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for his entertainment, he lifted up a trap-| he desires me to take his father, who keeps door that was placed by his footstool. At a great estate from him, out of the miseries its rising, there issued through it such a of human life. The old fellow shall live din of cries as astonished the philosopher. till he makes his heart ache, I can tell him Upon his asking what they meant, Jupiter that for his pains.' This was followed up told him they were the prayers that were by the soft voice of a pious lady, desiring sent up to him from the earth. Menippus, Jupiter that she might appear amiable and amidst the confusion of voices, which was charming in the sight of her emperor. As so great that nothing less than the ear of the philosopher was reflecting on this exJove could distinguish them, heard the traordinary petition, there blew a gentle words “riches, honour,” and “long life,” wind through the trap-door which he at repeated in several different tones and lan- first took for a gentle gale of zephyrs, but guages. When the first hubbub of sounds afterwards found it to be a breeze of sighs. was over, the trap-door being left open, They smelt strong of flowers and incense, the voices came up more separate and dis- and were succeeded by most passionate tinct. The first prayer was a very odd one; complaints of wounds and torments, fire it came from Athens, and desired Jupiter and arrows, cruelty, despair and death. to increase the wisdom and beard of his Menippus fancied that such lamentable humble supplicant. Menippus knew it by cries arose from some general execution, the voice to be the prayer of his friend Li- or from wretches lying under the torture; cander the philosopher. This was succeed- but Jupiter told him that they came up to ed by the petition of one who had just laden him from the isle of Paphos, and that he a ship, and promised Jupiter, if he took every day received complaints of the same care of it, and returned it home again full nature from that whimsical tribe of mortals of riches, he would make him an offering who are called lovers. “I am so trifled of a silver cup. Jupiter thanked him for with,” says he,"by this generation of both nothing; and bending down his ear more sexes, and find it so impossible to please attentively than ordinary, heard a voice them, whether I grant or refuse their peticomplaining to him of the cruelty of an tions, that I shall order a western wind for Ephesian widow, and begged him to breed the future to intercept them in their pascompassion in her heart. “ This,” says sage, and blow them at random upon the Jupiter, “is a very honest fellow. I have earth,” The last petition I heard was from received a great deal of incense from him; a very aged man of near a hundred years I will not be so cruel to him as not to hear old, begging but for one year more of life,
He was then interrupted and then promising to be contented. “ This with a whole volley of vows which were is the rarest old fellow!” says Jupiter; "he made for the health of a tyrannical prince has made this prayer to me for above by his subjects, who prayed for him in his twenty years together. When he was but presence. Menippus was surprised after fifty years old, he desired only that he having listened to prayers offered up with might live to see his son settled in the world: so much ardour and devotion, to hear low I granted it. He then begged the same fawhispers from the same assembly, expos-vour for his daughter, and afterwards that tulating with Jove for suffering such a he might see the education of a grandson. tyrant to live, and asking him how his When all this was brought about, he puts thunder could lie idle? Jupiter was so up a petition that he might live to finish a offended with these prevaricating rascals, house he was building. In short, he is an that he took down the first vows, and puffed unreasonable old cur, and never wants an away the last. The philosopher, seeing a excuse; I will hear no more of him.” Upon great cloud mounting upwards, and making which he flung down the trap-door in a its way directly to the trap-door, inquired passion, and was resolved to give no more of Jupiter what it meant. “This," says audiences that day.' Jupiter, “is the smoke of a whole heca Notwithstanding the levity of this fable, tomb that is offered me by the general of the moral of it very well deserves our atan army, who is very importunate with me tention, and is the same with that which has to let him cut off a hundred thousand men been inculcated by Socrates and Plato, not that are drawn up in array against him. to mention Juvenal and Persius, who have What does the impudent wretch think I each of them made the finest satire in their see in him, to believe that I will make a whole works upon this subject. The vanity sacrifice of so many mortals as good as him- of men's wishes which are the natural self, and all this to his glory forsooth? But prayers of the mind, as well as many of hark!” says Jupiter, there is a voic I those secret devotions which they offer to never heard but in time of danger: 'tis a the Supreme Being, are sufficiently exposed rogue that is shipwrecked in the Ionian by it. Among other reasons for set forms of sea. I saved him on a plank but three days prayer, I have often thought it a very good ago upon his promise to mend his manners; one, that by this means the folly and exthe scoundrel is not worth a groat, and yet travagance of men's desires may be kept has the impudence to offer me a temple, if within due bounds, and not break out in I will keep him from sinking.But yon- absurd and ridiculous petitions on so great der,” says he, “is a special youth for you; and solemn an occasion.
