« PreviousContinue »
tions grow thin, and the stars go out one much distressed to take the proper care after another, till the whole hemisphere is they ought of their dress. By degrees it extinguished; such was the vanishing of the prevailed, that such as had this inward opgoddess: and not only of the goddess herself pression upon their minds, made an apolobut of the whole army that attended her, gy for not joining with the rest of the world which sympathized with their leader, and in their ordinary diversions by a dress suitshrunk into nothing, in proportion as th ed to their condition. This therefore was goddess disappeared. At the same time at first assumed by such only as were unthe whole temple sunk, the fish betook der real distress; to whom it was relief that themselves to the streams, and the wild they had nothing about them so light and beasts to the woods, the fountains recovered gay as to be irksome to the gloom and me. their murmurs, the birds their voices, the lancholy
, of their inward reflections, or that trees their leaves, the flowers their scents, might misrepresent them to others. In and the whole face of nature its true and process of time this laudable distinction of genuine appearance. Though I still con- the sorrowful was lost, and mourning is tinued asleep, I fancied myself as it were now worn by heirs and widows. You see awakened out of a dream, when I saw this nothing but magnificence and solemnity in region of prodigies restored to woods and the equipage of the relict, and an air of rerivers, fields and meadows.
lease from servitude in the pomp of a son Upon the removal of that wild scene of who has lost a wealthy father. This wonders, which had very much disturbed fashion of sorrow is now become a generous my imagination, I took a full survey of the part of the ceremonial between princes persons of Wit and Truth; for indeed it and sovereigns, who, in the language of all was impossible to look upon the first, with nations, are styled brothers to each other, out seeing the other at the same time. and put on the purple* upon the death of There was behind them a strong compact any potentate with whom they live in amibody of figures. The genius of Heroic ty. Courtiers, and all who wish themPoetry appeared with a sword in her hand, selves such, are immediately seized with and a laurel on her head. Tragedy was grief from head to foot upon this disaster crowned with cypress, and covered with to their prince; so that one may know by robes dipped in blood. Satire had smiles in the very buckles of a gentleman-usher her look, and a dagger under her garment. what degree of friendship any deceased Rhetoric was known by her thunderbolt; monarch_maintained with the court to and Comedy by her mask. After several which he belongs. A good courtier's habit other figures, Epigram marched up in the and behaviour is hieroglyphical on these rear, who had been posted there at the be- occasions. He deals much in whispers, ginning of the expedition, that he might not and you may see he dresses according to revolt to the enemy, whom he was suspected the test intelligence. to favour in his heart. I was very much The general affectation among men, of awed and delighted with the appearance of appearing greater than they are, makes the god of Wit; there was something so the whole world run into the habit of the amiable, and yet so piercing in his looks, court. You see the lady, who the day beas inspired me at once with love and terror. fore was as various as a rainbow, upon the As I was gazing on him, to my unspeakable time appointed for beginning to mourn, as joy he took a quiver of arrows from his dark as a cloud. This humour does not shoulder, in order to make me a present of prevail only on those whose fortunes can it; but as I was reaching out my hand to support any change in their equipage, nor on receive it of him, I knocked it against. a those only whose incomes demand the wanchair, and by that means awaked. C. tonness of new appearances; but on such
also who have just enough to clothe them.
An old acquaintance of mine, of ninety No. 64.] Monday, May 14, 1711.
pounds a year, who has naturally the vanity of being a man of fashion deep at his heart,
is very much put to it to bear the mortality Paapertate ornnes
of princes. He made a new black suit upon The face of wealth in poverty we wear. the death of the King of Spain, he turned The most improper things we commit it for the King of Portugal, and he now in the conduct of our lives, we are led into keeps his chamber while it is scouring for by the force of fashion. Instances might the Emperor. He is a good economist in be given, in which a prevajling custom his extravagance, and makes only a fresh makes us act against the rules of nature, black button on his iron-gray suit for any law, and common sense; but at present í potentate of small territories; he indeed shall confine my consideration to the effect adds his crape hatband for a prince whose it has upon men's minds, by looking into exploits he has admired in the gazette. our behaviour when it is the fashion to go But whatever compliments may be made into mourning. The custom of represent- on these occasions, the true mourners are ing the grief we have for the loss of the dead by our habits, certainly had its rise
* Royal and princely mourners were usually clad in from the real sorrow of such as were too purple.
-Hic vivimus ambitiosa
Jur. Sat. iii. 183.
