Page images
PDF
EPUB

MR. SPECTATOR,

• The other day we were several of us at a tea-table, and according to custom and your own advice had the Spectator read among us. It was that paper

wherein you are pleased to treat with great freedom that character which you call a woman's man.

We
gave up all the kinds

you

have mentioned, except those who, you say, are our constant visitants. I was upon the occasion commissioned by the company to write to you and tell you, 5 that we shall not part with the men we have at present, until the men of sense think fit to relieve them, and give us their company

in their stead.”— You cannot imagine but that we love to hear reason and good sense better than the ribaldry we are at present entertained with, but we must have company, and among us very inconsiderable is better than none at all. We are made for the cements of society, and came into the world to create relations amongst mankind ; and solitude is an unnatural being to us. If the men of good understanding would forget a little of their severity, they would find their account in it; and their wisdom would have a pleasure in it, to which they are now strangers. It is natural among us, when men have a true relish of our company and our value, to say every thing with a better grace : and there is without designing it something ornamental in what men utter before women, which is lost or neglected in conversations of men only: Give me leave to tell you, sir, it would do you no great harm if

you yourself came a little more into our company: it would certainly cure you of a certain positive and determining manner in which

you

talk sometimes. In hopes of your amendment,

Ía
am, sir, your gentle reader.'

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

MR. SPECTATOR,

Your professed regard to the fair sex, may perhaps make them value your admonitions when they will not those of other men. I desire

you, sir, to repeat some lectures upon subjects which you have now and then in a cursory manner only just touched. I would have a Spectator wholly writ. upon good-breeding; and after you have asserted that time and place are to be very much considered in all our actions, it will be proper to dwell upon behaviour at church. On Sunday last a grave and reverend man preached at our church. There was something particular in his accent, but without any manner of affectation. This particularity a set of gigglers thought the most necessary thing to be taken notice of in his whole discourse, and made it an occasion of mirth during the whole time of ser

You should see one of them ready to burst behind a fan, another pointing to a companion in another seat, and a fourth with an arch composure, as if she would if possible stifle her laughter. There were many gentlemen who looked at them stedfastly, but this they took for ogling and admiring them. There was one of the merry ones in particular, that found out but just then that she had but five fingers, for she fell a reckoning the pretty pieces of ivory over and over again, to find herself employment and not laugh out. Would it not be expedient, Mr. Spectator, that the churchwarden should hold up his wand on these occasions, and keep the decency of the place as a magistrate does the peace in a tumult elsewhere ?'

mon.

MR. SPECTATOR,

'I am a woman's man, and read with a very fine lady your paper, wherein you fall upon us whom you envy: what do you think I did ? You must know shew as dressing: I read the Spectator to her, and she laughed at the places where she thought I was touched; I threw away your moral, and taking up her girdle cried out,

Give me but what this ribband bound,
Take all the rest the sun** goes

roundt.

She smiled, sir, and said you were a pedant; so say of me what you please, read Seneca and quote him against me if you think fit.

• I am, SIR, T.

"Your humble servant.'

N° 159. SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 1711.

Omnem, quæ nunc obducta tuenti
Mortules hebetat visus tibi, et humida circùm
Caligat, nubem eripiam

VIRG. Æn, ii. 604.

The cloud, which, intercepting the clear light,
Hangs o’er thy eyes, and blunts thy mortal sight,
I will remove

When I was at Grand Cairo, I picked up several oriental manuscripts, which I have still by me.Among others I met with one intitled, The Visions

• World. + From Waller's verses on a lady's girdle.

of Mirza, which I have read over with great pleasure. I intend to give it to the public when I have no other entertainment for them; and shall begin with the first vision, which I have translated word for word as follows:

• On the fifth day of the moon, which according to the custom of my forefathers I always keep holy, after having washed myself, and offered up my morning devotions, I ascended the high hills of Bagdat, in order to pass the rest of the day in meditation and prayer. As I was here airing myself on the tops of the mountains, I fell into a profound contemplation on the vanity of human life; and passing from one thought to another, “Surely,” said I,“ man is but a shadow, and life a dream.

Whilst I was thus musing, I cast my eyes towards the summit of a rock that was not far from me, where I discovered one in the habit of a shepherd, with a little musical instrument in his hand. As I looked upon him he applied it to his lips, and began to play upon it.The sound of it was exceeding sweet, and wrought into a variety of tunes that were inexpressibly melodious, and altogether different from any thing I had ever heard. They put me in mind of those heavenly airs that are played to the departed souls of good men upon their first arrival in Paradise, to wear out the impressions of the last agonies, and qualify them for the pleasures of that happy place. My heart melted away in secret raptures.

. I had been often told that the rock before me was the haunt of a genius ; and that several had been entertained with music who had passed by it, but never heard that the musician had before made himself visible. When he had' raised my thoughts by those transporting airs which he played, to taste the pleasures of his conversation, as I looked upon him like one astonished, he beckoned to me,

and by the waving of his hand directed me to approach the place where he sat. I drew near with that reverence which is due to a superior nature ; and as my heart was entirely subdued by the captivating strains I had heard, I fell down at his feet and wept. The genius smiled upon me with a look of compassion and affability that familiarized him to my imagination, and at once dispelled all the fears and apprehensions with which I approached him. He lifted me from the ground, and taking me by the hand,“ Mirza,” said he, “ I have heard thee in thy soliloquies; follow me.

He then led me to the highest pinnacle of the rock, 'and placing me on the top of it—" Cast thy eyes eastward,” said he, “ and tell me what thou seest.” “ I see, said I, “ a huge valley, and a prodigious tide of water rolling through it.” “ The valley that thou seest,” said he is the Vale of Misery, and the tide of water that thou seest is part of the great tide of eternity.” “What is the reason,” said I," that the tide I see rises out of a thick mist at one end, and again loses itself in a thick mist at the other ?” " What thou seest,” said he, “ is that portion of eternity which is called time, measured out by the sun, and reaching from the beginning of the world to its consummation." “ Examine now," said he, “this sea that is bounded with darkness at both ends, and tell me what thou discoverest in it." bridge,” said I, “ standing in the midst of the tide.” “ The bridge thou seest,” said he,“ is human life; consider it attentively." Upon a more leisurely survey of it, I found that it consisted of threescore and ten entire arches, with several broken arches, which, added to those that were entire, made up the number about an hundred. As I was counting the arches, the genius told me that this bridge consisted at first of a thousand arches: but that a great flood swept

" I see a

« PreviousContinue »