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« kind, live together in another state of the sentiments worthy those of the highest ff« being."
gure. It was a moft exquisite pleasure to me, I think I have, in a former paper, taken no- to observe real tears drop from the eyes of those tice of thofe beautiful metaphors in scripture, who had long made it their profeffion to diswhere life is termed a pilgrimage, and those who semble affliction, and the player, who'read, pass through it are called Atrangers and fojourners frequently throw down the book, until he had upon earth. I fall conclude this with a story, given vent to the humanity which rose in him at which I have somewhere read in the travels of some irresistible touches of the imagined sorrow. Sir John Chardin ; that gentleman after having We have seldom had any female distress qu the told us, that the inns which receive the caravans stage, which did not, upon cool examination, in Perfia, and the eastern countries, are called appear to flow from the weakness rather than by the name of caravánsaries, gives us a relation the misfortune of the perfon represented : but to the following purpose.
in this tragedy you are riot entertained with the A dervife, travelling through Tartary, being ungoverned paffions of such as are enamoured of arrived at the town of Balk, went into the king's each other, merely as they are men and women, palace bý mistake, as thinking it to be a public but their regards are founded upon high consom or caravanfary. Having looked about him ceptions of each other's virtue and merit ;, and for some time, he entered into a long gallery, the character which gives name to the play, is where he laid down his wallet, and spread his one who has behaved herself with heroic virtue carpet, in order to repose himself upon it, after in the moft important circumstances of a female the manner of the eastern nations. He had not life, those of a wife, a widow, and a mother, been long in this posture before he was discover. If there be thore whofe minds have been too ato ed by some of the guards, who asked him what tentive upon the affairs of life, to have any no. was his business in that place? The dervise told tion of the passion of love in fuch extremes as them he intended to take up his night's lodging are known only to particular tempers, yet, in the in that caravanfary.' The guards let him know, above-mentioned confiderations, the sorrow of in a very angry manner, that the house he was the heroine will move even the generality of in' was not a caravansary, put the king's pa
mankind. Domestic virtues concern all the lace. It happened that the king himself paffed world, and there is no one living who is not inthrough the gallery during this debate, and terested that Andromache thould be an imitable smiling at the miftake of the dervife, alked character. The generous affection to the mehim how lie could possibly be so dull as not to mory of her deceased husband, that tender care diftinguith a palace from a caravanfary? Sir, for her fon, which is ever heightened with the says the dervise, give me leave to ask your-ma- confideration of his father, and these regards jeity a question or two. Who were the persons preserved in spite of being tempted with the chat lodged in this house when it was first built; poffeffion of the highest greatness, are what canThe king replied, “ His ancestors.” And whó not but be venerable even to fuch an audience as Tays the dervise, was the last person that lodged at present frequents the English theatre. My here? The king replied, « his father.” And friend Wil Honeycomb commended several tender who is it says the dervise, that lodges here at things that were said, and told me they were prefent? The king told him, “ that it was hevery genteel; but avhifpered me, that he feared « himself.' And who, says the dervise, will be the piece was not busy enough for the present 'here after you'? The king answered," the taste. To supply this, he recommended to the
young prince, his son." « Ah, Sir," said the players to be very careful in their scenes, and dervise, * a house that changes its inhabitants above all things, that every part should be pere - so often, and receives such a perpetual fuccef- fe&tly new dressed. I was very glad to find that " Hon of guests, is not a palace but a cara- they did not negle&t my friend's admonition, be“ vansary."
1: L 'cause there are a great many in this class of cri.
ticism who may be gained by it; but indeed
every where nature. The persons are of the No 290. FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 1.
highest quality in life ; even that of princes ;
but their quality is not represented by the poet, Projicit ampullas y Squipedalia verla.
with direction that guards and waiters hould Hor. Ars Poet. v. 97. follow them in every scene, but their grandeur Forgets his swelling and gigantic words.
appears in greatncts of fentiments, Aowing from ROSCOMMON.
