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within such a day, under three-pence. I do not know but you might bring in the ‘Date Obulum Belisario’ with a good grace. The witlings come in clusters to two or three coffee-houses which have left you off ; and I hope you will make us, who fine to your wit, merry with their characters who stand out against it.
“I am your most humble servant. "P.S. I have lately got the ingenious authors of blacking for shoes, powder for colouring the hair, pomatum for the hands, cosmetic for the face, to be your constant customers ; so that your advertisements will as much adorn the outward man, as your paper does the inward.”
N° 462. WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 20, 1712.
Nil ego prætulerim jucundo sanus amico.--HOR. 1 Sat. v. 44.
a.man of that talent converses. His faults are generally overlooked by all his acquaintance; and a certain carelessness, that constantly attends all his actions, carries him on with greater success, than diligence and assiduity does others who have no share of this endowment. Dacinthus breaks his word upon all occasions both trivial and important; and, when he is sufficiently railed at for that abominable quality, they who talk of him end with, “ After all, he is a very pleasant fellow.” Dacinthus is an ill-natured husband, and yet the very women end their freedom of discourse upon this subject, “ But after all, he is very pleasant company." Dacinthus is neither in point of honour, civility, good-breeding, nor good-nature, unexceptionable, and yet all is answered, “ For he is a very pleasant fellow." "When this quality is conspicuous in a man who has, to accompany it, manly and virtuous sentiments, there cannot certainly be any thing which can give so pleasing a gratification as the gaiety of such a person; but when it is alone, and serves only to gild a crowd of ill qualities, there is no man so much to be avoided as your pleasant fellow. A very pleasant fellow shall turn your good name to a jest, make your
character contemptible, debauch your wife or daughter, and yet be received with the rest of the world with welcome wherever he appears. It is very ordinary with those of this character to be attentive only to their own satisfactions, and have very
little bowels for the concerns or sorrows of other men; nay, they are capable of purchasing their own pleasures at the
expense of giving pain to others., But they who do not consider this sort of men thus carefully, are irresistibly exposed to their insinuations. The author of the following letter carries the matter so high, as to intimate that the liberties of England have been at the mercy of a prince merely as he was of this pleasant character:
" MR. SPECTATOR, “There is no one passion which all mankind so naturally give into as ptide, nor any other passion which appears in such different disguises. It is to be found in all habits and all complexions. Is it not a question, whether it does more harm or good in the world, and if there be not such a thing as what we may call a virtuous and laudable pride?
“ It is this passion alone, when misapplied, that lays us so open to flatterers; and he who can agreeably condescend to sooth our humour or temper, finds always an open avenue to our soul; especially if the flatterer happen to be our superior.
.“ One might give many instances of this in a late English monarch under the title of “The Gaieties of King Charles II. This prince was by nature extremely familiar, of very easy access, and much delighted to see and be seen; and this happy temper, which in the highest degree gratified his people's vanity, did him more service with his loving subjects than all his other virtues, though it must be confessed he had many. He delighted, though a mighty king, to give and take a jest as they say: and a prince of this fortunate disposition, who were inclined to make an ill use of his power, may have any thing of his people, be it never so much to their prejudice. But this good king made generally a very innocent use, as to the public, of this ensnaring temper; for, it is well known, he pursued pleasure more than ambition. He seemed to
glory in being the first inan at cock-matches, horse-races, balls, and plays; he appeared highly delighted on those occasions, and never failed to warm and gladden the heart of every spectator. He more than once dined with his good citizens of London on their lord-mayor's day, and did so the year that Sir Robert Viver was mayor. Sir Robert was a very loyal man, and, if you will allow the expression, very fond of his sovereign; but what with the joy he felt at heart for the honour done him by his prince, and through the warmth he was in with continual toasting healths to the royal family, his lordship grew a little fond of his majesty, and entered into a familiarity not altogether so graceful in so public a place. The king understood very well how to extricate himself in all kinds of difficulties, and, with a hint to the company to avoid ceremony, stole off and made towards his coach, which stood ready for him in Guildhall-yard. But the mayor liked his company so well, and was grown so intimate, that he pursued him hastily, and, catching him fast by the hand, cried out with a vehement oath and accent, • Sir, you shall stay and take t'other bottle.' The airy monarch looked kindly at him over his shoulder, and with a smile and graceful air (for I saw him at the time, and do now) repeated this line of the old song:
He that's drunk is as great as a king. and immediately returned back, and complied with his landlord.
