« PreviousContinue »
fallen ipto, without attempting to deliver ourselves from the tyranny under which we are reduced by such innovations. Of all the laudable motives of human lise, none have suffered so much in this kind, as Love; under which reverend name a brutal desire called Lust is frequently concealed and admitted; though they disser as much as a matron from a prostitute, or a companion from a buffoon. Philander the other day was bewailing this misfortune with much indignation, and upbraided me sor having some time since quoted those excellent lines of the fatirist:
To an exact persection they have brought
How cold you, faid he, leave such a hint so coldly?' How could Aspasta and Sernpronia enter into your imaginations at the fame time, and you never declare to us the different reception you gave them?
The sigures which the antient Mythologists and poets put upon Love and Lust in their writings, are very instructive. Love is a beauteous blind child, adorned with a quiver and a bow, which he plays with, and shoots around him, without design or direction; to intimate to Us, that the person beloved has no intention to give us the anxieties we meet with, but that the beauties of a worthy object are like the charms of a lovely insant; they cannot but attract your concern and sondness, though the child so regarded is as insensible of the value you put upon it, as it is that it deserves your benevolence. On the other-side, the Sages sigured. Lust in the sorm of a Satyr; of shape, part human, part bestial; to-signify that the followers of it prostitute the reason of a man to pursue the appetites of a beast. This Satyr is made to haunt the paths and coverts of the Wood-Nymphs and Shepherdesses, to lurk on the banks of rivulets, and watch the purling streams, as the resorts of retired Virgins; to shew, that lawless desire tends chiefly to prey upon innocence, and has something so unnatural in it, that it hates its own make, and shuns the object it loved, as soon as it has made it like itself. Love theresore is a •hild that complains and bewails its inability to help 6 itself, itself, and weeps for assistance, without an immediate reslection or knowledge of the food it wants: Lust, a watchsul thief, which seifces its prey, and lays snares for its own relief; and its principal object being innocence, it never robs, but it murders at the fame time.
From this idea of a Cupid and a Satyr, we may settle our notions of these different desires, and accordingly rank their followers. Aspafia must therefore be allowed to be the sirst of the beauteous order of Love, whose unaffected freedom, and conscious innocence, give her the attendance of the Graces in her actions. That awsul distance which we bear toward her in all our thoughts of her, and that chearsul familiarity with which we approach her, are certain instances of her being the truest object of love of any of her sex. 1n this accomplished lady, love is the constant effect, because it is never the -design. Yet, though her mien carries much more invitation than command, to behold her is an immediate check to loose behaviour; and to love her is a liberal education; for, it being the nature of all lore to create an imitation of the beloved person in the lover, a regard for Aspafia naturally produces a decency of manners, and good conduct of lise, in her admirers. If therefore the giggling Leucippe could but see .her train of fops assembled, and Aspafia move by them, stie would be mortisied at the veneration with which 'stie is beheld, even by Leucippe's own unthinking equipage, whose passions have long taken leave of their understandings.
As charity is esteemed a conjunction of the good qualities necessary to a virtuous man, so Love is the happy composition of all the accomplishments that make a "sine Gentleman. The motive of a man's lise is seen in all his actions; and such as have the beauteous Boy ftr their inspirer have a simplicity of behaviour, and a certain evenness of desire, which burns like the lamp of lise in their bosoms; while they, who are instigated by-the Satyr, are ever tortured by jealousies of the object of their wishes; often desire what they scorn, and as often consciously and knowingly embrace whete they are mutually indifferent.
O 2 Fkriat
Florin, the generous husband, and Limberham, the kind keeper, are noted examples of the different effects which these desires produce in the mind. Amanda, who is the wise of Florio, Jives in the continual enjoyment of new instances of her husband's friendship, and sees it the end of all his ambition to make her lise one series of pleasure and fatisfaction; and Amanda's relish of the goods of lise is all that makes them pleasing to Florio: they behave themselves to each other, when present, with a certain apparent benevolence, which transports above rapture; and they thick of each other in absence with a considence unknown to the highest friendship: Their satisfactions are doubled, their sorrows lessened by participation.
