« PreviousContinue »
Indian journal, when we fancy the customs, | desire of multiplying our species, and that dresses, and manners of other countries are is the polite Sir George Etheridge; if I unridiculous and extravagant, if they do not derstand what the lady would be at, in the resemble those of our own.
C. play called She would'if She could. Other
poets have here and there given an intima
tion that there is this design, under all the No. 51.] Saturday, April 28, 1711.
disguises and affectations which a lady may
put on; but no author, except this, has Torquet ab obscenis jam nunc sermonibus aurem. made sure work of it, and put the imagina
Hor. Lib. 2. Ep. 1. 127. tions of the audience upon this one purpose He from the taste obscene reclaims our youth.-- Pope. from the beginning to the end of the comedy.
MR. SPECTATOR,—My fortune, quality, It has always fared accordingly; for wheand person, are such as render me as con- ther it be that all who go to this piece spicuous as any young woman in town. It would if they could, or that the innocents is in my power to enjoy it in all its vanities, go to it, to guess only what she would if but I have from a very careful education, she could, the play has always been well contracted a great aversion to the forward received. air and fashion which is practised in all It lifts a heavy empty sentence, when public places and assemblies. I attribute there is added to it a lascivious gesture of this very much to the style and manner of body; and when it is too low to be raised our plays. I was last night at the Funeral,* even by that, a flat meaning is enlivened by where a confident lover in the play speak- making it a double one. Writers who want ing of his mistress, cries out-"Oh that genius, never fail of keeping this secret in Harriet! to fold these arms about the waist reserve, to create a laugh or raise a clap. of that beauteous, struggling, and at last | I, who know nothing of women but from yielding fair!” Such an image as this ought seeing plays, can give great guesses at the by no means to be presented to a chaste and whole structure of the fair sex, by being regular audience. I expect your opinion of innocently placed in the pit, and insulted this sentence, and recommend to your con- by the petticoats of their dancers; the adsideration, as a Spectator, the conduct of vantages of whose pretty persons are a the stage at present with relation to chas- great help to a dull play. When a poet tity and modesty. I am, Sir, your constant flags in writing lusciously, a pretty girl can reader and well-wisher."
move lasciviously, and have the same good The complaint of this young lady is so this case use their audiences, as dull para
consequence for the author. Dull poets in just, that the offence is gross enough to have sites do their patrons; when they cannot displeased persons who cannot pretend to longer divert them with their wit or huthat delicacy and modesty, of which she is mistress. But there is a great deal to be which is agreeable to their temper, though
mour, they bait their ears with something said in behalf of an author. If the audience below their understanding. Apicius cannot would but consider the difficulty of keeping resist being pleased, if you give him an acup a sprightly dialogue for five acts to count of a delicious meal; or Clodius, if you gether, they would allow a writer, when describe a wanton beauty: though at the he wants wit, and cannot please any other- same time, if you do not awake those inwise, to help it out with a little smuttiness. clinations in them, no men are better judges I will answer for the poets, that no one of what is just and delicate in conversation. ever writ bawdry, for any other reason but But as I have before observed, it is easier to dearth of invention. When the author can- talk to the man than to the man of sense. not strike out of himself any more of that
It is remarkable that the writers of least which he has superior to those who make learning are best skilled in the luscious up the bulk of his audience, his natural recourse is to that which he has in common wonders in this kind; and we are obliged
way. The poetesses of the age have done with them; and a description which grati- to the lady who writ Ibrahim, for introfies a sensual appetite will please, when the ducing a preparatory scene to the
very acauthor has nothing about him to delight a tion, when the emperor throws his handrefined imagination. It is to such a poverty kerchief as a signal for his mistress to folwe must impute this and all other sentences low him into the most retired part of the in plays, which are of this kind, and which seraglio
. It must be confessed his Turkish are commonly termed luscious expressions. of wit, has been used more or less by most waited without. This ingenious gentlewoThis expedient to supply the deficiencies majesty went off with a good air, but me
thought we made but a sad figure who of the authors who have succeeded on the stage; though I know but one who has pro- an author of the same sex, I who, in the
man, in this piece of bawdry, refined upon fessedly writ a play upon the basis of the Rover, makes a country 'squire strip to his
Holland drawers. For Blunt is disappoint*The Funeral, or Grief Alamode, a comedy by Sired, and the emperor is understood to go on attended to the letter of his fair correspondent, and in a to the utmost. The pleasantry of stripping subsequent edition of his comedy, expunged all the obnoxious passages.
