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• When Sempronius promises himself the possession of Marcia by a rape, he triumphs in the prospect, and exults in his villany, by represent: ing it to himself in a manner wonderfully suited to the vanity and impiety of his character. So Pluto, seized of Proserpine, conveyed To hell's tremendous gloom th’ affrighted maid; There grimly smilod, pleased with the beauteous prize, Nor envy'd Jove his sunshine and his skies. ‘Pray old Nestor, trouble thyself no more with the squabbles of old lovers; tell them from me now they are past the sins of the flesh, they hre got into those of the spirit; desire hurts the soul less than malice ; it is not now, as when they were Sappho and Phaon. I am, sir, your affectionate humble servant, A. B
No. 65.] Tuesday, May 26, 1713.
Inter scabiem tantam et contagia.
Amidst the poison of such infectious times.
There is not any where, I believe, so much talk about religion, as among us in England; nor do I think it possible for the wit of man to devise forms of address to the Almighty, in more ardent and forcible terms than are every where to be found in our book of common prayer; and yet I have heard it read with such a negligence, affectation, and impatience, that the efficacy of it has been apparently lost to all the congregation. For my part, I make no scruple to own it, that I go sometimes to a particular place in the city, far distant from mine own home, to hear a gentleman, whose manner I admire, read the liturgy. I am persuaded devotion is the greatest pleasure of his soul, and there is none hears him read without the utmost reverence. I have seen the young people, who have been interchanging glances of pas. sion to each other's person, checked into an attention to the service at the interruption which the authority of his voice has given them. But the other morning I happened to rise earlier than ordinary, and thought I could not pass my time better, than to go upon the admonition of the morning bell, to the church prayers at six of the clock. I was there the first of any in the congregation, and had the opportunity, however I made use of it, to look back on all my life, and contemplate the blessing and advantage of such stated early hours for offering ourselves to our Creator, and prepossess ourselves with the love of Him, and the hopes we have from Him, against the snares of business and pleasure in the ensuing day. But whether it be that people think fit to indulge their own ease in some secret, pleasing fault, or whatever it was, there was none at the confession but a set of poor scrubs of us, who could sin only in our wills, whose persons could be no temptation to one another, and might have, without interrup. tion from any body else, humble, lowly hearts, in frightful looks and dirty dresses, at our lei. sure. When we poor souls had presented our
selves with a contrition suitable to our worthlessness, some pretty young ladies in mobs, popped in here and there about the church, clattering the pew-door after them, and squatting into a whisper behind their fans. Arnong others, one of lady Lizard's daughters, and her hopeful maid, made their entrance: the young lady did not omit the ardent form behind the fan, while the maid immediately gaped round her to look for some other devout person, whom I saw at a distance very well dressed; his air and habit a little military, but in the pertness, not the true possession, of the martial characThis jackanapes was fixed at the end of a pew, with the utmost impudence, declaring, by a fixed eye on that seat (where our beauty was placed) the object of his devotion. This obscene sight gave me all the indignation imaginable, and I could attend to nothing but the reflection, that the greatest affronts imaginable are such as no one can take notice of. Before I was out of such vexatious inadvertencies to the business of the place, there was a great deal of good company now come in. There was a good number of very janty slatterns, who gave us to understand, that it is neither dress nor art to which they were beholden for the town's admiration. Besides these, there were also by this time arrived two or three sets of whisperers, who carry on most of their calumnies by what they entertain one another with in that place, and we were now altogether very good company. There were indeed a few, in whose looks there appeared a heavenly joy and gladness upon the entrance of a new day, as if they had gone to sleep with expectation of it. For the sake of these it is worth while that the church keeps up such early matins throughout the cities of London and Westminster; but the generality of those who observe that hour, perform it with so tasteless a behaviour, that it appears a task rather than a voluntary act. But of all the world, those familiar ducks who are, as it were, at home at the church, and by frequently meeting there throw the time of prayer very negligently into their common life, and make their coming together in that place as ordinary as any other action, and do not turn their conversation upon any improvements suitable to the true design of that house, but on trifies below even their worldly concerns and characters. These are little groups of acquaintance dispersed