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maintain them without work, they can do no less in return than sing us “The merry Beggars.” “What then? Am I against all acts of charity? God forbid! I know of no virtue in the gospel that is in more pathetic expressions recommended to our practice. “I was hungry and ye gave me no meat, thirsty and ye gave me no drink, naked and ye clothed me not, a stranger and ye took me not in, sick and in prison and ye visited me not.” Our blessed Saviour treats the exercise or neglect of charity towards a poor man, as the performance or breach of this duty towards himself. I shall endeavour to obey the will of my lord and master: and therefore if an industrious man shall submit to the hardest labour and coarsest fare, rather than endure the shame of taking relief from the parish, or asking it in the street, that is the hungry, the thirsty, the naked; and I ought to believe, if any man is come hither for shelter against persecution or oppression, this is the stranger, and I ought to take him in. If any countryman of our own is fallen into the hands of infidels, and lives in a state of miserable captivity, this is the man in prison, and I should contribute to his ransom. I ought to give to an hospital of invalids, to recover as many useful subjects as I can: but I shall bestow none of my bounties upon an almshouse of idle people; and for the same reason I should not think it a reproach to me if I had withheld my charity from those common beggars. But we prescribe better rules than we are able to practise; we are ashamed not to give into the mistaken manners of our country: but at the same time, H cannot but think it a reproach worse than that of common swearing, that the idle and the abandoned are suffered in the name of heaven and all that is sacred to extort from christian and tender minds a supply to a profligate way of life, that is always to be supported, but never relieved.” Z.
No. 233.] Tuesday, Movember 27, 1711.
—Tanquam hac sint nostri medicina furoris
As if by these, my sufferings I could ease;
Or by my pains the god of love appease.—Dryden.
I shall in this paper discharge myself of the promise I have made to the public, by obliging them with a translation of the little Greek manuscript, which is said to have been a piece of those records that were preserved in the temple of Apollo, upon the o: Leucate. It is a short history of the Lover's Leap, and is inscribed, “An account of persons, male and female, who offered up their vows in the temple of the Pythian Apollo in the forty-sixth Qo. and leaped from the promontory of Leucate into the Ionian Sea, in order to cure themselves of the passion of love.”
This account is very dry in many parts, as only mentioning the name of the lover who leaped, the person he leaped for, and relating in short, that he was either cured, or killed, or maimed by the fall. It indeed gives the names of so many who died by it, that it would have looked like a bill of mortality, had I translated it at full length; I have therefore made an abridgment of it, and only extracted such particular passages as have something extraordinary, either in the case or in the cure, or in the fate of the person who is mentioned in it. After this short preface take the account as follows: Battus, the son of Menalcas the Sicilian, leaped for Bombyca the musician: got rid of his passion with the loss of his right leg and arm, which were broken in the fall. Melissa, in love with Daphnis, very much bruised, but escaped with life. Cynisca, the wife of Æschines, being in love with Lycus; and Æschines her husband being in love with Eurilla; (which had made this married couple very uneasy to one another for several years) both the husband and the wife took the leap by consent; they both of them escaped, and have lived very happily together ever since. Larissa, a virgin of Thessaly, deserted by Plexippus, after a courtship of three years; she stood upon the brow of the promontory for some time, and after having thrown down a ring, a bracelet, and a little picture, with other presents which she had received from Plexippus, she threw herself into the sea, and was taken up alive. N. B. Larissa before she leaped made an offering of a silver Cupid in the temple of Apollo. Simaetha, in love with Daphnis the Myndian; perished in the fall. Charixus, the brother of o in love with Rhodope the courtesan, having spent his whole estate upon her, was advised by his sister to leap in the beginning of his amour, but would not hearken to her until he was reduced to his last talent; being forsaken by Rhodope, at length resolved to take the leap. Perished in it. Aridaeus, a beautiful youth of Epirus, in love with Praxinoe, the wife of Thespis; escaped without damage, saving, only that two of his fore-teeth were struck out and his nose a little flatted. Cleora, a widow of Ephesus, being inconsolable for the death of her husband, was resolved to take this leap in order to t rid of her passion for his memory; but eing arrived at the promontory, she there met with Dimachus the Milesian, and after a short conversation with him, laid aside the thoughts of her leap, and married him in the temple of Apollo. N. B. }. widow’s weeds are still seen hanging up in the western corner of the temple. ois, the fisherman, having received a box on the ear from Thestylis the day be
