페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

is wrought to it's height, he follows his Nec coram populo naros Medea trucide.
fifter the whole length of the itage, and

Ars POET, VER. 18; forbears killing her till they are both Let not Medea draw her murd'ring knife, withdrawn behind the scenes. I must

And Spill her childrens blood upon the stage. confess, had he murdered her before the

Roscommon audience, the indecency might have been greater; but as it is, it appears very un

The French have therefore refined tos natural, and loo like killing in cold

much upon Horace's rule, who never blood. To give my opinion upon this designed to banish all kinds of death case, the fact ought not to have been from the stage; but only such as had too represented, but to have been told, if much horror in them, and which would there was any occasion for it.

have a better effect upon the audience It may not be unacceptable to the when transacted behind the scenes. I reader to see how Sophocles has conduct. would therefore recommend to my couned tragedy under the like delicate cira trymen the practice of the ancient poets, cumitances. Orestes was in the same who were very sparing of their public condition with Hamlet in Shakespeare, executions, and rather chose to perform his mother having murdered his father, them behind the scenes, if it could be and taken poffeffion of his kingdom in done with as great an effect upon the conspiracy with the adulterer. The audience. At the same time I must obyoung prince therefore, being determin. ferve, that though the devoted persons ed to revenge his father's death upon

of the tragedy were seldom flain before those who filled his throne, conveys him

the audience, which has generally fomeself by a beautiful stratagem into his

thing ridiculous in it, their bodies were mother's apartment, with a resolution to

often produced after their death, which kill her. But because such a spectacle

has always in it something melancholy or would have been too shocking for the

terrifying; so that the killing on the stage audience, this dreadful resolution is exe

does not feem to have been avoided only cuted behind the scenes: the mother is

as an indecency, but also as an improheard calling out to her son for mercy;

bability:
and the son answering her, that she shew-
ed no mercy to his father; after which

Nec pueros coram populo Medra trucider;
The thrieks out that she is wounded, and

Aur bumana palàm coquat exta nefarius

Atreus;

Aur in avem Progne vertacur, Cadmus in 26by what follows we find that he is Nain.

gurm: I do not remember that in any of our plays there are speeches made behind the Quodcumque ofendis mibi fic, incredulus odi.

Hor, ARS POET. VER. 185. Scenes, though there are other instances of this nature to be met with in those of

Medea must not draw her murd'ring knife, the ancients: and I believe my reader Cadmus and Progne's metamorphosis,

Nor Atreus there his horrid feast prepare: will agree with me, that there is some. (She to a swallow turn'd, he to a snake) thing infinitely more affecting in this And whatsoever contradicts my sense, dreadful dialogue between the mother I hate to see, and never can believe. and her son behind the scenes, than

RoscoMMON. could have been in any thing transacted before the audience. Orestes immedi. I have now gone through the several ately after meets the usurper at the en dramatic inventions which are made use trance of his palace; and by a very hap- of by the ignorant poets to supply the py thought of the poet avoids killing place of tragedy, and by the skilful to him before the audience, by telling him improve it; some of which I could wilt that he should live fome time in his pre- intirely rejected, and the rest to be used fent bitterness of fond before he would with caution. It would be an endless dispatch him, and by ordering him to talk to consider comedy in the same light, retire into that part of the palace where and to mention the innumerable shifts he had llain his father, whose murder that finall wits put in practice to raise a he would revenge in the very fame place laugh. Bullock in a short coat, and where it was committed. By this means Norris in a long one, feldom fail of this ike poet observes that decency which effect. In ordinary comedies', a broad Horace afterwards eitablished by a rule, and a narrow. brimmed hat are different of forhearing to commit parricides or charadiesa Sometimes the wit of the unnatural murders before the audience. lcune lies in a thoulder belt, and fome

times in a pair of whiskers. A lover and because the objects that make us u zing about the itage, with his head laugh are infinitely more numerous than peeping out of a barrel, was thought a those that make us weep, there is a much very good jeft in King Charles the Se. greater latitude for comic than tragic rond's time; and invented by one of the artifices, and by' consequence a much firit wits of that age. But because ri- greater indulgence to be allowed them. dicule is not so delicate as compassion,

с

No XLV. SATURDAY, APRIL 21.

