Imágenes de páginas

on the contrary, told them, he presented him- | upon occasion to show is reading, and garself as a candidate, because he knew the age nish his conversation. Ned is indeed a true was sunk into immorality and corruption ; | English reader, incapable of relishing the and that if they would give him their votes, great and masterly strokes of this art; but he would promise to make use of such a one wonderfully pleased with the little Gostrictness and severity of discipline as should thic ornaments of epigrammatical conceits, recover them out of it. The Roman histo- | turns, points, and quibbles, which are so frerians, upon this occasion, very much cele- quent in the most admired of our English brated the public spiritedness of that people, poets, and practised by those who want gewho chose Cato for their Censor, notwith- nius and strength to represent, after the standing his method of recommending him- | manner of the ancients, simplicity in its naself. I may in some measure extol my own | tural beauty and perfection. countrymen upon the same account, who, ! Finding myself unavoidably engaged in without any respect to party, or any appli- such a conversation, I was resolved to tern cation from myself, have made such gener- | my pain into pleasure, and to divert myself ous subscriptions for the Censor of Great as well as I could with so very odd a fellow, Britain, as will give a magnificence to my 1 “ You must understand (says Ned) that the old age, and which I esteem more than I sonnet I am going to read to you was wricten would any post in Europe of a hundred times upon a lady, who showed me some verses of the value. I shall only add, that, upon look- her own making, and is, perhaps, the best ing into my catalogue of subscribers, which poet of our age. But you shall hear it." I intend to print alphabetically in the front Upon which he began to read as follows. of my lucubrations, I find the names of the greatest beauties and wits in the whole island

“ To Mira, on her incomparable Poem, of Great Britain, which I only mention for

1. the benefit of any of them who have not yet

" When dress'd in laurel wreaths you shine, subscribed, it being my design to close the

And tune your soft melodious notes,

You seem a sister of the Nine, subscription in a very short time.

Or Phæbus' self in petticoats.

I fancy, when your song you sing,

(Your song you sing with so much art,) No. 163.] Thursday, April 25, 1710.

Your pen was pluck'd from Cupid's wing.

For, ah! it wounds me like his dart.”
Idem inficeto est inficetior rure
Simul poemata attigit ; neque idem unquam

“ Why, (says I,) this is a little nosegay of Æque est beatus, ac poema cum scribit :

conceits, a very lump of salt: every verse Tam gaudet in se, tamque se ipse miratur. Nimirum idem omnes fallimur ; neque est quisquam

hath something in it that piques; and then Quem non in aliqua re videre Suffenum

the dart in the last line is certainly as pretty Possis.

Catul. de Suffeno. a sting in the tail of an epigrani (for so I Will's Coffee-house, April 24. 5

think your critics call it) as ever entered I YESTERDAY came hitlier about two molile lough OL & poel.

into the thought of a poet.” “Dear Mr. hours before the company generally make

Bickerstaffe, (says he, shaking me by the their appearance, with a design to read over

hand,) every body knows you to be a judge all the newspapers; but upon my sitting

of these things; and to tell you truly, I read down, I was accosted by Ned Softly, who

over Roscommon's translation of Horace's saw me from a corner in the other end of

Art of Poetry three several times, before I the room. where I found he had been wrio sat down to write the sonnet which I have ting something. “Mr. Bickerstaffe, (says

shown you. But you shall hear it again, and he,) I observe by a late paper of yours,

pray observe every line of it, for not one of that you and I are just of a humour; for you

them shall pass without your approbation.” must know, of all impertinencies, there is “When dress'd in laurel wreaths you shine." nothing which I so much hate as news. I never read a Gazette in my life; and never

“That is (says he) when you have your trouble my head about our armies, whether garland on; when you are writing verses." they win or lose, or in what part of the Towhich I replied, “I know your meaning : world they lie encamped.” Without giv- a metaphor !” “The same," said he, and ing me time to reply, he drew a paper of went on: verses out of his pocket, telling me, that he

6. And tune your soft melodious notes." had something which would entertain me more agreeably, and that he would desire “Pray observe the gliding of that verse; my judgment upon every line, for that we there is scarce a consonant in it: I took care had time enough before us till the company to make it run upon liquids. Give me your came in.

opinion of it.” “Truly (said I) I think it as Ned Softly is a very pretty poet, and a good as the former." "I am very glad to great admirer of easy lines. Waller is his hear you say so, (says he:) but mind the favourite: and as that admirable writer has next;" the best and worst verses of any among our English poets, Ned Softly has got all the