Mrs. Mary Pix.
Mrs. Apbara Behn.
almost naked has been since practised | faithful, and honest, may, at the same time, (where indeed it should have been begun) have wit, humour, mirth, good breeding, very successfully at Bartholomew fair. and gallantry. While he exerts these lat
It is not to be here omitted, that in one ter qualities, twenty occasions might be inof the above-mentioned female composi- vented to show he is master of the other tions, the Rover is very frequently sent on noble virtues. Such characters would smite the same errand; as I take it, above once and reprove the heart of a man of sense, every act. This is not wholly unnatural; when he is given up to his pleasures. He for, they say, the men authors draw them- would see he has been mistaken all this selves in their chief characters, and the while, and be convinced that a sound conwomen writers may be allowed the same stitution and an innocent mind, are the true liberty. Thus, as the male wit gives his ingredients for becoming and enjoying life. hero a great fortune, the female gives her all men of true taste would call a man of heroine a good gallant at the end of the wit, who should turn his ambition this way, play. But, indeed, there is hardly a play a friend and benefactor to his country; but one can go to, but the hero or fine gentle- I am at a loss what name they would give man of it struts off upon the same account, him, who makes use of his capacity for and leaves us to consider what good office he contrary purposes.
R. has put us to, or to employ ourselves as we please. To be plain, a man who frequents plays would have a very respectful notion No. 52.] Monday, April 30, 1711. of himself, were he to recollect how often he has been used as a pimp to ravishing
Omnes ut tecum meritis pro talibus annos tyrants, or successful rakes. When the Exigat, et pulchra faciat te prole parentem. actors make their exit on this good occa
Virg. Æn. i. 78. sion, the ladies are sure to have an examin
To crown thy worth, she shall be ever thine,
And make thee father of a beauteous line. ing glance from the pit, to see how they relish what passes; and a few lewd fools are
An ingenious correspondent, like a very ready to employ their talents upon the sprightly wife, will always have the last composure or freedom of their looks. Such word. I did not think my last letter to the incidents as these make some ladies wholly deformed fraternity would have
occasioned absent themselves from the playhouse; and any answer, especially since I had proothers never miss the first day of a play, mised them so sudden a visit; but as they lest it should prove too luscious to admit think they cannot show too great a veneratheir going with any countenance to it on tion for my person, they have already sent the second.
me up an answer. As to the proposal of a If men of wit, who think fit to write for marriage between myself and the matchthe stage, instead of this pitiful way of giv- less Hecatissa, I have but one objection to ing delight, would turn their thoughts
upon it; which is, that all the society will expect raising it from such good natural impulses to be acquainted with her; and who can be as are in the audience, but are choaked up sure of keeping a woman's heart long, by vice and luxury, they would not only where she may have so much choice? Í. please, but befriend us at the same time. am the more alarmed at this, because the If a man had a mind to be new in his way lady seems particularly smitten with men of writing, might not he who is represented of their make. as a fine gentleman, though he betrays the
I believe I shall set my heart upon her; honour and bed of his neighbour and friend, and think never the worse of my mistress and lies with half the women in the play, for an epigram a smart fellow writ, as he and is at last rewarded with her of the best thought, against her; it does but the more character in it; I say, upon giving the co- recommend her to me. At the same time medy another cast, might not such a one I cannot but discover that his malice is divert the audience quite as well, if at the stolen from Martial: catastrophe he were found out for a traitor, Tacta places, audita places, si non videare, and met with contempt accordingly? There
Tota places; neutro, si videare, places.' is seldom a person devoted to above one
•Whilst in the dark on thy soft hand I hung,
And heard the tempting Syren in thy tongue, darling vice at a time, so that there is room What flames, what darts, what anguish, I endur'd! enough to catch at men's hearts to their But when the candle enter'd, I was cur'd.' good and advantage, if the poets will at- • Your letter to us we have received, as tempt it with the honesty which becomes a signal mark of your favour and brotherly their character.
affection. We shall be heartily glad to see There is no man who loves his bottle or your short face in Oxford: and since the his mistress, in a manner so very aban- wisdom of our legislature has been immordoned, as not to be capable of relishing an talized in your speculations, and our persoagreeable character, that is in no way a nal deformities in some sort by you recorded slave to either of those pursuits. A man to all posterity; we hold ourselves in gratithat is temperate, generous, valiant, chaste, tude bound to receive, with the highest re* The appearance of Lady Mary, a rope-dancer at
spect, all such persons as for their extraorBartholomew fair, gave occasion to this proper animad- dinary merit you shall think fit, from time version.
