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£2uodcunque ostendis mihi sic, incredulus odi.
The word Spectator being most usually understood as one of the audience at public representations in our theatres, I seldom fail of many letters relating to plays and operas. But indeed there are such monstrous things done in both, that if one had not been an eye-witness of them, one could not believe that such matters had really been exhibited. There is very little which concerns human life, or is a picture of nature, that is regarded by the greater part of the company. The understanding is dismissed from our entertainments. Our mirth is the laughter of fools, and our admiration the wonder of idiots; else such improbable, monstrous, and incoherent dreams could not go off as they do, not only without the utmost scorn and contempt, but even, with the loudest applause and approbation. But the letters of my correspondents will represent this affair in a more lively manner than any discourse of my own; I shall therefore give them to my reader with only this preparation, that they all come from players, and that the business of play. ing is now so managed that you are not to be surprised when I say one or two of them are rational, others sensitive and vegetative actors, and others wholly inanimate. I shall not place these as 1 have named thern, but as they have precedence in the opinion of their audiences.
* Mr. spect Atoll,
‘Youn having been so humble as to take notice of the epistles of other animals, emboldens me who am the wild boar that was killed by Mrs. Tofts, to represent to you that I think I was hardly used in not having the part of the lion in Hydaspes given to me. It would have been but a natural step for me to have personated that noble creature, after having behaved myself to satisfaction in the part above-mentioned. That of a lion is too great a character for one that never trod the stage before but upon two legs. As for ! the little resistance which I made, I hope it may obe excused, when it is considered that the dart was to hrown at me by so fair a hand. I must confess I ad but just put on my brutality; and Camilla's beinrms were such, that beholding her erect mien, :as oring her charming voice, and astonished with * graceful motion, I could not keep up to my
‘Mn. spect Ator, ‘This is to let you understand, that the playhouse is a representation of the world in nothing so much as in this particular, that no one rises in it according to his merit. I have acted several parts of household-stuff with great applause for many years: I am one of the men in the hangings in The Emperor of the Moon; I have twice performed the third chair in an English opera; and have rehearsed the pump in The Fortune-Hunters. I am now grown old, and hope you will recommend me so effectually, as that I may say something before I go off the stage : in which you will do a great act of charity to o “Your most humble servant, willi AM schexe.”
* MR. spect Aton, ‘UNDERsrANDise that Mr. Screne has writ to you, and desired to be raised from dumb and still parts; I desire, if you give him motion or speech, that you would advance me in my way, and let me keep on in what I humbly presume I am a master, to wit, in representing human and still life together. I have several times acted one of the finest flower-pots in the same opera wherein Mr. Screne is a chair; therefore, upon his promotion, request
that I may succeed him in the hangings, with my hand in the orange-trees. : * Your humble servant, ~ “R.Alph simple.' ... * • Drury-Lane, March 24, 1710-11. “sift, “I saw your friend the Templar this evening in the pit, and thought he looked very little pleased v with the representation of the mad scene of The Pilgrim. I wish, sir, you would do us the favour o' to animadvert frequently upon the false taste the so town is in, with relation to plays as well as operas. It certainly requires a degree of understanding to play justly ; but such is our condition, that we are to suspend our reason to perform our parts. As to scenes of madness, you know, sir, there are noble instances of this kind in shakspeare; but then it is the disturbance of a noble mind, from generous and humane resentments. It is like that or grief which we have for the decease of our friends. * It is no diminution, but a recommendation of hu- t man nature, that in such incidents passion gets the . better of reason; and all we can #. to comfort & ourselves, is impotent against half what we feel. I will not mention that we had an idiot in the scene, and all the sense it is represented to have, so is that of lust. As for myself, who have long taken of pains in personating the passions, I have to-night acted only an appetite. The part I played is o Thirst, but it is represented as written rather by a jo drayman than a poet. I come in with a tub about "o me, that tub hung with quart pots, with a ful to gallon at my mouth. I am ashamed to tell yo lo that I pleased very much, and this was introduce to as a madness; but sure it was not human madnet so for a mule or an ass may have been as dry as eve so I was in my life. o * I am, sin, , o “Your most obedient and humble servant. so “From the Savoy in the Strand. so * Mn, spectaton, - ... “If you can read it with dry eyes, I give you this ot trouble to acquaint you, that I am the unfortunate king Latinus, and I believe I am the first prince o
that dated from this palace since John of Gaunt: **
*"S"ied fierceness, but died like a man.