fore, and being determined to have no more # do with her, leaped, and escaped with life. Atalanta, an old maid, whose cruelty had several years before driven two or three despairing lovers to this leap; being now in the fifty-fifth year of her age, and in love with an officer of Sparta, broke her neck in the fall. Hipparchus, being passionately fond of his own wife, who was enamoured of Bathyllus, leaped, and died of his fall; upon which his wife married her gallant. Tettyx, the dancing-master, in love with Olympia, an Athenian matron, threw himself from the rock with great agility, but was crippled in the fall. Diagoras, the usurer, in love with his cook-maid; he peeped several times over the precipice: but his heart misgiving him, he went back and married her that evening. Cinaedus, after having entered his own name in the Pythian records, being asked the name of the person whom he leaped for, and being ashamed to discover it, he was set aside, and not suffered to leap. Eunicia, a maid of Paphos, aged nineteen, in love with Eurybates. Hurt in the fall but recovered. N. B. This was the second time of her leaping. esperus, a young man of Tarentum, in love with his master's daughter. Drowned, the boats not coming in soon enough to his relief. Sappho the Lesbian, in love with Phaon, arrived at the temple of Apollohabited like a bride in garments as white as snow. She wore a garland of myrtle on her head, and carried in her hand the little musical instrument of her own invention. After having sung an hymn to Apollo, she hung up her garland on one side of his altar, and her harp on the other. She then tucked up her vestments like a Spartan virgin, and amidst thousands of spectators, who were anxious for her safety, and offered up vows for her deliverance, marched directly forwards to the utmost summit of the promontory, where after having repeated a stanza of her own verses, which we could not hear, she threw herself off the rock with such an intrepidity as was never before observed in any who had attempted that dangerous leap. Many who were present related, that they saw her fall into the sea, from whence she never rose again; though there were others who affirmed that she never came to the bottom of her leap, but that she was changed into a swan as she fell, and that they saw her hovering in the air under that shape. But whether or no the whiteness and fluttering of her garments might not deceive those who looked, upon her, or whether she might not really be metamorhosed into that musical and melancholy ird, is still a doubt among the Lesbians. Alczus, the famous lyric poet, who had for some time been passionately in love with
Sappho, arrived at the promontory of Leucate that very evening, in order to take the leap upon her account: but hearing that Sappho had been there before him, and that her body could be no where found, he very generously lamented her fall, and is said to have written his hundred and twenty-fifth ode upon that occasion.
Leafted in this Olympiad.
Males . . . . 124 Females . . . 126 250
Cured. Males . . . . . . . 51 Females . . . . . . 69 C. 120
No. 234.] Wednesday, November 28, 1711.
You very often hear people, after a story has been told with some entertaining circumstances, tell it over again with particulars that destroy the jest, but give light into the truth of the narration. This sort of veracity, though it is impertinent, has something amiable in it, because it proceeds from the love of truth even in frivolous occasions. If such honest amendments do not promise an agreeable companion, they do a sincere friend; for which reason one should allow them so much of our time, if we fall into their company, as to set us right in matters that can do us no manner of harm, whether the facts be one way or the other. Lies which are told out of arrogance and ostentation, a man should detect in his own defence, because he should not be triumphed over. Lies which are told out of malice he should expose, both for his own sake and that of the rest of mankind, because every man should rise against a common enemy; but the officious liar, many have argued, is to be excused, because it does some man good, and no man hurt. The man who made more than ordinary speed from a fight in which the Athenians were beaten, and told them they had obtained a complete victory, and put the whole city into the utmost joy and exultation, was checked by the magistrates for this falsehood; but excused himself by saying, “O Athenians' am I your enemy because I gave you two happy days?” This fellow did to a whole people what an acquaintance of mine does every day he lives, in some eminent degree, to particular persons. He is ever lying people into good humour, and as Plato said it was allowable in physicians to lie to their patients to keep up their spirits, I am half doubtful whether my friend's behaviour is not as excusable. His manner is to express himself surprised
at the cheerful countenance of a man whom he observes diffident of himself; and generally by that means make his lie a truth. He will, as if he did not know anything of the circumstance, ask one whom he knows at variance with another, what is the meaning that Mr. Such-a-one, naming his adyersary, does not applaud him with that heartiness which formerly he has heard him? “He said, indeed,” continues he, “I would rather have that man for my friend than any man in England; but for an enemy!