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posed to an honest sale, or the worth or imper. | time, had a comfortable subsistence from a fection of the purchase is thoroughly considered? plague and a famine. I made the pope pay for
• We mightily want a demand for women in my beef and mutton last Lent, out of pure spite these parts. I am, sagacious sir, your most obe to the Romish religion ; and at present my good dient and most humble servant, T. L.' friend the king of Sweden finds me in clean
linen, and the mufti gets me credit at the tavern.
• The astonishing accounts that I record, I No. 58.] Monday, May 18, 1713.
usually enliven with wooden cuts, and the like
paltry embellishments. They administer to the Nec sibi, sed toti genitum se credere mundo.
curiosity of my fellow-subjects, and not only adLucan. vance religion and virtue, but take restless spi.
rits off from meddling with the public affairs. Not for himself, but for the world, he lives.
I therefore cannot think myself a useless burden A PUBLIC spirit is so great and amiable a cha- upon earth; and that I may still do the more racter, that most people pretend to it, and per- good in my generation, I shall give the world, haps think they have it in the most ordinary oc
in a short time, a history of my life, studies, currences of life. Mrs. Cornelia Lizard buys seller advances a round sum for my copy. I am,
maxims, and achievements, provided my book. abundance of romances for the encouragement of learning; and Mrs. Annabella squanders
sir, yours. away
money in buying fine clothes, because it sets a great many poor people at work: : the country, who fancies that he is perpetually
The second is from an old friend of mine in know a gentleman, who drinks vast quantities doing good, because he cannot live without of ale and October to encourage our own manu. factures ; and another who takes his three bot: drinking. les of French claret every night, because it "OLD IRON,—We take thy papers in at the brings a great custom to the crown.
bowling-green, where the country gentlemen I have been led into this chat, by reading meet every Tuesday, and we look upon thee as some letters upon my paper of Thursday was a comical dog. Sir Harry was hugely pleased se'nnight. Having there acquainted the world, at thy fancy of growing rich at other folks' cost; that I have, by long contemplation and philoso- and for my own part I like my own way of life phy, attained to so great a strength of fancy, as the better since I find I do my neighbours as to believe every thing to be my own, which much good as myself. I now smoke my pipe other people possess only for ostentation; it with the greater pleasure, because
my seems that some persons have taken it in their she likes it well enough at second hand ? and heads, that they are public benefactors to the drink stale beer the more hardly, because, unworld, while they are only indulging their own less I will, nobody else does. I design to stand ambition, or infirmities. My first letter is from for our borough the next election, on purpose to an ingenious author, who is a great friend to his make the squire on t'other side, tap lustily for country, because he can get neither victuals nor the good of our town; and have some thoughts clothes
of trying to get knighted, because our neigh.
bours take a pride in saying, they have been • To Nestor Ironside, Esquire.
with sir Such-a-one. "Sir, Of all the precautions with which you thou comest into the country, and Nanny, my
• I have a pack of pure slow hounds against have instructed the world, I like that best, which is upon natural and fantastical pleasure, because fat doe, shall
bleed when we have thee at Hawit falls in very much with my own way of think- thorn-hall
. Pr’ythee, do not keep staring at ing. As you receive real delight from what gilt coaches, and stealing necklaces and trinkets creates only imaginary satisfactions in others; from people with thy looks. Take my word so do I raise to myself all the conveniences of for it, a gallon of my October will do thee more life by amusing the fancy of the world. I am, good than all thou canst get by fine sights at in a word, a member of that numerous tribe, the shine of thine eye. I am, old Iron, thine
London, which I'll engage, thou may'st put in who write for their daily bread. I flourish in a dearth of foreign news; and though I do not
• NIC. HAWTHORN.' pretend to the spleen, I am never so well as in the time of a westerly wind. When it blows from that auspicious point, I raise to myself her family by coaches and liveries, purely out
The third is from a lady who is going to ruin contributions from the British isle, by, affright, of compassion to us poor people that cannot go ing my superstitious countrymen with printed relations of murders, spirits, prodigies, or mon
to the price of them. sters. According as my necessities suggest to “SIR, I am a lady of birth and fortune, but me, I hereby provide for my being. The last never knew, till last Thursday, that the splensummer I paid a large debt for brandy and to-dour of my equipage was so beneficial to my bacco, by a wonderful description of a fiery dra. country. I will not deny that I have drest for gon, and lived for ten days together upon a some years out of the pride of my heart; but whale and a mermaid. When winter draws am very glad that you have so far settled my near, I generally conjure up my spirits, and conscience in that particular, that I can now have my apparitions ready against long dark look upon my vanities as so many virtues. Since evenings. From November last to January, I I am satisfied that my person and garb give plealived solely upon murders; and have, since that sure to my fellow-creatures, I shall not think the
three hours business I usually attend at my toi.