No. 392.] Friday, May 30, 1712. to me, that is was pleasantly said, had I Per ambages et ministeria deorum
been little enough, she would have hung recipitandus est liber spiritus.
me at her girdle. The most dangerous By fable's aid ungovern'd fancy soars,
rival I had, was a gay empty fellow, who And claims the ministry of heav'nly powers. by the strength of a long intercourse with The transformation of Fidelio into a look- Narcissa, joined to his natural endowments, ing-glass.
had formed himself into a perfect resem
blance with her. I had been discarded, had • MR. SPECTATOR, I was lately at a she not observed that he frequently asked tea-table, where some young ladies enter- my opinion about matters of the last contained the company with a relation of a co- sequence. This made me still more conquette in the neighbourhood, who had been siderable in her eye. discovered practising before her glass. To “Though I was eternally caressed by turn the discourse, which from being witty the ladies, such was their opinion of my grew to be malicious, the matron of the honour, that I was never envied by the family took occasion from the subject to men. A jealous lover of Narcissa one day wish that there were to be found amongst thought he had caught her in an amorous men such faithful monitors to dress the conversation: for, though he was at such a mind by, as we consult to adorn the body. distance that he could hear nothing, he She added, that if a sincere friend were imagined strange things from her airs and miraculously changed into a looking-glass, gestures. Sometimes with a serene look she should not be ashamed to ask its advice she stepped back in a listening posture, very often. This whimsical thought work- and brightened into an innocent smile. ed so much upon my fancy the whole even- Quickly after she swelled into an air of ing, that it produced a very odd dream. majesty and disdain, then kept her eyes
Methought that, as I stood before my half shut after a languishing manner, then glass, the image of a youth of an open in- covered her blushes with her hand, breathed genuous aspect appeared in it, who with a a sigh, and seemed ready to sink down. shrill voice spoke in the following manner: In rushed the furious lover; but how great
“The looking-glass you see was hereto- was his surprise to see no one there but the fore a man, even I, the unfortunate Fidelio. innocent Fidelio with his back against the I had two brothers, whose deformity in wall betwixt two windows! shape was made up by the clearness of their “It were endless to recount all my adunderstanding. It must be owned, how- ventures. Let me hasten to that which ever, that (as it generally happens) they cost me my life, and Narcissa her happihad each a perverseness of humour suitable ness. to their distortion of body. The eldest, " She had the misfortune to have the whose belly sunk in monstrously, was a small-pox, upon which I was expressly great coward, and, though his splenetic forbid her sight, it being apprehended that contracted temper made him take fire im- it would increase her distemper, and that mediately, he made objects that beset him I should infallibly catch it at the first look. appear greater than they were. The se-As soon as she was suffered to leave her cond, whose breast swelled into a bold re- bed, she stole out of her chamber, and lievo, on the contrary, took great pleasure found me all alone in an adjoining apartin lessening every thing, and was perfectly ment. She ran with transport to her darthe reverse of his brother. These oddnesses ling, and without mixture of fear lest I pleased company once or twice, but dis- should dislike her. But, oh me! what was gusted when often seen; for which reason, her fury when she heard me say, I was the young gentlemen were sent from court afraid and shocked at so loathsome a specto study mathematics at the university. tacle! She stepped back, swollen with
“I need not acquaint you, that I was very rage, to see if I had the insolence to rewell made, and reckoned a bright polite peat it. I did, with this addition, that gentleman. I was the confidant and darling her ill-timed passion had increased her of all the fair; and if the old and ugly spoke ugliness. Enraged, inflamed, distracted, ill of me, all the world knew it was because she snatched a bodkin, and with all her I scorned to flatter them. No ball, no as-force stabbed me to the heart. Dying, I sembly, was attended till I had been con- preserved my sincerity, and expressed the sulted. Flavia coloured her hair before truth though in broken words; and by reme, Celia showed me her teeth, Panthea proachful grimaces to the last I mimicked heaved her bosom, Cleora brandished her the deformity of my murderess, diamond; I have seen Cloe's foot, and tied “Cupid, who always attends the fair, artificially the garters of Rhodope. and pitíed the fate of so useful a servant as
“ It is a general maxim, that those who I was, obtained of the destinies, that my dote upon themselves can have no violent body should remain incorruptible, and reaffection for another; but on the contrary, tain the qualities my mind had possessed, I found that the women's passion rose for I immediately lost the figure of a man, and me in proportion to the love they bore to became smooth, polished, and bright, and themselves. This was verified in my to this day am the first favourite of the amour with Narcissa, who was so constant | ladies."
