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laughter. Milton in a joyous assembly of imaginary persons, bas given us a very poetical figure of laughter. His whole band of mirth, is so finely described, that I shall set down the passage at length.
“ But come thou goddess fair and free,
Quips and cranks, and wanton wiles,
Sport that.wrinkled Care derides,
No. CCL, MONDAY, DECEMBER 17.
Disce docendus adhuc, quæ censet amiculus, ut si
Yet hear what thy unskilful friend can say,
Mr. Spectator, • YOU see the nature of my request by the Latin motto which I address to you. I am very sensible I ought not to use many words to you, who are one of but few ; but the following piece, as it re
lates to speculation in propriety of speech, being a ( curiosity in it's kind, begs your patience. It was • found in a poetical virtuoso's closet among his ra(rities; and since the several treatises of thumbs,
ears, and noses, have obliged the world, this of eyes is at your service.
• The first eye of consequence, under the invisi•ble Author of all, is the visible luminary of the
universe. This glorious spectator is said never to
open his eyes at his rising in the morning, without • having a whole kingdom of adorers in Persian silk
waiting at his levee. Millions of cre tures derive • their sight from this original, who, besides his be• ing the great director of optics, is the surest test ( whether
eyes be of the same species with that of an eagle, or that of an owl : the one he emboldens 6 with a manly assurance to look, speak, act or plead
before the faces of a numerous assembly : the
other he dazzles out of countenance into a sheepish • dejectedness. The sun-proof eye dares lead up a 6 dance in a full court; and without blinking at the
lustre of beauty, can distribute an eye
proper I complaisance to a room crowded with company,
each of which deserves particular regard : while . 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 6 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 6 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
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 " and future state at the same time.
+ I must own, that the names, colours, qualities, " and turns of eyes vary almost in every head; for, • not to mention the common appellations of the black,
the blue, the white, the gray, and the like ; the most « 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
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-cy'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 o 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. You • 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 o start and stare, gather a redness and quick flashes 6 of lightning, and makes all it's humours sparkle
with fire, as Virgil finely describes it.
" ........Ardentis ab ore
...From his wide nostrils flies
• 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 - 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 o 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 ( wounded unknown friend,
- 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 ( usually a person to be convinced by the reason of • the thing, nor so easily rebuked, as to amend by