On the other hand, Corinna, who is the mistress of Limberham, lives in constant torment: Her equipage is an old wonsan, who was what Corinna is now; and an antiquated sootman, who was pimp to Limberham's father; and a chambermaid, who is Limberham's wench by sits, out of a principle of politics to make her jealous and watchsul of Corinna. Under this guard, and in this converfation, Corinna lives in state: The furniture of her habitation, and her own gorgeous dress, make her the envy of all the strolling ladies in the town; but Corinna knows, she herself is but part of Limberham's houshold-stuff, and is as capable of being disposed of elsewhere, as any other moveable. But while her keeper is persuaded by his spies, that no enemy has beenwithin his doors since his last visit, no Persian Prince was ever so magnisicently bountisul: A kind look or falling tear is worth a piece of brocade, a sigh is a jewel, and a smile is a cupboard of plate. All this is shared between Corinna and her guard in his absence. With this great ceconomy and industry does the unhappy Limberham purchase the constant tortures of jealousy, the favour of spending his estate, and the opportunity of enriching one by whom he knows he is hated and despised. These are the ordinary and common evils which attend keepers; and Corinna is a wench but of common size of iwxkedness, were you to know what passes under the roof where the fair Mejsalina reigns with her humble adcr«r
Mejsalina Mejsalina is the prosessed mistress of mankind; she has left the bed of her husband and her beauteous offspring to give a loose to want of shame and sulness of desire. Wretched NoSturnus, her seeble keeper 1 How tie poor creature fribbles in his gait, and skuttles from place to place to dispatch his necessary affairs in painsul daylight, that he may return to the constant ewilighr. preserved it that scene of wantonness, Meffalina's bedchamber! How does he, while he is absent from thence, consider in his imagination the breadth of his porter's shoulders, the spruce night-cap of his valet, the ready attendance of his butler T any of all whom he knows she. admits, and prosesses to approve of. This, alas! is the gallantry, this the freedom of our sine gentlemen; for this they preserve their liberty, and keep clear of that bugbear, marriage. But he does not understand either vice or virtue, who will not allow, that lise without the rules of morality is a wayward uneasy Being, with snatches only of pleasure; but underthe regulation of virtue, a reasonable and uniform habit of enjoyment. I have seen, in a play of old Haywocd's, a speech at the end of an Act, which touched this point with muck spirit. He makes a married man in the play, upon lome endearing occasion, look at his spouse with an air of fondness, and fall in the following reflection on hi* condition.
Oh marriage! happiest, easiest, sasest state;
Blush not, my Fair One, that thy Love applauds thee,.
O 3 We
We without art all faculties employ,
N° 50. Thursday, August 4, 1 709.
The History of Orlando the Fair. Chap. I.
Wkite'i Chocolate-house, August 17.
\T[ JHatever malicious men may fay of our LucubraVV tions, we have no design but to produce unknown merit, or place in a proper light the actions of our contemporaries who labour to distinguish themselves, whether it be by vice or virtue. For we shall never give accounts to the world of any thing, but what the lives and endeavours of the persons, of whom we treat, make the basis of their fame and reputation. For this reason, it is to be hoped that our appearance is reputed a public benef.t; and though certain persons may turn what we mean for psnygyric into scandal, let it be answered once tnr al:, thai i! our praises are really designed as a raillery, sucn malevolent persons owe their sasety from it, only to their being too inconsiderable for history. It is not every man who deals in rats bane, or is unseasonably amorous, that can adorn story like Æsculapius; nor every Stock-jobber of the India company can assume the port, and personate the sigure of Aurengezebe. My noble ancester, Mr. Sbakespear, who was of the race c£ the Staffs, was not more fond of the memorable Sir John Falstaff, than I am of those Worthies; but the Latins have an admirable admonition expressed in three words, to wit, Ne quid nimts, which forbids my indulging myself on those delightsul subjects, and calls me to do justice to others, who make no less sigures in our generation: Of such, the sirst and most renowned is, that eminent hero and lover Orlando the handsome, . . whose