at leas ‘I am, sin,
eminent ‘Your most humble admirer,
close of No. 108, he desires his renders to compare
Such is the uncertainty of all human greatness, that o
who lately never moved without a guard, am now pressed as a common soldier, and am to sail with the first fair wind against my brother Lewis of France. It is a very hard thing to put off a incter which one has appeared in with applause. Ihis I experienced since the loss of my diadem; or, upon quarrelling with another recruit, I spoke my indignation out of my part in recitativo :
he words were no sooner out of my mouth, when serjeant knocked me down, and asked me if I ld a mind to mutiny, in talking things nobody derstood. You see, sir, my unhappy circumances; and if by your mediation you can prort a subsidy for a prince (who never failed to ake all that beheld him merry at his appearance) o, will merit the thanks of ‘Your friend, * The ki Ng of LATIUM.”
is nothing that more betrays a base unge. spirit, than the giving of secret stabs to a *Putation; lampoons and satires, that are with wit and spirit, are like poisoned which not only inflict a wound, but make it * For this reason I am very much trou. hen I see the talents of humour and ridicule lossession of an ill-natured man. There be a greater gratification to a barbarous "man wit, than to stir up sorrow in the *Private person, to raise uneasiness among ** and to expose whole families to *the same time that he remains unseen *red. If, besides the accomplishments "ity and ill-natured, a man is vicious *śain, he is one of the most mischievous *that can enter into a civil society. His
satire will then chiefly fall upon those who ought to be the most exempt from it. Virtue, merit, and everything that is praiseworthy, will be made the subject of ridicule and buffoonery. It is impossible to enumerate the evils which arise from these arrows that fly in the dark, and I know no other excuse that is or can be made for them, than that the wounds they give are only imaginary, and produce nothing more than a secret shame or sorrow in the mind of the suffering person. It must indeed be confessed, that a lampoon or a satire do not carry in them robbery or murder; but at the same time how few are there that would not rather lose a considerable sum of money, or even life itself, than be set up as a mark of infamy and derision and in this case a man should consider, that an injury is not to be measured by the notions of him that gives, but of him that receives it. Those who can put the best countenance upon the outrages of this nature which are offered them are not without their secret anguish. I have often observed a passage in Socrates's behaviour at his death, in a light wherein none of the critics have considered it. That excellent man entertaining his friends, a little before he drank the bowl of poison, with a discourse on the immortality of the soul, at his entering upon it says, that he does not believe any the most comic genius can eensure him for talking upon such a subject at such a time. This passage, I think, evidently glances upon Aris. tophanes, who writ a comedy on purpose to ridi. cule the discourses of that divine philosopher. It has been observed by many writers, that Socrates was so little moved at this piece of buffoonery, that he was several times present at its being acted upon the stage, and never expressed the least re. sentment of it. But, with submission, I think the remark I have here made shows us, that this unworthy treatment made an impression upon his mind, though he had been too wise to discover it. When Julius Caesar was lampooned by Catullus, he invited him to supper, and treated him with such a generous civility, that he made the poet his friend ever after. Cardinal Mazarine gave the same kind of treatment to the learned Quillet, who had reflected upon his eminence in a famous Latin poem. The cardinal sent for him, and, after some kind expostulations upon what he had written, assured him of his esteem, and dismissed him with a promise of the next good abbey that should fall, which he accordingly conferred upon him in a few months after. This had so good an effect upon the author, that he dedicated the second edition of his book to the cardinal, after having expunged the passages which had given him offence. Sextus Quintus was not of so generous and for. giving a temper. Upon his being inade pope, the statue of Pasquin was one night dressed in a very dirty shirt, with an excuse written under it, that he was forcéd to wear foul linen, because his laun. dress was made a princess. This was a reflection’’ upon the pope's sister, who, before the promotio of her brother, was in those mean circumstanc that Pasquin represented her. As this pasquing made a great noise in Rome, the pope offere considerable sum of money to any person should discover the author of it. The author, f ing upon his holiness's generosity, as also on.” private overtures which he had received o made the discovery himself; upon which th;3. - - atwa gave him the reward he had promised, bo.o. 20te, wi *
same time, to disable the satirist for the fo dered his tongue to be cut out, and both *
to be chopped off. Aretine is too trite an in-of charity, which has been generally overlooked