“ The ways of heaven are dark and intricate,
Puzzled in mazes, and perplex'd with errors; lette, below the dignity of a rational soul. I am
Our understanding traces 'em in vain, content to suffer great torment from my says, Lost and bewilder'd in the fruitless search; that my shape may appear graceful to the eyes Nor sees with how much art the windings run, of others; and often mortify myself with fasting,
Nor where the regular confusion ends." rather than my fatness should give distaste to any man in England.
Cato's soliloquy at the beginning of the fifth I am making up a rich brocade for the bene. act is inimitable, as indeed is almost every thing fit of mankind, and design, in a little time, to
in the whole play: but what I would observe, town with a thousand pounds worth of by particularly pointing at these places is, that
such virtuous and moral sentiments were never jewels. I have ordered my chariot to be new before put into the mouth of a British actor ; painted for your use, and the world's ; and have and I congratulate my countrymen on the virprevailed upon my husband to present you a pair of fine Flanders mares, by driving them tue they have shown in giving them (as you every evening round the ring. Gay pendants tell me) such loud and repeated applauses. for my ears, a costly cross for my neck, a dia- They have now cleared themselves of the im. mond of the best water for my finger, shall be putation which a late writer had thrown upon
them in his 502d speculation. Give me leave purchased at any rate to enrich you; and I am resolved to be a patriot in every limb. My hus- to transcribe his words :band will not scruple to oblige me in these self-Tormentor, when one of the old men ac
“In the first scene of Terence's play, the trifles, since I have persuaded him from your cuses the other of impertinence for interposing scheme, that pin money is only so much set in his affairs, he answers, 'I am a man, and apart for charitable uses. You see, sir, how expensive you are to me, and I hope you will cannot help feeling any sorrow that can arrive
It is said this sentence was received esteem me accordingly, especially when I as- with universal applause. There cannot be a sure you that I am, as far as you can see me, greater argument of the general good underentirely yours,
standing of a people, than a sudden consent to give their approbation of a sentiment which has
no emotion in it. No. 59.] Tuesday, May 19, 1713.
“If it were spoken with never so great skill
in the actor, the manner of uttering that senSic honor et nomen divinis vatibus atque
tence could have nothing in it which could Carminibus venit
strike any but people of the greatest humanity, Hor. Ars Poet. ver. 400.
nay people elegant and skilful in observations So ancient is the pedigree of verse,
upon it. It is possible he might have laid his And so divine a poet's function.
hand on his breast, and with a winning insinuation in his countenance, expressed to his neigh
bour, that he was a man who made his case his The tragedy of Cato has increased the num:
own; yet I will engage a player in Covent-garber of my correspondents, but none of them can den might hit such an attitude a thousand
times take it ilí
, that I give the preference to the let. before he would have been regarded." "These ters which come from a learned body, and which observations in favour of the Roman people, on this occasion may not improperly be termed the Plausus Academici. The first is from my nation.
may now be very justly applied to our own lady Lizard's youngest son, who, (as I mentioned in a former precaution) is fellow of All. “ Here will I hold. If there's a power above us souls, and applies himself to the study of di (And that there is, all nature cries aloud vinity.
