« PreviousContinue »
of Crete Pritain, you must know it, there | tances. Of this make is that man who is is in Caernarvonshire a very pig mountain, very inquisitive. You may often observe, the clory of all Wales, which is named Pen- that though he speaks as good sense as any mainmaure, and you must also know, it is man upon any thing with which he is well no crete journey on foot from me; but the acquainted, he cannot trust to the range of road is stony and bad for shooes. Now, his own fancy to entertain himself upon that there is upon the forehead of this mountain foundation, but goes on still to new inquia very high rock, (like a parish steeple) ries. Thus, though you know he is fit for that cometh a huge deal over the sea; so the most polite conversation, you shall see when I am in my melancholies, and I do him very well contented to sit by a jockey, throw myself from it, I do tesire my fery giving an account of the many revolutions good friend to tell me in his Spictatur, if 1 in his horse's health, what potion he made shall be cure of my griefous lofes; for there him take, how that agreed with him, how is the sea clear as class, and as creen as the afterwards he came to his stomach and his leek. Then likewise if I be drown and exercise, or any the like impertinence; and preak my neck, if Mrs. Gwinifrid will not be as well pleased as if you talked to him lofe me afterwards. Pray be speedy in on the most important truths. This humour your answers, for I am in crete haste, and is far from making a man unhappy, though it is my tesires to do my business without it may subject him to raillery; for he geneloss of time. I remain with cordial affec- rally falls in with a person who seems to be tions, your ever lofing friend,
born for him, which is your talkative fel• DAVYTH AP SHENKYN. low. It is so ordered, that there is a secret P. S. My law-suits have prought me to bent, as natural as the meeting of different London, put I have lost my causes; and so sexes, in these two characters, to supply have made my resolutions to go down and each other's wants. I had the honour the leap before the frosts begin; for I am apt to other day to sit in a public room, and saw take colds.'
an inquisitive man look with an air of satisRidicule, perhaps, is a better expedient talkers. The man of ready utterance sat
faction upon the approach of one of these against love than sober advice, and I am of down by him, and rubbing his head, leaning opinion, that Hudibras and Don Quixote on his arm, and making an uneasy countemay be as effectual to cure the extrava- nance, he began; '* There is no manner of gances of this passion, as any of the old phi- news to-day. I cannot tell what is the matlosophers. I shall therefore publish very ter with me, but I slept very ill last night; speedily the translation of a little Greek whether I caught cold or no, I know not, manuscript, which is sent me by a learned but I fancy I do not wear shoes thick friend.
It appears to have been a piece of enough for the weather, and I have coughed those records which were kept in the tem- all this week. It must be so, for the custom ple of Apollo, that stood upon the promon- of washing my head winter and summer tory of Leucate. The reader will find it to with cold water, prevents any injury from be a summary account of several persons the season entering that way: so it must who tried the lover's leap, and of the suc
come in at my feet; but I take no notice of .cess they found in it. As there seem to be it: as it comes so it goes. Most of our evils in it some anachronisms, and deviations
proceed from too much tenderness; and our from the ancient orthography, I am not faces are naturally as little able to resist the wholly satisfied myself that it is authentic, cold as other parts. The Indian answered and not rather the production of one of those very well to an European, who asked him Grecian sophisters, who have imposed upon how he could go naked, “I am all face. the world several spurious works of this I observed this discourse was as welcome nature. I speak this by way of precaution, to my general inquirer as any other of more because I know there are several writers of consequence could have been; but somebody uncommon erudition, who would not fail to calling our talker to another part of the room, expose my ignorance, if they caught me the inquirer told the next man who sat by tripping in a matter of so great inoment. him, that Mr. Such-a-one, who was just
gone from him, used to wash his head in
cold water every morning; and so repeated No. 228.] Wednesday, November 21, 1711. him. The truth is, the inquisitive are the
almost verbatim all that had been said to Percunctatorum fugito, nam garrulus idem est.
funnels of conversation: they do not take in Hor. Lib. 1. Ep. xviii. 69. any thing for their own use, but merely to Th'inquisitive will blaby; from such refrain; pass it to another. They are the channels Their leaky ears no secret can retain.-Shard.
