Imágenes de páginas

v. 343

posture, almost touched the water. Your which seems too extraordinary to be witheyes were closed; but if your sleep deprived out a meaning. I am, madam, with the me of the satisfaction of seeing them, it left greatest passion, your most obedient, most me at leisure to contemplate several other humble servant, &c.'

X. charms which disappear when your eyes are open. I could not but admire the tranquillity you slept in, especially when I con- No. 302.] Friday, February 15, 1711-12. sidered the uneasiness you produce in so many others.

-Lachrymæque decoræ, While I was wholly taken up in these

Gratior et pulchro veniens in corpore virtus.

Virg. A reflections, the doors of the temple flew open with a very great noise, and lifting

Becoming sorrows, and a virtuous mind

More lovely, in a beauteous form enshrin'd. up my eyes, I saw two figures, in human shape, coming into the valley. Upon a

I READ what I give for the entertainnearer survey, I found them to be Youth ment of this day with a great deal of pleaand Love. The first was encircled with a sure, and publish it just as it came to my kind of purple light, that spread a glory hands. I shall be very glad to find there over all the place, the other held a flaming are many guessed at for Emilia. torch in his hand. I could observe, that all

•MR. SPECTATOR,- If this paper has the the way as they came towards us, the colours of the flowers appeared more lively, your writings, I shall be the more pleased,

good fortune to be honoured with a place in the trees shot out in blossoms, the birds because the character of Emilia is not an threw themselves into pairs and serenaded

imaginary but a real one. I have industhem as they passed: the whole face of nature glowed with new beauties. They were of one or two circumstances of no conse

triously obscured the whole by the addition no sooner arrived at the place where lay, than they seated themselves on each quence, that the person it is drawn from side of you. On their approach methought of it might not be in the least suspected, and

might still be concealed; and that the writer I saw a new bloom arise in your face, and for some other reasons, I chose not to give new charins diffuse themselves over your it in the form of a letter; but if, besides the whole person. You appeared more than faults of the composition, there be any thing mortal; but, to my great surprise, continued in it more proper for a correspondent than fast asleep, though the two deities made the Spectator himself to write, I submit it several gentle efforts to awaken you. * After a short time, Youth, (displaying other model you think fit. I am, sir, your

to your better judgment, to receive any a pair of wings, which I had not before

humble servant,' taken notice of,) flew off. Loye still re

.very mained, and holding the torch which he had There is nothing which gives one so in his hand before your face, you still ap- pleasing a prospect of human nature, as the peared as beautiful as ever. The glaring contemplation of wisdom and beauty: the of the light in your eyes at length awaken- latter is the peculiar portion of that sex ed you, when to my great surprise, instead which is therefore called fair: but the hapof acknowledging the favour of the deity, py concurrence of both these excellences you frowned upon him, and struck the torch in the same person, is a character too ceout of his hand into the river. The god, lestial to be frequently met with. Beauty after having regarded you with a look that is an over-weening self-sufficient thing, spoke at once his pity and displeasure, flew careless of providing itself any more subaway. Immediately a kind of gloom over- stantial ornaments; nay, so little does it spread the whole place. At the same consult its own interests, that it too often time I saw a hideous spectre enter at one defeats itself, by betraying that innocence end of the valley. His eyes were sunk into which renders it lovely and desirable. As his head, his face was pale and withered, therefore virtue makes a beautiful woman and his skin puckered up in wrinkles. As appear more beautiful, so beauty, makes he walked on the sides of the bank the a virtuous woman really more virtuous. river froze, the flowers faded, the trees shed Whilst I am considering these two perfectheir blossoms, the birds dropped from off tions gloriously united in one person, I canthe boughs, and fell dead at his feet. By not help representing to my mind the image these marks I knew him to be Old Age of Emilia. You were seized with the utmost horror Who ever beheld the charming Emilia and amazement at his approach. You en- without feeling in his breast at once the deavoured to have fled, but the phantom glow of love, and the tenderness of virtuous caught you in his arms. You may easily friendship? The unstudied graces of her guess at the change you suffered in this behaviour, and the pleasing accents of her embrace. For my own part, though I am tongue, insensibly draw you on to wish for still too full of the dreadful idea, I will not a nearer enjoyment of them, but even her shock you with a description of it. I was smiles carry in them a silent reproof of the so startled at the sight, that my sleep im- impulses of licentious love. Thus, though mediately left me, and I found myself the attractives of her beauty play almost awake, at leisure to consider of a dream irresistibly upon you, and create desire, you