stance. Europe were histributaries. Nay, there is a letter of his extant, in which he makes his boasts that he had laid the Sophi of Persia under contribution. Though in the various examples which I have here drawn together, these several great men behaved themselves very differently towards the wits of the age who had reproached them; they all of them plainly showed that they were very sensible of their reproaches, and consequently that they received them as very great injuries. For my own part, I would never trust a man that I thought was capable of giving these secret wounds; and cannot but think that he would hurt the person whose reputation he thus assaults, in his body or in his fortune, could he do it with the same security. There is, indeed, something very barbarous and inhuman in the ordinary scribblers of lampoons. An innocent young lady shall be exposed for an unhappy feature. A father of a family turned to ridicule for some domestic calamity. A wife be made uneasy all her life for a misinterpreted word or action. Nay, a good, a temperate, and a just man, shall be put out of countenance by the representation of those qualities that should do him honour. So pernicious a thing is wit, when it is not tempered with virtue and humanity. I have indeed heard of heedless inconsiderate writers, that without any malice have sacrificed the reputation of their friends and acquaintance to a certain levity of temper, and a silly ambition of distinguishing themselves by a spirit of raillery and satire; as if it were not infinitely more honourable to be a good-natured man than a wit. Where there is this little petulant humour in an author, he is often very mischievous without designing to be so. For which reason I always lay it down as a rule, that an indiscreet man is more hurtful than an ill-natured one; for as the latter will only attack his enemies, and those he wishes ill to; the other injures, indifferently, both friends and foes. I cannot forbear, on this occasion, transcribing a fable out of Sir Roger l’Estrange, which accidentally lies before me. A company of waggish boys were watching of frogs at the side of a pond, and still as any of them put up their heads, they would be pelting them down again with stones “Children,” says one of the frogs, “ you never consider, that though this may be play to you, it is death to us.” As this weeks is in a manner set apart and dedi. cated to serious thoughts, I shall indulge myself in such speculations as may not be altogether unsuitable to the season; and in the mean time, as the settling in ourselves a charitable frame of mind is a work very proper for the time, I have in this paperendeavoured to expose that particular breach
Every one knows that all the kings of by divines, because they are but few who can be
guilty of it.
There are in this town a great number of insignificant people, who are by no means fit for the better sort of conversation, and yet have an imperti. nent ambition of appearing with those to whom they are not welcome. If you walk in the Park, one of them will certainly join with you, though
ou are in company with ladies; if you drink a bottle, they will find your haunts. What makes such fellows the more burdensome is, that they neither offend nor please so far as to be taken notice of for either. It is, I presume, for this reason that my correspondents are willing by my means to be rid of them. The two following letters are : writ by persons who suffer by such impertinence. “ A worthy old bachelor, who sets in for a dose of claret every night at such an hour, is teased by * swarm of them, who, because they are sure of room and a good fire, have taken it in their heads to keep a sort of club in his company; though the sober gentleman himself is an utter enemy to such meetings. -
* MR. specTAton, o: • The aversion I for some years have had to clubs . in general, gave me a perfect relish for your spe: ; culation on that subject;" but I have since been extremely ... by the malicious world's ranking me amongst the supporters of such imper. “ tinent assemblies. I beg leave to state my case fairly; and that done, I shall expect redress from..., your judicious pen: & ‘I am, Sir, a bachelor of some standing, and * * traveller: my business, to consult my own humour, on which I gratify without controlling other people's; so I have a room and a whole bed to myself; and Io. have a dog, a fiddle, and a gun; they please mos. and injure no creature alive. My chief meal is a supper, which I always make at a tavern. I am constant to an hour, and not ill-humoured; for " which reasons, though I invite nobody, I have is no sooner supped, than I have a crowd about mos. of that sort of good company that know not who ther else to go. It is true, every man pays his share; yet, as they are intruders, I have an uno doubted right to be the only speaker, or at leo the loudest; which I maintain, and that to the great emolument of my audience. I sometime: tell them their own in pretty free language; a sometimes divert them with merry tales, according
• Peter Aretine, a native of Arezzo, who live" in the 16th century, was infamous for his satirical writings; and was so bold fo as to carry his invectives even against sovereigns; whence he i got the title of the Scourge of Princes. He used to boast, that beho lampoons did more service to the world than sermons; and t was said of him, that he had subjected more princes by his as ten. than the test warriors had ever done |. their arms. correetine wrote also many irreligious and obscene pieces. Some , that he afterwards changed his loose, libertime principles; se"on however this may be, it is certain that he composed severa at leas, of devotion. He was author likewise of some comedies, eminen wo esteemed pretty good of their kind; and died in the to take iss, being about o: old. It is said by some, that he
