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and bid me be sure to follow the directions | tain, that their first attempts were without of my guardian, (the above-mentioned lady) success, to the no small disappointment of and I shall never want. The truth of my our whole female world; but as their concase is, I suppose, that I was educated for stancy and application, in a matter of so a purpose he did not know he should be great importance, can never be sufficiently unfit for when I came to years. Now, sir, commended, so I am glad to find, that in what I ask of you as a casuist, is to tell me spite of all opposition, they have at length how far, in these circumstances, I am inno- carried their point, of which I received cent, though submissive: he guilty, though advice by the two following letters: impotent? I am, sir, your constant reader,
MR. SPECTATOR,-I am so great a lover
of whatever is French, that I lately dis"To the Man called the Spectator. carded an humble admirer, because he
FRIEND,-Forasmuch as at the birth of neither spoke that tongue nor drank claret. thy labour, thou didst promise upon thy I have long bewailed in secret the calamiword, that letting alone the vanities that ties of my sex during the war, in all which do abound, thou wouldest only endeavour time we have laboured under the insupto straighten the crooked morals of this our portable inventions of English tire-women, Babylon, I gave credit to thy fair speeches, who, though they sometimes copy indifferand admitted one of thy papers, every day ently well, can never compose with that save Sunday, into my house, for the edifica- "goût” they do in France. tion of my daughter Tabitha, and to the end I was almost in despair of ever more that Susanna the wife of my bosom might seeing a model from that dear country, profit thereby. But, alas! my friend, I find when last Sunday I overheard a lady in the that thou art a liar, and that the truth is next pew to me whisper another, that at not in thee; else why didst thou in a paper the Seven Stars, in King-street, Coventwhich thou didst lately put forth, make garden, there was a mademoiselle commention of those vain coverings for the pletely dressed, just come from Paris. heads of our females, which thou lovest to •I was in the utmost impatience during liken unto tulips, and which are lately the remaining part of the service, and as sprung up among us? Nay, why didst thou soon as ever it was over, having learnt the make mention of them in such a seeming, milliner's “addresse," I went directly to as if thou didst approve the invention, in- her house in King-street, but was told that somuch that my daughter Tabitha begin- the French lady was at a person of quality's neth to wax wanton, and to lust after these in Pall-mall, and would not be back again foolish vanities? Surely thou dost see with until very late that night. I was therefore the eyes of the flesh. Verily, therefore, obliged to renew my visit very early this unless thou dost speedily amend, and leave morning, and had then a full view of the off following thine own imaginations, I will dear moppet from head to foot. leave off thee.
You cannot imagine, worthy sir, how • Thy friend, as hereafter thou dost de- ridiculously I find we have been trussed up mean thyself,
during the war, and how infinitely the T. * HEZEKIAH BROADBRIM.' French dress excels ours.
• The mantua has no lead in the sleeves,
and I hope we are not lighter than the No. 277.] Thursday, January 17, 1711-12. French ladies, so as to want that kind of
ballast; the petticoat has no whalebone, but sits with an air altogether gallant and de
gagé: the coiffure is inexpressibly pretty; Receive instruction from an enemy.
and, in short, the whole dress has a thouI PRESUME I need not inform the polite sand beauties in it, which I would not have part of my readers, that before our cor- as yet made too public. respondence with France was unhappily
I thought fit, however, to give you this interrupted by the war, our ladies had all notice, that you may not be surprised at my their fashions from thence; which the mill appearing a la mode de Paris on the next liners took care to furnish them with by birth-night. I am, sir, vour humble sermeans of a jointed baby, that came regu- vant,
TERAMINTA.' larly over once a month, habited after the
Within an hour after I had read this letmanner of the most eminent toasts in Paris.
I am credibly informed, that even in the ter, I received another from the owner of hottest time of the war, the sex made seve
the puppet. ral efforts, and raised large contributions “SIR,-On Saturday last, being the 12th towards the importation of this wooden instant, there arrived at my house in Kingmademoiselle.
street, Covent-Garden, a French baby for Whether the vessel they sent out was the year 1712. I have taken the utmost lost or taken, or whether its cargo was care to have her dressed by the most celeseized on by the officers of the custom-house brated tire-women and mantua-makers in as a piece of contraband goods, I have not Paris, and do not find that I have any reayet been able to learn; it is however cer son to be sorry for the expense I have been
-fas est et ab hoste doceri.
