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him for natural defects, it is extremely agreeable when he can jestupon himself for them".
Madam Maintenon's first husband was an hero, in this kind, and has drawn many pleasantries from the irregularity of his shape, which he describes as very much resembling the letter Z. He diver's himself likewise by representing to his reader the make of an engine and pully, with which he used to take off his hat. When there happens to be anything ridiculous in a visage, and the owner of it thinks it an aspect of dignity, he must be of very great quality to be exempt from millery. The best expedient therefore is to be pleasant upon himself. Prince Harry and Falstaff, in Shakspeare, have carried the ridicule upon fat and lean as far as it will go. Falstaff is humor(usly called woolsack, bedpresser, and hill of flesh; Harry, a starveling, an elves-skin, a sheeth, a bowise, anda tuck. There is, in several incidents of he conversation between them, the jest still kept pupon the person. Great tenderness and sensity in this point is one of the greatest weaknesses ove. For my own part, I am a little unhappy the mould of my face, which is not quite so long stis broad. Whether this might not partly arise m my opening my mouth much seldomer than or people, and by consequence not so much ngthening the fibres of my visage, I am not at reto determine. However it be, I have been on put out of countenance by the shortness of ace, and was formerly at great pains in conong it by wearing a periwig with an high foreo, and letting j grow. But now I have groughly got over this delicacy, and could be oted with a much shorter, provided it might ity me for a member of the Merry club, which lowing letter gives me an account of. I have essed it from Oxford, and as it abounds with spirit of mirth and good humour, which is tral to that place, I shall set it down word for das it came to me.
"st PhorouxD sin,
cast of countenance; of which the president and officers for the time being are to determine, and the president to have the casting voice. ‘II. That a singular regard be had upon examination, to the gibbosity of the gentlemen that offer themselves as founder's kinsmen; or to the obliquity of their figure, in what sort soever. ‘III. That if the quantity of any man’s nose be eminently miscalculated, whether as to length or breadth, he shall have a just pretence to be elected. • Lastly, That if there shall be two or more competitors for the same vacancy, ceteris parihito, he that has the thickest skin to have the pre ference. “Every fresh member, upon his first night, is to entertain the company with a dish of cod fish, and a speech in praise of Æsop; whose portraiture they have, in full proportion, over the chimney; and their design is, as soon as their funds are sufficient, to purchase the heads of Thersites, Duns Scotus, Scarron, Hudibras, and the old gentleman in Oldham, with all the celebrated ill faces of antiquity, as furniture for the club-room. “As they have always been professed admirers of the other sex, so they unanimously declare that they will give all possible encouragement to such as will take the benefit of the statute, though none yet have appeared to do it. “The worthy president, who is their most devoted champion, has lately shown me two copies of verses composed by a gentleman of his society; the first, a congratulatory ode, inscribed to Mrs. Touchwood, upon the loss of her two four-teeth; the other, a panegyric upon Mrs. Andiron's left shoulder. Mrs. Vizard (he says) since the smallpox, is grown tolerably ugly, and a top toast in the club ; but I never heard him so lavish of his fine things, as upon old Neil Trot, who constantly officiates at their table; her he even adores and extols as the very counterpart of Mother Shipton; in short, Nell (says he) is one of the extraordinary works of nature; but as for complexion, shape, and features, so valued by others, they are all mere outside and symmetry, which is his aversion. Give me leave to add, that the president is a facetious pleasant gentleman, and never more so, than when he had got (as he calls them) his dear mummers about him ; and he often protests it does him good to meet a fellow with a right genuine grimace in his air (which is so agreeable in the generality of the French nation); and as an instance of his sincerity in this particular, he gave me a sight of a list in his pocket-book of all this class, who for these five years have fallen under his observation with himself at the head of them, and in the reas (as one of a promising and improving aspect.) “sin, ‘Your obliged and humble servant, “A LEx ANDER can BUxclf.”
“Oxford, March 12, 1710.
Iris my design in this paper to delive down to
posterity a faithful account of the Italian ope'
and of the gradual progress which it has made upon the English stage; for there is no question but our great grand-children will be very curious to know the reason why their forefathers used to sit together like an audience of foreigners in their own country, and to hear whole plays acted before them, in a tongue which they did not understand.