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immediately stand corrected not by the me by the prevailing brightness of her virseverity, but the decency of her virtue. tues. So rare a pattern of female excellence That sweetness and good-humour, which ought not to be concealed, but should be is so visible in her face, naturally diffuses set out to the view and imitation of the itself into every word and action: a man world; for how amiable does virtue appear, must be a savage, who, at the sight of Emi- thus, as it were, made visible to us, in so lia, is not more inclined to do her good, fair an example! than gratify himself. Her person as it is Honoria's disposition is of a very different thus studiously embellished by nature, thus turn: her thoughts are wholly bent upon adorned with unpremeditated graces, is a conquests and arbitrary power. That she fit lodging for a mind so fair and lovely: has some wit and beauty nobody denies, there dwell rational piety, modest hope, and therefore has the esteem of all her acand cheerful resignation.

quaintance as a woman of an agreeable perMany of the prevailing passions of man- son and conversation; but (whatever her kind do undeservedly pass under the name husband may think of it) that is not suffiof religion; which is thus made to express cient for Honoria: she waives that title to itself in action, according to the nature of respect as a mean acquisition, and demands the constitution in which it resides; so that veneration in the right of an idol; for this were we to make a judgment from appear- reason her natural desire of life is continuances, one would imagine religion in some ally checked with an inconsistent fear of is little better than sullenness and reserve, wrinkles and old age. in many fear, in others the despondings of Emilia cannot be supposed ignorant of a melancholy complexion, in others the her personal charms, though she seems to formality of insignificant unaffecting ob- be so; but she will not hold her happiness servances, in others severity, in others os- upon so precarious a tenure, whilst her tentation. In Emilia it is a principle founded mind is adorned with beauties of a more in reason, and enlivened with hope; it does exalted and lasting nature. When in the not break forth into irregular fits and sallies full bloom of youth and beauty we saw of devotion, but is a uniform and consistent her surrounded with a crowd of adorers, tenour of action: it is strict without severity, she took no pleasure in slaughter and decompassionate without weakness; it is the struction, gave no false deluding hopes perfection of that good-humour which pro- which might increase the torments of her ceeds from the understanding, not the effect disappointed lovers; but having for some of an easy constitution.

time given to the decency of a virgin coyBy a generous sympathy in nature, we ness, and examined the merit of their sefeel ourselves disposed to mourn when any veral pretensions, she at length gratified of our fellow-creatures are afflicted: but her own, by resigning herself to the ardent injured innocence and beauty in distress is passion of Bromius. Bromius was then an object that carries in it something inex- master of many good qualities and a modepressibly moving: it softens the most manly rate fortune, which was soon after unexheart with the tenderest sensations of love pectedly increased to a plentiful estate. and compassion, until at length it confesses This for a good while proved his misfortune, its humanity, and flows out into tears. as it furnished his unexperienced age with

Were I to relate that part of Emilia's the opportunities of evil company, and a life which has given her an opportunity of sensual life. He might have longer wanexerting the heroism of Christianity, it dered in the labyrinths of vice and folly, would make tdo sad, too tender a story; had not Emilia's prudent conduct won him but when I consider her alone in the midst over to the government of his reason. Her of her distresses, looking beyond this gloomy ingenuity has been constantly employed in vale of affliction and sorrow, into the joys humanizing his passions, and refining his of heaven and immortality, and when I see pleasures. She has showed him by her her in conversation thoughtless and easy, own example, that virtue is consistent with as if she were the most happy creature in decent freedoms, and good humour, or rathe world, I am transported with admira- ther that it cannot subsist without them. tion. Surely never did such a philosophic Her good sense readily instructed her, that soul inhabit such a beauteous form! For a silent example, and an easy unrepining beauty is often made a privilege against behaviour, will always be more persuasive thought and reflection; it laughs at wisdom, than the severity of lectures and admoniand will not abide the gravity of its instruc- tions; and that there is so much pride intertions.

woven into the make of human nature, that Were I able to represent Emilia's vir- an obstinate man must only take the hint tues in their proper colours, and their due from another, and then be left to advise proportions, love or flattery might per- and correct himself. Thus by an artful haps be thought to have drawn the picture train of management, and unseen persualarger than life; but as this is but an imper- sions, having at first brought him not to fect draught of so excellent a character, dislike, and at length to be pleased with and as I cannot, I will not hope to have any that which otherwise he would not have interest in her person, all that I can say of bore to hear of, she then knew how to press her is but impartial praise, extorted from and secure this advantage, by approving

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With loss of Eden, till one greater man

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it as his thought, and seconding it as his

Some choose the clearest light,

And boldly challenge the most piercing eye. proposal. By this means she has gained an interest in some of his leading passions, and made them accessary to his reformation. I HAVE seen, in the works of a modern

