« AnteriorContinua »
various readings of a lewd expression. All that and hath writ a whole book of letters to his can be said in excuse for them is, that their wife. They are not so full of turns as those works sufficiently show they have no taste of translated out of the former author, who writes their authors; and that what they do in this very much like a modern ; but are full of that kind, is out of their great learning, and not beautiful simplicity which is altogether natural, out of any levity or lasciviousness of teniper. and is the distinguishing character of the best
A pedant of this nature is wonderfuliy well ancient writers. The author I am speaking of, described in six lines of Boileau, with which is Cicero; who, in the following passages, which shall conclude his character:
I have taken out of his letters, shows, that he
did not think it inconsistent with the politeness Un Pedant enyvré de sa vaine science,
of bis manners, or the greatness of his wisdom, Tout herissé de Grec, tout bonffi d'arrogance. Et qui de mille anteurs retenus mot par mot,
to stand upon record in his domestic character. Dans sa tête entassez n'a souvent fait qu'un sot,
These letters were written in a time when Croit qu'un livre fait tout, et que sans diistole
he was banished from his country, by a faction La raison ne voit goute, et le bou sens radule. Brim-full of learning see that pedant stricte,
that then prevailed at Rome. Pristling with horrid Greek, and pufd with pride!
Cicero to Terentia.
well as from common report, that you give
incredible proofs of virtue and fortitude, and No. 159.] Suturday, April 15, 1710.
that you are indefatigable in all kinds of good
offices. How unhappy a man am I, that a Niter in adversum ; nec me, qni cætera vincit
woman of your virtue, constancy, honour, and Impetiis. Ovid, Mel. lib. ii. ver. 72.
goodl. nature, should fall into so great distresses I steer against their motions ; nor ain I
upon my account! and that my dear Tulliola Borne back by all the current
should be so much afflicted for the sake of a
father, with whom she had once so much reaFrom my own Apartment, April 14.
son to be pleased! How can I mention little Tue, wits of this island, for above fifty years Cicero, whose first knowledge of things began past, instead of correcting the vices of the age, with the sense of his misery? If all this had have done all they couli to inflame them. happened by the decrees of fate, as you would Marriage bas been one of the common topics kindly persuade me, I could have borne it: of ridicule that every stage scribbler hath found But, alas! it is all befallen me by my own inhis account in; for, whenever there is an occa. discretion, who thought I was beloved by those sion for a clap, an impertinent jest upon ma. that envied me, and did not join with them trimony is sure to raise it. This bath been
who sought my friendship.- -At present, attended with very pernicious consequences. since my friends bid me hope, I shall take Many a country esquire, upon his setting up for
care of my health, that I may epjcy the benefit a man of the town, has gone bome in the gayety of your affectionate services. Plancius bopes of bis heart, and beat his wife. A kind busband
we may some time or other come together hath been looked upon as a clown, and a good into Italy. If I ever live to see that day; if wife as a domestic animal unfit for the company I ever return to your dear embraces; in short, or conversation of the beau monde. In short, if I ever again recover you and myself, I shall separate beds, silent tables, and solitary homes, think our conjugal piety very well rewarded.have been introduced by your men of wit and As for what you write to me about selling your pleasure of the age.