to time, to recommend unto the board. As
for the Pictish damsel, we have an easy | face betwixt them; and this my worthy chair prepared at the upper end of the predecessor, Mr. Sergeant Chin, always table; which we doubt not but she will maintained to be no more than the true grace with a very hideous aspect, and oval proportion between man and wife. much better become the seat in the native But as this may be a new thing to you, who and unaffected uncomeliness of her person, have hitherto had no expectations from than with all the superficial' airs of the women, I shall allow you what time you pencil, which (as you have very ingeniously think fit to consider on it; not without some observed) vanish with a breath, and the hope of seeing at last your thoughts heremost innocent adorer may deface the shrine upon subjoined to mine, and which is an with a salutation, and in the literal sense of honour much desired by, sir, your assured our poets, snatch and imprint his balmy friend, and most humble servant, kisses, and devour her melting lips. In
• HUGH GOBLIN, Præses.' short, the only faces of the Pictish kind that will endure the weather, must be of
The following letter has not much in it, Dr. Carbuncle's die; though his, in truth, but as it is written in my own praise, I canhas cost him a world the painting; but not from my heart suppress it. then he boasts with Zeuxes, in æternitatem “SIR,—You proposed in your Spectator pingo; and oft jocosely tells the fair ones, of last Tuesday, Mr. Hobbs's hypothesis would they acquire colours that would stand for solving that very odd phænomenon of kissing, they must no longer paint, but drink laughter. You have made the hypothesis for a complexion: a maxim that in this our valuable by espousing it yourself; for had age has been pursued with no ill success; and it continued Mr. Hobbs's, nobody would has been as admirable in its effects, as the have minded it. Now here this perplexed famous cosmetic mentioned in the Postman, case arises. A certain company laughed and invented by the renowned British Hip- very heartily upon the reading of that very pocrates of the pestle and mortar; making paper of yours; and the truth of it is, he the party, after a due course, rosy, hale, must be a man of more than ordinary and airy; and the best and most approved constancy that could stand out against so receipt now extant, for the fever of the much comedy, and not do as we did. Now sprits. But to return to our female candi- there are few men in the world so far lost date, who, I understand is returned to her to all good sense, as to look upon you to be self and will no longer hang out false a man in a state of folly “inferior to himcolours; as she is the first of her sex that self.”—Pray then how do you justify your has done us so great an honour, she will hypothesis of laughter? certainly in a very short time, both in prose • Your most humble,
Q. R.' and verse, be a lady of the most celebrated Thursday, the 26th of the month of fools. deformity now living, and meet with many admirers here as frightful as herself. But desire you to recollect yourself; and you
'SIR,—In answer to your letter, I must being a long-headed gentlewoman, I am will find, that when you did me the honour apt to imagine she has some further design to be so merry over my paper, you laughed than you have yet penetrated; and perhaps at the idiot, the German courtier, the gaper, has more mind to the Spectator than any the merry-andrew, the haberdasher, the of his fraternity, as the person of all the biter, the butt, and not at world she could like for a paramour. And • Your humble servant, if se, really I cannot but applaud ḥer choice,
THE SPECTATOR.' and should be glad, if it might lie in my power, to effect an amicable accommodation betwixt two faces of such different extremes, as the only possible expedient to No. 53.] Tuesday, May 1, 1711. mend the breed, and rectify the physiog
-Aliquando bonus dormitat Homerus, Domy of the family on both sides. And again, as she is a lady of a very fluent elo- Homer himself hath been observ'd to nod. cution, you need not fear that your first child will be born dumb, which otherwise My correspondents grow so numerous, you might have reason to be apprehensive that I cannot avoid frequently inserting of. To be plain with you, I can see no- their applications to me. thing shocking in it; for though she has not a face like a john-apple, yet as a late friend •Mr. SPECTATOR,- I am glad I can in: of mine, who at sixty-five ventured on a form you, that your endeavours to adorn lass of fifteen, very frequently in the re- that sex, which is the fairest part of the maining five years of his life gave me to visible creation, are well received, and like understand, that as old as he then seemed, to prove not unsuccessful. The triumph when they were first married he and his of Daphne over her sister Lætitia has spouse could make but fourscore; so may been the subject of conversation at several madam Hecatissa very justly allége here- tea-tables where I have been present; and after, that as long-visaged as she may then I have observed the fair circle not a little be thought, upon their wedding-day Mr. pleased to find you considering them as Spectator and she had but half an ell of reasonable creatures, and endeavouring to
Hor. Ars Poet. ver. 350.
