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fame man who drew the rest of the play. The meeting between Welford and him fhews a wretch without any notion of the dignity of his function; and it is out of all common sense that he mould give an account of himself
as one sent four or five miles in a morning on foot for
eggs.” It is not to be denied, but this part and that of the maid, whom he makes love to, are excellently well performed; but a thing which is blameable in itself, grows ftill more so by the success in the execution of it. It is fo mean a thing to gratify a loose age with a scandalous representation of what is reputable among men, not to say what is sacred, that no beauty, no excellence in an author ought to atone for it; nay, such excellence is an aggravation of his guilt, and an argument that he errs against the conviction of his own understanding and conscience. Wit should be tried by this rule, and an audience should rise against such a scene as throws down the reputation of any thing which the confideration of religion or decency should preserve from contempt. But all this evil arises from this one corruption of mind, that makes men resent offences against their virtue, less than those against their understanding. An author shall write as if he thought there was not one man of honour or woman of chastity in the house, and come off with applause: for an insult upon all the ten commandments with the little critics, iš not so bad as the breach of an unity of time and place. Half wits do not apprehend the miseries that must necessarily flow from degeneracy of manners; nor do they know that order is the support of society. Sir Roger and his mistress are monsters of the poet's own forming; the sentiments in both of them are such as do not arise in fools of their education. We all know that a filly, scholar, instead of being below every one he meets
apt to be exalted above the rank of such as are really his superiors : his arrogance is always founded upon particular notions of distinction in his own head, accompanied with a pedantic fcorn of all fortune and pre-eminence, when compared with his knowledge and learning. . This very one character of Sir Roger, às filly as it really is, has done more towards the disparagement of holy crders, and consequently of virtue itself,"
than all the wit that author or any other could make up for in the conduct of the longest life after it. I do not pretend, in saying this, to give myself airs of more vir: từé than my neighbours, but assert it from the principles by which mankind must always be governed. Sållies of imagination are to be overlooked, when they are com-: mitted out of warmth in the recommendation of what is praise-worthy; but a deliberate advancing of vice, with all the wit in the world, is as ill an action as any that ; comes before the magistrate, and ought to be received as: such by the people.
Thursday, January 10.
Mille trabens varios adverso sole colores:
Virg. Æn. 4. ver. 7103Drawing a thousand colours from the light.
Receive a double advantage from the letters of my correspondents, first, as they fhew me which of my
papers are most acceptable to them; and in the next place as they furnish me with materials for new speculations. Sometimes indeed I do not make use of the letter: itself, but form the hints of it into plans of my own ininvention ; sometimes I take the liberty to change the language or thought into my own way of speaking and thinking, and always, if it can be done without prejudice to the sense, omit the many compliments and applauses which are usually bestowed upon me,
Besides the two advantages above-mentioned which I receive from the letters that are sent me, they give me an opportunity of lengthening out my paper by the skilful management of the subscribing part at the end of them, which perhaps does not a little conduce to the ease, both of myself and reader.
Some will have it, that I often write to myself, and am the only punctual correfpendent I have. This objection would indeed be material, were the letters I comD6
municate to the public stuffed with my own commendatïons; and if inftead of endeavouring to divert or instruct my readers, I admired in them the beauty of my own performances.. But I shall leave these wise conjecturers totheir own imaginations, and produce the three following letters for the entertainment of the day.
Was last Thursday in an affembly of ladies, where
there were thirteen different coloured hoods. Your • Spectator of that day lying upon the table, they or
dered me to read it to them, which I did with a very • clear voiee, until I came to the Greek verse at the end. • of it. I must confess I'was a little startled at its pop
ping upon me so unexpectedly. However, I covered my confufion as well as I could, and after having
muttered two or three hard words to myself, laughed. • heartily, and cried, a very good jest, 'faith. The la• dies desired me to explain it to them ; but I begged " their pardon for that, and told them, that if it had
for them to hear, they might be sure the • author would not have wrapped it up in Greek. I. " then let drop several expressions, as if there was some-
thing in it that was not fit to be spoken before a. company of ladies.
Upon which the matron of • the assembly, who was dressed in a cherry-coloured “ hood, commended the discretion of the writer for:
having thrown his filthy thoughts into Greek, which
was likely to corrupt but few of his readers. At the: • same time she declared herself very well pleased, that e he had not given a decisive opinion upon the new• fashioned hoods; for to tell you truly, says she, I was
afraid he would have made us ashamed to fhew our • heads. Now, Sir, you must know, fince this un..
lucky accident happened to me in a company of la• dies, among whom I passed for a most ingenious man,
I have consulted one who is well versed in the Greek language, and he assures me upon his word, that your late quotation means no more tha
66. that manners and not dress are the ornaments of a woman.” IP * this comes to the knowledge of my female admirers, I • shall be very hard put to it to bring myfelf off hand ..
• been proper,
somely. In the mean while, I give you this account, • that you may take care hereafter not to betray any of your
well-wishers into the like inconveniencies. It is in the number of these that I beg leave to subscribe, myself,
• Tom Tripit. • Mr. Spectator, Y
racter of Sir Roger de Goverley, that there appeared a sensible joy in every coffee-house, upon hearing the old knight was come to town. I am now with
a knot of his admirers, who make it their joint requeft " to you, that you would give us public notice of the • window or balcony where the knight intends to make
his appearance. He has already given great satisfaction s to several who have seen hiin at Squire's coffee-house. * If you think, fit to place your Ahort face at Sir Roger's
left elbow, we shall take the hint, and gratefully acknowledge so great a favour.. “I am, Sir, 6. Your moft devoted humble servant,
« C. D.
: K Nowing that you are very inquifitive after every
thing that is curious in nature, I will wait on you if you please in the dusk of the evening, with my show upon my back, which I carry about with:
me in a box, as only consisting of a man, a woman, « and an horfe. The two first are married, in which * ftate the little cavalier has so well acquitted himself,
that his lady is with child. The big-bellied wo-man, and her husband, with their whimsical palfry,
are so very light, that when they are put together • into a scale, an ordinary man may weigh down the ' whole family. The little man is a bully in his nature ;
but when he grows choleric I confine him to • his box until his wrath is over, by which means I have
hitherto prevented him from doing mischief. His * horse is likewise very vicious, for which reason I am * forced to tie him close to his manger with a pack
" thread. The woman is a' coquette. She struts as much • as it is possible for a lady of two foot high, and would • ruin me in silks, were not the quantity that goes to a • large pin-cushion fufficient to make her a gown and • petticoat. She told me the other day, that the heard
the ladies wore coloured hoods, and ordered me to get • her one of the finest blue. I am forced to comply with • her demands whilft she is in her present condition, being
very willing to have more of the same breed. I do not • know what she may produce me, but provided it be a « Ahow I shall be very well satisfied. Such novelties • should not, I think, be concealed from the British Spec• tator ; for which reason I hope you will excuse-this • presumption in • Your moft dutiful, most obedient,
• and most humble servant, L
• S. T.'
Friday, January 11.
- Longa eft injuria, longe Ambages
Virg. Æn. 1. ver. 345. Great is the injury, and long the tale.
* Mr. Spektator,
HE occasion of this letter is of so great importance, and the circumstances of it such,
that I know you will but think it just to ini
sert it, in preference of all other matters that can pre• sent themselves to your confideration. I need not, after • I have said this, tell you that I am in love. The cir? cumstances of my passion I shall let you understand as
well as a disordered mind will admit. That cursed pick• thank Mrs. Jane! alas, I am railing at one to you by her name as familiarly as if you were acquainted