NAT10 COMEDA EST

Juv. Sat. 118. 109.
THE NATION IS A COMPANY OF PLAYERS.

TH

THERE is nothing which I more an excuse. As I love to see every thing

desire than a safe and honourable that is new, I once prevailed upon my peace, though at the same time I am very friend Will Honeycomb to carry me apprehensive of many ill consequences along with him to one of these travelled that may attend it. I do not mean in ladies, defiring him, at the same time, regard to our politics, but our manners. to present me as a foreigner who could What an inundation of ribbons and bro- not speak English, that fo I might not cades will break in upon us! What peals be obliged to bear a part in the discourse, of laughter and impertinence shall we The lady, though willing to appear unbe exposed to! For the prevention of drest, had put on her beft looks, and these great evils, I could heartily with painted herself for our reception. Her that there was an act of parliament for hair appeared in a very nice disorder, as prohibiting the importation of French the night-gown which was thrown upon fopperies.

her shoulders was ruffled with great The female inhabitants of our illand care. For my part, I am so thocked have already received very strong im- with every thing that looks immodest in pressions from this dudicrous nation, the fair-lex, that I could not forbear though by the length of the war, as there taking off my eye from her when the is no evil which has not some good at. moved in her bed, and was in the greatest tending it, they are pretty well worn confusion imaginable every time she stirout and forgotten. I remember the time red a leg or an arm. As the coquettes, when some of our well-bred country- who introduced this custom, grew old, women kept their valet-de-chambre, be- they left it off by degrees; well knowcause forsooth, a man was much more ing that a woman of threescore may kick handy about them than one of their own and tumble

her heartout without making fex. ' I myself have seen one of these any impressions. male Abigails tripping about the room Sempronia is at present the most prowith a looking-glass in his hand, and fest admirer of the French nation, but combing his lady's hair a whole morn is fo modeft as to admit her visitants no ing together. Whether or no there was farther than her toilet. It is a very odd any truth in the ftory of a lady's being light that beautiful creature makes, when got with child by one of these her hand she is talking politics with her tresses maids I cannor tell, but I think at pre- fowing about her Noulders, and exafene the whole race of them is extinét in mining that face in the glass which does

such execution upon all the male standersAbout the time that several of our by. How prettily does se divide her Sex were taken into this kind of service, discourse between her woman and her the ladies likewise brought up the fashion visitants! What sprightly transitions of receiving visits in their beds, It was does she make from an opera or a ferthen looked upon as a piece of ill-breed - mon, to an ivory comb or a pin-cushion? ing for a woman to refuse to see a man, How have I been pleased to see her inbecause she was not ftirring; and a porter terrupted in an account of her travels, would have been thought unfit for his by a message to her footman; and holdplace, that could have made fo aukward ing her tongue

the midst of a moM 2

ral

dur own country,

ral reflection, by applying the tip of it beth's wife was still alive; and before he to a patch?

could give an answer, fell a talking of There is nothing which exposes a the ghost of Banquo. She had by this woman to greater dange:s, than that time formed a little audience to her self, gaiety and airiness of temper, which are and fixed the attention of all about her. natural to most of the sex. It should But as I had a mind to hear the play, I be therefore the concern of every wife got out of the sphere of her impertiand virtuous woman,

to keep this

nence, and planted myself in one of the sprightliness from degenerating into le remoteft corners of the pit. vity. On the contrary, the whole dis This pretty childishness of behaviour course and behaviour of the French is is one of the most refined parts of coto make the sex more fantastical, or, as quetry, and is not to be attained in they are pleased to term it, .more awak. perfection by ladies that do not travel • ened,' than is confiftent either with for their improvement. A natural and virtue or discretion. To speak loud in unconstrained behaviour has something public assemblies, to let every one hear in it fo agreeable, that it is no wonder you talk of things that Mould only be to fee people endeavouring after it. mentioned in private, or in whisper, are But at the same time, it is so very hard looked upon as parts of a refined edu to hit, when it is not born with us, that cation. At the same time a blush is people often make themselves ridiculous unfashionable, and filence more ill-bred in attempting it. than any thing that can be fpoken. In A very ingenious French author tells short, discretion and modesty, which in us, that the ladies of the court of France, all other ages and countries have been in his time, thought it ill-breeding, and regarded as the greatest ornaments of a kind of female pedantry, to pronounce the fair-sex, are considered as the in. an hard word right; for which reason gredients of narrow conversation and they took frequent occafion to use hard family behaviour.

