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great part of my education, and in which, though unworthy, I am now arrived at the honour of being a public lecturer) has bred up many authors, to the amazing entertainment and inftruction of their readers. Button's, the grand archetype of the Bedford, was frequented by Addifon, Steele, Pope, and the reft of that celebrated fet, who flourished at the beginning of this century; and was regarded with juft deference on account of the real geniuses who frequented it. But we can now boaft men of fuperior abilities; men, who without any one acquired excellence, by the mere dint of an happy affurance, can exact the fame tribute of veneration, and receive it as due to the illuftrious characters, the fcribblers, players, fiddlers, gamblers, that make fo large a part of the company at the Bedford.
I fhail now take leave of Covent Garden, and defire the reader's company to White's. Here (as Vanbrugh fays of Locket's) he may have a dish no bigger than a faucer, that fhall coft him fifty fhillings.' The great people, who frequent this place, do not interrupt their politer amufements, like the wretches at Garraway's, with bufinefs, any farther than to go down to Westminster one feffions to vote for a bill, and the next to repeal it. Nor do they trouble themfelves with literary debates, as at the Bedford. Learning is beneath the notice of a man of quality. They employ themselves more fashionably at whift for the trifle of a thousand pounds the rubber, or by making betts on the lye of the day.
From this very genteel place the reader muft not be surprised, if I fhould convey him to a cellar, or a common porterhoufe. For as it is my province to delineate and remark on mankind in general, whoever becomes my difciple muft not refufe to follow me from the Star and Garter to the Goofe and Gridiron, and be content to climb after me up to an author's garret, or give me leave to introduce him to a route. In my prefent cui fory view of The Town, I have indeed confined myself principally to coffee-houses; though I conftantly vifit all places, that afford any matter for fpeculation. I am a Scotchman at Forreft's, a Frenchman at Slaughter's, and at the Cocoa-Tree I am-au English
At the Robin Hood I am a politician, a logician, a geometrician, a phyfician, a metaphyfician, a cafuift, a moralift, a theologift, a mythologist, or any thing-but an Atheift. Whereever the World is, I an. You will therefore hear of me fometimes at the theatres, fometimes perhaps at the opera nor fhall I think the exhibitions of Sadler's Wells, or the Little Theatre in the Haymarket beneath my notice; but may one day or other give a differtation upon Tumbling, or (if they fhould again become popular) a critique on Dogs and Monkeys.
Though the Town is the walk I fhall generally appear in, let it not be imagined, that vice and folly will shoot up unnoticed in the country. My cousin VILLAGE has undertaken that province, and will fend me the fresheft advices of every fault or foible that takes root there. But as it is my chief ambition to please and inftruct the ladies, I fhall embrace every opportunity of devoting my labours to their fervice: and I may with juftice congratulate myfeif upon the happiness of living in an age, when the female part of the world are fo ftudious to find employment for a Cenfor.
The character of Mr. Town is, I flatter myself, too well known to need an explanation. How far, and in what fenfe, I propose to be a CONNOISSEUR, the reader will gather from my general
N° II. THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 1754.
COMMISSA QUOD AUCTIO VENDIT
STANTIBUS, OENOPHORUM, TRIPODES, ARMARIA, CISTAS.
MAIM'D STATUES, RUSTY MEDALS, MARBLES OLD,
Have already received letters from feveral Virtuofi, expreffing their aftonishment and concern at my difappointing the warm hopes they had conceived of my undertaking from the title of my paper. They tell me, that by deferting the paths of Virtù, I at once neglect the public interest and my own; that by fupporting the character of Connoiffeur in it's ufual fenfe, I might have obtained very confiderable falaries from the principal auction-rooms, toy-fhops, and repofitories; and might befides very plaufibly have recommended myself as the propereft perfon in the world to be keeper of Sir Hans Sloane's Museum.
