Imágenes de páginas

been more painful to us in the prospect, been the habitation of some prophetic Phithan by their actual pressure.

lomath; it having been usual, time out of This natural impatience to look into fu- mind, for all such people as have lost their turity, and to know what accidents may wits to resort to that place, either for their happen to us hereafter, has given birth to cure or for their instruction. many ridiculous arts and inventions. Some found their prescience on the lines of a

• Moorfields, Oct. 4, 1712. man's hand, others on the features of his “MR. SPECTATOR,-Having long consiface: some on the signatures which nature dered whether there be any trade wanted has impressed on his body, and others on in this great city, after having surveyed his own hand-writing: some read men's for- very attentively all kinds of ranks and protunes in the stars, as others have searched fessions, I do not find in any quarter of the after them in the entrails of beasts, or the town an oneiro-critic, or, in plain English, flight of birds. Men of the best sense have an interpreter of dreams. For want of so been touched more or less with these useful a person, there are several good peogroundless horrors and presages of futurity, ple who are very much puzzled in this parupon surveying the most indifferent works ticular, and dream a whole year together, of nature. Can any thing be more surpris- without being ever the wiser for it. I hope ing than to consider Cicero,* who made I am pretty well qualified for this office, the greatest figure at the bar and in the having studied by candle-light all the rules senate of the Roman Commonwealth, and of art which have been laid down upon this at the same time outshined all the philoso- subject. My great uncle by my wife's side phers of antiquity in his library, and in was a Scotch highlander, and second-sighthis retirements, as busying himself in the ed. I have four fingers and two thumbs college of augurs, and observing with a upon one hand, and was born on the longest religious attention after what manner the night of the year. My Christian and surchickens pecked the several grains of corn name begin and end with the same letters. which were thrown to them.

I am lodged in Moorfields, in a house that Notwithstanding these follies are pretty for these fifty years has always been tewell worn cut of the minds of the wise and nanted by a conjurer. learned in the present age, multitudes of • If you had been in company, so much as weak and ignorant persons are still slaves myself, with ordinary women of the town, to them. There are numberless arts of you must know that there are many of them prediction among the vulgar, which are who every day in their lives, upon seeing too trifling to enumerate, and infinite ob- or hearing of any thing that is unexpected, servation of days, numbers, voices, and cry, “My dream is out;” and cannot go to figures, which are regarded by them as sleep in quiet the next night, until someportents and prodigies. In short, every thing or other has happened which has thing prophesies to the superstitious man; expounded the visions of the preceding one. there is scarce a straw, or a rusty piece of There are others who are in very great iron that lies in his way by accident. pain for not being able to recover the cir

It is not to be conceived how many cumstances of a dream, that made strong wizzards, gipsies, and cunning men, are impressions upon them while it lasted. In dispersed through all the counties and mar- short, sir, there are many whose waking ket-towns of Great Britain, not to mention thoughts are wholly employed on their the fortune-tellers and astrologers, who live sleeping ones. For the benefit therefore of very comfortably upon the curiosity of se- this curious and inquisitive part of my felveral well-disposed persons in the cities of low-subjects, I shall in the first place tell London and Westminster.

those persons what they dreamt of, who Among the many pretended arts of divi- fancy they never dream at all. In the next nation, there is none which so universally place I shall make out any dream, upon amuses as that by dreams. I have indeed hearing a single circumstance of it; and in observed in a late speculation, that there the last place, I shall expound to them the have been sometimes, upon very extraor- good or bad fortune which such dreams dinary occasions, supernatural revelations portend. If they do not presage good luck, made to certain persons by this means; but I shall desire nothing for my pains; not as it is the chief business of this paper to questioning at the same time, that those root out popular errors, I must endeavour who consult me will be so reasonable as to expose the folly and superstition of those to afford me a moderate share out of any persons, who, in the common and ordinary considerable estate, profit, or emolument, course of life, lay any stress upon things of which I shall discover to them. I interpret 80 uncertain, shadowy, and chimerical a to the poor for nothing, on condition that nature. This I cannot do more effectually their names may be inserted in public adthan by the following letter, which is dated vertisements, to attest the truth of such my from a quarter of the town that has always interpretations. As for people of quality,

or others who are indisposed, and do not

care to come in person, I can interpret * This censure of Cicero seems to be unfounded: for it is said of him, that he wondered how one augur could their dreams by seeing their water. 1 set mect another without laughing in his face.

