« PreviousContinue »
he has written to the works of this poet, course, painted before me in the way of reasons very ingeniously, and, I imagine, images. I know very well that the mind for the most part very rightly, upon the poffefles a faculty of raising such images cause of this extraordinary phænomenon; at pleasure ; but then an act of the will is but I cannot altogether agree with him, necessary to this; and in ordinary converthat some impropricties in language and fation or reading it is very rarely that any thought, which occur in these poems, have image at all is excited in the mind. If I arisen from the blind poet's imperfect con- say, “1 Mall go to Italy next summer,” I ception of visual objects, since luch impro- 'am well understood. Yet I believe nobody prieties, and much greater, may be found has by this painted in his imagination the in writers even of an higher class than exact figure of the speaker palling by land Mr. Blacklock, and who, notwithslanding, or by water, or both; sometimes on horseposlefied the faculty of seeing in its full back, sometimes in a carriage; with all the perfection. Here is a poet doubtless as particulars of the journey. Still less has much affected by his own descriptions as he any idea of Italy, the country to which any that reads them can be ; and yet he I proposed to go; or of the greenness of is affected with this strong enthusiasm by the fields, the ripening of the fruits, and things of which he neither has, nor can the warmth of the air, with the change to pofloly have any idea, further than that of this from a different reason, which are the a bare found; and why may not those who ideas for which the word summer is fubftiread his works be affected in the same tuted; but least of all has he any image manner that he was, with as little of any from the word next; for this word stands real ideas of the things described ? 'The for the idea of many summers, with the second instance is of Mr. Saunderson, pro- 'exclusion of all but one: and surely the feffor of mathematics in the university of man who says next summer, has no images Cambridge. This learned man bad ac- of such a succession, and such an exclusion. quired great knowledge in natural philo. In short, it is not only those ideas which are sophy, in astronomy, and whatever sciences commonly called abstract, and of which depend upon mathematical kill. What 'no image at all can be found, but even of was the most extraordinary, and the most particular real beings, that we converse to my purpose, he gave excellent lectures without having any idea of them excited upon light and colours; and this man in the imagination; as will certainly aptaught others the theory of those ideas pear on a diligent examination of our own which they had, and which he himself un- minds.
Burke on the Sublime. doubtedly had not. But the truth is, that the words red, blue, green, answered to $99. The real Characteristics of the W'hig him as well as the ideas of the colours
and Tory Parties. themselves; for the ideas of greater or lesser degrees of refrangibility being ap- When we compare the parties of Whig plied to these words, and the blind man and Tory to thole of Roundhead and Cabeing instructed in what other respects they valier, the most obvious difference which were found to agree or to disagree, it was appears betwixt them, consists in the prin. as easy for him to reason upon the words, ciples of passive obedience and indefeasible as if he had been fully master of the ideas. right, which were but little heard of among Indeed it must be owned, he could make no the Cavaliers, but became the universal new discoveries in the way of experiment. doctrine, and were esteemed the true chaHe did nothing but what we do every day racteristic of a Tory. Were these prinin common discourse. When I wrote this ciples pushed into their most obvious conlast sentence, and used the words every day, sequences, they imply a formal renuncia , and common discourse, I had no images in my ţion of all our liberties, and an avowal of mind of any succellion of time; nor of men absolute monarchy; since nothing can be in conference with each other: nor do I a greater absurdity, than a limited power imagine that the reader will have any such which must be resisted, even when it exideas on reading it. Neither when I spoke ceeds its limitations. But as the most raof red, blue, and green, as well as of re- tional principles are often but a weak frangibility, had I cheso several colours, or counterpoise to passion, 'tis no wonder that the rays of light paling into a different these absurd principles, sufficient, accordmedium, and there diverted from their ing to a celebrated author, to shock the common sense of a Hottentot or Samoiede, nouncing monarchy; and a friend to the were found too weak for that effect. These settlement in the protestant line. Tories, as men, were enemies to opprel
Hume's Elays. fion; and also, as Englishmen, they were enemies to despotic power. Their zeal $ 100. Painting disagreeable in Womer. for liberty was, perhaps, less fervent than A lady's face, like the coa: in the that of their antagonists, but was sufficient Tale of a Tub, if left alone, will wear to make them forget all their general well; but if you offer to load it with foprinciples, when they saw themselves reign ornaments, you destroy the original openly threatened with a subversion of the ground. ancient governinent. From these senti. Among other matter of wonder on my ments arose the Revolution; an event of first coming to town, I was much furprised mighty consequence, and the firmest foun- at the general appearance of youth among dation of British liberty. The condu&t of the ladies. At present there is no disthe Tories, during that event and after it, tinction in their complexions, between a will afford us a true insight into the nature beauty in her teens and a lady in her grand of that party.