-minds worthy their condition. To make a cha
'racter truly great, this author understands that HE players, who know I am very much it Mould have its foundation in fuperior thoughts
their friend, take all opportunities to ex- and maxims of conduct. It is very certain, press a gratitude to me for being so. They could that many an honest woman would make no not have a better occasion of obliging me, than difficulty, though she had been the wife of one which they lately took hold of. They de- Hector, for the sake of a kingdom, to marry fired my friend Will Honeycomb to bring me to the enemy of her husband's family and coun. the reading of a new tragedy; it is called. The try; and indeed who can deny but she might Distressed Mother. I must confess, though some be still an honest woman, but no heroine? That days are palled lince I enjoyed that'entertainment, ' may be defenfible, máy laudable in one character, the passions of the several characters dwell strong- : which would be in the higheft degree exceptionly upon my imagination; and I congratulate the able in another. When Cato Uticensis killed age, that they are at lait to see truth and hunian himself, Cottius, a Roman of cuinary quality life represented in the incidents which concern and character, did the same thing ; upon which heroes and heroines. The stile of the play is one said, smiling, “ Cottius might have lived, Luch as becomes those of the Arst education, and " though Cæfar has sejzed the Roman liberty.'
Cortius's condition might have been the same, and Italian critics, but also with the ancient Jet things at the upper end of the world pass as and modern who have written in either of the they would. What is further very extraordinary learned languages. Above all, I would have in this work, is, that the persons are all of them them well versed in the Greek and Latin poets, laudable, and their misfortunes arise rather from without which a man. very often fancies that unguarded virtue than propensity to vice. The he understands a critic, when in reality he does town has an opportunity of doing itself justice not comprehend his meaning. in supporting the representations of passion, It is in criticisrn as in all other fciences and sorrow, indignation, even defpair itself, within fpeculations ; one wino brings with him any the rules of decency, honour and good-breeda implicit notions and obfervations, which he ing; and since there is no one can Aatter him- has made in his reading of the poets, will find self his life will be always fortunate, they may his own reflexions methodized and explained, here fee forrow as they would wish to bear it and perhaps several little hints that had passed. whenever it arrives.
in his mind, perfected and improved in the
works of a good critic; whereas one who has * Mr. Spectator,
Dor these previous lights is very often an utter Am appointed to act a part in a new tra- stranger to what he reads, and apt to put a
gedy called The Distressed Mother it is wrong interpretation upon it.. • the celebrated grief of Orestes which I am to Nor is it sufficient, that a man, who fets up.
personate; but I shall not act it as I ought for a judge in criticism, should have perused the ' for I'fhall feel it too intimately to be able to authors above-mentioned, anless he has also a
utter it. I was laft night repeating a para. clear and logical head. Without this talent he • graph to myself, which I took to be an ex- is perpetually puzzled and perplexed amidst his • pression of rage, and in the middle of the own blunders, mistakes the sense of those he ' sentence there was a stroke of félf-pity which would confute, or, if he chances to think right, • quite unmanned me. Be pleased, Sir, to does not know how to convey his thoughts to
print this letter, that when I am oppressed in another with clearners and perfpicuity.. Aristothis manner at such an interval, a certain tle, who was the best critic, was alío one of
part of the audience may not think I am out; the best logicians that ever appeared in the . and I hope, with this allowance, to do it to world. < fatisfaction.
Mr. Locke's Effay on Human Understanding . I am, Sir,
would be thought a very odd book for a man Your most humble fervant, to make himself master of, who would get a - 6 George Powell." reputation by critical writings; though at the
same time it is very certain that an author, who • Mr. Spectator,
has not learned the art of diftinguishing bewas walking the other day in the tween words and things, and of ranging his
Park, I law a gentleman with a very thoughts and setting them in proper lights, • Thort face ; I desire to know whether it was whatever nutions he may have, will lose himtelf
you. Pray inform me as soon as you can, left in confusion and obscurity. . I might further ob.. I become the most heroic Hecatiffa's rival. serve that there is not a Greek or Latin critic, Your humble servant to command, who has not newn, even in the file of his cri.