No. 393.] Saturday, May 31, 1712. through the mind of the beholder, upon
scenes of nature: he has Nescio qua præter solitum dulcedine læti.
touched upon it twice or thrice in his PaVirg. Georg. i. 412.
radise Lost, and describes it very beautiUnusual sweetness purer joys inspires.
fully under the name of “vernal delight,' in Looking over the letters that have been that passage where he represents the devil sent me, I chanced to find the following himself as almost sensible of it: one, which I received about two years ago
Blossoms and fruits at once a golden hue from an ingenious friend who was then in
Appear’d, with gay enameli'd colours mixt: Denmark.
On which the sun more glad impress'd his beams
Than in fair evening cloud, or humid bow, • Copenhagen, May 1, 1710. When God hath shower'd the earth; so lovely seemd • DEAR SIR,— The spring with you has That landskip, and of pure now purer air
Meets his approach, and to the heart inspires already taken possession of the fields and
Vernal delight, and joy able to drive woods. Now is the season of solitude, and All sadness, but despair, &c. of moving complaints upon trivial sufferings. Now the griefs of lovers begin to of the creature, and represented the bar
Many authors have written on the vanity flow, and the wounds to bleed afresh. 1, too, at this distance from the softer climates, renness of every thing in this world, and its am not without my discontents at present: stantial happiness. As discourses of this
incapacity of producing any solid or subYou may perhaps laugh at me for a most romantic wretch, when I have disclosed to nature are very useful to the sensual and you the occasion of my uneasiness: and yet the bright side of things, and lay forth
voluptuous, those speculations which show I cannot help thinking my unhappiness real, in being confined to a region which those innocent entertainments which are to is the very reverse of Paradise. The seasons
be met with among the several objects that here are all of them unpleasant, and the encompass us, are no less beneficial to men country quite destitute of rural charms. I of dark and melancholy tempers. It was have not heard a bird sing, nor a brook for this reason that I endeavoured to remurmur, nor a breeze whisper, neither commend a cheerfulness of mind in my two have I been blest with the sight of a flow- last Saturday's papers, and which I would
still inculcate, not only from the consideraery meadow, these two years. Every wind here is a tempest, and every water a tur
tion of ourselves, and of that Being on whom bulent ocean. I hope, when you reflect a
we depend, nor from the general survey of little, you will not think the grounds of
that universe in which we are placed at
my complaint in the least frivolous and unbe- present, but from reflections on the parcoming a man of serious thought;
since the ticular season in which this paper is writlove of woods, of fields and flowers, of rivers
The creation is a perpetual feast to and fountains, seems to be a passion im- the mind of a good man;
every thing he sees planted in our natures the most early of any,
cheers and delights him. Providence has even before the fair sex had a being. 'i imprinted so many smiles on nature, that it am, sir, &c.
is impossible for a mind which is not sunk
in more gross and sensual delights, to take Could I transport myself with a wish, a survey of them without several secret from one country to another, I should choose sensations of pleasure. The psalmist has, to pass my winter in Spain, 'my spring in in several of his divine poems, celebrated Italy, my summer in England, and my au- those beautiful and agreeable scenes which tumn in France. Of all these seasons there make the heart glad, and produce in it that is none that can vie with the spring for vernal delight which I have before taken beauty and delightfulness. It bears the notice of. same figure among the seasons of the year, Natural philosophy quickens this taste that the morning does among the divisions of of the creation, and renders it not only the day, or youth among the stages of life. pleasing to the imagination, but to the unThe English summer is pleasanter than that derstanding. It does not rest in the murof any other country in Europe, on no other mur of brooks and the melody of birds, in account but because it has a greater mix- the shade of groves and woods, or in the ture of spring in it. The mildness of our embroidery of fields and meadows; but conclimate, with those frequent refreshments siders the several ends of Providence which of dews and rains that fall among us, keep are served by them, and the wonders of up a perpetual cheerfulness in our fields, divine wisdom which appear in them. It and fill the hottest months of the year with heightens the pleasures of the eye, and a lively verdure.
