Imágenes de páginas

so regular an economy, in its hours of de I HAVE received a letter desiring me to votion and repast, employment and diver- be very satirical upon the little muff that sion, that it looks like a little commonwealth is now in fashion; another informs me of a within itself. They often go into company, pair of silver garters buckled below the that they may return with the greater de knee, that have been lately seen at the light to one another; and sometimes live in Rainbow coffee-house in Fleet-street; a town, not to enjoy it so properly, as to grow third sends me a heavy complaint against weary of it, that they may renew in them- fringed gloves. To be brief, there is scarce selves the relish of a country life. By this an ornament of either sex which one or means they are happy in each other, be- other of my correspondents has not inloved by their children, adored by their veighed against with some bitterness, and servants, and are become the envy, or recommended to my observation. I must, rather the delight of all that know them. therefore, once for all, inform my readers,

How different to this is the life of Fulvia! that it is not my intention to sink the digShe considers her husband as her steward, nity of this my paper, with reflections upon and looks upon discretion and good house- red heels or top-knots, but rather to enter wifery as little domestic virtues, unbecom- into the passions of mankind, and to correct ing a woman of quality. She thinks life lost those depraved sentiments that give birth in her own family, and fancies herself out to all those little extravagancies which apof the world, when she is not in the ring, pear in their outward dress and behaviour. the playhouse, or the drawing-room. She Foppish and fantastic ornaments are only lives in a perpetual motion of body, and indications of vice, not criminal in themrestlessness of thought, and is never easy selves. Extinguish vanity in the mind, and in any one place, when she thinks there is you naturally retrench the little superfluimore company in another. The missing of ties of garniture and equipage. The blosan opera the first night, would be more soms will fall of themselves when the root afflicting to her than the death of a child. that nourishes them is destroyed. She pities all the valuable part of her own I shall, therefore, as I have said, apply sex, and calls every woman of a prudent, my remedies to the first seeds and princimodest, and retired life, a poor-spirited, ples of an affected dress, without descendunpolished creature. What a mortification ing to the dress itself; though at the same would it to be to Fulvia, if she knew that time I must own that I have thought of her setting herself to view is but exposing creating an officer under me, to be entitled, herself, and that she grows contemptible The Censor of small Wares,' and of alby_being conspicuous?

lotting him one day in the week for the I cannot conclude my paper without ob- execution of such his office. An operator serving, that Virgil has very finely touched of this nature might act under me, with the upon this female passion for dress and same regard as a surgeon to a physician; show, in the character of Camilla; who, the one might be employed in healing those though she seems to have shaken off all blotches and tumours which break out in the other weaknesses of her sex, is still de- the body, while the other is sweetening the scribed as a woman in this particular. The blood, and rectifying the constitution. To poet tells us that after having made a great speak truly, the young people of both sexes slaughter of the enemy, she unfortunately are so wonderfully apt to shoot out into long cast her eye on a Trojan who wore an em- swords or sweeping trains, bushy headbroidered tunic, a beautiful coat of mail, dresses or full-bottomed periwigs; with with a mantle of the finest purple. “A several other incumbrances of dress, that golden bow,' says he, hung upon his shoul- they stand in need of being pruned very der; his garment was buckled with a golden frequently, lest they should be oppressed clasp, and his head covered with a helmet with ornaments, and over-run with the luxof the same shining metal.' The Amazon uriance of their habits. I am much in immediately singled out this well-dressed doubt whether I should give the preferwarrior, being seized with a woman's long-ence to a quaker that is trimmed close, and ing for the pretty trappings that he was almost cut to the quick, or to a beau that is adorned with:

loaden with such a redundance of excres-Totumque incauta per agmen

cences. I must therefore desire my corFemineo prædæ et spoliorum ardebat amore. respondents to let me know how they apThis heedless pursuit after these glitter-the erecting of such a petty censorship may

prove my project, and whether they think ing trifles, the poet (by a nice concealed not turn to the emolument of the public, moral) represents to have been the destruc- for I would not do any thing of this nature tion of his female hero.