banish that Mahometan custom, which had the rules of honour and prudence; and too much prevailed even in this island, of have thought it an observation not ill-made, treating women as if they had no souls. that where that was wholly denied, the I must do them the justice to say, that there women lost their wit, and the men their seems to be nothing wanting to the finish- good manners. It is, sure, from those iming of these lovely pieces of human nature, proper liberties you mentioned, that a sort besides the turning and applying their am- of undistinguishing people shall banish bition properly, and the keeping them up from their drawing-rooms the best-bred to a sense of what is their true merit. men in the world, and condemn those that Epictetus, that plain, honest philosopher, do not. Your stating this point might, I as little as he had of gallantry, appears to think, be of good use, as well as much have understood them, as well as the po- oblige, sir, your admirer and most humble lite St. Evremont, and has hit this point servant,
ANNA BELLA.' very luckily. When young women,' says he, arrive at a certain age, they hear
No answer to this, till Anna Bella sends themselves called Mistresses, and are
a description of those she calls the bestmade to believe that their only business is
bred men in the world. to please the men; they immediately begin •MR. SPECTATOR,-I am a gentleman to dress, and place all their hopes in the who for many years last past have been adorning of their persons; it is therefore,' well known to be truly splenetic, and that continues he, ‘worth the while to endea- my spleen arises from having contracted so vour by all means to make them sensible great a delicacy, by reading the best authat the honour paid to them is only upon thors, and keeping the most refined comaccount of their conducting themselves pany, that I cannot bear the least improwiti virtue, modesty, and discretion.'
priety of language, or rusticity of behaviour. Now, to pursue the matter yet further, Now, sir, I have ever looked upon this as and to render your cares for the improve- a wise distemper; but by late observations ment of the fair ones more effectual, I find, that every heavy wretch, who has nowould propose a new method, like those thing to say, excuses his dulness by com- · applications which are said to convey their plaining of the spleen. Nay, I saw the virtue by sympathy; and that is, that in other day, two fellows in a tavern kitchen order to embellish the mistress, you should set up for it, call for a pint and pipes, and give a new education to the lover, and only by guzzling liquor, to each other's teach the men not to be any longer dazzled health, and by wafting smoke in each by false charms and unreal beauty. I can- other's face, pretend to throw off the not but think that if our sex knew always spleen. I appeal to you whether these how to place their esteem justly, the other dishonours are to be done to the distemper would not be so often wanting to them- of the great and the polite. I beseech you, selves in deserving it. For as the being sir, to inform these fellows that they have enamoured with a woman of sense and vir- not the spleen, because they cannot talk tue is an improvement to a man's under- without the help of a glass at their mouths, standing and morals, and the passion is or convey their meaning to each other ennobled by the object which inspires it; without the interposition of clouds. If you so on the other side, the appearing amiable will not do this with all speed, I assure you, to a man of a wise and elegant mind, car for my part, I will wholly quit the disease, ries in itself no small degree of merit and and for the future be merry with the vulaccomplishment. I conclude, therefore,
gar. I am, sir, your humble servant.' that one way to make the women yet more agreeable is, to make the men more vir- “SIR,—This is to let you understand that tuous. I am, sir, your most humble ser- I am a reformed Starer, and conceived a vant,
R. B. detestation for that practice from what you
have writ upon the subject. But as you
• April 26th. have been very severe upon the behaviour SIR,-Yours of Saturday fast I read, of us men at divine service, I hope you will not without some resentment; but I will not be so apparently partial to the women, suppose, when you say you expect an in- as to let them go wholly unobserved. If undation of ribands and brocades, and to they do every thing that is possible to atsee many new vanities which the women tract our eyes, are we more culpable than will fall into upon a peace with France, they, for looking at them? I happened last that you intend only the unthinking part Sunday to be shut into a pew, which was of our sex; and what methods can reduce full of young ladies in the bloom of youth them to reason is hard to imagine.
and beauty. When the service began, I . But, sir, there are others yet, that had not room to kneel at the confession, your instructions might be of great use to, but as I stood kept my eyes from wanderwho, after their best endeavours, are some-ing as well as I was able, till one of the times at a loss to acquit themselves to a cen- young ladies, who is a Peeper, resolved to sorious world. I am far from thinking you bring down my looks and fix my devotion can altogether disapprove of conversation on herself. You are to know, sir, that a between ladies and gentlemen, regulated by Peeper works with her hands, eyes, and
Strenua nos exercet inertia.
fan; one of which is continually in motion, Given at our court in Vinegar-yard, while she thinks she is not actually the ad- story the third from the earth, April 28, miration of some ogler or starer in the con- 1711.'