words, that they might new a politeness Some years ago I was at the tragedy in murdering them. He further adds, of Macbeth, and unfortunately placed that a lady of some quality at court, myfelf under a woman of quality that having accidentally made use of an hard is tince dead; who, as I found by the word in a proper place, and pronounced noife The made, was newly returned it right, the whole asembly was out of from France. A little before the rising countenance for her. of the curtain, the broke out into a I must however be so just as to own, loud soliloquy - When will the dear that there are many ladies who have • witches enter?' and immediately upon travelled several thousands of miles their first appearance, asked a lady that without being the worse for it, and 1at three boxes from her, on her right- have brought home with them all the hand, if those witches were not charm inodesty, discretion, and good sense, that ing creatures. A little after, as Bet they went abroad with. As on the terton was in one of the finest speeches contrary, there are great numbers of of the play, the flook her fan at another travelled ladies, who have lived all their lady, who fai as far on her left-hand, days within the smoke of London. I and told her with a whisper that might have known a woman that never was be heard all over the pit, we must not out of the parish of St. James's betray expect to fce Balloon to-night. Not as many foreign fopperies in her care long after, calling out to a young ba- riage, as the could have gleaned up in rovet by his name, who sat three feats half the countries of Europe. bei le me, she asked him whether Mac

C

No XLVI.

No XLVI. MONDAY, APRIL 23.

NON BENE JUNCTARUM DISCORDIA SEMINA RERUM.

OviD. MET. I. 9.

THE JARRING SEEDS OF ILL-CONSORTED THINGS.

WH

THEN I want materials for this kle of London, in the good ship called paper, it is my custom to go

the Achilles. Yaricom Ægrescitque meabroad in quest of game; and when I dendo-Ghosts-The Lady's

Library meet any proper subject, I take the first Lion by trade a Tailor-Droinedary opportunity of setting down an hint of called Bucephalus-Equipage the lady's it upon paper. At the fame time I look fummum bonum-Charles Lillie to be into the letters of my correspondents, taken notice of-Short face a relief to and if I find any thing suggested in envy-Redundancies in the three prothem that may afford matter of fpecu- feslions-King Latinus a recruit-Jew Lution, I likewise enter a minute of it devouring an ham of bacon-Westin my collection of materials. By this minter Abbey-Grand Cairo-Promeans I frequently carry about me a crastination April Fools-Blue Boars, whole sheet-full of hints, that would Red Lions, Hogs in Armour-Enter a look like a rhapsody of nonsense to any King and two Fidlers folus-Admission hady but myselt; there is nothing in into the Ugly Club-Beauty, how imthem but obícurity and confusion, rav proveable-Families of true and false ing and incontistency. In short, they Humour--The Parrot's School-Milare my speculations in the first princi.. tress-Face half Pict half British ples, that, like the world in it's chaos, No Man to be an hero of a Tragedy unare void of all light, distinction, and der fix feet-Club of Sighers-Letters crder.

from Flower-pots, Elbow-chairs, TapeAbout a week since there happened ftry-figures, Lion, Thunder The Bell to me a very odd accident, by reason of rings to the Puppet-show-Old Woman one of these my papers of minutes which with a beard married to a smock-faced I had accidentally dropped at Lloyd's boy-My next coat to be turned up Coffre-house, where the auctions are with blue-Fable of Tongs and Guidufually kept. Before I missed it, there iron-Flower Dyers-The Soldier's was a cluster of people who had found Prayer-' Thank ye for nothing,' says It, and were diverting themselves with the Gallypot-Pactolus in Stockings, it at one end of the coffee-house: it had with golden clocks to them-Bamboos, railed fo much laughter among them Cudgels, Drum- sticks---Slip of my before I had observed what they were Landlady's eldest Daughter-The black about, that I had not the courage to mare with a star in her forehead--The own it. The boy of the coffee-house, Barber's Pole Will Honeycomb's when they had done with it, carried it coat-pocket-Czesar's behaviour and my about in his hand, alking every body own in parallel circumstances-Poem if they had dropped a written paper; in Patch-work-Nulli gravis eft per. but nobody challenging it, he was or culus Achilles-The Female Conventidered by those merry gentlemen who cler--The Ogle-malter. had before perused it, to get up into the The reading of this paper made the auétion-pulpit, and read it to the whole whole coffee-house very merry; some of Toom, that if any one would own it, them concluded it was written by à they might. The boy accordingly madman, and others by fomebody that mounted the pulpit, and with a very had been taking notes out of the Specaudible voice read as follows:

tator. One who had the appearance of

a very substantial citizen, told us, with MINUTES.