Ovid. Met. Lib. iv. 428.
at in her clothes and importation: however, they are now practised at the court of as I know no person who is so good a judge France. of dress as yourself, if you please to call at She added, that she hoped she might demy house in your way to the city, and take pend upon having my encouragement as a view of her, I promise to amend what- soon as it arrived; but as this was a petition ever you shall disapprove in your next of too great importance to be answered expaper, before I exhibit her as a pattern to tempore, I left her without a reply, and the public. I am, sir, your most humble made the best of my way to Win Honey, admirer, and most obedient servant, comb's lodgings, without whose advice I · BETTY CROSS-STITCH. never communicate any thing to the public of this nature.
X. As I am willing to do any thing in reason for the service of my countrywomen, and No. 278.]. Friday, January 18, 1711-12. had much rather prevent faults than find them, I went last night to the house of the
-Sermones ego mallem above-mentioned Mrs. Cross-Stitch. As Repentes per humum
Hor. Ep. i. Lib. 2. 250, soon as I entered, the maid of the shop,
I rather choose a low and creeping style. who, I suppose, was prepared for my coming, without asking me any questions, in
• MR. SPECTATOR,-SIR,-Your having troduced me to the little damsel, and ran done considerable services in this great city, away to call her mistress.
by rectifying the disorders of families, and The puppet was dressed in a cherry- several wives having preferred your advice coloured gown and petticoat, with a short and directions to those of their husbands, working apron over it, which discovered emboldens me to apply to you at this time. her shape to the most advantage. Her hair I am a shop keeper, and though but a young was cut and divided very prettily, with man, I find by experience that nothing but several ribands stuck up and down in it. the utmost diligence both of husband and The milliner assured me, that her com- wife (among trading people) can keep afplexion was such as was worn by all the fairs in any tolerable order. My wife at the ladies of the best fashion in Paris. Her beginning of our establishment showed herhead was extremely high, on which subject self very assisting to me in my business as having long since declared my sentiments, much as could lie in her way, and I have I shall say nothing more to it at present. Í reason to believe it was with her inclination: was also offended at a small patch she wore but of late she has got acquainted with a on her breast, which I cannot suppose is school-man, who values himself for his great placed there with any good design. knowledge in the Greek tongue. He enter
Her necklace was of an immoderate tains her frequently in the shop with dislength, being tied before in such a manner, courses of the beauties and excellences of that the two ends hung down to her girdle; that language; and repeats to her several but whether these supply the place of kiss- passages out of the Greek poets, wherein ing-strings in our enemy's country, and he tells her there is unspeakable harmony whether our British ladies have any occa- and agreeable sounds that all other lansion for them, I shall leave to their serious guages are wholly unacquainted with. He consideration.
has so infatuated her with his jargon, that After having observed the particulars of instead of using her former diligence in the her dress, as I was taking a view of it alto- shop, she now neglects the affairs of the gether, the shop-maid, who is a pert wench, house, and is wholly taken up with her told me that Mademoiselle had something tutor in learning by heart scraps of Greek, very curious in the tying of her garters; but which she vents upon all occasions. She as I pay a due respect even to a pair of told me some days ago, that whereas I use sticks when they are under petticoats, I did some Latin inscriptions in my shop, she not examine into that particular. Upon the advised me with a great deal of concern to whole, I was well enough pleased with the have them changed into Greek; it being a appearance of this gay lady, and the more language less understood, would be more so because she was not talkative, a quality conformable to the mystery of my profesvery rarely to be met with in the rest of her sion; that our good friend would be assisting country women.
to us in this work; and that a certain faculty As I was taking my leave, the milliner of gentlemen would find themselves so much farther informed me, that with the assist- obliged to me, that they would infallibly ance of a watch-maker, who was her neigh- make my fortune. In short, her frequent bour, and the ingenious Mr. Powel, she had importunities upon this, and other impertialso contrived another puppet, which by nences of the like nature, make me very the help of several little springs to be wound uneasy; and if your remonstrances have no up within it, could move all its limbs, and more effect upon her than mine, I am afraid that she had sent it over to her correspon- I shall be obliged to ruin myself to procure dent in Paris to be taught the various lean- her a settlement at Oxford with her tutor, ings and bendings of the head, the risings for she is already too mad for Bedlam. of the bosom, the courtesy and recovery, Now, sir, you see the danger my family is the gentee! trip, and the agreeable jet, as exposed to, and the likelihood of my
becoming both troublesome and useless, un MR. SPECTATOR,-You will forgive us less her reading herself in your paper may professors of music if we make a second make her reflect. She is so very learned application to you, in order to promote our that I cannot pretend by word of mouth to design of exhibiting entertainments of music argue with her. She laughed out at your in York-buildings. It is industriously inending a paper in Greek, and said it was a sinuated that our intention is to destroy hint to women of literature, and very civil operas in general, but we beg of you to innot to translate it to expose them to the sert this plain explanation of ourselves in vulgar. You see how it is with, sir, your your paper. Our purpose is only to improve humble servant.'