There is another particular of Emilia's philosopher, a map of the spots in the sun. conduct which I cannot forbear mention- My last paper of the faults and blemishes ing: to some, perhaps, it may at first sight in Milton's Paradise Lost may be considered appear but a trifling inconsiderable circum- as a piece of the same nature. To pursue stance: but, for my part, I think it highly the allusion: as it is observed, that among worthy of observation, and to be recom- the bright parts of the luminous body abovemended to the consideration of the fair sex. mentioned, there are some which glow more I have cften thought wrapping-gowns and intensely, and dart a stronger light than dirty linen, with all that huddled economy others; so, notwithstanding I have already of dress which passes under the general shown Milton's poem to be very beautiful name of “a mob, the bane of conjugal in general, I shall now proceed to take nolove, and one of the readiest means imagi- tice of such beauties as appear to me more nable to alienate the affection of a husband, exquisite than the rest. · Milton has proespecially a fond one. I have heard some posed the subject of his poem in the followladies, who have been surprised by com- ing verses: pany in such a dishabille, apologize for it Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit after this manner: "Truly, I am ashamed Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste to be caught in this pickle: but my husband

Brought death into the world and all our woe, and I were sitting all alone by oursel

Restore us, and regain the blissful seat, and I did not expect to see such good com Sing, heav'nly muse! pany.'—This, by the way, is a fine compli

These lines are, perhaps, as plain, simment to the good man, which it is ten to one ple, and unadorned, as any of the whole but he returns in dogged answers and a poem, in which particular the author has churlish behaviour, without knowing what conformed himself to the example of Hoit is that puts him out of humour. Emilia's observation teaches her, that as

mer, and the precept of Horace.

His invocation to a work, which turns in little inadvertencies and neglects cast a a great measure upon the creation of the blemish upon a great character; so the ne-world, is very properly made to the Muse glect of apparel, even among the most inti- who inspired Moses in those books from mate friends, does insensibly lessen their whence our author drew his subject, and regards to each other, by creating

a fami- to the Holy Spirit who is therein repreliarity too low and contemptible. She un- sented as operating after a particular manderstands the importance of those things ner in the first production of nature. This which the generality account trifles; and whole exordium rises very happily into considers every thing as a matter of conse noble language and sentiments, as I think quence, that has the least tendency towards the transition to the fable is exquisitely keeping up or abating the affection of her beautiful and natural. husband; him she esteems as a fit object to

The nine days' astonishment, in which employ her ingenuity in pleasing, because the angels lay entranced after their dreadhe is to be pleased for life.

ful overthrow and fall from heaven, before By the help of these, and a thousand other they could recover either the use of thought nameless arts, which it is easier for her to or speech, is a noble circumstance, and very practise than for another to express, by the finely imagined. The division of hell into obstinacy of her goodness and unprovoked seas of fire, and into firm ground impregsubmission, in spite of all her afflictions and nated with the same furious element, with ill usage, Bromius is become a man of sense that particular circumstance of the excluand a kind husband, and Emilia a happy sion of Hope from those infernal regions, wife.

are instances of the same great and fruitful Ye guardian angels, to whose care heaven invention. has intrusted its dear Emilia, guide her still

The thoughts in the first speech and deforward in the paths of virtue, defend her scription of Satan, who is one of the princifrom the insolence and wrongs of this un- pal actors in this poem, are wonderfully discerning world: at length when we must proper to give us a full idea of him. His no more converse with such purity on earth, pride, envy, and revenge, obstinacy, delead her gently hence, innocent and unre- spair, and impenitence, are all of them provable, to a better place, where, by an very artfully interwoven. In short, his first easy transition from what she now is, she speech is a complication of all those pasmay shine forth an angel of light. T.

sions which discover themselves separately
in several other of his speeches in the poem.

The whole part of this great enemy of man-
No. 303.] Saturday, Feb. 16, 1711-12.

kind is filled with such incidents as are very

apt to raise and terrify the reader's imagi-
-Volet hæc sub Ince videri,
Judicis argutum quæ non formidat acumen.

nation. Of this nature, in the book now
before us, is his being the first that awakens

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Hor. Ars Poet, ver. 363.

out of the general trance, with his posture whom he had involved in the same guilt on the burning lake, his rising from it, and and ruin with himself: the description of his shield and spear:

He now prepar'd Thus Satan talking to his nearest mate,

To speak; whereat their doubled ranks they bend, With head up-lift above the wave, and eyes

From wing to wing, and half enclose him round That sparkling blaz'd, his other parts beside

