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No. 511.] Thursday, October 16, 1712. did in Persia, we should find that some of
our greatest men would choose out the porQuis non invenit turba quod amaret in illa? tions, and rival one another for the richest Ovid, Ars Am. Lib. i. 175.
piece of deformity; and that, on the con-Who could fail to find,
trary, the toasts and belles would be bought In such a crowd a mistress to his mind ?
up by extravagant heirs, gamesters, and *DEAR SPEC,-Finding that my last let- spendthrifts. Thou couldst make very ter took, I do intend to continue my epis- pretty reflections upon this occasion in hotolary correspondence with thee, on those nour of the Persian politicians, who took dear confounded creatures, women. Thou care, by such marriages, to beautify the knowest, all the little learning I am master upper part of the species, and to make the of is upon that subject: I never looked in a greatest persons in the government the book but for their sakes. I have lately met most graceful. But this I shall leave to thy with two pure stories for a Spectator, which judicious pen. I am sure will please mightily, if they pass • I have another story to tell thee, which through thy hands. The first of them II likewise met with in a book. It seems the found by chance in an English book, called general of the Tartars, after having laid Herodotus, that lay in my friend Dapper- siege to a strong town in China, and taken wit's window, as I visited him one morning. it by storm, would set to sale all the women It luckily opened in the place where I met that were found in it. Accordingly he put with the following account. He tells us that each of them into a sack, and, after having it was the manner among the Persians to thoroughly considered the value of the wohave several fairs in the kingdom, at which man who was enclosed, marked the price all the young unmarried women were an- that was demanded for her upon the sack. nually exposed to sale. The men who There was a great confluence of chapmen, wanted wives came hither to provide them- that resorted from every part, with a deselves. Every woman was given to the sign to purchase, which they were to do highest bidder, and the money which she unsight unseen. The book mentions a fetched laid aside for the public use, to be merchant in particular, who observing one employed as thou shalt hear by and by. of the sacks to be marked pretty high, barBy this means the richest people had the gained for it, and carried it off with him to choice of the market, and culled out all the his house. As he was resting with it upon most extraordinary beauties. As soon as a halfway bridge, he was resolved to take the fair was thus picked, the refuse was to a survey of his purchase: upon opening the be distributed among the poor, and among sack, a little old woman popped her head those who could not go to the price of a out of it; at which the adventurer was in so beauty. Several of these married the agree- great a rage, that he was going to shoot her ables, without paying a farthing for them, out into the river. The old lady, however, unless somebody chanced to think it worth begged him first of all to hear her story, by his while to bid for them, in which case the which he learned that she was sister to a best bidder was always the purchaser. But great mandarin, who would infallibly make now you must know, Spec, it happened in the fortune of his brother-in-law as soon as Persia, as it does in our own country, that he should know to whose lot she fell. Upon there was' as many ugly women as beau- which the merchant again tied her up in ties or agreeables; so that by consequence, his sack, and carried her to his house, after the magistrates had put off a great where she proved an excellent wife; and many, there were still a great many that procured him all the riches from her brostuck upon their hands. In order therefore ther that she had promised him. to clear the market, the money which the "I fancy, if I was disposed to dream a beauties had sold for was disposed of among second time, I could make a tolerable vision the ugly; so that a poor man, who could upon this plan. I would suppose all the not afford to have a beauty for his wife, unmarried women in London and Westwas forced to take up with a fortune; the minster brought to market in sacks, with greatest portion being always given to the their respective prices on each sack. The most deformed. To this the author adds, first sack that is sold is marked with five that every poor man was forced to live thousand pound. Upon the opening of it, I kindly with his wife, or, in case he repented find it filled with an admirable housewife, of his bargain, to return her portion with of an agreeable countenance. her to the next public sale. chaser, upon hearing her good qualities
, •What I would recommend to thee on pays down her price very cheerfully. The this occasion to establish such an ima- second I would open should be a five hunginary fair in Great Britain: thou couldst dred pound sack. The lady in it, to our make it very pleasant, by matching wo- surprise, has the face and person of a toast men of quality with cobblers and carmen, As we are wondering how she came to be or describing titles and garters leading off in set at so low a price, we hear that she great ceremony shopkeepers' and farmers' would have been valued at ten thousand daughters. Though, to tell thee the truth, pound, but that the public had made those I am confoundedly afraid, that as the love abatements for her being a scold. I would of money prevails in our island more than it afterwards find some beautiful, modest, and
Hor. Ars Poct. ver. 344.
