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ments to make up for the want of those which reason I shall recommend the fol-
wert thou but as handsome as Lætitia.-
'Monsieur St. Evremond has concluded one of his essays with affirming, that the last sighs of a handsome woman are not so much for the loss of her life, as of her beauty. Perhaps this raillery is pursued too far, yet it is turned upon a very obvious remark, that woman's strongest passion is for her own beauty, and that she values it as her favourite distinction. From hence it is that all arts, which pretend to improve or preserve it, meet with so general a reception among the sex. To say nothing of many false helps and contraband wares of beauty, which are daily vended in this great mart, there is not a maiden gentlewoman of a good family, in any county of South Britain, who has not heard of the virtues of May-dew, or is unfurnished with some receipt or other in favour of her complexion; and I have known a physician of learning and sense, after eight years study in the university, and a course of travels into most countries of Europe, owe the first raising of his fortune to a cosmetic wash.
This has given me occasion to consider how so universal a disposition in womankind, which springs from a laudable motive, the desire of pleasing, and proceeds upon an opinion, not altogether groundless, that nature may be helped by art, may be turned to their advantage. And, methinks, it would be an acceptable service to take them out of the hands of quacks and pretenders, and to prevent their imposing upon themselves, by discovering to them the true secret and art of improving beauty.
In order to do this, before I touch upon it directly, it will be necessary to lay down few preliminary maxims, víz.
'That no woman can be handsome by the force of features alone, any more than she can be witty only by the help of speech.
"That pride destroys all symmetry and grace, and affectation is a more terrible enemy to fine faces than the small-pox.
"That no woman is capable of being beautiful, who is not incapable of being false.
'And, That what would be odious in a friend, is deformity in a mistress.
"From these few principles, thus laid down, it will be easy to prove, that the true art of assisting beauty consists in embellishing the whole person by the proper ornaments of virtuous and commendable qualities. By this help alone it is, that those who are the favourite work of nature, or, as Mr. Dryden expresses it, the porcelain clay of human kind, become animated, and are in a capacity of exerting their charms; and those who seem to have been neglected by her, like models wrought in haste, are capable in a great measure of finishing what she has left imperfect.
It is, methinks, a low and degrading | divisions, not only of this great city, but of idea of that sex, which was created to re the whole kingdom. My readers too have fine the joys, and soften the cares of hu- the satisfaction to find that there is no rank manity, by the most agreeable participa- or degrees among them who have not their tion, to consider them merely as objects of representative in this club, and that there sight. This is abridging them of their na- is always somebody present who will take tural extent of power, to put them upon a care of their respective interests, that nolevel with their pictures at Kneller's. How thing may be written or published to the much nobler is the contemplation of beau- prejudice or infringement of their just ty, heightened by virtue, and commanding rights and privileges. our esteem and love, whilst it draws our I last night sat very late in company with observation! How faint and spiritless are this select body of friends, who entertained the charms of a coquette, when compared me with several remarks which they and with the real loveliness of Sophronia's in- others had made upon these my speculanocence, piety, good-humour, and truth; tions, as also with the various success which virtues which add a new softness to her they had met with among their several sex, and even beautify her beauty! That ranks and degrees of readers. Will Honeyagreeableness which must otherwise have comb told me, in the softest manner he appeared no longer in the modest virgin, is could that there were some ladies (but for now preserved in the tender mother, the your comfort, says Will, they are not those prudent friend, and the faithful wife. Co- of the most wit) that were offended at the fours artfully spread upon canvass may en- liberties I had taken with the opera and tertain the eye, but not affect the heart; the puppet-show; that some of them were and she who takes no care to add to the na-likewise very much surprised, that I should tural graces of her person any excelling think such serious points as the dress and qualities, may be allowed still to amuse, as equipage of persons of quality, proper suba picture, but not to triumph as a beauty.jects for raillery.
