« PreviousContinue »
forming a remove from one place to an- | acquired his eloquence. Seneca in his letother. I should be a cure for the unnatural ters to Lucilius assures him there was not desire of John Trot for dancing, and a spe- a day in which he did not either write cific to lessen the inclination Mrs. Fidget something, or read and epitomize some good has to motion, and cause her always to give author; and I remember Pliny in one of his her approbation to the present place she letters, where he gives an account of the is in. In fine, no Egyptian mummy was various methods he used to fill up every ever half so useful in physic, as I should be vacancy of time, after several employments to these feverish constitutions, to repress which he enumerates; "Sometimes," says the violent sallies of youth, and give each he, "I hunt: but even then I carry with action its proper weight and repose. me a pocket-book, that whilst my servants are busied in disposing of the nets and other matters, I may be employed in something that may be useful to me in my studies; and that if I miss of my game, I may at the least bring home some of my own thoughts with me, and not have the mortification of having caught nothing all day."
'I can stifle any violent inclination, and oppose a torrent of anger, or the solicitations of revenge, with success. Indolence is a stream which flows slowly on, but yet undermines the foundation of every virtue. A vice of a more lively nature were a more desirable tyrant than this rust of the mind, which gives a tincture of its nature to every action of one's life. It were as little hazard to be lost in a storm, as to lie thus perpetually becalmed: and it is to no purpose to have within one the seeds of a thousand good qualities, if we want the vigour and resolution necessary for the exerting them. Death brings all persons back to an equality; and this image of it, this slumber of the mind, leaves no difference between the greatest genius, and the meanest understanding. A faculty of doing things remarkably praiseworthy, thus concealed, is of no more use to the owner than a heap of gold to the man who dares not use it.
Thus, sir, you see how many examples I recall to mind, and what arguments I ́use with myself to regain my liberty: but as I am afraid it is no ordinary persuasion that will be of service, I shall expect your thoughts on this subject with the greatest impatience, especially since the good will not be confined to me alone, but will be of universal use. For there is no hope of amendment where men are pleased with their ruin, and whilst they think laziness is a desirable character; whether it be that they like the state itself, or that they think it gives them a new lustre when they do exert themselves, seemingly to be able to do that without labour and application, which others attain to but with the greatest diligence. I am, sir, your most obliged humble servant, SAMUEL SLACK.'
To-morrow is still the fatal time when all is to be rectified. To-morrow comes, it goes, and still I please myself with the shadow, whilst I lose the reality: unmindful that the present time alone is ours, the future is yet unborn, and the past is dead, and can only live (as parents in their children,) in the actions it has produced.
'The time we live ought not to be computed by the number of years, but by the use that has been made of it; thus, it is not the extent of ground, but the yearly rent, which gives the value to the estate. Wretched and thoughtless creatures, in the only place where covetousness were a virtue, we turn prodigals! Nothing lies upon
our hands with such uneasiness, nor have No. 317.] Tuesday, March 4, 1711-12. there been so many devices for any one thing, as to make it slide away imperceptibly and to no purpose. A shilling shall be hoarded up with care, whilst that which is above the price of an estate is flung away with disregard and contempt. There is nothing now-a-days, so much avoided, as solicitous improvement of every part of time; it is a report must be shunned as one tenders the name of a wit and a fine genius, and as one fears the dreadful character of a laborious plodder: but notwithstanding at the conclusion of a dramatic piece.* I this, the greatest wits any age has pro- could wish that men, while they are in duced thought far otherwise; for who can
death, asked his friends who stood about AUGUSTUS, a few minutes before his well; and upon receiving such an answer him, if they thought he had acted his part as was due to his extraordinary merit, 'Let me, then,' says he, go off the stage with your applause;' using the expression with which the Roman actors made their exit
think either Socrates or Demosthenes lost health, would consider well the nature of any reputation by their continual pains both the part they are engaged in, and what in overcoming the defects and improving figure it will make in the minds of those the gifts of nature? All are acquainted with they leave behind them, whether it was the labour and assiduity with which Tully
* Vos valete et plaudite.
Clytander to Cleone.
