網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版
[ocr errors]

·lustre of beauty, can distribute an eye of proper I complaisance to a room crowded with company, • each of which deserves particular regard : while 6 the other sneaks from conversation, like a fearful

debtor, who never dares to look out, but when he can see nobody, and nobody him. • The next instance of optics is the famous Argus, who, to speak the language of Cambridge, was • one of an hundred ; and being used as a spy in the • affairs of jealousy, was obliged to have all his eyes ( about him. We have no account of the particular I colours, casts and turns of this body of eyes ; but

as he was pimp for his mistress Juno, it is probable ' he used all the modern leers, sly glances, and other o ocular activities to serve his purpose. Some look

upon him as the then king at arms to the heathen• ish deities ; and make no more of his eyes than so many spangles of his herald's coat.

• The next upon the optic list is old Janus, who • stood in a double-sighted capacity, like a person • placed betwixt two opposite looking-glasses, and so • took a sort of retrospective cast at one view. Copies • of this double-faced way are not yet out of fashion o with many professions, and the ingenious artists • pretend to keep up this species by double-headed

canes and spoons, but there is no mark of this fa' culty, except in the emblematical way of a wise “ general having an eye to both front and rear, or a • pious man taking a review and prospect of his past 6 and future state at the same time.

+ I must own, that the names, colours, qualities, 6 and turns of eyes vary almost in every head ; for, • not to mention ihe common appellations of the black,

the blue, the white, the gray, and the like ; the most 6 remarkable are those that borrow their titles from • animals, by virtue of some particular quality of re6 semblance they bear to the eyes of the

respective • creatures : as that of a greedy rapacious aspect

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

takes it's name from the cat, that of a sharp piercing nature from the hawk, those of an amorous roguish look derive their title even from the sheep, and we say such an one has a sheep's eye, not so much to denote the innocence as the simple slyness of the cast : nor is this metaphorical inoculation a modern invention, for we find Homer taking the freedom to place the eye of an ox, bull, or cow in one of his principal goddesses, by that frequent expression of

Βοώπις τοτυια "Ηρη.........

" The ox-ey'd venerable Juno."

Now as to the peculiar qualities of the eye, that fine part of our constitution seems as much the ' reception and seat of our passions, appetites, and • inclinations as the mind itself; and at least it is as " the outward portal to introduce them to the house

within, or rather the common thoroughfare to let

our affections pass in and out. Love, anger, pride, i and avarice, all visibly move in those little orbs. • I know a young lady that cannot see a certain gen

tleman pass by without shewing a secret desire of 6. seeing him again by a dance in her eye-ball ; nay,

she cannot for the heart of her, help looking half a street's length after any man in a gay dress.

cannot behold a covetous spirit walk by a gold( smith's shop without casting a wishful eye at the • heaps upon the counter. Does not a haughty per

son shew the temper of his soul in the supercilious 6 roll of his eye? and how frequently in the height • of passion, does that moving picture in our head

start and stare, gather a redness and quick flashes of lightning, and makes all it's humours sparkle with fire, as Virgil finely describes it.

You

6

6

Ardentis ab ore
“ Scintillæ absistunt: oculis micat acribus ignis.

VIRG.

16 ........... From his wide nostrils flies
A fiery stream, and sparkles from his eyes.”

DRYDEN.

[ocr errors]

( As for the various turns of the eye-sight, such as the voluntary or involuntary, the half or the r whole leer, I shall not enter into a very particular ( account of them, but let me observe, that oblique 6 vision when natural, was anciently the mark of be

witchery and magical fascination, and to this day

it is a malignant ill look ; but when it is forced and • affected, it carries a wanton design, and in play

houses, and other public places, this ocular inti• mation is often an assignation for bad practices ; • but this irregularity in vision, together with such

enormities as tipping the wink, the circumspective ' roll, the side-peep through a thin hood or fan, must

be put in the class of heteroptics, as all wrong no• tions of religion are ranked under the general name • of heterodox. All the pernicious applications of sight are more immediately under the direction of

a Spectator; and I hope you will arm your readers ' against the mischiefs which are daily done by kill• ing eyes, in which you will highly oblige your 6 wounded unknown friend,

IT. B.

6

Mr. Spectator,

YOU professed in several papers your particular • endeavours in the province of Spectator, to correct " the offence committed by starers who disturb whole

assemblies without any regard to time, place, or

modesty. You complained also that a starer is not I usually a person to be convinced by the reason of • the thing, nor so easily rebuked, as to amend by

a

• you

( admonitions. I thought therefore fit to acquaint

with a convenient mechanical way, which may • easily prevent or correct staring, by an optical con• trivance of new perspective glasses, short and com• modious like opera-glasses, fit for short-sighted * people as well as others, these glasses making the • objects appear, either as they are seen by the naked • eye, or more distinct, though somewhat less than • life, or bigger and nearer. A person may, by the • help of this invention, take a view of another, with« out the impertinence of staring ; at the same time • it shall not be possible to know whom or whai hie • is looking at. One may look towards his right or « left hand when he is supposed to look forwards : < this is set forth at large in the printed proposals for • the sale of these glasses, to be had at Mr, Dillon's « in Long-Acre, next door to the White-Hart. Now, • Sir, as your Spectator has occasioned the publish• ing of this invention for the benefit of modest

spectators, the inventor desires your admonitions ( concerning the decent use of it; and hopes by ( your recommendation, that for the future beauty

may be beheld without the torture and confusion ! which it suffers from the insolence of starers. By « this means you will relieve the innocent from an in• sult which there is no law to punish, though it is a

greater offence than many which are within the • cognizance of justice.

I am, Sir,
6 Your most humble servant,

( ABRAHAM Spy.'

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

No. CCLI. TUESDAY, DECEMBER 18.

.........Linguæ centum sunt, oraque centum,
Ferrea vox......

VIRG.

........A hundred mouths, a hundred tongues,
And throats of brass inspir'd with iron lungs.

DRYDEN.

THERE is nothing which more astonishes a foreigner, and frights a country 'squire, than the cries of London. My good friend Sir Roger often declares, that he cannot get them out of his head, or go to sleep for them, the first week that he is in town. On the contrary, Will Honeycomb calls them the Ramage de la Ville, and prefers them to the sounds of larks and nightingales, with all the music of the fields and woods. I have lately received letter from some very odd fellow upon this subject, which I shall leave with my reader without saying any thing further of it.

« SIR,

• I AM a man of all business, and would willingly • turn my head to any thing for an honest livelihood. * I have invented several projects for raising many • millions of money without burdening the subject, " but I cannot get the parliament to listen to me, 6 who look upon me, forsooth, as a crack, and a pro

jector; so that despairing to enrich either myself

or my country by this public-spiritedness, I would • make some proposals to you relating to a design 6 which I have very much at heart, and which may procure me a handsome subsistence, if

you will be • pleased to recommend it to the cities of London I and Westminster.

• The post I would aim at, is to be comptrollergeneral of the London cries, which are at present

6

VOL. III.

GS

« 上一頁繼續 »