Imágenes de páginas

Perditnir hæc inter miseris lus --


in matters of this nature; but certainly, if it cause it doth raise the mind, and exalt the ever exerts itself in affairs of opinion and spe. spirit with high raptures, by proportioning the culation, it ought to do it on such shallow shows of things to the desires of the mind, and despicable pretenders to knowledge, who and not submitting the mind to things, as endeavour to give man dark and uncomfortable reason and history do. And by these allureprospects of his being, and destroy those prin- ments and congruities, whereby it cherisheth ciples which are the support, happiness, and the soul of man, joined also with consort of glory of all public societies, as well as private music, whereby it may more sweetly insinuate persons.

itself, it hath won such access, that it hath I think it is one of Pythagoras's golden say- been in estimation even in rude times and ings, 'That a man should take care above all barbarous nations, when other learning stood things to have a due respect for himself.' And excluded.'. it is certain, that this licentious sort of authors, But there is nothing which favours and falls who are for depreciating mankind, endeavour in with this natural greatness and dignity of to disappoint and undo what the most refined human nature so much as religion, which does spirits have been labouring to advance since not only promise the entire refinement of the the beginning of the world. The very design mind, but the glorifying of the body, and the of dress, good-breeding, outward ornaments, immortality of both. and ceremony, were to lift up human nature, and set it off to an advantage. Architecture, No. 109.) Tuesday, December 20, 1709. painting, and statuary, were invented with the same design: as, indeed, every art and science

Ilor. 2. Sat. vi. 59. contributes to the embellishment of life, and

in this giddy, busy maze, to the wearing off and throwing into sbades

I lose the sun-shine of my days. the mean and low parts of our nature. Poetry

Sheer-lane, December 19. carries on this great end more than all the rest, There has not some years been such a tumult as may be seen in the following passage, taken in our neighbourhood as this evening about out of sir Francis Bacon's 'Advancement of six. At the lower end of the lane the word Learning,' which gives a truer and better ac- was given, that there was a great funeral comcount of this art than all the volumes that ling by. The next moment came forward, and were ever written upon it.

in a very hasty, instead of a solemn manner, Poetry, especially heroical, seems to be a long train of lights, when at last a footman, raised altogether froin a poble foundation, in very high youth and health, with all his which makes much for the dignity of man's force, ran through the whole art of beating nature. For seeing this sensible world is in the door of the house next to me, and ended dignity inferior to the soul of man, poesy seems his rattle with the true finishing rap. This to endow human nature with that which his- did not only bring one to the door at which tory denies; and to give satisfaction to the he knocked, but to that of every one in the mind, with at least the shadow of things, where lane in an instant. Among the rest, my counthe substance cannot be had. For, if the matter try maid took the aların, and immediately be thoroughly considered, a strong argument running to me, told me,

there was a fine, may be drawn from poesy, that a more stately fine lady, who had three men with burial torebes greatness of things, a more perfect order, and making way before her, carried by two men a more beautiful variety, delights the soul of upon poles, with looking-glasses on each side man, that any way can be found in nature of her, and one glass also before, she herself since the fall. Wherefore, seeing the acts and appearing the prettiest that ever was.' The events which are the subjects of true bistory, girl was going on in her story, when the lady are not of that amplitude as to content the was come to my door in ber chair, having mis. mind of man, poesy is ready at hand to feign taken the house. As soon as she entered I saw acts more heroical. Because true history re- she was Mr. Isaac's scholar, by her speaking ports the successes of business not proportion air, and the becoming stop she made when able to the merit of virtues and vices, poesy she began her apology. “You will be surprised, corrects it, and presents events and fortunes sir,' said she, 'that I take this liberty, who am according to desert, and according to the law utterly a stranger to you ; besides that it may of providence: because true history, through be thought an indecorum that I visit a man. the frequent satiety and similitude of things, She made here a pretty hesitation, and beld works a distaste and misprision in the mind her fan to her face; then, as if recovering of man; poesy cheereth and refresheth the her resolution, she proceeded—‘But I think soul,chaunting things rare and various, and full you have said, that men of your age are of no of vicissitudes. So as poesy serveth and con- sex; therefore, I may be as free with you as ferreth to delectation, magnanimity, and mo- one of my own.' The lady did me the honour rality; and, therefore, it may seem deservedly to consult me un some particular matters, to have some participation of divineness, be. which I am not at liberty to report. But, be. fore she took her leave, she produced a long the ladies within the walls, to own, that they list of names, which she looked upon, to know are much more exact in their correspondence, wbither she was to go next. I must confess, | The lady I was going to mention as an example I could hardly forbear discovering to her, im- has always the second apprentice out of the mediately, that I secretly laughed at the fan- counting-house for her own use on her visitingtastical regularity she observed in throwing day, and he sets down very methodically all away ber time; but I seemed to indulge her the visits which are made her. I remember in it, out of a curiosity to hear her own sense very well, that on the first of Jauuary last, of her way of life. “Mr. Bickerstaff,' said she, when she made up her account for the year

