Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

the most delightf. bjects, and giving them as men of superficial learning, and flashy all the transports e inebriation, without the parts. confusion and the folly of it.”

* I had yesterday morning a visit from this I have here only mentioned some master- learned idiot, (for that is the light in which touches of this admirable piece, because the I consider every pedant,) when I discovered original itself is understood by the greater in him some little touches of the coxcomb, part of my readers. I must confess, I take a which I had not before observed. Being particular delight in these prospects of futu- very full of the figure which he makes in rity, whether grounded upon the probable the republic of letters, and wonderfully satsuggestions of a fine imagination, or the more isfied with his great stock of knowledge, he severe conclusions of philosophy, as a man gave me broad intimations, that he did not loves to hear all the discoveries or conjec- believe in all points as his forefathers had tures relating to a foreign country which he done. He then communicated to me a is at some time to inhabit. Prospects of thought of a certain author upon a passage this nature lighten the burden of any pre- of Virgil's account of the dead, which I made sent evil, and refresh us under the worst the subject of a late paper. This thought and lowest circumstances of mortality. They hath taken very much among men of Tom's extinguish in us both the fear and envy of pitch and understanding, though universalhuman grandeur. Insolence shrinks its head, Iy exploded by all that know how to conpower disappears; pain, poverty, and death, strue Virgil, or have any relish of antiquity. Hy before them. In short, the mind that is Not to trouble my reader with it, I found, habituated to the lively sense of an hereaf- upon the whole, that Tom did not believe a ter can hope for what is the most terrifying future state of rewards and punishments, to the generality of mankind, and rejoice in because Æneas, at his leaving the empire of what is the most afflicting.

the dead, passed through the gate of ivory, and not through that of horn. Knowing that

Tom had not sense enough to give up an No. 158.] Thursday, April 13, 1710,

opinion which he had once received, that

he might avoid wrangling, I told him, that Faciunt næ intelligendo, nt nihil intelligant.--Ter.

Virgil possibly had his oversights as well as

another author. “Ah! Mr. Bickerstaffe, From my own Apartment, April 12. (savs he) you would have another opinion TOM Folio is a broker in learning, em- of him, if you would read him in Daniel ployed to get together good editions, and Heinsius's edition. I have perused him stock the libraries of great men. . There is myself several times in that edition, (connot a sale of books begins till Tom Folio is tinued he ;) and, after the strictest and most seen at the door. There is not an auction malicious examination, could find but two where his name is not heard, and that too in faults in him: one of them is in the Æneid, the very nick of time, in the critical mo- where there are two commas instead of á ment, before the last decisive stroke of the parenthesis ; and another in the third Georhammer. There is not a subscription goes gic, where you may find a semicolon turned forward, in which Tom is not privy to the upside down.” “Perhaps, (said 1, these first rough draught of the proposals ; nor a were not Virgil's faults, but those of the catalogue printed, that doth not come to him transcriber.” “I do not design it (says wet from the press. He is an universal Tom) as a reflection on Virgil : on the conscholar, so far as the title-page of all authors, trary, I know that all the manuscripts reknows the manuscripts in which they were claim against such a punctuation. O! Mr. discovered, the editions through which they Bickerstaffe, (says he,) what would a man have passed, with the praises or censures give to see one smile of Virgil writ in his which they have received from the several own hand?" I asked him which was the members of the learned world. He has a smile he meant; but was answered, “ Any greater esteem for Aldus and Elzevir, than smile in Virgil," He then told me all the for Virgil and Horace. If you talk of He- secret history in the commonwealth of learnrodotus, he breaks out into a panegyric upon ing; of modern pieces that had the names of Harry Stephens. He thinks he gives you ancient authors annexed to them ; of all the an account of the author, when he tells the books that were now writing or printing in subject he treats of, the name of the editor, the several parts of Europe; of many amend and the year in which it was printed. Or if ments which are made, and not yet publishyou draw him into further particulars, he ed; and a thousand other particulars, which cries up the goodness of the paper, extols I would not have my memory burthened the diligence of the corrector, and is trans- with for a vatican. ported with the beauty of the letter. This At length, being fully persuaded that I he looks upon to be sound learning, and sub- thoroughly admired him, and looked upon stantial criticism. As for those who talk of him as a prodigy of learning, he took his the fineness of style, and the justness of leave. I know several of Tom's class who thought, or describe the brightness of any are professed admirers of Tasso without particular passages, nay, though they write understanding a word of Italian; and one, themselves in the genius and spirit of the in particular, that carries a Pastor-fido in author they admire, Tom looks upon them his pocket, in which I am sure he is ac

