Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

the different figures he gives the two god-away a few hours in the proper employa desses. Our modern authors have repre- ments of a reasonable creature, and promissented Pleasure or Vice with an alluring ing myself that my slumbers would be sweet, iace, but ending in snakes and monsters : I no sooner fell into them, but I dreamed a here she appears in all the charms of beauty, dream, or saw a vision, (for I know not though they are all false and borrowed ; which to call it) that seemed to rise out of and by that means, composes a vision en- my evening meditation, and had something tirely natural and pleasing.

in it so solemn and serious, that I cannot forI have translated this allegory for the be-bear communicating it; though I must connefit of the youth of Great Britain; and par- fess, the wildness of imagination (which in a ticularly of those who are still in the deplora- dream is always loose and irregular) disble state of non-existence, and whom I most covers itself too much in several parts of it, earnestly entreat to come into the world. Methought I saw the azure sky diversiLet my embryos show the least inclination fied with the same glorious luminaries which to any single virtue, and I shall allow it to be had entertained me a little before I fell a struggling towards birth, I do not expect | asleep. I was looking very attentively on of them, that, like the hero in the foregoing that sign in the heavens which is called by story, they should go about, as soon as they the name of the Balance, when on a sudden are born, with a club in their hands, and a there appeared in it an extraordinary light, lion's skin on their shoulders, to root out as if the sun should rise at midnight. By its monsters, and destroy tyrants; but, as the increasing in breadth and lustre, I soon found finest author of all antiquity has said upon that it approached towards the earth; and this very occasion, though a man has not the at length could discern something like a abilities to distinguish himself in the most shadow hovering in the midst of a great shining parts of a great character, he has glory, which in a little time after I distinctly certainly the capacity of being just, faithful, perceived to be the figure of a woman. I modest, and temperate,

fancied at first it might have been the angel or intelligence that guided the constellation

from which it descended; but upon a nearer No. 100.] Tuesday, November 29, 1709.

view, I saw about her all the einblems with

which the Goddess of Justice is usually deJam redit et Virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna.-Virg. scribed. Her countenance was unspeakably

awful and majestic, but exquisitely beautiful Sheer-Lane, November 28.

to those whose eyes were strong enough to I was last week taking a solitary walk in behold it; her smiles transported with rapthe garden of Lincoln's Inn, (a favour that is ture, her frowns terrified to despair. She indulged me by several of the benchers who held in her hand a mirror, endowed with the are my intimate friends, and grown old with same qualities as that which the painters put me in this neighbourhood,) when, according into the hand of Truth. to the nature of men in years, who have! There streamed from it a light, which dis made but little progress in the advancement tinguished itself from all the splendours that of their fortune or their fame, I was repining surrounded her, more than a flash of lightat the sudden rise of many persons who are ning shines in the midst of day-light. As my juniors, and indeed at the unequal distri- she moved it in her hand, it brightened the bution of wealth, honour, and all other bless-heavens, the air, or the earth. When she ings of life. I was lost in this thought when had descended so low as to be seen and the night came upon me, and drew my mind heard by mortals, to make the pomp of her into a far more agreeable contemplation. appearance more supportable, she threw The heaven above me appeared in all its darkness and clouds about her, that temperglories, and presented me with such an hem-ed the light into a thousand beautiful shades isphere of stars, as made the most agreea- and colours, and multiplied that lustre, which ble prospect imaginable to one who delights was before too strong and dazzling, into a in the study of nature. It happened to be a variety of milder glories. freezing night, which had purified the whole In the mean time the world was in an body of air into such a bright transparent alarm, and all the inhabitants of it gathered ether, as made every constellation visible; together upon a spacious plain ; so that I and at the same time gave such a particular seemed to have all the species before my glowing to the stars, that I thought it the eyes. A voice was heard from the clouds, richest sky. I had ever seen. I could not be- declaring the intention of this visit, which hold a scene so wonderfully adorned, and was to restore and appropriate to every lighted up, (if I may be allowed that ex- one living what was his due. The fear and presssion,) without suitable meditations on hope, joy and sorrow, which appeared in that the Author of such illustrious and amazing great assembly after this solemn declaration, objects. For on these occasions, philosophy are not to be expressed. The first edict was suggests motives to religion, and religion then pronounced, “That all titles, and claims adds pleasures to philosophy,

to riches and estates, or to any part of them, As soon as I had recovered my usual tem- should be immediately vested in the rightful per and serenity of soul, I retired to my lodg- owner." Upon this, the inhabitants of the ings with the satisfaction of having passed | earth held up the instruments of their ten

