dressed revived it, if not for the public good, yet young fellow, and two gentlemen of this for his own credit. It may be objected, that species immediately fell a whispering his our loud talkers are so fond of their own pedigree. I could overhear, by breaks, noise, that they would not take it well to be
She was his aunt;' then an answer, Ay, checked by their servants. But granting she was of the mother's side;' then again in this to be true, surely any of their hearers a little lower voice, His father wore gene- have a very good title to play a soft note in rally a darker wig;' answer, ‘Not much, their own defence. To be short, no Licibut this gentleman wears higher heels to nius appearing, and the noise increasing, I his shoes.
was resolved to give this late long vacation As the inquisitive, in my opinion, are such to the good of my country; and I have at merely from a vacancy in their own imagi- length by the assistance of an ingenious nations, there is nothing methinks so dan- artist (who works for the Royal Society,) gerous as to communicate secrets to them; almost completed my design, and shall be for the same temper of inquiry makes them ready in a short time to furnish the public as impertinently communicative: but no with what number of these instruments man, though he converses with them, need they please, either to lodge at coffee-houses, put himself in their power, for they will be or carry for their own private use. In the contented with matters of less moment as mean time I shall pay that respect to sevewell. When there is fuel enough, no mat-ral gentlemen, who I know will be in danter what it is.—Thus the ends of sen- ger of offending against this instrument, to tences in the newspapers, as, “This wants give them notice of it by private letters, in confirmation,'—This occasions many spe- which I shall only write, “Get a Licinius.” culations,' and 'Time will discover the •I should now trouble you no longer, but event,' are read by them, and considered that I must not conclude without desiring not as mere expletives.
you to accept one of these pipes, which One may see now and then this humour shall be left for you with Buckley; and accompanied with an insatiable desire of which I hope will be serviceable to you, knowing what passes, without turning it to since as you are silent yourself, you are any use in the world but merely their own most open to the insults of the noisy. I am, entertainment. A mind which ́is gratified sir, &c.
W. B.' this way is adapted to humour and pleasantry, and formed for an unconcerned cha
*I had almost forgot to inform you, that racter in the world, and like myself to be a will be a particular note, which I call a
as an improvement in this instrument, there mere Spectator. This curiosity, without hush-note; and this is to be made use of malice or self-interest, lays up in the imagination a magazine of circumstances which against a long story, swearing, obsceneness, cannot but entertain when they are produced
and the like."
T. in conversation. If one were to know, from the man of the first quality to the meanest servant, the different intrigues, sentiments, No. 229.] Thursday, November 22, 1711. pleasures, and interests of mankind, would it not be the most pleasing entertainment
-Spirat adhuc amor, „maginable to enjoy so constant a farce, as
Vivuntque commissi calores
Æoliæ fidibus puellæ.- Hor. Lib. 4. Od. ix. 10. the observing mankind much more different
Nor Sappho's amorous flames decay, from themselves in their secret thoughts Her living songs preserve their charming art, and public actions, than in their night-caps Her verse still breathes the passions of her heart.
Francis. and long periwigs?
AMONG the many famous pieces of an$MR. SPECTATOR,–Plutarch tells us, tiquity which are still to be seen at Rome,