Arsinoe was the first opera that gave us a taste of Italian music. The great success this opera met with produced some attempts of forming pieces upon Italian plans, which should give a more narural and reasonable cntertainment than what can be met with in the elaborate trifles of that nation. This alarmed the poetasters and fiddlers of the town, who were used to deal in a more ordinary kind of ware; and therefore laid down an established rule, which is received as such to this day, “That nothing is capable of being well set to music, that is not nonsense.”
This maxim was no sooner received, but we im. mediately fell to translating the Italian operas; and as there was no great danger of hurting the sense of those extraordinary pieces, our authors would often make words of their own, which were entirely foreign to the meaning of the passages they pretended to translate; their chief care being to make the numbers of the English verse answer to those of the Italian, that both of them might go to the same tune. Thus the famous song in Camilla :
By this means the soft notes that were adapted to pity in the Italian, fell upon the word rage in the English; and the angry sounds that were turned to age in the original, were made to express pity in the translation. It oftentimes happened likewise, that the finest notes in the air fell upon the most insignificant words in the sentence. I have known the word “and” pursued through the whole gamut, have been entertained with many a melodious ‘the, and have heard the most beautiful graces, quavers, and divisions bestowed upon ‘then, for, and from ;” to the eternal honour of our English particles. The next step to our refinement, was the introducing of Italian actors into our opera; who sung their parts in their own language, at the same time "...at our countrymen performed theirs in our native
tongue. The king or hero of the play generally spoke in Italian, and his slaves answered him in English. The lover frequently made his court, and gained the heart of his princess, in a language which she did not understand. One would have thought it very difficult to have carried on dialogues after this manner without an interpreter between the persons that conversed together; but this was the state of the English stage for about three years. At length the audience grew tired of understand. ing half the opera ; and therefore, to ease themselves entirely of the fatigue of thinking, have so ordered it at present, that the whole opera is performed in an unknown tongue. We no longer understand the language of our own stage; insomuch that I have often been afraid, when I have seen our Italian performers chattering in the vehemence of an action, that they have been calling us names, and abusing us among themselves; but I hope, since we do put such an entire confidence in them, they will not talk against us before our faces, though they may do it with the same safety as if it were behind our backs. In the mean time, I cannot forbear thinking how naturally an historian, who writes two or three hundred years hence, and does not know the taste of his wise forefathers, will make the following reflections: “In the beginning of the eighteenth century, the Italian tongue was so well urlerstood in England, that operas were acted on the public stage in that language.” One scarce knows how to be serious in the confutation of an absurdity that shows itself at the first sight. It does not want any great measure of sense to see the ridicule of this monstrous practice; but what makes it the more astonishing, it is not the taste of the rabble, but of persons of the greatest politeness, which has established it. If the Italians have a genius for music above the English, the English have a genius for other performances of a much higher nature, and capable of giving the mind a much nobler entertainment. Would one think it was possible (at a time when an author lived that was able to write the Phodra and Hippolitus) for a people to be so stupidly fond of the Italian opera, as scarce to give a third day's hearing to that admirable tragedy? Music is certainly a very agreeable entertainment: but if it would take the entire possession of our ears, if it would make us incapable of hearing sense, if it would exclude arts that have a much greater tendency to the refinement of human nature ; I must confess I would allow it no better quarter than Plato has done, who banishes it out of his commonwealth. At present our notions of music are so very uncertain, that we do not know what it is we i. only, in general we are transported with any thing that is not English : so it be of a foreign growth, let it be Italian, French, or High Dutch, it is the same thing. In short, our English music is quite rooted out, and nothing yet planted in its stead. When a royal palace is burnt to the ground, every man is at liberty to present his plan for a new one; and though it be but indifferently put together, it may furnish several hints that may be of use to a good architect. I shall take the same liberty, in a following paper, of giving my opinion upon the subject of music; which I shall lay down only in a problematical manner, as to be considered by those who are masters in the art, ADDISQN, *- C.