** such a fit of laughter, on hearing some obseene eonver.
im in deathe overturned the chair upon which he sat, and h 'oad, and died upon the spot. * hat
* See No 9.
ing one another at home, go in the same party to a benefit play, and smile at each other, and put down glasses as we pass in our coaches. Thus we may enjoy as much of each other's friendship as we are capable of: for there are some people who are to be known only by sight, with which sort of friendship, I hope you will always honour, * MADAM, * Your most obedient humble servant, * MARY TUEspar.
who is master of the house as much as he that teepsit. The drawers are all in awe of him; and ill the customers who frequent his company, yield him a sort of comical obedience. I do not know but I may be such a fellow as this myself. But I meal to you, whether this is to be called a club, because so many impertinents will break in upon me, and come without appointment? Clinch of Bimet' has a nightly meeting, and shows to every one that will ceme in and pay; but then he is the only actor. Why should people miscall things 2 If lisis allowed to be a concert, why may not mine to alecture? However, sir, I submit it to you,
• P. S. I subscribe myself by the name of the day I keep, that my supernumerary friends may
once a week to St. James's coffee-house, either by miscalling the servants, or requiring such things from them as are not properly within their respective provinces; this is to give notice, that Kidney, keeper of the book debts of the outlying customers, and observer of those who go off without paying, having resigned that employment, is succeeded by John Sowton, to whose place of enterer of messages and first coffeegrinder, William Bird is promoted; and Samuel Burdock comes as shoe-cleaner in the room of the said Bird.
Mike impertinence is also very troublesome to **perior and more intelligent part of the fair * It is, it seems, a great inconvenience, that or of the meanest capacities will pretend to - hoists,though indeed they are qualified rather | oil to the furniture of the house (by filling an
*Pythair) than to the conversation they come to when they visit. A friend of mine hopes for clots in this case, by the publication of her let. | othmy paper; which she thinks those she would ** if will take to themselves. It seems to be * with an eye to one of those pert, giddy, *ing girls, who, upon the recommendation of an agreeable person and a fashionable air, *themselves to be upon a level with women of *greatest merit.
'Manni, to this way to acquaint you with what com*rules and forms would never permit me to |otherwise; to wit, that you and I, though * in quality and fortune, are by no means *able companions. You are, it is true, very *}, can dance, and make a very good figure m a public assembly; but alas, madam, you 1* So no further; distance and silence are 1. best recommendations; therefore let me of you never to make me any more visits. ! You one in a literal sense to see one, for you * nothing to say. I do not say this, that I o by any means lose your acquaintance; but old keep it up with the strictest forms of *roding. Let us pay visits, but never see **her. If you will be so good as to deny of always to me, I shall return the obliga. w. giving the same orders to my servants. o *ident makes us meet at a third place, we **ully lament the misfortune of never find
“sin, ‘I AM one of that sickly tribe who are commonly known by the name of Valetudinarians; and do confess to you, that I first contracted this ill habit of body, or rather of mind, by the study of physic. I no sooner began to peruse books of this nature, but I found my pulse was irregular; and scarce ever read the account of any disease that I did not fancy myself afflicted with.” Dr. Sydenham's learned treatise of fevers threw me into a linger. ing hectic, which hung upon me all the while I was reading that excellent piece. I then applied myself to the study of several authors, who have written upon phthisical distempers, and by that means fell into a consumption; till at length, grow. ing fat, I was in a manner shamed out of this imagination. Not long after this I found in myself all the symptoms of the gout, except pain; but was cured of it by a treatise upon the gravel, written by a very ingenious author, who (as it is usual for physicians to convert one distemper into another) eased me of the gout by giving me the stone. I at length studied myself into a complication of dis tempers; but, accidentally taking into my han that ingenious discourse written by Sanctorius,
* Mr. Tickell, in his preface to Addison's works, says, “ Addison never had a regular pulse.” , says, f
+ The inventor of the thermometer. medicine in the university of Padua in the beginnin seventeenth century; and, by means of a weighi own invention, made many curious and important lative to insensible perspiration. He published at W
w 1634, an ingenious book, entitled “De Mélicina Stati
* See No. 31.