'MADAM,-Permission to love you is all that I desire, to conquer all the difficulties those about you place in my way, to surmount and acquire all those qualifications you expect in him who pretends to the honour of being, madam, your most devoted humble servant,
-Fruges consumere nati. Hor. Ep. ii. Lib. 1. 27.
worth coming into the world for; whether Hours ten, eleven, and twelve. Smoked it be suitable to a reasonable being; in short, three pipes of Virginia. Read the Supplewhether it appears graceful in this life, or ment and Daily Courant. Things go ill in will turn to an advantage in the next. Let the north. Mr. Nisby's opinion thereupon. the sycophant, or the buffoon, the satirist, One o'clock in the afternoon. Chid Ralph or the good companion, consider with him- for mislaying my tobacco-box. self, when his body shall be laid in the Two o'clock. Sat down to dinner. Mem. grave, and his soul pass into another state Too many plumbs, and no suet. of existence, how much it will redound to From three to four, Took
afternoon's his praise to have it said of him that no nap. man in England ate better, that he had an From four to six, Walked in the fields. admirable talent at turning his friends into Wind S. S. E. ridicule, that nobody out-did him at an ill- From six to ten. At the Club. Mr. natured jest, or that he never went to bed Nisby's opinion about the peace. before he had despatched his third bottle. Ten o'clock. Went to bed, slept sound. These are, however, very common funeral orations and eulogiums on deceased per
TUESDAY, being holiday, eight o'clock, sons who have acted among mankind with rose as usual. some figure and reputation.
Nine o'clock. Washed hands and face, But if we look into the bulk of our spe
shaved, put on my double-soled shoes.
Ten, eleven, twelve. Took a walk to cies, they are such as are not likely to be remembered a moment after their disap
One. Took a pot of Mother Cob's mild. pearance. They leave behind them no traces of their existence, but are forgotten
Between two and three. Returned, dined as though they had never been. They are
on a knuckle of veal and bacon, Mem. neither wanted by the poor, regretted by Sprouts wanting. the rich, nor celebrated by the learned.
Three. Nap as usual.
From four to six. Coffee-house. Read They are neither missed in the common
A dish of twist. Grand vizier wealth, nor lamented by private persons. Their actions are of no significancy to man
From six to ten. At the club. Mr. Niskind, and might have been performed by creatures of much less dignity than those by's account of the Great Turk.
Ten. Dream of the grand vizier. Broken who are distinguished by the faculty of reason. An eminent French author speaks
sleep. somewhere to the following purpose: I WEDNESDAY, eight o'clock. Tongue have often seen from my chamber win- of my shoe-buckle broke. Hands but not dow two noble creatures, both of them of face. an erect countenance and endowed with Nine. Paid off the butcher's bill. Mem, reason. These two intellectual beings are To be allowed for the last leg of mutton. employed from morning to night in rubbing Ten, eleven. At the Coffee-house. More two smooth stones one upon another; that work in the north. Stranger in
black wig is, as the vulgar phrase is, in polishing asked me how stocks went. marble.
From twelve to one. Walked in the My friend, Sir Andrew Freeport, as we fields. Wind to the south. were sitting in the club last night, gave us From one to two. Smoked a pipe and a an account of a sober citizen, who died a half. few days since. This honest man being of Two. Dined as usual. Stomach good. greater consequence in his own thoughts Three. Nap broke by the falling of a than in the eye of the world, had for some pewter dish. Mem. Cook-maid in love, years past kept a journal of his life. Sir An- and grown careless. drew showed us one week of it. Since the From four to six. At the coffee-house. occurrences set down in it mark out such a Advice from Smyrna that the grand vizier road of action as that I have been speaking was first of all strangled, and afterwards of, I shall present my reader with a faith- beheaded. ful copy of it; after having first informed Six o'clock in the evening. Was half him, that the deceased person had in his an hour in the club before any body else youth been bred to trade, but finding him- came. Mr. Nisby of opinion that the self not so well turned for business, he had grand vizier was not strangled the sixth for several years last past lived altogether instant. upon a moderate annuity.*
Ten at night. Went to bed. Slept withMonday, eight o'clock. I put on my out waking until nine the next morning. clothes and walked into the parlour. THURSDAY, nine o'clock. Staid within
Nine o'clock ditto. Tied my knee-strings, until two o'clock for Sir Timothy; who did and washed
not bring me my annuity according to his * It has been conjectured that this journal was in. promise. tended to ridicule a gentleman who was a member of Two in the afternoon. Sat down to dinthe congregation named Independents, where a Mr. Nes.