Hor. Lib. 1. Sat. x. 90.
the mercers, silkmen, lacemen, and milli- ries, except we have authority for it, by ners. A prince of a merciful and royal being related in a particular manner to the disposition would reflect with great anxiety court which pays the veneration to their upon the prospect of his death if he consi- friendship, and seems to express on such an dered what numbers would be reduced to occasion the sense of the uncertainty of humisery by that accident only. He would man life in general, by assuming the habit of think it of moment enough to direct, that sorrow, though in the full possession of in the notification of his departure, the triumph and royalty.
R. honour done to him might be restrained to those of the household of the prince to whom it should be signified. He would think a general mourning to be in a less de- No 65.] Tuesday, May 15, 1711. gree the same ceremony which is prac
-Demetri, teque, Tigelli, tised in barbarous nations, of killing their Discipularum inter jubeo plorare cathedras. slaves to attend the obsequies of their kings.
Demetrius and Tigellius, know your place; I had been wonderfully at a loss for
Go hence, and whine among the school-boy race. many months together, to guess at the cha- AFTER having at large explained what racter of a man who came now and then to wit is, and described the false appearances our coffee-house. He ever ended a news- of it, all that labour seems but an useless paper with this reflection, "Well, I see all inquiry, without some time be spent in conthe foreign princes are in good health.' If sidering the application of it. The seat of you asked, Pray, sir, what says the Post- wit, when one speaks as a man of the town man from Vienna?' He answered, “Make and the world, is the playhouse; I shall us thankful, the German Princes are all therefore fill this paper with reflections well.'-'What does he say from Barcelona?' upon the use of it, in that place. The ap• He does not speak but that the country plication of wit in the theatre has as strong agrees very well with the new Queen.' an effect upon the manners of our gentleAfter very much inquiry, I found this man men, as the taste of it has upon the wriof universal loyalty was a wholesale dealer tings of our authors. It may, perhaps, look in silks and ribands. His way is, it seems like a very presumptuous work, though not if he hires a weaver or workman, to have it foreign from the duty of a Spectator, to tax inserted in his articles, that all this shall the writings of such as have long had the be well and truly performed, provided no general applause of a nation; but I shall foreign potentate shall depart this life with always make reason, truth, and nature the in the time above-mentioned.' It happens measures of praise and dispraise; if those in all public mournings that the many are for me, the generality of opinion is of trades which depend upon our habits, are no consequence against me; if they are during that folly either pinched with pre- against me, the general opinion cannot long sent want, or terrified with the apparent support me. approach of it. All the atonement which Without further preface, I am going to men can make for wanton expenses (which look into some of our most applauded play's, is a sort of insulting, the scarcity under and see whether they deserve the figure which others labour) is, that the superflui- they at present bear in the imaginations of ties of the wealthy give supplies to the ne- men or not. cessities of the poor; but instead of any In reflecting upon these works, I shall other good arising from the affectation of chiefly dwell upon that for which each being in courtly habits of mourning, all respective play is most celebrated. The order seems to be destroyed by it; and the present paper shall be employed upon Sir true honour which one court does to an- Fopling Flutter. * The received character other on that occasion, loses its force and of this play is, that it is the pattern of genefficacy. When a foreign minister beholds teel comedy. Dorimant and Harriot are the court of a nation (which flourishes in the characters of greatest consequence, and riches and plenty) lay aside upon the loss if these are low and mean, the reputation of his master, all marks of splendour and of the play is very unjust. magnificence, though the head of such a I will take for granted, that a fine gentlejoyful people, he will conceive a greater man should be honest in his actions and reidea of the honour done to his master, than fined in his language. Instead of this, our when he sees the generality of the people hero in this piece is a direct knave in his in the same habit. When one is afraid to designs, and a clown in his language. Belask the wife of a tradesman whom she has lair is his admirer and friend; in return for lost of her family; and after some prepa- which, because he is forsooth a greater wit ration endeavours to know whom she than his said friend, he thinks it reasonable mourns for; how ridiculous it is to hear her explain herself, “That we have lost one of
The Man of Mode, or Sir Fopling Flutter, a comethe house of Austria!' Princes are ele- dy, by Sir George Etheridge. The character of Sir Fop vated so highly above the rest of mankind, ling was that of Beau Hewit, son of Sir Thomas
Hewit, that it is a presumptuous distinction to Wilmot earl of Rochester ; and Bellair, that of the ar take a part in honours done to their memo-Ithor himself.
