Page images

No. 211. made of Sea Water. This, it seems, has encouraged my Thursday, Sauce-Box to be Witty upon me.

When I am Angry, Nov. 1 1711

he cries Prithee my Dear be Calm; when I chide one
of my Servants, Prithee Child do not bluster. He had
the Impudence about an Hour ago to tell me, That he
was a Sea-faring Man, and must expect to divide his
Life between Storm and Sunshine. When I bestir my
self with any Spirit in my Family, it is high Sea in his
House; and when I sit still without doing any thing,
his Affairs forsooth are Wind-bound. When I ask him
whether it Rains, he makes Answer, It is no matter,
so that it be fair Weather within Doors, In short, Sir,
I cannot speak my Mind freely to him, but I either swell
or rage, or do something that is not fit for a Civil Woman
to hear. Pray, Mr. SPECTATOR, since you are so sharp
upon other Women, let us know what Materials your
Wife is made of, if you have one. I suppose you would
make us a Parcel of poor-spirited tame insipid Creatures.
But, Sir, I would have you to know, we have as good
Passions in us as your self, and that a Woman was
never designed to be a Milk-Sop,

Martha Tempest:


No. 212.

Friday, November 2.

Eripe turpi
Colla jugo, liber, liber sum, dic age-Hor.
NEVER look upon my dear Wife, but I think of the

Happiness Sir ROGER DE COVERLEY enjoys, in having such a Friend as you to expose in proper Colours the Cruelty and Perverseness of his Mistress. I have very often wished you visited in our Family, and were acquainted with my Spouse; she would afford you for some Months at least Matter enough for one Spectator a Week Since we are not so happy as to be of your Acquaintance, give me Leave to represent to vou our present Circumstances as well as I can in Writing. You are to know then that I am not of a very different Constitution from Nathaniel Hearoost, whom you have


[ocr errors]

lately recorded in your Speculations; and have a Wife No. 212. who makes a more tyrannical Use of the Knowledge Friday, of my easie Temper, than that Lady ever pretended to.

Nov. 26

1711 We had not been a Month married when she found in me a certain Pain to give Offence, and an Indolence that made me bear little Inconveniences rather than dispute about them. From this Observation it soon came to that Pass, that if I offered to go abroad, she would get between me and the Door, kiss me, and say she could not part with me; then down again I sat In a Day or two after this first pleasant Step towards confining me, she declared to me, that I was all the

World to her, and she thought she ought to be all the 3 World to me. If

, said she, my Dear loves me as much as I love him, he will never be tired of my Company, This Declaration was followed by my being denied to all my Acquaintance; and it very soon came to that

Pass, that to give an Answer at the Door before my * Face, the Servants would ask her whether I was within

or not; and she would answer No with great Fondness, and tell me I was a good Dear. I will not enumerate more little Circumstances to give you a livelier Sense of my Condition, but tell you in general, that from such Steps as these at first, I now live the Life of a Prisoner of State ; my Letters are opened, and I have not the Use of Pen, Ink, and Paper but in her Presence. I never go abroad except she sometimes takes me with her in her Coach to take the Air, if it may be called So, when we drive, as we generally do, with the Glasses up. I have overheard my Servants lament my Condition but they dare not bring me Messages with out her Knowledge, because they doubt my Resolution to stand by 'em. In the Midst of this insipid Way of Life, an old Acquaintance of mine, Tom Meggot, who is a Favourite with her, and allowed to visit me in her Company because he sings prettily, has roused me to rebell, and conveyed his Intelligence to me in the following Manner. My Wife is a great Pretender to Musick, and very ignorant of it; but far gone in the Italian Taste. Tom goes to Armstrong, the famous fine Writer of Musick, and desires him to put this


No. 212. Friday, Nov. 2, 171L

Sentence of Tully in the Scale of an Italian Air, and write it out for my Spouse from him. An ille mihi liber cui mulier Imperat? Cui leges imponit, praescribit, Jubet, vetat quod videtur ? qui nihil imperanti negare, potest, nihil recusare audet? poscit ? dandum est. vocat? veniendum, ejicit ? abeundum, mínitatur ? Extímescendum. Does he live like a Gentleman who is commanded by a Woman? He to whom she gives Law, grants and denies what she pleases ? who can neither deny her any thing she asks, or refuse to do any thing she commands.

