« AnteriorContinuar »
ous respect which criminal lovers retain in ness has not destroyed the esteem I had for their addresses, began to bewail that his you, which was confirmed by so many years passion grew too violent for him to answer of obstinate virtue. You have reason to reany longer for his behaviour towards her, joice that this did not happen within the and that he hoped she would have consi- observation of one of the young fellows, who deration for his long and patient respect, would have exposed your weakness, and to excuse the emotions of a heart now no gloried in his own brutish inclinations. longer under the direction of the unhappy “I am, Madam, your most devoted humowner of it. Such, for some months, had ble servant." been the language of Escalus, both in his talk and his letters to Isabella, who re
Isabella, with the help of her husband,
returned the following answer: turned all the profusion of kind things which had been the collection of fifty years, “SIR,-I cannot but account myself a with “ I must not hear you; you will make very happy woman, in having a man for a me forget that you are a gentleman; I would lover that can write so weil, and give so not willingly lose you as a friend; and the good a turn to a disappointment. Another like expressions, which the skilful inter- excellence you have above all other prepret to their own advantage, as well know- tenders I ever heard of; on occasions where ing that a feeble denial is a modest assent. the most reasonable men lose all their reaI should have told you, that Isabella, during son, you have yours most powerful. We the whole progress of this amour, commu- have each of us to thank our genius that nicated it to her husband; and that an ac- the passion of one abated in proportion count of Escalus's love was their usual en as that of the other grew violent. Does it tertainment after half a day's absence. not yet come into your head to imagine, Isabella therefore, upon her lover's late that I knew my compliance was the greatmore open assaults, with a smile told her est cruelty I could be guilty of towards husband she could hold out no longer, but you? In return for your long and faithful that his fate was now come to a crisis. After passion, I must let you know that you are she had explained herself a little farther, old enough to become a little more gravity; with her husband's approbation, she pro- but if you will leave me, and coquet it any ceeded in the following manner. The next where else, may your mistress yield. time that Escalus was alone with her, and
“ ISABELLA." repeated his importunity, the crafty Isabella looked on her fan with an air of great attention, as considering of what impor- No. 319.] Thursday, March 6, 1711-12. tance such a secret was to her; and upon the repetition of a warm expression, she looked Quo teneam vultus mutantem Protea nodo? at him with an eye of fondness, and told
Hor. Ep. i. Lib. 1. 90. him he was past that time of life which
Say while they change on thus, what chains can bind could make her fear he would boast of a These varying forms, this Proteus of the mind ? lady's favour; then turned away her head,
Francis. with a very well acted confusion, which
I HAVE endeavoured in the course of my favoured the escape of the aged Escalus. papers to do justice to the age, and have This adventure was matter of great plea- taken care, as much as possible, to keep santry to Isabella and her spouse; and they myself a neuter between both sexes. I have had enjoyed it two days before Escalus neither spared the ladies out of complaicould recollect himself enough to form the sance, nor the men out of partiality, but following letter:
notwithstanding the great integrity with
which I have acted in this particular, I “MADAM,—What happened the other find myself taxed with an inclination to faday gives me a lively image of the incon-vour my own half of the species. Whether sistency of human passions and inclinations. it be that the women afford a more fruitful We pursue what we are denied, and place field for speculation, or whether they run our affections on what is absent, though we more in my head than the men, I cannot neglected it when present. As long as you tell; but I shall set down the charge as it refused my love, your refusal did so strongly is laid against me in the following letter. excite my passion, that I had not once the leisure to think of recalling my reason to aid
Mr. SPECTATOR, I always make one me against the design upon your virtue. among a company of young females, who But when that virtue began to comply in peruse your speculations every morning. I my favour, my reason made an effort over am at present commissioned by our whole my love, and let me see the baseness of my assembly to let you know, that we fear you behaviour in attempting a woman of honour. are a little inclined to be partial towards I own to you, it was not without the most your own sex. We must, however, acviolent struggle that I gained this victory knowledge, with all due gratitude, that in over myself; nay, I will confess my shame, some cases you have given us our revenge and acknowledge, I could not have pre- on the men, and done us justice. We could vailed but by fight. However, madam, I not easily have forgiven you several strokes beg that you will believe a moment's weak-I in the dissection of the coquette's heart, if Vol. II,
you had not, much about the same time, , upon the hat and feather; however, to wipe made a sacrifice to us of a beau's skull, off the present imputation, and gratify my
• You may further, sir, please to remem- female correspondent, I shall here print ber, that not long since you attacked our letter which I lately received from a man hoods and commodes in such a manner, as, of mode, who seems to have a very extrato use your own expression, made very ordinary genius in his way, many of us ashamed to show our heads. We must therefore beg leave to represent to you that we are in hopes, if
"Sir, I presume I need not inform you, please to make a due inquiry, the men in that among men of dress it is a common all ages would be found to have been little phrase to say, " Mr. Such-a-one has struck less whimsical in adorning that part than a bold stroke;" by which we understand, ourselves. The different forms of their that he is the first man who has had courage wigs, together with the various cocks of enough to lead up a fashion. Accordingly, their hats, all flatter us in this opinion.