Sophia. ticisms, that he was a master of all the elegance
and delicacy of his native tongue. • Dear Madam,
The truth of it is there is nothing more ab. T is not me you are in love with, for I surd, than for a man to set up for a critic, was very ill and kept my chamber all that without a good insight into all the parts of
learning; whereas many of those, who have Your most humble servant, endeavoured to signalize themselves by works of • The SPECTATOR. this nature, among our English writers, are not
Cnly defective in the above-mentioned particua
lars, but plainly discover, by the phrafes which N° 291. SATURDAY: F£e. 2.
they make use of, and by, their confused way of
thinking, that they are not acquainted with che Uli plura nitent in carmine, non ego paucis
most common and ordinary systems of art; and Offendor maculis, quas aut incuria fudit,
fciences. A few general sules extracted cut of Aut humana parum cavit natura.
the French authors, with certain cant words,
have sometimes fec up an illiterate heavy writer Hor. Ars Poet. ver. 351. for a most judicious and formidable critic. But in a poem elegantly writ,
One great mark, by which you may discover I will not quarrel with a night mistake,
a critic who has neither taste nor learning, is. Such as our nature's frailty may excuse. this, that he feldom ventures to praise any par.
RoscoMMON. fage in an author which has not been before reHave now considered Milton's Paradise Loft ceived and applauded by the public, and that his
under those four great 'heads of the fable, the criticism turns wholly upon little faults and er. characters, the sentiments, and the language; rors. This part of a critic is so very easy to and have Mewn that he excels, in general, un succeed in, that we find every ordinary reader, der each of these heads. I hope that I have upon the publishing of a new poem, has wic made several discoveries which may appear new, and ill-nature enough to turn several passages of even to those who are versed in critical learning. it into ridicule, and very often in the righe Were I indeed to choose my readers, by whore place. This Mr. Dryden has very agreeably judgment I would stand or fall, they should not remarked in those two celebrated lines, be such as are acquainted only with the French
* Errors, like straws, upon the furface fow;' to the talk with great industry and pleasure, and, “ He who would search for pearl, muit dive after having made the due feparation, was preI below."
sented by Apollo with the chaff for his pains. L A true critic ought to dwell rather upon excelleńcies than imperfections, to discover the N° 292. MONDAY, FEB. 4. concealed beauties of a writer, and communi. cate to the world such things as are worth their observation. The most exquisite words and
Illam, quicquid agit, quoqus veftigia fletit, finest strokes of an author are those which very
Componit furtim, subjequiturque decor.
Tibull. Eleg. 2. 3. 4. ver. often appear the most doubtful and exceptiona. ble to a man who wants a relish for polite Whate'er the does, where'er her steps the learning ; and they are there, which a four un.
bends, distinguishing eritic generally attacks with the Grace on each action filently attends, greatest violence. Tully observes, that it is
S no one can be said to enjoy health, who
is calls verbum ardens, or, as it may be rendered in himself a lightrome and invigorating principley English, a glowing bold expression," and to which will not suffer him to remain idle, but turn it into ridicule by a cold ill-natured criti. ftill spurs him on to action ; fo in the practice cism. A little wit is equally capable of exp, of every virtue, there is some additional grace fing a beauty, and of aggravating a fault; and required, to give a claim of excelling in this or though such a treatment of an author naturally that particular action. A diamond may want produces indignation in the mind of an under- polining, though the value be still intrinfically standing reader, it has however its effect among the same; and the same good may be done with the generality of those whore hands it falls into, different degrees of lustre. No man Mould be the rabble of mankind being very apt to think contented with himself that he barely does well, that every thing which is laughed at, with any but he should perform every thing in the best mixture of wit, is ridiculous in itself.
and most becoming manner that he is able. Such a mirth as this is always unreasonable in
'Tully tells us he wrote his book of Offices, a critic, as it rather prejudices the reader than because there was no time of life in which fomó convinces him, and is capable of making a correspondent duty might not be practised; nor beauty, as well as a blemish, the subject of de- is there a duty without a certain decency acrifion. A man who cannot write with wit on a companying it, by which every virtue it is joinproper subject, is dull and stupid; but one, ed to will seem to be doubled. Another may who thews it in an improper place, is as im do the same thing, and yet the action want that pertinent and absurd. Besides a man wlio has air and beauty which distinguish it from others; the gift of ridicule is apt to find fault with any like that inimitable sunshine Titian is said to thing ihat gives him an opportunity of exerting. have diffused over his landskips ; which dehis beloved talent, and very often censures a
notes them his, and has been always unequalled paffage, not because there is any fault in it; by any other person, but because he can be merry upon it.
