« AnteriorContinuar »
tutions there is a perpetual May. These ceived about half a year ago from a gentleare a kind of valetudinarians in chastity, man at Cambridge, who styles himself Pewhom I would continue in a constant diet. ter de Quir. I have kept it by me some I cannot think these wholly out of danger, months; and, though I did not know at first till they have looked upon the other sex at what to make of it, upon my reading it over least five years through a pair of spectacles. very frequently I have at last discovered Will Honeycomb has often assured me, that several conceits in it: I would not therefore it is much easier to steal one of this species, have my reader discouraged if he does not when she has passed her grand climacteric, take them at the first perusal. than to carry off an icy girl on this side five-and-twenty; and that a rake of his ac
* To the Spectator. quaintance, who had in vain endeavoured to
'From St. John's College, Cambridge, Feb. 3, 1712. gain the affections of a young lady of fifteen, had at last made his fortune by running versity has been an immemorial privilege
“SIR,—The monopoly of puns in this uniaway with her grandmother.
of the Johnians:* and we can't help resentBut as I do not design this speculation for ing the late invasion of our ancient rights as the evergreens of the sex, I shall again ap- to that particular, by a little pretender to ply myself to those who would willingly clenching in a neighbouring college, who in listen to the dictates of reason and virtue, application to you by way of letter, a while and can now hear me in cold blood. If there are any who have forfeited their inno- as you are by character a professed well
ago, styled himself Philobrune. Dear sir, cence, they must now consider themselves wisher to speculation, you will excuse a reunder that melancholy view in which Cha-I mark which this gentleman's passion for the mont regards liis sister, in those beautiful brunette has suggested to a brother theorist; lines:
it is an offer towards a mechanical account - Long she flourish'd,
of his lapse to punning, for he belongs to a Grew sweet to sense, and lovely to the eye. set of mortals who value themselves upon an Till at the last a cruel spoiler came, Cropt this fair rose, and ritled all its sweetness,
uncommon mastery in the more humane and Then cast it like a loathsome weed away.' polite parts of letters. On the contrary, she who has observed females gives a very odd turn to the in
• A conquest by one of this species of the timely cautions I gave her, and lived up tellectuals of the captivated person, and to the rules of modesty, will now flourish like “a rose in June,' with all her virgin very different from that way of thinking blushes and sweetness about her. I must, which a triumph from the eyes of another, however, desire these last to consider, how more emphatically of the fair sex, does geshameful it would be for a general who has nerally occasion. It fills the imagination made a successful campaign, to be surprised with an assemblage of such ideas and picin his winter quarters. It would be no less tures as are hardly any thing but shade, dishonourable for a lady to lose, in any other such as night, the devil, &c. These pormonth in the year, what she has been at the traitures very near overpower the light of pains to preserve in May.
the understanding, almost benight the faThere is no charm in the female sex that culties, and give that melancholy tincture can supply the place of virtue. Without to the most sanguine complexion, which innocence, beauty is unlovely, and quality brown-study, and is usually attended with
this gentleman calls an inclination to be in a contemptible; good-breeding degenerates into wantonness, and wit into impudence. During this twilight of intellects the patient
worse consequences in case of a repulse. It is observed, that all the virtues are represented by both painters and statuaries is extremely apt, as love is the most witty under female shapes; but if any of them has passion in nature, to offer at some pert sala more particular title
to that sex, it is mo- lies now and then, by way of flourish, upon desty. I shall leave it to the divines to
the amiable enchantress, and unfortunately guard them against the opposite vice, as stumbles upon that mongrel miscreated (to they may be overpowered by temptations. speak in Miltonic) kind of wit, vulgarly It is sufficient for me to have warned them termed the pun. It would not be much
(who is against it, as they may be led astray by in- amiss to consult Dr. Tstinct.
certainly a very able projector, and whose I desire this paper may be read with system of divinity and spiritual mechanics
much more than ordinary attention, at all tea
among the better part of tables within the cities of London and West- our under-graduates) whether a general minster,
intermarriage, enjoined by parliament, between this sisterhcod of the olive-beauties and the fraternity of the people called qua
kers, would not be a very serviceable exNo. 396.] Wednesday, June 4, 1712.
pedient, and abate that overflow of light
which shines within them so powerfully, Barbara, Ceiarent, Darii, Ferio, Baralipton.