when our tailors take measure of us, they *I had an humble servant last summer, plain suit, or strike a bold stroke?" I think
always demand “ whether we will have a who the first time he declared himself
, was I may without
that I have struck in a full-bottomed wig; but the day after, to my no small surprise, he accosted me in some of the boldest and most successful a thin natural one. I received him at this strokes of any man in Great Britain. I was our second interview as a perfect stranger: two years since; I was likewise the author
the first that struck the long pocket about but was extremely confounded when his
of the frosted button, which when I saw the speech discovered who he was. I resolved, therefore to fix his face in my memory for town come readily
into, being resolved to the future; but as I was walking in the strike while the iron was hot, I produced Park the same evening, he appeared to me the knotted cravat, and made a fair push
much about the same time the scallop flap, in one of those wigs that I think you call a
for the silver-clocked stocking. night-cap, which had altered him more effectually than before. He afterwards play- modish jacket, or the coat with close
A few months after I brought up the ed a couple of black riding-wigs upon me sleeves. 'I struck this at first in a plain with the same success, and, in short, assumed a new face almost every day in the Doily; but that failing, I struck it a second first month of his courtship:
time in a blue camlet, and repeated the "I observed afterwards, that the variety it took effect. There are two or three
stroke in several kinds of cloth, until at last of cocks into which he moulded his hat, had not. a little contributed to his impositions young fellows at the other end of the town
who have always their eye upon me, and upon me.
Yet, as if all these ways were not suf- answer me stroke for stroke. I was once ficient to distinguish their heads, you must tion to a new-fashioned surtout before one
so unwary as to mention my fancy in reladoubtless, sir, have observed, that great of these gentlemen, who was disingenuous numbers of young fellows have, for several months last past, taken upon them to wear
enough to steal my thought, and by that feathers.
means prevented my intended stroke. We hope, therefore, that these may, considerable innovations in the waistcoat;
• I have a design this spring to make very with as much justice, be called Indian and have already begun with a coup d'essai princes, as you have styled a woman in a coloured hood an Indian queen; and that upon the sleeves, which has succeeded you will in due time take these airy gentle
• I must further inform you, if you will men into consideration. “We the more earnestly beg that you at me, that it is my design to strike such a
promise to encourage, or at least to connive would put a stop to this practice, since it stroke the beginning of the next month as has already lost us one of the most agree shall surprise the whole town. able members of our society, who after
• I do not think it prudent to acquaint having refused several good estates, and two titles, was lured from us last week by dress; but will
only tell you, as a sample of
you with all the particulars of my intended a mixed feather. "I am ordered to present you with the White's in a cherry-coloured hat. I took
it, that I shall very speedily appear at respects of our whole company, and am,
this hint from the ladies' hoods, which I "Sir, your very humble servant,
look upon as the boldest stroke that sex has
struck' for these hundred years last past. I • Note. The person wearing the feather, am, sir, your most obedient, most humble though our friend took him for an officer in servant, WILL SPRIGHTLY." the guards, has proved to be an errant linendraper.**
I have not time at present to make any
reflections on this letter; but must not I am not now at leisure to give my opinion however omit that having shown it to Will
Honeycomb, he desires to be acquainted Only an ensign in the train-bands. Spece. In folio. with the gentleman who writ it. X.