There is no one action in which this quali. kinds of pleasantry are very unfair and disinge- ty I am speaking of will be more sensibly pero nuous in works of criticism, in which the great ceived, than in granting a request or doing an eit maters, both ancient and 'moderr.. have al- office of kindness. Mummius, by his way of ways appeared with a serious and instrucive consenting to a benefaction, shall make it lore air.
its name; while Carus doubles the kindness and As I intend in my next paper to thew the de- the obligation : from the first he desired ; request feets in Milton's Paradise Lost, I thought fit to drops indeed at last, but from fo doubtful a premise these few particulars, to the end that brow, that the obliged has almost as much reache reader may know I enter upon it, as on a son to resent the manner of bestowing it, as to very ungrateful work, and that i mall just point be thankful for the favour itself. Carus invites at the imperfections, without endeavouring to with a pleafing air, to give him an opportunity infilame them with ridicule. I must also observe of doing an act of humanity, meets the petition with Longinus, that the productions of a great half way, and confents to a request with a coun. genius, with many lapses and inadvertencies, tenance which proclaims the satisfaction of his are infinitely preferable to the works of an infe- mind in a lifting the distriefled. rior kind of author, which are scrupulourly The decency then that is to be observed in li.. exact and conformable to all the rules of correct berality seems to confit in its being performwriting.
ed with such chearfulness, as may express the I hall conclude this paper with a story out of godlike pleasure that is to be met with in obligBoccalini, which sufficiently shews us the opie ing one's fellow-creatures; that may thew nion that judicious author entertained of the good-nature and benevolence overflowed, and fort of critics I have been here mentioning. A do not, as ia fome men, run upon the tilt, and famous critic, says he, having gathered together taste of the sediments of a grutehing uncomall the faults of an eminent poet, made a pre. municative disposition. fent of them to Apollo, who received them Since I liave intiinated that the greatest decovery graciously, and resolved to make the au. runr is to be prelerved in the bestowing our thor å suitable return for the trouble he had good offices, I will illustrate it a little by an been at in collecting them. In order to this, he example drawn from private life, which carries fet before him a sack of wheat, as it had been with it such a profusion of liberality, that it juré tlirashed out of the Theaf. He then bid him can be exceeded by nothing but the humanity pick out the chaff from among the corn, and and good-nature which accompanies it. It is lay it aside by itfelf. The critic applied himself letter of Pling's, which I shall here sranslate,
and , ,
Because the action will best appear in its first The care of doing nothing unbecoming has dress of thought, without any foreign or ambi- accompanied the greateft minds to their lift tious ornaments.
moments. They avoided even an indecent por
ture in the very article of death. Thus Cæfar Pliny to Quintilian.
gathered his robe about him, that he might not THOUGH I am fully acquainted with the the greatest concern that appeared in the beha
fall in a manner unbecoming of himselt; and mind, and the conformity the education you that her body should lie in an attitude worthy have given your daughter bears to your own the mind which had inhabited it, character ; yet since she is suddenly to be márried to a person of distinction, whose figure in the world makes it necessary for her to be at a
-Ne non procumbat boneftè,
Extrema bæc etiam cura cadentis erat. ' more than ordinary expence in cloaths and • equipage suitable to her husband's quality;
Ovid. Fast. 1. 3. 4. 833. • by which, though her intrinsic worth be not 'Twas her last thought, how decently to fall. i augmented, yet will it receive both ornainent
« Mr. Spectator, • and lustre : and knowing your estate to be as
Am a young woman without a fortune; but « moderate as the riches of your mind are abun
of a very high mind : that is, good Sir, I « dant, I must challenge to myself some part of • the burden ; and as a parent of your child, I
am to the last degree proud and vain. I am
ever railing at the rich, for doing things, • present her with twelve hundred and fifty " which, upon search into my heart, I find ! « crowns towards these expences; which sum I had been much larger, had I not feared the
' am only angry because I cannot do the same
' myself. I wear the hooped petticoat, and am Imallness of it would be the greatest induce • all in callicoes when the finest are in silks. It ment with you to accept it. Farewel.'