climacteric; yet at the same time I could In the first place, they appear to have not but take notice of the wonderful va. had the sentiments of a True Briton in riety in the face of the same lady. I have them in their affection to liberty, and in known an olive beauty on Monday grow their determined resolution not to sacrifice very ruddy and blooming on Tuesday; it to any abstract principles whatsoever, or turn pale on Wednesday ; come round to to any imaginary rights of princes. This the olive hue again on Thursday; and, in a part of their character might justly have word, change her complexion as often as her been doubted of before the Revolution, gown. I was amazed to find no old aunts from the obvious tendency of their avowed in this town, except a few unfashionable principles, and from their almost unbound. people, whom nobody knows; the reft ftill ed compliances with a court, which made continuing in the zenith of their youth and little secret of its arbitrary designs. The health, and falling off, like timely fruit, Revolution thewed them to have been in without any previous decay. All this was this respect nothing but a genuine court a mystery that I could not unriddle, till, party, such as might be expected in a Bri- on being introduced to some ladies, I untilh government; that is, lovers of liberty, luckily improved the hue of my lips at the but greater lovers of monarchy. It muit, expence of a fair one, who unthinkingly however, be confeít, that they carried their had turned her cheek; and found that my monarchical principles farther, even in kifles were given (as is observed in the practice, but more so in theory, than was epigram) like those of Pyramus, through in any degree confiftent with a limited go. a wall. I then discovered, that this furvernment.
prising youth and beauty was all counterSecondly, Neither their principles nor feit; and that (as Hamlet says) “ God had affections concurred, entirely or heartily, given them one face, and they had made with the settlement made at the Revolu. themselves another." tion, or with that which has since takcn I have mentioned the accident of my place. This part of their character may carrying off half a lady's face by a salute, feem contradictory to the former, fincc any that your courtly dames may learn to put other settlement, in those circumstances of on their faces a little tighter; but as for the nation, mult probably have been dan my own daughters, while such fashions pregerous, if not fatal to liberty. But the vail, they shall still remain in Yorkshire. heart of man is made to reconcile contra. 'There, I think, they are pretty safe ; for dictions; and this contradiction is not great. this unnatural fashion will hardly make its er than that betwixt pallive obedience, and way into the country, as this vamped comthe resistance employed at the Revolution. plexion would not stand against the rays of A 'Tory, therefore, since the Revolution, the sun, and would inevitably melt away may be defined in a few words to be a lover in a country dance. The ladies have, inof monarchy, though without abandoning deed, been always the greatest enemies to liberty, and a partizan of the family of their own beauty, and seem to have a deStuart; as a Whig may be defined to be fign against their own faces. At one time a lover of liberty, though without re- the whole countenance was eclipsed in a
black velvet malk; at another it was blot- to others, of assuming the fame character ted with patches; and at present it is cruft- of diftinguished infamy. Few are so toed over with plaister of Paris. In those tally vitiated, as to have abandoned all senbattered belles who still aim at conqueft, timents of shame; and when every other this practice is in some fort excusable; but principle of integrity is surrendered, we it is surely as ridiculous in a young lady to generally find the conflict is still maintained give up beauty for paint, as it would be to in this last post of retreating virtue. In draw a good set of teeth merely to fill their this view, therefore, it should seem, the places with a row of ivory.
function of a satirist way be justified, not. Indeed so common is the fashion among with flanding it should be true (what an the young as well as the old, that when I excellent moralist has afierted) that his am in a group of beauties, I consider thern chartisements rather exasperate than reas so many pretty pictures; looking about claim those on whom they fall. Perhaps me with as little emotion as I do at Hud. no human penalties are of any moral adson's: and if any thing fills me with ad- vantage to the criminal himself; and the miration, it is the judicious arrangement principal benefit that seems to be derived of the tints, and delicate touches of the from civil punishments of any kind, is painter. Art very often seems almost to their restraining influence upon the conduct vie with nature : but my attention is too of others. frequently diverted by considering the tex- It is not every man, however, that is ture and hue of the skin beneath; and the qualified to manage this formidable bow. picture fails to charm, while my thoughts The arrows of satire, unless they are pointare engrossed by the wood and canvass. ed by virtue, as well as wit, recoil upon
Connoiseur. the hand that directs them, and wound none
but him from whom they proceed. Ac. flor. Advantages of well-directed Satire cordingly Horace refts the whole success pointed out.