2

[ocr errors]

quainted with no other beauty but the clear-For which reason, I bid her tell the gentleness of the character,

| man, whoever he was, that I was indispoThere is another kind of pedant, who, sed, that I could see nobody, and that, if he with all Tom Folio's impertinencies, hath had any thing to say to me, I desired he greater superstructures and embellishments would leave it in writing. My maid, after of Geek and Latin, and is still more insup- having delivered her message, told me, that portable than the other, in the same degree the gentleman said he would stay at the next as he is more learned. Of this kind very coffee-house, till I was stirring, and bid her often are editors, commentators, interpre- | be sure to tell me, that the French were ters, scholiasts, and critics; and, in short, all driven from the Scarp, and that Douay was men of deep learning without common sense. | invested. He gave her the name of another These persons set a greater value on them- town, which I found she had dropped by selves for having found out the meaning of a | the way. passage in Greek, than upon the author for As much as I love to be informed of the having written it; nay, will allow the pas- success of my brave countrymen, I do not sage itself not to have any beauty in it, at care for hearing of a victory before day, and the same time that they would be consider- was therefore very much out of humour at ed as the greatest men of the age for having this unseasonable visit. I had no sooner reinterpreted it. They will look with con- covered my temper, and was falling asleep, tempt upon the most beautiful poems that but I was immediately startled by a second have been composed by any of their con- rap; and upon my maid's opening the door, temporaries; but will lock themselves up in heard the same voice ask her, if her master their studies for a twelvemonth together, to was yet up; and at the same time bid her correct, publish, and expound, such trifles of tell me, that he was come on purpose to talk antiquity, as a modern author would be con- with me about a piece of home-news that temmed for. Men of the strictest morals, every body in town would be full of two severest lives, and the gravest professions, hours hence. I ordered my maid, as soon will write volumes upon an idle sonnet that as she came into the room, without hearing is originally in Greek or Latin; give edi- her message, to tell the gentleman, that. tions of the most immoral authors, and spin whatever his news was, I would rather hear out whole pages upon the various readings it two hours hence than now; and that I of a lewd expression. All that can be said persisted in my resolution not to speak with in excuse for them, is, that their works suf- any body that morning. The wench deficiently show they have no taste of their livered my answer presently, and shut the authors; and that what they do in this kind, door. It was impossible for me to compose is out of their great learning, and not out of myself to sleep after two such unexpected any levity or lasciviousness of temper. alarms; for which reason I put on my clothes

A pedant of this nature is wonderfully in a very peevish humour. I took several well described in six lines of Boileau, with turns about my chamber, reflecting with a which I shall conclude his character: great deal of anger and contempt on these

volunteers in politics, that undergo all the Un Pedant enyvre de sa vaine science,

pain, watchfulness, and disquiet of a first Tout herisse de Grec, tout bouffi d'arrogance, Et qui de mille Auteurs retenus mot pour mot,

minister, without turning it to the advantage Dans sa tête entassez n'a souvent fait qu'un Sot, either of themselves or their country; and Croit qu'un Livre fait tout, et que sans Aristote

yet it is surprising to consider how numerous La Raison ne voit goute, et le bon Sens radote.

this species of men is. There is nothing more frequent than to find a tailor breaking

his rest on the affairs of Europe, and to see a No. 160.] Tuesday, April 18, 1710. cluster of porters sitting upon the ministry. From my own Apartment, April 17. I is scarce a shop which is not held by a states

Our streets swarm with politicians, and there A COMMON civility to an impertinent fel- man. As I was musing after this manner, I low, often draws upon one a great many un- heard the Upholsterer at the door delivering foreseen troubles; and if one doth not take a letter to my maid, and begging her, in a particular care, will be interpreted by him very great hurry, to give it to her master as as an overture of friendship and intimacy. soon as ever he was awake, which I opened, This I was very sensible of this morning. and found as follows. About two hours before day, I heard a great rapping at my door, which continued for “ MR. BICKERSTAFFE, I was to wait some time, till my maid could get herself upon you about a week ago, to let you know, ready to go down, and see what was the oc- that the honest gentlemen whom you concasion of it. She then brought me up word, versed with upon the bench at the end of that there was a gentleman who seemed the Mall, having heard that I had received very much in haste, and said he must needs five shillings of you, to give you a hundred speak with me. By the description she pounds upon the great Turk's being driven gave of him, and by his voice, which I could out of Europe, desired me to acquaint you, hear as I lay in my bed, I fancied him to be that every one of that company would be my old acquaintance the Upholsterer, whom willing to receive five shillings, to pay a I met the other day in St. James's Park., hundred pounds on the same condition, Our