that it dazzles their eyes, and dances them Having a great deal of business upon my into a thousand vagaries of error and enthuhands at present, I shall beg the reader's leave to present him with a letter that I re * The students of St. John's College.
siasm. These reflections may impart some pearance of grief; but when one told them light towards a discovery of the origin of of any calamity that had befallen even the punning among us, and the foundation of its nearest of their acquaintance, would immeprevailing so long in this famous body. It diately reply, “What is that to me!' If you is notorious from the instance under consi- aggravated the circumstance of the afficderation, that it must be owing chiefly to the tion, and showed how one misfortune was use of brown jugs, muddy belch, and the followed by another, the answer was still, fumes of a certain memorable place of ren- All this may be true, and what is it to me? dezvous with us at meals, known by the For my own part, I am of opinion, comname of Staincoat Hole: for the atmosphere passion does not only refine and civilize huof the kitchen, like the tail of a comet, pre- man nature, but has something in it more dominates least about the fire, but resides pleasing and agreeable than what can be behind, and fills the fragrant receptacle met with in such an indolent happiness, above mentioned. Besides, it is further such an indifference to mankind, as that in observable, that the delicate spirits among which the Stoics placed their wisdom. As us, who declare against these nauseous pro- love is the most delightful passion, pity is ceedings, sip tea, and put up for critic and nothing else but love softened by degree amour, profess likewise an equal abhor- of sorrow. In short, it is a kind of pleasing rence for punning, the ancient innocent di- anguish, as well as generous sympathy, that version of this society. After all, sir, though knits mankind together, and blends them in it may appear something absurd that I seem the same common lot. to approach you with the air of an advocate Those who have laid down rules for rhefor punning, (you who have justified your toric or poetry, advise the writer to work censures of the practice in a set dissertation himself up, if possible, to the pitch of sorupon that subject*) yet I am confident you row which he endeavours to produce in will think it abundantly atoned for by ob- others. There are none therefore who stir serving, that this humbler exercise may be up pity so much as those who indite their as instrumental in diverting us from any in- own sufferings. Grief has a natural elonovating schemes and hypotheses in wit, as quence belonging to it, and breaks out in dwelling upon honest orthodox logic would more moving sentiments than can be supbe in securing us from heresy in religion. plied by the finest imagination. Nature on Had Mr. W—n'st researches been con- this occasion dictates a thousand passionate fined within the bounds of Ramus or Crack- things which cannot be supplied by art. enthorp, that learned news-monger might It is for this reason that the short speeches have acquiesced in what the holy oracles or sentences which we often meet with in pronounced upon the deluge like other history make a deeper impression on the Christians; and had the surprising Mr. mind of the reader than the most laboured L-y been content with the employment strokes in a well-written tragedy. Truth of refining upon Shakspeare's points and and matter of fact sets the person actually quibbles (for which he must be allowed to before us in the one, whom fiction places at have a superlative genius,) and now and a greater distance from us in the other. I do then penning a catch or a ditty, instead not remember to have seen any ancient or of inditing odes and sonnets, the gentle modern story more affecting than a letter of men of the bon gout in the pit would Ann of Bologne, wife to king Henry the never have been put to all that grimace in Eighth, and mother to Queen Elizabeth, damning the frippery of state, the poverty which is still extant in the Cotton library, and languor of thought, the unnatural wit, as written by her own hand. and inartificial structure of his dramas. I Shakspeare himself could not have made am, sir, your very humble servant,
her talk in a strain so suitable to her conPETER DE QUIR,' dition and character. One sees in it the
expostulation of a slighted lover, the resent
ment of an injured woman, and the sorrows No. 397.] Thursday, June 5, 1712.
of an imprisoned queen. I need not acquaint
my readers that this princess was then un-Dolor ipse disertam
der prosecution for disloyalty to the king's
bed, and that she was afterwards publicly Her grief inspired her then with eloquence.
beheaded upon the same account; though
this prosecution was believed by many to As the stoic philosophers discard all pas- proceed, as she herself intimates, rather sions in general, they will not allow a wise from the king's love to Jane Seymour, man so much as to pity the afflictions of than from any actual crime of Ann of Boanother, If thou seest thy friend in trou
logne. ble,' says Epictetus, thou mayest put on a look of sorrow, and condole with him, but Queen Anne Boleyn's last letter to King take care that thy sorrow be not real.' The
Henry. more rigid of this sect would not comply so
'Sir, far as to show even such an outward ap- Cotton Lib. | Your grace's displeasure, and
Otho C. 10. } my imprisonment, are things * See Spect. No. 61.