discreet woman, that should be the top of wiser and better unawares. In short, by the market; and perhaps discover half a this method a man is so far over-reached
dozen romps tied up together in the same as to think he is directing himself, while he I sack, at one hundred pound a head. The is following the dictates of another, and
prude and the coquette should be valued at consequently is not sensible of that which the same price, though the first should go is the most unpleasing circumstance in off the better of the two. I fancy thou advice. wouldst like such a vision, had I time to In the next place, if we look into human
finish it; because, to talk in thy own way, nature, we shall find that the mind is never Ethere is a moral in it. Whatever thou so much pleased as when she exerts her
mayest think of it, pr’ythee do not make self in any action that gives her an idea of e any of thy queer apologies for this letter, her own perfections and abilities. This s as thou didst for my last. The women love natural pride and ambition of the soul is
a gay lively fellow, and are never angry at very much gratified in the reading of a the railleries of one who is their known ad-fable; for, in writings of this kind, the mirer.. I am always bitter upon them but reader comes in for half of the performwell with them. Thine,
ance; every thing appears to him like a HONEYCOMB.'
discovery of his own; he is busied all the while in applying characters and circumstances, and is in this respect both a reader
and a composer. It is no wonder therefore No. 512.] Friday, October 17, 1712. that on such occasions, when the mind is
thus pleased with itself, and amused with Lectorem delectando, pariterque monendo.
its own discoveries, that it is highly deMixing together profit and delight.
lighted with the writing which is the oc
casion of it. For this reason the Absalom There is nothing which we receive with and Achitophel was one of the most popular so much reluctance as advice. We look poems that appeared in English. The upon the man who gives it us as offering an poetry is indeed very fine; but had it been affront to our understanding, and treating much finer, it would not have so much us like children or idiots. We consider the pleased, without a plan which gave the instruction as an implicit censure, and the reader an opportunity of exerting his own zeal which any shows for our good on such talents. an occasion, as a piece of presumption or This oblique manner of giving advice is so impertinence. The truth of it is, the person inoffensive, that, if we look into ancient hiswho pretends to advise, does, in that par- tories, we find the wise men of old very ticular, exercise a superiority over us, and often chose to give counsel to their kings in can have no other reason for it, but that, in fables. To omit many which will occur to comparing us with himself, he thinks us every one's memory, there is a pretty indefective either in our conduct or our un- stance of this nature in a Turkish tale, derstanding. For these reasons, there is which I do not like the worse for that litnothing so difficult as the art of making tle oriental extravagance which is mixed advice agreeable; and indeed all the wri- with it. ters, both ancient and modern, have dis We are told that the Sultan Mahmoud, by tinguished themselves among one another, his perpetual wars abroad and his tyranny according to the perfection at which they at home, had filled his dominions with ruin have arrived in this art. How many de- and desolation, and half unpeopled the Pervices have been made use of, to render this sian empire. The vizier to this great sultan bitter portion palatable! Some convey their (whether a humourist or an enthusiast, we instructions to us in the best chosen words, are not informed) pretended to have learned others in the most harmonious numbers; of a certain dervise to understand the lansome in points of wit, and others in short guage of birds, so that there was not a bird proverbs.
that could open his mouth but the vizier But, among all the different ways of giving knew what it was he said. As he was one counsel, I think the finest, and that which evening with the emperor, in their retuin pleases the most universally, is fable, in from hunting, they saw a couple of owls whatsoever shape it appears. If we con- upon a tree that grew near an old wall cut sider this way of instructing or giving ad- of a heap of rubbish. “I would fain know,' vice, it excels all others, because it is the says the sultan, 'what those two owls are least shocking, and the least subject to those saying to one another; listen to their dis'exceptions which I have before mentioned. course, and give me an account of it.' The
This will appear to us if we reflect in the vizier approached the tree, pretending to first place, that upon the reading of a fable be very attentive to the two owls. Upon we are made to believe we advise ourselves. his return to the sultan, “Sir,' says he, I We peruse the author for the sake of the have heard part of their conversation, but story, and consider the precepts rather as dare not tell you what it is.' The sultan our own conclusions than his instructions. would not be satisfied with such an answer, The moral insinuates itself imperceptibly; but forced him to repeat word for word - we are taught by surprise, and become every thing the owls had said, You must 3
know then, said the vizier, that one of | When a man considers that, as soon as the these owls has a son, and the other a daugh- vital union is dissolved, he shall see that ter, between whom they are now upon a Supreme Being whom he now contemplates treaty of marriage. The father of the son at a distance, and only in his works; or, to said to the
father of the daughter, in my speak more philosophically, when by some hearing, “ Brother, I consent to this mar- faculty in the soul, he shall apprehend the riage, provided you will settle upon your Divine Being, and be more sensible of his daughter fifty ruined villages for her por- presence, than we are now of the presence tion.” To which the father of the daughter of any object which the eye beholds, a replied, “Instead of fifty, I will give her man must be lost in carelessness and stufive hundred if you please. God grant a pidity, who is not alarmed at such a thought. long life to sultan Mahmoud! Whilst he Dr. Sherlock, in his excellent treatise
upon reigns over us, we shall never want ruined Death, has represented, in very strong and villages."