Through all her works) He must delight in virtue;
And that which He delights in must be happy." 'Sir,— I return you thanks for your present • This will be allowed, I hope, to be as virtu. of Cato: I have read it over several times with ous a sentiment as that which he quotes out of the greatest attention and pleasure imaginable. Terence; and the general applause with which You desire to know my thoughts of it, and at (you say) it was received, must certainly make the same time compliment me upon my know. this writer (notwithstanding his great assurance ledge of the ancient poets. Perhaps you may in pronouncing upon our ill taste) alter his not allow me to be a good judge of them, when opinion of his countrymen. I tell you, that the tragedy of Cato exceeds, Our poetry, I believe, and not our morals, in my opinion, any of the dramatic pieces of has been generally worse than that of the Rothe ancients. But these are books I have some mans; for it is plain, when we can equal the time since laid by; being, as you know, engaged best dramatic performance of that polite age, in the reading of divinity, and conversant a British audience may vie with the Roman chiefly in the poetry " of the truly inspired theatre in the virtue of their applauses. writers." I scarce thought any modern tragedy
• However different in other things our opicould have mixed suitably with such serious nions may be, all parties agree in doing honour studies, and little imagined to have found such to a man, who is an honour to our country. exquisite poetry, much less such exalted senti- How are our hearts warmed by this excellent ments of virtue, in the dramatic performance tragedy, with the love of liberty, and our con. of a contemporary:
stitution ! How irresistible is virtue in the chaHow elegant, just, and virtuous is that re. racter of Cato! Who would not say with the Rection of Portius ?
Numidian prince to Marcia,
“I'll gaze for ever on thy godlike father,
observe, that the tragedy of Cato was acted Transplanting, one by one, into my life His bright perfections, till I shine like him."
with general applause in 1713. I am, sir, your Rome herself received not so great advantages
most humble servant, &c.
A. B. from her patriot, as Britain will from this ad. .P. S. The French translation of Cato now mirable representation of him. Our British in the press, will, I hope, be in usum Delphini.' Cato improves our language, as well as our morals, nor will it be in the power of tyrants to rob us of him, (or to use the last line of an epi. gram to the author)
Wednesday, May 20, 1713. “In vain your Cato stabs, he cannot die."
Nihil legebat quod non excerperet.
Plin. Epist. •I am, sir, your most obliged humble servant,
He pick'd something out of every thing he read. WILLIAM LIZARD.
• To Nestor Ironside, Esquire. Oxon. All-souls Col. May 6.' • Oxon. Christ Church, May 7.
SIR,—There is nothing in which men deceive • MR. IRONSIDE,—You are, I perceive, a very
themselves more ridiculously than in the point wary old fellow, more cautious than a late bro- of reading, and which, as it is commonly practher-writer of yours, who at the rehearsal of a tised under the notion of improvement, has less new play, would at the hazard of his judgment, advantage. The generality of readers who are endeavour to prepossess the town in its favour: pleased with wandering over a number of books, whereas you very prudently waited till the tra almost at the same instant, or if confined to one, gedy of Cato had gained a universal and irresist- who pursue the author with much hurry and ible applause, and then with great boldness ven.
impatience to his last page, must, without doubt, ture to pronounce your opinion of it to be the be allowed to be notable digesters. This unsame with that of all mankind. I will leave
of reading naturally seduces us into
you to consider whether such a conduct becomes a
as undetermined a manner of thinking, which Guardian, who ought to point out to us proper unprofitably fatigues the imagination, when a entertainments, and instruct us when to bestow continued chain of thought would probably our applause. However, in so plain a case we produce inestimable conclusions. All authors did not wait for your directions; and I must
are eligible either for their matter, or style; if tell you, that none here were earlier or louder for the first, the elucidation and disposition of in their praises of Cato, than we at Christ-church. it into proper lights ought to employ a judicious This may, I hope, convince you, that, we don't reader: if for the last, he ought to observe how deserve the character (which envious dull fel. some common words are started into a new lows give us) of allowing nobody to have wit or
signification, how such epithets are beautifully parts but those of our own body, especially when reconciled to things that seemed incompatible, I let you know that we are many of us, your of a period, because, by the least transposition,
and must often remember the whole structure affectionate humble servants.'