several politic winks and nods, that he Sir Roger de Coverley's country seat- wished there was no more in the

paper Yes, for I hate long speeches Query, than what was expressed in it: that for if a good Christian may be a Conjurer-- his part, he looked upon the Dromedary, Chidermas-day, Saltseller, House-dog, the Gridiron, and the Barber's Pole, to Screech-owl, Cricket-Mr. Thomas In fignify something more than what was

usually

usually meant by those words; and that SIR,
he thought the coffee-man could not I Am one of those unhappy men that
do better than to carry the paper to one

are plagued with a Gospel-gosip, so of the secretaries of itate, He further common among Diffenters, elpecially added, that he did not like the name of friends. Lectures in the morning, the outlandith man with the golden church-meetings at noon, and preparaclock in his stockings. A young Ox- tion-sermons at night, take up so much ford scholar, who chanced to be with of her time, it is very rare the knows his uncle at the coffee house, discovered what we have for dinner, unless when to us who this Paftolus was ; and by the preacher is to be at it. With him that means turned the whole scheme of come a tribe, all brothers and fifters, it this worthy citizen into ridicule. While seems; while others, really such, are they were inaking their several conjec. deemed no relations. If at any time I tures upon this innocent paper, I reached have her company alone, she is a mere out my arm to the boy, as he was com. fermon popguin, repeating and discharging out of the pulpit, to give it me; ing texts, proofs, and applications, so which he did accordingly. This drew perpetually, that however weary I may the eyes of the whole company upon go to-bed, the noise in my head will me; but after having cait a cursory glance not let me fleep till towards morning. over it, and shook my head twice or The misery of my case, and great num. thrice at the reading of it, I twisted it bers of such sufferers, plead your pity into a kind of match, and lit my pipe and speedy relief, otherwise must ex. with it. My profound filence, toge. pect, in a little time, to be lectured, ther with the steadiness of my counte- preached, and prayed into want, unless nance, and the gravity of my behaviour the happiness of being sooner talked to during this whole transaction, raised a death prevent it.

death prevent it. I am, &c.

R. G. very loud laugh on all sides of me; but as I had escaped all suspicion of being

The second letter relating to the the author, I was very well satisfied; Ogling-Master, runs thus: and applying myself to my pipe and the MR. SPECTATOR, Poltman, took no farther notice of any I Am an Irish gentleman, that have thing that passed about me.

travelled many years for my imMy reader will find, that I have ale provement; during which time I have ready made use of above half the con. accomplished myself in the whole art of tents of the foregoing paper; and will ogling, as it is at present practised in all easily suppose, that those subjects which the polite nations of Europe. Being are yet untouched, were such provisions thus qualified, I intend, by the advice as I had made for his future entertain- of my friends, to set up for an oglingment. But as I have been unluckily master. I teach the church-ogle in the prevented hy this accident, I shall only morning, and the playhouse-ogle by give him the letters which relate to the candle-light. I have also brought over two Jait hints. The first of them I with me a new Aying ogle fit for the thould not have published, were I not Ring; which I teach in the dulk of the informed that there is many an husband evening, or in any hour of the day by who suffers very much in his private darkening one of my windows. Y affairs by the indiscreet zeal of such a have a manuscript by me called • The

partner as is hereafter mentioned; to "Compleat Ogler,' which I shall be whom I may apply the barbarous in- ready to thew you upon any occasion. fcription quoted by the Bishop of Sa- In the mean time, I beg you will publifh lifbury in his travels; “ Dum nimis pia the subitance of this letter in an adver•

eff, fatta vA impia-Through too tisement, and you will very much oblige, • much piety she became impious.' C

Your, &c.

[merged small][ocr errors]
« 이전계속 »