lively colours, the state of the soul in its The story says, the sultan was so touched first separation from the body, with rewith the fáble, that he rebuilt the towns gard to that invisible world which every
量 and villages which had been destroyed, and where surrounds us, though we are not from that time forward consulted the good able to discover it through this grosser
11 of his people.
world of matter, which is accommodated To fill up my paper, I shall add a most to our senses in this life. His words are as ridiculous piece of natural magic, which follow: was taught by no less a philosopher than Democritus, namely, that if the blood of " That death, which is our leaving this certain birds, which he mentioned, were world, is nothing else put putting off these mixed together, it would produce a serpent bodies, teaches us that it is only our union of such a wonderful virtue, that whoever to these bodies which intercepts the sight did eat it should be skilled in the language of the other world. The other world is not of birds, and understand every thing they at such a distance from us as we may imasaid to one another. Whether the dervise gine; the throne of God indeed is at a great above-mentioned might not have eaten such remove from this earth, above the third a serpent, I shall leave to the determina- heavens, where he displays his glory to tion of the learned.
O. those blessed spirits which encompass his
throne; but as soon as we step out of these bodies we step into the other world,
which is not so properly another world (for No. 513.] Saturday, October 18, 1712.
there is the same heaven and earth still) Affilata est numine quando
as a new state of life. To live in these Jam propriore Dei.
Virg. Æn. iv. 50.
bodies is to live in this world; to live out When all the god came rushing on her soul. of them is to remove into the next: for
Dryden. while our souls are confined to these bodies, Thf. following letter comes to me from and can look only through these material that excellent man in holy orders, whom I casements, nothing but what is material have mentioned more than once as one of can affect us; nay, nothing but what is so that society, who assists me in my specula- gross that it can reflect light, and convey tions. It is a thought in sickness, and of a those shapes and colours of things with it very serious nature, for which reason I to the eye: so that, though within this visigive it a place in the paper of this day.
ble world there be a more glorious scene
of things than what appears to us, we perSIR,-The indisposition which has long ceive nothing at all of it; for this veil of hung upon me is at last grown to such a Aesh parts the visible and invisible world: head, that it must quickly make an end of but when we put off these bodies, there are me or of itself. You may imagine, that new and surprising wonders present themwhilst I am in this bad state of health, there selves to our views; when these material are none of your works which I read with spectacles are taken off, the soul with its greater pleasure than your Saturday's own naked eyes sees what was invisible papers. I should be very glad if I could before; and then we are in the other world, furnish you with any hints for that day's when we can see it, and converse with it. entertainment. Were I able to dress up Thus St. Paul tells us, that when we are several thoughts of a serious nature, which at home in the body, we are absent from have made great impressions on my mind the Lord; but when we are absent from during a long fit of sickness, they might the body, we are resent with the Lord:' not be an improper entertainment for that 2 Cor. v. 6. 8. And methinks this is enough occasion.
to cure us of our fondness for these bodies, • Among all the reflections which usually unless we think it more desirable to be conrise in the mind of a sick man, who has fined to a prison, and to look through a time and inclination to consider his ap- grate all our lives, which gives us but a proaching end, there is none more natural very narrow prospect, and that none of the than that of his going to appear naked and best neither, than to be set at liberty to unbodied before Him who made him. I view all the glories of the world.
it would we give now for the least glimpse of
“For never shall my soul despair that invisible world, which the first step
Her pardon to procure, so we take out of these bodies will present us Who knows thine only Son has died with? There are such things as eye hath
To make her pardon sure." E not seen nor ear heard, neither hath it en • There is a noble hymn in French, which stered into the heart of man to conceive.' Monsieur Bayle has celebrated for a very
Death opens our eyes, enlarges our pros fine one, and which the famous author of #pect, presents us with a new and more the Art of Speaking calls an admirable one,
glorious world, which we can never see that turns upon a thought of the same nawhile we are shut up in flesh; which should ture, If I could have done it justice in make us as willing to part with this veil, as English, I would have sent it to you trans
to take the film off of our eyes which hin- lated; it was written by Monsieur des Barog ders our light?”