“You seem a sister of the Nine." bad ones without book, which he repeats! “That is, (says he,) you seem a sister of

66 I fancy, when your song you sing.


the Muses; for if you look into ancient au- | No. 165.] Saturday, April 29, 1710. thors, you will find it was their opinion, that there were nine of them.” “I remember it

From my own Apartment, April 28. very well, (said I:) but pray proceed.”

| It has always been my endeavour to dis

tinguish between realities and appearances, “Or Phæbus' self in petticoats.”

and to separate true merit from the pretence "Phoebus (says he) was the god of poetry. to it. As it shall ever be my study to make These little instances, Mr. Bickerstaffe, | discoveries of this nature in human life, and show a gentleman's reading. Then to take to settle the proper distinctions between the off from the air of learning, which Phæbus virtues and perfections of mankind, and and the Muses have given to this first stanza, those false colours and resemblances of them you may observe, how it falls all of a sudden that shine alike in the eyes of the vulgar; so into the familiar; In petticoats !”

I shall be more particularly careful to search “Or Phoebus' self in petticoats.»

| into the various merits and pretences of the

learned world. This is the more necessary, “Let us now (says 1,) enter upon the se- because there seems to be a general combinacond stanza. I find the first line is still a

tion among the pedants to extol one another's continuation of the metaphor."

labours, and cry up one another's parts; “ I fancy when your song you sing.” while men of sense, either through that mo“It is very right, (says he:) but pray ob

desty which is natural to them, or the scorn serve the turn of words in those two lines. I

they have for such trifling commendations, was a whole hour in adjusting them, and

enjoy their stock of knowledge like a hidden have still a doubt upon me, whether in the la

treasure, with satisfaction and silence. Pesecond line it should be, 'Your song you

dantry, indeed, in learning, is like hypocrisy sing ;' or, “You sing your song.

in religion, a form of knowledge without the

You shall hear them both :"

power of it, that attracts the eyes of the common people, breaks out in noise and show,

and finds its reward not from any inward (Your song you sing with so much art")

pleasure that attends it, but from the praises
and approbations which it receives from

“I fancy, when your song you sing,
(You sing your song with so much art.')

Of this shallow species there is not a more

importunate, empty, and conceited animal, « Truly, (said I, the turn is so natural than that which is generally known by the either way, that you have made me almost name of a critic. This, in the common acgiddy with it.” “Dear Sir, (said he, grasp- ceptation of the word, is one that, without ing me by the hand, you have a great deal entering into the sense and soul of an author, of patience: but pray what do you think of has a few general rules, which, like mechanthe next verse ?"

ical instruments, he applies to the works of “Your pen wag pluck'd from Cupid's wing."

every writer, and as they quadrate with 6Think! (says I:) I think you have made

them, pronounces the author perfect' or deCupid look like a little goose." "That was

fective. He is master of a certain set of my meaning, (says he.) I think the ridicule

words, as Unity, Style, Fire, Phlegm, Easy, is well enough hit off. But we now come to

Natural, Turn, Sentiment, and the like; the last, which sums up the whole matter."

which he varies, compounds, divides, and

throws together, in every part of his dis“For, ah! it wounds me like his dart.”

course, without any thought or meaning. “Pray how do you like that ah! doth it The marks you may know him by are, an not make a pretty figure in that place? Ah! elevated eye, and dogmatical brow, a positive it looks as if I felt the dart, and cried out at voice, and a contempt for every thing that being pricked with it.”

comes out, whether he has read it or not.

He dwells altogether on generals. He “ For, ah! it wounds me like his dart.”

praises or dispraises in the lump. He “My friend Dick Easy (continued he) as- shakes his head very frequently at the pesured me, he would rather have written that dantry of universities, and bursts into laughah! than to have been the author of the ter when you mention an author that is Æneid. He indeed objected, that I made known at Will's. He hath formed his judgMira's pen like a quill in one of the lines, ment upon Homer, Horace, and Virgil, not and like a dart in the other. But as to that from their own works, but from those of

" "Oh! as to that, says I,) it is Rapin and Bossu. He knows his own but supposing Cupid to be like a porcupine, strength so well, that he never dares praise and his quills and darts will be the same any thing in which he has not a French authing." He was going to embrace me for thor for his voucher. the hint; but half a dozen critics coming into With these extraordinary talents and acthe room, whose faces he did not like, he complishments, Sir Timothy Title puts ynen conveyed the sonnet into his pocket, and in vogue, or condemns them to obscurity, and whispered me in the ear, he would show it sits as judge of life and death upon every au me again as soon as his man had written it thor that appears in public. It is impossible over fa!