ure, whether in parchment, paper, wax, or be conferred on persons of the greatest merany other form of conveyance; and as the it, abilities and perfection.” The handsome, goddess moved the mirror of truth, which the strong, and the wealthy, immediately she held in her hand, so that the light which pressed forward; but not being able to bear flowed from it fell upon the multitude, they the splendour of the mirror which played examined the several instruments by the upon their faces, they immediately fell back beams of it. The rays of this mirror had a among the crowd: but as the goddess tried particular quality of setting fire to all forgery the multitude by her glass, as the eagle does and falsehood. The blaze of papers, the its young ones by the lustre of the sun, it was melting of seals, and crackling of parch- remarkable, that every one turned away his ments, made a very odd scene. The fire face from it, who had not distinguished himvery often ran through two or three lines self either by virtue, knowledge, or capacity only, and then stopped; though I could not in business, either military or civil. This but observe, that the flame chiefly broke out select assembly was drawn up in the centre among the interlineations and codicils. The of a prodigious multitude, which was diffulight of the mirror, as it was turned up and sed on all sides, and stood observing them, down, pierced into all the dark corners and as idle people use to gather about a regiment recesses of the universe, and by that means that were exercising their arms. They were detected many writings and records which drawn up in three bodies : in the first, were had been hidden or buried by time, chance, the men of virtue; in the second, the men of cr design. This occasioned a wonderful re- knowledge; and in the third, the men of buvolution among the people. At the same siness. It was impossible to look at the first time, the spoils of extortion, fraud, and rob- column without a secret veneration, their bery, with all the fruits of bribery and cor- aspects were so sweetened with humanity, ruption, were thrown together into a prodi- raised with contemplation, emboldened with gious pile, that almost reached to the clouds, resolution, and adorned with the most agreeand was called the Mount of Restitution; to able airs, which are those that proceed from which all injured persons were invited, to secret habits of virtue. I could not but take receive what belonged to them.

notice, that there were many faces among One might see crowds of people in tatter-them which were unknown, not only to the ed garments come up, and change clothes multitude, but even to several of their own with others that were dressed with lace and body. embroidery. Several who were plums, or In the second column, consisting of the men very near it, became men of moderate for- of knowledge, there had been great disputes tunes; and many others, who were over- | before they fell into their ranks, which they grown in wealth and possessions, had no did not do at last, without the positive commore left than what they usually spent. mand of the goddess who presided over the What moved my concern most, was, to see assembly. She had so ordered it, that men a certain street of the greatest credit in Eu- of the greatest genius, and strongest sense, rope, from one end to the other become were placed at the head of the column; bebankrupt.

hind these, were such as had formed their The next command was, for the whole minds very much on the thoughts and wribody of mankind to separate themselves tings of others. In the rear of the column into their proper families; which was no were men who had more wit than sense, or sooner done, but an edict was isssued out, re- more learning than understanding. All livquiring all children "to repair to their true ing authors of any value were ranged in one and natural fathers.” This put a great part of these classes; but I must confess, I was of their assembly in motion : for as the mir- very much surprised to see a great body of ror was moved over them, it inspired every editors, critics, commentators, and grammaone with such a natural instinct, as directed rians, meet with so very ill a reception, them to their real parents. It was a very | They had formed themselves into a body, melancholy spectacle to see the fathers of ve- and with a great deal of arrogance demandry large families become childless, and bach-ed the first station in the column of knowelors undone by a charge of sons and daugh- ledge; but the goddess, instead of complying ters. You might see a presumptive heir of with their request, clapped them all into live a great estate ask a blessing of his coachman, eries, and bid them know themselves for and a celebrated toast paying her duty to a no other but lacqueys of the learned. valet de chambre. Many under vows of The third column were men of business, celibacy appeared surrounded with a nume- and consisted of persons in military and civil rous issue. This change of parentage would capacities. The former marched out from have caused great lamentation, but that the the rest, and placed themselves in the front, calamity was pretty common; and that ge- at which the other shook their heads at them, nerally those who lost their children, had but did not think fit to dispute the post with the satisfaction of seeing them put into the them. I could not but make several obserhands of their dearest friends. Men were vations upon this last column of people; but no sooner settled in their right to their pos- I have certain private reasons why I do not sessions and their progeny, but there was a think fit to communicate them to the public. third order proclaimed, “That all the posts In order to fill up all the posts of honour, of dignity and honour in the universe should I dignity, and profit, there was a draught made out of each column, of men who were An ingenious droll, who is since dead, (and masters of all three qualifications in some indeed it is well for him he is so, for he must degree, and were preferred to stations of the have starved had he lived to this day,) used first rank. The second draught was made to give me an account of his good husbandry out of such as were possessed of any two of in the management of his learning. He was the qualifications, who were disposed of in a general dealer, and had his amusements stations of a second dignity. Those who as well comical as serious. The merry rogue were left, and were endowed only with one said, when he wanted a dinner, he writ a pacf them, had their suitable posts. When ragraph of table-talk, and his bookseller upon this was over, there remained many places sight paid the reckoning. He was a very of trust and profit, unfilled, for which there | good judge of what would please the people, were fresh draughts made out of the sur- and could aptly hit both the genius of his sounding multitude, who had any appearance readers, and the season of the year, in his of these excellences, or were recommended writings. His brain, which was his estate, by those who possessed them in reality, had as regular and different produce as other