aside one day in the week for lovers; and interpret by the great for any gentlewoman France, the lady tells her that is a secret who is turned of sixty, after the rate of in dress she never knew before, and that half-a-crown per week, with the usual al- she was so unpolished an English woman, lowances for good luck. I have several as to resolve never to learn to dress even rooms and apartments fitted up at reasona- before her husband. ble rates, for such as have not conveniences There is something so gross in the car. for dreaming at their own houses.

riage of some wives, that they lose their 'TITUS TROPHONIUS. husband's hearts for faults which, if a man N. B. I am not dumb,'


has either good-nature or good-breeding, he knows not how to tell them of. I am afraid, indeed, the ladies are generally most

faulty in this particular; who, at their first No. 506.] Friday, October 10, 1712.

giving into love, find the way so smooth and

pleasant, that they fancy it is scarce posCandida perpetuo reside, concordia, lecto, Tamque pari semper sit Venus xqua jugo.

sible to be tired in it. Diligat illa senem quondam; sed et ipsa marito, There is so much nicety and discretion Tunc quoque cum fuerit non videatur anus.

required to keep love alive after marriage, Mart. Epig, xiii. Lib. 4. 7.

and make conversation still new and agreePerpetual harmony their bed attend,

able after twenty or thirty years, that I And Venus still the well-match'd pair befriend. May she, when time has sunk him into years,

know nothing which seems readily to proLove her old man, and cherish his white hairs; mise it, but an earnest endeavour to please Nor he perceive her charms thro' age decay,

on both sides, and superior good sense on But think each happy sun his bridal day.

the part of the man. The following essay is written by the By a man of sense I mean one acquainted gentleman to whom the world is obliged with business and letters. for those several excellent discourses which A woman very much settles her esteem have been marked with the letter X. for a man, according to the figure he makes

I have somewhere met with a fable that in the world, and the character he bears made Wealth the father of Love. It is among his own sex, As learning is the certain that a mind ought at least to be free chief advantage we have over them, it is, from the apprehensions of want and poverty, methinks, as scandalous and inexcusable before it can fully attend to all the softnesses for a man of fortune to be illiterate, as for a and endearments of this passion; not with-woman not to know how to behave herself standing, we see multitudes of married peo- on the most ordinary occasions. It is this ple, who are utter strangers to this delight- which sets the two sexes at the greatest ful passion amidst all the affluence of the distance; a woman is vexed and surprised, most plentiful fortunes.

to find nothing more in the conversation of It is not sufficient to make a marriage a man, than in the common tattle of her happy, that the humours of two people own sex. should be alike. I could instance à hun- Some small engagement at least in busidred pair, who have not the least sentiment ness, not only sets a man's talents in the of love remaining for one another, yet are fairest light, and allots him a part to act in so like in their humours, that if they were which a wife cannot well intermeddle, but not already married, the whole world would gives frequent occasion for those little abdesign them for man and wife.

sences, which, whatever seeming uneasia The spirit of love has something so ex- ness they may give, are some of the best tremely fine in it, that it is very often dis- preservatives of love and desire. turbed and lost, by some little accidents, The fair-sex are so conscicus to themwhich the careless and unpolite never at- selves that they have nothing in them which tend to, until it is gone past recovery: can deserve entirely to engross the whole

Nothing has more contributed to banish man, that they heartily despise one who, to it from a married state than too great a use their own expression, is always hanging familiarity, and laying aside the common at their apron-strings. rules of decency. Though I could give in- Lætitia is pretty, inodest, tender, and has stances of this in several particulars, I shall sense enough; she married Erastus, who is only mention that of dress. The beaux and in a post of some business, and has a genebelles about town, who dress purely to ral taste in most parts of polite learning, catch one another, think there is no farther Lætitia, wherever she visits, has the pleaoccasion for the bait, when the first design sure to hear of something which was handhas succeeded. But besides the too com- somely said or done by Erastus. Erastus, mon fault, in point of neatness, there are since his marriage, is more gay in his dress several others which I do not remember than ever, and in all companies is as com to have seen touched upon, but in one of plaisant to Lætitia as to any other lady. I our modern comedies,* where a French have seen him give her her fan when it has woman offering to undress and dress herself dropped, with all the gallantry of a lover. before the lover of the play, and assuring When they take the air together, Erastus her mistress that it was very usual in is continually improving her thoughts, and