| to represent the pangs, agonies, and convul

sions, which Sir Timothy expresses in every 1 (says she:) Pray who shouli hinder me?" feature of his face, and muscle of his body, Madam, (says he,) there ifre such peoupon the reading of a bad poet.

ple in the world as Rapin, Dacier, and sev * About a week ago I was engaged at a eral others, that ought to have spoiled your friend's house of mine in an agreeable con- mirth.” “I have heard, (says the young versation with his wife and daughters, when, lady,) that your great critics are always in the height of our mirth, Sir Timothy, very bad poets: I fancy there is as much who makes love to my friend's eldest difference between the works of one and the daughter, came in amongst us puffing and other, as there is between the carriage of a blowing, as if he had been very much out of dancing master and a gentleman. I must breath. He immediately called for a chair, confess, (continued she, I would not be and desired leave to siť down, without any troubled with so fine a judgment as yours is; further ceremony. I asked him, “Where for I find you feel more vexation in a bad he had been? Whether he was out of or-comedy, than I do in a deep tragedy." der ?" He only replied, that he was quite “Madam, (says Sir Timothy,) that is not my spent, and fell a cursing in soliloquy, I could fault; they should learn the art of writing.” hear him cry, “A wicked rogue !.An ex- “For my part, (says the young lady,) I ecrable wretch !-Was there ever such a should think the greatest art in your writers monster !”—The young ladies upon this of comedies is to please.” “To please !" began to be affrighted, and asked, “Whether (says Sir Timothy ;) and immediately fell any one had hurt him ?” He answered no- à laughing. “Truly (says she,) this is my thing, but still talked to himself. “ To lay opinion." Upon this, he compcoed his the first scene (says he) in St. James's Pirk, counter.arni, ivuked upon his with, and and the last in Northamptonshire !” Is that took his leave. all ? (says I:) Then I suppose you have been I hear that Sir Timothy has not been at at the rehearsal of a play this morning." my friend's house since this notable confer“Been! (says he;) I have been at North-ence, to the satisfaction of the young lady, ampton, in the Park, in a lady's bed-cham- who by this means has got rid of a very imber, in a dining-room, every where; the pertinent fop. rogue has led me such a dance !”—Though I must confess, I could not but observe, I could scarce forbear laughing at his dis- with a great deal of surprise, how this gencourse, I told him I was glad it was no worse, tleman, by his ill nature, folly, and affectaand that he was only metaphorically weary. tion, hath made himself capable of suffering “In short, Sir, (says he,) the author has not so many imaginary pains, and looking with observed a single unity in his whole play ; such a senseless severity upon the common the scene shifts in every dialogue; the vil- diversions of life. lain has hurried me up and down at such a rate, that I am tired off my legs.” I could not but observe with some pleasure, that the No. 192.7 Saturday, July 1. 1710. young lady whom he made love to, conceived a very just aversion towards him, upon

Tecum vivere amem, tecum obeam libens. seeing him so very passionate in trifles. And

Hor. as she had that natural sense which makes her a better judge than a thousand critics,

From my own Apartment, June 30. she began to rally him upon this foolish hu- ! SOME years since I was engaged with a mour. “For my part, (says she,) I never coach full of friends, to take a journey as far knew a play take that was written up to your as the Land's-end. We were very well rules, as you call them,” “How Madam ! pleased with one another the first day, every (says he,) is that your opinion? I am sure one endeavouring to recommend himself, by you have a better taste.” “It is a pretty his good humour and complaisance, to the kind of magic, (says she,) the poets have, to rest of the company. This good correspontransport an audience from place to place, dence did not last long; one of our party without the help of a coach and horses. I was soured the very first evening by a plate could travel round the world at such a rate. of butter, which had not been melted to his 'Tis such an entertainment as an enchant: mind, and which spoiled his temper to such ress finds when she fancies herself in a wood, a degree, that he continued upon the fret to or upon a mountain, at a feast, or a solemni- the end of our journey. A second fell cíl ty; though at the same time she has never from his good humour the next morning, for stirred out of her cottage.” “Your simile, no other reason that I could imagine, but beMadam, (says Sir Timothy,) is by no means cause I chanced to step into the coach before just.” “Pray (says she) let my similies pass him, and place myself on the shady side, without a criticism. I must confess, (con- | This, however, was but my own private tinued she, for I found she was resolved to guess, for he did not mention a word of it, exasperate him,) I laughed very heartily at nor indeed of any thing else, for three days the last new comedy which you found so following. The rest of our company held much fault with.” “But, Madam, (says out very near half the way, when of a sudhe,) you ought not to have laughed; and I den Mr. Sprightly fell asleep ; and, instead defy any one to show me a single rule that of endeavouring to divert and oblige us, as you could laugh by,” “Ought not to laugh! She had hitherto done, carried himself with