that assemblage of words which is called a style • To Nestor Ironside, Esquire.
becomes utterly annihilated. The swift des.
patch of common readers not only eludes their Oxon. Wad. Coll. May 7.
memory, but betrays their apprehension, when • MR. IRONSIDE,–Were the seat of the muses the turn of thought and expression would in. silent while London is so loud in their applause sensibly grow natural to them, would they but of Cato, the university's title to that name might give themselves time to receive the impression. very well be suspected ;—in justice therefore to Suppose we fix one of these readers in his easy your alma mater, let the world know our opinion chair, and observe him passing through a book of that tragedy here.
with a grave ruminating face, how ridiculously • The author's other works had raised our ex- must he look, if we desire him to give an ac. pectation of it to a very great height, yet it count of an author he has just read over! and exceeds whatever we could promise ourselves how unheeded must the general character of it from so great a genius.
be, when given by one of these serene unob•Cæsar will no longer be a hero in our de servers! The common defence of these people clamations. This tragedy has at once stripped is, that they have no design in reading but for him of all the flattery and false colours, which pleasure, which I think should rather arise from historians and the classic authors had thrown the reflection and remembrance of what one upon him, and we shall for the future treat him has read, than from the transient satisfaction as a murderer of the best patriot of his age, of what one does, and we should be pleased and a destroyer of the liberties of his country. proportionably as we are profited. It is proCato, as represented in these scenes, will cast a digious arrogance in any one to imagine, that blacker shade on the memory of that usurper, by one hasty course through a book he can than the picture of him did upon his triumph. fully enter into the soul and secrets of a writer, Had this finished dramatic piece appeared some whose life perhaps has been busied in the birth hundred years ago, Cæsar would have lost so of such production. Books that do not imme. many centuries of fame, and monarchs had dis diately concern some profession or science, are dained to let themselves be called by his name. generally run over as mere empty entertainHowever, it will be an honour to the times we ments, rather than as matter of improvement ; live in, to have had such a work produced in though, in my opinion, a refined speculation them, and a pretty speculation for posterity to l upon morality, or history, requires as manch
time and capacity to collect and digest, as the had the misfortune to fall from this eminence,and most abstruse treatise of any profession; and catching at the chains of the books, was seen I think, besides, there can be no book well hanging in a very merry posture, with two written, but what must necessarily improve the or three large folios rattling about my neck, till understanding of the reader, even in the very the humanity of Mr. Crab* the librarian disenprofession to which he applies himself. For to tangled us. reason with strength, and express himself with As I always held it necessary to read in pubpropriety, must equally concern the divine, the lic places, by way of ostentation, but could not physician, and the lawyer. My own course of possibly travel with a library in my pockets, I looking into books has occasioned these reflec- took the following method to gratify this erranttions, and the following account may suggest ry of mine. I contrived a little pocket-book,
each leaf of which was a different author, so, • Having been bred up under a relation that that my wandering was indulged and concealed had a pretty large study of books, it became within the same inclosure. my province once a week to dust them. In the • This extravagant humour, which should performance of this my duty, as I was obliged seem to pronounce me irrecoverable, had the to take down every particular book, I thought contrary effect; and my hand and eye being there was no way to deceive the toil of my thus confined to a single book, in a little time journey through the different abodes and habit- reconciled me to the perusal of a single author. ations of these authors but by reading some. However, I chose such a one as had as little thing in every one of them; and in this manner connexion as possible, turning to the Proverbs to make my passage easy from the comely folio of Solomon, where the best instructions are in the upper shelf or region, even through the thrown together in the most beautiful range crowd of duodecimos in the lower. By frequent imaginable, and where I found all that variety
exercise I became so great a proficient in this which I had before sought in so many different E transitory application to books, that I could hold authors, and which was so necessary to beguile