of writings of this sort upon the poet's beA satirist of true genius, who is warmed ing integer ipse; free himself from those by a generous indignation of vice, and immoral stains which he points out in whole censures are conducted by candour others. There cannot, indeed, be a more and truth, merits the applause of every odious, nor at the same time a more confriend to virtue. He may be considered temptible character, than that of a vicious as a sort of supplement to the legislative satirist: authority of his country; as aililling the unavoidable defects of all legal institutions Quis cælum terris non misceat & mare coelo, for regulating of manners, and striking Si fur difpliceat Verri, homicida Milona ? terror even where the divine prohibitions themselves are held in contempt. The The most favourable light in which a strongest defence, perhaps, against the in- censor of this species could poflibly be viewroads of vice, among the more cultivated ed, would be that of a public executioner, part of our species, is well-directed ridi- who inflicts the punishment on others, which Cule: they who fear nothing else, dread to he has already merited himself. But the be marked out to the eontempt and indig. truth of it is, he is not qualified even for so nation of the world. There is no succed- wretched an office; and there is nothing ing in the secret purposes of dishonesty, to be dreaded from the satirist of known without preserving some sort of credit dishonesty, but his applause. among mankind; as there cannot exist a
Firzosborne's Letters. more impotent creature than a knave convict. To expose, therefore, the false pre- § 102. Juvenal and Horace compared as tensions of counterfeit virtue, is to dilarm
Satirists. it at once of all power of mischief, and to I would willingly divide the palm beperform a public service of the most advan- twixt these poets upon the two heads of tageous kind, in which any man can em- profit and delight, which are the two ends ploy his time and his talents. The voice, of poetry in general. It must be granted indeed, of an honest satirist is not only be- by the favourers of Juvenal, that Horace neficial to the world, as giving an alarm is the more copious and profitable in his against the defigns of an enemy so danger- instructions of human lise: but in my parous to all social intercourse; but as prov- ticular opinion, which I set not up for a ing likewise the most efficacious preventive standard to better judgments, Juvenal is
the more delightful author. I am profited fops; fo 'tis a harder thing to make a by both, I am pleased with botis; but I owe man wife, than to make him honeft: for more to Horace for my initruction, and the will is only to be reclaimed in the one; more to juvenal for my pleasure. This, but the understanding is to be informed in as I said, is my particular taite of these two the other. There are blind fides and fol. authors: they who will have either of them lies, even in the professors of moral philoto excel the other in both qualities, can fophy; and there is not any one set of them scarce give better reasons for their opinion, that Horace has not exposed. Which, as than I for mine ; but all unbiased readers it was not the design of Juvenal, who was will conclude, that my moderation is not wholly employed in laihing vices, some of to be condemned. To such impartial men them the moit enormous that can be imaI must appeal; for they who have already gined; fo, perhaps, it was not lo much his formed their judginent, muy juftly stand talent, Omne vafer vitium ridenti Flacciis suspeated of prejudice; and though all who amico, tangit, & admifus circum præcordia are my readers will set up to be my judges, ludit. This was the commendation that I enter my caveat against them, that they Persius gave him; where, by vitinm, he ought not so much as to be of my jury; mcans those little vices which we call folor if they be admitted, 'tis but reason that lies, the defects of human understanding, they should fii it hear what I have to urge or at most the peccadillos of life, rather in the defence of my opinion.,
than the tragical vices, to which men are 'That Horace is somewhat the better in- hurried by their unruly passions and exorbi. structor of the two, is proved hence, that tant delires. But on the word omne, which his instructions are more general, Juvenal's is universal, he concludes with me, that the more limited: so that, granting that the divine wit of Horace let nothing untouch- . counsels which they give are equally good ed; that he entered into the utmost recefiles for moral use, Horace, who gives the most of nature; found out the imperfections various advice, and most applicable to all even of the most wise and grave, as well as occasions which can occur to us in the course of the common people; discovering even of our lives; as including in his discourses in the great Trebatius, to whom he adnot only all the rules of morality, but also drestes the first satire, his hunting after buof civil conversation; is undoubtedly to be finess, and following the court; as well as preferred to him, who is more circum. in the persecutor Crispinus, hisim pertinence fcribed in his instructions, makes them to and importunity. 'Tis true, he exposes fewer people, and on fewer occasions, than Crispinus openly as a common nuisance ; the other. I may be pardoned for using but he rallies the other as a frierd, more an old saying, since it is true, and to the finely. The exhortations of Perfius are purpose, Bonum quo communius eo melius. confined to noblemen; and the stoick phi. Juvenal, excepting only his first satire, is losophy is that alone which he recommends in all the rest confined to the expofing to them: Juvenal exhorts to particular vir. some particular vice; that he lashes, and tues, as they are opposed to those vices there he sticks. His sentences are truly against which he declaims; but Horace thining and instructive; but th:y are laughs to shame all follies, and infinuates sprinkled here and there. Horace is teach- virtue rather by familiar examples than by ing us in every line, and is perpetually mo. the severity of precepts. sal; he had found out the skill of Virgil, to This last confideration seems to incline hide his sentences; to give you the virtue the balance on the side of Horace, and to of them without she:ving them in their full give him the preference to Juvenal, not only extent: which is the oftentation of a poet, in profit, but in pleasure. But, after all, I and not his art. And this Petroniuscharges must confess that the delight which Horace on the authors of his time, as a vice of gives me is but languishing. Be pleased writing, which was then growing on the itill to understand, that I speak of my own age: Ne fententiæ extra corpus orationis emi- taste only: he may ravish other men; but neant. He would have them weaved into I am too stupid and insensible to be tickled. the body of the work, and not appear em- Where he barely grins himself, and, as Scabosied upon it, and striking directly on the liger says, only Thews his white teeth, he reader's view. Folly was the proper cannot provoke me to any laughter. His quarry of Horace, and not vice: and as urbanity, that is, his good-manners, are to there are but few notoriously wicked iren, be commended, but his wit is faint; and his in comparison with a fical of fools and salt, if I may dare to say so, almost infipid.
