« AnteriorContinuar »
Then shall this mount
deluge, wherein our poet has visibly the ad- , ble, and has passed the common exercises vantage. The sky's being overcharged with of his years with tolerable advantage, but is clouds, the descending of the rains, the withal what you would call a forward youth: rising of the seas, and the appearance of by the help of this last qualification, which the rainbow, are such descriptions as every serves as a varnish to all the rest, he is enone must take notice of. The circumstance abled to make the best use of his learning, relating to Paradise is so finely imagined, and display it at full length upon all occaand suitable to the opinions of many learned sions. Last summer he distinguished himauthors, that I cannot forbear giving it a self two or three times very remarkably, by place in this paper.
puzzling the vicar, before an assembly of
most of the ladies in the neighbourhood; and Of Paradise, by might of waves be mov'd
from such weighty considerations as these, Out of his place, push'd by the horned food; as it too often unfortunately falls out, the With all his verdure spoil'd, and trees adrift Down the great river io th' op'ning gulf,
mother is become invincibly persuaded that And there take root; an island salt and bare, her son is a great scholar; and that to chain The haunt of seals and orcs and sea-mews' clang. him down to the ordinary methods of edu
The transition which the poet makes cation, with others of his age, would be to from the vision of the deluge, to the concern cramp his faculties, and do an irreparable it occasioned in Adam, is exquisitely grace- injury to his wonderful capacity. ful, and copied after Virgil, though the first I happened to visit at the house last thought it introduces is rather in the spirit week, and missing the young gentleman at of Ovid:
the tea-table, where he seldom fails to
officiate, could not upon so extraordinary a How didst thou grieve then, Adam, to behold The end of all thy offspring, end so sad,
circumstance avoid inquiring after him. My Depopulation! Thee another flood,
lady told me he was gone out with her woOf tears and sorrow, a flood, thee also drown'd, man, in order to make some preparation And sunk thee as thy sons; till gently rear'd By th' angel, on thy feet thou stood'st at last,
for their equipage; for that she intended Though comfortless, as when a father mourns very speedily to carry him to “travel.” His children all in view destroy'd at once.
The oddness of the expression shocked me I have been the more particular in my
a little; however, I soon recovered myself quotations out of the eleventh book of Para- enough to let her know, that all I was willing dise Lost, because it is not generally reck- to understand by it was, that she designed oned among the most shining books of this this summer to show her son his estate in a poem: for which reason the reader might been. But she soon took care to rob me of
distant county, in which he had never yet be apt to overlook those many passages, it which deserve our admiration. The ele- that agreeable mistake, and let me into the venth and twelfth are indeed built upon that whole affair.. She enlarged upon young single circumstance of the removal of our master's prodigious improvements, and his first parents from Paradise: but though this comprehensive knowledge of all book-learnis not in itself so great a subject as that in ing; concluding, that, it was now high time most of the foregoing books, it is extended he should be made acquainted with men and and diversified with so many surprising in- things; that she had resolved he should cidents and pleasing episodes, that these make the tour of France and Italy, but could two last books can by no means be looked not bear to have him out of her sight, and upon as unequal parts of this divine poem. therefore intended to go along with
him. I must further add, that, had not Milton
I was going to rally her for so extravagant represented our first parents as driven out a resolution, but found myself not in a fit of Paradise, his fall of man would not have humour to meddle with a subject that debeen complete, and consequently his action manded the most soft and delicate touch would have been imperfect.
imaginable. I was afraid of dropping something that might seem to bear hard either upon the son's abilities, or the mother's dis
cretion, being sensible that in both these No. 364.] Monday, April 28, 1712. cases, though supported with all the pow
ers of reason, I should, instead of gaining Quadrigis petimus bene vivere.
her ladyship over to my opinion, only exHor. Ep. xi. Lib. 1. 29. pose myself to her disesteem: I therefore Anxious through seas and land to search for rest, immediately determined to refer the whole
matter to the Spectator. • MR. SPECTATOR,-A lady of my ac • When I came to reflect at night, as my quaintance, for whom I have too much re- custom is, upon the occurrences of the day, spect to be easy while she is doing an I could not but believe that this humour of indiscreet action, has given occasion to this carrying a boy to travel in his mother's lap, trouble. She is a widow, to whom the in- and that upon pretence of learning men and dulgence of a tender husband has entrusted things, is a case of an extraordinary nature, the management of a very great fortune, and carries on it a peculiar stamp of folly. and a son about sixteen, both of which she I did not remember to have met with its pais extremely fond of. The boy has parts of rallel within the compass of my observation, the middle size, neither shining nor despica- I though I could call to mind some not ex
Is but laborious idleness at best.- Francis.