last advices from Muscovy making this al was aware of it; which was followed by a fairer bet than it was a week ago, I do not dream, that I impute in some measure to the qawwww buyuu question but you will accept the wager. od pont hurenece. Iflsion upon my imagination and nut me into

foregoing author, who had made an impres“ But this is not my present business. If sion upon my in you remember, I whispered a word in your his own way of thinking. ear as we were walking up the Mall, and you I fancied myself among the Alps, and, as see what has happened since. If I had seen it is natural in a dream, seemed every moyou this morning, I would have told you in ment to bound from one summit to another, your ear another secret. I hope you will be until at last, after having made this airy prorecovered of your indisposition by to-mor-gress over the tops of several mountains, I row morning, when I will wait on you at the arrived at the very centre of those broken same hour I did this; my private circum- rocks and precipices. I here, methought, stances being such, that I cannot well ap- saw a prodigious circuit of hills, that reached pear in this quarter of the town after it is day. above the clouds, and encompassed a large

“I have been so taken up with the late space of ground, which I had a great curigood news from Holland, and expectation osity to look into. I thereupon continued of further particulars, as well as with other my former way of travelling, through a transactions, of which I will tell you more great variety of winter scenes, until I had to-morrow morning, that I have not slept a gained the top of these white mountains, wink these three nights. .

which seemed another Alps of Snow. Í “I have reason to believe that Picardy will looked down from hence into a spacious soon follow the example of Artois, in case the plain, which was surrounded on all sides by enemy continue in their present resolution of this mound of hills, and which presented nie flying away from us. I think I told you last with the most agreeable prospect I had ever time we were together my opinion about the seen. There was a greater variety of coDeulle.

| lours in the embroidery of the meadows, a 66 The honest gentlemen upon the bench more lively green in the leaves and grass, a bid me tell you, they would be glad to see you brighter crystal in the streams, than what often among them. We shall be there all I ever met with in any other region. The the warm hours of the day during the pre- light itself had something more shining and sent posture of affairs.

glorious in it than that of which the day is “ This happy opening of the campaign made in other places. I was wonderfully will, I hope, give us a very joyful summer; astonished at the discovery of such a para. and I propose to take many a pleasant walk dise amidst the wildness of those cold, with you, if you will sometimes come into hoary landscapes which lay about it; but the Park'; for that is the only place in which found at length, that this happy region was I can be free from the malice of my enemies. inhabited by the Goddess of Liberty; whose Farewell till three o'clock to-morrow mor- presence softened the rigours of the climate, ning. I am

| enriched the barrenness of the soil, and more “ Your most humble servant, &c." than supplied the absence of the sun. The

place was covered with a wonderful pro“ P.S. The King of Sweden is still at fusion of flowers, that, without being disposBender.”

ed into regular borders and parterres, grew

promiscuously, and had a greater beauty in I should have fretted myself to death at

their natural luxuriancy and disorder, than this promise of a second visit, if I had not

they could have received from the checks found in his letter an intimation of the good

| and restraints of art. There was a river news which I have since heard at large. I

that arose out of the south-side of the mounhave, however, ordered my maid to tie up tain

te uptain, that, by an infinite number of turns and the knocker of my door in such a manner as she would do if I was really indisposed. By cherish the several beauties of the spring.

windings, seemed to visit every plant, and which means I hope to escape breaking my with which the fields abounded. After mornings' rest.

having run to and fro in a wonderful variety of meanders, it at last throws itself into the

hollow of a mountain, from whence it passes No. 161.] Thursday, April 20, 1710. under a long range of rocks, and at length

rises in that part of the Alps where the ----. Nunquam libertas gratior exstat inhabitants think it the first source of the Quam sub rege pio.

Rhone. This river, after having made its From my own Apartment, April 19. progress through those free nations, stagI was walking two or three days ago in nates in a huge lake at the leaving of them, a very pleasing retirement, and amusing and no sooner enters into the regions of slamyself with the reading of that ancient and very, but runs through them with an increbeautiful allegory, called The Table of dible rapidity, and takes its shortest way to Cebes. I was at last so tired with my walk, the sea.“ that I sat down to rest myself upon a bench, I descended into the happy fields that lay that stood in the midst of an agreeable shade. beneath me, and in the midst of them, beThe music of the birds, that filled all the held the goddess sitting upon a throne. She trees about me, lulled me asleep before I had nothing te enclose her but the bounds of her own dominions, and nothing over her through this delightful place, and the more head but the heavens. Every glance of her so, because it was not encumbered with fences eye cast a tract of light where it fell, that and enclosures; till at length, methought revived the spring, and made all things smile I sprung from the ground, and pitched upon about her. My heart grew cheerful at the the top of a hill, that presented several obsight of her, and as she looked upon me, I'ljects to my sight, which I had not before tafound a certain confidence growing in me, ken notice of. The winds that passed over and such an inward resolution as I never felt this flowery plain, and through the tops of before that time.