The most striking instance I know of this and was once soundly drubbed by a soldier low passion for drollery, is Toby Bumper, for engaging with his trull. The last time a young fellow of famiiy and fortune, and I saw him he was laid up with two black not without talents, who has taken a more eyes, and a broken pate, which he got in a than ordinary pains to degrade himself; and midnight skirmish, about a mistress, in a is now become almost as low a character, night-cellar.
Connviseur. as any of those whom he has chosen for his companions. Toby will drink purl in a
§ 109. Causes of national Characters.
9 10g. Canjes of national morning, smoke his pipe in a night.cellar, The vulgar are very apt to carry all dive for a dinner, or eat black puddings at national characters to extremes ; and havBartholomew-fair, for the humour of the ing once enablished it as a principle, that thing. He has also studied, and pra&tises, any people are knavish, or cowardly, or all the plebeian arts and exercises, under ignorant, they will adrnit of no exception, the best masters; and has disgraced himself but comprehend every individual under with every impolite accomplishment. lie the same character. Men of sense conhas had many a set-to with Buckhorfe; and deinn these undistinguishing judgments ; has now and then the honour of receiving though at the same time they allow, that a fall from the great Broughton himself. each nation has a peculiar fet of manners, Nobody is better known among the hack, and that some particulır qualities are more ney.coachman, as a brother-whip: at the frequently to be met with among one peonoble game of prison-bars, he is a match ple than among their neighbours. The even for the natives of Eflex and Cheshire; common people in Switzerland have surely and he is frequently engaged at the Artil. more probity than those of the same rank in lery-ground with Faulkner and Dingate at Ireland; and every prudent man will, from cricket; and is himself eiteemed as good a chat circumstance alone, inake a difference bat as either of the Bennets. Anoiher of in the trust which he reposes in each. We Toby's favourite amusements is, to attend have reason to expect greater wit and the executions at Tyburn; and it once gaiety in a Frenchman than in a Spaniard, happened, that one of his familiar intimates though Cervantes was born in Spain. An was unfortunately brought thither; when Englishman will naturally be thought to Toby carried his regard to his deceased have more wit than a Dane, though Tyfriend so far, as to get himself knocked cho Brahe was a native of Denmark. down in endeavouring to rescue the body Different reasons are afligned for these from the surgeons.
national characters, while fome account for As Toby affects to mimic, in every par- them from moral, and others from phyfiticular, the art and manner of the vulgar, cal causes. By moral causes I mean all he never fails to enrich his conversation circumstances which are fitted to work on with their emphatic oaths and expressive the mind, as motives or reasons, and which dialect, which recommends him as a man render a peculiar set of manners habitual of exccllent humour and high fun, among to us. Of this kind are the nature of the the Choice Spirits at Comus's Court, or at government, the revolutions of public af. the meeting of the Sons of found Sense and fairs, the plenty or penury in which the Satisfaction. He is also particularly famous people live, the situation of the nation for singing those cant songs, drawn up in with regard to its neighbours, and such the barbarous dialect of tharpers and pick- like circumstances. By physical causes, I pockets; the humour of which he often mean those qualities of the air and climate, heightens, by screwing up his mouth, and which are supposed to work insensibiy on rolling about a large quid of tobacco be- the temper, by aliering the tone and habit tween his jaws. These and other like ac- of the body, and giving a particular comcomplishments frequently promote him to plexion; which, though reflection and reathe chair in these facetious societies. Ton may sometimes overcome, yet will it
Toby has indulged the same notions of prevail among the generality of mankind, humour even in his amours; and is well and have an influence on their manners. known to every street-walker from Cheap. That the character of a nation will very fide to Charing-cross. This has given se- much depend on moral causes, must be veral shocks to his conftitution, and often evident to the most fuperficial obicrver; involved him in unlucky scrapes. He has since a nation is nothing but a collection of been frequently bruised, beaten and kicked, individuals, and the manners of individuals by the bullies of Wapping and Fleet-ditch; are frequently determined by these cauíes.
3 N 4