in all parts of the town, who are, forsooth, the only people of unspotted characters, and throw all the spots that stick on those of other people. Malice is the ordinary vice of those who live in the mode of religion, without the spirit of it. The pleasurable world are hurried by their passions above the consideration of what others think of them, into a pursuit of irregular enjoyments; while these, who sorbear the gratifications of flesh and blood, without having won over the spirit to the interests of virtue, are inplacable in defamations on the errors of such who offend without respect to fame. But the consideration of persons whom one cannot but take notice of, when one sees them in that place, has drawn me out of my intended talk, which was to bewail that people do not know the pleasure of early hours, and of dedicating their first moments of the day, with joy and singleness of heart, to their Creator. Experience would convince us, that the earlier we left our beds, the seldomer should we be confined to them. One great good which would also accrue from this, were it become a fashion, would be, that it is possible our chief divines would condescend to pray themselves, or at least those whom they substitute would be better supplied, than to be forced to appear at those oraisons in a garb and attire which makes them appear mortified with worldly want, and not abstracted from the world by the contempt of it. How is it possible for a gentleman, under the income of fifty pounds a year, to be attentive to sublime things He must rise and dress like a labourer for sordid hire, instead of approaching his place of service with the utmost pleasure and satisfaction, that now he is going to be mouth of a crowd of people who have laid aside all the distinctions of this contemptible being, to beseech a protection under its manifold pains and disadvantages, or a release from it, by his favour who sent them into it. He would, with decent superiority, look upon himself as orator before the throne of grace, for a crowd, who hang upon his words, while he asks for them all that is necessary in a transitory life ; from the assurance that a good behaviour, for a few moments in it, will purchase endless joy and happy immortality. But who can place himself in this view, who, though not pinched with want, is distracted with care from the fear of it? No; a man, in the least degree below the spirit of a saint or a martyr, will loll, huddle over his duty, look confused, or assume a resolution in his behaviour which will be quite as ungraceful, except he is supported above the necessities of life. * Power and commandment to his minister to declare and pronounce to his people,' is mentioned with a very unguarded air, when the speaker is known in his own private condition to be almost an object of their pity and charity. This last circumstance, with many others here loosely suggested, are the occasion that one knows not how to recommend, to such as have not already a fixed sense of devotion, the pleasure of passing the earliest hours of the day in a public congregation. But were this morning solemnity as much in vogue, even as it is now at more advanced hours of the day, it would necessarily have so good an effect upon us, as to make us more disengaged and cheerful in conversation, and less artful and insincere in business. The world would be quite another place than it is now, the rest of the day; and every face would have an alacrity in it, which can be borrowed from no other reflections, but those which give us the assured protection of Omnipotence.
Set twelve at supper; one above the rest
THE following letter is full of imagination, and in a fabulous manner sets forth a connection between things, and an alliance between persons, that are very distant and remote to common eyes. I think I know the hand to be that of a very ingenious man, and shall therefore give it the reader without farther preface.
“To the Guardian.
“Sist,--There is a set of mankind, who are wholly employed in the ill-natured office of gathering up a collection of stories that lessen the reputation of others, and spreading them abroad with a certain air of satisfaction. Perhaps indeed, an innocent unmeaning curiosity, a desire of being informed concerning those we live with, or a willingness to profit by reflection upon the actions of others, may sometimes afford an excuse, or sometimes a defence for inquisitiveness; but certainly it is beyond all excuse a transgression against humanity to carry the matter farther, to tear off the dress. ings as I may say, from the wounds of a friend, and expose them to the air in cruel fits of diversion; and yet we have something more to bemoan, an outrage of a higher nature, which mankind is guilty of when they are not content to spread the stories of folly, frailty, and vice, but even enlarge them, or invent new ones, and blacken characters that we may appear ridiculous or hateful to one another. From such practices as these it happens, that some feel a sorrow, and others are agitated with a spirit of revenge; that scandals or lies are told, because another has told such before; that resentments and quarrels arise, and af. fronts and injuries are given, received, and multiplied, in a scene of vengeance.