Mr. Whiston. so strange unto me, as what to write, or
Ovid. Met. xiii. 225.
Hor. Sat. iii. Lib. 2. 272.
what to excuse, I am altogether ignorant. doubt not (whatever the world may think Whereas you send unto me, (willing me to of me,) mine innocence shall be openly confess a truth, and to obtain your favour) known, and sufficiently cleared. by such an one, whom you know to be mine My last and only request shall be, that ancient professed enemy, I no sooner re- myself may only bear the burden of your ceived this message by him, than I rightly grace's displeasure, and that it may not conceived your meaning; and if, as you say, touch the innocent souls of those poor genconfessing a truth indeed may procure my tlemen who (as I understand,) are likewise safety, I shall with all willingness and duty in straight imprisonment for my sake. If perform your command.
ever I have found favour in your sight, if • But let not your grace ever imagine, that ever the name of Ann Boleyn hath been your poor wife will ever be brought to pleasing in your ears, then let me obtain acknowledge a fault, where not so much this request, and I will so leave to trouble as a thought thereof proceeded. And to your grace any further, with mine earnest speak a truth, never prince had wife more prayers to the Trinity, to have your grace loyal in all duty, and in all true affection, in his good keeping, and to direct you in than you have ever found in Ann Boleyn: all your actions. From my doleful prison with which name and place I could wil in the Tower, this sixth of May; your most lingly have contented myself, if God and loyal and ever faithful wife, your grace's pleasure had been so pleased. L.
*ANN BOLEYN.' Neither did I at any time so far forget myself in my exaltation, or received queenship, but that I always looked for such an No. 398. ] Friday, June 6, 1712. alteration as I now find; for the ground of my preferment being on no surer founda Insanire pares certa ratione modoque. tion than your grace's fancy, the least alteration I knew was fit and sufficient to
-You'd be a fool, draw that fancy to some other object. You With art and wisdom, and be mad by rule. have chosen me from a low estate to be your queen and companion, far beyond my Cynthio and Flavia are persons of disdesert or desire. If then you found me tinction in this town, who have been lovers worthy of such honour, good your grace, these ten months last past, and writ to each let not any light fancy, or bad counsel of other for gallantry sake under those feigned mine enemies, withdraw your princely fa- names; Mr. Such-a-one and Mrs. Such-avour from me; neither let that stain, that one not being capable of raising the soul unworthy stain of a disloyal heart towards out of the ordinary tracts and passages of your good grace, ever cast so foul a blot life, up to that elevation which makes the on your most dutiful wife, and the infant life of the enamoured so much superior to princess your daughter. Try me, good king, that of the rest of the world. But ever but let me have a lawful trial, and let not since the beauteous Cecilia has made such my sworn enemies sit as my accusers and a figure as she now does in the circle of judges; yea, let me receive an open trial, charming women, Cynthio has been secretfor my truth shall fear no open shame; then ly one of her adorers. Cecilia has been shall you see either mine innocence cleared, the finest woman in the town these three your suspicion and conscience satisfied, the months, and so long Cynthio has acted the ignominy and slander of the world stopped, part of a lover very awkwardly in the preor my guilt openly declared. So that, sence of Flavia Flavia has been too blind whatever God or you may determine of me, towards him, and has too sincere a heart your grace may be freed from an open cen- of her own to observe a thousand things sure; and mine offence being so lawfully which would have discovered this change proved, your grace is at liberty, both before of mind to any one less engaged than she God and man, not only to execute worthy was. Cynthio was musing yesterday in the punishment on me as an unlawful wife, but piazza in Covent-garden, and was saying to to follow your affection, already settled on himself that he was a very ill man to go on in that party, for whose sake I am now as I visiting and professing love to Flavia, when am, whose name I could some good while his heart was enthralled to another. It is since have pointed unto your grace, not an infirmity that I am not constant to Flabeing ignorant of my suspicion therein. via; but it would be a still greater crime,
