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weak stirrings and tendencies of the will which have bet yer formed themselves into regular purposes and deligns, to the last intire finishing and confummation of
good habit. 'He beholds the firit imperfect rudiments of a virtue in the soul, and keeps a watchful eye over it in all its progress, until it has received every grace it is capable of, and appears in its full beauty and perfection. Thus we see that none but the supreme Being can efteem us according to our proper merits, since all others must judge of us from our outward actions; which can never give them a just estimate of us, fince there are many perfections of a man which are not capable of appearing in actions ; many which, allowing no natural incapacity of thewing themselves, want an opportunity of doing it; or, mould they all meet with an opportunity of appearing by actions, yet those actions may be misinterpreted, and applied to wrong principles; or though they plainly discovered the principles from whence they proceeded, they could never thew the degree, Atrength, and perfection of those principles.
And as the fupreme Being is the only proper judge of our perfections, fo is he the only fit rewarder of them. This is a consideration that comes home to our interest, as the other adapts itself to our ambition. And what could the most aspiring, or the most selfish man defire more, where he to form the notion of a being to whom he would recommend himself, than such a knowledge as can discover the least appearance of perfection in him, and such a goodness as will proportion a reward to it.
Let the ambitious man therefore turn all his defire of fame this way; and that he may propose to himself a fame worthy of his ambition, let him consider that if he employs his abilities to the best advantage, the time will come when the supreme Governor of the world, the great Judge of mankind, who sees every degree of perfection in others, and possesses all possible perfection in himself, shall proclaim his worth before men and angels, and pronounce to him in the presence of the whole creation that best and most significant of applauses,“ Well done, thou good and faithful servant, - enter thou into thy Master's joy."
N° 258 Wednesday, December 26.
Divide & impera.
LEASURE and recreation of one kind or other are absolutely necessary to relieve our minds and
bodies from too constant aittention and labour :: where therefore public diversions are tolerated, it behoves persons of distinction, with their power and example, to preside over them in such a manner as check any thing that tends to the corruption of manners, or which is too mean or trivial for the entertain-' ment of reasonable creatures. As to the diversions of this kind in this town, we owe them to the arts of poes try and music: my own private opinion, with relation to such recreations, I have heretofore given with all the frankness imaginable; what concerns those arts at present the reader shall have from my correspondents. The first of the letters with which I acquit myself for this day, is written by one who proposes to improve our entertainments of dramatic poetry, and the other comes from three perfons, who, as soon as named, will be thought capable of advancing the present state of music.
« Mr. Spectator, I Am confiderably obliged to you for your speedy publication of
my last in your's of the 18th initant,' ' and am in no small hopes of being settled in the post • of comptroller of the cries. Of all the objections I have • hearkened after in public coffee-houses, there is but
one that seems to carry any weight with it, viz. That • such a post would come too near the nature of a mono
poly. Now, Sir, because I would have all sorts of people made easy, and being willing to have more
strings than one to my bow; in case that of comptroller • should fail me, I have , fince formed another project, • which being grounded on the dividing of a present
. monopoly, I hope will give the public an equivalent
to their full content. You know, Sir, it is allowed • that the business of the stage is, as the Latin has it, jucunda & idonea dicere vite. Now there being but one dramatic theatre licensed for the delight and pro. fit of this extensive metropolis, I do humble propose, • for the convenience of such of its inhabitants as are
too distant from Covent-Garden, that another Theatre ' of Ease may be erected in some spacious part of the
city; and that the direction thereof may be made a franchise in fee to me, and my heirs for ever.
And that the town may have no jealousy of my ever com
ing to an union with the set of actors now in being, • I do further propose to constitute for my deputy my
near kinsman and adventurer, Kit Crotchet, whose long experience and improvements in those affairs need no
recommendation. It was obvious to every spectator ' what a quite different foot the stage was upon during. ' his government; and had he not been bolted out of ' his trap-doors, his garrison might have held out for
ever, he having by long pains and perseverance ar
rived at the art of making his army fight without pay ' or provisions. I must confefs it with a melancholy
amazement, I see so wonderful a genius laid aside, ' and the late llaves of the stage now become its maj.
ters, dunces that will be sure to suppress all thea• trical entertainments and activities that they are not • able themselves to shine in !