“All this I have often observed with abund. ance of concern, and having a perfect desire to further the happiness of mankind, I lately set myself to consider the causes from whence such. evils arise, and the remedies which may be applied. Whereupon I shut my eyes to prevent a distraction from outward objects, and a while after shot away, upon an impulse of thought, into the world of ideas, where abstracted qualities became visible in such appearances as were agreeable to each of their natures.
‘That part of the country where I happened to light, was the most noisy that I had ever known. The winds whistled, the leaves rustled, the brooks rumbled, the birds chattered, the tongues of men were heard, and the echo mingled something of every sound in its repetition, so that there was a strange confusion and uproar of sounds about me. At length, as the noise still increased, I could discern a man habited like a herald, (and as I afterwards understood) called Novelty, that came forward proclaiming a solemn day to be kept at the house of Common Fame. Immediately behind him advanced three nymphs, who had monstrous appearances. The first of these was Curiosity, habited o," virgin, and having a
hundred ears upon her head to serve in her inquiries. The second of these was Talkatrve. ness, a little better grown; she seemed to be like a young wife, and had a hundred tongues to spread her stories. The third was Censoriousness, habited like a widow, and surrounded with a hundred squinting eyes of a malignant influence, which so obliquely darted on all around, that it was impossible to say which of them had brought in the information she boasted of. These, as I was informed, had been very instrumental in preserving and rearing Common Fame, when upon her birth-day she was shuffled into a crowd, to escape the search which Truth might have made after her and her parents. Curiosity found her there, Talkativeness conveyed her away, and Censoriousness so nursed her up, that in a short time she grew to a prodigious size, and obtained an empire over the universe; wherefore the power, in gratitude for these services, has since advanced them to her highest employments. The next who came forward in the procession was a light damsel, called Credulity, who carried behind them the lamp, the silver vessel with a spout, and other instruments proper for this solemn occasion. “She had formerly seen these three together, and conjecturing from the number of their ears, tongues, and eyes, that they might be the proper genii of Attention, Familiar Converse, and Ocular Demonstration, she from that time gave herself up to attend them. The last who followed were some who had closely muffled themselves in upper garments, so that I could not discern who they were ; but just as the foremost of them was come up, I am glad, says she, calling me by my name, to meet you at this time; story close by me, and take a strict observation of all that passes: her voice was sweet and commanding, I thought I had somewhere heard it; and from her, as I went along, I learned the meaning of every thing which offered. “We now marched forward through the Rookery of Rumours, which flew thick, and with a terrible din, all around us. At length we arrived at the house of Common Fame, where a hecatomb of reputations was that day to fall for her pleasure. The house stood upon an eminence, having a thousand passages to it, and a thousand whispering holes for the conveyance of sound. The hall we entered was formed with the art of a music-chamber for the improvement of noises. Rest and silence are banished the place. Stories of different natures wander in light flocks all about, sometimes truths and lies, or sometimes lies themselves clashing against one another. In the middle stood a table painted after the manner of the remotest Asiatic countries, upon which the lamp, the silver vessel, and cups of a white earth, were planted in order. Then dried herbs were brought, collected for the solemnity in moon-shine, and water being put to them, there was a greenish liquor unade, to which they added the flower of milk, and an extraction from the canes of America, for performing a libation to the informat powers of Mischief. After this, Curiosity, retiring to a withdrawing