tremely unlike it. From hence my thoughts we find celebrated as the scene of some fatook occasion to ramble into the general no- mous action, or retaining any footsteps of a tion of travelling, as it is now made a part Cato, Cicero, or Brutus, or some such great of education. Nothing is more frequent virtuous man. A nearer view of any such. than to take a lad from grammar and taw, particular, though really little and trifling and, under the tuition of some poor scholar, in itself, may serve the more powerfully to who is willing to be banished for thirty warm a generous mind to an emulation of pounds a year, and a little victuals, send their virtues, and a greater ardency of am, him crying and snivelling into foreign coun- bition to imitate their bright examples, if it tries. "Thus he spends his time as children comes duly tempered and prepared for the do at puppet-shows, and with much the impression. But this I believe you will same advantage, in staring and gaping at an hardly think those to be, who are so far amazing variety of strange things; strange from entering into the sense and spirit of the indeed to one who is not prepared to com- ancients, that they do not yet understand prehend the reasons and meaning of them, their language with any exactness. * whilst he should be laying the solid founda
• But I have wandered from my purpose, tions of knowledge in his mind, and furnish- which was only to desire you save, if posing it with just rules to direct his future sible, a fond English mother, and mother's progress in life under some skilful master own son, from being shown a ridiculous of the art of instruction.
spectacle through the most polite parts of “Can there be a more astonishing thought Europe. Pray tell them, that though to be in nature, than to consider how men should sea-sick, or jumbled in an outlandish stagefall into so palpable a mistake? It is a large coach, may perhaps be healthful for the field, and may very well exercise a sprightly constitution of the body, yet it is apt to genius; but I do not remember you have yet cause such dizziness in young empty heads taken a turn in it. I wish, sir, you would as too often lasts their life-time. I am, sir, make people understand that "travel" is your most humble servant. really the last step to be taken in the insti
•PHILIP HOMEBRED.'. tution of youth, and that to set out with it, is to begin where they should end.
• Birchin-lane. •Certainly the true end of visiting foreign
“SIR,_I was married on Sunday last, and parts, is to look into their customs and po- went peaceably to bed; but, to my surprise, licies, and observe in what particulars
they was awakened the next morning by the excel or come short of our own; to unlearn thunder of a set of drums. These warlike some odd peculiarities in our manners, and sounds (methinks) are very improper in a wear off such awkward stiffnesses and af- marriage-concert, and give great offence; fectations in our behaviour, as possibly
may they seem to insinuate, that the joys of this have been contracted from constantly asso
state are short, and that jars and discords ciating with one nation of men, by a more
soon ensue. I fear they have been ominous free, general, and mixed conversation. But to many matches, and sometimes proved a how can any of these advantages be attained prelude to a battle in the honey-moon. A by one who is a mere stranger to the cus- nod from you may hush them; therefore, toms and policies of his native country, and pray, sir, let them be silenced, that for the has not yet fixed in his mind the first prin- future none but soft airs may usher in the ciples of manners and behaviour? To en- morning of a bridal night; which will be a deavour it, is to build a gaudy structure favour not only to those who come after, but without any foundation; or, if I may be al- to me, who can still subscribe myself, your lowed the expression, to work a rich em
most humble and most obedient servant, broidery upon a cob web.
*ROBIN BRIDEGROOM.' • Another end of travelling, which de • Mr. SPECTATOR, I am one of that sort serves to be considered, is the improving of women whom the gayer part of our sex our taste of the best authors of antiquity, by are apt to call a prude. But to show them seeing the places where they lived, and of which they wrote; to compare the natural * The following paragraph, in the first edition of this face of the country with the descriptions paper in folio, was afterwards suppressed. It is here they have given us, and observe how well reprinted from the Spect. in folio, No. 364.
I cannot quit this head without paying my acknowthe picture agrees with the original. This ledgments to one of the most entertaining pieces this must certainly be a most charming exercise age has produced, for the pleasure it gave me. You will to the mind that is rightly turned for it; be easily guess that the book I have in my head is Mr. sides that, it may in a good measure be man has with so much art and judgment applied his exmade subservient to morality, if the person act knowledge of all the parts of classical learning, to
illustrate the several occurrences of his travels, that his is capable of drawing just conclusions con
work alone is a pregnant proof of what I have said. cerning the uncertainty of human things, Nobody that
has a taste this way, can read him going from the ruinous alterations time and bar- from Řome to Naples, and making Horace and Silius barity have brought upon so many palaces, himself to reflect that he was not in his retinue. I am
Italicus his chart, but he must feel some uneasiness in cities, and whole countries, which make sure I wished it ten times in every page, and that not the most illustrious figures in history. And without a secret vanity to think in what state I should this hint may be not a little improved by have travelled the Appian road with Horace for a guide, examining every little spot of ground that I all men living, knows best how to follow his steps."
