페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

might methinks receive a very happy and is asked by a grave attendant how turn; and, if it were rightly directed, his Holiness does? Another hears himcontribute as much to a person's advan- self addressed to under the title of Hightage, as it generally does to his uneafi- ness or Excellency, who lies under fuch neis and disquiet.

mean circuintances of mortality, as are I shall therefore put together fome the disgrace of human nature. Titles thoughts on this subject, which I have at such a time look rather like insults not met with in other writers; and ihall and mockery than respect. fet them down as they have occurred to The truth of it is, honours are in this me, without being at the pains to con world under no regulation; true quality mect or methodize them.

is neglected, virtue is oppressed, and vice All fuperiority and pre-eminence that triumphant. The last day will rectify one man can have over another, may be this disorder, and assign to every one a reduced to the notion of quality, which, ftation suitable to the dignity of his confidered at large, is either that of for- character; ranks will be then adjusted, tune, body, or mind. The first is that and precedency set right. which contists in birth, title, or riches; Methinks we should have an ambi. and is the most foreign to our natures, tion, if not to advance ourselves in anoand wiat we can the least call our own ther world, at least to preserve our post of any of the three kinds of quality. In in it, and outshine our infericrs in vir. relation to the body, quality arises from tue here, that they may not be put above health, strength, or beauty; which are us in a state which is to settle the distincnearer to us, and more a part of our

tion for eternity. felves than the former. Quality, as it Men in Scripture are called stran. regards the mind, has it's rise from gers and sojourners upon earth,' and knowledge or virtue; and is that which life a pilgrimage.' Several Heathen, is more eflential to us, and more inti as well as Christian authors, under the mately united with us than either of the same kind of metaphor, have represented other two.

the world as an inn, which was only The quality of fortune, though a man designed to furnish us with accommohas less reason to value himself upon it dations in this our passage. It is therethan on that of the body or mind, is fore very absurd to think of setting up however the kind of quality which makes our rest before we come to our journey's the most shining figure in the eye of the end, and not rather to take care of the world.

reception we fall there meet, than to As virtue is the most reasonable and fix our thoughts on the little convenigenuine source of honour, we generally encies and advantages which we enjoy find in titles an intimation of some par one above another in the way to it. ticular merit that should recommend men Epictetus makes use of another kind to the high stations which they poliefs. of allusion, which is very beautiful, and Holinels is ascribed to the pope; ma. wonderfully proper to incline us to be Jelty to kings; ferenity or mildness of satisfied with the post in which Provitemper to princes; excellence or perfec. dence has placed us. We are here,' tion to ambassadors; grace to archbi. fays he, “as in a theatre, where every fhops; honour to peers; worship or ve • one has a purt allotted to himn. The nerable behaviour to magiftrates; and great duty which lies upon a man is to reverence, which is of the same import • act his part in perfection. We may as the former, to the inferior clergy. ' indeed lay, that our part does not

In the founders of great families, such • suit us, and we could act another bet. attributes of honour are generally cor But this,' says the philosopher, refpondent with the virtues of the person

is not our buliness. All that we are to whom they are applied; but in the ' concerned in is to excel in the part descendents they are too often the marks

which is given us. If it be an imrather of grandeur than of merit. The proper one, the fault is not in us, but famp and denomination Itill continues, in him who has cast our several parts, but the intrinsic value is frequently lost, . and is the great Difpofer of the drama."

The death-bed liews the emptiness of The part that was acted by this phi. titles in a true light. A poor difpirited lofopher himself was but a very indiffimer lies trembling under the appre- ferent one, for he lived and died a flave. hensions of the state he is entering on; His motive to contentment in this par

ticular

ter'.

ticular, çoceives a very great enforce guish of spirit, mall say within themment froin the above-mentioned confi • felves-" This was he whom we had deration, if we remember that our parts “ fome time in derifion, and a proverb in the other world will be new cast, and " of reproach. We fools accounted his that mankind will be there ranged in « life madness, and his end to be withdifferent stations of superiority and pre out honour. How is he numbered eminence, in proportion as they have among the children of God, and his here excelled one another in virtue, and “ lot is among the saints!" performed in their several posts of lite the If the reader would see the descripduties which belong to them.