room, brought forth the victims, being to appearance a set of small waxen images, which she laid upon the table one after another. Immediately then Talkativeness gave each of them the name of some one, whom for that time they were to represent; and Censoriousness stuck them all about with black pins, still pronouncing at every one she stuck, something to the prejudice of the persons represented. No sooner were these rites performed, and incantations uttered, but the sound of a speaking trumpet was heard in the air, by which they knew the deity of the place was propitiated and assisting. Upon this the sky grew darker, a storm arose, and murmurs, sighs, groans, cries, and the words of grief, or resentment, were heard within it. Thus the three sorceresses discovered, that they whose names they had given to the images were already affected with what was done to them in cffigy. The knowledge of this was received with the loudest laughter, and in many congratulatory words they applauded one another's wit and power. ‘As matters were at this high point of disorder, the muffled lady, whom I attended on, being no longer able to endure such barbarous proceedings, threw off her upper garment of Reserve, and appeared to be Truth. As soon as she had confessed herself present, the speaking trumpet ceased to sound, the sky cleared up, the storm abated, the noises which were heard in it ended, the laughter of the company was over, and a serene light, till then unknown to the place, diffused around it. At this the detected sorceresses endeavoured to escape in a cloud which I saw began to thicken round them ;
but it was soon dispersed, their charms being
controlled, and prevailed over by the superior divinity. For my part I was exceedingly glad to see it so, and began to consider what punishment she would inflict upon them. I sancied it would be proper to cut off Curiosity's ears, and fix them to the eaves of the houses: to nail the tongues of Talkativeness to Indian tables; and to put out the eyes of Censoriousness with a flash of her light. In respect of Credulity, I had indeed some little pity, and had I been judge she might, perhaps, have escaped with a hearty reproof. • But I soon found that the discerning judge had other designs. She knew them for such as will not be destroyed entirely while mankind is in being, and yet ought to have a brand and punishment affixed to them that they may be avoided. Wherefore she took a seat for judgment, and had the criminals brought forward by Shame ever blushing, and Trouble with a whip of many lashes; two phantoms who had dogged the procession in disguise, and waited till they had an authority from Truth to lay hands upon them. Immediately then she ordered Curiosity and Talkativeness to be fettered together, that the one should never suffer the other to rest, nor the other ever let her remain undiscovered. Light Credulity she linked to Shame at the tormentor's own request, who was pleased to be thus secure that her prisoner could not escape; and this was done partly for her punishment, and partly for her amendment. Censoriousness was also in like manner begged by Trouble, and had her assigned for an eternal companion. After they were thus chained with one another, by the judge's order, she drove them from the presence to wander for ever through the world, with Novelty stalking before them. -
“The cause being now over, she retreated from sight within the splendour of her own glory; which leaving the house it had brightened, the sounds that were proper to the place began to be as loud and confused as when we entered; and there being no longer a clear distinguished appearance of any objects represented to me, I returned from the excursion I had made in fancy.'
No. 67.] Thursday, May 28, 1713.
: ne forte pudori Sic tibi musa lyrie solers, et cantor Apollo. Hor. Ars Poet. ver. 406.
Blush not to patronize the muse's skill.
It has been remarked, by curious observers, that poets are generally long-lived, and run beyond the usual age of man, if not cut off by some accident or excess, as Anacreon, in the midst of a very merry old age, was choaked with a grapestone. The same redundancy of spirits that produces the poetical flame, keeps up the vital warmth, and administers uncommon fuel to life. I question not but several instances will occur to my reader's memory, from Homer down to Mr. Dryden. I shall only take notice of two who have excelled in lyrics; the one an ancient, and the other a modern. The first gained an immortal reputation by celebrating several jockeys in the olympic games, the last has signalized himself on the same occasion by the ode that begins with—' To horse, brave boys, to Newmarket, to horse.’ My reader will, by this time, know that the two poets I have mentioned, are Pindar and Mr. d'Urfey. The former of these is long since laid in his urn, after having, many years together, endeared himself to all Greece by his tuneful compositions. Our countryman is still living, and in a blooming old age, that still promises many musical productions; for if I am not mistaken, our British swan will sing to the last. The best judges who have pe. rused his last song on The moderate Man, do not discover any decay in his parts, but think it deserves a place amongst the finest of those works with which he obliged the world in his more early years.