with a turn of wit and spirit which is pecu• The Funcral, or Grief Alamode, by Steele. liar to him, giving her an insight into things she had no notions of before. Lætitia is light his shadow.' According to this definitransported at having a new world thus tion, there is nothing so contradictory to his opened to her, and hangs upon the man nature as error and falsehood. The Plathat gives her such agreeable informations. tonists have so just a notion of the AlErastus has carried this point still farther, mighty's aversion to every thing which is as he makes her daily not only more fond false and erroneous, that they looked upon of him, but infinitely more satisfied with truth as no less necessary than virtue to herself. Erastus finds a justness or beauty qualify a human soul for the enjoyment of in whatever she says or observes, that La- a separate state. For this reason, as they titia herself was not aware of; and hy his recommended moral duties to qualify and assistance she has discovered a hundred season the will for a future life, so they pregood qualities and accomplishments in her- scribed several contemplations and sciences self, which she never before once dreamed to rectify the understanding. Thus Plato of. Erastus, with the most artful com- has called mathematical demonstrations the plaisance in the world, by several remote cathartics, or purgatives of the soul, as hints, finds the means to make her say or being the most proper means to cleanse it propose almost whatever he has a mind to, from error, and give it a relish of truth; which he always receives as her own dis- which is the natural food and nourishment covery, and gives her all the reputation of the understanding, as virtue is the perof it.

fection and happiness of the will. Erastus has a perfect taste in painting, There are many authors who have shown and carried Lætitia with him the other day wherein the malignity of a lie consists, and to see a collection of pictures. I sometimes set forth in proper colours the heinousness visit this happy couple. As we were last of the offence. I shall here consider one week walking in the long gallery before particular kind of this crime, which has dinner,—'I have lately laid out some money not been so much spoken to; I mean that in paintings,' says Erastus: 'I bought that abominable practice of party-lying. This Venus and Adonis purely upon Lætitia's vice is so very predominant among us at judgment; it cost me threescore guineas; present, that a man is thought of no princiand I was this morning offered a hundred ple, who does not propagate a certain sysfor it.' I turned towards Lætitia, and saw tem of lies. The coffee-houses are supher cheeks glow with pleasure, while at ported by them, the press is choked with the same time she cast a look upon Erastus, them, eminent authors live upon them, the most tender and affectionate I ever Our bottle conversation is so infected with beheld.

them, that a party-lie is grown as fashionFlavilla married Tom Tawdry, she was able an entertainment as a lively catch, or taken with his laced-coat and rich sword- a merry story. The truth of it is, half the knot; she has the mortification to see Tom great talkers in the nation would be struck despised by all the worthy part of his own dumb were this fountain of discourse dried sex. Tom has nothing to do after dinner, up. There is however one advantage rebut to determine whether he will pare his sulting from this detestable practice: the nails at St. James's, White's, or his own very appearances of truth are so little rehouse. He has said nothing to Flavilla since sarded, that lies are at present discharged they were married which she might not in the air, and begin to hurt nobody. When have heard as well from her own woman. we hear a party-story from a stranger, we He however takes great care to keep up consider whether he is a whig or a tory the saucy ill-natured authority of a hus- that relates it, and immediately conclude band. Whatever Flavilla happens to as they are words of course, in which the sert, Tom immediately contradicts with an honest gentleman designs to recommend his oath by way of preface, and, My dear, Izeal, without any concern for his veracity. must tell you you talk most confoundedly A man is looked upon as bereft of common silly.' Flavilla had a heart naturally as well sense, that gives credit to the relations of disposed for all the tenderness of love as party writers; nay, his own friends shake that of Lætitia; but as love seldom con- their heads at him, and consider him in no tinues long after esteem, it is difficult to other light than an officious tool, or a welldetermine, at present whether the unhappy meaning idiot. When it was formerly the Flavilla hates or despises the person most fashion to husband a lie, and trump it up in whom she is obliged to lead her whole life some extraordinary emergency, it genewith.

X, rally did execution, and was not a little

serviceable to the faction that made use of

it; but at present every man is upon his No. 507.] Saturday, October 11, 1712.

guard: the artifice has been too often re

peated to take effect. Defendit numerus, junctæque umbone phalanges. I have frequently wondered to see men

of probity, who would scorn to utter a falsePreserv'd from shame by numbers on our side.

hood for their own particular advantage, THERE is something very sublime, though give so readily into a lie, when it is become very fanciful, in Plato's description of the the voice of their faction, notwithstanding Supreme Being; that truth is his body, and they are thoroughly sensible of it as suche

Juv. Sat. ii. 46.

usa est.