isinvisg one person behold another, who was utter stranger to him, with a cast of his eye, Alth, methought, expressed an emotion of heart in different from what could be raised by an obto so agreeable as the gentleman he looked at, I onto consider, not without some secret sorrow, condition of an envious man. Some have faned that envy has a certain magical force in it, that the eyes of the envious have by their sonation blasted the enjoyments of the happy. Francis Bacon says, some have been so curious to remark the times and seasons when the stroke an envious eye is most effectually pernicious, thave observed that it has been when the per. nenvied has been in any circumstance of glory driumph. At such a time the mind of the pros“ous man goes, as it were, abroad, among things out him, and is more exposed to the maligW. But I shall not dwell upon speculations so “racted as this, or repeat the many excellent os which one might collect out of authors upon smiserable affection: but, keeping in the road common life, consider the envious man with re. onto these three heads, his pains, his reliefs, his happiness. The envious man is in pain upon all occasions thought to give him pleasure. The relish of He is inverted; and the objects which administhe highestsatisfaction to `. who are exempt this passion, give the quickest pangs to perwho are subject to it. All the perfections of ellow-creatures are odious. Youth, beauty, of, and wisdom are provocations of their dissure. What a wretched and apostate state is 'to be offended with excellence, and to hate on because we approve him! The condition of envious man is the most emphatically misera. he is not only incapable of rejoicing in anosment of success, but lives in a world wherein onkind are in a plot against his quiet, by ong their own happiness and advantage. Will per" is an honest tale-bearer. He makes it "sness to join in conversation with envious He points to such an handsome young fel. and whispers that he is secretly married to a tortune. When they doubt, he adds cironces to prove it; and never fails to aggratheir distress, by assuring them, that, to his lodge, he has an uncle will leave him some *ds. Will has many arts of this kind to * this sort of temper, and delights in it. he finds them change colour, and say faintly wish such a piece of news is true, he has the c to speak some good or other of every man racquaintance. reliefs of the envious man are those little shes and imperfections that discover them. on an illustrious character. It is a matter of onsolation to an envious person, when a o known honour does a thing unworthy " or when any action which was well exe
cuted, upon better information appears so altereo; in its circumstances, that the fame of it is divided among many, instead of being attributed to one. This is a secret satisfaction to these malignants; for the person whom they before could not but admire, they fancy is nearer their own condition as soon as his merit is shared among others. I remember some years ago there came out an excellent poem without the name of the author. The little wits, who were incapable of writing it, began to pull in pieces the supposed writer. When that would not do, they took great pains to suppress the opinion that it was his. That again failed. The next refuge was, to say it was overlooked by one man, and many pages wholly written by another. An honest fellow who sat among a cluster of them in debate on this subject, cried out, “Gentlemen, if you are sure none of you yourselves had a hand in it, you are but where you were, whoever writ it.” But the most usual succour to the envious, in cases of nameless merit in this kind, is to keep the property, if possible, unfixed, and by that means to hinder the reputation of it from falling upon any particular person. You see an envious man clear up his countenance, if in the relation of any man's great happiness in one point, you mention his uneasiness in another. When he hears such a one is very rich he turns pale, but recovers when you add that he has many children. In a word, the only sure way to an envious man’s favour, is not to deserve it. But if we consider the envious man in delight, it is like reading of the seat of a giant in a romance; the magnificence of his house consists in the many limbs of men whom he has slain. If any who promised themselves success in any uncommon undertaking miscarry in the attempt, or he that aimed at what would have been useful and laudable, meets with contempt and derision, the envious man, under the colour of hating vain-glory, can smile, with an inward wantonness of heart, at the ill effect it may have upon an honest ambition for the future. Having thoroughly considered the nature of this passion, I have made it my study how to avoid the envy that may accrue to me from these my speculations; and if I am not mistaken in myself, I think I have a genius to escape it. Upon hearing in a coffee-house one of my papers commended, I immediately apprehended the envy that would spring from that applause ; and therefore gave a description of my face the next day; being resolved, as I grew in reputation for wit, to resign my pretensions to beauty. This, I hope, may give some ease to those unhappy gentlemen who do me the honour to torment themselves upon the account of this my paper. As their case is very deplorable, and deserves compassion, I shall sometimes be dull, in pity to them, and will from time to time administer consolations to them by further discoveries of my person. In the meanwhile, if any one says the Spectator has wit, it may be some relief to them to think that he does not show it in com: pany. And if any one praises his morality, they may comfort themselves by considering thath. face is none of the longest.