you cannot imagine how much you are obliged | 1708, it stood thus: to me, in staying thus long with you, having so many visits to make; and, indeed, if I had | Mrs. Courtwood- Per Contra-Creditor. not hopes that a third part of those I am going Debtor. to will be abroad, I should be unable to despatcb To seventeen By eleven hun. ? them this evening.'-'Madam,' said I, are hundred and

dred and nine 1103

170+ you in all this haste and perplexity, and only

four visits re

paid. going to such as you have not a mind to see ?:- ceived.

Due to balance 535 Yes, sir,' said she, “I have several now with whom I keep a constant correspondence, and

1701 return visit for visit punctually every week, and yet we have not seen each other since last This gentlewoman is a woman of great November was twelvemonth.'

economy, and was not afraid to go to the She went on with a very good air, and fixing bottom of her affairs; and, therefore, ordere her eyes on her list, told me,' she was obliged her apprentice to give her credit for my lady to ride about three miles and a half before she Easy's impertinent visits upon wrong days, arrived at her own house. I asked' after what and deduct only twelve per cent. He bad manner this list was taken, whether the persons orders also to subtract une and a half from writ their names to her, and desired that favour, the whole of such as she had denied herself to or bow she knew she was not cheated in her before she kept a day; and after taking those muster-roll?'— 'The method we take,' says proper articles of credit on her side, she was sbe, ‘is, tbat the porter or servant who comes in arrear but five hundred. She ordered her to the door, writes down all the names who husband to buy in a couple of fresh coachcome to see us, and all such are entitled to a horses; and with no other loss than the death return of their visit.'—' But,' said I,' madam, of two footmen, and a church-yard cough I presume those who are searching for each brought upon her coachman, she was clear in other, and know one another by messages, the world on the tenth of February last, and may be understood as candidates only for each keeps so before-band, that she pays every body other's favour; and that, after so many how their own, and yet makes daily new acquaintdo-ye-does, you proceed to visit or not, as you ances.' like the run of each other's reputation or for- I know not whether this agreeable visitant tunc.'-' You understand it aright,' said she; was fired with the example of the lady I told ' and we become friends, as soon as we are her of, but she immediately vanished out of convinced that our dislike to each other may my sight, it being, it seems, as necessary a be of any consequence : for, to tell you truly,' point of goud-breediug, to go off as if you stole said she,' for it is in vain to hide any thing from something out of the house, as it is to enter a man of your penetration, general visits are as if you came to fire it. I do not know one not made out of good-will, but for fear of ill. thing that contributes so much to the lessening will. Punctuality in this case is often a sus- the esteem men of sense have to the fair sex, picious circumstance; and there is nothing so as this article of visits. A young lady cannot common as to have a lady say, “ I hope she be married, but all impertinents in town must has heard nothing of wbat I said of her, that be beating the tattoo from one quarter of the she grows so great with me!" But, indeed, my town to the other, to show they know what porter is so dull and negligent, that I fear he passes. If a man of honour should once in an has not put down half the people I owe visits age marry a woman of merit for her intrinsic to.'—' Madam,' said I, ‘methinks it would value, the envious things are all in motion ir. be very proper if your gentleman-usher or an instant to make it known to the sisterhooa groom of the chamber were always to keep an as an indiscretion, and publish to the tow? account, by way of debtor and creditor. I know how many pounds he might have had to have a city lady who uses that method, wbich I think been troubled with one of them. After they very laudable ; for thongh you may possibly, are tired with that, the next thing is, to make at the court end of the town, receive at the their compliments to the married couple and door, and light up better than within Temple- their relations. They are equally busy at a bar, yet I must do that justice to my friends, I funeral, and the death of a person of quality is always attended with the murder of several together according to notice, a certain decla. sets of coach-borses and chairmen. In both ration, by way of charge, to open the purpose cases, the visitants are wholly unaffected, either of my session, which tended only to this exwith joy or sorrow; for which reason, their planation, that as other courts were often congratulations and condolences are equally called to demand the execution of persons dead words of course ; and one would be thought in law; so this was held to give the last orders wonderfully ill-bred, that should build upon relating to those who are dead in reason. The such expressions as encouragements to expect solicitor of the new company of upholders near from them any instance of friendship.