' is a dreadful thing to be poor and proud; there
• fore if you please, a lecture on that subject for Thus should a benefaction be done with a good " the satisfaction of grace, and mine in the strongest point of light';
* Your uneasy humble servant, it should not only answer all the hopes and ex- Z
- Jezebel.' igencies of the receiver, but even out-run his wilhes : it is this happy manner of behaviour which adds new charms to it, and softens those gifts of art and nature, which otherwise would
293. TUESDAY, FEB. 5. be rather distasteful than agreeable. Without it, valour would degenerate into brutality, learning Πασιν γαρ ευφρονέσι συμμαχει τυχη. into pedantry, and the genteelest demeanour in
Frag. Vet. Poet. to affectation. Even religion itselt, unless décency be the handmaid which waits upon her,
The prudent still have fortune on their fide, is apt to make people appear guilty of fourners THE famous Gratian, in his little book and ill-humour: but this thews virtue in her wherein he lays down maxims for a man's first original form, adds à comeliness to religi- advancing himself at court, advises his reader to on, and gives its professors the justest title to the associate himself with the fortunate, and to shun beauty of holiners. A man fully instructed in the company of the unfortunate; which, notthis art, may assume a thousand hapes, and withstanding the baseness of the precept to an please in all : he may do a thousand actions honeft mind, may have something useful in it Thall become none other but himself; not that for those who push their interest in the world, the things themselves are different, but the man. It is certain a great part of wliat we call good or her of doing them.
ill fortune, rises out of right or wrong measures If you examine each feature by itself, Aglaura or schemes of life. When I hear a man complain and Calliclea are equally handsome; but take them of his being unfortunate in all his undertakings, in the whole, and you cannot suffer the compa. I threwdly suspect him for a very weak man in his rison : the one is full of numberless nameless affairs. In conformity with this way of thinkgraces, the other of as many namelers faults. ing, cardinal Richlieu used to say, that unfor
The comeliness of person, and the decency of tunate and imprudent were but two words for behaviour, add infinite weight to what is pro- the same thing. As the cardinal himfelf had a nounced by any one. It is the want of this that great share both of prudence and good fortune, often makes the rebukes and advice of old rigid his famous antagonist, the count d'Olivarez, persons of no effect, and leave a displeasure in was disgraced at the court of Madrid, because the minds of those they are directed to : but it was alledged against him that he had never youth and beauty, if accompanied with a grace- any success in his undertakings. This, says an ful and becoming severity, is of mighty force to eminent author, was indirectly accusing him of raise, even in the most profligate, a sense of imprudence. thame. In Milton, the devil is never described Cicero recommended Pompey to the Romans ashamed but once, and that at the rebuke of a for their general upon three accounts, as he was beauteous angel.
a man of courage, conduct, and good fortune.
It was, perhaps, for the reason above-mentioned, So spake the cherub, and his grave rebuke, namely, that a series of good fortune supposes a Severe in youthful beauty, added grace prudent management in the person whom it be. Invincible : abash'd the devil stood,
falls, that not only Sylla the dictator, but seve. And felt how awful goodness is, and saw, ral of the Roman emperors, as is still to be seen Virtue in her own shape how lovely! law, and upon their medals, among their other titles, pin'd
gave themselves that of Fulix or fortunate. The His lors,
heathens, indeed, seem to have valued a man was struck by queen Elizabeth, a little after the more for his good fortune than for any other defeat of the invincible armada, to perpetuate quality, which I think is very natural for those the memory of that extraordinary event. It is who have not a strong belief of another world. well known how the king of Spain, and others For how can I conceive a man crowned with who were the enemies of that great princess, to many distinguishing blessings, that has not derogate from her glory, ascribed the ruin of fome extraordinary fund of merit and perfec- their feet rather to the violence of storms and tion in him, which lies open to the supreme tempests, than to the bravery of the English. eye, th: "gh perhaps it is not discovered by my Queen Elizabeth, instead of looking upon this observation ? What is the reason Homer's and as a diminution of her honour, valued herself Virgil's heroes do not form a resolution, or strike upon such a singular favour of Providence, and a blow, without the conduct and direction of accordingly, in the reverse of the medal abovefome deity? Doubtless, because the poets er- mentioned, has represented a fleet beaten by a teemned it the greatest honour to be favoured tempest, and falling foul upon one another, by the gods, and thought the best way of prail- with that religious inscription, Affiavit Deus, & ing a man was to recount those favours which dilipantur. " He blew with his wind, and they naturally implied an extraordinary merie in the were scattered.” person on whom they defcended,