* All were surprised to see so many new fa- mens' land. From the beginning of Novemces in the most eminent dignities, and for ber till the opening of the campaign, he my own part, I was very well pleased to see writ pamphlets and letters to members of that all my friends either kept their present parliament, or friends in the country; but posts, or were advanced to higher.

sometimes he would relieve his ordinary Having filled my paper with those parti- readers with a murder, and lived comfortaculars of mankind, I must reserve for another bly a week or two upon strange and lamenoccasion the sequel of it, which relates to the table accidents. A little before the armies fair sex,

took the field, his way was to open your attention with a prodigy; and a monster well

writ, was two guineas the lowest price. This No. 101.] Thursday, December 1, 1709.

prepared his readers for his great and bloody Postquam fregit subsellia versu

news from Flanders in June and July. Poor Esurit intactam Paridi nisi vendit Agaven.--Juv. Tom! He is gone-But I observed, he ala From my own Apartment, November 30.

ways looked well after a battle, and was apTHE progress of my intended account of parently fatter in a fighting year. Had this what happened when Justice visited mortals, honest careless fellow lived till now, famine is at present interrupted by the observation had stared him in the face, and interrupted and sense of an injustice against which there his merriment; as it must be a solid afflicis no remedy, even in a kingdom more hap- tion to all those whose pen is their portion. py in the care taken of the liberty and pro- As for my part, I do not speak wholly for perty of the subject, than any other nation my own sake in this point; for palmistry upon earth. This iniquity is committed by and astrology will bring me in greater gains a most impregnable set of mortals, men who than these my papers ; so that I am only in are rogues within the law; and in the very the condition of a lawyer, who leaves the commission of what they are guilty of, pro- bar for chamber-practice. However, I fessedly own, that they forbear no injury, but may be allowed to speak in the cause of from the terror of being punished for it, learning itself, and lament, that a liberal edThese miscreants are a set of wretches we ucation is the only one which a polite nation authors call pirates, who print any book, po- makes unprofitable. All mechanic artisans em, or sermon, as soon as it appears in the are allowed to reap the fruit of their invenworld, in a smaller volume, and sell it (as all tion and ingenuity without invasion; but he other thieves do stolen goods) at a cheaper that has separated himself from the rest of rate. I was in my rage calling them rascals, mankind, and studied the wonders of the plunderers, robbers, highwaymen-But they creation, the government of his passions, and acknowledge all that, and are pleased with the revolutions of the world, and has an amthose, as well as any other titles; nay, will bition to communicate the effect of half his print them themselves to turn the penny, life spent in such noble inquiries, has no

I am extremely at a loss how to act against property in what he is willing to produces : such open enemies, who have not shamel but is exposed to robbery and want, with enough to be touched with our reproaches, this melancholy and just reflection, that he and are as well defended against what we is the only man who is not protected by his can say, as what we can do. Railing, there- country, at the same time that he best defore, we must turn into complaint, which I serves it. cannot forbear making, when I consider that According to the ordinary rules of comall the labours of my long life may be disap- putation, the greater the adventure is, the pointed by the first man that pleases to rob greater ought to be the profit of those who me, I had flattered myself, that my stock of succeed in it; and by this measure, none learning was worth £150 per annum, which have a pretence of turning their labours to would very handsomely maintain me and my greater advantage than persons brought up little family, whoare so happy or so wise as to to letters. A learned education, passing want only necessaries. Before men had come through great schools and universities, is very up to this bare-faced impudence, it was an es- expensive, and consumes a moderate for tate to have a competency of understanding. I tune, before it is gone through in its proper