C. rashly and without advice.

There is another set of correspondents to

whom I must address myself in the second No. 16.] Monday, March 19, 1710-11. place; I mean such as fill their letters with Quid verum atque decens curo et rogo, et omnis in hoc private scandal, and black accounts of par

Hor. Lib. 1. Ep. i. 11.

ticular persons and families. The world What right, what true, what fit we justly call,

is so full of ill nature, that I have lampoons Let this be all my care-for this is all. Pope. . sent me by people who cannot spell, and

Æn. xi. 782.


satires composed by those who scarce know prising story which he does not know how how to write. By the last post in particu- to tell, if he has discovered any epidemical lar, I received a packet of scandal which vice which has escaped my observation, or is not legible; and have a whole bundle of has heard of any uncommon virtue which letters in women's hands, that are full of he would desire to publish; in short, if he blots and calumnies, insomuch, that when has any materials that can furnish out an I see the name Cælia, Phillis, Pastora, or innocent diversion, I shall promise him my the like, at the bottom of a scrawl, I con- best assistance in the working of them up clude of course, that it brings me some ac- for a public entertainment. count of a fallen virgin, a faithless wife, or This paper my reader will find was inan amorous widow. I must therefore in- tended for an answer to a multitude of corform these my correspondents, that it is respondents; but I hope he will pardon me not my design to be a publisher of intrigues if I single out one of them in particular, and cuckoldoms, or to bring little infamous who has made me so very humble a request, stories out of their present lurking-holes that I cannot forbear complying with it. into broad day-light. If I attack the vicious, I shall only set upon them in a body;

To the Spectator. and will not be provoked by the worst usage “SIR,

March 15, 1710-11. I can receive from others, to make an ex I'am at present so unfortunate as to ample of any particular criminal. In short have nothing to do but to mind my own I have so much of a drawcansir in me, that business; and therefore beg of you that you I shall pass over a single foe to charge will be pleased to put me into some small whole armies. It is not Lais nor Silenus, post under you. I observe that you have but the harlot and the drunkard, whom I appointed your printer and publisher to shall endeavour to expose; and shall con- receive letters and advertisements for the sider the crime as it appears in the species, city of London, and shall think myself very not as it is circumstanced in an individual. much honoured by you, if you will appoint I think it was Caligula, who wished the me to take in letters and advertisements whole city of Rome had but one neck, that for the city of Westminster and duchy of he might behead them at a blow. I shall Lancaster.' Though I cannot promise to fill do, out of humanity, what that emperor such an employment with sufficient abiliwould have done in the cruelty of his tem- ties, I will endeavour to make up with inper, and aim every stroke at a collective dustry and fidelity what I want in parts body of offenders. At the same time I am and genius. very sensible that nothing spreads a paper

*I am, Sir, like private calumny and defamation; but • Your most obedient servant, as my speculations are not under this ne

•CHARLES LILLIE.' cessity, they are not exposed to this temp

C. tation.

In the next place I must apply myself to my party correspondents, who are continually teasing me to take notice of one an

No. 17.] Tuesday, March 20, 1710-11. other's proceedings. How often am I asked Tetrum ante omnia vultum. by both sides, if it is possible for me to be an unconcerned spectator of the rogueries

-A visage rough,
Deform'd, unfeaturd.

Dryden. that are committed by the party which is opposite to him that writes the letter. Since our persons are not of our own About two days since, I was reproached making, when they are such as appear dewith an old Grecian law, that forbids any fective or uncomely, it is, methinks, an man to stand as a neuter, or a looker-on in honest and laudable fortitude to dare to be the divisions of his country. However, as ugly; at least to keep ourselves from being I am very sensible my paper would lose abashed with a consciousness of imperfecits whole effect, should it run out into the tions which we cannot help, and in which outrages of a party, I shall take care to there is no guilt. I would not defend a keep clear of every thing which looks that haggard beau, for passing away much time way. If I can any way assuage private in- at a glass, and giving softness and languishfiammations, or 'allay public ferments, I ing graces to deformity: all I intend is, that shall apply myself to it with my utmost we ought to be contented with our counteendeavours: but will never let my heart nance and shape, so far as never to give reproach me with having done any thing ourselves an uneasy reflection on that subtowards increasing those feuds and animosi-ject. It is to the ordinary people, who are ties that extinguish religion, deface govern- not accustomed to make very proper rement, and make a nation miserable. marks on any occasion, matter of great jest,

What I have said under the three fore- if a man enters with a prominent pair of going heads will, I am afraid, very much shoulders into an assembly, or is distinretrench the number of my correspondents. guished by an expansion of mouth, or obliI shall therefore acquaint my reader, that quity of aspect. It is happy for a man if he has started any hint which he is not that has any of those oddnesses about him, able to pursue, if he has met with any sur-/ if he can be as merry upon himself, as