I am led into this subject by a visit which I lately received from my good old friend and contemporary. As we both flourished together in king Charles the Second's reign, we diverted ourselves with the remembrance of several particulars that passed in the world before the great. est part of my readers were born, and could not but smile to think how insensibly we were grown into a couple of venerable old gentlemen. Tom observed to me, that after having written more odes than Horace, and about four times as many comedies as Terence, he was reduced to great difficulties by the importunities of a set of men,
who, of late years, had furnished him with the accommodations of life, and would not, as we say, be paid with a song. In order to extricate my old friend, I immediately sent for the three directors of the playhouse, and desired them that they would in their turn do a good office for a man who, in Shakspeare's phrase, had often filled their mouths, I mean with pleasantry, and popular conceits. They very generously listened to my proposal, and agreed tooet the Plotting Sisters, (a very taking play of my old friend's composing) on the fifteenth of the next month, for the benefit of the author. My kindness to the agreeable Mr. d’Ursey will be imperfect, if, after having engaged the players in his favour, I do not get the town to come into it. I must therefore heartily recommend to all the young ladies, my disciples, the case of my old friend, who has often made their grandmothers merry, and whose sonnets have perhaps lulled asleep many a present toast, when she lay in her cradle. I have already prevailed on my lady Lizard to be at the house in one of the front boxes, and design, if I am in town, to lead her in myself at the head of her daughters. The gentleman I am speaking of has laid obligations on so many of his countrymen, that I hope they will think this but a just return to the good service of a veteran poet. . I myself remember king Charles the Second leaning on Tom d'Urfey's shoulder more than once, and humming over a song with him. It is certain that monarch was not a little supported by ‘Joy to great Cæsar, which gave the whigs such a blow as they were. not able to recover that whole reign. My friend afterwards attacked popery with the same success, having exposed Bellarmine and Porto-Carrero more than once in short satirical compositions, which have been in every body's mouth. He has made use of Italian tunes and sonatas for promoting the protestant interest, and turned a considerable part of the pope's music against himself. In short, he has obliged the court with political sonnets, the country with dialogues and pastorals, the city with descriptions of a lord-mayor's feast, not to mention his little ode upon StoolBall, with many other of the like nature. Should the very individuals he has celebrated make their appearance together, they would be sufficient to fill the play-house. Pretty Peg of Windsor, Gillian of Croydon, with Dolly and Molly, and Tommy and Johny, wish many others to be met with in the Musical Miscellanies, entitled, Pills to purge Melancholy, would make a good bencsit night. As my friend, after the manner of the old lyrics, accompanies his works with his own voice, he has been the delight of the most polite companies and conversations, from the beginning of king Charles the Second's reign to our present times. Many an honest gentleman has got a reputation in his country, by pretending to have been in company with Tom d'Urfey. I might here mention several other merits in my friend; as his enriching our language with a multitude of rhimes, and bringing words together, that without his good offices, would never have been acquainted with one another, so long as it had been a tongue. But I must not omit that my old friend angles for a trout, the best of any man in England. May-flies come in late this season, or I myself should before now, have had a trout of his hooking.
After what I have said, and much more that I might say, on this subject, I question not but the world will think that my old friend ought not to pass the remainder of his life in a cage like a singing bird, but enjoy all that pindaric liberty which is suitable to a man of his genius. He has made the world merry, and I hope they will make him easy, so long as he stays among us. This I will take upon me to say, they cannot do a kindness to a more diverting companion, or a more cheerful, honest, and goodnatured man.
No. 68.] Friday, May 29, 1713.
Inspicere, tanquam in speculum, in vitas omnium
My advice to him is, to consult the lives of other men as he would a looking-glass, and from thence fetch examples for his own imitation.