trees, which were full of blossoms, blew upon On the left-hand of the goddess sat the me in such a continued breeze of sweets, that Genius of a Commonwealth, with the cap of | I was wonderfully charmed with my situaliberty on her head, and in her hand a wand, tion. I here saw all the inner declivities of like that with which a Roman citizen used that great circuit of mountains, whose outto give his slaves their freedom. There was side was covered with snow, overgrown with something mean and vulgar, but at the same huge forests of fir-trees, which indeed are time exceeding bold and daring, in her air ; very frequently found in other parts of the her eyes were full of fire, but had in them Alps. These trees were inhabited by storks, such casts of fierceness and cruelty, as made that came thither in great flights from very her appear to me rather dreadful than ami- distant quarters of the world. Methought I able. On her shoulders she wore a mantle, was pleased in my dream to see whať beon which there was wrought a great confu- came of these birds, when, upon leaving the sion of figures. As it flew in the wind, I places to which they make an annual visit, could not discern the particular design of they rise in great flocks so high till they are them, but saw wounds in the bodies of some, out of sight; and for that reason have been and agonies in the faces of others, and over thought by some modern philosophers, to one part of it could read in letters of blood, take a flight to the moon. But my eyes were The Ides of March.

soon diverted from this prospect, when I obOn the right-hand of the goddess was the served two great gaps that led through this Genius of Monarchy. She was clothed in circuit of mountains, where guards and the whitest erinine, and wore a crown of the watches were posted day and night. Upon purest gold upon her head. In her hand she examination, I found that there were two held a sceptre like that which is borne by formidable enemies encamped before each the British Monarchs. A couple of tame of these avenues, who kept the place in a 'ions lay crouching at her feet: her counte- perpetual alarm, and watched all opportunance had in it a very great majesty, with- nities of invading it. out any mixture of terror: her voice was Tyranny was at the head of one of these arlike the voice of an angel, filled with so much mies, dressed in an eastern habit, and graspsweetness, accompanied with such an air of ing in her hand an iron sceptre. Behind her condescension, as tempered the awfulness of was Barbarity, with the garb and complexion her appearance, and equally inspired love of an Æthiopian; Ignorance with a turban and veneration into the hearts of all that be- upon her head; and Persecution holding up held her.

a bloody flag, embroidered with fleurs-deIn the train of the Goddess of Liberty lis. These were followed by Oppression, were the several arts and sciences, who all Poverty, Famine, Torture, and a dreadful of them flourished underneath her eye. One train of appearances, that made me tremble of them, in particular, made a greater figure to behold them. Among the baggage of this than any of the rest, who held a thunderbolt army, I could discover racks, wheels, chains, in her hand, which had the power of mel- and gibbets, with all the instruments art could ting, piercing, or breaking every thing that invent to make human nature miserable. stood in its way. The name of this goddess Before the other avenue I saw Licentiouswas Eloquence.

ness, dressed in a garment not unlike the There were two other dependant goddess- Polish cassock, and leading up a whole army es, who made a very conspicuous figure in of monsters, such as Clamour, with a hoarse this blissful region. The first of them was / voice and a hundred tongues: Confusion. seated upon a hill, that had every plant with a misshapen body, and a thousand heads; growing out of it, which the soil was in its Impudence, with a forehead of brass; anii own nature capable of producing. The Rapine, with hands of iron. The tumult, other was seated in a little island, that was noise, and uproar, in this quarter were so covered with groves of spices, olives, and very great, that it disturbed my imagination orange-trees; and, in a word, with the pro- more than is consistent with sleep, and by that ducts of every foreign clime. The name of means awakened me. the first was Plenty; of the second, Commerce. The first leaned her right-arm upon a plough, and under her left held a huge horn, out of which she poured a whole au

No. 162.] Saturday, April 22, 1710. tumn of fruits. The other wore a rostral Tertius è Cælo cecidit Cato. Juv. Sal. 2. crown upon her head, and kept her eyes fixed upon a compass.