tion of a life that is passed away in vaThere are many beautiful passages in nity, and among the shadows of pomp the little apocryphal book, intituled, and greatness, he may see it very,tinely "The Wisdom of Solomon,' to set forth drawn in the same place. In the mean the vanity of honour, and the like tem time, since it is necesary in the present poral bleslings which are in fo great re. constitution of things, that order and pute among men, and to comfort those diftinction should be kept in the world, who have not the possession of them. It we Thould be happy, if those who enjoy represents in very warm and noble terins the upper stations in it, would endeavour this advancement of a good man in the to surpass others in virtue, as much as other world, and the great surprise in rank, and by their humanity and which it will produce among those who condescension make their fuperiority easy are his superiors in this. * Then thall and acceptable to those who are beneath

the righteous man stand in great bold them; and if, on the contrary, thote Iness before the face of such as have who are in meaner posts of life, would afflicted him, and made no account consider how they may better their con

of his labours. When they see it, dition hereafier, and hy a just deference they shall be troubled with terrible and submission to their fuperiors, make fear, and shall be amazed at the then happy in those blessings with which Itrangeness of his falvation, fo far be- Providence thought fit to distinguish yond all that they looked for. And them, they repenting and groaning for an

NO CCXX. MONDAY, NOVEMBER 12.

RUMOR ESQUE SERIT VARIOS

VIRG. ÆN. XII. V. 228.

A THOUSAND RUMOURS SPREADS.

W

SIR,

agree, you may take me or leave me: HY will you apply to my father but if you will be to good as never to

for my love? I cannot help it if fee ine more, you will for ever oblige, he will give you my person; but'I af- Sir, your molt humble servant, fure you it is not in his power, nor even

HENRIETTA iny own, to give you my heart. Dear Sir, do but consider the ill-consequence

MR. SPECTATOR, of such a match; you are fifty-five, I THERE are fo many artifices and twenty-one. You are a man of busi modes of falle wit, and such a yaness, and mightily conversant in arith- riety of humour discovers itself among metic and making calculations; be plear- it's votaries, that it would be impoffible el therefore to consider what proportion to exhaust so fertile a subject, if you your spirits bear to mine, and when you would think fit to resume it. The folhave made a just estimate of the necef- lowing instances may, if you think fit, sary decay on one side, and the redund be added by way of appendix to your ance on the other, you will act accordo discourses on that subject. ingly. This perhaps is such language That feat of poetical activity menas you may not expect from a young tioned by Horace, of an author who lady; but my happinels is at stake, and could compose two hundred verses whila, I must talk plainly. I mortally hate he ițood upon one leg, has been imitat, you; and so, as you and my father ed, as I have heard, hy a modern writ

3 H

let's try,

er; who priding himself on the hurry down in order according to the problert, of his invention, thought it no small ads start of theinselves into hexameter and dition to his fame to have each piece pentameter verses? A friend of mine, minuted with the exact number of hours who is a 1tudent in astrology, meeting or days it cost him in the compofition. With this book, performed the operaHe could talte no praise until he had ac tion, by the rules there set down; he quainted you in how short space of time thewed his verses to the next of his ac. he had deserved it; and was not so much quaintance, who happened to upderitand led to an oftentation of his art, as of his Latin; and being informed they dedispatch.

scribed a tempeft of wind, very luckily -Accipe, ji vis,

prefixed them, together with a trantiaAccipiam tabulas; ditur nobis locus, bora, tion, to an almanack he was just then Cuftodes: evideanus uter pius scribere poffit. printing, and was supposed to have foreHor. SAT. IV. LIB. 1. VER. 14. told the last great ttorm.

I think the only improvement beyond Here's pen and ink, and time, and place; this, would be that which the late Duke

of Buckingham mentioned to a stupid Who can write most, and fastest, you or I.