When Adam is introduced by Milton, describing Eve in Paradise, and relating to the angel the impressions he felt upon seeing her at her first creation, he does not represent her like a Grecian Venus, by her shape or features, but by the lustre of her mind which shone in them, and gave them their power of charming:
He was going on when Sir Andrew Freeport took him up short, and told him that the papers he hinted at, had done great good in the city, and that all their wives and daughters were the better for them; and further added, that the whole city thought themselves very much obliged to me for declaring my generous intentions to scourge vice and folly as they appear in a multitude, without condescending to be a publisher of particular intrigues and cuckoldoms. In short,' says Sir Andrew, 'if you avoid that foolish beaten road of falling upon aldermen and citizens, and employ your pen upon the vanity and luxury of courts, your paper must needs be of general use.
Upon this my friend the Templar told Sir Andrew, that he wondered to hear a man of his sense talk after that manner; that the city had always been the province for satire, and that the wits of King Charles's time jested upon nothing else during his whole reign. He then showed, by the example of Horace, Juvenal, Boileau, and the best writers of every age, that the follies of the stage and court had never been accounted too sacred for ridicule, how great soever the persons might be that patronized them. But after all,' says he, I think your raillery has made too great an excursion, in attacking several persons of the inns of court; and I do not believe you can show me any precedent for your behaviour in that particular.'
No. 34.] Monday, April 9, 1711.
Cognatis maculis similis fera
-parcit Juv. Sat. xv. 159. From spotted skins the leopard does refrain. Tate. THE club of which I am a member, is very luckily composed of such persons as are engaged in different ways of life, and deputed as it were out of the most conspicuous classes of mankind. By this means he wondered to see so many men of sense, so very serious upon fooleries. Let our good friend,' says he, attack every one that deserves it; I would only advise you,
My good friend, Sir Roger de Coverly, who had said nothing all this while, began his speech with a Pish! and told us, that
I am furnished with the greatest variety of hints and materials, and know every thing that passes in the different quarters and
Grace was in all her steps, heav'n in her eye, In all her gestures dignity and love!" Without this irradiating power, the proudest fair-one ought to know, whatever her glass may tell her to the contrary, that her most perfect features are uninformed and dead.
I cannot better close this moral, than by a short epitaph written by Ben Jonson with a spirit which nothing could inspire but such an object as I have been describing.
"Underneath this stone doth lie
I am, Sir, your most humble servant, 'R. B.'
Mr. Spectator,' applying himself to me, This debate, which was held for the good
Captain Sentry spoke very sparingly on this occasion. What he said was only to commend my prudence in not touching upon the army, and advised me to continue to act discreetly in that point.
But by this time I found every subject of my speculations was taken away from me, by one or other of the club: and began to think myself in the condition of the good man that had one wife who took a dislike to his grey hairs, and another to his black, till by their picking out what each of them had an aversion to, they left his head altogether bald and naked."
Having thus taken my resolution to march on boldly in the cause of virtue and good sense, and to annoy their adversaries in whatever degree or rank of men they may be found, I shall be deaf for the future to all the remonstrances that shall be made to me on this account. If Punch grows extravagant, I shall reprimand him very freely: if the stage becomes a nursery of folly and impertinence, I shall not be afraid to animadvert upon it. In short, if I meet While I was thus musing with myself, with any thing in city, court or country my worthy friend the clergyman, who, that shocks modesty or good manners, I very luckily for me, was at the club that shall use my utmost endeavours to make night, undertook my cause. He told us, an example of it. I must, however, entreat that he wondered any order of persons every particular person who does me the should think themselves too considerable to honour to be a reader of this paper, never to be advised. That it was not quality, but think himself, or any one of his friends or innocence, which exempted men from re-enemies, aimed at in what is said; for I proof. That vice and folly ought to be at- promise him, never to draw a faulty chatacked wherever they could be met with, racter which does not fit at least a thousand and especially when they were placed in people, or to publish a single paper, that is high and conspicuous stations of life. He not written in the spirit of benevolence, and further added, that my paper would only with a love of mankind. C. serve to aggravate the pains of poverty, if it chiefly exposed those who are already depressed, and in some measure turned into No. 35.] Tuesday, April 10, 1711. ridicule, by the meanness of their conditions and circumstances. He afterwards proceeded to take notice of the great use this paper might be of to the public, by reprehending those vices which are too trivial for the chastisement of the law, and too fantas-in tical for the cognizance of the pulpit. He then advised me to prosecute my undertaking with cheerfulness, and assured me, that whoever might be displeased with me, I should be approved by all those whose praises do honour to the persons on whom they are bestowed.