“I give you this story, Mr. Spectator, because, as I said, I saw the passage ; and I assure you it is very true, and yet no common one; and when I tell
the sequel, you will say I have a better reason for it. This very mayor afterward erected a statue of his
monarch in Stocks-market, * and did the crown inany and great services; and it was owing to this humour of the king, that his family had so great a fortune shut up in the exchequer of their pleasant sovereign. The many goodnatured condescensions of this prince are vulgarly known; and it is excellently said of him by a great hand* which writ his character, that he was not a king a quarter of an hour together in his whole reign. He would receive visits from fools and half madmen; and at times I have met with people who have boxed, fought at back-sword, and taken poison before King Charles II. In a word, he was: so pleasant a man, that no one could be sorrowful under his government. This made him capable of baffling, with the greatest ease imaginable, all suggestions of jealousy: and the people could not entertain notions of any thing terrible in him, whom they saw every way agreeable. This scrap of the familiar part of that prince's history I thought fit to send you, in compliance to the request you lately made to your correspondents.
* The equestrian statue of Charles II. in Stocks-market, erected at the sole charge of Sir Robert Viner, was originally made for John Sobieski, King of Poland; but by some accident it had been left on the workman's bands. To save time and expense, the Polander was converted into a Briton, and the Turk underneath his horse into Oliver Cromwell to complete the compliment. Unfortunately the turban on the Turk's head was overlooked, and left an undeniable proof of this story. See Stow's Survey, &c. ed. 1755, p. 517, vol. 1. and Ralph's Review, &c. ed. 1736. p. 9.
“ I am, Sir,
N° 463. THURSDAY, AUGUST 21, 1712.
Pectore sopito reddit amica quies.
Mens tamen ad sylvas et sua lustra redit:
Vanaque nocturnis meta cavetur equis.
Artibus assuetis sollicitare solet.-CLAUD.
With wonted chimes of jingling verse delight.
balance, in which Jupiter-is represented as weighing the fates of Hector and Achilles, with a passage of Virgil,
* Sheffield duke of Buckingham, who said, that “on a premeditation, Charles II. could not act the part of a king for a moment."
wherein that deity is introduced as weighing the fates of Turnus and Æneas. I then considered how the same way of thinking prevailed in the eastern parts of the world, as in those noble passages of Scripture, wherein we are told, that the great king of Babylon, the day before his death, had been “weighed in the balance, and been found wanting.” In other places of the holy writings, the Almighty is described as weighing the mountains in scales, making the weight for the winds, knowing the balancings of the clouds; and in others as weighing the actions of men, and laying their calamities together in a balance. Milton, as I have observed in a former paper, had an eye to several of these foregoing instances in that beautiful description, wherein he represents the archangel and the evil spirit as addressing themselves for the combat, but parted by the balance which appeared in the heavens, and weighed the consequences of such a battle, .
The Eternal, to prevent such horrid fray,
Satan, I know thy strength, and thou know'st mine;
Murm'ring, and with him fed the shades of night. These several amusing thoughts, having taken posses. sion of my mind some time before I went to sleep, and mingling themselves with my ordinary ideas, raised in'my imagination a very odd kind of vision. I was, methought, replaced in my study, and seated in my elbow chair, where I had indulged the foregoing speculations with my lamp burning by me as usual. Whilst I was here meditating on several subjects of morality, and considering the