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bras) will not be able to take the beauty of it: for which reason I dare not so much as quote it."
Then stept a gallant squire forth,
Witherington was his name,
To Henry, our King, for shame,
That e'er my captain fought on foot,
And I stood looking on.
We meet with the same heroic sentiment in Virgil.
Non pudet, O Rutuli, cunctis pro talibus unam
Æn. 12, v. 229.
DRYDEN. What can be more natural, or more moving, than the circumst n. ces in which he describes the behaviour of those women who had lost their husbands on this fatal day?
Next day did many widows come,”
Their husbands to bewail;
But all would not prevail.
* A sufficient proof if others were wanting that Addison had never seen the original poem, which has no traces of the ludicrous idea of the rifacimento.
For Wertharyngton my hearte was wo,
That ever he slayne shulde be;
Yet he knyled and fougbt on bys kne.-G. 2 If Addison had had the old poem before him, he would have been still more struck with this beautiful passage.
So on the morrowe the mayde them byears
Off byrch and hasell so 'gray';
Cam to fach ther makys 8-way.-G
Their bodies, bath'd in purple blood,
They bore with them away:
When they were clad in clay.
Thus we see how the thoughts of this poem, which naturally arise from the subject, are always simple, and sometimes exquisitely noble; that the language is often very sounding, and that the whole is written with a true poetical spirit.
If this song had been written in the Gothic manner, which is the delight of all our little wits, whether writers or readers, it would not have hit the taste of so many ages, and have pleased the readers, of all ranks and conditions. I shall only beg pardon for such a profusion of Latin quotations : which I should not have made use of, but that I feared my own judgment would have looked too singular on such a subject, had not I supported it by the practice and authority of Virgil.“
No. 81. SATURDAY, JUNE 2.
Qualis ubi audito venantum murmure tigris
STATIUB, Theb. ii. 128.
ABOUT the middle of last winter, I went to see an opera at the theatre in the Haymarket, where I could not but take notice of two parties of very fine women, that had placed themselves in
* It may be proper to observe, once for all, that Mr. Addison's critical papers discover his own good taste; and are calculated to improve that of his reader; but otherwise have no great merit. He rarely makes a wrong judgment of the passages he quotes, but does not tell us on what grounds (or at least in tou general terms) that judgment was, or ought to have been founded.--H.
the opposite side-boxes, and seemed drawn up in a kind of battle array one against another. After a short survey of them, I found they were patched differently; the faces, on one hand, being spotted on the right side of the forehead, and those upon the other on the left: I quickly perceived that they cast hostile glances upon one another; and that their patches were placed in these different situations, as party signals to distinguish friends from foes. In the middle boxes, between these two opposite bodies, were several ladies who patched indifferently on both sides of their faces, and seemed to sit there with no other intention but to see the opera. Upon inquiry, I found that the body of Amazons on my right hand were Whigs, and those on my left Tories : and that those who had placed themselves in the middle boxes were a neutral party, whose faces had not yet declared themselves. These last, however, as I afterwards found, diminished daily, and took their party with one side or the other; insomuch that I observed in several of them, the patches, which were before dispersed equally, are now all gone over to the Whig or the Tory side of the face. The censorious say, that the men whose hearts are aimed at, are very often the occasions that one part of the face is thus dishonoured, and lies under a kind of disgrace, while the other is so much set off and adorned by the owner; and that the patches turn to the right or to the left, according to the principles of the man who is most in favour. But whatever may be the motives of a few fantastical coquettes, who do not patch for the public good so much as for their own private advantage, it is certain, that there are several women of honour who patch out of principle, and with an eye to the in
'Whoever recollects with what violence the spirit of party raged in the Tatter end of Queen Anne's reign, will not be surprised that it should infect the ladies, or show itself in the instances so pleasantly indicated in this paper-C.
terest of their country. Nay, I am informed that some of them adhere so steadfastly to their party, and are so far from sacrificing their zeal for the public to their passions for any particular person, that in a late draught of marriage articles a lady has stipulated with her husband, that whatever his opinions are, she shall be at liberty to patch on which side she pleases.
I must here take notice, that Rosalinda, a famous Whig partizan, has most unfortunately a very beautiful mole on the Tory part of her forehead, which being very conspicuous, has occasioned many mistakes, and given an handle to her enemies to misrepresent her face, as though it had revolted from the Whig interest. But, whatever this natural patch may seem to insinuate, it is well known that her notions of government are still the same.
This unlucky mole, however, has misled several coxcombs; and like the hanging out of false colours, made some of them converse with Rosalinda in what they thought the spirit of her party, when on a sudden she has given them an unexpected fire, that has sunk them all at once. If Rosalinda is unfortunate in her mole, Nigranilla is as unhappy in a pimple, which forces, her, against her inclinations, to patch on the Whig side.
I am told that many virtuous matrons, who formerly have been taught to believe that this artificial spotting of the face was unlawful, are now reconciled by a zeal for their cause, to what they could not be prompted by a concern for their beauty. This way of declaring war upon one another, puts me in mind of what is reported of the tygress, that several spots rise in her skin when she is angry; or, as Mr. Cowley has imitated the verses that stand as the motto of this paper,
When I was in the theatre the time above-mentioned, I had the curiosity to count the patches on both sides, and found the Tory patches to be about twenty stronger than the Whig; but to make amends for this small inequality, I the next morning found the whole puppet-shew filled with faces spotted after the Whig. gish manner. Whether or no the ladies had retreated hither in order to rally their forces, I cannot tell; but the next night they came in so great a body to the opera, that they out-numbered the enemy.
This account of party-patches will, I am afraid, appear improbable to those who live at a distance from the fashionable world; but as it is a distinction of a very singular nature, and what perhaps may never meet with a parallel, I think I should not have discharged the office of a faithful SPECTATOR, had I not recorded it.
I have, in former papers, endeavoured to expose this party rage in women, as it only serves to aggravate the hatred and animosities that reign among men, and in a great measure de. prives the fair sex of those peculiar charms with which nature has endowed them.
When the Romans and Sabines were at war, and just upon the point of giving battle, the women who were allied to both of them, interposed with so many tears and entreaties,' that they prevented the mutual slaughter which threatened both parties, and united them together in a firm and lasting peace.
I would recommend this noble example to our British ladies, at a time when their country is torn with so many unnatural divisions, that if they continue, it will be a misfortune to be born in it. The Greeks thought it so improper for women to interest themselves in competitions and contentions, that for this reason,
1 Livy, L. i. c. 13; and finely told too, in Arnold's first chapter.—G