the Hay-market appeared in behalf of that Thus are the true causes of living, and the useful society, and brought in an accusation of solid pleasures in life, lost in show, imposture, a young woman, who herself stood at the bar and impertinence. As for my part, I think before me. Mr. Lillie read her indictment, most of the misfortunes in families arise from which was in substance, That, whereas, the trilling way the women have in spending Mrs. Rebecca Pindust, of the parish of Saint their time, and gratifying only their eyes and Martin-in-the-Fields, had, by the use of one ears, instead of their reason and understanding. instrument called a looking-glass, and by the

A fine young woman, bred under a visiting further use of certain attire, made either of mother, knows all that is possible for her to cambric, muslin, or other linen wares, upon be acquainted with by report, and sees the her head, attained to such an evil art and mavirtuous and the vicious used so indifferently, gical force in the motion of her eyes and turn that the fears she is born with are abated, and of her countenance, that she, the said Rebecca, desires indulged, in proportion to her love of had put to death several young men of the that light and trifling conversation. I know said parish ; and that the said young men bad I talk like an old man; but I must go on to acknowledged in certain papers, commonly say, that I think the general reception of mixed called love letters, which were produced in company, and the pretty fellows that are ad-court, gilded on the edges, and sealed with a mitted at those assemblies, give a young woman particular wax, with certain amorous and enso false an idea of life, that she is generally chanting words wrought upon the said seals, bred up with a scorn of that sort of merit in that they died for the said Rebecca : and, a man, which only can make her happy in whereas the said Rebecca persisted in the said marriage; and the wretch, to whose lot she evil practice ; this way of life the said society falls, very often receives in his arms a coquette, construed to be, according to former edicts, a with the refuse of a heart long before given state of death, and demanded an order for the away to a coxcomb.

interment of the said Rebecca.'

I looked upon the maid with great humaHaving received from the society of up-nity, and desired her to make answer to what holders sundry complaints of the obstinate and was said against her. She said, 'It was indeed refractory behaviour of several dead persons, true, that she had practised all the arts and who have been guilty of very great outrages means she could, to dispose of herself happily and disorders, and by that means elapsed the in marriage, but thought she did not come proper time of their internient; and having, under the censure expressed in my writings on the other band, received many appeals from for the sanje; and humbly hoped I would not the aforesaid dead persons, wherein they desire condemn her for the ignorance of her accusers, to be heard before such their interment; 1 who, according to their own words, had rather have set apart Wednesday, the twenty-first represented her killing, than dead.' She furinstant, as an extraordinary court-day for the ther alleged, ' That the expressions mentioned hearing of both parties. If, therefore, any one in the papers written to her were become can allege why they, or any of their acquaint- mere words, and that she had been always ance, should or should not be buried, I desire ready to marry any of those who said they died they may be ready with their witnesses at that for her; but that they made their escape as time, or that they will for ever after hold their soon as they found themselves pitied or betongues.

lieved.' She ended her discourse, by desiring N. B. This is the last hearing on this subject. I would for the future settle the meaning of

the words ' I die,' in letters of love. No. 110.] Thursday, December 22, 1709.

Mrs. Pindust behaved herself with such an

air of innocence, that she easily gained credit, Quæ lucis miseris tam dira capido

Virg. Æn. vi. 721.

and was acquitted. Upon which occasion, I Gors! can the wretches long for life again?

gave it as a standing rule, ‘that any person,

who, in any letter, billet, or discourse, should Sheer-lune, December 21.

tell a woman he died for her, should, if she As soon as I had placed myself in my chair pleased, be obliged to live with her, or be imof judicature, I ordered my clerk, Mr. Lillie, mediately interred upon such their own conto read to the assembly, who were gathered | fession, without bail or mainprize.'


