網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

volumes, which he is ready to publish, having already disposed of as large an edition both of the first and second volume. As he is a person whose head is very

well turned to his business, he thinks they would be a very proper present to be made to persons at christenings, marriages, visiting days, and the like joyful solemnities, as several other books are frequently given at funerals. He has printed them in such a little portable volume, that many of them may be ranged together upon a single plate; and is of opinion, that a salver of Spectators would be as acceptable an entertainment to the ladies as a salver of sweetmeats.

I shall conclude this paper with an epigram lately sent to the writer of the Spectator, after having returned my thanks to the ingenious author of it:

“SIR,

“Having heard the following epigram very much commended, I wonder that it has not yet had a place in any of your papers; I think the suffrage of our poet-laureat should not be overlooked, which shews the opinion he entertains of your paper, whether the notion he proceeds upon be true or false. I make bold to convey it to you, not knowing if it has yet come to your hands.'

ON THE SPECTATOR.

BY MR. TATE.

-Aliusque et idem
Nasceris Hor. Carm. Sæc. 10.

You rise another and the same.
When first the Tatler to a mute was turn'd,
Great Britain for her censor's silence mourn'd;
Robb'd of his sprightly beams, she wept the night,
Till the Spectator rose, and blaz'd as bright.
So the first man the sun's first setting view'd,
And sigh'd till circling day his joys renewid.
Yet, doubtful how that second sun to name,
Whether a bright successor, or the same,
So we: but now from this suspense are freed,
Since all agree, who both with judgment read,
'Tis the same sun, and does himself succeed.

0.

“U

N° 489. SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 1712.

-Βαθυρρείταο μέγα σθένος 'Ωκεανοϊο. -ΗοΜ,

The mighty force of ocean's troubled flood. “SIR, TPON reading your essay concerning the pleasures

of the Imagination, I find, among the three sources of those pleasures which you have discovered, that greatness is one. This has suggested to me the reason why, of all objects that I have ever seen, there is none which affects my imagination so much as the sea, or ocean. I cannot see the heavings of this prodigious bulk of waters, even in a calm without a very pleasing astonishment; but when it is worked up in a tempest, so that the horizon on every side is nothing but foaming billows and floating mountains, is is impossible to describe the agreeable horror that rises from such a prospect. A troubled ocean, to a man who sails upon it, is, I think, the biggest object that he can see in motion, and consequently gives his imagination one of the highest kinds of pleasure that can arise from greatness. I must confess it is impossible for me to survey this world of fluid matter, without thinking on the hand that first poured it out, and made a proper channel for its reception. Such an object naturally raises in my thoughts the idea of an Almighty Being, and convinces me of his existence as much as a metaphysical demonstration. The imagination prompts the understanding, and, by the greatness of the sensible object, produces in it the idea of a Being who is neither circumscribed by time nor space;

“As I have made several voyages upon the sea, I have often been tossed in storms, and on that occasion have frequently reflected on the descriptions of them in ancient poets. I remember Longinus highly recommends one in Homer, because the poet has not amused himsef with little fancies upon the occasion, as authors of an inferior genius, whom he mentions, had done, but because he has gathered together those circumstances which are the most apt to terrify the imagination, and which really happen in the raging of a tempest. It is for the same reason that I

prefer the following description of a ship in a storm, which the Psalmist has made, before any other I have ever met with : : They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; these see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths; their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit's end. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then they are glad, because they be quiet, so he bringeth them unto their desired haven."*

“By the way, how much more comfortable, as well as rational, is this system of the Psalmist, than the pagan scheme in Virgil and other poets, where one deity is represented as raising a storm, and another as laying it! Were we only to consider the sublime in this piece of poetry, what can be nobler than the idea it gives us of the Supreme Being thus raising a tumult among the elements, and recovering them out of their confusion; thus troubling and becalming nature ?

“Great painters do not only give us landscapes of gardens, groves, and meadows, but very often employ their pencils upon sea-pieces. I could wish you would follow their example. If this small sketch may deserve a place among your works, I shall accompany it with a divine ode made by a gentleman upon the conclusion of his travels.

I.
How are thy servants blest! O Lord!

How sure is their defence!
Eternal wisdom is their guide,
Their help Omnipotence.

II.
In foreign realms and lands remote,

Supported by thy care,
Through burning climes I pass'd unhurt,

And breath'd in tainted air.

• Ps. cvii. 23. et seqq.

every soil,

III.
Thy mercy

sweeten'd
Made every region please :
The hoary Alpine hills it warm’d,
And smooth'd the Tyrrhene seas.

IV.
Think, O my soul, devoutly think,

How, with affrighted eyes,
Thou saw'st the wide extended deep
In all its horrors rise !

V.
Confusion dwelt in ev'ry face,

And fear in ev'ry heart;
When waves on waves, and gulfs in gulfs,
O'ercame the pilot's art.

VI.
Yet then from all my griefs, O Lord,

Thy mercy set me free,
Whilst, in the confidence of prayer,
My soul took hold on thee.

VII.
For though in dreadful whirls we hung,

High on the broken wave,
I knew thou wert not slow to hear,
Nor impotent to save.

VIII.
The storm was laid, the winds retir'd,

Obedient to thy will;
The sea that roar'd at thy command,
At thy command was still.

IX.
In midst of dangers, fears, and death,

Thy goodness I'll adore,
And praise thee for thy mercies past,
And humbly hope for more.

X.
My life, if thou preserv'st my life,

Thy sacrifice shall be;
And death, if death must be my doom,

Shall join my soul to thee.

0.

N° 490. MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 1712.

Domus et placens uxor.—Hor. 2 Od. xiv. 21.

Thy house and pleasing wife.-Creech.
HAVE
I

very long entertained an ambition to make the word wife the most agreeable and delightful name in nature. If it be not so in itself, all the wiser part of mankind, from the beginning of the world to this day, has consented in an error. But our unhappiness in England has been, that a few loose men, of genius for pleasure, have turned it all to the gratification of ungoverned desires, in despite of good sense, form, and order; when, in truth, any satisfaction beyond the boundaries of reason is but a step towards madness and folly. But is the sense of joy and accomplishment of desire no way to be indulged or attained ? And have we appetites given us not to be at all gratified ? Yes, certainly. Marriage is an institution calculated for a constant scene of as much delight as our being is capable of. Two persons who have chosen each other out of all the species, with design to be each other's mutual comfort and entertainment, have in that action bound themselves to be good-humoured, affable, discreet, forgiving, patient, and joyful, with respect to each other's frailties and perfections, to the end of their lives. The wiser of the two (and it always happens one of them is such) will, for her or his own sake, keep things from outrage with the utmost sanctity. When this union is thus preserved (as I have often said), the most indifferent circumstance administers delight. Their condition is an

source of

e of new gratifications. The married man can say, “ If I am unacceptable to all the world beside, there is one whom I entirely love, that will receive me with joy and transport, and think herself obliged to double her kindness and caresses of me from the gloom with which she sees me overcast. I need not dissemble the sorrow of my heart to be agreeable there; that very sorrow quick, ens her affection.”

This passion towards each other, when once well fixed, enters into the very constitution, and the kindness flows as easily and silently as the blood in the veins. When

endless sout

« 上一頁繼續 »