No. 320.] Friday, March 7, 1711-12. riages have as constant and regular a cor-non pronuba Juno,
respondence as the funeral-men have with Non Hymenæus adest, non illi gratia lecto:
vintners and apothecaries. All bachelors are Eumenides stravere torum
under their immediate inspection: and my
Ovid. Met. Lib. 6. 428. Nor Hymen, nor the Graces here preside,
friend produced to me a report given in to Nor Juno to befriend the blooming bride ;
their board, wherein an old uncle of mine, But fiends with fun'ral brands the process led, who came to town with me, and myself, were And furies waited at the genial bed.--Croral.
inserted, and we stood thus: the uncle smoky, MR. SPECTATOR, — You have given rotten, poor; the nephew raw, but no fool; many hints in your papers to the disadvan- sound at present, very rich. My informatage of persons of your own sex, who lay tion did not end here; but my friend's adplots upon women. Among other hard vices are so good, that he could show me a words you have published the term “ Male copy of the letter sent to the young lady Coquettes,”and have been very severe upon who is to have me; which I enclose to you: such as give themselves the liberty of a little dalliance of heart, and playing fast
“Madam_This is to let you know that and loose between love and indifference, you are to be married to a beau that comes until perhaps an easy young girl is reduced the Park. You cannot but know a virgin fop; to sighs, dreams, and tears, and languishes they have a mind to look saucy, but are out away her life for a careless coxcomb, who of countenance. The board has denied him looks astonished, and wonders at such an to several good families. I wish you joy; effect from what in him was all but com
“CORINNÅ.” mon civility. Thus you have treated the men who are irresolute in marriage; but if What makes my correspondent's case you design to be impartial, pray be so honest the more deplorable is, that, as I find by as to print the information I now give you the report from my censor of marriages, of a certain set of women who never coquet the friend he speaks of is employed by the for the matter, but, with a high hand, inquisition to take him in, as the phrase marry whom they please to whom they is. After all that is told him, he has inforplease. As for my part, I should not have mation only of one woman that is laid for concerned myself with them, but that I him, and that the wrong one; for the lady understand that I am pitched upon by them commissioners have devoted him to another to be married, against my will, to one I than the person against whom they have never saw in my life. It has been my mis- employed their agent his friend to alarm fortune, sir, very innocently, to rejoice in a him. The plot is laid so we about this plentiful fortune, of which I am master, to young gentleman, that he has no friend to bespeak a fine chariot, to give directions retire to, no place to appear in, or part of for two or three handsome snuff-boxes, and the kingdom to fly into, but he must fall as many suits of fine clothes; but before any into the notice, and be subject to the power of these were ready I heard reports of my of the inquisition. They have their emissabeing to be married to two or three differ- ries and substitutes in all parts of this united ent young women. Upon my taking notice kingdom. The first step they usually take, of it to a young gentleman who is often in is to find from a correspondence, by their my company, he told me smiling, I was in messengers and whisperers, with some dothe inquisition. You may believe I was not mestic of the bachelor, (who is to be hunted a little startled at what he meant, and into the toils they have laid for him,) what more so, when he asked me if I had be- are his manners, his familiarities, his good spoke any thing of late that was fine. I qualities, or vices; not as the good in him told him several; upon which he produced is a recommendation, or the ill a diminua description of my person, from the trades- tion, but as they affect to contribute to the men whom I had employed, and told me main inquiry, what estate he has in him. that they had certainly informed against When this point is well reported to the
Mr. Spectator, whatever the world board, they can take in a wild roaring foxmay think of me, I am more coxcomb than hunter, as easily as a soft, gentle young fop fool, and I grew very inquisitive upon this of the town. The way is to make all places head, not a little pleased with the novelty. uneasy to him, but the scenes in which they My friend told me, there were a certain set have állotted him
to act. His brother huntsof women of fashion, whereof the number men, bottle companions, his fraternity of of six made a committee, who sat thrice a fops, shall be brought into the conspiracy week, under the title of “ The Inquisition against him. Then this matter is not laid on Maids and Bachelors.” It seems, when- in so barefaced a manner before him as to ever there comes such an unthinking gay have it intimated, Mrs. Such-a-one would thing as myself to town, he must want all make him a very proper wife; but by the manner of necessaries, or be put into the force of their correspondence, they shall inquisition by the first tradesman he em- make it (as Mr. Waller said of the marploys. They have constant intelligence with riage of the dwarfs,) as impracticable to Gane-shops, perfumers, toy-men, coach- have any woman besides her they design makers, and china-houses. From these him, as it would have been in Adam to several places these undertakers for mar- I have refused Eve. The man named by
the commission for Mrs. Such-a-one shall day at a neighbouring coffee-house, where neither be in fashion, nor dare ever ap- we have what I may call a lazy club. We pear in company, should he attempt to generally come in night-gowns, with our evade their determination.