Loss of appetite, Small-beer sour. bit officiated as minister. See John Dunton's account of his Life, Errors and Opinions.
No. 318.] Wednesday, March 5, 1711-12. -non omnia possumus omnes.
Virg. Ecl. viii. 63. With different talents form'd, we variously excel.* 'MR. SPECTATOR,-A certain vice, which you have lately attacked, has not yet been considered by you as growing so deep in the heart of man, that the affectahave observed, that men who have been tion outlives the practice of it. You must bred in arms preserve to the most extreme and feeble old age, a certain daring in their aspect. In like manner, they who have passed their time in gallantry and adventure, keep up, as well as they can, the appearance of it, and carry a petulant incli
nation to their last moments. Let this serve for a preface to a relation I am going to give you of an old beau in town, that has not only been amorous, and a follower of women in general, but also, in spite of the admonition of grey hairs, been from his sixty-third year to his present seventieth, in an actual pursuit of a young lady, the wife of his friend, and a man of merit. The gay old Escalus has wit, good health, and is perfectly well-bred; but from the fashion his bloom, has such a natural tendency to and manners of the court when he was in amorous adventure, that he thought it would be an endless reproach to him to at a gentleman's house, whose good humake no use of a familiarity he was allowed
mour and confidence exposed his wife to I question not but the reader will be sur- the addresses of any who should take it in prised to find the above-mentioned journal- their head to do him the good office. It is ist taking so much care of a life that was not impossible that Escalus might also refilled with such inconsiderable actions, and sent that the husband was particularly nereceived so very small improvements; and gligent of him; and though he gave many yet, if we look into the behaviour of many intimations of a passion towards the wife, whom we daily converse with, we shall find the husband either did not see them, or put that most of their hours are taken up in him to the contempt of overlooking them. those three important articles of eating, In the mean time Isabella, for so we shall drinking, and sleeping. I do not suppose call our heroine, saw his passion, and rethat a man loses his time, who is not en-joiced in it, as a foundation for much divergaged in public affairs, or in an illustrious sion, and an opportunity of indulging hercourse of action. On the contrary, I believe self in the dear delight of being admired, our hours may very often be more profit- addressed to, and flattered, with no ill ably laid out in such transactions as make consequence to her reputation. This lady no figure in the world, than in such as are is of a free and disengaged behaviour, apt to draw upon them the attention of ever in good-humour, such as is the image mankind. One may become wiser and bet- of innocence with those who are innocent, ter by several methods of employing one's and an encouragement to vice with those self in secrecy and silence, and do what is who are abandoned. From this kind of laudable without noise or ostentation.I carriage, and an apparent approbation of would, however, recommend to every one his gallantry, Escalus had frequent opporof my readers, the keeping a journal of tunities of laying amorous epistles in her their lives for one week, and setting down way, of fixing his eyes attentively upon her punctually their whole series of employ- actions, of performing a thousand little ofments during that space of time. This fices which are neglected by the unconcernkind of self-examination would give them ed, but are so many approaches towards a true state of themselves, and incline them happiness with the enamoured. It was to consider seriously what they are about. now, as is above hinted, almost the end of One day would rectify the omissions of the seventh year of his passion, when Esanother, and make a man weigh all those calus, from general terms, and the ambiguindifferent actions, which though they are easily forgotten, must certainly be accounted for. L.
Three. Could not take my nap. Four and five. Gave Ralph a box on the ear. Turned off my cook-maid. Sent a messenger to Sir Timothy. Mem. I did not go to the club to night." Went to bed at nine o'clock.
FRIDAY. Passed the morning in meditation upon Sir Timothy, who was with me a quarter before twelve.
Twelve o'clock. Bought a new head to my cane, and a tongue to my buckle. Drank a glass of purl to recover appetite.
Two and three. Dined and slept well. From four to six. Went to the coffeehouse. Met Mr. Nisby there. Smoked several pipes. Mr. Nisby of opinion that
laced coffee is bad for the head.
Six o'clock. At the club as steward. Sat late.
Twelve o'clock. Went to bed, dreamt that I drank small beer with the grand vizier. SATURDAY. Waked at eleven, walked
in the fields, wind N. E.
Twelve. Caught in a shower. One in the afternoon. Returned home and dried myself.