With all his peers: attention held them mute. Prone on the flood, extended long and large,

Thrice he essay'd, and thrice, in spite of scorn, Lay floating many a rood

Tears, such as angels weep, burst forth-
Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool
His mighty stature; on each hand the flames

The catalogue of evil spirits has abunDriv'n backward slope their pointing spires, and rolla dance of learning in it, and a very agreeable In billows, leave i' the midst a horrid vale.

turn of poetry, which rises in a great meaThen with expanded wings he steers his flight Aloft, incumbent on the dusky air

sure from its describing the places where That felt unusual weight

they were worshipped, by those beautiful -His pond'rous shield

marks of rivers so frequent among the anEthereal temper, massy, large and round, Behind him cast; the broad circumference

cient poets. The author had doubtless in Hung on his shoulders like the moon, whose orb

this place Homer's catalogue of ships, and Through optic glass the Tuscan artists view Virgil's list of warriors, in his view. The At ev'ning, from the top of Fesole,

characters of Moloch and Belial prepare Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands, Rivers, or mountains, on her spotty globe.

the reader's mind for their respective His spear to equal which the tallest pine

speeches and behaviour in the second and Hewn on Norwegian hills to be the mast

sixth book. The account of Thammuz is Of some great admiral, were but a wand) He walk'd with, to support uneasy steps

finely romantic, and suitable to what we Over the burning marll

read among the ancients of the worship To which we may add his call to the which was paid to that idol: fallen angels that lay plunged and stupified Thammuz came next behind,

Whose annual wound in Lebanon allur'd in the sea of fire:

The Syrian damsels to lament his fate, He call'd so loud, that all the hollow deep

In am'rous ditties all a summer's day; Of hell resounded.

While smooth Adonis from his native rock But there is no single passage in the whole

Ran purple to the sea, suppos'd with blood

Of Thammuz yearly wounded: the love tale poem worked up to a greater sublimity, Infected Sion's daughters with like heat, than that wherein his person is described Whose wanton passions in the sacred porch in those celebrated lines:

Ezekiel saw; when by the vision led,

His eye survey'd the dark idolatries
-He, above the rest

Of alienated Judah
In shape and gesture proudly eminent,
Stood like a tower, &c.

The reader will pardon me if I insert as His sentiments are every way answerable a note on this beautiful passage, the account to his character, and suitable to a created given us by the late ingenious Mr. Maunbeing of the most exalted and most de- drell of this ancient piece of worship, and praved nature. Such is that in which he probably the first occasion of such a supertakes possession of his place of torments:

stition. '•We came to a fair large river-Hail horrors! hail

doubtless the ancient river Adonis, so famous Infernal world! and thou profoundest hell

for the idolatrous rites performed here in Receive thy new possessor, one who brings

lamentation of Adonis. We had the fortune A mind not to be chang'd by place or time.

to see what may be supposed to be the ocAnd afterwards:

casion of that opinion which Lucian relates -Here at least

concerning this river, viz. That'this stream, We shall be free! th’ Almighty hath not built at certain seasons of the year, especially Here for his envy; will not drive us hence: Here we may reign secure; and in my choice

about the feast of Adonis, is of a bloody To reign is worth ambition, though in hell: colour; which the heathens looked upon as Better to reign in hell, than serve in heav'n. proceeding from a kind of sympathy in the

Amidst those impieties which this en- river for the death of Adonis, who was killed raged spirit utters in other places of the by a wild boar in the mountains, out of poem, the author has taken care to intro- which this stream rises. Something like duce none that is not big with absurdity, this we saw actually come to pass; for the and incapable of shocking a religious rea- water was stained to a surprising redness; der; his words, as the poet himself de- and, as we observed in travelling, had disscribes them, bearing only a semblance of coloured the sea a great way into a reddish worth, not substance. He is likewise with hue, occasioned doubtless by a sort of migreat art described as owning his adversary nium, or red earth, washed into the river to be Almighty. Whatever perverse inter- by the violence of the rain, and not by any pretation he puts on the justice, mercy, and stain from Adonis's blood." other attributes of the Supreme Being, he The passage in the catalogue, explaining frequently confesses his omnipotence, that the manner how spirits transform thembeing the perfection he was forced to allow selves by contraction or enlargement of him, and the only consideration which could their dimensions, is introduced with great support his pride under the shame of his judgment, to make way for several surprisdefeat.