our circumstances, by improving the art "MR. SPECTATOR, — If you have that hu- stroyed at present, and as we were the
which we profess. We see it utterly demanity and compassion in your nature that you take such pains to make one think you a groundless imputation that we should set
persons who introduced operas, we think it distressed damsel, who intends to be de- up against the opera itself
. What we pretermined by your judgment in a matter of authors injudiciously put together, and a
tend to assert is, that the songs of different great importance to her. You must know foreign tone and manner which are expected then, there is an agreeable young fellow, to whose person, wit and humour, nobody has put music itself to a stand; insomuch
in every thing now performed amongst us, makes any objection, that pretends to have that the ears of the people cannot now be been long in love with me. To this I must entertained with any thing but what has an add (whether it proceeds from the vanity of my nature, or the seeming sincerity of impertinent gaiety, without any just spirit, my lover, I will not pretend to say) that I
or a languishment of notes, without any verily believe he has a real value for me; persons of sense and quality who have done
passion or common sense. We hope those which, if true, you will allow may justly us the honour to subscribe, will not be augment his merit with his mistress.. In ashamed of their patronage towards us, and short, I am so sensible of his good qualities, not receive impressions that patronising us and what I owe to his passion, that I think is being for or against the opera, but truly I could sooner resolve to give up my liberty to him than any body else, were there not promoting their own diversions in a more an objection to be made to his fortunes, in hitherto performed. We are, sir, your
just and elegant manner than has been regard they do not answer the utmost mine
most humble servants, may expect, and are not sufficient to secure
• THOMAS CLAYTON, me from undergoing the reproachful phrase
· NICOLINO HAYM, so commonly used, “that she has played
•CHARLES DIEUPÁRT. the fool.”. Now though I am one of those few who heartily despise equipage, dia
• There will be no performances in Yorkmonds, and a coxcomb, yet since such op- buildings until after that of the subscrip
T. posite notions from mine prevail in the tion.' world, even amongst the best, and such as are esteemed the most prudent people, I No. 279.] Saturday, January 19, 1711-12. cannot find in my heart to resolve upon incurring the censure of those wise folks, Reddere personæ scit convenientia cuique. which I am conscious I shall do, if when Í enter into a married state, I discover a thought beyond that of equalling, if not ad We have already taken a general survey vancing my fortunes. Under this difficulty of the fable and characters in Milton's ParaI now labour, not being in the least deter- dise Lost. The parts which remain to be mined whether I shall be governed by the considered, according to Aristotle's method, vain world, and the frequent examples I are the sentiments and the language. Bemeet with, or hearken to the voice of my fore I enter upon the first of these, I must lover, and the motions I find in my heart in advertise my reader, that it is my design, favour of him. Sir, your opinion and advice as soon as I have finished my general reflecin this affair is the only thing I know can tions on these four several heads, to give turn the balance, and which I earnestly particular instances out of the poem which entreat I may receive soon; for until I have is now before us, of beauties and imperfecyour thoughts upon it, I am engaged not to tions which may be observed under each of give my swain a final discharge.
them, as also of such other particulars as Besides the particular ligation you will may not properly fall under any of them. lay on me, by giving this subject room in This I thought fit to premise, that the one of your papers, it is possible it may be reader may not judge too hastily of this of use to some others of my sex, who will piece of criticism, or look upon it as imbe as grateful for the favour as, sir, your perfect, before he has seen the whole exhumble servant,
tent of it. P. S. To tell you the truth, I am mar The sentiments in an epic poem are the ried to him already, but pray say something thoughts and behaviour which the author to justify me.'
ascribes to the persons whom he introduces,
Hor. Ars Poet. v. 316 He knows what best befits each character.