Juv. Sat. x. 191.

others are apt to be upon that occasion. There have arose in this university (long When he can possess himself with such a since you left us without saying any thing) cheerfulness, women and children, who are several of these inferior hebdomadál socieat first frighted at him, will afterwards be ties, as the Punning club, the Witty club, as much pleased with him. As it is barba- and, amongst the rest, the Handsome club; rous in others to rally him for natural de-as a burlesque upon which, a certain merry fects, it is extremely agreeable when he species, that seem to have come into the can jest upon himself for them.

world in masquerade, for some years last Madam Maintenon's first husband* was a past have associated themselves together, hero in this kind, and has drawn many plea- and assumed the name of the Ugly club. santries from the irregularity of his shape, This ill-favoured fraternity consists of a which he describes as very much resem- president and twelve fellows; the choice bling the letter Z. He diverts himself like- of which is not confined by patent to any wise by representing to his reader the make particular foundation, (as St. John's men of an engine and pully, with which he used would have the world believe, and have to take off his hat. When there happens therefore erected a separate society within to be any thing ridiculous in a visage, and themselves,) but liberty is left to elect from the owner of it thinks it an aspect of dig- any school in Great Britain, provided the nity, he must be of very great quality to be candidates be within the rules of the club, exempt from raillery: The best expedient as set forth in a table, entitled, “The Act therefore is to be pleasant upon himself. of Deformity;' a clause or two of which I Prince Harry and Falstaff, in Shakspeare, shall transmit to you. have carried the ridicule upon fat and lean •I. That no person whatsoever shall as far as it will go. Falstaff is humour- be admitted without a visible queerity in ously called woolsack, bedpresser and hill his aspect, or peculiar cast of countenance; of flesh; Harry, a starveling, an elves-skin, a of which the president and officers for the sheath, a bow-case, and a tuck. There is, in time being are to determine, and the preseveral incidents of the conversation be-sident to have the casting voice. tween them, the jest still kept up upon the

• II. That a singular regard be had upon person. Great tenderness and sensibility examination, to the gibbosity of the gentle, in this point is one of the greatest weak- men that offer themselves as founders' nesses of self-love. For my own part, I kinsmen; or to the obliquity of their figure, am a little unhappy in the mould of my in what sort soever. face, which is not quite so long as it is * III. That if the quantity of any man's broad. Whether this might not partly nose be eminently miscalculated, whether arise from my opening my mouth much as to the length or breadth, he shall have seldomer than other people, and by conse- a just pretence to be elected. quence not so much lengthening the fibres Lastly, That if there shall be two or of my visage, I am not at leisure to deter- more competitors for the same vacancy, mine. However it be, I have been often put cæteris paribus, he that has the thickest out of countenance by the shortness of my skin to have the preference. face, and was formerly at great pains of • Every fresh 'member, upon the first concealing it by wearing a periwig with a night, is to entertain the company with a high fore-top, and letting my beard grow. dish of codfish, and a speech in praise of But now I have thoroughly got over this Æsop, whose portraiture they have in full delicacy, and could be contented with a proportion, or rather disproportion, over much shorter, provided it might qualify the chimney; and their design is, as soon me for a member of the merry club, which as their funds are sufficient, to purchase the the following letter gives me an account of. heads of Thersites, Duns Scotus, Scarron, I have received it from Oxford, and as it Hudibras, and the old gentleman in Oldabounds with the spirit of mirth and good ham, with all the celebrated ill faces of humour, which is natural to that place, I antiquity, as furniture for the club-room. shall set it down word for word as it came *As they have always been professed to me.

admirers of the other sex, so they unani

mously declare that they will give all pos•Most PROFOUND SIR,

sible encouragement to such as will take • Having been very well entertained, in the benefit of the statute, though none yet the last of your speculations that I have have appeared to do it. yet seen, by your specimen upon clubs, • The worthy president who is their which I therefore hope you will continue, í most devoted champion, has lately shown shall take the liberty to furnish you with a me two copies of verses, composed by a brief account of such a one as, perhaps, you gentleman of this society; the first a conhave not seen in all your travels, unless gratulatory ode, inscribed to Mrs. Touchit was your fortune to touch upon some of wood, upon the loss of her two fore-teeth; the woody parts of the African continent, the other a panegyric upon Mrs. Andiin your voyage to or from Grand Cairo? ron's left shoulder. Mrs. Vizard, (he

says) since the small-pox, is grown tolera* The celebrated Paul Scarron, author of the Roman bly ugly, and a top toast in the club; but I Comique.