.

forms. The purchase of a handsome com- on a sudden the whole plain was covered mission or employment, which would give a with women. So charming a multitude fillman a good figure in another kind of life, is ed my heart with unspeakable pleasure; to be made at a much cheaper rate, Now, and as the celestial liglıt of the mirror shone if we consider this expensive voyage which upon their faces, several of them seemed is undertaken in the search of knowledge, rather persons that descended in the train of and how few there are who take in any con- the goddess, than such who were brought besiderable merchandise, how less frequent it fore her to their trial. The clack of tongues, is to be able to turn what men have gained and confusion of voices, in this new asseminto profit; how hard is it, that the very bly, was so very great, that the goddess was small number who are distinguished with forced to command silence several times, abilities to know how to vend their wares, and with some severity, before she could and have the good fortune to bring them into make them attentive to her edicts. They port, should suffer being plundered by pri- were all sensible, that the most important vateers under the very cannon that should affair among womankind was then to be setprotect them! The most eminent and use- tied, which every one knows to be the point ful author of the age we live in, after having of place. This had raised innumerable dislaid out a princely revenue in works of cha- putes among them, and put the whole sex rity and beneficence, as became the greatness into a tumult. Every one produced her of his mind, and the sanctity of his charac- claim, and pleaded her pretensions. Birth, ter, would have left the person in the world beauty, wit, or wealth, were words that who was the dearest to him in a narrow rung in my ears from all parts of the plain. condition, had not the sale of his immortal Some boasted of the merit of their husbands; writings brought her in a very considerable others, of their own power in governing dowry; though it was impossible for it to be them. Some pleaded their unspotted virequal to their value. Every one will know, ginity ; others, their numerous issue. Some that I here mean the works of the late Arch-valued themselves as they were the mothers, bishop of Canterbury, the copy of which was and others as they were the daughters, of sold for £2500.

considerable persons. There was not a sinI do not speak with relation to any party; gle accomplishment unmentioned, or unbut it has happened, and may often so hap- practised. The whole congregation was pen, that men of great learning and virtue, full of singing, dancing, tossing, ogling, cannot qualify themselves for being employ- squeaking, smiling, sighing, fanning, frowned in business, or receiving preferments. In ing, and all those irresistible arts which wothis case, you cut them off from all support, men put in practice to captivate the hearts if you take from them the benefit that may of reasonable creatures. The goddess, to arise from their writings. For my own end this dispute, caused it to be proclaimed, part, I have brought myself to consider “That every one should take place accordthings in so unprejudiced a manner, that I ing as she was more or less beautiful.” esteem more a man who can live by the pro- This declaration gave great satisfaction to ducts of his understanding, than one who the whole assembly, which immediately does it by the favour of great men.

bridled up, and appeared in all its beauties. The zeal of an author has transported me Such as believed themselves graceful in their thus far, though I think myself as much motion, found an occasion of falling back, concerned in the capacity of a reader. If advancing forward, or making a false step, this practice goes on, we must never expect that they might show their persons in the to see again a beautiful edition of a book in most becoming air. Such as had fine necks Great Britain.

and bosoms, were wonderfully curious to We have already seen the Memoirs of look over the heads of the multitude, and Sir William Temple published in the same observe the most distant parts of the assemcharacter and volume with the History of bly. Several clapped their hands on their Tom Thumb, and the works of our greatest foreheads, as helping their sight to look upon poets shrunk into penny books and garlands, the glories that surrounded the goddess, but For my own part, I expect to see my lucu- in reality to show fine hands and arms, brations printed on browner paper than The ladies were yet better pleased when they are at present; and, if the humour they heard, that, in the decision of this great continues, must be forced to retrench my controversy, each of them should be her own expensive way of living, and not smoke above judge, and take her place according to her two pipes a day. *

own opinion of herself, when she consulted her looking-glass.

The goddess then let down the mirror of No. 102.] Saturday, December 3, 1709. truth in a golden chain, which appeared From my own Apartment, December 3.

larger in proportion as it descended, and apA continuation of the Vision.