From my own Apartment, April 21 I was wonderfully pleased in ranging In my younger years I used many endea

yours to get a place at court, and indeed con-' The second part of the Roman Censor's tinued my pursuits till I arrived at my grand office was to look into the manners of the climacteric: but at length altogether de- people, and to check any growing luxury, spairing of success, whether it were for want whether in diet, dress, or building. This of capacity, friends, or due application, I at duty likewise I have endeavoured to dislast resolved to erecta new office, and for my charge, by those wholesome precepts which encouragement, to place myself in it. For I have given my countrymen in regard to this reason, I took upon me the title and dig- beef and mutton, and the severe censures nity of Censor of Great Britain, reserving to which I have passed upon ragouts and frimyself all such perquisites, profits, and emol- cassees. There is nct, as I am informed, a uments, as should arise out of the discharge pair of red heels to be seen within ten miles of the said office. These, in truth, have not of London, which I may likewise ascribe, been inconsiderable ; for, besides those week without vanity, to the tecoming zeal which ly contributions which I receive from John| I expressed in that particular. I must own, Morphew, and those annual subscriptions | my success with the petticoat is not so great; which I propose to myself from the most ele | but as I have not yet done with it, I hope Í gant part of this great island, I daily live in shall in a little time put an effectual stop to a very comfortable affluence of wine, stale that growing evil. “As for the article of beer, Hungary water, beef, books, and mar- building, I intend hereafter to enlarge upon row-bones, which I receive from many well-it, having lately observed several waredisposed citizens; not to mention the forfeit- houses, nay, private shops, that stand upon ures which accrue to me from the several of- Corinthian pillars, and whole rows of tin pots fenders that appear before me on court-days. showing themselves, in order to their sale,

Having now enjoyed this office for the through a sash-window. space of a twelvemonth, I shall do what all! I have likewise followed the example of good officers ought to do, take a survey of the Roman Censors, in punishing offences acmy behaviour, and consider carefully whether cording to the quality of the offender. It I have discharged my duty, and acted up to was usual for them to expel a senator who the character with which I am invested. had been guilty of great immoralities out of For my direction in this particular, I have the senate-house, by omitting his name when made a narrow search into the nature of the they called over the list of his brethren. In old Roman Censors, whom I must always the same manner, to remove effectually seregard, not only as my predecessors, but as veral worthless men who stand possessed of my patterns in this great employment; and great honours, I have made frequent draughts have several times asked my own heart with of dead men out of the vicious part of the nogreat impartiality, whether Cato will not | bility, and given them up to the new society bear a more venerable figure among posterity of Upholders, with the necessary orders for than Bickerstaffe ?

their interment. As the Roman Censors I find the duty of the Roman Censor was used to punish the knights or gentlemen of twofold. The first part of it consisted in Rome, by taking away their horses from making frequent reviews of the people, in them, I have seized the canes of many crimcasting up their numbers, ranging them un- inals of figure, whom I had just reason to der their several tribes, disposing them into animadvert upon. As for the offenders proper classes, and subdividing them into among the common people of Rome, they their respective centuries.

were generally chastised, by being thrown In compliance with this part of the office, out of a higher tribe, and placed in one which I have taken many curious surveys of this was not so honourable. "My reader cannot great city. I have collected into particular but think I have had an eye to this punishbodies, the Dappers and the Smarts, the ment, when I have degraded one species of Natural and Affected Rakes, the Pretty Fel- men into bombs, squibs, and crackers, and lows, and the Very Pretty Fellows. I have another into drums, bass-viols, and baglikewise drawn out in several distinct parties, pipes; not to mention whole packs of delinyour Pedants and Men of Fire, your Game- quents, whom I have shut up in kennels; and sters and Puliticians. I have separated Cits the new hospital, which I am at present from Citizens, Free-thinkers from Philoso- erecting, for the reception of those of my phers, Wits from Snuff-takers, and Duellists countrymen who give me but little hopes of from Men of Honour. I have likewise made their amendment, on the borders of Mcora calculation of Esquires, not only consider- fields. I shall only observe upon this partiing the several distinct swarms of them that cular, that since some late surveys I have are settled in the different parts of this town, taken of this island, I shall think it necesbut also that more rugged species that in-sary to enlarge the plan of the buildings habit the fields and woods, and are often which I design in this quarter. found in pot-houses, and upon hay-cocks. When my great predecessor, Cato the

I shall pass the soft sex over in silence, Elder, stood for the censorship of Rome, having not yet reduced them into any toler- there were several other competitors who able order; as likewise the softer tribe of offered themselves; and, to get an interest lovers, which will cost me a great deal of among the people, gave them great promises time, before I shall be able to cast them into of the mild and gentle treatment which they their several centuries and subdivisions. Iwould use towards them in that office, Cato,

« AnteriorContinuar »