through which all the good and evil that is THERE is a creature who has all the or-spoken in town are conveyed. Such as are gans of speech, a tolerable good capacity offended at them, or think they suffer by for conceiving what is said to it, together their behaviour, may themselves mend that with a pretty proper behaviour in all the inconvenience; for they are not a malicious occurrences of common life; but naturally people, and if you will supply them, you very vacant of thought in itself, and there may contradict any thing they have said fore forced to apply itself to foreign assis- I before by their own mouths. A farther account of a thing is one of the gratefullest that Caius Gracchus, the Roman, was fregoods that can arrive to them; and it is sel- quently hurried by his passion into so loud dom that they are more particular than to and tumultuous a way of speaking, and so say, “The town will have it, or I have it strained his voice as not to be able to profrom a good hand;' so that there is room for ceed. To remedy this excess, he had an the town to know the matter more particu- ingenious servant, by name Licinius, always larly, and for a better hand to contradict attending him with a pitch-pipe, or instruwhat was said by a good one.
ment to regulate the voice; who, whenever I have not known this humour more ridi- he heard his master begin to be high, imculous than in a father, who has been ear-mediately touched a soft note, at which 'tis Destly solicitous to have an account how his said, Caius would presently abate and grow son has passed his leisure hours; if it be in calm. a way thoroughly insignificant, there cannot • Upon recollecting this story, I have fre. be a greater joy than an inquirer discovers quently wondered that this useful instru in seeing him follow so hopefully his own ment should have been so long discontinued, steps. But this humour among men is most especially since we find that this good office pleasant when they are saying something of Licinius has preserved his memory for which is not wholly proper for a third per- many hundred years, which, methinks, son to hear, and yet is in itself indifferent. should have encouraged some one to have The other day there came in a well-dressed revived it, if not for the public good, yet young fellow, and two gentlemen of this for his own credit. It may be objected, that species immediately fell a whispering his our loud talkers are so fond of their own pedigree. I could overhear, by breaks, noise, that they would not take it well to be
She was his aunt;' then an answer, “Ay, checked by their servants. But granting she was of the mother's side;' then again in this to be true, surely any of their hearers a little lower voice, His father wore gene- have a very good title to play a soft note in rally a darker wig;' answer, ‘Not much, their own defence. To be short, no Licibut this gentleman wears higher heels to nius appearing, and the noise increasing, I his shoes.
was resolved to give this late long vacation As the inquisitive, in my opinion, are such to the good of my country; and I have at merely from a vacancy in their own imagi-length by the assistance of an ingenious nations, there is nothing methinks so dan- artist (who works for the Royal Society,) gerous as to communicate secrets to them; almost completed my design, and shall be for the same temper of inquiry makes them ready in a short time to furnish the public as impertinently communicative: but no with what number of these instruments man, though he converses with them, need they please, either to lodge at coffee-houses, put himself in their power, for they will be or carry for their own private use. In the contented with matters of less moment as mean time I shall pay that respect to seves well. When there is fuel enough, no mat- ral gentlemen, who I know will be in danter what it is.—Thus the ends of sen- ger of offending against this instrument, to tences in the newspapers, as, “This wants give them notice of it by private letters, in confirmation,'—"This occasions many spe- which I shall only write, Get a Licinius.” culations,' and `Time will discover the • I should now trouble you no longer, but event,' are read by them, and considered that I must not conclude without desiring not as mere expletives.
you to accept one of these pipes, which One may see now and then this humour shall be left for you with Buckley; and accompanied with an insatiable desire of which I hope will be serviceable to you, knowing what passes, without turning it to since as you are silent yourself, you are any use in the world but merely their own most open to the insults of the noisy. I am, entertainment. A mind which is gratified sir, &c.
W. B.' this way is adapted to humour and pleasantry, and formed for an unconcerned cha- as an improvement in this instrument, there
“I had almost forgot to inform you, that racter in the world; and like myself to be a will be a particular note, which I call a mere Spectator. This curiosity, without hush-note; and this is to be made use of malice or self-interest, lays up in the imagination a magazine of circumstances which against a long story, swearing, obsceneness, cannot but entertain when they are produced
and the like."
T. in conversation. If one were to know, from the man of the first quality to the meanest servant, the different intrigues, sentiments, No. 229.] Thursday, November 22, 1711. pleasures, and interests of mankind, would ít not be the most pleasing entertainment
Spirat adhuc amor, maginable to enjoy so constant a farce, as
Vivuntque commissi calores
Æolia fidibus puellæ.- Hor. Lib. 4. Od. ix. 10. the observing mankind much more different
Nor Sappho's amorous flames decay, from themselves in their secret thoughts Her living songs preserve their charming art, and public actions, than in their night-caps Her verse still breathes the passions of her heart. and long periwigs?