open half a dozen small authors in a hand, my attention. By these proper degrees, I have grasping them with as secure a dexterity as a made so glorious a reformation in my studies, drawer doth his glasses, and feasting my curious that I can keep company with Tully in his most eye with all of them at the same instant. extended periods, and work through the conThrough these methods the natural irresolu- tinued narrations of the most prolix historian. tion of my youth was much strengthened, and I now read nothing without making exact colhaving no leisure, if I had had inclination, to lections, and shall shortly give the world an make pertinent observations in writing, I was instance of this in the publication of the followthus confirmed a very early wanderer. When ing discourses. The first is a learned controI was sent to Oxford, my chiefest expense versy about the existence of griffins, in which run upon books, and my only consideration I hope to convince the world, that notwithstandin such expense upon numbers, so that you ing such a mixt creature has been allowed by may be sure I had what they call a choice Ælian, Solinus, Mela, and Herodotus, that they collection, sometimes buying by the round, have been perfectly mistaken in that matter, sometimes by the dozen, at other times by the and shall support myself by the authority of hundred. For the more pleasant use of a mul- Albertus, Pliny, Aldrovandus, and Matthias Mi. titude of books, I had by frequent conferences chovius, which two last have clearly argued that with an ingenious joiner, contrived a machine animal out of the creation. of an orbicular structure, that had its particu · The second is a treatise of sternutation or lar receptions for a dozen authors, and which, sneezing, with the original custom of saluting with the least touch of the finger, would whirl or blessing upon that motion ; as also with a round, and present the reader at once with a problem from Aristotle, showing why sneezing delicious view of its full furniture. Thrice a from noon to night was innocent enough, from day did I change, not only the books, but the night to noon, extremely unfortunate. languages; and had used my eye to such a *The third and most curious is my discourse quick succession of objects, that in the most upon the nature of the lake Asphaltites, or the precipitate twirl I could catch a sentence out lake of Sodom, being a very careful inquiry of each author, as it passed fleeting by me. whether brickbats and iron will swim in that Thus
my hours, days, and years, flew unprofit. lake, and feathers sink; as Pliny and Mande. ably away, but yet were agreeably lengthened ville have averred. by being distinguished with this endearing va • The discussing these difficulties without riety; and I cannot but think myself very for- perplexity or prejudice, the labour in collecting tunate in my contrivance of this engine, with and collating matters of this nature, will, I hope, its several new editions and amendments, in a great measure atone for the idle hours I which have contributed so much to the delight have trifled away in matters of less importance. of all studious vagabonds. When I had been I am, sir, your humble servant.' resident the usual time at Oxford that gains one admission into the public library, I was the happiest creature on earth, promising to myself
Thursday, May 21, 1713. most delightful travels through this new world
· Primaque e cæde ferarum of literature. Sometimes you might see me Incaluisse putem maculatum sanguine ferrum. mounted upon a ladder, in search of some Ara. bian manuscripts, which had slept in a certain
* This is supposed to be an oblique stroke at Dr. corner undisturbed for many years. Once I Bentley. M
Ovid. Met. Lib. xv. 106.
Th' essay of bloody feasts on brutes began, outdone Hercules bimself, who was famous for And after forg'd the sword to murder man.
killing a monster that had but three lives.
Whether the unaccountable animosity against I cannot think it extravagant to imagine, that this useful domestic may be any cause of the mankind are no less in proportion accountable general persecution of owls, (who are a sort of for the ill use of their dominion over creatures feathered cats,) or whether it be only an unrea. of the lower rank of beings, than for the exer- sonable pique the moderns have taken to a sericise of tyranny over their own species. The ous countenance, I shall not determine, though more entirely the inferior creation is submitted I am inclined to believe the former; since I obto our power, the more answerable we should serve the sole reason alleged for the destruction seem for our mismanagement of it; and the of frogs, is because they are like toads. Yet rather, as the very condition of nature renders amidst all the misfortunes of these unfriended these creatures incapable of receiving any re-creatures, it is some happiness that we have not compense in another life for their ill treatment yet taken a fancy to eat them: for should our in this.