ing accidents in the sequel of the poem. Nor must I here omit that beautiful cir- There follows one at the very end of the cumstance of his bursting out into tears, first book, which is what the French critics upon his survey of those innumerable spirits call marvellous, but at the same time pro

pable by reason of the passage last men There are also several noble similes and tioned. As soon as the infernal palace is allusions in the first book of Paradise Lost. finished, we are told the multitude and rab- And here I must observe, that when Milton ble of spirits immediately shrunk them- alludes either to things or persons, he never selves into a small compáss, that there quits his simile until it rises to some very might be room for such a numberless as- great idea, which is often foreign to the sembly in this capacious hall. But it is the occasion that gave birth to it. The resempoet's refinement upon this thought which blance does not, perhaps, last above a line I most admire, and which is indeed very or two, but the poet runs on with the hint noble in itself. For he tells us, that not until he has raised out of it some glorious withstanding the vulgar among the fallen image or sentiment, proper to inflame the spirits contracted their forms, those of the mind of the reader, and to give it that subfirst rank and dignity still preserved their lime kind of entertainment which is suitnatural dimensions:

able to the nature of an heroic poem. Those Thus incorporeal spirits to smallest forms

who are acquainted with Homer's and VirReduc'd their shapes immense, and were at large, gil's way of writing, cannot but be pleased Though without number, still amidst the hall with this kind of structure in Milton's simiOf that infernal court. But far within,

litudes. I am the more particular on this And in their own dimensions like themselves, The great seraphic lords and cherubim

head, because ignorant readers, who have In close recess and secret conclave sat,

formed their taste upon the quaint similes A thousand demi-gods on golden seats,

and little turns of wit, which are so much Frequent and full

in vogue among modern poets, cannot relish The character of Mammon, and the de- these beauties which are of a much higher scription of the Pandæmonium are full of nature, and are therefore apt to censure beauties. There are several other strokes in the see any surprising points of likeness. Mon

Milton's comparisons, in which they do not first book wonderfully poetical, and in- sieur Perrault was a man of this vitiated stances of that sublime genius so peculiar relish, and for that very reason has ento the author. Such is the description of deavoured to turn into ridicule several of Azazel's stature, and the infernal standard Homer's similitudes, which he calls.comwhich he unfurls; as also of that ghastly paraisons à longue queue,' , long-tailed light by, which the fiends appear to one comparisons.' I shall conclude this paper another in their place of torments:

on the first book of Milton with the answer The seat of desolation, void of light,

which Monsieur Boileau makes to Perrault Save what the glimm'ring of those livid flames on this occasion: Comparisons,' says he, Casts pale and dreadful

in odes and epic poems, are not introduced The shout of the whole host of fallen an- only to illustrate and embellish the disgels when drawn up in battle array. course, but to amuse and relax the mind -The universal host up sent

of the reader, by frequently disengaging A shout that tore hell's concave, and beyond him from too painful an attention to the Frighted the reign of Chaos and old Night.

principal subject, and by leading him into The review, which the leader makes of other agreeable images. Homer, says he, his infernal army:

excelled in this particular, whose compariHe through the armed files

sons abound with such images of nature as Darts his experienc'd eye, and soon traverse are proper to relieve and diversify his subThe whole battalion views, their order due, jects. He continually instructs the reader, Their visages and stature as of gods,

and makes him take notice even in objects Their number last he sums; and now his heart Distends with pride, and hard'ning in his strength which are every day before his eyes, of

such circumstances as he should not otherThe flash of light which appeared upon wise have observed.' To this he adds, as the drawing of their swords:

a maxim universally acknowledged, 'that

it is not necessary in poetry for the points He spake: and to confirm his words out flew Millions of flaming swords, drawn from the thighs

of the comparison to correspond with one Of mighty cherubim; the sudden blaze

another exactly, but that a general resemFar round illumin'd hell.

blance is sufficient, and that too much The sudden production of the Pandamo- nicety, in this particular savours of the nium:

rhetorician and epigrammatist.' Anon out of the earth a fabric huge

In short, if we look into the conduct of Rose like an exhalation, with the sound

Homer, Virgil, and Milton, as the great Of dulcet symphonies and voices sweet.

fable is the soul of each poem, so, to give The artificial illuminations made in it:

their works an agreeable variety, their epi

sodes are so many short fables, and their From the arch'd roof Pendent by subtle magic, many a row

similes so many short episodes; to which Of starry lamps and blazing cressets, * fed .

you may add, if you please, that their With Naphtha and Asphaltus, yielded light metaphors are so many short similes. If As from a sky.

the reader considers the comparisons in the * Cresset, i... a blazing light set on a beacon; in of the sleeping leviathan, of the bees swarm

first book of Milton, of the sun in an eclipse, French, croissete, because beacons formerly had crosses on their tops.

ing about their hive, of the fairy dance, in

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