« 上一頁繼續 »
public; a pleasure so great, that none but those who have experienced it can have a sense of it. In this manner of viewing those papers, I really found I had not done them justice, there being something so extremely natural and peculiarly good in some of them, that I will appeal tu the world whether it was possible to alter a word in them without doing them a manifest hurt and violence, and whether they can ever appear rightly, and as they ought, but in their own native dress and colours. And therefore I think I should not only wrong then, but deprive the world of a considerable satisfaction, should I any longer delay the making them public.
After I have published a few of these Spectators, I doubt not but I shall find the success of them to equal, if not surpass, that of the best of my own. An author should take all methods to humble himself in the opinion he has of his own performances. When those papers appear to the world, I doubt not but they will be followed by many others; and I shall not repine, though I myself shall have left me but a very few days to appear in public; but, preferring the general weal and advantage to any considerations of myself, I am resolved for the future to publish any Spectator that deserves it entire, and without any alteration; assuring the world (if there can be need of it) that it is none of mine; and if the authors think fit to Subscribe their names, I will add them. I think the best way of promoting this generous
and useful design will be by giving out subjects or themes of all kinds whatsoever, on which (with a preamble of the extraordinary benefit and advantage that may accrue thereby to the public) I will invite all manner of persons, whether scholars, citizens, courtiers, gentlemen of the town or country, and all beaux, rakes, smarts, prudes, coquettes, housewives, and all sorts of wits, whether male or female, and however distinguished, whether they be true wits, whole or half wits, or whether arch, dry, natural, acquired, genuine, or depraved wits; and persons of all sorts of tempers and complexions, whether the severe, the delightful, the impertinent, the agreeable, the thoughtful, busy or careless, the serene or cloudy, jovial or melancholy, untowardly or easy, the cold, temperate, or sanguine; and of what manners or dispositions soever, whe
ther the ambitious or humble-minded, the proud or pitiful, ingenuous or base-minded, good or ill-natured, publicspirited or selfish ; and under what fortune or circumstance soever, whether the contented or miserable, happy or unfortunate, high or low, rich or poor (whether so through want of money, or desire of more), healthy or sickly, married or single ; nay, whether tall or short, fat or lean; and of what trade, occupation, profession, station, country, faction, party, persuasion, quality, age, or condition soever; who have ever made thinking a part of their business or diversion, and have any thing worthy to impart on these subjects to the world according to their several and respective talents or geniuses; and, as the subjects given out hit their tempers, humours, or circumstances, or may be made profitable to the public by their particular knowledge or experience in the matter proposed, to do their utmost on them by such a time, to the end they may receive the inexpressible and irresistible pleasure of seeing their essays allowed of and relished by the rest of mankind.
I will not prepossess the reader with too great expectation of the extraordinary advantages which must redound to the public by these essays, when the different thoughts and observations of all sorts of persons, according to their quality, age, sex, education, professions, humours, manners, and conditions, &c. shall be set out by themselves in the clearest and most genuine light, and as they themselves would wish to have them appear to the world.
The thesis proposed for the present exercise of the adventurers to write Spectators, is Money; on which subject all persons are desired to send in their thoughts within ten days after the date hereof.
N° 443. TUESDAY, JULY 29, 1712.
CAMILLA* TO THE SPECTATOR.
Venice, July 10, N.Ş.
spicuous persons of your nation are within your cognizance, though out of the dominions of Great Britain. I little thought, in the green years of my life, that I should ever call it a happiness to be out of dear England; but as I
grew to woman, I found myself less acceptable in proportion to the increase of my merit. Their ears in Italy are so differently formed from the make of yours in England, that I never come upon the stage, but a general satisfaction appears in every countenance of the whole people. When I dwell upon a note, I behold all the men accompanying me with heads inclining, and falling of their persons on one side, as dying away with me. The women too do justice to my merit, and no ill-natured worthless creature cries, The vain thing,' when I am rapt up in the performance of my part, and sensibly touched with the effect my voice has upon all who hear. me.