It happened, that the very next wbo was They rose at the same hour: while the old mau brought before me was one of her admirers, was playing with bis cat, the young one wa. who was indicted upon that very bead. A let-looking out of bis window; while the old man ter, which be acknowledged to be his own hand, was smoking bis pipe, the young man was was read, in which were the following words : rubbing his teeth ; while one was at dinner,

Cruel creature, I die for you.' It was observ- the other was dressing; while one was at able that he took snuff all the time bis accu-back-gammon, the other was at dinner; while sation was reading. I asked him, 'how he the old fellow was talking of madam Frances, came to use these words, if he were not a dead the young one was either at play, or toasting man?' He told me,' he was in love with the women whom he never conversed with. The lady, and did not know any other way of telling only difference was, that the young man had ner so; and that all his acquaintance took the never been good for any thing; the old man, same method. Though I was moved with a man of worth before he knew madam Francompassion towards him, by reason of the ces. Upon the whole, I ordered them to be weakness of bis parts, yet for example-sake 1 both interred together, with inscriptions proper was forced to answer, ‘ Your sentence shall be to their characters, signifying, that the old a warning to all the rest of your companions, man died in the year 1689, aud was buried in not to tell lies for want of wit.' Upon this, he the year 1709; and over the young one it was began to beat his snuff-box with a very saucy said, that he departed this world in the twentyair; and opening it again, “ Faith, Isaac,' said fifth year of his death. he, “thou art a very unaccountable old fellow. The next class of criminals were authors in -Pr'ythee, who gave thee power of life and prose and verse. Those of them who had prodeath? What a-pox hast thou to do with ladies duced any still-born work were immediately and lovers ? I suppose thou wouldst have a dismissed to their burial, and were followed man be in company with his mistress, and say by others, who, notwithstanding some sprightly nothing to her. Dost thou call breaking a issue in their life-time, had given proofs of jest, telling a lie ? Ha! is that thy wisdom, their death by some posthumous children that old stiffrump, ha?' He was going on with this bore no resemblance to their elder brethren. insipid common-place mirth, sometimes open- As for those who were the fathers of a mixed ing bis box, sometimes shutting it, then view- progeny, provided always they could prove the ing the picture on the lid, and then the work-last to be a live child, they escaped with life, manship of the hinge, when, in the midst of but not without loss of limbs; for, in this case, his eloquence, I ordered his box to be taken I was satisfied with amputation of the parts from him ; upon which he was immediately which were mortified. struck speechless, and carried off stone dead. These were followed by a great crowd of su

The next who appeared was a bale old fellow perannuated benchers of the inns of court, of sixty. He was brought in by his relations, senior fellows of colleges, and defunct stateswho desired leave to bury him. Upon requiring men; all whom I ordered to be decimated ina distinct account of the prisoner, a credible differently, allowing the rest a reprieve for one witness deposed, ' that he always rose at ten year, with a promise of a free pardon in case of the clock, played with bis cat until twelve, of resuscitation. smoaked tobacco until one, was at dinner until There were still great multitudes to be ex. two, then took another pipe, played at back- amined; but, finding it very late, I adjourned gammon until six, talked of one madam Fran- the court, not without the secret pleasure that ces, an old mistress of his, until eight, repeated | I had done my duty, and furnished out a the same account at the tavern until ten, then handsome execution. returned home, took the other pipe, and then Going out of the court, I received a letter, to bed.' I asked bim, 'what he had to say for informing me, 'that, in pursuance of the edict bimself?'—' As to what,' said he, 'they men. of justice in one of my late visions, all those tion concerning Madam Frances

of the fair sex began to appear pregnant who I did not care for bearing the Canterbury had run any hazard of it; as was manifest by tale, and, therefore, thought myself seasonably a particular swelling in the petticoats of several interrupted by a young geutleman, who ap- ladies in and about this great city. I must peared in the bebalf of the old man, and confess, I do not attribute the rising of this prayed an arrest of judgment; ' for that he, part of the dress to this occasion, yet must the said young man, held certain lands by bis, own, that I am very much disposed to be of. the said old man's, life.' Upon this, the soli- fended with such a new and unaccountable citor of the upholders took an occasion to de- fashion. I shall, however, pronounce nothing mand him also, and therenpon produced several upon it, until I have examined all that can be evidences that witnessed to his life and conversaid for and against it. And, in the mean time, sation. It appeared, that each of them divided think fit to give this notice to the fair ladies their hours in matters of equal moment and who are now making up their winter suits, that importance to themselves and to the public. they may abstain from all dresses of that kind, until they shall find what judgment will be to mention its crowing all hours of the night passed upon them; for it would very much about Christmas time, and to insinuate a kind trouble me, that they should put themselves of religious veneration for that season. to an unnecessary expense; and I could not but think myself to blame, if I should hereafter

• It faded on the crowing of the cock.