—” This melts the person he talks to, who expected nothing but downwright raillery from that side. According as he sees his practice succeed, he goes to the opposite party, and tells him, he cannot imagine how it happens that some people know one another so little; ‘You spoke with so much coldness of a gentleman who said more good of you, than, let me tell you, any man living deserves.” The success of one of these incidents was, that the next time one of the adversaries spied the other, he hems after him in the public street, and they must crack a bottle at the next tavern, that used to turn out of the other’s way to avoid one another's eyeshot. He will tell one beauty she was commended by another, nay, he will say she gave the woman he speaks to, the preferrence in a particular for which she herself is admired. The pleasantest confusion imaginable is made is. the whole town by my friend’s indirect offices. You shall have a visit returned after half a year’s absence, and mutual railing at each other every day of that time.—They meet with a thousand lamentations for so long a separation, each party naming herself for the greatest delinquent, if the other can possibly be so good as to forgive her, which she has no reason in the world, but from the knowledge of her goodness, to hope for. Very often a whole train of railers of each side tire their horses in setting matters right which they have said during the war between the parties; and a whole circle of acquaintances are put into a thousand pleasing passions and sentiments, instead of the pangs of anger, envy, detraction, and malice. The worst evil I ever observed this man’s falsehood occasion, has been, that he turned detraction into flattery. He is well skilled in the manners of the world, and by overlooking what men really are, he grounds his artifices upon what they have a mind to be. Upon this foundation, if two distant friends are brought together and the cement seems to be weak, he never rests until he finds new appearances to take off all remains of ill-will, and that by new misunderstandings they are thoroughly recon
“To the Shectator. ‘Devonshire, Nov. 14, 1711. ‘SIR-There arrived in this neighbour
hood two days ago one of your gay gentlemen of the town, who being attended at his entry with a servant of his own, besides a countryman he had taken up for a guide, excited the curiosity of the village to learn whence and what he might be. The countryman (to whom they applied as most easy of access) knew little more than that the gentleman came from London to travel and see fashions, and was, as he heard say, a free-thinker. What religion that might be, he could not tell: and for his own part, if they had not told him the man was a free-thinker, he should have guessed, by his way of talking, he was little better than a heathen; excepting only that he had been a good gentleman to him, and made him drunk twice in one day, over and above what they had bargained for. ‘I do not look upon the simplicity of this, and several odd inquiries with which I shall not trouble you, to be wondered at, much less can I think that our youths of fine wit, and enlarged understandings, have any reason to laugh. There is no necessity that every 'squire in Great Britain should know what the word free-thinker stands for; but it were much to be wished, that they who value themselves upon that conceited title, were a little better instructed in what it ought to stand for; and that they would not persuade themselves a man is really and truly a free-thinker, in any tolerable sense, merely by virtue of his being an atheist, or an infidel of any other distinction. It may be doubted with good reason, whether there ever was in nature a more abject, slavish, and bigoted generation than the tribe of beaux-esprits, at present, so prevailing in this island. Their pretension to be free-thinkers, is no other than rakes have to be free-livers, and savages to be free-men; that is, they can think whatever they have a mind to, and give themselves P to whatever conceit the *...*. of their inclination, or their fancy, shall suggest; they can think as wildly as they talk and act, and will not endure that their wit should be controlled by such formal things as decency and common sense. Deduction, coherence, consistency, and all the rules of reason they accordingly disdain, as too precise and mechanical for men of a liberal education. ‘This as far as I could ever learn from their writings, or my own observation, is a true account of the British free-thinker. Our visitant here, who gave occasion to this paper, has brought with him a new system of common sense, the particulars of which I am not yet acquainted with, but will lose no opportunity of informing myself whether it contains any thing worth Mr. Spectator's notice. In the mean time, sir, I cannot but think it would be for the good of mankind, if you would take this subject into your consideration, and convince the hopeful youth of our nation, that licentiousness is not freedom; or, if such a
THERE is nothing which lies more within the province of a Spectator than public shows and diversions; and as among these there are none which can pretend to vie with those elegant entertainments that are exhibited in our theatres, I think it particularly incumbent on me to take notice of everything that is remarkable in such numerous and refined assemblies. It is observed, that of late years there has been a certain person in the upper gallery of the playhouse, who when he is pleased with any thing that is acted upon the stage, expresses his approbation by a loud knock upon the benches or the wainscot, which may be heard over the whole theatre. The person is commonly known by the name of the “Trunk-maker in the upper gallery.” Whether it be that the blow he gives on these occasions resembles that which is often heard in the shops of such artisans, or that he was supposed to have been a real trunk-maker, who, after the finishing of his day's work, used to unbend his mind at these public diversions with his hammer in his hand, I cannot certainly tell. There are some, I know, who have been foolish