raises such a rational admiration in the In the opening of the spring, when all soul as is little inferior to devotion. nature begins to recover herself, the same It is not in the power of every one to animal pleasure which makes the birds offer up this kind of worship to the great sing, and the whole brute creation rejoice, Author of nature, and to indulge these rises very sensibly in the heart of man. Í more refined meditations of heart, which know none of the poets who have observed are doubtless highly acceptable in his sight; so well as Milton those secret overflow- I shall therefore conclude this short essay ings of gladness which diffuse themselves on that pleasure which the mind naturally
conceives from the present season of the verses, and working from the observation year, by the recommending of a practice of such their bias in all matters wherein he for which every one has sufficient abilities. has any intercourse with them: for his ease
I would have my readers endeavour to and comfort he may assure himself, he need moralize this natural pleasure of the soul, not be at the expense of any great talent or and to improve this vernal delight, as Mil- virtue to please even those who are poston calls it, into a Christian virtue. When sessed of the highest qualifications. Pride, we find ourselves inspired with this pleasing in some particular disguise or other, (often instinct, this secret satisfaction and compla- a secret to the proud man himself) is the cency arising from the beauties of the crea- most ordinary spring of action among men. tion, let us consider to whom we stand in- You need no more than to discover what a debted for all these entertainments of sense, man values himself for; then of all things and who it is that thus opens his hand and admire that quality, but be sure to be failfills the world with good. The apostle in- ing in it yourself in comparison of the man structs us to take advantage of our present whom you court. I have heard, or read, temper of mind, to graft upon it such a re- of a secretary of state in Spain, who served ligious exercise as is particularly conform- a prince who was happy in an elegant use able to it, by that precept which advises of the Latin tongue, and often writ dethose who are sad to pray, and those who spatches in it with his own hand. The king are merry to sing psalms. The cheerful showed his secretary a letter he had writness of heart which springs up in us from ten to a foreign prince, and, under the colour the survey of nature's works, is an admira- of asking his advice, laid a trap for his apble preparation for gratitude. The mind plause. The honest man read it as a faithhas gone a great way towards praise and ful counsellor, and not only excepted against thanksgiving, that is filled with such secret his tying himself down too much by some gladnessma grateful reflection on the su- expressions, but mended the phrase in preme cause who produces it, sanctifies it others. You may guess the despatches in the soul, and gives it its proper value. that evening did not take much longer Such an habitual disposition of mind conse- time. Mr. Secretary as soon as he came to crates every field and wood, turns an ordi- his own house, sent for his eldest son, and nary walk into a morning or evening sa- communicated to him that the family must crifice, and will improve those transient retire out of Spain as soon as possible: 'for,' gleams of joy which naturally brighten up said he, “the king knows I understand Latin and refresh the soul on such occasions, into better than he does.' an inviolable and perpetual state of bliss This egregious fault in a man of the world and happiness.
I. should be a lesson to all who would make
their fortunes; but regard must be carefully
had to the person with whom you have to No. 394.] Monday, June 2, 1712.
do; for it is not to be doubted but a great
man of common sense must look with secret Bene colligitur hæc pueris et mulierculis et servis et ser: indignation, or bridled laughter, on all the
et ea quæ fiunt judicio certo ponderanti, probari posse faces to approve and smile at all he says in vorum similimis liberis esse grata: gravi vero homini slaves who stand around him with ready nullo modo.--Tull. It is obvious to see, that these things are very accepi: observe a superior talking half sentences,
It is good comedy enough to able to children, young women, and servants, and to such as most resemble servants; but that they can by and playing an humble admirer's counteno means meet with the approbation of people of nance from one thing to another, with such thought and consideration.