estate, consider, my dear Terentia, consider, As I shall always make it my business to alas! wbat would be the event of it. If our stem the turrents of prejudice and vice, I shall present furtune continues to oppress us, what take particular care to put an honest father of will become of our poor boy! My tears flow a family in countenance; and endeavour to
so fast, that I am not able to write any furremove all the evils out of that state of life, ther; and I would not willingly make you which is either the most happy or most miser-weep with me.-- Let us take care pot to able that a man can be placed in. lo order to undo the child that is already undone: if we this, let us, if you please, consider the wits and
can leave him any thing, a little virtue will well-bred persons of former time. I have keep bim from want, and a little furtune raise shown, in another paper, that Pliny, who was a bim in the world. Mind your health, and let man of the greatest genius, as well as of the me know frequently what you are doing. first quality of bis age, did not think it beluw Remember me to Tulliola and Cicero,' bim to be a kind husband, and to treat bis wife as a friend, companion, and counsellor. I shall
II. give the like instance of another, who in all Do not fancy that I write longer letters to respects was a much greater man than Pliny, | any one than to yourself, unless when I chance
to receive a longer letter from another, which with grief, but with shaine. I am ashamed I am iodispensibly obliged to answer in every that I did not do my utmost for the best of particular. The truth of it is, I have no sub- wives, and the dearest of children. You are ject for a letter at present; and, as my affairs ever present before my eyes, in your mourning, now stand, there is nothing more painful to your affliction, and your sickness. Amidst all me than writing. As for you, and our dear which, there scarce appears to me the least Tulliola, I cannot write to you without abun- glimmering of hope. However, as long as you dance of tears; for I see both of you miserable, hope, I will not despair will do what you whom I always wished to be happy, and wbom advise me. I have returned my thanks to I ought to bave made so.-- -I must acknow those friends whom you mentioned, and have ledge, you have done every thing for me with let them know, that you have acquainted me the utmost fortitude, and the utinost affection; with their good offices. I am sensible of Piso's nor indeed is it more than I expected from you; extraordinary zeal and endeavours to serve though, at the same time, it is a great aggra- me. Ob. would the gods grant that you and vation of my ill fortune, that the afflictions I might live together in the enjoyment of such I suffer can be relieved only by those which a son-in-law, and of our dear children !-As you undergo for my sake. For honest Valerius for what you write of your coming to me, if has written me a letter, which I could not read I desire it, I would rather you should be where without weeping very bitterly; wherein he you are, because I know you are my principal gives me an account of the public procession agent at Rome. If you succeed, I shall come which you have made for me at Rome. Alas! to you: if not -But I need say no more. my dearest life, must then Terentia, the dar. Be careful of your health ; and be assured, ling of my soul, whose favour and recommen. that nothing is, or ever was, so dear to ine as dations have been so often songht by others; yourself. Farewell, my Terentia! I fancy that must my Terentia droop under the weight of I see you, and therefore cannot command my surrow, appear in the habit of a mourner, puur weakness so far as to refrain from tears.' out floods of tears, and all this for my sake; for my sake, who have undone my family, by
IV. consulting the safety of others ?--As for what 'I do not write to you as often as I might; you write about selling your house, I am very because, not withstanding I am afflicted at all much afflicted, that what is laid out upon my times, I ain quite overcome with sorrow whilst account may any way reduce you to misery and I am writing to you, or reading any letters want. If we can bring about our design, we that I receive from you. If these evils are may indeed recover every thing; but if fortune not to be removed, I must desire to see you, persists in persecuting us, how can I think of my dearest life, as soon as possible, and to die your sacrificing for me the poor remainder of in your embraces; since neither the gods, your possessions ? No, my dearest life, let me whom you always religiously worsbipped, nor beg you to let those bear my expenses who are the men, whose good I always promoted, bave able, and perhaps willing to do it ; and if you rewarded us according to our deserts.--What would show your love to me, do not injure a distressed wretch am I! Should I ask a weak your health, which is already too much im- woman, oppressed with cares aud sickness, to paired. You present yourself before my eyes come and live with me; or, shall I not ask day and night; I see you labour amidst innu- her? Can I live without you? But I find I merable difficulties; I am afraid lest you should must. If there be any hopes of my return, sink under them; but I find in you all the help it forward, and promote it as much as qualifications that are necessary to support you are able. But if all that is over, as I fear you: be sure therefore to cherish your health, it is, find out some way or other of coming to that you may compass the end of your hopes me. This you may be sure of, that I shall not and your endeavours.-- --Farewell, my leren- look upon myself as quite undone whilst you tia, my heart's desire, farewell.'
are with me. But wbat will become of lul.
liola? You must look to that; I must confess, IN.
I am entirely at a loss about her. Whatever Aristocritus hath delivered to me three of happens, we must take care of the reputatior, your letters, which I have almost defaced with and marriage of that dear unfortunate girl my tears. Ob! my Terentia, I am consumed As for Cicero, he shall live in my bosom, and with grief, and feel the weight of your suffer- in my arms. I cannot write any further, my ings more than of my own. I am more miser- sorrows will not let me -Support yourself, able than you are, notwithstanding you are my dear Terentia, as well as you are able. We very much so; and that for this reason, be- have lived and flourished together amidst the rause, though our calamity is common, it is greatest honours; it is not our crimes, but our my fault that brought it upon us. I ought to virtues, that have distressed us. -Take more have died rather than have been driven out of than ordinary care of your health ; I am more ihe city: I am therefore overwhelmed, not only afflicted with your sorrows than my own.