THE paper of to-day shall consist of a letter from my friend sir Harry Lizard, which, with my answer, may be worth the perusal of young men of estates, and young women without for. tunes. It is absolutely necessary, that in our first vigorous years we lay down some law to ourselves for the conduct of future life, which may at least prevent essential misfortunes. The cutting cares which attend such an affection as that against which I forewarn my friend sir Harry, are very well known to all who are called the men of pleasure; but when they have opposed their satisfactions to their anxieties in an impartial examination, they will find their life not only a dream, but a troubled and vexa. tious one.
* DFAn old MAN, I believe you are very much surprised, that in the several letters I have written to you, since the receipt of that wherein you recommend a young lady for a wife to your humble servant, I have not made the least mention of that matter. It happens at this time that I am not much inclined to marry; there are very many matches in our country, wherein the parties live so insipidly, or so vexatiously, that I am afraid to venture from their example. Besides, to tell you the truth, good Nestor, I am informed your fine young woman is soon to be disposed of elsewhere. As to the young ladies of my acquaintance in your great town, I do not know one whom I could think of as a wife, who is not either prepossessed with some incli. nation for some other man, or affects pleasures and entertainments, which she prefers to the conversation of any man living. Women of this kind are the most frequently met with of any sort whatsoever; I mean they are the most frequent among people of condition, that is to say, such are easily to be had as would sit at the head of your estate and table, lie-in by you for the sake of receiving visits in pomp at the end of the month, and enjoy the like gratifications
from the support of your fortune; but you yourself would signify no more to one of them, than a name in trust in a settlement which conveys land and goods, but has no right for its own use. A woman of this turn can no more make a wife, than an ambitious man can be a friend; they both sacrifice all the true tastes of being, and motives of life, for the ostentation, the noise, and the appearance of it. Their hearts are turned to unnatural objects, and as the men of design can carry them on with an exclusion of their daily companions, so women of this kind of gayety, can live at bed and board with a man, without any affection to his person. As to any woman that you examine hereafter for my sake, if you can possibly, find a means to converse with her at some country seat. If she has no relish for rural views, but is undelighted with streams, fields, and groves, I desire to hear no more of her; she has departed from nature, and is irrecoverably engaged in vanity. ‘I have ever been curious to observe the arrogance of a town lady when she first comes down to her husband's seat, and, beholding her country neighbours, wants somebody to laugh with her, at the frightful things, to whom she herself is equally ridiculous. The pretty pitty-pat step,
the playing head, and the fall-back in the curte
sy, she does not imagine, make her as unconversable, and inaccessible to our plain people, as the loud voice and ungainly stride render one of our huntresses to her. In a word, dear Nestor, I beg you to suspend all inquiries towards my matrimony until you hear further from, sir, your most obliged, and most humble servant, * HARRY LIZARD." A certain loose turn in this letter, mixed indeed with some real exceptions to the too frequent silly choice made by country gentlemen, has given me no small anxiety: and I have sent sir Harry an account of my suspicions, as fol. lows. - “To Sir Harry Lizard. ‘SIR,-Your letter I have read over two or three times, and must be so free with you as to tell you, it has in it something which betrays you have lost that simplicity of heart with relation to love, which I promised myself would crown your days with happiness and honour. The alteration of your mind towards marriage is not represented as flowing from discretion and wariness in the choice, but a disinclination to that state in general; you seem secretly to propose to yourself (for I will think no otherwise of a man of your age and temper) all its satisfactions out of it, and to avoid the care and inconveniences that attend those who enter into it. I will not urge at this time the greatest consideration of all, to wit, regard of innocence; but having, I think, in my eye, what you aim at, I must, as I am your friend, acquaint you, that you are going into a wilderness of cares and distractions, from which you will never be able to extricate yourself, while the compunctions of honour and pity are yet alive in you. “Without naming names, I have long suspected your designs upon a young gentlewoman in your neighbourhood: but give me leave to