R. gregation. As I stood utterly at a loss how to behave myself, surrounded as I was, this Peeper so placed herself as to be
be No. 54.] Wednesday, May 2, 1711. kneeling just before me. She displayed the most beautiful bosom imaginable, which
Hor. Lib. 2. Ep. xi. 28. heared and fell with some fervour, while a Laborious idleness our powers employs. delicate well-shaped arm held a fan over her face. It was not in nature to command I have received from the learned university
The following letter being the first that one's eyes from this object. I could not of Cambridge, I could not but do myself avoid taking notice also of her fan, which the honour of publishing it. It gives an achad on it various figures very improper to count of a new sect of philosophers which behold on that occasion. There lay in the has arose in that famous residence of learnbody of the piece a Venus under a purple ing; and is, perhaps, the only sect this age canopy furled with curious wreaths of drapery, half naked, attended with a train of is likely to produce. Cupids, who were busy in fanning her as
Cambridge, April 26. she slept. Behind her was drawn a satyr • MR. SPECTATOR,—Believing you to be peeping over the silken fence, and threat- an universal encourager of liberal arts and ening to break through it. I frequently sciences, and glad of any information from offered to turn my sight another way, but the learned world, I thought an account ox was still detained by the fascination of the a sect of philosophers, very frequent among Peeper's eyes, who had long practised a us, but not taken notice of as far as I can skill in them, to recal the parting glances remember, by any writers, either ancient of her beholders. You see my complaint, or modern, would not be unacceptable to and I hope you will take these mischievous you. The philosophers of this sect are people, the Peepers, into your considera- in the language of our university called tion. Í doubt not but you will think a Loungers. I am of opinion, that, as in many Peeper as much more pernicious than a other things, so likewise in this, the anStarer, as an ambuscade is more to be fear-cients have been defective; viz: in mened than an open assault. I am, Sir, your tioning no philosophers of this sort. Some most obedient servant.'
indeed will affirm that they are a kind of This Peeper using both fan and eyes, to Peripatetics, because we see them conti be considered as a Pict, and proceed ac- these gentlemen consider, that though the
nually walking about. But I would have cordingly.
ancient Peripatetics walked much, yet they ‘KING LATINUS to the SPECTATOR, wrote much also; witness, to the sorrow of greeting.
this sect, Aristotle and others; whereas it •Though some may think we descend is notorious that most of our professors from our imperial dignity, in holding cor- never lay out a farthing either in pen, ink, respondence with a private literato; yet as or paper. Others are for deriving them we have great respect to all good inten- from Diogenes, because several of the leadtions for our service, we do not esteem iting men of the sect have a great deal of beneath us to return you our royal thanks cynical humour in them, and delight much, for what you have published in our behalf, in sunshine. But then, again, Diogenes was while under confinement in the enchanted content to have his constant habitation in a castle of the Savoy, and for your mention of narrow tub, whilst our philosophers are so a subsidy for a prince in misfortune. This far from being of his opinion, that it is your timely zeal has inclined the hearts of death to them to be confined within the divers to be aiding unto us, if we could limits of a good handsome convenient champropose the means. We have taken their ber but for half an hour. Others there are good-will into consideration, and have con- who from the clearness of their heads detrived a method which will be easy to duce the pedigree of loungers from that those who shall give the aid, and not unac- great man (I think it was either Plato or ceptable to us who receive it. A concert Socrates) who, after all his study and of music shall be prepared at Haberdash- learning, professed, that all he then knew er's-hall, for Wednesday the second of was, that he knew nothing. You easily see May, and we will honour the said entertain- this is but a shallow argument, and may ment with our own presence, where each be soon confuted. person shall be assessed but at two shil- • I have with great pains and industry sings and sixpence. What we expect from made my observation from time to time you is, that you publish these our royal in- upon these sages; and having now all matentions, with injunction that they be read terials ready, am compiling a treatise, at all tea-tables within the cities of London wherein I shall set forth the rise and proand Westminster; and so we bid you gress of this famous sect, together with heartily farewell.
their maxims, austerities, manner of living, LATINUS, King of the Volscians. &c. Having prevailed with a friend who