AMONG the many famous pieces of an.MR. SPECTATOR,—Plutarch tells us, tiquity which are still to be seen at Rome,
there is the trunk of a statue which has lost Un nuage confus se repand sur ma vuë, the arms, legs, and head; but discovers such
Je n'entens plus, je tombe en de douces langueurs ;
Et pile, sans haleine, interdite, esperduě, an exquisite workmanship in what remains Un frisson me saisit, je tremble, je me meurs. of it, that Michael Angelo declared he had learned his whole art from it. Indeed he
The reader will see that this is rather studied it so attentively, that he made most an imitation than a translation. The cirof his statues, and even his pictures, in that cumstances do not lie so thick together, gusto, to make use of the Italian phrase; and follow one another with that vehefor which reason this maimed statue is still mence and emotion as in the original. In called Michael Angelo's school.
short, Monsieur Boileau has given us all A fragment of Sappho, which I design the poetry, but not all the passion of this for the subject of this paper, is in as great famous fragment. I shall, in the last place, reputation among the poets and critics, as present my reader with the English transthe mutilated figure above-mentioned is lation. among the statuaries and painters. Several of our countrymen, and Mr. Dryden in par
Blest as th' immortal gods is he,
The youth who fondly sits by thee, ticular, seem very often to have copied after And hears and sees thee all the while it in their dramatic writings, and in their Softly speak and sweetly smile. poems upon love.
'Twas this depriv'd my goul of rest, Whatever might have been the occasion And rais d such tumults in my breast; of this ode, the English reader will enter For while I gaz'd, in transport tost, into the beauties of it, if he supposes it to
My breath was gone, my voice was lost: have been written in the person of a lover My bosom glow'd: the subtle flame sitting by his mistress. I shall set to view Ran quick through all my vital frame; three different copies of this beautiful ori- O'er my dim eyes a darkness hung; ginal; the first is a translation by Catullus,
My ears with hollow murmurs rung. the second by Monsieur Boileau, and the In dewy damps my limbs were chillid; last by a gentleman whose translation of My blood with gentle horrors thrill'd; the Hymn to Venus has been so deservedly
My feeble pulse forgot to play ; admired. *
I fainted, sunk, and dy'd away.
Instead of giving any character of this
last translation, I shall desire my learned Nle, si fas est, superare divos,
reader to look into the criticisms which Qui sedens adversus identidem te
Longinus has made upon the original. By
that means he will know to which of the Eripit sensus mihi : nam simul te,
translations he ought to give the preference. Lesbia, adsperi, nihil est super mi
I shall only add, that this translation is Quod loquar amens. written in the very spirit of Sappho, and Lingua sed torpet: tenuis sub artus
as near the Greek as the genius of our lanFlamma dimanat: sonitu suopte T'inniunt aures: gemina teguntur
guage will possibly suffer. Lumina nocte.
Longinus has observed, that this descripMy learned reader will know very well tion of love in Sappho is an exact copy of the reason why one of these verses is printed nature, and that all the circumstances, in Roman letter; and if he compares this which follow one another in such a hurry translation with the original, will find that of sentiments, notwithstanding they appear the three first stanzas are rendered almost repugnant to each other, are really such as word for word, and not only with the same happen in the frenzies of love. elegance, but, with the same short turn of
I wonder, that not one of the critics or expression which is so remarkable in the editors, through whose hands this ode has Greek, and so peculiar to the Sapphic ode. passed, has taken occasion from it to menI cannot imagine for what reason Madam tion a circumstance related by Plutarch. Dacier has told us, that this ode of Sappho That author, in the famous story of Antiois preserved entire in Longinus, since it is chus, who fell in love with Stratonice, his manifest to any one who looks into that mother-in-law, (and not daring to discover author's quotation of it, that there must at
his passion,) pretended to be confined to least have been another stanza, which is not his bed by sickness, tells us, that Erasistransmitted to us.
tratus, the physician, found out the nature The second translation of this fragment of his distemper by those symptoms of love which I shall here cite, is that of Monsicur which he had learnt from Sappho's writBoileau,
ings. Stratonice was in the room of the
love-sick prince, when these symptom Heureux! qui près de toi, pour toi scule soupire: discovered themselves to his physician; and Qui jouit du plaisir de t'entendre parler: Qui te voit quelquefois doucemeni lui sourire,
it is probable, that they were not very difLes dieux, dans son bonheur, peuvent-ils l'egaler ?
ferent from those which Sappho here deJe sens de veine en veine une subtile flammo
scribes in a lover sitting by his mistress. Courir par tout mon corps, si-tôt que je ne vois: The story of Antiochus is so well known, Et dans les doux transports, ou s'egare non ame, that I need not add the sequel of it, which Je ne scaurois trouver de langue, ni de voix.
has no relation to my present subject. . See No. 23.
salutem hominibus dando.-Tull.