Two. Mr. Nisby dined with me. First course, marrow-bones; second, ox-cheek,
with a bottle of Brooks and Hellier.
Three. Overslept myself. Six. Went to the club. Like to have fallen into a gutter. Grand vizier certainly
The motto to this paper in folio was, 'Rideat, et pulset lasciva decentius ætas.'-Hor
ous respect which criminal lovers retain in ness has not destroyed the esteem I had for their addresses, began to bewail that his you, which was confirmed by so many years passion grew too violent for him to answer of obstinate virtue. You have reason to reany longer for his behaviour towards her, joice that this did not happen within the and that he hoped she would have consi- observation of one of the young fellows, who deration for his long and patient respect, would have exposed your weakness, and to excuse the emotions of a heart now no gloried in his own brutish inclinations. longer under the direction of the unhappy
“I am, Madam, your most devoted humowner of it. Such, for some months, had ble servant." been the language of Escalus, both in his talk and his letters to Isabella, who re
'Isabella, with the help of her husband, turned all the profusion of kind things
returned the following answer: which had been the collection of fifty years, “SIR, I cannot but account myself a with “ I must not hear you; you will make very happy woman, in having a man for a me forget that you are a gentleman; I would lover that can write so well, and give so not willingly lose you as a friend;" and the good a turn to a disappointment. Another like expressions, which the skilful inter- excellence you have above all other prepret to their own advantage, as well know- tenders I ever heard of; on occasions where ing that a feeble denial is a modest assent. the most reasonable men lose all their reaI should have told you, that Isabella, during son, you have yours most powerful. We the whole progress of this amour, commu- have each of us to thank our genius that nicated it to her husband; and that an ac- the passion of one abated in proportion count of Escalus's love was their usual en- as that of the other grew violent. Does it tertainment after half a day's absence. not yet come into your head to imagine, Isabella therefore, upon her lover's late that 'I knew my compliance was the greatmore open assaults, with a smile told her est cruelty I could be guilty of towards husband she could hold out no longer, but you? In return for your long and faithful that his fate was now come to a crisis. After passion, I must let you know that you are she had explained herself a little farther, old enough to become a little more gravity; with her husband's approbation, she pro- but if you will leave me, and coquet it any ceeded in the following manner. The next where else, may your mistress yield. time that Escalus was alone with her, and
“ISABELLA.” repeated his importunity, the crafty Isabella looked on her fan with an air of great attention, as considering, of what impor. No. 319.] Thursday, March 6, 1711-12. tance such a secret was to her; and upon the repetition of a warm expression, she looked Quo teneam vultus mutantem Protea nodo? at him with an eye of fondness, and told
Hor. Ep. i. Lib. 1. 90. him he was past that time of life which
Say while they change on thus, what chains can bind could make her fear he would boast of a These varying forms, this Proteus of the mind ? lady's favour; then turned away her head,
Francis. with a very well acted confusion, which I HAVE endeavoured in the course of my favoured the escape of the aged Escalus. papers to do justice to the age, and have This adventure was matter of great plea- taken care, as much as possible, to keep santry to Isabella and her spouse; and they myself a neuter between both sexes. I have had enjoyed it two days before Escalus neither spared the ladies out of complaicould recollect himself enough to form the sance, nor the men out of partiality, but following letter:
notwithstanding the great integrity with
which I have acted in this particular, I “MADAM, What happened the other find myself taxed with an inclination to faday gives me a lively image of the incon-vour my own half of the species. Whether sistency of human passions and inclinations. it be that the women afford a more fruitful We pursue what we are denied, and place field for speculation, or whether they run our affections on what is absent, though we more in my head than the men, I cannot neglected it when present. As long as you tell; but I shall set down the charge as it refused my love, your refusal did so strongly is laid against me in the following letter. excite my passion, that I had not once the leisure to think of recalling my reason to aid MR. SPECTATOR,I always make one me against the design upon your virtue. among a company of young females, who But when that virtue began to comply in peruse your speculations every morning. I my favour, my reason made an effort over am at present commissioned by our whole my love, and let me see the baseness of my assembly to let you know, that we fear you behaviour in attempting a woman of honour. are a little inclined to be partial towards I own to you, it was not without the most your own sex. We must, however, acviolent struggle that I gained this victory knowledge, with all due gratitude, that in over myself; nay, I will confess my shame, some cases you have given us our revenge and acknowledge, I could not have pre- on the men, and done us justice. We could vailed but by flight. However, madam, I not easily have forgiven you several strokes beg that you will believe a moment's weak. I in the dissection of the coquette's heart, if Vol. II.
you had not, much about the same time, made a sacrifice to us of a beau's skull.
