« ForrigeFortsett »
produce me, but provided it be a show I shall be very well satisfied. Such novelties should not, I think, be concealed from the British Spectator ; for which reason I hope you will excuse this presumption in • Your most dutiful, most obedient,
• and most humble servant, L.
Three dwarfs, a very little man, a woman equally di. minutive, and a horse proportionably so, were on exhibi. tion in London about this time.
N° 272. FRIDAY, JANUARY 11, 1711-12.
Longa est injuriu, longe
Virg. Æn. i. 345.
Great is the injury, and long the tale.
MR. SPECTATOR, « The 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 insert it, in preference of all other matters that can present themselves to your consideration. I need not, after I have said this, tell you that I am in love. The circumstances of my passion I shall let you understand as well as a disordered mind will admit. “ That cursed pickthank, Mrs. Jane!" Alas, I am railing at one to you by her name, as familiarly as if you were acquainted with her as well as myself: but I will tell you all, as fast as the alternate interruptions of love and anger will give me leave. There is the most agreeable young woman in the world, whom I am passionately in love with, and from whom I have for
of time received as great marks of favour as were fit for her to give, or me to desire. The successful progress of the affair, of all others the most essential towards a man's happiness, gave a new life and spirit not only to my behaviour and discourse, but also a certain grace to all my actions in the commerce of life, in all things however remote from love. You know the predominant passion spreads itself through all a man's transactions, and exalts or depresses him according to the nature of such passion. But, alas! I have not yet begun my story, and what is making sentences and observations when a man is pleading for his life? To begin then. This lady has corresponded with me under the names of love, she my Belinda, I her Cleanthes. Though I am thus well got into the account of my affair, I cannot keep in the thread of it so much as to give you the character of Mrs. Jane, whom I will not hide under a borrowed name; but let you know, that this creature has been, since I knew her, very handsome (though I will not allow her even “ she has been” for the future), and during the time of her bloom and beauty, was so great a tyrant to her lovers, so over-valued herself and under-rated all her pretenders, that they have deserted her to a man: and she knows no comfort but that common one to all in her condition, the pleasure of interrupting the amours of others. It is impossible but you must have seen several of these volunteers in malice, who pass their whole time in the most laborious way of life in getting intelligence, running from place to place with new whispers, without reaping any other benefit but the hopes of making others as unhappy as themselves. Mrs. Jane happened to be at a place where I, with many others well acquainted with my passion for Belinda, passed a Christmas evening. There was among the rest a young lady, so free in mirth, so amiable in a just reserve that accompanied it; I wrong her to call it a reserve, but there appeared in her a mirth or cheerfulness which was not a forbearance of more immoderate joy, but the natural appearance of all which could flow from a mind possessed of an habit of innocence and purity. I must have utterly forgot Belinda to have taken no notice of one who was growing up to the same womanly virtues which shine to perfection in her, had I not distinguished one who seemed to promise to the world the same life and conduct with my faithful and lovely Belinda. When the company broke up, the fine young thing permitted me to take care of her home. Mrs. Jane saw my particular regard to her, and was informed of my attending her to her father's house. She came early to Belinda the next morning, and asked her “if Mrs. Such-aone had been with her?”' “ No." “ If Mr. Sucha-one's lady ?"
“ Nor your cousin Sucha-one?" “ No.”—“ Lord,” says Mrs. Jane, “ what is the friendship of women ?-Nay, they may well laugh at it.—And did no one tell you any thing of the behaviour of your lover, Mr. What-d'ye-call, last night? But perhaps it is nothing to you that he is to be married to young Mrs. on Tuesday next?” Belinda was here ready to die with rage and jealousy. Then Mrs. Jane goes on: I have a young kinsman who is clerk to a great conveyancer, who shall shew you the rough draught of the marriage settlement. The world says, her father gives him two thousand pounds more than he could have with you." I went innocently to wait on Belinda as usual, but was not admitted; I writ to her, and my letter was sent back unopened. Poor Betty, her maid, who is on my side,
has been here just now blubbering, and told me the whole matter. She says she did not think I could be so base; and that she is now so odious to her mistress for having so often spoke well of me, that she dare not mention me more. All our hopes are placed in having these circumstances fairly represented in the Spectator, which Betty says she dare not but bring up as soon as it is brought in; and has promised
have broke the ice to own this was laid between us, and when I can come to an hearing, the young lady will support what we say by her testimony, that I never saw her but that once in my whole life. Dear sir, do not omit this true relation, nor think it too particular; for there are crowds of forlorn coquettes who intermingle themselves with our ladies, and contract familiarities out of malice, and with no other design but to blast the hopes of lovers, the expectation of parents, and the benevolence of kindred. I doubt not but I shall be,
Will's Coffee-louse, Jan. 10. The other day entering a room adorned with the fair sex, I offered, after the usual manner, to each of them a kiss; but one, more scornful than the rest, turned her cheek. I did not think it
proper to take any notice of it until I had asked
- Your humble servant,
The correspondent is desired to say which cheek the offender turned to him.
From the parish-vestry, January 9.
All ladies who come to church in the new-fashioned hoods, are desired to be there before divine service begins, lest they divert the attention of the congregation.
N° 273. SATURDAY, JANUARY 12, 1711-12.
Notandi sunt tibi mores.
HOR. Ars. Poet. ver. 156.
Note well the manners.
Having examined the action of Paradise Lost, let us in the next place consider the actors. This is Aristotle's method of considering, first the fable, and secondly the manners; or, as we generally call them in English, the fable and the characters. Homer has excelled all the heroic
poets that wrote in the multitude and variety of his characters. Every god that is admitted into his poem, acts a part which would have been suitahle to no other deity. His princes are as much distinguished by their manners, as by their dominions; and even those among them, whose characters seem wholly made up of courage, differ from one another as to the particular kinds of courage in which they excel. In short, there is scarce a speech or action in the Iliad, which the reader may not ascribe to the person who