Farewell, my Terentia, thou dearest, faithful. other town, which I found she had dropped lest, and best of wives :'
by the way.
As much as I love to be informed of the Methinks it is a pleasure to see this great success of my brave countrymen, I do not care man in his family, who makes so different a for hearing of a victory before day; and was figure in the Forum, or Senate of Rome. therefore very much out of humour at this Every one admires the orator and ibe-consul; unseasonable visit. I had no sooner recovered but for my part, I esteem the husband and the my temper, and was falling asleep, but I was father. His private character, with all the immediately startled by a second rap; and little weaknesses of humanity, is as amiable, upon my maid's opening the door, heard the as the figure be makes in public is awful and same voice ask her, if her master was yet up? majestic. But at the same time that I love and at the same time bid ber tell me, that he to surprise so great an author in his private was come on purpose to talk with me about a walks, and to survey him in his most familiar piece of bome news, which every body in town lights, I think it would be barbarous to form will be full of two hours bence. I ordered my to ourselves any idea of mean-spiritedness from maid, as soon as she came into the room, withthese natural openings of his heart, and dis- out hearing her message, to tell the gentleman, burdening of his thoughts to a wife. He that whatever bis news was, I would rather has written several other letters to the same hear it two bours hence than now; and that person, but none with so great passion as I persisted in my resolution not to speak with these of which I have given the foregoing ex- any body that morning. The wench delivered tracts.
my answer presently, and shut the door. It It would be ill-nature not to acquaint the was impossible for me to compose myself to English reader, that his wife was successful in sleep after two such unexpected alarms; for her solicitations for this great man; and saw which reason, I put on my clothes in a very her husband return to the honours of which peevish humour. I took several turns about he had been deprived, with all the pomp and my chamber, reflecting with a great deal of acclamation that usually attended the greatest anger and contempt on these volunteers in potriumph.
litics, that undergo all the pain, watchfulness, and disquiet of a first minister, without turning it to the advantage either of themselves or
their country; and yet it is surprising to conNo. 160.] Tuesday, April 18, 1710.
sider bow numerous this species of men is.
There is notbing more frequent than to find a From my own Apartment, April 17.
tailor breaking his rest on the affairs of EuA COMMON civility to an impertinent fellow rope, and to see a cluster of porters sitting often draws upon one a great many unforeseen upon the ministry. Our streets swarm with troubles; and, if one doth not take particular politicians, and there is scarce a shop which is care, will be interpreted by bim as an over- not held by a statesman. As I was musing ture of friendship and intimacy. This I was after this manner, I heard the upholsterer at the very sensible of this morning. About two door delivering a letter to my maid, and beghours before day, I heard a great rapping at ging her, in a very great burry, to give it to her my door, which continued some time, until master as soon as ever he was awake; which my maid could get herself ready to go down I opened, and found as follows: and see what was the occasion of it. She then brought me up word, that there was a gentle- • MR BICKERSTAFF, man who seemed very much in baste, and 'I was to wait upon you about a week ago, said he must needs speak with me. By the to let you know that the honest gentlemen description she gave me of him, and by bis whom you conversed with upon the bench, at voice, which I could hear as I lay in my bed, the end of the Mall, having heard that I had I fancied him to be my old acquaintance the received five shillings of you, to give you a mpholsterer, whom I met the other day in hundred pounds upon the great Turk's being Bt. James's-park. For which reason, I bid her driven out of Europe, desired me to acquaini tell the gentleman, whoever he was, 'that I you, that every one of that company would be was indisposed; tbat I could see nobody; and willing to receive five shillings, to pay a bunthat, if he had any thing to say to me, I de- dred pounds on the same condition. Our last sired he would leave it in writing. My maid, advices from Muscovy making this a fairer. bet after having delivered ber message, told me, than it was a week ago, I do not question but
that the gentleman said he would stay at the you will accept the wayer. next coffee-house until I was stirring; and But this is not my present business. If bid ber be sure to tell me, that the French you remember, I whispered a word in your were driven from the scarp, and that Douay ear, as we were walking up the Mall; and you was invested.' He gave her the name of an. see what has happened since. If I had sees
· TOM FOLIO.'
you this morning, I would have told you in The pertness which this fair lady hath shown your ear another secret. I hope you will be in this letter, was one occasion of my joining recovered of your indisposition by to-morrow ber to the Bass-viol, which is an instrument morning, when I will wait on you at the same that wants to be quickened by these little vihour as I did this; my private circumstances vacities; as the sprightliness of the Kit ought being such, that I cannot well appear in this to be checked and curbed by the gravity of the quarter of the town after it is day.