enough to imagine it is a spirit which haunts the upper gallery, and from time to time makes those strange noises; and the rather, because he is observed to be louder than ordinary every time the ghost of Hamlet appears. Others have reported, that, it is a dumb man, who has chosen this way of uttering himself when he is transported with any thing he sees or hears. Others will have it to be the playhouse thunderer, that exerts himself after this manner in the upper gallery when he has nothing to do upon the roof. But having made it my business to get the best information I could in a matter of this moment, I find that the trunk-maker, as he is commonly called, is a large black man, whom nobody knows. He generally leans forward on a huge oaken plant with great attention to every thing that passes upon the stage. He never is seen to smile, but upon hearing any thing that pleases him, he takes up his staff with both hands, and lays it upon the next piece of timber that stands in his way with exceeding vehemence; after which he composes himself in his former posture, till such time as something new sets him again at work. It has been observed, his blow is so well
timed that the most judicious critic could never except against it. As soon as any shining thought is expressed in the poet, or any uncommon grace appears in the actor, he smites the bench or the wainscot. If the audience does not concur with him, he smites a second time: and if the audience is not yet awakened, looks round him with great wrath, and repeats the blow a third time, which never fails to produce the clap. He sometimes lets the audience begin the clap of themselves, and at the conclusion of their applause ratifies it with a single thwack. He is of so great use to the play-house, that it is said, a former director of it, upon his not being able to pay his attendance b reason of sickness, kept one in pay to officiate for him until such time as he recovered; but the person so employed, though he laid about him with incredible violence, did it in such wrong places, that the audience soon found out that it was not their old friend the trunk-maker. It has been remarked, that he has not yet exerted himself with §. this season. He sometimes plies at the opera; and upon Nicolini's first appearance was said to have demolished three benches in the fury of his applause. He has broken half a dozen oaken plants upon Dogget,” and seldom goes away from a tragedy of Shakspeare, without leaving the wainscot extremely shattered. The players do not only connive at his obstreperous approbation, but very cheerfully repair at their own cost whatever damages he makes. They once had a thought of erecting a kind of wooden anvil for his use, that should be made of a very sounding plank, in order to render his strokes more deep and mellow; but as this might not have been distinguished from the music of a kettle-drum, the project was laid aside. In the meanwhile, I cannot but take notice of the great use it is to an audience, that a person should thus preside over their heads like the director of a concert, in order to awaken their attention, and beat time to their applauses; or, to raise my simile, I have sometimes fancied the trunk-maker in the upper gallery to be like Virgil's ruler of the winds, seated upon the top of a mountain, who when he struck his sceptre upon the side of it, roused a hurricane, and set the whole cavern in an uproar.f It is certain the trunk-maker has saved many a good play, and brought many a graceful actor into reputation, who would not otherwise have been taken notice of. It is very visible, as the audience is not a little abashed, if they find themselves betrayed into a clap, when their friend in the upper gallery does not come into it; so the actors do not value themselves upon the clap, but regard it as a mere brutum fulmen, or empty noise, when it has not the sound of the oaken plant in it. I know it has been given out by those who are enemies to the trunk-maker, that he has sometimes been bribed to be in the interest of a bad poet, or a vicious player; but this is a surmise which has no foundation: his strokes are always just, and his admonitions seasonable; he does not deal about his blows at random, but always hits the right nail upon the head. The inexpressible force wherewith he lays them on sufficiently shows the evidence and strength of his conviction. His zeal for a 5. authorisindeed outrageous, and breaks own every fence and partition, every board and plank, that stands within the expression of his applause. As I do not care for terminating my thoughts in barren speculations, or in reorts of pure matter of fact, without drawing something from them for the advantage of my countrymen, I shall take the liberty to make an humble proposal, that whenever the trunk-maker shall depart this life, or whenever he shall have lost the spring of his arm by sickness, old age, infirmity, or the like, some able-bodied critic j be advanced to this post, and have a cometent salary settled on him for life, to be rnished with bamboos for operas, crabtree cudgels for comedies, and oaken plants for tragedy, at the public expense. And to the end that this place should be always disposed of according to merit, I would have none preferred to it, who has not given convincing proofs both of a sound judgment, and a strong arm, and who could not, upon occasion, either knock down an ox, or write a comment upon Horace's Art of Poetry. In short, I would have him a due composition of Hercules and Apollo, and so rightly qualified for this important office, that the trunk-maker may not be missed by our posterity. C.