and are just when they are conformable to ishing sentiments, where he is not fired the characters of the several persons. The by the Iliad. He every where charms sentiments have likewise a relation to things and pleases us by the force of his own as well persons, and are then perfect when genius; but seldom elevates and transports they are such as are adapted to the subject. us where he does not fetch his hints from If in either of these cases the poet endeavours Homer. to argue or explain, to magnify or diminish, Milton's chief talent, and indeed his disto raise love or hatred, pity or terror, or tinguishing excellence, lies in the sublimity any other passion, we ought to consider of his thoughts. There are others of the whether the sentiments he makes use of moderns who rival him in every other part are proper for those ends. Homer is cen- of poetry; but in the greatness of his sentisured by the critics for his defect as to this ments he triumphs over all the poets both particular in several parts of the Iliad and modern and ancient, Homer only excepted. Odyssey, though at the same time those, It is impossible for the imagination of man who have treated this great poet with can- to distend itself with greater ideas, than dour, have attributed this defect to the those which he has laid together in his times in which he lived. It was the fault first, second, and sixth books. The seventh, of the age, and not of Homer, if there which describes the creation of the world, wants that delicacy in some of his senti- is likewise wonderfully sublime, though ments, which now appears in the works of not so apt to stir up emotion in the mind men of a much inferior genius. Besides, of the reader, nor consequently so perfect if there are blemishes in any particular in the epic way of writing, because it is thoughts, there is an infinite beauty in the filled with less action. Let the judicious greatest part of them. In short, if there reader compare what Longinus has obare many poets who would not have fallen served on several passages in Homer, and into the meanness of some of his sentiments, he will find parallels for most of them in there are none who could have risen up to the Paradise Lost. the greatness of others. Virgil has excel From what has been said we
infer, led all others in the propriety of his senti- that as there are two kinds of sentiments, ments. Milton shines likewise very much the natural and the sublime, which are in this particular: nor must we omit one always to be pursued in an heroic poem, consideration which adds to his honour there are also two kinds of thoughts which and reputation. Homer and Virgil intro- are carefully to be avoided. The first are duced persons whose characters are com- such as are affected and unnatural; the monly known among men, and such as are second such as are mean and vulgar. As to be met with either in history, or in or- for the first kind of thoughts, we meet with dinary conversation. Milton's characters, little or nothing that is like them in Virgil. most of them, lie out of nature, and were He has none of those trifling points and to be formed purely by his own invention. puerilities that are so often to be met with It shows a greater genius in Shakspeare to in Ovid, none of the epigrammatic turns of have drawn his Caliban, than his Hotspur, Lucan, none of those swelling sentiments or Julius Cæsar: the one was to be sup- which are so frequent in Statius and Clauplied out of his own imagination, whereas dian, none of those mixed embellishments the other might have been formed upon of Tasso. Every thing is just and natural. tradition, history and observation. It was His sentiments show that he had a perfect much easier therefore for Homer to find insight into human nature, and that he proper sentiments for an assembly of Gre- knew every thing which was the most cian generals, than for Milton to diversify proper to affect it. his infernal council with proper charac Mr. Dryden has in some places, which I ters, and inspire them with a variety of may hereafter take notice of, misrepresensentiments. The loves of Dido and Æneas ted Virgil's way of thinking as to this parare only copies of what has passed between ticular, in the translation he has given
us of other persons. Adam and Eve, before the the Æneid. I do not remember that Homer fall, are a different species from that of any where falls into the faults above-menmankind, who are descended from them; tioned, which were indeed the false refineand none but a poet of the most unbounded ments of later ages. Milton, it must be invention, and the most exquisite judgment, confessed, has sometimes erred in this recould have filled their conversation and spect, as I shall show more at large in anbehaviour with so many apt circumstances other paper; though considering how all during their state of innocence.
the poets of the age in which he writ were Nor is it sufficient for an epic poem to infected with this wrong way of thinking, be filled with such thoughts as are natural, he is rather to be admired that he did not unless it abound also with such as are sub- give more into it, than that he did somelime. Virgil in this particular falls short times comply with the vicious taste which of Homer. He has not indeed so many still prevails so much among modern thoughts that are low and vulgar; but at writers. the same time has not so many thoughts But since several thoughts may be natuthat are sublime and noble. The truth of ral which are low and grovelling, an epic it is, Virgil seldom rises into very aston-1 poet should not only avoid such sentiments
as are unnatural or affected, but also such | No. 280.] Monday, January 21, 1711-12. as are mean and vulgar. Homer has opened a great field of raillery to men of more
Principibus placuisse viris non ultima laus est.
Hor. Ep. xvii. Lib. 1. 35. delicacy and greatness of genius, by the homeliness of some of his sentiments. But
To please the great is not the smalleat praise.