Some say, that ever 'gainst that season comes forbid them the wearing of such garments, Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebratert, when they have laid out money upon them,

The bird of dawning singeth all night long.

And then, they say, vo spirit dares stir abroad : witbout having given them any previous ad

The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike, monition.

No fairy takes; no witch hath power to charm;

So hallow'd and so gracious is the time.' N. B. A letter of the sixteenth instant about one of the fifth, will be answered accord. This admirable author, as well as the best ing to the desire of the party, which he will see and greatest men of all ages, and of all nations, in a few days.

seems to have had bis mind thoroughly seasoned with religion, as is evident by many pas

sages in his plays, that would not be suffered No. 111.] Saturday, December 24, 1709 by a modern audience; and are, therefore, Procol, O! Procul, este profani !

certain instances that the age he lived in bad Hence, ye profane! far hence be gone!

a much greater sense of virtue than the pre

sent, Sheer-lane, December 23.

It is, ivdeed, a melancholy reflection to conThe watchman, who does me particular ho- sider, that the British nation, which is now at nours, as being the chief man in the lane, gave a greater height of glory for its councils and so very great a thump at my door last night, conquests than it ever was before, should disthat I awakened at the knock, and heard my- tinguish itself by a certain looseness of prinself compliinented with the usual salutation of, ciples, and a falling-off from those schemes of 'Good-morrow, Mr. Bickerstaff; good-morrow, thinking, which conduce to the happiness and my masters all.' The silence and darkness of perfection of human nature. This evil comes the night disposed me to be more than ordinarily upon us from the works of a few solemn blockserious; and, as my attention was not drawn heads, that meet together, with the zeal and out among exterior objects by the avocations seriousness of apostles, to extirpate common of sense, my thoughts naturally fell upon my sense, and propagate infidelity. These are the self. I was considering, amidst the stillness of wretches, who, without any show of wit, learnthe night, what was the proper employment ing, or reason), publish their crude conceptions of a thinking being ? what were the perfections with an ambition of appearing more wise than it should propose to itself? and, what the end the rest of inankiud, upon no other pretence it should aim at? My mind is of such a parti- than that of dissenting froin them. One gets cular cast, that the falling of a shower of rain, by heart a catalogue of title-pages and editions ; or the wbistling of wind, at such a time, is aptand, immediately, to become conspicuous, deto fill my thoughts with something awful and clares that he is an unbeliever. Anotber solemn. I was in this disposition, when our knows how to write a receipt, or cut up a dog, bellman began his midnight homily, which he and forthwith argues against the immortality has been repeating to us every winter night for of the soul. I have known many a little wit, these twenty years, with the usual exordium; in the osteutation of bis parts, rally the truth • Oh! mortal man, thoa that art born in sin!'

of the scripture, who was not able to read a Sentiments of this nature, which are in them. chapter in it. These poor wretches talk blas. selves just and reasonable, however debased the objects of scorn or pity, than of our indig.

phemy for want of discourse, and are rather by the circumstances that accompany them, nation; but the grave disputant,* that reads do not fail to produce their natural effect in and writes, and spends all his time in convina mind that is not perverted and depraved cing himself and the world that he is no better by wrong notions of gallantry, politeness, and than a brute, ought to be whipped out of goridicule. The temper which I now found my:vernment, as a blot to civil society, and a self in, as well as the time of the year, put defamer of mankind. I love to consider an me in mind of those lines in Shakspeare, infidel, whether distinguished by the title of wberein, according to his agreeable wildness of deist, atheist, or free-thinker, in three difimagination, he has wrought a country tra ferent lights, in his solitudes, his afflictions, dition into a beautiful piece of poetry. In the

and bis last moments. tragedy of Hamlet, where the ghust vanishes

A wise man that lives up to the principles of upon the cock's crowing, * be takes occasion

reason and virtue, if one considers him in his * This is a very ancient superstitiou. Philostratus, giving an account of the apparition of Achilles's shade to Apollonius * Perhaps the author here alludes to Toland, for we are Tyaneus, says, that it vapished with a little glimmer as soon told, by a contemporary writer, that He was once the u the cock crowed.

but of the Tauler.

« AnteriorContinuar »