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in the gathering of weeds, and the chase of butterflies: not to mention the cockleshell-merchants and spider-catchers.

When I consider how each of these professions is crowded with multitudes that seek their livelihood in them, and how many men of merit there are in each of them, who may be rather said to be of the science than the profession; I very much wonder at the humour of parents, who will not rather choose to place their sons in a way of life where an honest industry cannot but thrive, than in stations where the greatest probity, learning, and good sense may miscarry. How many men are country-curates, that might have made themselves aldermen of London, by a right improvement of a smaller sum of money than what is usually laid out upon a learned education? A sober frugal person, of slender parts and a slow apprehension, might have thrived in trade, though he starves upon physic; as a man would be well enough pleased to buy silks of one, whom he would not venture to feel his pulse. Vagellius is careful, studious, and obliging, but withal a little thick-skulled; he has not a single client, but might have had abundance of customers. The misfortune is, that parents take a liking to a particular profession, and therefore desire their sons may be of it: whereas, in so great an affair of life, they should consider the genius and abilities of their children, more than their own inclinations.

It is the great advantage of a trading nation, that there are very few in it so dull and heavy, who may not be placed in stations of life which may give them an opportunity of making their fortunes. A well-regulated commerce is not, like law, physic, or divinity, to be overstocked with hands; but, on

the contrary, flourishes by multitudes, and gives employment to all its professors. Fleets of merchantmen are so many squadrons of floating shops, that vend our wares and manufactures in all the markets of the world, and find out chapmen under both the tropics. C.P

No. 22. MONDAY, MARCH 26, 1711.

Quodcunque ostendis mihi sic incredulus odi.

HOR. Ars Poet. ver. 188.

Whatever contradicts my senso

I hate to see, and never can believe.


THE word Spectator being most usually understood as one of the audience at public representations in our theatres, I seldom fail of many letters relating to plays and operas. But indeed there are such monstrous things done in both, that if one had not been an eye-witness of them, one could not believe that such matters had really been exhibited. There is very little which concerns human life, or is a picture of nature, that is regarded by the greater part of the company. The understanding is dismissed from our entertainments. Our mirth is the laughter of fools, and our admiration the wonder of idiots; else such improbable, monstrous, and incoherent dreams could not go off as they do, not only without the utmost scorn and contempt, but even with the loudest applause and approbation. But the letters of my correspondents will represent this affair in a more lively manner than any discourse of

P By Addison, who desires his readers to compare with this, what is said in No. 108, ad finem. See No. 7, final note on Addison's signatures

my own: I shall therefore give them to my reader with only this preparation, that they all come from players, and that the business of playing is now so managed that you are not to be surprised when I say one or two of them are rational, others sensitive and vegetative actors, and others wholly inanimate. I shall not place these as I have named them, but as they have precedence in the opinion of their audiences.


'YOUR having been so humble as to take notice of the epistles of other animals, emboldens me, who am the wild boar that was killed by Mrs. Tofts, to represent to you, that I think I was hardly used in not having the part of the lion in Hydaspes given to me. It would have been but a natural step for me to have personated that noble creature, after having behaved myself to satisfaction in the part above mentioned. But that of a lion is too great a character for one that never trod the stage before but upon two legs. As for the little resistance which I made, I hope it may be excused, when it is considered that the dart was thrown at me by so fair a hand. I must confess I had but just put on my brutality; and Camilla's charms were such, that beholding her erect mien, hearing her charming voice, and astonished with her graceful motion, I could not keep up to my assumed fierceness, but died like a man. I am, SIR, your most humble servant,



'This is to let you understand, that the playhouse is a representation of the world in nothing so much as in this particular, that no one rises in it

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according to his merit. I have acted several parts
of household-stuff with great applause for many
years: I am one of the men in the hangings in The
Emperor of the Moon; I have twice performed the
third chair in an English opera; and have rehearsed
the in the Fortune-Hunters. I am now grown
old, and hope you will recommend me so effectually,
as that I may say something before I go off the
stage in which you will do a great act of charity to
Your most humble servant,



'UNDERSTANDING that Mr. Screne has writ to you, and desired to be raised from dumb and still parts; I desire, if you give him motion or speech, that you would advance me in my way, and let me keep on in what I humbly presume I am a master, to wit, in representing human and still life together. I have several times acted one of the finest flowerpots in the same opera wherein Mr. Screne is a chair; therefore, upon this promotion, request that I may succeed him in the hangings, with my hand in the orange-trees. Your humble servant,



'Drury-lane, March 24, 1710-11.

'I saw your friend the Templar this evening in the pit, and thought he looked very little pleased with the representation of the mad scene of The Pilgrim. I wish, Sir, you would do us the favour to animadvert frequently upon the false taste the town is in, with relation to plays as well as operas. It certainly requires a degree of understanding to play justly; but such is our condition, that we are to suspend our reason to perform our parts. As to scenes of madness, you know; Sir, there are noble instances

of this kind in Shakspeare; but then it is the dis turbance of a noble mind, from generous and human resentments. It is like that grief which we have for the decease of our friends. It is no diminution, but a recommendation of human nature, that in such incidents passion gets the better of reason; and all we can think to comfort ourselves, is impotent against half what we feel. I will not mention that we had an idiot in the scene, and all the sense it is represented to have, is that of lust. As for myself, who have long taken pains in personating the passions, I have to-night acted only an appetite. The part I played is Thirst, but it is represented as written rather by a drayman than a poet. I come in with a tub about me, that tub hung with quart pots, with a full gallon at my mouth. I am ashamed to tell you that I pleased very much, and this was introduced as a madness; but sure it was not human madness, for a mule or an ass may have been as dry as ever I was in my life.

I am, SIR,

'Your most obedient and humble servant.'


'From the Savoy in the Strand.

'If you can read it with dry eyes, I give you this trouble to acquaint you, that I am the unfortunate king Latinus, and believe I am the first prince that dated from this palace since John of Gaunt. Such is the uncertainty of all human greatness, that I, who lately never moved without a guard, am now pressed as a common soldier, and am to sail with the first fair wind against my brother Lewis of France. It is a very hard thing to put off a character which one has appeared in with applause. This I experienced since the loss of my diadem; for, upon quarrelling with another recruit, I spoke my indignation out of my part in recitativo;

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