reux, who had been one of the greatest
wits and libertines in France, but in his last * As a thinking man cannot but be very years was as remarkable a penitent. c much affected with the idea of his appear “Grand Dieu, tes jugemens sont remplis d'equite; Guing in the presence of that Being “whom Toujours tu prends plaisir a nous etre propice, 1 none can see and live,” he must be much
Mais j'ai tant fait de mal, que jamais ia bonte
Ne me pardonnera, sans choquer ta justice. more affected when he considers that this
Oui, mon Dieu, la grandeur de mon impiete Being whom he appears before will ex Ne laisse ton a pou voir que le choix du supplice: amine all the actions of his past life, and
Ton interet s'oppose a ma felicite :
Et ta clemence meme attend que le perisse reward or punish him accordingly. I must Contente ton derir, puis qui'l t'est glorieux ; di confess that I think there is no scheme of Offe-nse toi des pleurs qui coulent de mes yeux: religion, besides that of Christianity, which
Tonne, frappe, il est teins, rens moi guerre pour guerre;
J'adore en perissant la raison qui t'aigrit. can possibly support the most virtuous per Mais dessus quel endroit tombera ton tonnere, son under this thought. Let a man's inno Qui ne soit tout couvert du sang de Jesus Christ." cence be what it will, let his virtues rise to • If these thoughts may be serviceable to the highest pitch of perfection attainable in you, I desire you would piace them in a this life, there will be still in him so many proper light, and am ever, with great sinsecret sins, so many human frailties, so cerity, sir, yours, &c.'
0. many offences of ignorance, passion, and prejudice, so many unguarded words and thoughts, and, in short, so many defects in No. 514.] Monday, Octuber 20, 1712. his best actions, that, without the advan
-Me Parnasi deserta per ardua duleis tages of such an expiation and atonement as Raptat amor: juvat ire jugis qua nulla priorum, Christianity has revealed to us, it is impos
Castaliam molli divertitur orbita clivo.
Virg. Georg. iii. 291. sible that he should be cleared before his Sovereign Judge, or that he should be
But the commanding Muse my chariot guides,
Which o'er the dubious clitf securely rides : able to stand in his sight.” Our huly re And pleasd I am no heaten road to take, ligion suggests to us the only means where
But first the way to pew discoveries make.-Dryden, by our guilt may be taken away, and our •MR. SPECTATOR,-I came heme a little imperfect obedience accepted.
later than usual the other night; and, not It is this series of thought that I have finding myself inclined to sleep, I took up endeavoured to express in the following Virgil to divert me until I should be more hymn, which I have composed during this disposed to rest. He is the author whom I my sickness.
always choose on such occasions; no one writing in sy divine, so harmonious, nor so
equal a strain, which leaves the mind “When, rising from the bed of death, O'erwhelmd with guilt and fear,
composed and softened into an agreeable I see my Maker face to face,
melancholy; the temper in which, of all O how shall I appear!
others, I choose to close the day. The pasII.
sages I turned to were those beautiful rap"If yet while pardon may be found,
tures in his Georgics, where he professes And mercy may be sought,
himself entirely given up to the Muses, My heart with inward horror shrinks, And trembles at the thought :
and smit with the love of poetry, passion
ately wishing to be transported to the cool III.
shades and retirements of the mountain "When thou, O Lord, shall stand disclos'd In majesty severe,
Hæmus. I closed the book and went to And sit in judgment on my soul,
bed. What I had just before been reading O how shall I appear!
made so strong an impression on my mind,
that fancy seemed almost to fulfil to me the IV. " But thou hast told the troubled mind,
wish of Virgil, in presenting to me the folWho does her sins lament,
lowing vision. The timely tribute of her tears,
• Methought I was on a sudden placed in Shall endless woe prevent.
the plains of Bæotia, where at the end of V.
the horizon I saw the mountain Parnassus "Then see the sorrows of my heart,
risir.g before me. The prospect was of sc Ere vet it be too late; And luar my Saviour's dying groans,
large an extent, that I long wandered about To give those sorrow's weight.