never heard him so lavish of his fine things,

[ocr errors]


as upon old Nell Trot, who constantly offi- make words of their own, which were enciates at their table; her he even adores tirely foreign to the meaning of the pasand extols as the very counterpart of mo- sages they pretended to translate; their chief ther Shipton; in short, Nell, (says he) is care being to make the numbers of the one of the extraordinary works of nature; English verse answer to those of the Itabut as for complexion, shape, and features, lian, that both of them might go to the so valued by others, they are all mere out- same tune. Thus the famous song in Caside and symmetry, which is his aversion. milla: Give me leave to add, that the president

Barbara si t'intendo, &c. is a facetious pleasant gentleman, and never more so, than when he has got (as he calls

* Barbarous woman, yes, I know your meaning:them) his dear mummers about him; and which expresses the resentments of an anhe often protests it does him good to meet gry lover, was translated into that English a fellow with a right genuine grimace in lamentation: his air (which is so agreeable in the generality of the French nation;) and, as an in

*Frail are a lover's hopes,' &c. stance of his sincerity in this particular, he And it was pleasant enough to see the gave me a sight of a list in his pocket-book most refined persons of the British nation of all this class, who for these five years dying away and languishing to notes that have fallen under his observation, with were filled with a spirit of rage and indighimself at the head of them, and in the nation. It happened also very frequently rear (as one of a promising and improving where the sense was rightly translated, the aspect,) Sir,

necessary transposition of words, which * Your obliged and humble servant, were drawn out of the phrase of one tongue

'ALEXANDER CARBUNCLE. into that of another, made the music appear Oxford, March 12, 1710.'

very absurd in one tongue that was very natural in the other. I remember an Italian

verse that ran thus, word for word: No. 18.] Wednesday, March 21, 1710-11.

*And turn'd my rage into pity;' -Equitis quoque jam migravit ab aure voluptas Omnis ad incertos oculos, et gaudia vana.

which the English for rhyme sake transHor. Lib. 2. Ep. i. 187. lated, -But now our nobles too are fops and vain,

And into pity turn'd my rage;" Neglect the sense, but love the painted scene.

By this means the soft notes that were It is my design in this paper to deliver adapted to pity in the Italian, fell upon the down to posterity a faithful account of the word rage in the English; and the angry Italian opera, and of the gradual progress

sounds that were turned to rage in the oriwhich it has made upon the English stage; ginal, were made to express pity in the for there is no question but our great grand- wise, that the finest notes in the air fell

translation. It oftentimes happened, likechildren will be very curious to know the reason why their forefathers used to sit upon the most insignificant words in the together like an audience of foreigners in sentence. I have known the word And « their own country, and to hear whole plays pursued through the whole gamut, have acted before them in a tongue which they The, and have heard the most beautiful : did not understand.

Arsinoe was the first opera that gave us graces,, quavers, and divisions, bestowed a taste of Italian

sic.* The great suc- upon Then, For, and From; to the eternal cess this opera met with produced some

honcur of our English particles. attempts of forming pieces upon Italian

The next step to our refinement was the plans, which should give a more natural introducing of Italian actors into our opera; ? and reasonable entertainment than what who sung their parts in their own language, can be met with in the elaborate trifles of at the same time that our countrymen perthat nation. This alarmed the poetasters

formed theirs in our native tongue. The and fiddlers of the town, who were used to king or hero of the play generally spoke in deal in a more ordinary kind of ware; and Italian, and his slaves answered him in therefore laid down an established 'rule, English. The lover frequently made his which is received as such to this day, in a language which she did not understand.

court, and gained the heart of his princess, "That nothing is capable of being well set One would have thought it very difficult to to music, that is not nonsense.'

This maxim was no sooner received, but have carried on dialogues after this manner we immediately fell to translating the Ita- without an interpreter between the perlian operas; and as there was no great

sons that conversed together; but this was danger of hurting the sense of these extra- the state of the English stage for about three ordinary pieces, our authors would often years,

At length the audience grew tired of unArsinoe, queen of Cyprus, an opera, after the Italian

derstanding half the opera; and therefore manner, by Thomas Clayton. It was first performed to ease themselves entirely of the fatigue at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, in 1707.

of thinking, have so ordered it at present,


that the whole opera is performed in an opinion upon the subject of music; which I unknown tongue. We no longer under- shall lay down only in a problematical manstand the language of our own stage; inso- ner, to be considered by those who are much that I have often been afraid, when I masters in the art.