to persuade him to marry a young lady, I judge more favourably of my reputation. whose virtue, he thinks, will last no longer It makes him pass upon some for a man of than till she is a wife, and then she cannot very good sense, and me upon others for a but fall to his share as he is an irresistible very civil person. fine gentleman. The falsehood to Mrs. This whole celebrated piece is a perfect Loreit, and the barbarity of triumphing contradiction to good manners, good sense, over her anguish for losing him, is another and common honesty; and as there is no instance of his honesty, as well as his good thing in it but what is built upon the ruin nature. As to his fine language; he calls of virtue and innocence, according to the the orange-woman, who, it seems, is in- notion of merit in this comedy, I take the clined to grow fat, An overgrown jade, shoemaker to be in reality the fine gentlewith a iasket of guts before her;' and sa- man of the play: forit seems he is an atheist, lutes her with a pretty phrase of How if we may depend upon his character as now, Double Tripe?' Upon the mention of given by the orange-woman, who is herself a country gentlewoman, whom he knows no- far from being the lowest in the play. She thing of (no one can imagine why),' he will says, of a fine man who is Dorimant's comlay his life she is some awkward ill-fashioned panion, “There is not such another heathen country toad, who not having above four in the town except the shoemaker.' His dozen of hairs on her head, has adorned pretension to be the hero of the drama apher baldness with a large white fruz, that pears still more in his own description of she may look sparkishly in the fore-front of his way of living with his lady. There is,' the king's box at an old play.' Unnatural says he, 'never a man in town lives more mixture of senseless common-place! like a gentleman with his wife than I do; I
As to the generosity of his temper, he never mind her motions; she never inquires tells his poor footman, .If he did not wait into mine. We speak to one another civilly, better,' he would turn him away, in the hate one another heartily; and because it is asolent phrase of, I'll uncase you.' vulgar to lie and soak together, we have
Now for Mrs. Harriot. She laughs at each of us our several settle-bed.' That of obedience to an absent mother, whose ten- soaking together' is as good as if Dorimant derness Busy describes to be very exquisite, had spoken it himself; and I think, since for that she is so pleased with finding he puts human nature in as ugly a form as Harriot again that she cannot chide her for the circumstance will bear, and is a staunch being out of the way.' This witty daughter unbeliever, he is very much wronged in and fine lady has so little respect for this having no part of the good fortune bestowed good woman, that she ridicules her air in in the last act. taking leave, and cries, ' In what struggle To speak plain of this whole work, I is my poor mother yonder! See, see, her think nothing but being lost to a sense of head tottering, her eyes staring, and her innocence and virtue, can make any one under-lip trembling.' 'But all this is atoned see this comedy, without observing more for, because she has more wit than is usual frequent occasion to move sorrow and inin her sex, and as much malice, though she dignation, than mirth and laughter. At is as wild as you could wish her, and has the same time I allow it to be nature, but it a demureness in her looks that makes it is nature in its utmost corruption and deso surprising.'. Then to recommend her generacy.
R. as a fit spouse for his hero, the poet makes her speak her sense of marriage very ingenuously: 'I think,' says she, I might be brought to endure him, and that is all a No, 66.] Wednesday, May 16, 1711. reasonable woman should expect in a hus
Motus doceri gaudet Ionicos band.' It is methinks unnatural, that we Matura virgo, et fingitur artibus are not made to understand, how she that
Jam nunc, et incestos amores
De tenero meditatur ungui. was bred under a silly pious old mother, that would never trust her out of her sight,
Behold a ripe and melting maid came to be so polite.
Bound 'prentice to the wanton trade: It cannot be denied, but that the negli- Ionian artists, at a mighty price, gence of every thing which engages the at
Instruct her in the mysteries of vice,
What nets to spread, where subtle baits to lay; tention of the sober and valuable part of
And with an early hand they form the temper'd clay. mankind, appears very well drawn in this piece. But it is denied, that it is necessary
The two following letters are upon a subto the character of a fine gentleman, that he should in that manner trample upon ali ject of very great importance,
though exorder and decency. As for the character
pressed without any air of gravity. of Dorimant, it is more of a coxcomb than
• To the Spectator. that of Fopling. He says of one of his “Sir, I take the freedom of asking your companions, that a good correspondence advice in behalf of a young country kinsbetween them is their mutual interest. woman of mine who is lately come to town, Speaking of that friend, he declares, their and under my care for her education. She being much together, 'makes the women is very pretty, but you cannot imagine how think the better of his understanding, and I unformed a creature it is. She comes to
Hor. Lib. 3. Od. vi. 21.