• But if you have already determined of since I cannot continue to love her, to prome, and that not only my death, but an in- fess that I do. To marry a woman with famous slander must bring you the enjoying the coldness that usually indeed comes on of your desired happiness; then I desire of after marriage, is ruining one's self with God, that he will pardon your great sin one's eyes open; besides, it is really doing therein, and likewise mine enemies, the in- her an injury. This last consideration, forstruments thereof; and that he will not call sooth, of injuring her in persisting, made you to a strict account for your unprincely him resolve to break off upon the first and cruel usage of me, at his general judg- favourable opportunity of making her anment seat, where both you and myself must gry. When he was in this thought, he shortly appear, and in whose judgment I saw Robin the porter, who waits at Will's
you with all
coffee-house, passing by. Robin, you must • DEAR Cynth10, I have walked a turn know, is the best man in the town for car- or two in my ante-chamber since I writ to rying a billet; the fellow has a thin body, you, and have recovered myself from an swift step, demure looks, sufficient sense, impertinent fit which you ought to forgive and knows the town. This man carried me, and desire you would come to me imCynthio's first letter to Flavia, and, by fre-mediately to laugh off a jealousy that you quent errands ever since, is well known to and a creature of the town went by in a her. The fellow covers his knowledge of hackney-coach an hour ago. I am your the nature of his messages with the most your humble servant, FLAVIA. exquisite low humour imaginable. The first he obliged Flavia to take, was by complain
I will not open the letter which my ing to her that he had a wife and three Cynthio writ upon the misapprehension children, and if she did not take that letter, you must have been under, when you writ, which he was sure there was no harm in, for want of hearing the whole circumbut rather love, his family must go supper
stance.' less to bed, for the gentleman would pay Robin came back in an instant, and Cynhim according as he did his business. Robin, thio answered: therefore, Cynthio now thought fit to make
• Half an hour six minutes after three, use of, and gave him orders to wait before
June 4, Will's coffee-house. Flavia's door, and if she called him to her, and asked whether it was Cynthio who lodgings with a gentlewoman to whom I
•Madam,-It is certain I went by your passed by, he should at first be loth to own have the honour to be known; she is indeed There needed not much search into that my relation, and a pretty sort of a woman. part of the town to find a well-dressed owning you have not done me the honour
But your starting manner of writing, and hussey fit for the purpose Cynthio designed so much as to open my letter, has in it her. "As soon as he believed Robin was posted, he drove by Flavia's lodgings in a
something very unaccountable, and alarms
one that has had thoughts of passing his hackney-coach, and a woman in it. Robin was at the door, talking with Flavia's maid,
days with you. But I am born to admire
your little imperfections. and Cynthio pulled up the glass as surprised, and hid his associate. The report
CYNTHIO.' of this circumstance soun flew up stairs, Robin ran back and brought for answer: and Robin could not deny but the gentleman favoured* his master; yet, if it was he,
• Exact sir, that are at Will's coffeehe was sure the lady was but his cousin, house, six minutes after three, June 4; one whom he had seen ask for him: adding that has had thoughts, and all my little imthat he believed she was a poor relation; perfections. Sir, come to me immediately, because they made her wait one morning or I shall determine what may perhaps not till he was awake. Flavia immediately writ be very pleasing to you. FLAVIA.' the following epistle, which Robin brought to Will's.
Robin gave an account that she looked • June 4, 1712.
excessive angry, when she gave him the “Sir,--It is in vain to deny it, basest, that Cynthio only looked at the clock, tak
letter; and that he told her, for she asked, falsest of mankind;
my maid, as well as the ing snuff, and writ two or three words on bearer, saw you. The injured
the top of the letter when he gave him his.
Now the plot thickened so well, as that After Cynthio had read the letter, he Cynthio saw he had not much more to acasked Robin how she looked, and what she complish, being irreconcilably banished: he said at the delivery of it. Robin said she writ, spoke short to him, and called him back again, and had nothing to say to him, and vour of all you do, that it is not possible for
• Madam,-I have that prejudice in fabid him and all the men in the world go out of her sight; but the maid followed, and bid you to determine upon what will not be him bring an answer.
very pleasing to your obedient servant,
‘CYNTHIO.' Cynthio returned as follows:
This was delivered, and the answer re• June 4, Three afternoon, 1712.
turned, in a little more than two seconds. Madam,—That your maid and the bearer have seen me very often is very
SIR,- Is it come to this?
You never certain; but I desire to know, being engaged loved me, and the creature you were with at piquet, what your letter means by “'tis is the properest person for your associate. in vain to deny it.” I shall stay here all I despise you, and hope I shall soon hate the evening. Your amazed
you as a villain to the credulous •CYNTHIO.'