Every man that goes to a play is not obliged to • have either wit or understanding; and I infilt upon it, • that all who go there should see something which may
improve them in a way of which they are capable. In 'fort, Sir, I would have something done as well as said
on the stage. A man may have an active body, though • he has not a quick conception ; for the imitation • therefore of such as are, as I may so speak, corporeal • wits or nimble fellows, I would fain ask any of the • present mismanagers, why should not rope-dancers, • vaulters, tumblers, ladder-walkers, and posture-mas
appear again on oar stage? After such a reprefentation, a five-bar gate would be leaped with a : better grace next time any of the audience went a
"hunting. Sir, these things cry aloud for reformation, ' and fall properly under the province of Spectator Ge
neral; but how indeed should it be otherwise, while “ féllows, that for twenty years together were never paid • but as their master was in the humour, now presume
pay others more than ever they had in their lives ; ' and in contempt of the practice of persons of condition, « have the infolence to owe no tradesman a farthing at • the end of the week. Sir, all I propose is the public
good; for no one can imagine I shall ever get a private
fhilling by it: therefore I hope you will recommend r this matter in one of
and de· fire when my house opens you will accept the liberty of “it for the trouble you have received from, Sir,
P: S. I have assurances «Your humble servant,
that the trunk-maker will declare for us.
E whose names are subscribed, think you the
propereft person to fignify what we have to • offer the to!yn' in bekalf of ourselves, and the art • which we profess, music. We conceive hopes of your ' favour from the speculations on the mistakes which the
town run into with regard to their pleasure of this • kind; and believing your method of judging is, that
you consider music only valuable, as it is agreeable to, • and heightens the purpose of poetry, we consent that " that is not only the true way of relishing that pleasure, • but also that without it a composure of inufic is the • same thing as a poem, where all the rules of poetical • numbers are observed, though the words have no sense
or meaning; to say it Thorter, mere musical founds are in our art no other than nonsense verses are in poetry. Mufic therefore is to aggravate what is intended by poetry; it must always have fome passion
cr sentiment to express, or else vioiins, voices, or any • other organs of sound, afford an entertainment very a little above the rattles of children. It was from this • opinion of the matter, that when Mr. Clayton had • finished his studies in Italy, and brought over the opera
s of Arsinoe, that Mr. Haym and Mr. Dieupart, who
had the honour to be well known and received among the nobility and gentry, were zealously inclined to affift, by their folicitations, in introducing so elegant an entertainment as the Italian music grafted upon English poetry. For this end Mr. Dieupart and Mr. Haym, according to their several opportunities, promoted the introduction of Arsinöe, and did it to the best advantage so great a novelty would allow. It is not proper to trouble you with particulars of the just complaints we all of us have to make; but so it is, that without regard to our obliging pains, we are all equally set aside in the present opera. Our application therefore to you is only to insert this letter in
your papers, that the town may know we have all • three joined together to make entertainments of
music for the future at Mr. Clayton's house in York• buildings. What we promise ourselves, is, to make
a subscription of two guineas, for eight times; and ' that the entertainment, with the names of the authors
of the poetry, may be printed, to be sold in the house, with an account of the several authors of the « vocal as well as the instrumental music for each * night; the money to be paid at the receipt of the
tickets, at Mr. Charles Lillie's. It will, we hope, Sir, be easily allowed, that we are capable of under
taking to exhibit by our joint force and different qua* lifications all that can be done in music: but left you
should think so dry a thing as an account of our proposal should be a matter unworthy your paper, which
generally contains something of public use; give us ' leave to say, that favouring our design is no less than
reviving an art, which runs to ruin by the utmost
barbarism under an affectation of knowledge. We ' aim at establishing some settled notions of what is ' music, at recovering from neglect and want very
many families, who depend upon it, at making all * foreigners who pretend to succeed in England to • learn the language of it as we ourselves have done, • and not te lo insolent as to expect a whole na• tion, a reined ard learned nation, should submit to alcarn thei:s. : In a word, Mr. Spcetator, with all deference ind humility, we hope to behave ourselves