You may further, sir, please to remember, that not long since you attacked our hoods and commodes in such a manner, as, to use your own expression, made very many of us ashamed to show our heads. We must therefore beg leave to represent to you that we are in hopes, if you will all make a due inquiry, the men in
'SIR,-I presume I need not inform you, that among men of dress it is a common
would be found to have been little phrase to say, "Mr. Such-a-one has struck
less whimsical in adorning that part than ourselves. The different forms of their wigs, together with the various cocks of their hats, all flatter us in this opinion.
I had an humble servant last summer, who the first time he declared himself, was in a full-bottomed wig; but the day after, to my no small surprise, he accosted me in a thin natural one. I received him at this our second interview as a perfect stranger, but was extremely confounded when his speech discovered who he was. I resolved, therefore to fix his face in my memory for the future; but as I was walking in the Park the same evening, he appeared to me in one of those wigs that I think you call a night-cap, which had altered him more effectually than before. He afterwards played a couple of black riding-wigs upon me with the same success, and, in short, assumed a new face almost every day in the first month of his courtship.
I observed afterwards, that the variety of cocks into which he moulded his hat, had not a little contributed to his impositions
Yet, as if all these ways were not sufficient to distinguish their heads, you must doubtless, sir, have observed, that great numbers of young fellows have, for several months last past, taken upon them to wear feathers.
We hope, therefore, that these may, with as much justice, be called Indian princes, as you have styled a woman in a coloured hood an Indian queen; and that you will in due time take these airy gentlemen into consideration.
We the more earnestly beg that you would put a stop to this practice, since it has already lost us one of the most agreeable members of our society, who after having refused several good estates, and two titles, was lured from us last week by
a mixed feather.
I am ordered to present you with the respects of our whole company, and am, Sir, your very humble servant, I quinon resVYQUNU DORINDA.' whides que ad bomdcdimm
Note. The person wearing the feather, though our friend took him for an officer in the guards, has proved to be an errant linendraper.'
I am not now at leisure to give my opinion
upon the hat and feather; however, to wipe off the present imputation, and gratify my female correspondent, I shall here print a letter which I lately received from a man of mode, who seems to have a very extraordinary genius in his way.
a bold stroke," by which we understand, that he is the first man who has had courage enough to lead up a fashion. Accordingly, when our tailors take measure of us, they plain suit, or strike a bold stroke?” I think always demand "whether we will have a may without vanity say, that I have struck some of the boldest and most successful strokes of any man in Great Britain. I was two years since; I was likewise the author the first that struck the long pocket about of the frosted button, which when I saw the town come readily into, being resolved to strike while the iron was hot, I produced the knotted cravat, and made a fair push much about the same time the scallop flap, for the silver-clocked stocking.
modish jacket, or the coat with close A few months after I brought up the sleeves. I struck this at first in a plain Doily; but that failing, I struck it a second time in a blue camlet, and repeated the it took effect. There are two or three stroke in several kinds of cloth, until at last young fellows at the other end of the town who have always their eye upon me, and answer me stroke for stroke. I was once tion to a new-fashioned surtout before one so unwary as to mention my fancy in relaof these gentlemen, who was disingenuous enough to steal my thought, and by that means prevented my intended stroke.
considerable innovations in the waistcoat; "I have a design this spring to make very and have already begun with a coup d'essai upon the sleeves, which has succeeded
I must further inform you, if you will at me, that it is my design to strike such a promise to encourage, or at least to connive stroke the beginning of the next month as shall surprise the whole town.
I do not think it prudent to acquaint dress; but will only tell you, as a sample of you with all the particulars of my intended White's in a cherry-coloured hat. I took it, that I shall very speedily appear at this hint from the ladies' hoods, which I look upon as the boldest stroke that sex has struck for these hundred years last past. I am, sir, your most obedient, most humble servant, WILL SPRIGHTLY.”
I have not time at present to make any however omit that having shown it to Will reflections on this letter; but must not Honeycomb, he desires to be acquainted with the gentleman who writ it. X.