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some Climates there is a perpetual Spring, so in some No. 395. Female Constitutions there is a perpetual May: These Tuesday,
a kind of Valetudinarians in Chastity, whom I June 3, would continue in a constant Diet I cannot think these wholly out of Danger, 'till they have looked upon the other Sex at least Five Years through a Pair of Spectacles. WILL HONEYCOMB has often assured me, that 'tis much easier to steal one of this Species, when she is passed her grand Climacterick, than to carry off an icy Girl on this side Five and Twenty; and that a Rake of his Acquaintance, who had in vain endeavoured to gain the Affections of a young Lady of Fifteen, had at last made his Fortune by running away with her Grandmother.
But as I do not design this Speculation for the Evergreens of the Sex, I shall again apply my self to those who would willingly listen to the Dictates of Reason and Virtue, and can now hear me in cold Blood. If there are any who have forfeited their Innocence, they must now consider themselves under that Melancholy View, in which Chamont regards his Sister, in those beautiful Lines,
-Long she flourish'd,
Then cast it like a loathsome Weed away,
There is no Charm in the Female Sex, that can supply the Place of Virtue, Without Innocence Beauty is unlovely, and Quality contemptible, Good breeding degenerates into Wantonness, and Wit into Impudence. It is observed, that all the Virtues are represented by
No. 395. both Painters and Statuaries, under Female Shapes, but Tuesday, if any one of them has a more particular Title to that June 3,
Sex, it is Modesty. I shall leave it to the Divines to 1712.
guard them against the opposite Vice, as they may be overpowered by Temptations, It is sufficient for me to have warned them against it, as they may be led astray by Instinct
I desire this paper may be read with more than ordinary Attention, at all Tea-tables within the Cities of London and Westminster,
Wednesday, June 4,
at present, I shall beg the Reader's Leave to present him with a Letter that I received about half a Year ago from a Gentleman of Cambridge, who stiles himself Peter de Quir. I have kept it by me some Months, and though I did not know at first what to make of it
, upon my reading it over very frequently I have at last discovered several Conceits in it. I would not there fore have my Reader discouraged if he does not take them at the first Perusal,
To Mr. SPECTATOR
From St. John's College, Cambridge, Feb. 3. 1712.
Sir, The Monopoly of Punns in this University has been an immemorial Privilege of the Johnians, and we can't help resenting the late Invasion of our ancient Right as to that Particular, by a little Pretender to Clenching in a neighbouring College, who in an Application to you by way of Letter, awhile ago, stiled himself Philobrune. Dear Sir, as you are by Character a profest Well-wisher to Speculation, you will excuse a Remark which this Gentleman's Passion for the Brunette has suggested to a Brother Theorist; 'tis an Offer to wards a mechanical Account of his Lapse to Punning,
for he belongs to a Set of Mortals, who value themselves No. 396. upon an uncommon Mastery in the more humane and Wednes polite Part of Letters, A Conquest by one of this day,
June 4, Species of Females gives a very odd Turn to the In- 1712. tellectuals of the captivated Person, and very different from that Way of thinking which a Triumph from the Eyes of another more emphatically of the fair Sex, does generally occasion. It fills the Imagination with an Assemblage of such Ideas and Pictures as are hardly 'any thing but Shade, such as Night, the Devil, &c. These Portraitures very near over-power the Light of the Understanding, almost benight the Faculties, and give that melancholy Tincture to the most sanguine Complexion, which this Gentleman calls an Inclination to be in a Brown-study, and is usually attended with worse Consequences, in case of a Repulse. During this Twilight of Intellects, the Patient is extremely apt, as Love is the most witty Passion in Nature, to offer at some pert Sallies now and then, by way of Flourish, upon the amiable Enchantress, and unfortunately stumbles upon that Mongrel miscreated (to speak in Miltoníc) kind of Wit, vulgarly termed, the Punn. It would not be much amiss to consult Dr. T
(who is certainly a very able Projector, and whose System of Divinity and Spiritual Mechanicks obtains very much among the better Part of our Under Graduates whether a general Inter-marriage, enjoined by Parliament, be tween this Sisterhood of the Olive Beauties, and the Fraternity of the People called Quakers, would not be a very serviceable Expedient, and abate that Overflow of Light which shines within them so powerfully, that it dazzles their Eyes, and dances them into a thousand Vagaries of Error and Enthusiasm. These Reflexions may impart some Light towards a Discovery of the Origin of Punning among us, and the Foundation of its prevailing so long in this famous Body. 'Tis notorious from the Instance under Consideration, that it must be owing chiefly to the use of brown Juggs, muddy Belch, and the Fumes of a certain memorable Place of Ren dezvous with us at Meals, known by the Name of Staincoat Hole. For the Atmosphere of the Kitchen,
No. 396. like the Tail of a Comet, predominates least about the Wednes. Fire, but resides behind, and fills the fragrant Receptacle day, above-mentioned. Besides, 'tis farther observable that June 4, 1712.
the delicate Spirits among us, who declare against these
I am, Sir,
Peter de Quir.'
Thursday, June 5.
general, they will not allow a Wise Man so much as to pity the Afflictions of another. If thou seest thy
Friend in Trouble, says Epictetus, thou may'st put on No. 397. a Look of Sorrow, and condole with him, but take Thursday, care that thy Sorrow be not real. The more rigid of une 5, this Sect would not comply so far as to shew even such an outward Appearance of Grief; but when one told them of any Calamity that had befallen even the
their Acquaintance, would immediately reply, What is that to me? If you aggravated the Circumstances of the Affliction, and shewed how one Misfortune was follow'd by another, the Answer was still, All this may be true, but what is it to me?
For my own part, I am of Opinion, Compassion does not only refine and civilize Human Nature, but has something in it more pleasing and agreeable than what can be met with in such an indolent Happiness, such an Indifference to Mankind as that in which the Stoicks placed their Wisdom As Love is the most delightful Passion, Pity is nothing else but Love softned by a degree of Sorrow in short, it is a kind of pleasing Anguish, as well as generous Sympathy, that knits Mankind together, and blends them in the same common Lot
Those who have laid down Rules for Rhetorick or Poetry, advise the Writer to work himself up, if possible, to the pitch of Sorrow which he endeavours to produce in others. There are none therefore who stir up Pity so much as those who indite their own Sufferings, Grief has a natural Eloquence belonging to it, and breaks out in more moving Sentiments than can be supplied by the finest Imagination, Nature on this Occasion dictates a thousand Passionate things which cannot be supplied by Art
It is for this Reason that the short Speeches or Sentences which we often meet with in Histories, make a deeper Impression on the Mind of the Reader, than the most laboured Strokes in a well written Tragedy, Truth and Matter of Fact sets the Person actually before us in the one, whom Faction places at a greater Distance from us in the other. I do not remember to have seen any Ancient or Modern Story more affecting than a Letter of Ann of Bologne, Wife to King Henry the