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parts, I desire, if you give him motion or speech, that
you would advance me in my way, and let me keep on ' in what I humbly presume I am a master; to wit, in
representing human and still life together. I have fe• veral times acted one of the finest flower-pots in the • same opera wherein Mr. Screne is a chair; therefore,
upon his promotion, request that I may succeed him in • the hangings, with my hand in the orange-trees.
• Your humble servant,
• RALPH SIMPLE.'
Drury-Lane, March 24, 1710-11. "I SAW
your friend the Templar this evening in the • pit, and thought he looked very little pleased with • the representation of the mad scene of the Pilgrim. I ' with, Sir, you would do us the favour to animadvert
frequently upon the false taste the town is in, with re• lation to plays as well as operas. It certainly requires
a degree of understanding to play justly; but such is
our condition, that we are to suspend our reason to per' form our parts. As to scenes of madness, you know, • Sir, there are noble instances of this kind in Shake.
spear; but then it is the disturbance of a noble mind,
from generous and humane resentments; it is like that ' grief which we have for the decease of our friends ; it
is no diminution but a recommendation of human na
ture, that in such incidents pallion gets the better of • reason; and all we can think to comfort ourselves, is
impotent against half what we feel. I will not men• tion that we had an idiot in the scene, and all the sense ' it is represented to have is that of luft. As for myself, • who have long taken pains in personating the passions,
I have to-night acted only an appetite. played is thirst; but it is represented as written rather
by a drayman than a poet. I come in with a tub • about me; that tub hung with quart-pots, with a full • gallon at my mouth. I am ashamed to tell you that
• I pleated
• I pleased very much, and this was introduced as a mad• nefs; but sure it was not human madness, for a mule or an ass
have been as dry as ever I was in my o life.
. I am, Sir,
6 Your most obedient and humble servant.'
• Mr. Spektator,
From the Savoy in the Strand. : • IF you can read it with dry eyes, I give you this • trouble to acquaint you, that I am the unfortunate • king Latinus; and believe I am the first prince that • dated from this palace since John of Gaunt. Such is • the uncertainty of all human greatness, that I, who • lately never moved without a guard, am now pressed as
a common soldier, and am to fail with the first fair • wind against my brother Lewis of France. It is a
very hard thing to put off a character which one has • appeared in with applause : this I experienced since the • loss of my diadem ; for, upon quarrelling with an• other recruit, I spoke my indignation out of my part « in recitativo:
Most audacious slave,
The words were no sooner out of my mouth, when a
serjeant knocked me down, and asked me if I had a • mind to mutiny, in talking things nobody understood. • You fee, Sir, my unhappy circumstances; and if by
you can procure a subsidy for a prince (who never failed to make all that beheld him merry at his appearance) you will merit the thanks of
• Your friend,
• The King of LATIUM.'
FOR THE GOOD OF THE PUBLIC.
" Within two doors of the Masquerade lives an emi.
nent Italian Chirurgeon, arrived from the Carnival at “ Venice, of great experience in private cures. Accom “ modations are provided, and persons admitted in their
masquing habits. “ He has cured since his coming hither, in less than
a fortuight, four Scaramouches, a Mountebank. “ Doctor, two Turkish Baisas, three Nuns, and a More
а 66 ris-dancer.
" Venienti occurrite morbo. “ N. B. Any person may agree by the great, and be “ kept in repair by the year. The doctor draws teeth “ without pulling off your mask.”
No. XXIII. TUESDAY, MARCH 27.
Sævit atrox Volfcens, nec teli conspicit usquam
Fierce Volscens foams with rage, and, gazing round,
THERE is nothing that more betrays a base ungener
ous fpirit, than the giving of secret stabs to a man's reputation. Lampoons and satires that are written with wit and spirit, are like poisoned darts, which not only inflict a wound, but make it incurable. For this reason I am very much troubled when I see the talents of hu. mour and ridicule in the possession of an ill-natured man. There cannot be a greater gratification to a barbarous and inhuman wit, than to stir up forrow in the heart of a private person, to raise uneasiness among near relations, and to expose whole families to derifion, at the fame time that he remains unfeen and undiscovered. If, besides
the accomplishments of being witty and ill-natured, a man is vicious into the bargain, he is one of the most mischievous creatures that can enter into a civil society. His fatire will then chiefly fall upon those who ought to be the most exempt from it. Virtue, merit, and every thing that is praiseworthy, will be made the subject of ridicule and buffoonry. It is impoffible to enumerate the evils which arise from these arrows that fiy in the dark; and I know no other excuse that is or can be made for them, than that the wounds thcy give are only imaginary, and produce nothing more than a secret tháme or forrow in the mind of the suffering person. It must indeed be confessed, that a lampoon or fatire do not carry in them robu bery or murder; but at the same time, how many are there that would not rather lose a considerable sum of money, or even life itself, than be fet up as a mark of infamy and derision! and in this case a man should confider, that an injury is not to be measured by the notions of him that gives, but of him who receives it.
Those who can put the best countenance upon the outrages of this pature which are offered thein, are not without their secret anguith. I have often observed a passage in Socrates's behaviour at his death, in a light wherein none of the critics have considered it. That excellent man, entertaining his friends a little before be drank the bowl of poison, with a discourse on the immortality of the soul, at his entering upon it, says, that he does not believe any the most comic genius can censure him for talking upon such a subject at such a time. This passage, I think, evidently glances upon Aristophanes, who writ a comedy on purpose to ridicule the discourses of that divine philosopher. It has been observed by many writers, that Socrates was so little moved at this piece of buffoonry, that he was several times present at its being acted upon the stage, and never expressed the least resente ment of it. But with fubmillion, I think the remark I have here made news us, that this unworthy treatment made an impression upon his mind, though Me had been too wise to discover it. When Julius Cæsar was lampooned by Catullus, he
invited him to a fupper, and treated him with such a generous civility, that he made the poet his friend ever after. Cardinal Mazarine gave the same kind treatinent to the learned Quillet, who had reflected upon his emi. nence in a famous Latin poem. The Cardinal fent for him, and after some kind expoftulations upon what he had written, assured him of his esteem, and difinifled him with a promise of the next good abbey that should fall; which he accordingly conferred upon him in a few months after. This had good an effect upon the author, that he dedicated the second edition of his book to the Cardinal, after having expunged the passages which had given him offence.
Sextus Quintus was not of fo generous and forgiving a temper. Upon his being made Pope, the statue of Palo quin was one night dressed in a very dirty shirt, with an excuse written under it, that he was forced to wear foul linen, because his laundrefs was made a princess. This was a reflection upon the Pope's fifter, who, before the promotion of her brother, was in those mean circumstances that Pasquin represented her. As this pasquinade made a great noise in Rome, the Pope offered a confiderable fun of money to any perfon that should discover the author of it. The author relying upon his Holiness's generosity, as also on fome private overtures which he had received from him, made the discovery himself; upon which the Pope gave him the reward he had promised, but at the fame time, to disable the satirist for the future, ordered bis tongue to be cut out, ard both his hands to be chopped off. Aretine is too trite an instance. Every one knows that all the kings in Europe were his tributaries. Nay, there is a letter of his extant, in which he makes his boasts that he had laid the Sophi of Persia under contribution.
Though in the various examples which I have here drawn together, these several great men behaved themselves very differently towards the wits of the age who had reproached them, they all of them plainly thewed that they were very sensible of their reproaches, and confequently that they received them as very great injuries.