my hands just as nature left her, half finish- years is out of fashion and neglected. The ed, and without any acquired improvements. boy I shall consider upon some other occaWhen I look on her I often think of the sion, and at present stick to the girl: and I Belle Sauvage mentioned in one of your pa- am the more inclined to this, because I have pers. Dear Mr. Spectator, help me to several letters which complain to me, that make her comprehend the visible graces my female readers have not understood me of speech, and the dumb eloquence of mo- for some days last past, and take themtion; for she is at present a perfect stranger selves to be unconcerned in the present to both. She knows no way to express her- turn of my writing. When a girl is safely self but by her tongue, and that always to brought from her nurse, before she is capasignify her meaning. Her eyes serve her ble of forming one single notion of any thing yet only to see with, and she is utterly a in life, she is delivered to the hands of her foreigner to the language of looks and dancing-master, and with a collar round glances. In this I fancy you could help her neck, the pretty wild thing is taught a her better than any body. I have bestowed fantastical gravity of behaviour, and forced two months in teaching her to sigh when to a particular way of holding her head, she is not concerned, and to smile when she heaving her breast, and moving with her is not pleased, and am ashamed to own she whole body; and all this under pain of never makes little or no improvement. Then she having a husband, if she steps, looks, or is no more able now to walk, than she was moves awry. This gives a young lady wonto go at a year old. By walking, you will derful workings of imagination, what is to easily know I mean that regular but easy pass between her and this husband, that motion which gives our persons so irresisti- she is every moment told of, and for whom ble a grace as if we moved to music, and is she seems to be educated. Thus her fancy a kind of disengaged figure; or, if I may so is engaged to turn all her endeavours to the speak, recitative dancing. But the want of ornament of her person, as what must dethis I cannot blame in her, for I find she termine her good and ill in this life; and has no ear, and means nothing by walking she naturally thinks, if she is tall enough, but to change her place. I could pardon she is wise enough for any thing for which too her blushing, if she knew how to carry her education makes her think she is deherself in it, and it did not manifestly injure signed. To make her an agreeable person her complexion.
is the main purpose of her parents; to that • They tell me you are a person who have is all their cost, to that all their care diseen the world, and are a judge of fine breed- rected; and from this general folly of paing; which makes me ambitious of some in- rents we owe our present numerous race of structions from you for her improvement; coquettes. These reflections puzzle me, which when you have favoured me with, I when I think of giving my advice on the shall further advise with you about the dis- subject of managing the wild thing menposal of this fair forester in marriage; for I tioned in the letter of my correspondent. will make it no secret to you, that her per- But sure there is a middle way to be folson and education are to be her fortune. I lowed; the management of a young lady's am, sir, your very humble servant, person is not to be overlooked, but the eru
CELIMENE.' dition of her mind is much more to be re
garded. According as this is managed, you “SIR,—Being employed by Celimene to will see the mind follow the appetites of the make up and send to you her letter, I body, or the body express the virtues of the make bold to recommend the case therein mind. mentioned to your consideration, because
Cleomira dances with all the elegance of she and I happen to differ a little in our no- motion imaginable: but her eyes are so tions. I who am a rough man, am afraid chastised with the simplicity and innocence the young girl is in a fair way to be spoiled: of her thoughts, that she raises in her betherefore, pray, Mr. Spectator, let us have holders admiration and good-will, but no your opinion of this fine thing called fine loose hope or wild imagination. The true breeding; for I am afraid it differs too much art in this case is, to make the mind and from that plain thing called good breeding. body improve together; and, if possible, to Your most humble servant.'