* Thomas Dogget, a celebrated comic actor, many years joint manager of Drury-lane Theatre. He died in 1721, leaving a legacy to provide a coat and badge to be rowed for, from London Bridge to Chelsea, by six watermen yearly, on the first of August, the day of the accession of George I. There is a particular account of him in Cibber's Apology.
t Æneid, i. 85.
No. 236.] Friday, November 30, 1711.
Dare jura maritis.-Hor. Ars Poct. v. 398. With laws connubial tyrants to restrain.
“MR. SPECTAtoR,-You have not spoken in so direct a manner upon the subject of marriage, as that important case deserves. It would not be improper to observe upon the peculiarity in the youth of Great Britain of railing and laughing at that institution; and when they fall into it, from a profligate habit of mind, being insensible of the satisfaction in that way of life, and treating their wives with the most barbarous disrespect.
“Particular circumstances, and cast of temper, must teach a man the probability of mighty uneasiness in that state; (for unquestionably some there are whose very
dispositions are strangely averse to conjugal friendship) but no one, I believe, is by his own natural complexion prompted to tease and torment another for no reason but being nearly allied to him. And can there be any thing more base, or serve to sink a man so much below his own distinguishing characteristic, (I mean reason,) than returning evil for good in so open a manner, as that of treating a helpless creature with unkindness, who has had so good an opinion of him as to believe what he said relating to one of the greatest concerns of life, by delivering her happiness in this world to his care and protection? Must not that man be abandoned even to all manner of humanity, who can deceive a woman with appearances of affection and kindness, for no other end but to torment her with more ease and authority? Is anything more unlike a gentleman than when his honour is engaged for the performing his promises, because nothing but that can oblige him to it, to become afterwards false to his word, and be alone the occasion of misery to one whose happiness he but lately pool Was dearer to him than his own 2 Ought such a one to be trusted in his common affairs? or treated but as one whose honesty consisted only in his incapacity of being otherwise 2 “There is one cause of this usage no less absurd than common, which takes place among the more unthinking men; and that is, the desire to appear to their friends free and at liberty, and without those trammels they have so much ridiculed. To avoid this they fly into the other extreme, and grow tyrants that they may seem masters. Because an uncontrollable command of their own actions is a certain sign of entire dominion, they will not so much as recede from the government even in one muscle of their faces. A kind look they believe would be fawning, and a civil answer yielding the superiority. To this we must attribute an austerity they betray in every action. What but this can put a man out of humour in his wife's company, though he is so dintinguishingly pleasant every where else? The bitterness of his replies, and the severity of his frowns to the tenderest of wives, clearly demonstrate that an ill-grounded fear of being thought too submissive, is at the bottom of this, as I am willing to call it, affected moroseness; but if it be such, only put on to convince his acquaintance of his entire dominion, let him take care of the consequence, which will be certain, and worse than the present evil; his seeming indifference will by degrees grow into real contempt, and if it doth not wholly alienate the affections of his wife for ever from him, make both him and her more miserable than if it really did so. ‘However inconsistent it may appear, to be thought a well-bred person has no small share in this clownish behaviour. A discourse therefore relating to 5. towards a loving and a tender wife, woul