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buy them in the lump, without the burthen of a tax upon them. My speculations, when they are sold single, like cherries upon the stick, are delights for the rich and wealthy; after some time they come to market in greater quantities, and are every ordinary
The truth of it is, they have a certain flavour at their first appearance, froin several accidental circumstances of time, place, and person, which they may lose if they are not taken early; but in this case every reader is to consider, whether it is not better for him to be half a year behind-hand with the fashionable and polite part of the world, than to strain himself beyond his circumstances. My bookseller has now about ten thousand of the third and fourth volumes, which he is ready to publish, having already disposed of as large an edition both of the first and second volume. As he is a person whose head is very well turned to his business, he thinks they would be a very proper present to be made to persons at christenings, marriages, visiting days, and the like joyful solemnities, as several other books are frequently given at funerals. He has printed them in such a little portable volume,' that many of them may be ranged together upon a single plate; and is of opinion, that a salver of Spectators would be as acceptable an entertainment to the ladies, as a salver of sweetmeats.
I shall conclude this paper with an epigram lately sent to the writer of the Spectator, after having returned my thanks to the ingenious author of it.
“ Having heard the following epigram very much commend. ed, I wonder that it has not yet had a place in any of your papers; I think the suffrage of our poet-laureat should not be overlooked, which shows the opinion he entertains of your paper,
* 12mo. 1712, in seven volumes.-G.
whether the notion he proceeds upon be true or false. I make bold to convey it to you, not knowing if it has yet come to your hands.
ON THE SPECTATOR, BY MR. TATE'
-Aliusque et idem
You rise another and the same.
When first the Tatler to a mute was turn'd,
No. 489. SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 20
Βαθυρρείταο μέγα σθένος 'Ωκεανοίο.
“Upon reading your essay, concerning the pleasures of the imagination, I find among the three sources of those pleasures which you have discovered, that'greatness' is one. This has suggested to me the reason why, of all objects that I have ever
* Nahum Tate, Shadwell's successor in the office of Laureate. Born in Dublin, 1652, where he studied. Died 1715.-G.
sea or ocean.
seen, there is none which affects my imagination so much as the
I cannot see the heavings of this prodigious bulk of waters, even in a calm, without a very pleasing astonishment; but when it is worked up in a tempest, so that the horizon on every side is nothing but foaming billows and floating mountains, it is impossible to describe the agreeable horror that rises from such a prospect.
A troubled ocean, to a man who sails upon it, is, I think, the biggest object that he can see in motion, and consequently gives his imagination one of the highest kinds of pleasure that can arise from greatness. I must confess, it is impossible for me to survey this world of fluid matter, without thinking on the hand that first poured it out, and made a proper channel for its reception. Such an object naturally raises in my thoughts the idea of an Almighty Being, and convinces me of his existence as much as a metaphysical demonstration. The imagination prompts the understanding, and by the greatness of the sensible object, produces in it the idea of a Being who is neither circumscribed by time nor space.
“As I have made several voyages upon the sea, I have often been tossed in storms, and on that occasion have frequently reflected on the descriptions of them in antient poets. I remember Longinus highly recommends one in Homer, because the poet has not amused himself with little fancies upon the occasion, as authors of an inferior genius, whom he mentions, had done, but because he has gathered together those circumstances which are the most apt to terrify the imagination, and which really happen in the raging of a tempest. It is for the same reason, that I prefer the following description of a ship in a storm, which the psalmist has made, before any other I have ever met with. They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters:
* The reader of taste feels the force of this well-chosen word. Mr. Pope had it in view, when he said, “Who heaves old ocean.”—H.
these men see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waters thereof. They mount up to heaven, they go down again to the depths, their soul is melted because of trou. ble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man,
and are at their wits-end. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then they are glad because they be quiet, so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.'
“ By the way, how much more comfortable, as well as rational, is this system of the psalmist, than the pagan scheme in Virgil, and other poets, where one deity is represented as raising a storm, and another as laying it? Were we only to consider the sublime in this piece of poetry, what can be nobler than the idea it gives us of the Supreme Being thus raising a tumult among the elements, and recovering them out of their confusion, thus troubling and becalming nature ?
“Great Painters do not only give us landscapes of gardens, groves, and meadows, but very often employ their pencils upon sea-pieces: I could wish you would follow their example. If this small sketch may deserve a place among your works, I shall accompany it with a divine ode, made by a gentleman “ upon the conclusion of his travels.
*How are thy servants blest, O Lord!
How sure is their defence !
Their help Omnipotence.
* i. e. By himself. So early had a spirit of piety taken possession of this excellent man's mind 1-H.
'In foreign realms, and lands remote,
Supported by thy care,
And breath'd in tainted air.
“Thy mercy sweet'ned ev'ry soil,
Made ev'ry region please ;
And smooth'd the Tyrrhene seas.
*Think, O my soul, devoutly think,
How with affrighted eyes
In all its horrors rise !
*Confusion dwelt in ev'ry face,
And fear in ev'ry heart; When waves on waves, and gulphs in gulphs,
O'ercame the pilot's art.
“Yet then from all my griefs, O Lord,
Thy mercy set me free,
My soul took hold on thee.
'For tho' in dreadful whirls we hung
High on the broken wave,
Nor impotent to save.
“The storm was laid, the winds retir'd,
Obedient to thy will; The sea that roar'd at thy command,
At thy command was still.
*In midst of dangers, fears, and death,
Thy goodness I'll adore, And praise thee for thy mercies past;
And humbly hope for more.