If not the first, the fairest of the year;
that I have very little regard to their month on the lower part of the sex, who raillery, I shall be glad to see them all at act without disguise, are very visible, It The Amorous Widow, or The Wanton is at this time that we see the young Wife, which is to be acted for the benefit wenches in a country-parish dancing round of Mrs. Porter, on Monday the 28th instant. a May-pole, which one of our learned anI assure you I can laugh at an amorous tiquaries supposes to be a relick of a cerwidow, or wanton wife, with as little tempt- tain pagan worship that I do not think fit ation to imitate them, as I could at any to mention. other vicious character. Mrs. Porter It is likewise on the first day of this obliged me so very much in the exquisite month that we see the ruddy milk-maid sense she seemed to have of the honourable exerting herself in a most sprightly mansentiments and noble passions in the cha- ner under a pyramid of silver tankards, racter of Hermione, that I shall appear in and, like the virgin Tarpeia, * oppressed her behalf at a comedy, though I have no by the costly ornaments which her benegreat relish for any entertainments where factors lay upon her. the mirth is not seasoned with a certain I need not mention the ceremony of the severity, which ought to recommend it to green gown, which is also peculiar to this people who pretend to keep reason and au- gay season. thority over all their actions. I am, sir, The same periodical love-fit spreads your frequent reader,
through the whole sex, as Mr. Dryden T. *ALTAMIRA.' well observes in his description of this
'For thee, sweet month, the groves green liv'ries wear, No. 365.] Tuesday, April 29, 1712.
For thee the graces lead the dancing hours,
And nature's ready pencil paints the flowers.
The sprightly May commands our youth to keep
Tho vigils of her night, and breaks their sleep; But most in spring; the kindly spring inspires Each gentle breast with kindly warmth she moves, Reviving beat, and kindles genial fires.
Inspires new flames, revives extinguish'd loves.'
Accordingly, among the works of the Flushed by the spirit of the genial year, Be greatly cautious of your sliding hearts.
great masters in painting, who have drawn Thomson's Spring, 160, &c. this genial season of the year, we often obThe author of the Menagiana acquaints ing up and down promiscuously in several
serve Cupids confused with Zephyrs, flyus, that discoursing one day with several ladies of quality about the effects of the parts of the picture. I cannot but add month of May, which infuses a kindly time of the year love-letters come up to
from my own experience, that about this warmth into the earth, and all its inhabitants, the marchioness of S
-, who was
me in great numbers, from all quarters of
the nation. one of the company, told him, that though she would promise to be chaste in every last post from a Yorkshire gentleman, who
I received an epistle in particular by the month besides, she could not engage for makes heavy complaints of one Zelinda, herself in May. As the beginning there whom it seems he has courted unsuccessfore of this
month is now very near, I de- fully these three years past. He tells me sign this paper for a caveat to the fair sex, that he designs to try her this May; and if and publish it before April is quite out, he does not carry his point, he will never that if any of them should be caught trip: think of her more. ping, they may not pretend they had not
Having thus fairly admonished the female timely notice. above-mentioned observation is as well cal- in the next place lay down some rules and I am induced to this, being persuaded the sex, and laid before them the dangers they
are exposed to in this critical month, I shall culated for our climate as that of France, directions for the better avoiding those and that some of our British ladies are of calentures which are so very frequent in the same constitution with the French
this season. marchioness. I shall leave it among physicians to de
In the first place, I would advise them termine what may be the cause of such an the company of a parent, a guardian, or
never to venture abroad in the fields, but in anniversary inclination; whether or no it is that the spirits, after having been as it before shown how apt they are to trip in
some other sober discreet person. I have were frozen and congealed by winter, are the flowery meadow; and shall further now turned loose and set a rambling; or, observe to them, that Proserpine was out that the gay prospects of fields and meadows, with the courtship of the birds in a-maying when she met with that fatal adevery bush, naturally unbend the mind, venture to which Milton alludes when he
mentionsand soften it to pleasure; or that, as some have imagined, a woman is prompted by
Of Enna, where Proserpine gath'ring flowers, a kind of instinct to throw herself on a bed
Herself a fairer flower, by gloomy Dis of flowers, and not to let those beautiful Was gather'd. couches which nature has provided lie useless. However it be, the effects of this * T. Livii Hist. Dec. 1. lib. i. cap. xi. VOLII.