to find a path which should directly lead
me to it, had I not seen at some distance a, mimic virtue, that it often creeps in hither grove of trees, which, in a plain that had under its disguise. See there; just before nothing else remarkable enough in it to fix you, Revenge stalking by, habited in the my sight, immediately determined me to robe of Honour. Observe not far from him go thither. When I arrived at it, I found Ambition, standing alone; if you ask him it parted out into a great number of walks his name, he will tell you it is Emulation, and alleys, which often widened into beau- or Glory. But the most frequent intruder tiful openings, as circles or ovals, set round we have is Lust, who succeeds now the with yews and cypresses, with niches, deity to whom in better days this grove grottos, and caves, placed on the sides, was entirely devoted. Virtuous Love, with encompassed with ivy.
no Hymen, and the Graces attending him, sound to be heard in the whole place, but once reigned over this happy place; a only that of a gentle breeze passing over whole train of virtues waited on him, and the leaves of the forest; every thing beside no dishonourable thought durst presume was buried in a profound silence. I was for admittance. But now, how is the whole captivated with the beauty and retirement prospect changed! and how seldom renewof the place, and never so much, before ed by some few who dare despise sordid that hour, was pleased with the enjoyment wealth, and imagine themselves fit comof myself. Iindulged the humour, and suf- panions for so charming a divinity." fered myself to wander without choice or • The goddess had no sooner said thus, design. At length, at the end of a range but we were arrived at the utmost boundaof trees, I saw three figures seated on a ries of the wood, which lay contiguous to a bank of moss, with a silent brook creeping plain that ended at the foot of the mounat their feet. I adored them as the tutelary tain. Here I kept close to my guide, being divinities of the place, and stood still to solicited by several phantoms, who assured take a particular view of each of them. me they would show me a nearer way to The middlemost, whose name was Soli- the mountain of the Muses. Among the tude, sat with her arms across each other, rest Vanity was extremely importunate, and seemed rather pensive, and wholly having deluded infinite numbers, whom I taken up with her own thoughts, than any saw wandering at the foot of the hill. I ways grieved or displeased. The only com- turned away from this despicable troop panions which she admitted into that re- with disdain; and addressing myself to my tirement, were the goddess Silence, who guide, told her that, as I had some hopes I sat on her right hand with her finger on should be able to reach up part of the her mouth, and on her left Contemplation, ascent, so I despaired of having strength with her eyes fixed upon the heavens. Be- enough to attain the plain on the top. But, fore her lay a celestial globe, with several being informed by her that it was impossischemes of mathematical theorems. She ble to stand upon the sides, and that if I did prevented my speech with the greatest not proceed onwards I should irrevocably affability in the world. “Fear not,” said fall down to the lowest verge, I resolved she, "I know your request before you to hazard any labonr and hardship in the speak it; you would be led to the mountain attempt: so great a desire had I of enjoying of the Muses: the only way to it lies the satisfaction I hoped to meet with at the through this place, and no one is so often end of my enterprise. employed in conducting persons thither as • There were two paths, which led up by myself. When she had thus spoken, she different ways to the summit of the mounrose from her seat, and I immediately tain: the one was guarded by the genius placed myself under her direction; but which presides over the moment of our whilst I passed through the grove I could births. He had it in charge to examine not help inquiring of her who were the the several pretensions of those who depersons admitted into that sweet retire- sired to pass that way, but to admit none ment. “Surely,” said I, “there can no- excepting those only whom Melpomene thing enter here but virtue and virtuous had looked with a propitious ere at the thoughts; the whole wood seems designed hour of their nativity. The other way was for the reception and reward of such per- guarded by Diligence, to whom many of sons as have spent their lives according to those persons applied who had met with a the dictates of their conscience, and the denial the other way; but he was so tedious commands of the gods. “ You imagine in granting their request, and indeed after right,” said she: “ assure yourself this admittance the way was so very intricate place was at first designed for no other: and laborious, that many, after they had such it continued to be in the reign of Sa- made some progress, chose rather to return, when none entered here but holy turn back than proceed, and very few perpriests, deliverers of their country from op- sisted so long as to arrive at the end they pression and tyranny, who reposed them- proposed. Besides these two pathis, which selves here after their labours, and those at length severally led to the top of the whom the study and love of wisdom had mountain, there was a third made up of fitted for divine conversation. But now it these two, which a little after the entrance is become no less dangerous than it was joined in one. This carried those happy before desirable: vice has learned so to/few, whose good fortune it was to find it,