*FLAVIA.' As soon as Robin arrived with this, Flavia Robin ran back with: answered:
• Madam,— Your credulity when you are to gain your point, and suspicion when you
fear to lose it, make it a very hard part to much insisted upon, I shall but just mention behave as becomes your humble slave, them, since they have been handled by
many great and eminent writers. Robin whipt away and returned with,
I would therefore propose the following
methods to the consideration of such as Mr. WellFord,-Flavia and Cynthio would find out their secret faults, and make are no more. I relieve you from the hard a true estimate of themselves. part of which you complain, and banish In the first place, let them consider well you from my sight for ever.
what are the characters which they bear 'ANN HEART.'
among their enemies. Our friends very Robin had a crown for his afternoon's often flatter us, as much as our own hearts. work; and this is published to admonish | They either do not see our faults, or conCecilia to avenge the injury done to Flavia. ceal them from us, or soften them by their
T. representations, after such a manner that
we think them too trivial to be taken notice
of. An adversary, on the contrary, makes No. 399.] Saturday, June 7, 1712.
a stricter search into us, discovers every
faw and imperfection in our tempers; and Ut nemo in sese tentat descendere!-- Per. Sat. iv. 23. though his malice may set them in too strong None, none descends into himself to find
a light, it has generally some ground for The secret imperfections of his mind. Dryden.
what it advances. A friend exaggerates a HYPOCRISY at the fashionable end of the man's virtues, an enemy inflames his crimes. town is very different from hypocrisy in the A wise man should give a just attention to city. The modish hypocrite endeavours to both of them, so far as they may tend to the appear more vicious than he really is, the improvement of one, and the diminution of other kind of hypocrite more virtuous. The the other. Plutarch has written an essay on former is afraid of every thing that has the the benefits which a man may receive from show of religion in it, and would be thought his enemies, and, among the good fruits of engaged in many criminal gallantries and enmity, mentions this in particular, that by amours which he is not guilty of. The lat- the reproaches which it casts upon us we ter assumes a face of sanctity, and covers a see the worst side of ourselves, and open multitude of vices under a seeming religious our eyes to several blemishes and defects ir. deportment.
our lives and conversations, which we But there is another kind of hypocrisy, should not have observed without the help which differs from both these, and which I of such ill-natured monitors. intend to make the subject of this paper: I In order likewise to come at a true knowmean that hypocrisy, by which a man does ledge of ourselves, we should consider on not only deceive the world, but very often the other hand how far we may deserve the imposes on himself: that hypocrisy which praises and approbations which the world conceals his own heart from him, and makes bestow upon us; whether the actions they him believe he is more virtuous than he celebrate proceed from laudable and worthy really is, and either not attend to his vices, motives; and how far we are really posor mistake even his vices for virtues. It is sessed of the virtues which gain us applause this fatal hypocrisy, and self-deceit, which among those with whom we converse. Such is taken notice of in those words. Who a reflection is absolutely necessary, if we can understand his errors? cleanse thou me consider how apt we are either to value or from secret faults.'
condemn ourselves by the opinions of others, If the open professors of impiety deserve and to sacrifice the report of our own hearts the utmost application and endeavours of to the judgment of the world. moral writers to recover them from vice In the next place, that we may not deand folly, how much more may those lay a ceive ourselves in a point of so much imclaim to their care and compassion, who portance, we should not lay too great a are walking in the paths of death, while stress on any supposed virtues we possess they fancy themselves engaged in a course that are of a doubtful nature: and such we of virtue!' I shall endeavour therefore to lay may esteem all those in which multitudes down some rules for the discovery of those of men dissent from us, who are as good and vices that lurk in the secret corners of the wise as ourselves. We should always act soul, and to show my reader those methods with great cautiousness and circumspection by which he may arrive at a true and im- in points where it is not impossible that partial knowledge of himself. The usual we may be deceived. Intemperate zeal, means prescribed for this purpose are to bigotry, and persecution for any party or examine ourselves by the rules which are opinion, how praise-worthy soever they laid down for our direction in sacred writ, may appear to weak men of our own prinand to compare our lives with the life of ciples, produce infinite calamities among that person who acted up to the perfection mankind, and are highly criminal in their of human nature, and is the standing ex- own nature: and yet how many persons ample, as well as the great guide and in- eminent for piety suffer such monstrous and structor, of those who receive his doctrines. absurd principles of action to take root in Though these two heads cannot be too l their minds under the colour of virtues!