Creech. as I have before said, these are rather to be imputed to the simplicity of the age in
The desire of pleasing makes a man which he lived, to which I'may also add, agreeable or unwelcome to those with whom of that in which he described, 'than to any he converses, according to the motive from imperfection in that divine poet. Zoilus, which that inclination appears to flow. If among the ancients, and Monsieur Perrault, your concern for pleasing others arises among the moderns, pushed their ridicule from an innate benevolence, it never fails very far upon him, on account of some of success; if from a vanity to excel, its such sentiments. There is no blemish to disappointment is no less certain. What be observed in Virgil under this head, and we call an agreeable man, is he who is enbut a very few in Milton.
dowed with the natural bent to do accepI shall give but one instance of this im- table things from a delight he takes in them propriety of thought in Homer, and at the merely as such; and the affectation of same time compare it with an instance of that character is what constitutes a fop. the same nature, both in Virgil and Milton. Under these leaders one may draw up all Sentiments which raise laughter, can very those who may make up any manner of seldom be admitted with any decency into figure, except in dumb show. A rational an heroic poem, whose business it is to ex- and select conversation is composed of percite passion of a much nobler nature. Ho- sons, who have the talent of pleasing with mer, however, in his characters of Vulcan delicacy of sentiments flowing from habitand Thersites, in his story of Mars and ual chastity of thought; but mixed compaVenus, in his behaviour of Irus, and in ny is frequently made up of pretenders to other passages, has been observed to have mirth, and is usually pestered with conlapsed into the burlesque character, and strained, obscene, and painful witticisms. to have departed from that serious air Now and then you may meet with a man which seems essential to the magnificence so exactly formed for pleasing, that it is no of an epic poem. I remember but one matter what he is doing or saying, that is laugh in the whole Æneid, which rises in to say, that there need be no manner of the fifth book, upon Monætes, where he is importance in it, to make him gain upon represented as thrown overboard, and dry- every body who hears or beholds him. ing himself upon a rock. But this piece This felicity is not the gift of nature only, of mirth is so well-timed, that the severest but must be attended with happy circumcritic can have nothing to say against it; stances, which add a dignity to the familiar for it is in the book of games and diversions behaviour which distinguishes him whom where the reader's mind may be supposed we call an agreeable man. It is from this sufficiently relaxed for such an entertain that every body loves and esteems Polycarment. The only piece of pleasantry in pus. He is in the vigour of his age, and Paradise Lost, is where the evil spirits are the gaiety of life, but has passed through described as rallying the angels upon the very conspicuous scenes in it: though no success of their new invented artillery. soldier, he has shared the danger, and acThis passage I look upon to be the most ted with great gallantry and generosity on exceptionable in the whole poem, as being a decisive day of battle. To have those nothing else but a string of puns, and those qualities which only make other men contoo very indifferent ones.
spicuous in the world as it were supernu
merary to him, is a circumstance which -Satan beheld their plight,
gives weight to his most indifferent actions; And to his mates thus in derision call'd:
for as a known credit is ready cash to a "O friends, why come not on those victors proud ? Ere while they fierce were coming, and when we, trader, so is acknowledged merit immeTo entertain them fair with open front
diate distinction, and serves in the place And breast (what could we more ?) propounded
of equipage to a gentleman. This renders Of Composition, straight they changed their minds, Polycarpus graceful in mirth, important Flew off, and into strange vagaries fell
in business, and regarded with love in every As they would dance ; yet for a dance they seem'd
ordinary occurrence. But not to dwell Somewhat extravagant, and wild ; perhaps For joy of offer'd peace; but I suppose,
upon characters which have such particuIf our proposals once again were heard,
lar recommendations to our hearts, let us We should compel them to a quick result. To whom thus Belial in like gamesome mood :
turn cur thoughts rather to the methods Leader, the terms we sent were terms of weight,
of pleasing which must carry men through Of hard contents, and full of force urg'd home; the world who cannot pretend to such adSuch as we might perceive amused them all,
vantages. Falling in with the particular And stumbled many; who receives them right, Had need from head to foot well understand;
humour or manner of one above you, abNot understood, this gift they have besides,
stracted from the general rules of good beThey show us when our foes walk not upright.' haviour, is the life of a slave. A parasite
Thus they among themselves in pleasant vein
differs in nothing from the meanest servant, Milton's Par. Lost, b. vi. l. 609, &c. but that the footman hires himself for