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from the town to the country, and enjoy that mixed state which wise men both delight in, and are qualified for. Methinks most of the philosophers and moralists have run too much into extremes, in praising entirely either solitude or public life; in the former, men generally grow useless by too much rest, and in the latter are destroyed by too much precipitation: as waters lying still, putrefy and are good for nothing; and running violently on, do but the more mischief in their passage to others, and are swallowed up and lost the sooner themselves. Those who, like you, can make themselves useful to all states, should be like gentle streams, that not only glide through lonely vales and forests amidst the flocks and shepherds, but visit populous towns in their course; and are at once of ornament and service to them. But there is another sort of people who seem designed for solitude, those I mean who have more to hide than to show: as for my own part, I am one of those of whom Seneca says, Tam umbratiles sunt, ut putent in turbido esse quicquid in luce est.
Some men, like pictures, are fitter for a corner than a full light; and I believe such as have a natural bent to solitude, are like waters which may be forced into fountains, and exalted to a great height, may make a much nobler figure, and a much louder noise; but after all run more smoothly, equally, and plentifully, in_their own natural course upon the ground. The consideration of this would make me very
well contented with the possession only of that quiet which Cowley calls the companion of obscurity; but whoever has the muses too for his companions, can never be idle enough to be
uneasy. Thus, sir, you see I would flatter myself into a good opinion of my own way of living. Plutarch just now told me, that it is in human life as in a game at tables, one may wish he had the highest cast; but if his chance be otherwise, he is even to play it as well as he can, and make the best of it. I am, Sir,
Your most obliged,
And most humble servant.'
6 MR. SPECTATOR,
The town being so well pleased with the fine picture of artless love, which nature inspired the Laplander to paint in the ode you lately printed, we were in hopes that the ingenious translator would have obliged it with the other also which Scheffer has given us; but since he has not, a much inferior hand has ventured to send you this.
. It is a custom with the northern lovers to divert themselves with a song whilst they journey through the fenny moors to pay a visit to their mistresses. This is addressed by the lover to his rein-deer, which is the creature that in that country supplies the want of horses. The circumstances which successively present themselves to him in his way, are, I believe you will think, naturally interwoven. The anxiety of absence, the gloominess of the roads, and his resolution of frequenting only those, since those only can carry him to the object of his desires; the dissatisfaction he expresses even at the greatest swistness with which he is carried, and his joyful surprise at an unexpected sight of his mistress as she is bathing, seem beautifully described in the original.
If all those pretty images of rural nature are lost in the imitation, yet possibly you may think fit to let this supply the place of a long letter, when want of leisure or indisposition for writing will not permit our being entertained by your own hand. I propose such
a time, because though it is natural to have a fondness for what one does one's self, yet I assure you I would not have any thing of mine displace a single line of yours.'
Haste, my rein-deer! and let us nimbly go
Our am'rous journey through this dreary waste; Haste, my rein-deer! still, still thou art too slow,
Impetuous love demands the lightning's haste.
Around us far the rushy moors are spread:
Soon will the sun withdraw his cheerful ray; Darkling and tir'd we shall the marshes tread,
No lay unsung to cheat the tedious way.
The watry length of these unjoyous moors
Does all the flow'ry meadow's pride excel; Through these I fly to her my soul adores;
Ye flow'ry meadows, empty pride, farewell. Each moment from the charmer I'm confin'd,
My breast is tortur'd with impatient fires; Fly, my rein-deer, fly swifter than the wind,
Thy tardy feet wing with my fierce desires. Our pleasing toil will then be soon o'erpaid,
And thou, in wonder lost, shall view my fair, Admire each feature of the lovely maid,
Her artless charms, her bloom, her sprightly air.
Gently removing each ambitious wave;
When, when, oh! when shall I such freedoms have!
In vain, ye envious streams, so fast ye flow,
To hide her from a lover's ardent gaze;
And all reveal'd the beauteous wanton play.
No. 407. TUESDAY, JUNE 17.
Abest facundis gratia dictis. OVID.
Most foreign writers who have given any character of the English nation, whatever vices they ascribe to it, allow in general, that the people are naturally modest. It proceeds perhaps from this our national virtue, that our orators are observed to make use of less gesture or action than those of other countries. Our preachers stand stockstill in the pulpit, and will not so much as move a finger to set off the best sermons in the world. We meet with the same speaking statues at our bars, and in all public places of debate. Our words flow from us as in a smooth continued stream, without those strainings of the voice, motions of the body, and majesty of the hand, which are so much celebrated in the orators of Greece and Rome. We can talk of life and death in cold blood, and keep our temper in a discourse which turns upon every thing that is dear to us. Though our zeal breaks out in the finest tropes and figures, it is not able to stir a limb about us. I have heard it observed more than once, by those who have seen Italy, that an untravelled Englishman can not relish all the beauties of Ita
ian pictures, because the postures which are expressed in them are often such as are peculiar to that country. One who has not seen an Italian in the pulpit, will not know what to make of that noble gesture in Raphael's picture of St. Paul preaching at Athens, where the apostle is represented as lifting up both his arms, and pouring out the thunder of his rhetoric amidst an audience of pagan philosophers.
It is certain that proper gestures and vehement exertions of the voice can not be too much studied by a public orator. They are a kind of comment to what he utters, and enforce every thing he says, with weak hearers, better than the strongest argument he can make use of. They keep the audience awake, and fix their attention to what is delivered to them, at the same time that they show the speaker is in earnest, and affected himself with what he so passionately recommends to others. Violent gesture and vociferation naturally shake the hearts of the ignorant, and fill them with a kind of religious horror. Nothing is more frequent than to see women weep and tremble at the sight of a moving preacher, though he is placed quite out of their hearing; as in England we very frequently see people lulled asleep with solid and elaborate discourses of piety, who would be warmed and transported out of themselves by the bellowing and distortions of enthusiasm.
If nonsense, when accompanied with such an emotion of voice and body, has such an influence on men's minds, what might we not expect from many of those admirable discourses which are printed in our tongue, were they delivered with