Risu inepto res ineptior nulla est.
The whole club pay a particular defer-
certain regularity of thought which must discover the writer to be a man of sense, at the same time that he appears altogether given up to caprice. For my part, when I read the delirious mirth of an unskilful author, I cannot be so barbarous as to divert myself with it, but am rather apt to pity the man, than to laugh at any thing he
The deceased Mr. Shadwell, who had himself a great deal of the talent which I am treating of, represents an empty rake, in one as very hear one say, that breaking of windows was not humour; and I question not but several English readers will be as much startled to hear me affirm, that many of those raving incoherent pieces, which are often spread among us under odd chimerical titles, are rather the offsprings of a distempered brain than works of humour.
It is indeed much easier to describe what is not humour, than what is; and very difficult to define it otherwise than as Cowley has done wit, by negatives. Were I to give my own notions of it, I would deliver them after Plato's manner, in a kind of allegory, and by supposing, Humour to be a person, deduce to him all his qualifications, according to the following genealogy. Truth was the founder of the family, and the father of Good Sense. Good Sense was the father of Wit, who married a lady of collateral line called Mirth, by whom he had issue Humour. Humour therefore being the youngest of this illustrious family, and descended from parents of such different dispositions, is very various and unequal in his temper; sometimes you see him putting on grave looks and a solemn habit, sometimes airy in his behaviour and fantastic in his dress; insomuch that at different times he appears as serious as a judge, and as jocular as a Merry-Andrew. But as he has a great deal of the mother in his constitution, whatever mood he is in, he never fails to make his company laugh.
But since there is an impostor abroad, who takes upon him the name of this young gentleman, and would willingly pass for him in the world, to the end that wellmeaning persons may not be imposed upon by cheats, I would desire my readers, when they meet with this pretender, to look into his parentage, and to examine him strictly, whether or no he be remotely allied to Truth, and lineally descended from Good Sense; if not, they may conclude him a counterfeit. They may likewise distinguish him by a loud and excessive laughter, in which he seldom gets his company to join with him. For as True Humour generally looks serious, while every body laughs about him; False Humour is always laughing, whilst every body about him looks serious. I shall only add, if he has not in him a mixture of both parents, that is, if he would pass for the offspring of Wit without Mirth, or Mirth without Wit, you may
conclude him to be altogether spurious and a cheat.
The impostor of whom I am speaking, descends originally from Falsehood, who was the mother of Nonsense, who was brought to bed of a son called Frenzy, who married one of the daughters of Folly, commonly known by the name of Laughter, on whom he begot that monstrous infant of which I have been speaking. I shall set down at length the genealogical table of False Humour, and, at the same time, place under it the genealogy of that the reader may at one view behold their different pedigrees and relations: Falsehood. Nonsense.
Fourthly, Being entirely void of reason, he pursues no point, either of morality or instruction, but is ludicrous only for the sake of being so.
Fifthly, Being incapable of any thing but mock representations, his ridicule is always personal, and aimed at the vicious man, or the writer; not at the vice, or the writing.
I have here only pointed at the whole species of false humourists; but as one of my principal designs in this paper is to beat down that malignant spirit, which discovers itself in the writings of the present age, I shall not scruple, for the future, to single out any of the small wits, that infest the world with such compositions as are ill-natured, immoral, and absurd. This is the only exception which I shall make to the general rule I have prescribed myself, of attacking multitudes, since every honest man ought to look upon himself as in a natural state of war with the libeller
and lampooner, and to annoy them when- |
opposition to the oracle of Delphos, and doubts not but he shall turn the fortune of Porus, when he personates him. I am desired by the company to inform you, that they submit to your censures, and shall have you in greater veneration than Hercules was of old, if you can drive monsters from the theatre; and think your merit will be as much greater than his, as to convince is more than to conquer. I am, sir, your most obedient servant, T. D.'
No. 36.] Wednesday, April 11, 1711.