I live here distinguished as one whom nature has been liberal to in a graceful person, and exalted mien, and heavenly voice. These particularities in this strange country are arguments for respect and generosity to her who is possessed of them. The Italians see a thousand beauties I am sensible I have no pretence to, and abundantly make up to me the injustice I received in my own country, of disallowing me what I really had. The humour of hissing, which you have among you, I do not know any thing of; and their applauses are uttered in sighs, and bearing a part at the cadences of voice with the persons who are performing. I am often put in mind of those complaisant lines of my own countryman,t when he is calling all his faculties together to hear Arabella. * Mrs. Tofts, who played the part of Camilla in the opera of that
+ Mr. Congreve.
Let all be hush'd, each softest motion cease,
Be softly staid :
Let me be all, but my attention, dead. “ The whole city of Venice is as still when I am singing as this polite hearer was to Mrs. Hunt. But when they break that silence, did you know the pleasure I am in, when every man utters his applause by calling me aloud, • The dear creature! The angel! The Venus! What attitudes she moves with !-Hush, she sings again!' We have no boisterous wits who dare disturb an audience, and break the public peace merely to shew they dare. Mr. Spectator, I write this to you thus in haste, to tell you I am so very much at ea here, that I know nothing but joy; and I will not return, but leave you in England to hiss all merit of your own growth off the stage. I know, Sir, you were always my admirer, and therefore I am yours,
« CAMILLA. " P.S. I am ten times better dressed than ever I was in England.”
“MR. SPECTATOR, “ The project in yours of the 11th instant, of furthering the correspondence and knowledge of that considerable part of mankind, the trading world, cannot but be highly commendable. Good lectures to young
have very good effects on their conduct : but beware you propagate no false notions of trade: let none of your correspondents impose on the world by putting forth base methods in a good light, and glazing them over with improper terms.
I would have no means of profit set for copies to others, but such as are laudable in themselves. Let not noise be called industry, nor impudence courage, Let not good fortune be imposed on the world for good management, nor poverty be called folly ; imputé not always bankruptcy to extravagance, nor an estate to fore
sight. Niggardliness is not good husbandry, nor generosity profusion.
“ Honestus is a well-meaning and judicious trader, hath substantial goods, and trades with his own stock, husbands his money to the best advantage, without taking all the advantages of the necessities of his workmen, or grinding the face of the poor. Fortunatus is stocked with ignorance, and consequently with self-opinion; the quality of his goods cannot but be suitable to that of his judgment. Honestus pleases discerning people, and keeps their custom by good usage; makes modest profit by modest means, to the decent support of his family; whilst Fortunatus, blustering always, pushes on, promising much and performing little; with obsequiousness offensive to people of sense, strikes at all, catches much the greater part, and raises a considerable fortune by imposition on others, to the discouragement and ruin of those who trade in the same way.
* I give here but loose hints, and beg you to be very circumspect in the province you have now undertaken: if you perform it successfully, it will be a very great good; for nothing is more wanting than that mechanic industry were set forth with the freedom and greatness of mind which ought always to accompany a man of a liberal education.
" Your humble servant,
“ R. C. “ From my shop under the Royal Exchange, July 14." “ MR. SPECTATOR,
July 24, 1712. “ Notwithstanding the repeated censures that your spectatorial wisdom has passed upon people more remarkable for impudence than wit, there are yet some remaining, who pass with the giddy part of mankind for sufficient sharers of the latter, who have nothing but the former qualification to recommend them. Another timely animadversion is absolutely necessary: be pleased, therefore, once for all, to let these gentlemen know, that there is neither mirth nor good-humour in hooting a young fellow out of countenance; nor that it will ever constitute a wit, to conclude a tart piece of buffoonery with a What makes you blush?'. Pray please to inform them again, that to speak what they know is shocking proceeds from