an unconcerned, careless, drowsy behaviour, amiable simplicity, and render deformity ittill we came to our last stage. There were self agreeable. three of us who still held up our heads, and Constancy is natural to persons of even did all we could to make our journey agree-tempers and uniform dispositions, and may able ; but, to my shame be iť spoken, about be acquired by those of the greatest ficklethree miles on this side Exeter, I was taken ness, violence and passion, who consider sewith an unaccountable fit of sullenness, that riously the terms of union upon which they hung upon me for above threescore miles; come together, the mutual interest in which whether it were for want of respect, or from they are engaged, with all the motives that an accidental tread upon my foot, or from a ought to incite their tenderness and compasfoolish maid's calling me The old Gentle- sion towards those who have their dependman, I cannot tell. In short, there was but ance upon them, and are embarked with one who kept his good humour to the Land's-them for life in the same state of happiness end.

or misery. Constancy, when it grows in the There was another coach that went along mind upon considerations of this nature, bewith us, in which I likewise observed, that comes a moral virtue, and a kind good-nathere were many secret jealousies, heart- ture, that is not subject to any change of burnings, and animosities. For when we health, age, fortune, or any of those accijoined companies at night, I could not but dents which are apt to unsettle the best distake notice, that the passengers neglected positions that are found rather in constitution their own company, and studied how to than in reason. Where such a constancy as make themselves esteemed by us, who were this is wanting, the most inflamed passion altogether strangers to them; till at length may fall away into coldness and indifference, they grew so well acquainted with us, that and the most melting tenderness degenerate they liked us as little as they did one another. into hatred and aversion. I shall conclude When I reflect upon this journey, I often this paper with a story that is very well fancy it to be a picture of human life, in re- known in the North of England. spect to the several friendships, contracts, | About thirty years ago, a packet-boat, and alliances, that are made and dissolved that had several passengers on board, was in the several periods of it. The most de- cast away upon a rock, and in so great danlightful and most lasting engagements are ger of sinking, that all who were in it endeagenerally those which pass between man voured to save themselves as well as they and woman; and yet upon what trifles are could, though only those who could swim they weakened, or entirely broken! Some-well had a bare possibility of doing it. times the parties fly asunder, even in the Among the passengers there were two womidst of courtship, and sometimes grow cool men of fashion, who seeing themselves in in the very honey-month. Some separate such a disconsolate condition, begged of their before the first child, and some after the husbands not to leave them. One of them fifth ; others continue good till thirty, others chose rather to die with his wife, than to till forty; while some few, whose souls are forsake her: the other, though he was movof a happier make, and better fitted to one ed with the utmost compassion for his wife, another, travel on together to the end of told her, that, for the good of her children, their journey, in a continual intercourse of it was better one of them should live, than kind offices and mutual endearments. both perish. By a great piece of good luck,

When we, therefore, choose our compan- next to a miracle, when one of our good ions for life, if we hope to keep both them men had taken the last and long farewell, and ourselves in good humour to the last in order to save himself, and the other held stage of it, we must be extremely careful in in his arms the person that was dearer to the choice we make, as well as in the con- him than life, the ship was preserved. It is duct on our own part. When the persons with a secret sorrow and vexation of mind to whom we join ourselves can stand an ex- that I must tell the sequel of the story, and amination, and bear the scrutiny, when they let my reader know, that this faithful pair, mend upon our acquaintance with them, and who were ready to have died in each others discover new beauties the more we search arms, about three years after their escape, into their characters, our love will naturally upon some trifling disgust, grew to a coldness rise in proportion to their perfections. at first, and at length fell out to such a de