PerferimusVirg. Æn. iii. 583. Things the most out of nature we endure. I SHALL not put myself to any farther pains for this day's entertainment, than barely to publish the letters and titles of petitions from the playhouse, with the minutes I have made upon the latter for my conduct in relation to them.
'SIR,-When I acquaint you with the great and unexpected vicissitudes of my fortune, I doubt not but I shall obtain your pity and favour. I have for many years past been Thunderer to the playhouse; and have not only made as much noise out of the clouds as any predecessor of mine in the theatre that ever bore that character, but also have descended and spoke on the stage as the bold Thunderer in The Rehearsal.' When they got me down thus
'Drury-lane, April the 9th. Upon reading the project which is set forth in one of your late papers, of making an alliance between all the bulls, bears, elephants, and lions, which are separately exposed to public view in the cities of Lon-low, they thought fit to degrade me further, don and Westminster; together with the and make me a ghost. I was contented other wonders, shows, and monsters, whereof with this for these two last winters; but they you made respective mention in the said carry their tyranny still further, and not speculation; we, the chief actors of this satisfied that I am banished from above playhouse, met and sat upon the said de- ground, they have given me to understand sign. It is with great delight that we ex- that I am wholly to depart their dominions, pect the execution of this work; and in and taken from me even my subterraorder to contribute to it we have given neous employment. Now, sir, what I dewarning to all our ghosts to get their live- sire of you is, that if your undertaker thinks lihoods where they can, and not to appear fit to use fire-arms (as other authors have among us after day-break of the 16th in- done,) in the time of Alexander, I may be a stant. We are resolved to take this op- cannon against Porus, or else provide for portunity to part with every thing which me in the burning of Persepolis, or what does not contribute to the representation of other method you shall think fit. human life; and shall make a free gift of all animated utensils to your projector. The hangings you formerly mentioned are run away; as are likewise a set of chairs, each of which was met upon two legs going through the Rose tavern at two this morning. We hope, sir, you will give proper notice to the town that we are endeavouring at these regulations; and that we intend for the future to show no monsters, but men who are converted into such by their own industry and affectation. If you will please to be at the house to-night, you will see me do my endeavour to show some unnatural appearances which are in vogue among the polite and well-bred. I am to represent, in the character of a fine lady dancing, all the distortions which are frequently taken for graces in mien and gesture. This, sir, is a specimen of the methods we shall take to expose the monsters which come within the notice of a regular theatre; and we desire nothing more gross may be admitted by you Spectators for the future. We have cashiered three companies of theatrical guards, and design our kings shall for the future make love, and sit in cil, without an army; and wait only your direction, whether you will have them reinforce king Porus, or join the troops of Macedon. Mr. Pinkethman resolves to consult his pantheon of heathen gods in
'SALMONEUS, of Covent Garden.” The petition of all the Devils in the playhouse in behalf of themselves and families, setting forth their expulsion from thence, with certificates of their good life and conversation, and praying relief.
The merits of this petition referred to Mr. Chr. Rich, who made them devils.
The petition of the Grave-digger in Hamlet, to command the pioneers in the expedition of Alexander. Granted.
The petition of William Bullock, to be Hephestion to Pinkethman the Great. Granted.
A widow gentlewoman, well born both by father and mother's side, being the daughter of Thomas Prater, once an eminent practitioner in the law, and of Letitia Tattle, a family well known in all parts of this kingdom, having been reduced by misfortunes to wait on several great persons, and for some time to be a teacher at a boarding-school of young ladies, giveth notice to the public, that she hath lately taken a house near Bloomsbury-square, commodiously situated next the fields, in a good air; where she teaches all sorts of birds and others, to imitate human voices in greater perfec of the loquacious kind, as parrots, starlings, magpies, tion than ever was yet practised. They are not only coun-instructed to pronounce words distinctly, and in a pro. great purity and volubility of tongue, together with all per tone and accent, but to speak the language with the fashionable phrases and compliments now in use, either at tea-tables or visiting days. Those that have good voices may be taught to sing the newest operaairs, and if required, to speak either Italian or French, paying something extraordinary above the common