No. 230.] Friday, November 23, 1711. will not only oblige me, but him also; for
though he does not covet it, I know he will Homines ad deos nulla re proprius accedunt, quam be as grateful in acknowledging your favour
as if he had asked it.' Men resemble the gods in nothing so much as in doing good to their fellow-creatures. Human nature appears a very deermed, some of your papers on the servile manner
•Mr. SPECTATOR,—The reflections in or a very beautiful object, according to the of education now in use, have given birth different lights in which it is viewed. When we see men of inflamed passions, or of tenance it, will, I doubt, engage me in a
to an ambition, which, unless you discounwicked designs, tearing one another to pieces by open violence, or undermining ture. I am about to undertake, for the sake
very difficult, though not ungrateful adveneach other by secret treachery; when we of the British youth, to instruct them in observe base and narrow ends pursued by such a manner, that the most dangerous ignominious and dishonest mcans; when
page in Virgil or Homer may be read by we behold men mixed in society as if it them with much pleasure, and with perwere for the destruction of it; we are even fect safety to their persons. ashamed of our species, and out of humour
Could I prevail so far as to be honoured with our own being. But in another light, with the protection of some few of them, when we behold them mild, good, and be- (for I am not hero enough to rescue many,) nevolent, full of a generous regard for the
my design is to retire with them to an agreepublic prosperity, compassionating each able solitude, though within the neighbourother's distresses, and relieving each other's hood of a city, for the convenience of their wants, we can hardly believe they are being instructed in music, dancing, drawing, creatures of the same kind. In this view designing, or any other such accomplishthey appear gods to each other, in the ex- ments, which it is conceived may make as ercise of the noblest power, that of doing ever been able to make to our own being; dirty school-boys are so much delighted good; and the greatest compliment we have proper diversions for them, and almost as
pleasant, as the little sordid games which has been by calling this disposition of mind with. It may easily be imagined, how such humanity: We cannot but observe a plea
a pretty society, conversing with none besure arising in our own breast pon the neath themselves, and sometimes admitseeing or hearing of a generous action, even ted, as perhaps not unentertaining parties, when we are wholly disinterested in it. I cannot give a more proper instance of this, caressed for their little performances, and
amongst better company, commended and than by a letter from Pliny, in which he turned by such conversations to a certain recommends a friend in the most handsome gallantry of soul, might be brought early manner, and methinks it would be a great acquainted with some of the most polite pleasure to know the success of this epistle, English writers. This having given them though each party concerned in it has been some tolerable taste of books, they would so many hundred years in his grave.
make themselves masters of the Latin "To Maximus,
tongue by methods far easier than those in
Lilly, with as little difficulty or reluctance "What I should gladly do for any friend as young ladies learn to speak French, or of yours, I think I may now with confidence to sing Italian operas. When they had adrequest for a friend of mine. Arrianus Ma- vanced thus far, it would be time to form turius is the most considerable man of his their taste something more exactly. One country: when I call him so, I do not speak that had any true relish of fine writing, with relation to his fortune, though that is might with great pleasure both to himself very plentiful, but to his integrity, justice, and them, run over together with them the gravity, and prudence; his advice is useful best Roman historians, poets, and orators, to me in business, and his judgment in mat- and point out their more remarkable beauters of learning. His fidelity, truth, and ties, give them a short scheme of chronogood understanding are very great; besides logy, a little view of geography, medals, this, he loves me as you do, than which, I astronomy, or what else might best feed cannot say any thing that signifies a warmer the busy inquisitive humour so natural to affection. He has nothing that's aspiring; that age. Such of them as had the least and, though he might rise to the highest spark of genius, when it was once awakened order of nobility, he keeps himself in an by the shining thoughts and great sentiinferior rank: yet I think myself bound to ments of those admired writers, could not, use my endeavours to serve and promote I believe, be easily withheld from attempthim; and would therefore find the meansing that more difficult sister language, of adding something to his honours while whose exalted beauties they would have he neither expects nor knows it, nay, heard so often celebrated as the pride and though he should refuse it. Something, in wonder of the whole learned world. In the short, I would have for him, that may be mean while, it would be requisite to exerhonourable, but not troublesome; and I en-cise their style in writing any little pieces treat that you will procure him the first that ask more of fancy than of judgment: thing of this kind that offers, by which you and that frequently in their native lan