* See NO, 30,
Axose the other hardy undertakings which I have Proposed to myself, that of the correction of impudence is what I have very much at heart. This in a particular manner is my province as spectator; for it is generally an offence committed by the eyes, and that against such as the offenders would perhaps never have an opportunity of injuring any other way. The following letter is a complaint of a young lady, who sets forth a tres. pass of this kind, with that command of herself as befits beauty and innocence, and yet with so much spirit as sufficiently expresses her indignation. The whole transaction is performed with the eyes; and the crime is no less than employing them in such a manner, as to divert the eyes of others from the best use they can make of them, even looking up to Heaven:
* sin, ‘THERE never was (I believe) an acceptable man but had some awkward imitators. Fver since the Spectator appeared, have I remarked a kind of men, whom I choose to call Starers; that without any regard to time, place, or modesty, disturb a large company with their impertinent eyes. Spectators make up a proper assembly for a puppetshow or a beat-garden; but devout supplicants and attentive hearers, are the audien:e one ought to expect in churches. I am, sir, member of a small pious congregation near one of the north gates of this city; much the greater part of us indeed are females, and used to behave ourselves in a regular attentive manner, till very lately one whole aisle has been disturbed by one of these monstrous starers: he is the head taller than a...y one in the church; but for the greater advantage of exposing himself, stands upon a hassock, and commands the whole congregation, to the great annoyance of the devoutest part of the auditory; for what with blushing, confusion, and vexation, we can neither mind the prayers nor sermon. Your animadversion upon this insolence would be a great favour to, “sift, ‘Your most humble servant, “s. c.”
I have frequently seen of this sort of fellows, and do think there cannot be a greater aggravation of an offence, than that it is committed where the criminal is protected by the sacredness of the place which he violates. Many reflections of this sort might be very justly made upon this sort of behaviour, but a starer is not usually a person to be convinced by the reason of the thing; and a fellow, that is capable of showing an impudent front before a whole congregation, and can bear being a public spectacle, is not so easily rebuked as to amend by admonitions. If, therefore, my correspondent does not inform me, that within ***** lays after this date the barbarian does no at least stand opon his own legs only, without an smoore, my friend will Prosper" has promised to take an hassock opposite to him, and stare against him in defence of the ladies. I have given him
* Seeno. 10.
directions, according to the most exact rules of ***, to Place himself in such a manner, that ho shall meet his eyes wherever he throws them. "I have hopes, that when will confronts him, and all the ladies, in whose behalf, he engages him, cast kind looks and wishes of success at thor champion he will have some shame, and feel a little of the Pain he has so often put others to, of being out of Countenance. It has indeed been, time out of mind, generally remarked, and as often lamented, that this family of starers have infested public assemblies; and’s know no other way to obviate so great an evil, except, in the case of fixing their eyes upon wo. men, some male friend will take the part of such as are under the oppression of impudence, and encounter the eyes of the starers wherever they meet them. While we suffer our women to be thus impudently attacked, they have no defence, but in the end to cast yielding glances at the starers. In this case, a man who has no sense of shame, has the same advantage over his mistress, as he who has no regard for his own life has over his adversary. While the generality of the world are fettered by rules, and move by proper and just methods; he who has no respect to any of them, carries away the reward due to that propriety of behaviour, with no other merit but that of having neglected it. I take an impudent fellow to be a sort of out: law in good-breeding, and therefore what is said of him no nation or person can be concerned for. For this reason one may be free upon him. I have put myself to great pains in considering this prevailing quality which we call impudence, and have taken notice that it exerts itself in a different manner, according to the different soils wherein such subjects of these dominions, as are masters of it, were born. Impudence in an Englishman is sullen and insolent; in a Scotchman it is untracta. ble and rapacious; in an Irishman, absurd and fawning: as the course of the world now runs, the impudent Englishman behaves like a surly landlord, the Scot like an ill-received guest, and the Irishman like a stranger who knows he is not welcome. There is seldom anything entertaining
either in the impudence of a South or North Bri- .
ton; but that of an Irishman is always comic. A true and genuine impudence is ever the effect of ignorance without the least sense of it. The best and most successful starers now in this town are of that nation; they have usually the advantage of the stature mentioned in the above letter of my correspondent, and generally take their stands in
the eye of women of fortune; insomuch that I
in a gay tone, “I put an impudent face upon the
matter.' No; no man shall be allowed the adintages of impudence, who is conscious that he is such. If he knows he is impudent, he may as well be otherwise; and it shall be expected that he lush, when he sees he makes another do it. For nothing can atone for the want of modesty; withJut which beauty is ungraceful, and wit detestable.
steele, R. -r No 21, SATURDAY, MARCH 24, 1710-11. - Locus estet pluribus umbris.