is the work here alluded to,
was resolved to direct myself by a scheme of rules, which I had collected from his observations. The learned world are very well acquainted with that gentleman’s invention; who, for the better carrying on of his experiments, contrived a certain mathematical chair, which was so artificially hun upon springs, that it would weigh anything as well as a pair of scales. By this means he discovered how many ounces of his food passed by perspiration, what quantity of it was turned into nourishment, and how much went away by the other chan. nels and distributions of nature. * Having provided myself with this chair, I used to study, eat, drink, and sleep in it: insomuch that I may be said, for these last three years, to have lived in a pair of scales. I compute myself, when I am full in health, to be precisely two hundred weight, falling short of it about a pound after a day’s fast, and exceeding it as much after a full meal; so that it is my continual employment to trim the balance between these two volatile pounds in my constitution. In my ordinary meals I fetch myself up to two hundred weight and half a pound: and if, after having dined, I find myself fall short of it, I drink just so much small beer, or eat such a quantity of bread, as is sufficient to make me weight. In my greatest excesses I do not transgress more than the other half pound; which, for my health’s sake, I do the first Monday in every month. As soon as I find myself duly poised after dinner, I walk till I have perspired five ounces and four scruples; and when I discover, by my chair, that I am so far reduced, I fall to my books, and study away three ounces more. As for the remaining parts of the pound, I keep no account of them. I do not dine and sup by the clock, but by my chair; for when that informs me my pound of food is exhausted, I conclude myself to be hungry, and lay in another with all diligence. In my days of abstinence I lose a pound and a half, and on solemn fasts am two pounds lighter than on other days in the year. “I allow myself, one night with another, a quar. ter of a pound of sleep, within a few grains more or less; and if, upon my rising, I find that I have not consumed my whole quantity, I take out the rest in my chair. Upon an exact calculation of what I expended and received the last year, which I always register in a book, I find the medium to be two hundred weight, so that I cannot discover that I am impaired one ounce in my health during a whole twelvemonth. And yet, sir, notwithstanding this my great care to ballast myself equally every day, and to keep my body in its proper poise, so it is, that I find myself in a sick and languishing condition. My complexion is grown very sallow, my pulse low, and my body hydropical. Let me therefore beg you, sir, to consider me as your patient, and to give me more certain rules to walk % than those I have already observed, and you will very much oblige ‘Your humble servant.”
in a flight than in a battle ; and may be applied to those multitudes of imaginary sick persons that break their constitutions by physic, and throw themselves into the arms of death, by endeavouring to escape it. This method is not only dangerous, but below the practice of a reasonable creature. To consult the preservation of life, as the only end of it, to make our health our business, to engage in no action that is not part of a regimen, or course of physic, are purposes so abject, so mean, so unworthy human nature, that a generous soul would rather die than submit to them. Besides, that a continual anxiety for life vitiates all the relishes of it, and casts a gloom over the whole face of nature, as it is impossible we should take delight in any thing that we are every moment afraid of losing. I do not mean, by what I have here said, that I think any one to blame for taking due care of their health. On the contrary, as cheerfulness of mind, and capacity for business, are in a great measure the effects of a well-tempered constitution, a man cannot be at too much pains to cultivate and preserve it. But this care, which we are prompted to, not only by common sense, but by
duty and instinct, should never engage usin ground. .
less fears, melancholy apprehensions, and imaginary r:
distempers, which are natural to every man who is more anxious to live than how to live. In short, the preservation of live should be only a secondary concern, and the direction of it our principal. If we have this frame of mind, we shall take the best means to preserve life, without being over solicit. ous about the event; and shall arrive at that point of felicity which Martial has mentioned as the perfection of happiness, of neither fearing nor wish.
When I am in a serious humour, I very often walk by myself in Westminster Abbey; where the –
ing for death. o