perplexity, that he knows not what to sneer I HAVE been considering the little and in approbation of. But this kind of comfrivolous things which give men accesses to plaisance is peculiarly the manner of courts; one another, and power with each other, in all other places you must constantly go not only in the common and indifferent ac- further in compliance with the persons you cidents of life, but also in matters of greater have to do with, than a mere conformity of importance. You see in elections for mem- looks and gestures. If you are in a country bers to sit in parliament, how far saluting life, and would be a leading man, a good rows of old women, drinking with clowns, stomach, a loud voice, and rustic cheerfuland being upon a level with the lowest part ness, will go a great way, provided you are of mankind in that wherein they themselves able to drink, and drink any thing.' But I are lowest, their diversions, will carry a was just now going to draw the manner of candidate. A capacity for prostituting a behaviour I would advise people to practise man's self in his behaviour, and descending under some maxim; and intimated, that to the present humour of the vulgar, is per- every one almost was governed by his pride. haps as good an ingredient as any other for There was an old fellow about forty years making a considerable figure in the world; ago so peevish and fretful, though a man of and if a man has nothing else or better to business, that no one could come at him; think of, he could not make his way to but he frequented a particular little coffeewealth and distinction by properer me- house, where he triumphed over every body thods, than studying the particular bent or at trick-track and backgammon. The way inclination of people with whom he con-I to pass his office well, was first to be insulted
by him at one of those games in his leisure But, though I hope for the best, I shall hours; for his vanity was to show that he not pronounce too positively on this point, was a man of pleasure as well as business. till have seen forty weeks well over; at Next to this sort of insinuation, which is which period of time, as my good friend called in all places (from its taking its birth Sir Roger has often told me, he has more in the household of princes) making one's business as justice of peace, among the discourt, the most prevailing way is, by what solute young people in the country, than at better-bred people call a present, the vul- any other season of the year. gar a bribe. I humbly conceive that such Neither must I forget a letter which I a thing is conveyed with more gallantry in received near a fortnight since from a lady, a billet-doux that should be understood at who, it seems, could hold out no longer, tellthe Bank, than in gross money: but as to ing me she looked upon the month as then stubborn people, who are so surly as to ac- out, for that she had all along reckoned by cept of neither note nor cash, having for- the new style. merly dabbled in chemistry, I can only say,
On the other hand, I have great reason that one part of matter asks one thing, and to believe, from several angry letters which another another, to make it fuent: but have been sent to me by disappointed lovers, there is nothing but may be dissolved by a that my advice has been of very signal serproper mean. Thus, the virtue which is vice to the fair sex, who, according to the too obdurate for gold or paper, shall melt old proverb, were forewarned, forearmed.' away very kindly in a liquid. The island One of these gentlemen tells me, that he of Barbadoes (a shrewd people) manage all would have given me a hundred pounds, their appeals to Great Britain by a skilful rather than I should have published that distribution of citron water* among the paper; for that his mistress, who had prowhisperers about men in power. Generous mised to explain herself to him about the wines do every day prevail, and that in great beginning of May, upon reading that dispoints, where ten thousand times their value course told him, that she would give him would have been rejected with indignation. her answer in June.
But, to wave the enumeration of the sun Thyrsis acquaints me, that when he dedry ways of applying by presents, bribes, sired Sylvia to take a walk in the fields, she management of people's passions and affec- told him, the Spectator had forbidden her. tions, in such a manner as it shall appear Another of my correspondents, who that the virtue of the best man is by one writes himself Mat Meager, complains method or other corruptible, let us look out that, whereas he constantly used to breakfor some expedient to turn those passions fast with his mistress upon chocolate; going and affections on the side of truth and ho- to wait upon her the first of May, he found
When a man has laid it down for a his usual treat very much changed for the position, that parting with his integrity, in worse, and has been forced to feed ever the minuter circumstance, is losing so much since upon green tea. of his very self, self-love will become a vir As I begun this critical season with a tue. By this means good and evil will be caveat to the ladies, I shall conclude it the only objects of dislike and approbation; with a congratulation, and do most heartily and he that injures any man, has effectually wish them joy of their happy deliverance. wounded the man of this turn as much as They may now reflect with pleasure on if the harm had been to himself. This the dangers they have escaped, and look seems to be the only expedient to arrive at back with as much satisfaction on the perils an impartiality; and a man who follows the that threatened them, as their great granddictates of truth and right reason, may by mothers did formerly on the burning ploughartifice be led into error, but never can into shares, after having passed through the guilt.
T. ordeal trial. The instigations of the spring
are now abated. The nightingale gives
over her love-labour'd song,' as Milton No. 395.] Tuesday, June 3, 1712.
phrases it; the blossoms are fallen, and the Quod nunc ratio est, impetus ante fuit.
beds of flowers swept away by the scythe
of the mower. 'Tis reason now, 'twas appetite before.
I shall now allow my fair readers to BEWARE of the ides of March,' said the return to their romances and chocolate, Roman augur to Julius Cæsar: · Beware of provided they make use of them with modethe month of May,' says the British Spec- ration, till about the middle of the month, tator to his fair country-women. The cau- when the sun shall have made some protion of the first was unhappily neglected, gress in the Crab. Nothing is more danand Cæsar's confidence cost him his life. I gerous than too much confidence and secuam apt to flatter myself that my pretty
rity. The Trojans, who stood upon their readers had much more regard to the ad- guard all the while the Grecians lay before vice I gave them, since I have yet received their city, when they fancied the siege was very few accounts of any notorious trips raised, and the danger past, were the very made in the last month.
next night burnt in their beds. I must also
observe, that as in some climates there is * Then commonly called Barbadoes wuter. perpetual spring, so in some female consti
Ovid. Rem. Amor. 10.