But because there are very few possessed gree, that they left one another, and parted of such accomplishments of body and mind, for ever. The other couple lived together we ought to look after those qualifications in an uninterrupted friendship and felicity; both in ourselves and others, which are in- and what was remarkable, the husband dispensably necessary towards this happy whom the shipwreck had like to have sepaunion, and which are in the power of every rated from his wife, died a few months after one to acquire, or at least to cultivate and her, not being able to survive the loss of her. improve, ‘These, in my opinion, are cheer- I must confess, there is something in the fulness and constancy. 'A cheerful temper changeableness and inconstancy of human joined with innocence, will make beauty at- nature, that very often both dejects and tertractive, knowledge delightful, and wit good- rifies me. Whatever I am at present, I natured. It will lighten sickness, poverty, tremble to think what I may be. While I and affliction; convert ignorance into an | find this principle in me, how can I assure myself, that I shall be always true to my ! To show this humour in its perfection, I God, my friend, or myself? In short, with- shall present my reader with the legacy of out constancy, there is neither love, friend-, a certain virtuoso, who laid out a considership or virtue in the world.

able estate in natural rarities and curiosities, which upon his deathbed he bequeathed to

his relations and friends in the following No. 216.) Saturday, August 26, 1710.

words :

The Will of a Virtuoso. -Nugis addere pondus.

I NICHOLAS GIMCRACK, being in sound From my own Apartment, August 25.

health of mind, but in great weakness of NATURE is full of wonders ; every atombo

body, do by this my last will and testament, is a standing miracle, and endowed with such i

ch bestow my worldly goods and chattels in qualities, as could not be impressed on it by

manner following: a power and wisdom less than infinite. For this reason, I would not discourage any Imprimis, To my dear wife, searches that are made into the most minute

One box of butterflies, and trivial parts of the creation. However,

One drawer of shells, since the world abounds in the noblest fields

A female skeleton, of speculation, it is, methinks, the mark of a

A dried cockatrice, little genius to be wholly conversant among | insects, reptiles, animalcules, and those tri

Item, To my daughter Elizabeth, fling rarities that furnish out the apartment

My receipt for preserving dead caterof a virtuoso.

As also my preparations of winter-MayThere are some men whose heads are sol

dew, and embryo pickle. oddly turned this way, that though they are utter strangers to the common occurrences

Item, To my little daughter Fanny, of life, they are able to discover the sex of a

Three crocodile eggs. cockle, or describe the generation of a mite,

They are so little.

:! in all its circumstances.

And upon the birth of her first child, if

she marries with her mother's consent, versed in the world, that they scarce know a

The nest of a humming-bird. a horse from an ox; but at the same time will tell you, with a great deal of gravity,

Item, To my eldest brother, as an acthat a flea is a rhinoceros, and a snail a her- į knowledgment for the lands he has invested maphrodite. I have known one of these

se in my son Charles, I bequeath whimsical philosophers who has set a great

My last year's collection of grasshoppers. er value upon a collection of spiders than he would upon a flock of sheep, and has sold |

Item, To his daughter Susannah, being his coat off his back to purchase a tarantula. nicolas

tula. his only child, I bequeath my I would not have a scholar wholly unac-11

English weeds pasted on royal paper, quainted with these secrets and curiosities

With my large folio of Indian cabbage. of nature; but certainly the mind of man, that is capable of so much higher contem-1 Item, To my learned and worthy friend plations, should not be altogether fixed upon Dr. Johannes Élscrickius, professor of anasuch mean and disproportioned objects. Ob- tomy, and my associate in the studies of naservations of this kind are apt to alienate us ture, as an eternal monument of my affectoo much from the knowledge of the world, tion and friendship for him, I bequeath. and to make us serious upon trifles, by which means they expose philosophy to the

My rat's testicles, and ridicule of the witty, and the contempt of

Whale's pizzle, the ignorant. In short, studies of this nature should be the diversions, relaxations,

| To him and his issue male; and in default and amusements, not the care, business and

of such issue in the said Dr. Elscrickius, concern of life.

then to return to my executor and his heirs . It is indeed wonderful to consider, that for ever. there should be a sort of learned men who Having fully provided for my nephew are wholly employed in gathering together Isaac, by making over to him some years the refuse of nature, if I may call it so, and since hoarding up in their chests and cabinets such A horned scarabæus, creatures as others industriously avoid the The skin of a rattle-snake, and sight of. One does not know how to men- · The mummy of an Egyptian king, tion some of the most precious parts of their I make no further provision for him in this treasure, without a kind of an apology for it. 1 I have been shown a beetle valued at twenty |

5 my will. crowns, and a toad at a hundred: but we My eldest son, John, having spoken dismust take this for a general rule, that what- respectfully of his little sister, whom I keep ever appears trival or obscure in the com- by me in spirits of wine, and in many other mon notions of the world, looks grave and instances behaved himself undutifully tophilosophical in the eye of a virtuoso. | wards me, I dn disinherit, and wholly cut off

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