. | proached nearer to the eyes of the be

I holders. It was the particular property of The male world were dismissed by the this looking-glass to banish all false appearGoddess of Justice, and disappeared, when ances, and show people what they are. "The

whole woman was represented, without reik Sir Richard Steel joined in this paper. | gard to the usual external features, which

were made entirely conformable to their | This detachment was afterwards divided real characters In short, the most accom- into three bodies, consisting of maids, wives, plished (taking in the whole circle of female and widows; the wives being placed in the perfections) were the most beautiful ; and middle, with the maids on the right, and the the most defective, the most deformed. widows on the left; though it was with difThe goddess so varied the motion of the ficulty that these two last bodies were hinglass, and placed it in such different lights, dered from falling into the centre. This that each had an opportunity of seeing her separation of those who liked their real self in it.

selves, not having lessened the number of the It is impossible to describe the rage, the main body so considerably as it might have pleasure, or astonishment, that appeared in been wished, the goddess, after having drawn each face upon its representation in the up her mirror thought fit to make new dismirror: multitudes started at their own form, tinctions among those who did not like the and would have broken the glass, if they figure which they saw in it. She made secould have reached it. Many saw their veral wholesome cdicts, which have slipped blooming features wither as they looked upon out of my mind; but there were two which them, and their self-admiration turned into dwelt upon me, as being very extraordinary a loathing and abhorrence. The lady who in their kind, and executed with great sewas thought so agreeable in her anger, and verity. Their design was, to make an examwas so often celebrated for a woman of fire ple of two extremes in the female world; of and spirit, was frighted at her own image, those who are very severe on the conduct of and fancied she saw a fury in the glass. The others, and of those who are very regardless interested mistress beheld a harpy; and the of their own. The first sentence therefore subtle jilt, a sphinx. I was very much the goddess pronounced was, “ That all troubled in my own heart, to see such a de- females addicted to censoriousness and destruction of fine faces; but at the same time, traction, should lose the use of speech;" a had the pleasure of seeing several improved, punishinent which would be the most grieve which I had before looked upon as the great- ous to the offender, and (what should be the est master-pieces of nature. I observed, end of all punishments) effectual for rooting that some few were so humble as to be sur- out the crime. Upon tliis edict, which was prised at their own charms; and that many as soon executed as published, the noise of a one, who had lived in the retirement and the assembly very considerably abated. It severity of a vestal, shined forth in all the was a melancholy spectacle, to see so many graces and attractions of a syren. I was who had the reputation of rigid virtue struck ravished at the sight of a particular image dumb. A lady who stood by me, and saw in the mirror, which I thought the most my concern, told me, she wondered how I beautiful object that my eyes ever beheld. could be concerned for such a pack of There was something more than human in I found, by the shaking of her head, she was her countenance: her eyes were so full of going to give me their characters; but, by light, that they seemed to beautify every her saying no more, I perceived she had lost thing they looked upon. Her face was en- the command of her tongue. This calamity livened with such a Horid blooni, as did not fell very heavy upon that part of women so properly seem the mark of health, as of who are distinguished by the name of Prudes; immortality. Her shape, her stature, and a courtly word for female hypocrites, who her mien, were such as distinguished her have a short way to being virtuous, by showeven there where the whole fair sex was ing that others are vicious. The second assembled.

sentence was then pronounced against the I was impatient to see the lady represented loose part of the sex, “ That all should imby so divine an image, whom I found to be mediately be pregnant, who in any part of the person that stood at my right-hand, and their lives had ran the hazard of it.” This in the same point of view with myself. This produced a very goodly appearance, and re was a little old woman, who in her prime vealed so many misconducts, that made those had been about five feet high, though at who were lately struck dumb, repine more present shrunk to about three quarters of than ever at the want of utterance, though that measure. Her natural aspect was at the same time (as afflictions seldom come puckered up with wrinkles, and her head single) many of the mutes were also seized covered with grey hairs. I had observed with this new calamity. The ladies were all along an innocent cheerfulness in her now in such a condition, that they would face, which was now heightened into rapture have wanted room, had not the plain been as she beheld herself in the glass. It was large enough to let them divide their ground, an odd circumstance in my dream, (but I and extend their lines on all sides. It was cannot forbear relating it :) I conceived so a sensible affliction to me, to see such a mulgreat an inclination towards her, that I had titude of fair ones either dumb or big-bellithoughts of discoursing her upon the point of ed: but I was something more at ease, when marriage, when on a sudden she was carried I found that they agreed upon several regufrom me; for the word was now given, that lations to cover such misfortunes. Among all who were pleased with their own images, others, that it should be an established max should separate, and place themselves at the im in all nations, that a woman's first child lread of their sex.

I might come into the world within six months

« AnteriorContinuar »