stockings about our heels, and sometimes The female sex wholly govern domestic but one on. Our salutation at entrance is a life; and by this means, when they think yawn and a stretch, and then without more fit, they can sow dissensions between the ceremony we take our place at the lollingdearest friends, nay, make father and son table, where our discourse is, what I fear irreconcilable enemies, in spite of all the you would not read out, therefore shall not ties of gratitude on one part, and the duty insert. But I assure you, sir, I heartily of protection to be paid on the other. The lament this loss of time, and am now reladies of the inquisition understand this per- solved, (if possible, with double diligence,) fectly well; and where love is not a motive to retrieve it, being effectually awakened to a 'man's choosing one whom they allot, by the arguments of Mr. Slack, out of the they can with very much art insinuate sto- senseless stupidity that has so long posries to the disadvantage of his honesty or sessed me. And to demonstrate that penicourage, until the creature is too much tence accompanies my confessions, and condispirited to bear up against a general ill stancy my resolutions, I have locked my reception, which he every where meets door for a year, and desire you would let with, and in due time falls into their ap- my companions know I am not within. I pointed wedlock for shelter. I have a long am with great respect, sir, your most obeletter bearing date the fourth instant, which dient servant, gives me a large account of the policies of T.
•N. B.' this court; and find there is now before them a very refractory, person who has escaped all their machinations for two No. 321.] Saturday, March 8, 1711-12. years last past; but they have prevented two successive matches which were of his Nec satis est pulchra esse poemata, dulcia sunto.
Hor. Ars Poet. v. 99. own inclination; the one by a report that his mistress was to be married, and the very Tis not enough a poem's finely writ;
It must affect and captivate the soul.-- Roscommon. day appointed, wedding-clothes bought, and all things ready for her being given to an THOSE who know how many volumes other; the second time by insinuating to all have been written on the poems of Homer his mistress's friends and acquaintance, that and Virgil will easily pardon the length of he had been false to several other women, my discourse upon Milton. The Paradise and the like. The poor man is now re- Lost is looked upon by the best judges, as duced to profess he designs to lead a single the greatest production, or at least the life; but the inquisition give out to all his noblest work of genius in our language, acquaintance, that nothing is intended but and therefore deserves to be set before an the gentleman's own welfare and happi- English reader in its full beauty. For this ness. When this is urged, he talks still reason, though I have endeavoured to give more humbly, and protests he aims only at a general idea of its graces and imperfeca life without pain or reproach; pleasure, tions in my first six papers, I thought myhonour, and riches, are things for which he self obliged to bestow one upon every book has no taste. But notwithstanding all this, in particular. The first three books I have and what else he may defend himself with, already despatched, and am now entering as that the lady is too old or too young, of a upon the fourth. I need not acquaint my suitable humour, or the quite contrary, and reader that there are multitudes of beauthat it is impossible they can ever do other ties in this great author, especially in the than wrangle from June to January, every descriptive parts of this poem, which I body tells him all this is spleen, and he have not touched upon; it being my intenmust have a wife; while all the members tion to point out those only which appear of the inquisition are unanimous in a certain to me the most exquisite, or those which woman for him, and they think they al- are not so obvious to ordinary readers. together are better able to judge than he, Every one that has read the critics who or any other private person whatsoever. have written upon the Odyssey, the Iliad,
and the Æneid, knows very well, that • Temple, March 3, 1711. though they agree in their opinions of the SIR, - Your speculation this day on the great beauties in those poems, they have subject of idleness has employed me ever nevertheless each of them discovered sevesince I read it, in sorrowful reflections on ral master-strokes, which have escaped the my having loitered away the term (or rather observation of the rest. In the same manthe vacation) of ten years in this place, and ner, I question not but any writer, who shall unhappily suffered a good chamber and treat of this subject after me may find sevestudy to lie idle as long. My books (except ral beauties in Milton, which I have ncpt those I have taken to sleep upon, have taken notice of. I must likewise observe, been totally neglected, and my Lord Coke that as the greatest masters of critical learnand other venerable authors were never so ing differ among one another, as to some slighted in their lives. I spend most of the particular points in an epic poem, I have:
not bound myself scrupulously to the rules forth into a speech that is softened with which any one of them has laid down upon several transient touches of remorse and that art, but have taken the liberty some- self-accusation: but at length he confirms times to join with one, and sometimes with himself in impenitence, and in his design another, and sometimes to differ from all of of drawing man into his own state of guilt them, when I have thought that the reason and misery. This conflict of passions is of the thing was on my side.