How is it possible for those who are men / world. When Pompey was desired not to of honour in their persons, thus to become set sail in a tempest that would hazard his notorious liars in their party? If we look life, . It is necessary for me,' says he, 'to into the bottom of this matter, we may find, sail, but it is not necessary for me to live.' I think, three reasons for it, and at the Every man should say to himself, with the same time discover the insufficiency of these same spirit, *It is my duty to speak truth, reasons to justify so criminal a practice. though it is not my duty to be in an office.

In the first place, men are apt to think One of the fathers has carried this point so that the guilt of a lie, and consequently the high as to declare he would not tell a lie, punishment may be very much diminished, though he were sure to gain heaven by its if not wholly worn out, by the multitudes However extravagant such a protestation of those who partake in it. Though the may appear, every one will own that a man weight of a falsehood would be too much may say, very reasonably, he would not for one to bear, it grows light in their tell a lie if he were to gain hell by it; or, if imaginations when it is shared among many. you have a mind to soften the expression, But in this case a man very much deceives that he would not tell a lie to gain any temhimself; guilt, when it spreads through poral reward by it, when he should run the numbers, is not so properly divided as mul- hazard of losing much more than it was tiplied. Every one is criminal in proportion possible for him

to gain.

0. to the offence which he commits, not to the number of those who are his companions in it. Both the crime and the penalty lie as heavy upon every individual of an offending No. 508.] Monday, October 13, 1712. multitude, as they would upon any single person, had none shared with him in the Omnes autem et habentur et dicuntur tyranni, qui offence. In a word, the division of guilt is potestate sunt perpetua, in ea civitate quæ libertate

Corn. Nepos in Milt. c. 8. like to that of matter: though it may be separated into infinite portions, every portion

For all those are accounted and denominated tyrants shall have the whole essence of matter in who exercise a perpetual power in that state, which it, and consist of as many parts as the whole did before it was divided.

The following letters complain of what I But in the second place, though multi- have frequently observed with very much tudes, who join in a lie, cannot exempt indignation; therefore I shall give them to themselves from the guilt, they may from the public in the words with which my corthe shame of it. The scandal of a lie is in a respondents, who suffer under the hardmanner lost and annihilated, when diffused ships mentioned in them, describe them. among several thousands; as a drop of the blackest tincture wears away and vanishes,

• MR. Spectator,In former ages all when mixed and confused in a considerable pretensions to dominion have been supbody of water; the blot is still in it, but is ported and submitted to, either upon acnot able to discover itself. This is certainly count of inheritance, conquest, or election; a very great motive to several party-offen- and all such persons, who have taken upon ders, who avoid crimes, not as they are them any sovereignty over their fellowprejudicial to their virtue, but to their creatures upon any other account, have reputation. It is enough to show the weak- been always called tyrants, not so much ness of this reason, which palliates guilt because they were guilty of any particular without removing it, that every man who barbarities, as because every attempt to is influenced by it declares himself in effect such a superiority was in its nature tyranan infamous hypocrite, prefers the appear- nical. But there is another sort of potenance of virtue to its reality, and is deter- tates, who may with greater propriety be mined in his conduct neither by the dictates called tyrants than those last mentioned, of his own conscience, the suggestions of both as they assume a despotic dominion true honcur, nor the principles of religion. over those as free as theniselves, and as

The third and last great motive for men's they support it by acts of notable oppresjoining in a popular falsehood, or, as I have sion and injustice; and these are the rulers hitherto called it, a party-lie, notwith- in all clubs and meetings. In other governstanding they are convinced of it as such, ments the punishments of some have been is the doing good to a cause which every alleviated by the rewards of others: but party may be supposed to look upon as the what makes the reign of these potentates most meritorious. The unscundness of this so particularly grievous is, that they are principle has been so often exposed, and is exquisite in punishing their subjects, at the so universally acknowledged, that a man same time that they have it not in their must be an uiter stranger to the principles power to reward them. That the reader either of natural religion or Christianity, may the better comprehend the nature of who suffers himself to be guided by it. If a these monarchs, as well as the miserable man might promote the supposed good of state of those that are their vassals, I shall his country by the blackest calumnies and give an account of the king of the company falsehoods, our nation abounds more in I am fallen into, whom, for his particular patriots than any other of the Christian tyranny, I shall call Dionysius: as also of

the seeds that sprung up to this odd sort train of each is equal in number, rather of empire.