Bass-viol. I have been so taken up with the late goud My next letter is from Tom Folio, who, it news from Holland, and expectation of further seems, takes it amiss that I have published a particulars, as well as with other transactions, character of him so much to his disadvantage. of which I will tell you more to-morrow morning, that I have not slept a wink these three
suppose you mean Tom Fool, when you I have reason to believe that Picardy will called me Tom Folio in a late trifling paper of soon follow the example of Artois, in case the yours; for I find, it is your design to run down
all useful and solid learning. The tobaccoenemy continue in their present resolution of flying away from us. I think I told you the paper on which your own writings are usually last time we were together my opinion about printed, as well as the incorrectness of the the Deulle.
press, and the scurvy letter, sufficiently show The bonest gentlemen upon the bench bid but you look' upon John Morphew to be as
the extent of your knowledge. I question not me tell you, that he would be glad to see you great a man as Elzevir ; and Aldus to have often among them. We shall be there all the been such another as Bernard Lintot. If you warm hours of the day during the present pos- would give me my revenge, I would only desire ture of affairs. This happy opening of the campaign will, Il of you to let me publish an account of your
library, which, I dare say, would furnish out hope, give us a very joyful summer; and I propose to take many a pleasant walk with you,
an extraordinary catalogue. if you will sometimes come into the Park; for that is the only place in which I can be free It hath always been my way to baffle refrom the malice of my enemies. Farewell, until proach with silence; thuugh I cannot but obthree of the clock to-morrow morning! serve the disingenuous proceedings of this
'I am, your most humble servant, &c. gentleman, who is not content to asperse my 'P.S. The king of Sweden is still at Bender.' writings, but bath wounded, through my sides,
those eminent and worthy citizens, Mr. John I should have fretted myself to death at this Morphew, and Mr. Bernard Lintot. promise of a second visit, if I had not found in his letter an intimation of the good news which No. 161.) Thursday, April 20, 1710. I bave since heard at large. I have, however,
Nunquam libertas gratior exstat ordered my maid to tie up the knocker of my
Quam sub rege pio. door, in such a manner as she would do if I Never does liberty appear more amiable than onder was really indisposed. By wbich means I hope
the government of a pious and good prince. to escape breaking my morning's rest.
From my own Apartment, April 19.
I was walking two or three days ago in a I have lately received from others of my cor
very pleasant retirement, and amusing myself
with the reading of that ancient and beautiful respondents. The following is from a coquette, allegory, called 'The Table of Cebes,' I was who is very angry at my having disposed of her
at last so tired with my walk, that I sat down in marriage to a Bass-vio..
to rest myself upon a bench that stood in the * MR. BICKERSTAFF,
midst of an agreeable shade. The music of 'I thought you would never have descended the birds, that filled all the trees about me, from the censor of Great Britain, to become lulled me asleep before I was aware of it; a match-maker. But pray, why so severe upon which was followed by a dream. that I impute? the Kit? Had I been a Jew's-harp, that is no- in some measure to the foregoing author, who thing but tongue, you could not have used me had made an impression upon my imagination, Of all things, a Bass-viol is my aver
and put me into his own way of thinking. sion. Had you married me to a Bag-pipe or a
I fancied myself among the Alps, and, as it Passing-bell, I should bave been better pleased. is natural in a dream, seemed every moment Dear father Isaac, either choose me a better to bound from one summit to another, until husband, or I will live and die a Dulcimer. at last, after having made this airy progress Io hopes of receiving satisfaction from you, I over the tops of several mountains, I arrived am yours, whilst
at the very centre of those broken rocks and precipices. I here, methought, saw a prodigious
« ISABELLA KIT.'