make gesture follow thought, and not let The general mistake among us in the thought be employed upon gesture, educating our children is, that in our daughters we take care of their persons, and neglect their minds; in our sons we are so in- No. 67.] Thursday, May 17, 1711. tent upon adorning their minds, that we wholly neglect their bodies. It is from this Saltare elegantius quam necesse est probæ. that you shall see a young lady celebrated Too fine a dancer for a virtuous woman. and admired in all the assemblies about Lucian, in one of his dialogues, introtown, when her elder brother is afraid to duces a philosopher chiding his friend for come into a room. From this ill manage- his being a lover of dancing, and a frement it arises, that we frequently observe quenter of balls. The other undertakes a man's life is half spent, before he is taken the defence of his favourite diversion, which, notice of; and a woman in the prime of her | he says, was at first invented by the god
dess Rhea, and preserved the life of Jupiter • Among the rest, I observed one, which himself, from the cruelty of his father Sa- I think they call “Hunt the Squirrel,” in turn. He proceeds to 'show, that it had which while the woman flies the man purbeen approved by the greatest men in all sues her; but as soon as she turns, he runs ages; that Homer calls Merion a fine dan- away, and she is obliged to follow. cer; and says, that the graceful mien and •The moral of this dance does, I think, great agility which he had acquired by that very aptly recommend modesty and discreexercise, distinguished him above the rest tion to the female sex. in the armies both of Greeks and Trojans. • But as the best institutions are liable to
He adds, that Pyrrhus gained more re- corruptions, so, sir, I must acquaint you, putation by inventing the dance which is that very great abuses are crept into this called after his name, than by all his other entertainment. I was amazed to see my actions: that the Lacedemonians, who were girl handed by, and handing, young fellow's the bravest people in Greece, gave great with so much familiarity; and I could not encouragement to this diversion, and made have thought it had been in the child. They their Hormus (a dance much resembling very often made use of a 'most impudent the French Brawl) famous over all Asia: and lascivious step, called "Setting," which that there were still extant some Thessa- I know not how to describe to you, but by lian statues erected to the honour of their telling you that it is the very reverse of best dancers; and that he wondered how his “back to back." At last an impudent brother philosopher could declare himself young dog bid the fiddlers play a dance against the opinions of those two persons, called “Moll Pately,” and after having whom he professed so much to admire, made two or three capers, ran to his part, Homer and Hesiod; the latter of which ner, locked his arm in hers, and whisked compares valour and dancing together, and her round cleverly above ground in such a says, that “the gods have bestowed forti- manner, that I, who sat upon one of the tude on some men, and on others a disposi- | lowest benches, saw further above her shoe tion for dancing.'
than I can think fit to acquaint you with. Lastly, he puts him in mind that So- I could no longer endure these enormities: crates, (who, in the judgment of Apollo, wherefore, just as my girl was going to be was the wisest of men) was not only a pro- made a whirligig, I ran in, seized on the fessed admirer of this exercise in others, but child, and carried her home. · learned it himself when he was an old man. 'Sir, I am not yet old enough to be a fool.
The morose philosopher is so much af- I suppose this diversion might at first be fected by these and some other authorities, invented to keep a good understanding bethat he becomes a convert to his friend, and tween young men and women, and so far desires he would take him with him when I am not against it; but I shall never allow he went to his next ball.
of these things. I know not what you will I love to shelter myself under the exam- say to this case at present, but am sure, ples of great men; and, I think, I have had you been with me, you would have sufficiently showed that it is not below the seen matter of great speculation. dignity of these my speculations to take no
•I am yours, &c.' tice of the following letter, which, I suppose, is sent me by some substantial trades- I must confess I am afraid that my corman about 'Change.
respondent had too much reason to be a
little out of humour at the treatment of his “Sir, I am a man in years, and by an daughter, but I conclude that he would honest industry in the world have acquired have been much more so, had he seen one enough to give my children a liberal edu- of those kissing dances, in which, Will Hocation, though I was an utter stranger to neycomb assures me, they are obliged to it myself. My eldest daughter, a girl of dwell almost a minute on the fair one's lips, sixteen, has for some time been under the or they will be too quick for the music, and tuition of Monsieur Rigadoon, a dancing- dance quite out of time. master in the city; and I was prevailed I am not able, however, to give my final upon by her and her mother to go last night sentence against this diversion; and 'am of to one of his balls. I must own to you, sir, Mr. Cowley's opinion, that so much of that having never been to any such place dancing, at least, as belongs to the behabefore, I was very much pleased and sur- viour and a handsome carriage of the body, prised with that part of his entertainment is extremely useful, if not absolutely neceswhich he called French dancing. There sary. were several young men and women, whose We generally form such ideas of people limbs seemed to have no other motion but at first sight, as we are hardly ever perpurely what the music gave them. After suaded to lay aside afterwards: for this reathis part was over, they began a diver- son, a man would wish to have nothing dission which they call country dancing, and agreeable or uncomely in his approaches, wherein there were also some things not dis- and to be able to enter a room with a good agreeable, and divers emblematical figures, grace. composed, as I guess, by wise men, for the I might add, that a moderate knowledge instruction of youth.
in the little rules of good-breeding, gives a