I cannot be infenfible of the importance of this capital bufinefs of Taite, and how much reputation as well as profit would accrue to my labours, by confining them to the minutest researches into nature and art, and poring over the ruft of antiquity. I very well know that the difcovery of a new Zoophyte, or fpecies of the Polype, would be as valuable as that of the Longitude. The cabinets of the curious would furnish out matter for my effays, more inftructing than all the learned lumber of a Vatican. Of what confequence would it be, to point out the diftinctions of originals from copies fo precifely, that the paltry fcratchings of a modern may never hereafter be palmed on a Connoiffeur for the labours of a Rembrandt! I fhould command applaufe from the adorers of antiquity, were I to demonftrate, that merit never exifted but in the schools of the old painters, never flourished but in the warm climate of Italy: and how fhould I rife in the esteem of my countrymen, by chaftifing the arrogance of an Englishman in prefuming to determine the Analyfis of Beauty!
At other times I might take occafion to fhew my fagacity in conjectures on rufty coins and illegible marbles. What profound erudition is contained in an balf-obliterated antique piece of copper!
TRAJ. IMP. P. VII. COSS. MAX. *** TREB. V. P. P. S. C.; and how merveillous, molt courteous and ryghte worthye reader, would the barbarous infcription of fome ancient monument appear to thee, and how pleafaunt to thyne epne wytheall, thus preferved in it's obfolete fpelling, and original Black Charader! To this branch of Tafte, I am more particularly preffed. A correfpondent defires to know, whether I was of the party, that lately took a furvey of Palmyra in the Defart; another, if I have traverfed the Holy Land, or visited Mount Calvary. I fhall not fpeak too proudly of my travels: but as my predeceffor the SPECTATOR has recommended himself by having made a trip to Grand Cairo to take measure of a pyramid, I affure my reader that I have climbed Mount Vefuvio in the midst of it's eruptions, and dug fome time underground in the ruins of Herculaneum.
I fhall always be folicitous to procure the esteem of so respectable a body as the Connoiffeurs; fince I cannot but be fenfible, could I any way merit it by my labours, how much more important the name of Mr. Town would appear, dignified with the addition of F. R. S. or Member of the Society of Antiquarians. I therefore take this early opportunity of obliging the curious with a letter from a very eminent perfonage, who, as well as myfelf, is lately become a Connoiffeur, and is known to have gone abroad for no other purpose than to buy pictures.
THE hurry in which I left England
must have convinced you how much I was in earnest, when I talked of making a valuable collection of pictures. By my frequent attendance on fales, I already know almost as much of painting, as I do of the funds; and can talk
as learnedly of light and fhade, figure, proportion, drapery, &c. as of the rife and fall of stocks. I have, however, been very much embarraffed in getting together a collection, fuitable to the religion I profefs. The famous painters were most of them fuch bigots to their own way of thinking, that they have fcarce left any thing behind them but Holy Families, Dead Chrifts, and Madonas; fubjects, which to me and my tribe are odious and abominable. A picture, fince it has the property of being the language of all mankind, fhould never be particular in it's subject; but we fhould paint, as the English are taught to pray, for all Jews, Turks, Infidels, and Heretics.'
When I have made the tour of Italy, I will fend you a compleat lift of all my purchases: in the mean time the following fhort fpecimen will enable you to judge of my precautions, in felecting pieces fuitable to my character, and not offenfive to my principles.
The first that I bought was • The Elevation of the Golden Calf.' This I fhall fet up in the Royal Exchange, as a typical representation of myfelf, to be worshipped by all brokers, infurers, fcriveners, and the whole fraternity of ftock-jobbers.
The fecond is The Triumph of Gideon.' This I intended, if a late project in favour of our brethren had not mifcarried, fhould have been hung up in St. Stephen's Chapel, as a memorial of our victory over the Uncircumcifed.
The third and fourth are Peter denying his Mafter,' and Judas be-⚫traying him for thirty pieces of filver; both which I defign as prefents to our two worthy friends, the Bs of and
The next which I fhall mention to you, deserves particular notice; and this is The Prophet of Nazareth himfelf, conjuring the devil into an herd ' of fwine.' From this piece, when I return to England, I intend to have a print engraved; being very proper to be had in all Jewish families, as a neceffary prefervative against Pork and Chrif tianity.
Ruins of the Temple-A Publican at the Receipt of Custom-and-a Samfon in miniature.