HOR. 1 Ep. v. 28. There’sroom enough, and each may bring his friend. CREECH. (sometimes very much troubled, when I reflect on the three great professions of divinity, law, physic; how they are each of them overbur. *d withpractitioners, and filled with multitudes genious gentlemen that starve one another. "t may divide the clergy into generals, field. o, and subalterns. Among the first we may on bishops, deans, and arch-deacons. Among *ond are doctors of divinity, prebendaries, "that wear scarfs. The rest are compre: *d under the subalterns. As for the first class, *itution preserves it from any redundancy othents, notwithstanding competitors are otless. Upon a strict calculation, it is found ote has been a great exceeding of late years **cond division, several brevet, having been "for the converting of subalterns into scarf. * Insomuch, that within my memory the * lustring is raised above two-pence in a A for the subalterns, they are not to be oted. Should our clergy once enter into the "Practice of the laity, by the splitting of **holds, they would be able to carry most sections in England. * of the law is no less encumbered with "lous members, that are like Virgil’s army, * tells us was so crowded, many of them onto use their weapons. This prodigious of men may be divided into the litigious **ble. Under the first are comprehended * who are carried down in coach fulls to "ler-Hall, every morning in term time. *scription of this species of lawyers is usmour: 'Iras et verba locant." * hire out their words in anger;” that of less passionate according as they are * * *nd allow their client a quantity of "Portionable to the fee which they receive
Another numberless branch of peaceable lawyers are those young men who, being placed at the inns of court in order to study the laws of their country, frequent the playhouse more than WestminsterHall, and are seen in all public assemblies, except in a court of justice. I shall say nothing of those silent and busy multitudes that are employed within doors in the drawing up of writings and conveyances; nor of those greater numbers that palliate their want of business with a pretence to such chamber practice.
If, in the third place, we look into the profession of physic, we shall find a most formidable body of men. The sight of them is enough to make a man serious; for we may lay it down as a maxim, that when a nation abounds in physicians, it grows thin of people. Sir William Temple is very much puzzled to find out a reason why the Northern Hive, as he calls it, does not send out such prodigious swarms, and overrun the world with Goths and Vandals, as it did- formerly; but had that excellent author observed that there were no students in physic among the subjects of Thor and Woden, and that this science very much flourishes in the north at present, he might have found a better solution for this difficulty than any of those he has made use of. This body of men in our own country may be described like the British army in Caesar's time. Some of them slay in chariots, and some on foot. If the infantry do less execution than the charioteers, it is because they cannot be
carried so soon into all quarters of the town, and dispatch so much business in so short a time. Be
of the science than the profession; I very much wonder at the bumour of parents, who will not rather choose to place their sons in a way of life where an honest industry cannot but thrive, than in stations where the greatest probity, learning,
* I must, however, observe to the reader and good sense may miscarry. How many men.
* three parts of those whom I reckon * litigious are such as are only quarreltheir hearts, and have no opportunity of their passion at the bar. Nevertheless, o not know what strifes may arise, they "the hall every day, that they may show *** readiness to enter the lists, when. * shall be occasion for them. *able lawyers are, in the first place, * benchers of the several inns of court, to be the dignitaries of the law, and are "ith those qualifications of mind that ac**Father for a ruler than a pleader. *e peaceably in their habitations, eat. *}, and dancing once a year," for the heir respective societies.
upon physic: as a man would be well en
are country curates, that might have made themsolves aldermen of London by a right improvement of a smaller sum of money than what is usual).
laid out upon a learned education? A sober of person, of slender parts and a slow apprehensi might have thrived, in trade, though he star
pleased to buy silks of one, whom he woul venture to feel his pulse. vagellius is ca” f
had abundance of customers. The misforso that parents take a liking to a particular ko sion, and therefore desire their sons may soft, whereas, in so great an affair of life, the %. consider the genius and abilities of their so more than their own inclinations.
. 2 It is the great advantage of a radir