CREECH.

pretender to poetry, as the project of a

Dutch mechanic, viz. a mill to make This was the whole of his ambition; verses. This being the most compenand therefore I cannot but think the dious method of all which have yet been flights of this rapid author very proper proposed, may deserve the thoughts of to be opposed to those laborious nothings our modern virtuosi who are eniployed which you have observed were the de- in new discoveries for the public good: light of the German wits, and in which and it may be worth the while to confithey so happily got rid of such a tedious der, whether in an island where few are quantity of their time.

content without being thought wits, it I have known a gentleman of another will not be a common benefit, that wit turn of humour, who, despiting the as well as labour should be made cheap. name of an author, never printed his I am, Sir, your humble servant, &c. works, but contracted his talent, and by the help of a very fine diamond which MR. SPECTATOR, he wore on his little finger, was a con I

Often dine at a gentleman's house, siderable poet upon glass. He had a where there are two young ladies, in very good epigrammatic wit; and there themselves very agreeable, but very cold was not a parlour or tavern-window in their behaviour, because they underwhere he visited or dined for some years, stand me for a person that is to break which did not receive some sketches or my mind, as the phrase is, very sudmemorials of it. It was his misfortune denly to one of them. But I take this at last to lose his genius and his ring to way to acquaint thein, that I am not in a sharper at play, and he has not at love with eitlier of them, in hopes they tempted to make a verse fince.

will use me with that agreeable freedom But of all contractions or expedients and indifference which they do all the for wit, I adınire that of an ingenious rest of the world, and not to drink to projector whole book I have seen. This one another only, but sometimes cast a virtuoso being a mathematician, has, ac kind lock, with their service to, Sir, cording to his tafte, thrown the art of

Your humble servant. poetry into a short problem, and contrived tables by which any one, without MR. SPECTATOR, knowing a word of grammar or fense, I Am a young gentleman, and take it may, to his great comfort, be able 10 for a piece of good-breeding to pull compose, or rather to erect Latin verses. off my hat when I see any thing pecuHis tables are a kind of poetical loga. Jiarly charming in any woman, whether rithms, which being divided into seve. I know her er not. I take care that ral squares, and all infcribed with so there is nothing ludicrous or arch in my many incoherent words, appear to the manner, as if I were to betray a wocye Tomewhat like a fortune-telling man into a salutation by way of jest or screen. What a joy must it be to the humour; and except I am acquainted unlearned operator to find that these with her, I find the ever takes it for a Words being carefully collected and writ rule, that she is to look upon this civility

and

and homage I pay to her fupposed me- I have for them. My affairs are such, rit, as an impertinence or forwardness that your decision will be a favour to which fe is to observe and neglect. I me, if it he only to fave the unnecessary with, Sir, you would fettle the business expence of wearing out my bat fo fait as of falutation; and please to inform me I do at present. I am, Sir, yours, how I shall relict the tidden impulse I

D.T. have to be civil to what gives an idea of merit; or tell these creatures how to be. P.S. There are some that do know have themselves in return to the esteem me, and will not bow to me.

T

No CCXXI. TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 13.

AB OVO
USQUE AD MALA

Hor. Sat. 111. L. I. v. 6.

FROM EGGS WHICH FIRST ARE SET UPON THE BOARD,
TO APPLES RIPE, WITH WHICH IT LAST IS STOR'D.

[ocr errors]

fpeculations, it is to reason I consider it only as a word to consider which of the ancient authors • the wise.' But as for my unlearned have touched upon the subject that I friends, if they cannot relith the motto, treat of. By this means I meet with I take care to make provision for them some celebrated thought upon it, or a in the body of my paper. If they do thought of my own exprefled in better not underitand the sign that is hung words, or some fimilitude for the illus- out, they know very well by it, that tration of my subject. This is what they may meet with entertainment in gives birth to the motto of a speculation, the house; and I think I was never betwhich I rather choose to take out of the ter pleased than with a plain man's compoets than the prole-writers, as the for. pliment, who, upon his friend's telling mer generally give a finer turn to a him that he would like the Spectator thought than the latter, and by couching much better if he understood the motto, it in few words, and in harmonious replied, “ that good wine needs no bush. numbers, make it more portable to the I bave heard of a couple of preachers memory.