guage, which every one, methinks, should /respect to an audience that can be. It is a be most concerned to cultivate, especially sort of mute eloquence, which pleads for letters, in which a gentleman must have so their favour much better than words could frequent occasions to distinguish himself. do; and we find their generosity naturally A set of genteel good-natured youths fallen moved to support those who are in so much into such a manner of life, would form al- perplexity to entertain them. I was exmost a little academy, and doubtless prove tremely pleased with a late instance of this no such contemptible companions, as might kind at the opera of Almahide, in the ennot often tempt a wiser man to mingle him-couragement given to a young singer, self in their diversions, and draw them into whose more than ordinary concern on her such serious sports as might prove nothing first appearance recommended her no less less instructing than the gravest lessons. ! than her agreeable voice, and just perdoubt not but it might be made some of formance. Mere bashfulness without merit their favourite plays, to contend which of is awkward; and merit without modesty inthem should recité a beautiful part of a solent. But modest merit has a double claim poem or oration most gracefully, or some- to acceptance, and generally meets with as times to join in acting a scene of Terence, many patrons as beholders.' I am, &c. Sophocles, or our own Shakspeare. The cause of Milo might again be pleaded himself to advantage in an assembly, whe
It is impossible that a person should exert befare more favourable judges, Cæsar a ther it be his part either to sing or speak, second time be taught to tremble, and an, who lies under too great oppressions of nother race of Athenians be afresh enraged at the ambition of another Philip. Amidst modesty: I remember, upon talking with a these noble amusements, we could hope to
friend of mine concerning the force of prosee the early dawnings of their imagination nunciation, our discourse led us into the enu
meration of the several organs of speech daily brighten into sense, their innocence improve into virtue, and their unexperi- tion, as the tongue, the teeth, the lips, the
which an orator ought to have in perfecenced good-nature directed to a generous nose, the palate, and the windpipe. “Upon love of their country. I am, &c. T.
which,' says my friend, you have omitted the most material organ of them ail, and
that is the forehead.' No. 231.] Saturday, November 24, 1711.
But notwithstanding an excess of modesty O pudor! O pietas!
obstructs the tongue, and renders it unfit O modesty! O piety!
for its offices, a due proportion of it is LOOKing over the letters which I have toricians have recommended it to their dis
thought so requisite to an orator, that rhelately received from my correspondents, Iciples as a particular in their art. Cicero met with the following one, which is writ- I tells us that he never liked an orator who ten with such a spirit of politeness, that I did not appear in some little confusion at could not but be very much pleased with it the beginning of his speech, and confesses myself, and, question not but it will be as that he himself never entered upon an oraacceptable to the reader.
tion without trembling and concern. It is •MR. SPECTATOR,-You, who are no
indeed a kind of deference which is due to stranger to public assemblies, cannot but a great assembly, and seldom fails to raise have observed the awe they often strike on
a benevolence in the audience towards the such as are obliged to exert any talent be- person who speaks. My correspondent has fore them. This is a sort of elegant dis taken notice that the bravest men often aptress to which ingenuous minds are the most pear timorous on these occasions, as indeed liable, and may therefore deserve some re
we may observe, that there is generally no marks in your paper. Many a brave fellow, creature more impudent than a coward; who has put his enemy to fight in the field,
-Lingua melior, sed frigida bello
Virg. #r. xi. 338. has been in the utmost disorder upon mak
-Bold at the council-board: ing a speech before a body of his friends at
But cautious in the field, he shunn'd the sword. home. One would think there was some
Dryden. kind of fascination in the eyes of a large A bold tongue and a feeble arm are the circle of people, when darting all together qualifications of Drances in Virgil; as Houpon one person. I have seen a new actor mer, to express a man both timorous and in a tragedy so bound up by it as to be saucy, makes use of a kind of point, which scarce able to speak or move, and have is very rarely to be met with in his writings; expected he would have died above three namely, that he had the eyes of a dog, but acts before the dagger or cup of poison the heart of a deer. † were brought in. It would not be amiss, if A just and reasonable modesty does not such a one were at first to be introduced as only recommend eloquence, but sets off a ghost, or a statue, until he recovered his every great talent which a man can be posspirits, and grew fit for some living part. sessed of. It heightens all the virtues which
*As this sudden desertion of one's self shows a diffidence which is not displeasing, Sir John Hawkins's History of Music, vol. v. p. 150.
* Mrs. Barbier. See a curious account of this lady in it implies at the same time the greatest Iliad, i. 225,
Mart. viii. 78.