It is remarkable of a famous Grecian general, Those who believe a future state of rewards whose name I cannot at present recollect, and and punishments act very abfurdly, if they form who had been a particular favourite of fortune, their opinions of a man's merit from his succes- that, upon recounting his victories among his fes. But certainly, if I thought the whole circle friends, he added at the end of several great acof our being was concluded between our births tions, “and in this fortune ltad no share." Aster and deaths; I should think à man's good fortune which it is observed in Iristory, that he never prof. the measure and ftandard of his real merit, pered in any thing he undertook. fince Providence would have no opportunity of As arrogance, and a conceitedness of our own rewarding his virtue and perfections, but in the abilities, are very mocking and offensive to men prefent life. A virtuous unbeliever, who lies of sense and virtue, we may be fure they are under the pressure of misfortunes, has reason to highly displeasing to that Being who delights in cry out, as they say Brutus did a little before his an humble mind, and by several of his difpendeath, “ ( virtue, I have worshipped thee as a fations feems purpofely to fhew us, that our own < subftantial good, but I find thou art an empty schemes or prudence have no share in our ad. « name.'
yancements. But to return to our first point : though pro Since on this subject I have already admitted dence does undoubtedly in a great measure feveral quotations which have occurred to my produce our good or ill fortune in the world, memory upon writing this paper, I will conit is certain there are many unforeseen accidents clude it with a little Persian fable. A drop of and occurrences, which very often pervere the water fell out of a cloud into the sea, and finde fineft schemes that can be laid by human wism ing itself loft in such an immenfity of Avid matdom. " The race is not always to the swift, ter, broke out into the following reflexion: " nor the battle to the strong." Nothing less * Alas! What an insignificant creature am I in than infinie w sdom can have an abfolute com « this prodigious ocean of waters; my existence mand over fortune; the highest degree of it, " is of no concern to the univerfe, I am reduced Which man can poffefs, is by no means equal « to a kind of nothing, and am less than the to fortuitous events, and to such contingencies « least of the works of God,” It so happened as may rise in the prosecution of our affairs. that an oyster, which lay in the neighbourhood Nay, it very often happens, that prudence, which of this drop, chanced to gape and swallow it up has always in it a great mixture of caution, in the midst of this its humble soliloquy. The hinders a man from being fo fortunate as he drop, says the fable, lay a great while hardening might possibly have been without it. A person in the thell, until by degrees it was ripened into who only aims at what is likely to succeed, and a pearl, which falling into the hands of a diver, follows closely the dictates of human prudence,' after a long series of adventures, is at present never meets with those great and unforeseen that famous pearl which is fixed on the top of the fuccefies, which are often the efieet of a fan. Perlian diadem.
T guine temper, or a more happy rashness; and this perhaps may be tlie réafon, that, according to the common observation, fortune, like other N° 294. WEDNESDAY, FEB. 6. females, delights rather in favouring the young than the oid.
Difficile est plurimùm virtutem revereri qui femper Upon the whole, since man is so short-lighted fecundă fortunâ fit usus. Tull. ad Herennium. e creature, and the accidents which may happen to him so various, I cannot but be of Dr. Tillot. The man who is always fortunate, cannot easily fon's opinion in another case, that were there have a great reverence for virtue. any doubt of a Providence, yet it certainly would be very desirable there should be such a Nfolence is the crime of all others which every Being of infinite wisdom and goodness, on whofe man is apt to rail at; and yet is there one redirection we might rely in the conduct of human speer in which alınost all men living are guilty of Life.
it, and that is in the case of laying a greater value · It is a great presumption to ascribe our successes upon the gifts of fortune than we ought. It is to our own management, and not to esteem our here in England come into our very language, felves upon any blefing, rather as it is the bounty as a propriety of distinction, to say, when we of heaven than the acquisition of our owil pru- would speak of persons to their advantage, they dence. I am very well pleated with a medai that are people of condition. There is no doubt but