in a country town, who endeavoured My reader is therefore sure to meet which should outshine one another, and with at lealt one good line in every pa. draw together the greatest congregation. per, and very often finds his imagina. One of them being well verled in the tion entertained by a hint that awakens fathers, used to quote every now and in his memory foine beautiful parlage of then a Latin fenience to his illiterate a classic author,

hearers, who it seems found themselves It was a saying of an ancient philoso. lo edified by it, that they flocked in pher, which I find some of our writers greater numbers to this learned man have ascribed to Queen Elizabeth, who than to his rival. The other finding perhaps might have taken occasion to re- his congregation mouldering every Sunpeat it, that a good face is a letter of day, and hearing at length whiat was recommendation.' It naturally makes the occasion of it, resolved to give his the beholders inquisitive into the perfon parish a little Latin in his turn; but who is the owner of it, and generally being unacquainted with any of the fapreposlelses them in his favour. A hand- thers, he digefted into his fermons the fome motto has the same effect; be. whole book of Qua Genus, axiding howfides that it always gives a fupernume ever luch explications to it as he thought rary beauty to a paper, and is fome- might be for the benefit of his people. times in a manner necessary when the He afterwards entered upon As in præwriter is engaged in what may appear a senti, which he converted in the same paradox to vulgar minds, as it Thews manner to the use of his parishioners. that he is supported by good authorities, This in a very little time thickened his and is not lingular in his opinion. audience, filled his church, and routed I must confess, the motto is of little his antagonist,

The

3 H 2

The natural love to Latin, which is evil eyes; for which reason I would not to prevalent in our common people, have my reader, furprized, if hereafter makes me think that my speculations he fees any of my papers marked with fare never the worfe among them from a Q, a Z, a Y, an &c. or with the word that little scrap which appears at the Abracadabra. head of them; and what the more en I shall, however, fo far explain mycomages me in the use of quotations in self to the reader, as to let him know an unknown tongue, is, that I hear that the letters C, L, and X, are cathe ladies, whose approbation I value balistical, and carry more in them than more than that of the whole learned it is proper for the world to be acquaintworld, declare themselves in a more par- ed with. Those who are versed in the ticular manner pleased with my Greek philosophy of Pythagoras, and swear mottos.

by the Tetrachtys, that is, the number Designing this day's work for a dif. Four, will know very well that the numfertation upon the two extremities of ber Ten, which is signified by the letter my paper, and having already dispatched X, (and which has so much perplexed the my motto, I thall, in the next place, town) has in it many particular powers, discourse

upon those lingle capital that it is called by platonic writers the letters, which are placed at the end of complete number; that one, two, three, it, and which have afforded great matter and four, put together, make up the numof speculation to the curious. I have ber ten; and that ten is all. But these heard various conjestures upon this sub are not myfteries for ordinary readers ject. Some tell us that C is the mark to be let into. A man must have spent of those papers that are written by the many years in hard study before he can clergyman, though others ascribe them arrive to the knowledge of them. to the club in general: that the papers We had a rabbinical divine in Engmarked with R were written by my land, who was chaplain to the Earl of friend Sir Roger: that L fignifies the Effex in Queen Elizabeth's time, that lawyer, whom I have described in my had an admirable head for secrets of this 1econd speculation; and that T stands nature. Upon his taking the doctor of for the trader or merchant: hut the divinity's degree, he preached before letter X, which is placed at the end of the university of Cambridge upon the fome few of my papers, is that which first verse of the first chapter of the firit has puzzled the whole town, as they book of Chronicles, in which, says he, cannot think of any name which begins you have the three following words, with that letter, except Xenophon and Adam, Sheth, Enoch. Xerxes, who can neither of them be He divided this sort text into many fupposed to have had any hand in these parts, and by discovering several my. fpeculations.

iteries in each word, made a mort learnIn answer to these inquisitive gentle- ed and elaborate discourse. The nanie men, who have many of them made of this profound preacher was Dr. Alanquiries of me by letter, I must tell bafter, of whom the reader may find a then the reply of an ancient philofo- more particular account in Dr. Fuller's pher, who carried something hidden book of English Worthies. This inunder his cloke. A certain acquain- itance will, I hope, convince my readers tance defiring him to let him know what that there may be a great deal of fine it was he covered 10 carefully“ I cover writing in the capital letters which bring • it,' says he, on purpole that you up the rear of my paper, and give then 6 fhould not know.' I have made some fatisfaétion in that particular. use of thele obscure marks for the fame But as for the full explication of these purpose. They are, peshaps, little matters, I must refer them to time, amulets or charms to prelerve the paper which discovers all things. against the faicination and malice of

N CCXXII,

« 이전계속 »