circuit of hills, that reached above the clouds, confidence growing in me, and such an inward and encompassed a large space of ground, resolution as I never felt before that time. which I had a great curiosity to look into. 1 On the left hand of the goddess sat the gethereupon continued my former way of tra- nius of a commonwealtfi, with the cap of Li. velling through a great variety of winter scenes, berty on her head, and, in her hand, a wand until I had gained the top of these white moun. like that with which a Roman citizen used tains, which seemed another Alps of snow. I to give his slaves their freedom. There was looked down from hence into a spacious plain, something mean and vulgar, but at the same which was surrounded on all sides by this time exceeding bold and daring, in ber air ; her mound of hills, and which presented me with eyes were full of fire; but had in them such the most agreeable prospect I had ever seen. casts of fierceness and cruelty, as made her There was a greater variety of colours in the appear to me rather dreadful than amiable. embroidery of the meadows, a more lively green On her shoulders she wore a mantle, on which in the leaves and grass, a brighter crystal in there was wrought a great confusion of figures. the streams, than what I ever met with in any As it flew in the wind, I could not discern the other region. The light itself had something particular design of them, but saw wounds more shining and glorious in it than that of in the bodies of some, and agonies in the faces which the day is made in other places. I was of others; and over one part of it could read wonderfully astonished at the discovery of such in letters of blood, 'The Ides of March.' a paradise amidst the wildness of those cold, On the right hand of the goddess was the hoary landscapes which lay about it; but found genius of monarchy. She was clothed in the at length, that this happy region was inhabited whitest ermine, and wore a crown of the purest by the goddess of Liberty; whose presence gold upon her head. In her hand, she held a softened the rigours of the climate, enriched sceptre like that which is born by the British the barrenness of the soil, and more than sup- monarchs. A couple of tame lions lay crouching plied the alisence of the sun. The place was at her feet. Her countenance had in it a very covered with a wonderful profusion of Bowers, great majesty without any mixture of terror. that, without being disposed into regular bor. Her voice was like the voice of an angel, filled ders and parterres, grew promiscuously; and with so much sweetness, accompanied with had a greater beauty in their natural luxuri- such an air of condescension, as tempered the ancy and disorder, than they could have re. awfulness of her appearance, and equally inceived from the checks and restraints of art. spired love and veneration into the hearts of There was a river that arose out of the south all that beheld her. side of the mountain, that, by an infinite In the train of the goddess of Liberty were number of turnings and windings, seemed the several Arts and Sciences, who all of them to visit every plant, and cherish the several fourished underneath her eye. One of them beauties of the spring, with which the fields in particular made a greater figure than any abounded. After having run to and fro in a of the rest, who held a thunderbolt in ber wonderful variety of meanders, as unwilling to band, which had the power of melting, piercing, leave so charming a place, it at last tbrows or breaking every thing that stood in its way. itself into the hollow of a mountain ; from The name of this goddess was Eloquence. whence it passes under a long range of rocks, There were two other dependant goddesses, and at length rises in that part of the Alps who made a very conspicuous figure in this where the inhabitants think is the first source blissful region. The first of them was seated of the Rhône. This river, after having made upon a hill, that had every plant growing out its progress through those free nations, stag. of it, which the soil was in its own nature canates in a huge lake* at the leaving of them; pable of producing. The other was seated in and no sooner enters into the regions of sla- a little island that was covered with groves of very, but it runs through them with an incre- spices, olives, and orange-trees; and, in a word, dible rapidity, and takes its shortest way to the with the products of every foreign clime. The
name of the first was Plenty, of the second, I descended into the happy fields that lay Commerce. The first leaned her right arm beneath me, and, in the midst of them, beheld upon a plough, and under her left held a huge the goddess sitting upon a thrune. She had born, out of wbich she poured a whole autumn nothing to enclose her but the bounds of her of fruits. The other wore a rostral crown upon ovo dominions, and nothing over her head but her head, and kept her eyes fixed upon a comthe heavens. Every glance of her eye cast a pass. track of light where it fell, that revived the I was wonderfully pleased in ranging through spring, and made all things smile about her. this delightful place, and the more so, because My heart grew cheerful at the sight of her; it was not incumbered with fences and incloand, as she looked upon me, I found a certain sures; until at length, methought I sprung
from the ground, and pitched upon the top uf a bill, that presented several objects to my
. The lake of Geneva