raised with a great deal of art, as the openWe may conclude the beauties of the ing of his speech to the sun is very bold fourth book under three heads. In the first and noble: are those pictures of still-life, which we
O thou, that with surpassing glory crown'd, meet with in the description of Eden, Para Look'st from thy sole dominion like the god dise, Adam's bower, &c. In the next are the Of this new world; at whose sight all the stars machines, which comprehend the speeches
Hide their diminish'd heads; to thee I call,
But with no friendly voice; and add thy name, and behaviour of the good and bad angels.
O sun! to tell thee how I hate thy beams, In the last is the conduct of Adam and Eve, That bring to my remembrance from what state who are the principal actors in the poem.
I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere.' In the description of Paradise, the poet This speech is, I think, the finest that is has cbserved Aristotle's rule of lavishing ascribed to Satan in the whole poem. The all the ornaments of diction on the weak evil spirit afterwards proceeds to make his unactive parts of the fable, which are not discoveries concerning our first parents, supported by the beauty of sentiments and and to learn after what manner they may characters. Accordingly the reader may be best attacked. His bounding over the observe, that the expressions are more walls of Paradise: his sitting in the shape forid and elaborate in these descriptions, of a cormorant upon the tree of life, which than in most other parts of the poem. I stood in the centre of it, and overtopped all must further add, that though the draw- the other trees of the garden, his alighting ings of gardens, rivers, rainbows, and the among the herd of animals, which are so like dead pieces of nature, are justly cen- beautifully represented as playing about sured in an heroic poem, when they run out | Adam and Eve; together with his transinto an unnecessary length—the description forming himself into different shapes, in of Paradise would have been faulty, had order to hear their conversation; are cirnot the poet been very particular in it, not cumstances that give an agreeable surprise only as it is the scene of the principal ac to the reader, and are devised with great tion, but as it is requisite to give us an idea art, to connect that series of adventures in of that happiness from which our first pa- which the poet has engaged this artificer rents fell. The plan of it is wonderfully of fraud. beautiful, and formed upon the short sketch The thought of Satan's transformation which we have of it in holy writ. Milton's into a cormorant, and placing himself on the exuberance of imagination has poured forth tree of life, seems raised upon that passage such a redundancy of ornaments on this in the Iliad, where two deities are described seat of happiness and innocence, that it as perching on the top of an oak in the would be endless to point out each par- shape of vultures. ticular.
His planting himself at the ear of Eve I must not quit this head without further under the form of a toad, in order to proobserving, that there is scarce a speech of duce vain dreams and imaginations, is a Adam or Eve in the whole poem, wherein circumstance of the same nature; as his the sentiments and allusions are not taken starting up in his own form is wonderfully from this their delightful habitation. The fine, both in the literal description, and in reader, during their whole course of action the moral which is concealed under it. His always finds himself in the walks of Para-answer upon his being discovered, and dedise. In short, as the critics have remarked, manded to give an account of himself, is that in those poems wherein shepherds are conformable to the pride and intrepidity of the actors, the thoughts ought always to of his character: take a tincture from the woods, fields, and
Know ye not, then,' said Satan, filld with scorn, rivers; so we may observe, that our first
*Know ye not me!' Ye knew me once no mate parents seldom lose sight of their happy For you, there sitting where you durst not soar: station in any thing they speak or do; and,
Not to know me argues yourselves unknown, if the reader will give me leave to use the
The lowest of your throngexpression, that their thoughts are always Zephon's rebuke, with the influence it * paradisaical.'
had on Satan, is exquisitely graceful and We are in the next place to consider the moral. Satan is afterwards led away to machines of the fourth book. Satan being Gabriel, the chief of the guardian angels, now within the prospect of Eden, and look- who kept watch in Paradise. His disdainful ing round upon the glories of the creation, behaviour on this occasion is so remarkable is filled with sentiments different from those a beauty, that the most ordinary reader which he discovered whilst he was in hell. cannot but take notice of it. Gabriel's disThe place inspires him with thoughts more covering his approach at a distance is drawn adapted to it. He reflects upon the happy with great strength and liveliness of imagicondition from whence he fell, and breaks | nation: