« AnteriorContinuar »
Pers. Sat. ii. 28.
of his virtue. It would be a worthy work | My father's carriage so discourages me, that to show what great charities are to be done he makes me grow dull, and melancholy. without expense, and how many noble ac- My master wonders what is the matter with tions are lost, out of inadvertency, in persons with me; I am afraid to tell him; for he is capable of performing them, if they were a man that loves to encourage learning, and put in mind of it. If a gentleman of figure would be apt to chide my father, and, not in a county would make his family a pattern knowing his temper, may make him worse. of sobriety, good sense, and breeding, and Sir, if you have any love for learning, I beg would kindly endeavour to influence the edu- you would give me some instructions in this cation and growing prospect of the younger case, and persuade parents to encourage gentry about him, I am apt to believe it their children when they find them diligent would save him a great deal of stale beer on and desirous of learning. I have heard some a public occasion, and render him the leader parents say, they would do any thing for of his county, from their gratitude to him, their children, if they would but mind their instead of being a slave to their riots and learning: I would be glad to be in their place. tumults in order to be made their representa- Dear sir, pardon my boldness. If you will tive. The same thing might be recom- but consider and pity my case, I will pray mended to all who have made any progress for your prosperity as long as I live. Your in any parts of knowledge, or arrived at any humble servant, degree in a profession Others may gain
JAMES DISCIPULUS. preferments and fortunes from their patrons; *London, March 2, 1711.'
T. but I have, I hope, received from mine good habits and virtues. I repeat to you, sir, my request to print this, in return for all the No. 331.] Thursday, March 20, 1711-12. evil a helpless orphan shall ever escape, and all the good he shall receive in this life;
Stolidam præbet tibi vellere barbam. both which are wholly owing to this gentle
Holds out his foolish beard for thee to pluck. man's favour to, sir, your most obedient servant,
S. P.' When I was last with my friend Sir
Roger in Westminster-abbey, I observed MR. SPECTATOR-I am a lad of about that he stood longer than ordinary before fourteen. I find a mighty pleasure in learn the bust of a venerable old man.
I was at a ing. I have been at the Latin school four loss to guess the reason of it; when, after years. I don't know I ever played truant, some time, he pointed to the figure, and askor neglected any task my master set me in ed me if I did not think that our forefathers my life. I think on what I read in the school looked much wiser in their beards than we as I go home at noon and night, and so in- do without them? For my part,' says he, tently, that I have often gone half a mile out when I am walking in my gallery in the of my way, not minding whither I went. country, and see my ancestors, who many of Our maid tells me she often hears me talk them died before they were of my age, I Latin in my sleep, and I dream two or three cannot forbear regarding them as so many nights in a week I am reading Juvenal and old patriarchs, and at the same time, look Homer. My master seems as well pleased ing upon myself as an idle smock-faced with my performances as any boy's in the young fellow. I love to see your Abrahams, same class. I think, if I know my own your Isaacs, and your Jacobs, as we have mind, I would choose rather to be a scholar them in old pieces of tapestry, with beards than a prince without learning. I have a below their girdles, that cover half the very good, affectionate father; but though hangings.' The knight added, “if I would very rich, yet so mighty near, that he thinks recommend beards in one of my papers, and much of the charges of my education. He endeavour to restore human faces to their often tells me he believes my schooling will ancient dignity, that, upon a month's warnTuin him; that I cost him Gód knows what, ing he would undertake to lead up the in books. I tremble to tell him I want one. fashion himself in a pair of whiskers.” I am forced to keep my pocket-money, and I smiled at my friend's fancy; but, after lay it out for a book now and then, that he we parted, could not forbear reflecting on don't know of. He has ordered my master the metamorphosis our faces have undergone to buy no more books for me, but says he in this particular. will buy them himself. I asked him for The beard, conformable to the notion of Horace t'other day, and he told me in a my friend Sir Roger, was for many ages passion he did not believe I was fit for it, looked upon as the type of wisdom. Lucian but only my master had a mind to make more than once rallies the philosophers of him think I had got a great way in my learn- his time, who endeavoured to rival one aning. I am sometimes a month behind other other in beards; and represents a learned boys in getting the books my master gives man who stood for a professorship in philoorders for. All the boys in the school, but sophy, as unqualified for it by the shortness 1, have the classic authors in usum Delphini, of his beard. gilt and lettered on the back. My father is Ælian, in his account of Zoilus, the preoften reckoning up how long I have been at tended critic, who wrote against Homer and school, and tells me he fears I do little good. Plato, and thought himself wiser than all
who had gone before him, tells us that this tinct treatise, which I keep by me in manuZoilus had a very long beard that hung down script, upon the mustache. upon his breast, but no hair upon his head, If my friend Sir Roger's project of introwhich he always kept close shaved, regard- ducing beards should take effect, I fear the ing, it seems, the hairs of his head as so luxury of the present age would make it a many suckers, which if they had been suf- very expensive fashion. There is no quesfered to grow, might have drawn away the tion but the beaux would soon provide themnourishment from his chin, and by that selves with false ones of the lightest colours means have starved his beard.
and the most immoderate lengths.. A fair I have read somewhere, that one of the beard of the tapestry size, which Sir Roger popes refused to accept an edition of a saint's seems to approve, could not come under works, which were presented to him, be- twenty guineas. The famous golden beard cause the saint, in his effigies before the of Æsculapius would hardly be more valuabook, was drawn without a beard.
ble than one made in the extravagance of We see by these instances what homage the fashion. the world has formerly paid to beards; and Besides, we are not certain that the ladies that a barber was not then allowed to make would not come into the mode, when they those depredations on the faces of the learn- take the air on horseback. They already ed, which have been permitted him of late appear in hats and feathers, coats and periyears.
wigs; and I see no reason why we may not Accordingly several wise nations have suppose that they would have their ridingbeen so extremely jealous of the least ruffle beards on the same occasion. offered to their beards, that they seem to N. B. I may give the moral of this dishave fixed the point of honour principally course in another paper.
X. in that part. The Spaniards were wonderfully tender in this particular. Don Quevedo, in his third vision on the last judgment, has carried the humour very far, when he No. 332.] Friday, March 21, 1712. tells us that one of his vainglorious country
-Minus aptus acutis men, after having received sentence, was Naribus horum hominum-Hor. Sat. iii. Lib. I. 29. taken into custody by a couple of evil spirits; He cannot bear the raillery of the age. Creech. but that his guides happening to disorder his mustaches, they were forced to recompose
*DEAR Short Face,-In your speculathem with a pair of curling-irons, before tion of Wednesday last, you have given us they could get him to file off.
some account of that worthy society of If we look into the history of our own na- brutes the Mohocks, wherein you have partion, we shall find that the beard flourished ticularly specified the ingenious performin the Saxon heptarchy, but was very much ances of the lion-tippers, the dancing-masdiscouraged under the Norman line. It shot ters, and the tumblers; but as you acknow. out, however, from time to time, in several ledged you had not then a perfect history of reigns under different shapes. The last ef- the whole club, you might very easily omit fort it made seems to have been in queen one of the most notable species of it, the Mary's days, as the curious reader may find sweaters, which may be reckoned a sort of if he pleases to peruse the figures of Cardinal dancing-masters too. It is, it seems, the Pole and Bishop Gardiner: though, at the custom for half a dozen, or more, of these same time, I think it may be questioned, if well-disposed savages, as soon as they have zeal against popery has not induced our pro- enclosed the person upon whom they design testant painters to extend the beards of these the favour of a sweat, to whip out their two persecutors beyond their natural dimen- swords, and holding them parallel to the sions, in order to make them appear the horizon, they describe a sort of magic circle more terrible.
round about him with the points. As soon I find but few beards worth taking notice as this piece of conjuration is performed, of in the reign of King James the first. and the patient without doubt already be
During the civil wars there appeared one, ginning to wax warm, to forward the operawhich makes too great a figure in story to be tion, that member of the circle towards passed over in silence: I mean that of the whom he is so rude as to turn his back first, redoubted Hudibras, an account of which runs his sword directly into that part of the Butler has transmitted to posterity in the patient whereon school-boys are punished; following lines:
and as it is very natural to imagine this will
soon make him tack about to some other "His tawny beard was th' equal grace Both of his wisdom and his face;
point, every gentleman does himself the In cnt and dye so like a tile,
same justice as often as he receives the afA sudden view it would beguile;
front. After this jig has gone two or three The upper part thereof was whey, The nether orange mixt with grey.'
times round, and the patient is thought to
have sweat sufficiently, he is very handThe whisker continued for some time somely rubbed down by some attendants, among us after the expiration of beards; but who carry with them instruinents for that this is a subject which I shall not here enter purpose, and so discharged. This relation upon, having discussed it at large in a dis-l) had from a friend of mine, who has lately
been under this discipline. He tells me he being in a great doubt about the orthograhad the honour to dance before the emperor phy of the word bagnio. I consulted sevehimself, not without the applause and ac- ral dictionaries, but found no relief: at last clamations both of his imperial majesty and having recourse both to the bagnio in Newthe whole ring; though I dare say, neither gate street, and to that in Chancery-lane, I, nor any of his acquaintance, ever dreamt and finding the original manuscripts upon he would have merited any reputation by the sign-posts of each to agree literally with his activity.
my own spelling, I returned home full of •I can assure you, Mr. Spectator, I was satisfaction in order to despatch this epistle.' very near being qualified to have given you a faithful and painful account of this
•Mr. SpecTATOR-As you have taken walking bagnio, if I may so call it, myself. most of the
circumstances of human life into Going the other night along Fleet-street, your consideration, we the underwritten and having, out of curiosity, just entered thought it not improper for us also to reinto discourse with a wandering female who present to you our
condition. We are three was travelling the same way, a couple of ladies who live in the country, and the fellows advanced towards us, drew their greatest improvement we make is by readswords, and cried out to each other, “ "A ing. We have taken a small journal of our sweat!' a sweat!” Whereon, suspecting lives, and find it extremely opposite to your they were some of the ring-leaders of the last Tuesday's speculation." We rise by bagnio, I also drew my sword, and demand-seven, and pass the beginning of each day ed a parley; but finding none would be in devotion, and looking into those affairs granted me, and perceiving others behind that fall within the occurrences of a retired them filing off with great diligence to take life; in the afternoon we sometimes enjoy me in flank, I began to sweat for fear of be- the good company of some friend or neighing forced to it: but very luckily betaking bour, or else work or read: at night we remyself to a pair of heels, which I had good tire to our
chambers, and take leave of each reason to believe would do me justice, I in- other for the whole night at ten o'clock. We stantly got possession of a very snug corner Sunday. Mr. Spectator, we are all very good
take particular care never to be sick of a in a neighbouring alley that lay in my hear; maids, but ambitious of characters which hour with great firmness and resolution, we think more laudable, that of being very though not letting this success so far over- good wives. If any of your correspondents come me as to make me upmindful of the inquire for a spouse for an honest country circumspection that was necessary to be gentleman, whose estate is not dipped, and observed upon my advancing again towards wants a wife that can save halt his revenue, the street; by which prudence and good and yet make a better figure than any of his management 'I made a handsome and or- bred women, you shall have further notice
neighbours of the same estate, with finer derly retreat, having suffered no other damage in this action than the loss of
from, sir, your courteous readers,
my baggage, and the dislocation of one of my
•MARTHA BUŠIE, shoe heels, which last I am just now inform
T. ed is in a fair way of recovery. These
"ALICE EARLY.' sweaters, by what I can learn from my friend, and by as near a view as I was able to take of them myself, seem to me to have at pre- No. 333.] Saturday, March 22, 1711-12. sent but a rude kind of discipline among
-vocat in certamina divos.-Virg. them. It is probable, if you would take a
He calls embattled deities to arms. little pains with them, they might be brought into better order. But I'll leave this to your We are now entering upon the sixth book own discretion; and will only add, that if of Paradise Lost, in which the poet deyou think it worth while to insert this by scribes the battle of the angels; having way of caution to those who have a mind to raised his reader's expectation, and prepreserve their skins whole from this sort of pared him for it by several passages in the cupping, and tell them at the same time the preceding books. I omitted quoting these hazard of treating with night-walkers, you passages in my observations on the former will perhaps oblige others, as well as your books, having purposely reserved them for very humble servant,
the opening of this, the subject of which •JACK LIGHTFOOT. gave occasion to them. The author's ima•P. S. My friend will have me acquaint gination was so inflamed with this great you, that though he would not willingly de- scene of action, that wherever he speaks of tract from the merit of that extraordinary it, he rises, if possible, above himself. Thus, strokesman Mr. Sprightly, yet it is his real where he mentions Satan in the beginning opinion, that some of those fellows who are of his poem, employed as rubbers to this new-fashioned
-Him the almighty Power bagnio, have struck as bold strokes as ever Hurl'd headlong flaming from the ethereal sky, he did in his life. *I had sent this four-and-twenty hours
To bottomless perdition, there to dwell sooner, if I had not had the misfortune of
Who durst defy th' Omnipotent to arms.
With hideous ruin and combustion, down
In adamantine chains and penal tire,
We have likewise several noble hints of it | days' engagement, which does not appear in the infernal conference:
natural, and agreeable enough to the ideas O prince! O chief of many throned powers,
most readers would conceive of a fight beThat led the embattled seraphim to war,
tween two armies of angels. Too well I see and rue the dire event,
The second day's engagement is apt to That with sad overthrow and foul defeat
startle an imagination which has not been Hath lost us heav'n ; and all this mighty host In horrible destruction laid thus low.
raised and qualified for such a description But see! the angry victor has recall'd
by the reading of the ancient poets, and of His ministers of vengeance and pursuit
Homer in particular. It was certainly a Back to the gates of heav'n. The sulphurous hail Bhot after us in storm, o'erblown, hath laid
very bold thought in our author, to ascribe The fiery surge, that from the precipice
the first use of artillery to the rebel angels. Of heav'n received us falling: and the thunder, But as such a pernicious invention may be Wing'd with red lightning and impetuous rage, Perhaps has spent his shafts, and ceases now well supposed to have proceeded from such To bellow through the vast and boundless deep. authors, so it enters very properly into the There are several other very sublime scribed as aspiring to the majesty of his
thoughts of that being, who is all along deimages on the same subject in the first book, Maker. Such engines were the only instruas also in the second:
ments he could have made use of to imitate •What when we fled amain, pursued and struck those thunders, that in all poetry, both saWith heav'n's afflicting thunder, and besought
cred and profane, are represented as the The deep to shelter us ; this hell then seem'd A refuge from those wounds
arms of the Almighty. The tearing up the
hills was not altogether so daring a thought In short, the poet never mentions any
as the former. We are, in some measure, thing of this battle, but in such images of greatness and terror as are suitable to the prepared for such an incident by the de subject. Among several others I cannot with among the ancient poets. What still
scription of the giants' war, which we meet forbear quoting that passage where the made this circumstance the more proper Power, who is described as presiding over for the poet's use, is the opinion of many the chaos, speaks in the second book:
learned men, that the fable of the giants' Thus Satan; and him thus the Anarch old,
war, which makes as great a noise in anWith fault'ring speech and visage incomposid, Answerd: "I know thee, stranger, who thou art,
tiquity, and gave birth to the sublimest That mighty leading angel, who of late
description in Hesiod's works, was an alleMade head against heav'n's King, though overthrown gory founded upon this very tradition of a I saw and heard; for such a numerous bost Fled not in silence through the frighted deep
fight between the good and bad angels. With ruin upon ruin, rout on rout,
It may, perhaps, be worth while to conConfusion worse confounded; and heaven's gates sider with what judgment Milton, in this Pour'd out by millions her victorious bands
narration, has avoided every thing that is Pursuing
mean and trivial in the description of the It required great pregnancy of invention, Latin and Greek poets; and at the same and strength of imagination, to fill this bat- time improved every great hint which he tle with such circumstances as should raise met with in their works upon this subject. and astonish the mind of the reader; and at Homer, in that passage which Longinus has the same time an exactness of judgment, to celebrated for its sublimeness, and which avoid every thing that might appear light Virgil and Ovid have copied after him, tells or trivial. Those who look into Homerus, that the giants threw Ossa upon Olymare surprised to find his battles still rising pus, and Pelion upon Ossa. He adds an one above another, and improving in horror epithet to Pelion (voosquador), which very to the conclusion of the Iliad. Milton's fight much swells the idea, by bringing up to the of angels is wrought up with the same beau- reader's imagination all the woods that grew ty. It is ushered in with such signs of wrath upon it. There is further a greater beauty as are suitable to Omnipotence incensed. in his singling out by names these three reThe first engagement is carried on under a markable mountains so well known to the cope of fire, occasioned by the flights of in- Greeks. This last is such a beauty, as the numerable burning darts and arrows which scene of Milton's war could not possibly are discharged from either host. The se- furnish him with. Claudian, in his fragcond onset is still more terrible, as it is filled ment upon the giants' war, has given full with those artificial thunders, which seem scope to that wildness of imagination which to make the victory doubtful, and produce was natural to him. He tells us that the a kind of consternation even in the good an- giants tore up whole islands by the roots, gels. This is followed by the tearing up of and threw them at the gods. He describes mountains and promontories; till in the last one of them in particular taking up Lemnos place Messiah comes forth in the fulness of in his arms, and whirling it to the skies, majesty and terror. The pomp of his ap- with all Vulcan's shop in the midst of it. pearance, amidst the roarings of his thun- Another tears up mount Ida, with the river ders, the flashes of his lightnings, and the Enipeus, which ran down the sides of it; noise of his chariot wheels, is described but the poet, not content to describe him with the utmost flights of human imagina- with this mountain upon his shoulders, tells tion.