than give battle, the superiority is soon adUpon all meetings at taverns, it is ne- justed by a desertion from one of them. cessary some one of the company should • Now, the expulsion of these unjust take it upon him to get all things in such rulers out of all societies, would gain a man order and readiness, as may contribute as as everlasting a reputation as either of the much as possible to the felicity of the con- Brutus's got for their endeavours to extirvention; such as hastening the fire, getting pate tyranny from among the Romans. I a sufficient number of candles, tasting the confess myself to be in a conspiracy against wine with a judicious smack, fixing the sup. the usurper of our club; and to show my per, and being brisk for the despatch of it. reading, as well as my merciful disposition, Know, then, that Dionysius went through shall allow him until the ides of March to these offices with an air that seemed to dethrone himself. If he seems to affect express a satisfaction rather in serving the empire until that time, and does not gradupublic that in gratifying any particular in- ally recede from the incursions he has made clination of his own. We thought him a upon our liberties, he shall find a dinner person of an exquisite palate, and therefore dressed which he has no hand in, and shall by consent beseeched him to be always our be treated with an order, magnificence, and proveditor; which post, after he had hand- luxury, as shall break his proud heart; at some denied, he could do no otherwise the same time that he shall be convinced than accept. At first he made no other use in his stomach he was unfit for his post, of his power than in recommending such and a more mild and skilful prince receive and such things to the company, ever allow the acclamations of the people, and be set ing these points to be disputable; insomuch up in his room: but, as Milton says, that I have often carried the debate for

-These thoughts partridge, when his majesty has given inti

Full counsel must mature. Peace is despair'd, mation of the ligh relish of duck, but at the And who can think submission? War then, war, same time has cheerfully submitted, and

Open, or understood, must be resolved." devoured his partridge with most gracious •I am, sir, your most obedient humble resignation. This submission on his side servant.' naturally pro luced the like on ours; of which he in a little time made such barba- * MR. SPECTATOR, -I am a young worous advantage, as in all those matters, man at a gentleman's seat in the country, which before seemed indifferent to him, to who is a particular friend of my father's, issue out certain edicts as uncontrollable and came hither to pass away a month or and unalterable as the laws of the Medes two with his daughters.. I have been enand Persians. He is by turns outrageous, tertained with the utmost civility by the peevish, forward, and jovial. He thinks it whole family, and nothing has been omitted our duty for the little offices, as proveditor, which can make my stay easy and agreeathat in return all conversation is to be in- ble on the part of the family; but there is a terrupted or promoted by his inclination gentleman here, a visitant as I am, whose for or against the present humour of the behaviour has given me great uneasiness. company. We feel, at present in the utmost When I first arrived here, he used me with extremity, the insolence of office; however, the utmost complaisance; but, forsooth, that 1, being naturally warm, ventured to op- was not with regard to my sex; and since he pose him in a dispute about a haunch of has no designs upon me, he does not know venison. I was altogether for roasting, but why he should distinguish me from a man Dionysius declared himself for boiling within things indifferent. Heis, you must know, so much prowess and resolution, that the one of those familiar coxcombs, who have cook thought it necessary to consult his own observed some well-bred men with a good safety, rather than the luxury of my pro- grace converse with women, and say no position. With the same authority that he fine things, but yet treat them with that orders what we shall eat and drink, he also sort of respect which flows from the heart commands us where to do it: and we change and the understanding, but is exerted in no our taverns according as he suspects any professions or compliments. This puppy, treasonable practices in the settling the bill to imitate this excellence, or avoid the conby the master, or sees any bold rebellion in trary fault of being troublesome in complaipoint of attendance by the waiters. Another sance, takes upon him to try his talent upon reason for changing the seat of empire, I me, insomuch that he contradicts me up a conceive to be the pride he takes in the all occasions, and one day told me I lied, promulgation of our slavery, though we pay If I had struck him with my bodkin, and our club for our entertainments, even in behaved myself like a man, since he will these palaces of our grand monarch. When not treat me as a woman, I had, I think, he has a mind to take the air, a party of us served him right. I wish, sir, you would are commanded out by way of life-guard, please to give him some maxims of beha: and we march under as great restrictions viour in these points, and resolve me if all as they do. If we meet a neighbouring maids are not in point of conversation to be king, we give or keep the way, according treated by all bachelors as their mistresses? as we are out-numbered or not; and if the If not so, are they not to be used as gently

« AnteriorContinuar »