countrymen refine upon the French never so It is observable of those noxious animals, little, it is not to be conceived to what unheardwhich have qualities most powerful to injure us, of torments owls, cats, and frogs may be yet that they naturally avoid mankind, and never
reserved. hurt us unless provoked or necessitated by hun. When we grow up to men, we have another ger. Man, on the other hand, seeks out and succession of sanguinary sports; in particular pursues even the most inoffensive animals, on hunting. I dare not attack a diversion which purpose to persecute and destroy them. has such authority and custom to support it;
Montaigne thinks it some reflection upon hu- but must have leave to be of opinion, that the man nature itself
, that few people take delight agitation of that exercise, with the example and in seeing beasts caress or play together, but al. number of the chasers, not a little contribute to most every one is pleased to see them lacerate resist those checks, which compassion would and worry one another. I am sorry this temper naturally suggest in behalf of the animal pur. is become almost a distinguishing character of sued. Nor shall I say with monsieur Fleury, our own nation, from the observation which is that this sport is a remain of the Gothic bar. made by foreigners of our beloved pastimes, barity. But I must animadvert upon a certain bear-baiting, cock-fighting, and the like. We custom yet in use with us, and barbarous should find it hard to vindicate the destroying enough to be derived from the Goths, or even of any thing that has life, merely out of wanton. the Scythians; I mean that savage compliment ness; yet in this principle our children are bred our huntsmen pass upon ladies of quality, who up, and one of the first pleasures we allow them are present at the death of a stag, when is the license of inflicting pain upon poor ani. put the knife in their hands to cut the throat mals; almost as soon as we are sensible what of a helpless, trembling, and weeping creature. life is ourselves, we make it our sport to take it from other creatures. I cannot bụt believe a
Atque imploranti similis.' very good use might be made of the fancy which children have for birds and insects. Mr. Locke
That lies beneath the knife,
up, and from her butcher begs her life.' takes notice of a mother who permitted them to her children, but rewarded or punished them But if our sports are destructive, our glutlony as they treated them well or ill. This was no is more so, and in a more inhuman manner. other than entering them betimes into a daily Lobsters roasted alive, pigs whipt to death, fowls exercise of humanity, and improving their very sewed up, are testimonies of our outrageous diversion to a virtue.
luxury. Those who (as Seneca expresses it) diI fancy too, some advantage might be taken vide their lives betwixt an anxious conscience of the common notion, that it is ominous or un- and a nauseated stomach, have a just reward of Jucky to destroy some sorts of birds, as swal. their gluttony in the diseases it brings with it; lows or martins; this opinion might possibly for human savages, like other wild beasts, find arise from the confidence these birds seem to snares and poison in the provisions of life, and put in us by building under our roofs, so that it are allured by their appetite to their destruction. is a kind of violation of the laws of hospitality I know nothing more shocking or horrid than to murder them. As for robin-redbreasts in the prospect of one of their kitchens covered particular, it is not improbable they owe their with blood, and filled with the cries of creatures security to the old ballad of the Children in the expiring in tortures. It gives one an image of Wood. However it be, I do not know, I say, a giant's den in a romance, bestrewed with the why this prejudice, well improved and carried scattered heads and mangled limbs of those who as far as it would go, might not be made to con were slain by his cruelty. doce to the preservation of many innocent crea The excellent Plutarch (who has more strokes tures, which are now exposed to all the wanton- of good-nature in his writings than I remember ness of an ignorant barbarity.
in any author) cîtes a saying of Cato to this efThere are other animals that have the mis- fect, “That it is no easy task to preach to the fortune, for no manner of reason, to be treated belly, which has no ears.” “Yet if,' says he, as common enemies, wherever found. The con. we are ashamed to be so out of fashion as not ceit that a cat has nine lives, has cost at least to offend, let us at least offend with some disnine lives in ten of the whole race of them. cretion and measure. If we kill an animal for Scarce a boy in the streets but has in this point our provision, let us do it with the meltings of