Befides thefe, I have employed an ingenious artist here to execute a design of my own. It is a picture of Fortune; not standing (as in the common stile) upon a kind of cart-wheel, but on the two wheels of the lottery, with a reprefentation of a net caft over the leffer engroffers of tickets, while a Chief Manager is breaking his way through the meshes.
I must not forget to tell you, that I have picked up an infamous portrait, by an English hand, called Shylock; with the following infcription under it, taken, I fuppofe, from the London Evening Poft, or that impudent Fool the Gazetteer: They have difgraced me, and hindered me half a million, laught at my loffes, mockt at my gains, fcorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies; and what's the reafon? I am a Jew.'
As foon as the parliament is diffolv ed, you may expect to fee me in England; till when, I am, dear Sir, yours, &c,
Suppofe Connoiffeur is only another word for a Knowing One. So write me a few papers in defence of cards. dice, races, and gaming in general; and I will admit you upon the fquare, introduce you at White's, fet you upon the turf, the next meeting at Newmarket. and make your fortune at once. you are the man I take you for, you will be wife, and do this directly; and then the odds are for you. If not, I'll hold you an hundred pounds to a China orange, that your paper is neglected as low and vulgar, and yourself condemned as an unfashionable blockhead.
I fhall not tire you with a particular detail of fome other leffer pieces; fuch as, The Deluge, in water colours-The New Jerufalem, in perfpective-Some T
Yours, as you behave,
N° III. THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 1754.
SUAVE MARI MAGNO, TURBANTIBUS QUORA VENTIS,
WHEN RAGING WINDS THE RUFFLED DEEP DEFORM,
E writers of effays, or (as they are termed) periodical papers, justly claim to ourselves a place among the modern improvers of literature. Neither Bently nor Burnam, nor any other equally fagacious commentator, has been able to discover the leaft traces of any fimilar productions among the ancients: except we can fuppofe, that the bitory of Thucidydes was retailed weekly in fixpenny numbers; that Seneca dealt out his morality every Saturday; or that Tully wrote fpeeches and philofophical difquifitions, whilft Virgil and Horace clubbed together to furnish the poetry for a Roman Magazine.
There is a word, indeed, by which we are fond of distinguishing our works, and for which we must confefs ourselves indebted to the Latin. Myfelf, and every petty journalist, affect to dignify our hafty performances by ftiling them Lucubrations; by which we mean, if we mean any thing, that as the day is too fhort for our labours, we are obliged to call in the affistance of the night: not to mention the modest infinuation, that our compofitions are fo correct, that (like the orations of Demofthenes) they may be faid to fmell of the lamp.' We would be understood to follow the directions of the Roman fatirift' to grow • pale by the midnight candle;' though perhaps, as our own fatirift expreffes it, we may be thought
Sleepless ourselves to give our readers fleep.
But, as a relief from the fatigue of fo many restless hours, we have frequently gone to fleep for the benefit of the public: and furely we, whofe labours are confined to a sheet and half, may be indulged in taking a nap now and then, as well as thofe engaged in longer works; who (according to Horace) are to be excufed, if a little drowzinefs fometimes creeps in upon them.
After this preface, the reader will not be furprised, if I take the liberty to relate a dream of my own. It is ufual on thefe occafions to be lulled to ileep by fome book; and most of my brethren pay that compliment to Virgil or Shakefpeare: but as I could never discover any opiate qualities in thofe authors, I chofe rather to doze over fome modern performance. I must beg to be excused from mentioning particulars, as I would not provoke the refentment of my cotemporaries: nobody will imagine, that I dipt into any of our modern novels, or took up any of our late tragedies.Let it fuffice, that I prefently fell faft afleep.
I found myself transported in an inftant to the fhore of an immenfe fea, covered with innumerable veffels; and though many of them fuddenly disappeared every minute, I faw others continually launching forth, and pursuing the fame course. The feers of vifions, and dreamers of dreams, have their organs of fight fo confiderably improved, that they can take in any object, however diftant or minute. It is not therefore to be wondered at, that I could difcern every thing diftinctly, though the waters before me were of the deepest black.