us that the river flowed down his back as There is nothing in the first and last | he held it up in that posture. It is visible
Down cloven to the waist, with shatter'd arms
to every judicious reader, that such ideas Not long divisible; and from the gash
A stream of nectarous humour issuing flow'd savour more of the burlesque than of the
Sanguine, (such as celestial spirits may bleed) sublime. They proceed from a wanton And all his armour stain'dness of imagination, and rather divert the Homer tells us in the same manner, that mind than astonish it. Milton has taken upon Diomede's wounding the gods, there every thing that is sublime in these several Aowed from the wound an ichor, or pure passages, and composes out of them the fol- kind of blood, which was not bred from lowing great image:
mortal viands; and that though the pain was From their foundations loos'ning to and fro,
exquisitely great, the wound soon closed up They pluck'd the seated hills, with all their load,
and healed in those beings who are vested Rocks, waters, woods, and by the shaggy tops L'plifting bore them in their hands.
with immortality, We have the full majesty of Homer in this
I question not but Milton, in his descripshort description, improved by the imagi- tion of his furious Moloch flying from the nation of Claudian, without its puerilities.
battle, and bellowing with the wound he I need not point out the description of the had received, had his eye on Mars in the fallen angels seeing the promontories hang-Iliad; who, upon his being wounded, is reing over their heads in such a dreadful presented as retiring out of the fight, and manner, with the other numberless beau- making an outcry louder than that of a ties in this book, which are so conspicuous, Homer adds, that the Greeks and Trojans
whole army when it begins the charge. that they cannot escape the notice of the most ordinary reader.
who were engaged in a general battle, were There are indeed so many wonderful terrified on each side with the bellowing of strokes of poetry in this book, and such a this wounded deity. The reader will easily variety of sublime ideas, that it would have observe how Milton has kept all the horror been impossible to have given them
a place of this image without running into the ridiwithin the bounds of this paper. Besides cule of it: that I find it in a great measure done to my
-Where the might of Gabriel fought,
And with fierce ensigns pierc'd the deep array hand at the end of my lord Roscommon's
Of Moloch, furious king! who him defyd, Essay on Translated Poetry. I shall refer And at lus chariot-wheels to drag him bound my reader thither for some of the master Threaten'd, nor from the Holy One of heav'n strokes of the sixth book of Paradise Lost,
Refraind his tongue blasphemous: but anon though at the same time there are many And uncouth pain, fled bellowingothers which that noble author has not
Milton has likewise raised his description taken notice of.
in this book with many images taken out of Milton,
notwithstanding the sublime ger the poetical parts of scripture. The Mesnius he was master of, has in this book siah's chariot, as I have before taken notice, drawn to his assistance all the helps he is formed upon a vision of Ezekiel, who, as could meet with among the ancient poets. Grotius observes, has very much in him
of The sword of Michael, which makes so Homer's spirit in the poetical parts of his great a havoc among the bad angels, was
prophecy. given him, we are told, out of the armoury
The following lines, in that glorious comof God:
mission which is given the Messiah to ex-But the sword of Michael from the armoury of God
tirpate the host of rebel angels, is drawŋ Was giv'n him, temper'd so, that neither keen
from a sublime passage in the psalms: Nor solid might resist that edge: it met
Go then, thou mightiest, in thy Father's might! The sword of Satan, with steep force to smite
Ascend my chariot, guide the rapid wheels Descending, and in half cut sheer
That take heav'n's basis; bring forth all my war, This passage is a copy of that in Virgil, My bow, my thunder, my almighty arms
Gird on, and sword on thy puissant thigh. wherein the poet tells us, that the sword of Æneas, which was given him by a deity,
The reader will easily discover many broke into pieces the sword of Turnus, other strokes of the same nature. which came from a mortal forge. As the There is no question but Milton had moral in this place is divine, so by the way heated his imagination with the fight of the we may observe, that the bestowing on a gods in Homer, before he entered into this man who is favoured by heaven such an engagement of the angels. Homer there allegorical weapon is very conformable to gives us a scene of men, heroes, and gods, the old eastern way of thinking. Not only mixed together in battle. Mars animates Homer has made use of it, but we find the the contending armies, and lifts up his voice Jewish hero in the book of Maccabees, who in such a manner, that it is heard distinctly had fought the battles of the chosen people amidst all the shouts and confusion of the with so much glory and success, receiving fight. Jupiter at the same time thunders in his dream a sword from the hand of the over their heads; while Neptune raises prophet Jeremiah. The following passage, such a tempest, that the whole field of wherein Satan is described as wounded battle, and all the tops of the mountains, by the sword of Michael, is in imitation of shake about them. The poet tells, that Homer:
Pluto himself, whose habitation was in the The griding sword with discontinuous wound
very centre of the earth, was so affrighted Pass'd through him; but th'ethereal substance cios'd, ) at the shock, that he leapt from his throne.
Vol. II. 5