To be short, my Wife was extremely pleased with it; said the Italian was the only Language for Musick ; and admired how wonderfully tender the Šentiment was, and how pretty the Accent is of that Language; with the rest that is said by Rote on that Occasion. Mr. Meggot is sent for to sing this Air, which he performs with mighty Applause; and my Wife is in Exstasy on the Occasion, and glad to find, by my being so much pleased, that I was at last come into the Notion of the Italian; for, said she, it grows upon one when one once comes to know a little of the Language: and pray, Mr. Meggot, sing again those Notes, Nihil imperanti negare, nihil recusare. You may believe I was not a little delighted with my Friend Tom's Expedient to alarm me, and in Obedience to his Summons I give all this Story thus at large; and I am resolved, when this appears in the Spectator, to declare for my self. The Manner of the Insurrection I contrive by your Means, which shall be no other than that Tom Meggot, who is at our Tea. Table every Morning, shall read it to us; and if my Dear can take the Hint, and say not one Word, but let this be the Beginning of a new Life without further Explanation, it is very well; for as soon as the Spectator is read out, I shall, without more ado, call for the Coach, name the Hour when I shall be at home, if I come at all, if I do not they may go to Dinner. If my Spouse only swells and says nothing, Tom and I go out together, and all is well, as I said before, but if she begias to command or expostulate, you shall in my next to you


t receive a full Account of her Resistance and Submission : No. 212. for submit the dear thing must to,


Nov, 2, Sir

1711. Your most obedient humble Servant,

Anthony Freeman P. S. I hope I need not tell you that I desire this may be in your very next.'


[ocr errors]


5 No. 213,

Saturday, November 3.
-Meas sibi conscia rectiVirg.
TT is the great_Art and Secret of Christianity, if I

may use that Phrase, to manage our Actions to the best Advantage, and direct them in such a manner,

that every thing we do may turn to Account at that o: great Day, when every thing we have done will be set before us.

In order to give this Consideration its full weight, we may cast all our Actions under the Division of such as are in themselves either Good, Evil or Indifferent If we divide our Intentions after the same manner, and consider them with regard to our Actions, we may discover that great Art and Secret of Religion which I have here mentioned.

A Good Intention joined to a Good Action, gives it its proper Force and Efficacy joined to an Evil Action, extenuates its Malignity, and in some cases may take it wholly away and joined to an Indifferent Action, turns it to a Virtue, and makes it meritorious, as far as Human Actions can be so.

In the next Place, to consider in the same manner the Influence of an Evil Intention upon our Actions. An Evil Intention perverts the best of Actions, and makes them in reality what the Fathers with a witty kind of Zeal have termed the Virtues of the Heathen World, so many shining Sins. It destroys the Innocence of an Indifferent Action, and gives an Evil Action all

ible Blackness and Horror, or in the emphatica Language of Sacred Writ makes Sin exceeding sinful.


[ocr errors]

No. 213. If, in the last Place, we consider the Nature of an Saturday, Indifferent Intention, we shall find that it destroys the Nov. 3, Merit of a Good Action : abates, but never takes away, 1711

the Malignity of an Evil Action; and leaves an In different Action in its natural state of Indifference,

It is therefore of unspeakable Advantage to possess our Minds with an habitual Good Intention, and to aim all our Thoughts, Words and Actions at some laudable End, whether it be the Glory of our Maker, the Good of Mankind, or the Benefit of our own Souls.

This is a sort of Thrift or Good Husbandry in Moral Life, which does not throw away any single Action, but makes every one go as far as it can. It multiplies the Means of Salvation,

encreases the number of our Virtues, and diminishes that of our Vices,

There is something very Devout, tho' not so solid, in Acosta's Answer to Límborck, who Objects to him the Multiplicity of Ceremonies in the Jewish Religion, as Washings, Dresses, Meats, Purgations, and the like. The reply which the Jew makes upon this Occasion, is, to the best of my Remembrance, as follows: 'There are not Duties enough (says he) in the essential Parts of the Law for a zealous and active Obedience, Time, Place and Person are requisite, before you

have an Opportunity of putting a Moral Virtue into Practice, We have therefore, says he, enlarged the Sphere of our Duty, and made many things which are in themselves Indifferent a Part of our Religion, that we may have more Occasions of shewing our Love to God, and in all the Circumstances of Life be doing something to please him'

Monsieur St. Evremont has endeavoured to palliate the Superstitions of the Roman Catholick Religion with the same kind of Apology, where he pretends to consider the different Spirit of the Papists and the Calvinists, as to the great Points wherein they disagree. He tells us, that the former are actuated by Love, and the other by Fear, and that in their Expressions of Duty and Devotion towards the Supreme Being, the former seem particularly careful to do every thing which may possibly please him, and the other to abstain from every thing which may possibly displease him

« PreviousContinue »