That fair field
Since I am going into quotations, I shall | That devotion to his mistress kindles in his conclude this head with Virgil's advice to mind a general tenderness, which exerts young people while they are gathering itself towards every object as well as his wild strawberries and nosegays, that they fair one. When this passion is represented should have a care of the snake in the by writers, it is common with them to engrass.
deavour at certain quaintnesses and turns In the second place, I cannot but ap- of imagination, which are apparently the prove those prescriptions which our astro- work of a mind at ease; but the men of true logical physicians give in their almanacks taste can easily distinguish the exertion of for this month: such as are a spare and a mind which overflows with tender sentisimple diet, with a moderate use of phle- ments, and the labour of one which is only botomy.'
describing distress. In performances of this Under this head of abstinence I shall also kind, the most absurd of all things is to be advise
fair readers to be in a particular witty; every sentiment must grow out of manner careful how they meddle with ro- the occasion, and be suitable to the circummances, chocolate, novels, and the like stances of the character. Where this rule inflamers, which I look upon as very dan- is transgressed, the humble servant in all gerous to be made use of during this great the fine things he says, is but showing his carnival of nature.
mistress how well he can dress, instead of As I have often declared that I have no- saying how well he loves. Lace and drathing more at heart than the honour of my pery is as much a man, as wit and turn is dear country-women, I would beg them to passion. consider, whenever their resolutions begin to fail them, that there are but one-and *MR.SPECTATOR,- The following verses thirty days of this soft season, and if they are a translation of a Lapland love-song, can but weather out this one month, the which I met with in Scheffer's history of rest of the year will be easy to them. As that country.* I was agreeably surprised for that part of the fair sex who stay in to find a spirit of tenderness and poetry in town, I would advise them to be particu- a region which I never suspected for delilarly cautious how they give themselves up cacy. In hotter climates, though altogether to their most innocent entertainments. If uncivilized, I had not wondered if I had they cannot forbear the playhouse, I would found some sweet wild notes among the recommend tragedy to them rather than natives, where they live in groves of oranges, comedy; and should think the puppet-show and hear the melody of the birds about much safer for them than the opera, all the them. But a Lapland lyric, breathing while the sun is in Gemini.
sentiments of love and poetry, not unworthy The reader will observe, that this paper old Greece or Rome; a regular ode from is written for the use of those ladies who a climate pinched with frost, and cursed think it worth while to war against nature with darkness so great a part of the year; in the cause of honour. As for that aban- where it is amazing that the poor natives doned crew, who do not think virtue worth should get food, or be tempted to propagate contending for, but give up their reputa- their species—this, I confess, seemed a tion at the first summons, such warnings greater miracle to me than the famous and premonitions are thrown away upon stories of their drums, their winds, and enthem. A prostitute is the same easy crea- chantments. ture in all months of the year, and makes I am the bolder in commending this no difference between May and December. northern song, because I have faithfully
X. kept to the sentiments, without adding or
diminishing; and pretend to no greater
praise from my translation, than they who No. 366.] Wednesday, April 30, 1712.
smooth and clean the furs of that country
which have suffered by carriage. The Pone me pigris ubi nulla campis
numbers in the original are as loose and un
equal as those in which the British ladies Dulce ridentem Lalagen amabo, Dulce loquentem. Hor. Od. xxii. Lib. 1. 17. sport their Pindarics; and perhaps the
fairest of them might not think it a disSet me where on some pathless plain The swarthy Africans complain,
agreeable present from a lover. But I have To see the chariot of the sun
ventured to bind it in stricter measures, as So near the scorching country run;
being more proper for our tongue, though The burning zone, the frozen isles, Shall hear me sing of Celia's smiles;
perhaps wilder graces may better suit the All cold, but in her breast, I will despise,
genius of the Laponian language.
It will be necessary to imagine that the Roscommon.
author of this song, not having the liberty THERE are such wild inconsistencies in of visiting his mistress at her father's house, the thoughts of a man in love, that I have was in hopes of spying her at a distance in often reflected there can be no reason for her fields. allowing him more liberty than others possessed with phrenzy, but that his distem
* Mr. Ambrose Phillips was the supposed author of per has no malevolence in it to any mortal. I this love-song.