C. have seen our Italian performers chattering in the vehemence of action, that they have been calling us names, and abusing No. 19.] Thursday, March 22, 1710-11. us among themselves; but I hope, since we do put such an entire confidence in them,

Di bene fecerunt, inopis me quodquc pusilli they will not talk against us before our

Finxerunt animi, raro et perpauca loquentis.

Hor. Lib. 1. Sat. iv. 17. faces, though they may do it with the same

Thank heaven that made me of an humble mind; safety as if it were behind our backs. In

To action little, less to words inclined! the mean time, I cannot forbear thinking how naturally a historian who writes two

OBSERVING one person behold another, or three hundred years hence, and does not who was an utter stranger to him, with a know the taste of his wise forefathers, will cast of his eye which, methought, expressed make the following reflection: In the be- an emotion of heart very different from what ginning of the eighteenth century, the Ita- could be raised by an object so agreeable lian tongue was so well understood in Eng- as the gentleman he looked at, I began to land, that operas were acted on the public consider, not without some secret sorrow, stage in that language.'

the condition of an envious man. Some One scarce knows how to be serious in have fancied that envy has a certain magithe confutation of an absurdity that shows cal force in it, and that the eyes of the enitself at the first sight. It does not want vious have by their fascination blasted the any great measure of sense to see the ridi- enjoyments of the happy. Sir Francis Bacon cule of this monstrous practice; but what says, some have been so curious as to remakes it the more astonishing, it is not mark the times and seasons when the stroke the taste of the rabble, but of persons of of an envious eye is most effectually pernithe greatest politeness, which has esta- cious, and have observed that it has been blished it.

when the person envied has been in any If the Italians have a genius for music circumstance of glory and triumph. At above the English, the English have a ge- such a time the mind of the prosperous man nius for other performances of a much goes, as it were, abroad, among things withhigher nature, and capable of giving the out him, and is more exposed to the maligmind a much nobler entertainment. Would nity. But I shall not dwell upon speculaone think it was possible (at a time when tions so abstracted as this, or repeat the an author lived that was able to write the many excellent things which one might Phædra and Hippolitus*) for a people to collect out of authors upon this miserable be so stupidly fond of the Italian opera, as affection; but, keeping the common road of scarce to give a third day's hearing to that life, consider the envious man with relation admirable tragedy? Músic is certainly a to these three heads, his pains, his reliefs, very agreeable entertainment: but if it and his happiness. would take the entire possession of our

The envious man is in pain upon all ocears, if it would make us incapable of hear-casions which ought to give him pleasure. ing sense, if it would exclude arts that The relish of his life is inverted; and the have a much greater tendency to the re- objects which administer the highest satisfinement of human nature; I must confess faction to those who are exempt from this I would allow it no better quarter than passion, give the quickest pangs to persons Plato has done, who banishes it out of his who are subject to it. All the perfections commonwealth.

of their fellow-creatures are odious. Youth, At present our notions of music are so

beauty, valour, and wisdom are provocavery uncertain, that we do not know what tions of their displeasure. What a wretched it is we like; only, in general, we are trans- and apostate state is this! to be offended ported with any thing that is not English: with excellence, and to hate a man because so it be of a foreign growth, let it be Ita- we approve him! The condition of the enlian, French, or High Dutch, it is the same vious man is the most emphatically miserathing. In short, our English music is quite ble; he is not only incapable of rejoicing in rooted out, and nothing yet planted in its another's merit or success, but lives in a stead.

world wherein all mankind are in a plot When a royal palace is burnt to the against his quiet, by studying their own ground, every man is at liberty to present happiness and advantage. Will Prosper his plan for a new one; and though it be is an honest tale-bearer, he makes it his but indifferently put together, it may fur- business to join in conversation with envious nish several hints that may be of use to a men. He points to such a handsome young good architect. I shall take the same li- fellow, and whispers that he is secretly berty in a following paper, of giving my married to a great fortune. When they

doubt, he adds circumstances to prove it; * Phædra and Hippolitus, a tragedy, by Edmund and never fails to aggravate their distress, Smith, first acted in 1707.

| by assuring them, that to his knowledge,

« AnteriorContinuar »