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will never meet their eyes without reviving the thought of some past or future party, and who may be displayed in the act of dealing with grace and propriety.
But the bracelet which might be most easily introduced into general use is a small convex mirror, in which the lady may see herself whenever she shall lift her hand. This will be a perpetual source of delight. Other ornaments are of use only in publick, but this will furnish gratifications to solitude. This will shew a face that must always please; she who is followed by admirers will carry about her a perpetual justification of the publick voice; and she who passes without notice may appeal from prejudice to her own eyes.
But I know not why the privilege of the bracelet should be confined to women; it was in former ages worn by heroes in battle ; and as modern soldiers are always distinguished by splendour of dress, I should rejoice to see the bracelet added to the cockade.
In hope of this ornamental innovation, I have spent some thoughts upon military bracelets. There is no passion more heroick than love; and therefore I should be glad to see the sons of England marching in the field, every man with the picture of a woman of honour bound upon his hand. But since in the army, as every where else; there will always be men who love nobody but themselves, or whom no woman of honour will permit to love her, there is a necessity of some other distinctions and devices.
I have read of a prince who, having lost a town, ordered the name of it to be every morning shouted in his ear till it should be recovered. For the same purpose I think the prospect of Minorca might be properly worn on the hands of some of our generals: others might delight their countrymen, and dignify themselves, with a view of Rochfort as it appeared to them at sea: and those that shall return from the conquest of America, may exhibit the warehouse of Frontenac, with an inscription denoting, that it was taken in less than three years by less than twenty thousand men.
I am, Sir, &c.
N° 40. SATURDAY, January 20, 1759. The practice of appending to the narratives of publick transactions more minute and domestick intelligence, and filling the newspapers with advertisements, has grown up by slow degrees to its present state.
Genius is shewn only by invention. The man who first took advantage of the general curiosity that was excited by a siege or battle, to betray the readers of news into the knowledge of the shop where the best puffs and powder were to be sold, was undoubtedly a man of
great sagacity, and profound skill in the nature of man. But when he had once shewn the way, it was easy to follow him; and every man now knows a ready method of informing the publick of all that he desires to buy or sell, whether his wares be material or intellectual; whether he makes clothes or teaches the mathematicks; whether he be a tutor that wants a pupil, or a pupil that wants a tutor.
Whatever is common is despised. Advertisements are now so numerous that they are very negligently perused, and it is therefore become necessary to gain attention by magnificence of promises, and by eloquence sometimes sublime and sometimes pathetick.
Promise, large promise, is the soul of an advertisement. remember a wash-ball that had a quality truly wonderful—It gave an exquisite edge to the razor. And there are now to be sold for ready money only, some duvets for bed-coverings, of down, beyond comparison superior to what is called otter-down, and indeed such, that its many excellencies cannot be here set forth. With one excellence we are made acquainted - it is warmer than four or five blankets, and lighter than one.
There are some, however, that know the prejudice of mankind in favour of modest sincerity. The vender of the beautifying fluid sells a lotion that repels pimples, washes away freckles, smooths the skin, and plumps the flesh; and yet, with a generous abhorrence of ostentation,
confesses, that it will not restore the bloom of fifteen to a lady of fifty.
The true pathos of advertisements must have sunk deep into the heart of every man that remembers the zeal shewn by the seller of the anodyne necklace, for the ease and safety of poor toothing infants, and the affection with which he warned every mother, that she would never forgive herself if her infant should perish without a necklace.
I cannot but remark to the celebrated authour, who gave in his notifications of the camel and dromedary, so many specimens of the genuine sublime, that there is now arrived another subject yet more worthy of his pen. A famous Mohawk Indian warrior, who took Dieskaw the French general prisoner, dressed in the same manner with the native Indians when they go to war, with his face and body painted, with his scalping-knife, tom-ar, and all other implements of war! a sight worthy the curiosity of every true Briton! This is a very powerful description; but a critick of great refinement would say, that it conveys
rather horrour than terrour. An Indian, dressed as he goes to war, may bring company together; but if he carries the scalping-knife and tom-ax, there are many true Britons that will never be persuaded to see him but through a grate.
It has been remarked by the severer judges, that the salutary sorrow of tragick scenes is too soon effaced by the merriment of the epilogue; the same inconvenience arises from the improper distribution of advertisements. The noblest objects may be so associated as to be made ridiculous. The camel and dromedary themselves might have lost much of their dignity between true flower of mustard and the original Dafy's elirir ; and I could not but feel some indignation when I found this illustrious Indian warrior immediately succeeded by a fresh parcel of Dublin butter.
The trade of advertising is now so near to perfection, that it is not easy to propose any improvement. But as every art ought to be exercised in due subordination to
the publick good, I cannot but propose it as a moral question to these masters of the publick ear, Whether they do not sometimes play too wantonly with our passions, as when the registrar of our lottery tickets invites us to his shop by an account of the prize which he sold last year ; and whether the advertising controvertists do not indulge asperity of language without any adequate provocation ; as in the dispute about straps for razors, now happily subsided, and in the altercation which at present subsists concerning eau de luce ?
In an advertisement it is allowed to every man to speak well of himself, but I know not why he should assume the privilege of censuring his neighbour. He may proclaim his own virtue or skill, but ought not to exclude others from the same pretensions.
Every man that advertises his own excellence should write with some consciousness of a character which dares to call the attention of the publick. He should remember that his name is to stand in the same paper with those of the king of Prussia and the emperor of Germany, and endeavour to make himself worthy of such association.,
Some regard is likewise to be paid to posterity. There are men of diligence and curiosity who treasure up the papers of the day merely because others neglect them, and in time they will be scarce.
When these collections shall be read in another century, how will numberless contradictions be reconciled? and how shall fame be possibly distributed among the tailors and boddice-makers of the present age?
Surely these things deserve consideration. It is enough for me to have hinted my desire that these abuses may be rectified; but such is the state of nature, that what all have the right of doing, many will attempt without sufficient care or due qualifications.
No 41. SATURDAY, January 27, 1759. The following letter relates to an affliction perhaps not necessary to be imparted to the publick; but I could not persuade myself to suppress it, because I know the sentiments to be sincere, and I feel no disposition to provide for this day any other entertainment.
At tu quisquis eris, miseri qui cruda poeta
Credideris fletu funera digna tuo,
Lenis inoffenso vitaque morsque gradu. MR. IDLER, NorwITHSTANDING the warnings of philosophers, and the daily examples of losses and misfortunes which life forces upon our observation, such is the absorption of our thoughts in the business of the present day, such the resignation of our reason to empty hopes of future felicity, or such our unwillingness to foresee what we dread, that every calamity comes suddenly upon us, and not only presses us as a burden, but crushes as a blow. - There are evils which happen out of the common course of nature, against which it is no reproach not to be provided. A flash of lightning intercepts the traveller in his way. The concussion of an earthquake heaps the ruins of cities upon their inhabitants. But other miseries time brings, though silently yet visibly, forward by its even Japse, which yet approach us unseen because we turn our eyes away, and seize us unresisted because we could not arm ourselves against them but by setting them before us.
That it is yain to shrink from what cannct be avoided, and to hide that from ourselves which must some time be found, is a truth which we all know, but which all neglect, and perhaps none more than the speculative reasoner, whose thoughts are always from home, whose eye wanders over life, whose fancy dances over meteors of happiness kindled by himself, and who examines every thing rather than his own state.
Nothing is more evident than that the decays of age