Arbor estiva recreatur aura;
And dare all heat but that of Celia's eye
" Thou rising sun, whose gladsome ray
follow your counsel; who am your admirer Invites my fair to rural play, Dispel the mist, and clear the skies,
and humble servant, And bring my Orra to my eyes.
•CONSTANTIA COMB-BRUSH. Oh! were I sure my dear to view,
I beg that you will put it in a better I'd climb that pine tree's topmost bough,
dress, and let it come abroad, that my misAlont in air that quiv'ring plays, And round and round for ever gaze.
tress, who is an admirer of your speculations, may see it.'
T. My Orra Moor, where art thou laid ? What wood conceals my sleeping maid ? Fast by the roots enrag'd I'd tear The trees that bide my promis'd fair.
No. 367.] Thursday, May 1, 1712. Oh! could I ride the clouds and skies,
-Perituræ parcite chartæ. - Juv. Sat. i. 18. Or on the raven's pinions rise ! Ye storks, ye swans, a moment stay,
In mercy spare us when we do our best And waft a lover on his way!
To make as much waste paper as the rest. My bliss too long my bride denies,
I HAVE often pleased myself with conA pace the wasting summer flies :
sidering the two kinds of benefits which Nor yet the wintry blasts I fear,
accrue to the public from these my specuNot storms, or night shall keep me here.
lations, and which, were I to speak after What may for strength with steel compare ? the manner of logicians, I would distinOh! love has fetters stronger far!
guish into the material and the formal. By By bolts of steel are limbs confin'd, But cruel love enchains the mind.
the latter I understand those advantages
which my readers receive, as their minds No longer then perplex thy breast ;
are either improved or delighted by these When thoughts torment, the first are best;
my daily labours; but having already se'Tis mad to go, 'tis death to stay ; Away to Orral haste away !"
veral times descanted on my endeavours in
this light, I shall at present wholly confine April the 10th. myself to the consideration of the former. MR. SPECTATOR, I am one of those By the word material, I mean those benedespicable creatures called a chambermaid, fits which arise to the public from these my and have lived with a mistress for some speculations, as they consume a considertime, whom I love as my life, which has able quantity of our paper-manufacture, made my duty and pleasure inseparable. employ our 'artisans in printing, and find My greatest delight has been in being cm- business for great numbers of indigent ployed about her person; and indeed she is persons. very seldom out of humour for a woman of Our paper-manufacture takes into it seher quality. But here lies my complaint, sir. veral mean materials which could be put To bear with me is all the encouragement to no other use, and affords work for several she is pleased to bestow upon me; for she hands in the collection of them which are gives her cast-off clothes from me to others; incapable of any other employment. Those some she is pleased to bestow in the house poor retailers, whom we see so busy in to those that neither want nor wear them, every street, deliver in their respective and some to hangers-on, that frequent thé gleanings to the merchant. The merchant house daily, who come dressed out in them. carries them in loads to the paper-mill, This, sir, is a very mortifying sight to me, where they pass through a fresh set of who am a little necessitous for clothes, and hands, and give life to another trade. love to appear what I am; and causes an Those who have mills on their estate, by uneasiness, so that I cannot serve with that this means considerably raise their rents, cheerfulness as formerly; which my mis- and the whole nation is in a great measure tress takes notice of, and calls envy and supplied with a manufacture for which forill-temper, at seeing others preferred be- merly she was obliged to her neighbours.
My mistress has a younger sister The materials are no sooner wrought lives in the house with her, that is some into paper, but they are distributed among thousands below her in estate, who is conti- the presses, when they again set innumenually heaping her favours on her maid; so rable artists at work, and furnish business that she can appear every Sunday, for the to another mystery. From hence, accordfirst quarter, in a fresh suit of clothes of ingly as they are stained with news and her mistress's giving, with all other things politics, they fly through the town in Postsuitable. All this I see without envying, men, Post-boys, Daily Courants, Reviews, but not without wishing my mistress would Medleys, and Examiners. Men, women, a little consider what a discouragement it and children contend who shall be the first is to me to have my perquisites divided be-bearers of them, and get their daily sustentween fawners and jobbers, which others ance by spreading them. In short, when I enjoy entire to themselves. I have spoken trace in my mind a bundle of rags to a quire to my mistress, but to little purpose; I of Spectators, I find so many hands emhave desired to be discharged (for indeed I ployed in every step they take through fret myself to nothing, but that she an- their whole progress, that while I am swers with silence. I beg, sir, your direc-writing a Spectator, I fancy myself protion what to do, for I am fully resolved tol viding bread for a multitude.