While I ftood contemplating this amazing fcene, one of thofe good-natured Genii, who never fail making their appearance to extricate dreamers from their difficulties, rofe from the fable stream, and planted himself at my elbow. His complexion was of the darkeft hue, not unlike that of the Demons of a printing-houfe; his jetty beard fhone like the bristles of a blacking-brush; on his head he wore a turban of imperial paper; and
There hung a calf-fin on his reverend limbs, which was gilt on the back, and faced
with robings of Morocco, lettered (like a rubric-poft) with the names of the most eminent authors. In his left-hand he bore a printed fcroll, which from the marginal corrections I imagined to be a proof-fheet; and in his right he waved the quill of a goofe.
He immediately accofted me.'Town,' faid he, I am the Genius, who is destined to conduct you through these turbulent waves. The sea that
" you now behold is the Ocean of Ink. • Those towers, at a great distance, ⚫ whofe bafes are founded upon rocks, ⚫ and whofe tops feem loft in the clouds, ⚫ are fituated in the Ifle of Fame. Contiguous to thefe, you may difcern by the glittering of it's golden fands, is "the Coaft of Gain, which leads to a ⚫ fertile and rich country. All the veffels, which are yonder failing with a ⚫ fair wind on the main sea, are making towards one or other of thefe: but you will obferve, that on their first fetting out they were irrefiftibly drawn into the Eddies of Criticifm, where they were obliged to encounter the moft dreadful tempefts and hurricanes. In thefe dangerous ftreights, you fee with what violence every bark is toft up and down: fome go to the bottom at once; others, after a faint ftruggle, are beat to pieces; many are much damaged; while a few by found planks and tight rigging are enabled to weather the ftorm.'
At this fight I started back with horror: and the remembrance till dwells fo ftrong upon my fancy, that I even now imagine the torrent of Criticism burfting in upon me, and ready to overwhelm me in an inftant.
Caft a look,' resumed my inftructor, on that vast lake divided into two parts, which lead to yonder magnificent Atructures, erected by the Tragic and ⚫ Comic Mufe. There you may ob* ferve many trying to force a paffage ⚫ without chart or compafs. Some have been overfet by crouding too much fail, and others have foun lered by ⚫ carrying too much ballast. An* Arcadian veffel (the mafter an Irishman) was, through contrary fqualls, fcarce able to live nine days: but you fee that light Italian gondola, † Gli Amanti Gelofi, fkims along pleasant
ly before the wind, and out-ftrips the painted frigates of her country, ↑ Didone and Artaferfe. Obferve that triumphant fquadron, to whofe flag all the others pay homage. Most of them are fhips of the firft rate, and were fitted out many years ago. Though fomewhat irregular in their make, and but little conformable to the exact rules of art, they will ever continue the pride and glory of these feas: for, as it is remarked by the prefent Laureat in his prologue to Papal • Tyranny
Shakespeare, whofe art no play-wright can Has launch'd us fleets of plays, and built
The Genius then bade me turn my eye, where the water feemed to foam with perpetual agitation. That,' faid he, is the ftrong Current of Politics, ⚫ often fatal to thofe who venture on it." I could not but take notice of a poor wretch on the oppofite fhore, fastened by the ears to a terrible machine. This, the Genius informed me, was the memorable Defoe, fet up there as a landmark, to prevent future mariners from fplitting on the fame rock.
To this turbulent profpect fucceeded objects of a more placid nature. little creek, winding through flowery meads and fhady groves, I defcried feveral gilded yachts and pleafure-boats, all of them keeping due time with their filver oars, and gliding along the fmooth, even, calm, regularly flowing Rivulets of Rhyme. Shepherds and fhepherdeffes playing on the banks; the fails were gently fwelled with the foft breezes of amorous fighs; and little Loves fported in the filken cordage.
My attention was now called off from thefe pacific fcenes to an obftinate engagement between feveral fhips, diftinguifhed from all others by bearing the Holy Crofs for their colours. Thefe, the Genius told me, were employed in the Holy War of Religious Controverfy; and he pointed out to me a few Corfairs in the fervice of the Infidels, fometimes aiding one party, fometimes fiding with the other, as might beft contribute to the general confufion.
I obferved in different parts of the
Philoclea, a tragedy; founded on Sir Philip Sydney's Arcadia. † An admired Burletta,