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Ovid, Met. i. 355.
man some assurance, and makes him easy | No. 68.] Friday, May 18, 1711.
It is the proper business of a dancingmaster to regulate these matters; though I take it to be a just observation, that unless you add something of your own to what these fine gentlemen teach you, and which they are wholly ignorant of themselves, you will much sooner get the character of an affected fop, than of a well-bred man.
As for country dancing, it must indeed be confessed that the great familiarities between the two sexes on this occasion may sometimes produce very dangerous consequences; and I have often thought that few ladies' hearts are so obdurate as not to be melted by the charms of music, the force of motion, and a handsome young fellow who is continually playing before their eyes, and convincing them that he has the perfect use of all his limbs.
But as this kind of dance is the particular invention of our own country, and as every one is more or less a proficient in it, I would not discountenance it: but rather suppose it may be practised innocently by others, as well as myself, who am often partner to my landlady's eldest daughter.
Having heard a good character of the collection of pictures which is to be exposed to sale on Friday next; and concluding from the following letter, that the person who collected them is a man of no unelegant taste, I will be so much his friend as to publish it, provided the reader will only look upon it as filling up the place of an advertisement:
From the Three Chairs, in the Piazzas,
'May 16, 1711. 'SIR,-As you are a Spectator, I think we who make it our business to exhibit any thing to public view, ought to apply our selves to you for your approbation. I have travelled Europe to furnish out a show for you, and have brought with me what has been admired in every country through which I passed. You have declared in many papers, that your greatest delights are those of the eye, which I do not doubt but I shall gratify with as beautiful objects as yours ever beheld. If castles, forests, ruins, fine women, and graceful men, can please you, I dare promise you much satisfaction, if you will appear at my auction on Friday next. A sight is, I suppose, as grateful to a Spectator as a treat to another person, and therefore I hope you will pardon this invitation from, sir,
Your most obedient humble servant,
Nos duo turba sumus-
ONE would think that the larger the company is in which we are engaged, the greater variety of thoughts and subjects would be started in discourse; but instead of this, we find that conversation is never so much straitened and confined as in numerous assemblies. When a multitude meet together on any subject of discourse, their debates are taken up chiefly with forms and general positions; nay, if we come into a more contracted assembly of men and women, the talk generally runs upon the weather, fashions, news, and the like public topics. In proportion as conversation gets into clubs and knots of friends, it descends into particulars, and grows more free and communicative; but the most open, instructive, and unreserved discourse, is that which passes between two persons who are familiar and intimate friends. On these occasions a man gives a loose to every passion and every thought that is uppermost, dis covers his most retired opinions of persons and things, tries the beauty and strength of his sentiments, and exposes his whole soul to the examination of his friend.
Tully was the first who observed, that friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by the doubling of our joy, and dividing of our grief; a thought in which he hath been followed by all the essayers upon friendship, that have written since his time. Sir Francis Bacon has finely described other advantages, or, as he calls them, fruits of friendship; and, indeed, there is ter handled and more exhausted than this. no subject of morality which has been betAmong the several fine things which have been spoken of it, I shall beg leave to quote some out of a very ancient author, whose book would be regarded by our modern wits as one of the most shining tracts of morality that is extant, if it appeared under the name of a Confucius, or of any celebrated Grecian philosopher: I mean the little apocryphal treatise, entitled The Wisdom of the Son of Sirach. How finely has he described the art of making friends, by an obliging and affable behaviour! and laid down that precept which a late excellent author has delivered as his own, That we should have many well-wishers, but few friends. 'Sweet language will multiply friends; and a fair speaking tongue will increase kind greetings. Be in peace with many, nevertheless, have but one counsellor of a thousand."* With what prudence does he caution us in the choice of our friends! And with what strokes of nature (I could almost say of humour) has he described the behaviour of a treacherous and self interested friend! If thou wouldest get a friend, prove him first, and be not
* Ecclus. vi. 5, 6.
hasty to credit him: for some man is
alloseth his credit, and shall never find a friend to his mind. Love thy friend, and be faithful unto him; but if thou bewrayeth his secrets, follow no more after him; for as a man hath destroyed his enemy, so hast thou lost the love of thy friend; as one that letteth a bird go out of his hand, so hast thou let thy friend go, and shall not get him again: follow after him no more, for he is too far off; he is as a roe escaped out of the snare. As for a wound it may be bound up, and after reviling there may be a reconciliation; but he that bewrayeth secrets, is without hope. 'll
Forsake not an old friend, for the new is not comparable to him: a new friend is as new wine; when it is old thou shalt drink
it with pleasure.' With what strength of allusion, and force of thought has he described the breaches and violations of friendship? Whoso casteth a stone at the birds frayeth them away; and he that upbraideth his friend, breaketh friendship. Though thou drawest a sword at a friend, yet despair not, for there may be a return ing to favour. If thou hast opened thy mouth against thy friend, fear not, for there may be a reconciliation; except for upbraiding, or pride, or disclosing of secrets, or a treacherous wound; for, for these things every friend will depart.'s We may observe in this and several other precepts in this author, those little familiar instances and illustrations which are so much admired in the moral writings of Horace and Epictetus. There are very beautiful instances of this nature in the following passages, which are likewise written upon the same subject: Whoso discovereth secrets
• Ecclus. vi. 7, et seqq. † Ibid. vi. 15-18. Ibid. ix. 10. Ibid. xxii. 20, 21, 22,
Among the several qualifications of a good friend, this wise man has very justly singled out constancy and faithfulness as the principal: to these, others have added virtue, knowledge, discretion, equality in age and fortune, and as Cicero calls it, Morum comitas, a pleasantness of temper.' If I were to give my opinion upon such an exhausted subject, I should join to these other qualifications, a certain equability or evenness of behaviour. A man often contracts a friendship with one whom perhaps he does not find out till after a year's conversation; when on a sudden some latent ill-humour breaks out upon him, which he never discovered or suspected at his first entering into an intimacy with him. There are several persons who in some certain periods of their lives are inexpressibly agreeable, and in others as odious and detestable. Martial has given us a very pretty picture of one of this species in the following epigram:
Difficilis, facilis, jucundus, acerbus es idem,
It is very unlucky for a man to be entangled in a friendship with one, who, by these changes and vicissitudes of humour, is sometimes amiable, and sometimes odious; and as most men are at sometimes in an admirable frame and disposition of mind, it should be one of the greatest tasks of wisdom to keep ourselves well when we are so, and never to go out of that which is the agree able part of our character.
Saturday, May 19, 1711.
Hic segetes, illic veniunt felicius uvæ;
Ecclus. xxvii. 16. et seqq.
Nature seems to have taken a particular care to disseminate her blessings among the different regions of the world, with an eye to this mutual intercourse and traffic among mankind, that the natives of the several parts of the globe might have a kind of de
If we consider our own country in its na
Thus Pontus sends her beaver stones from far; And naked Spaniards temper steel for war. Epirus for th' Elean chariot breeds (In hopes of palms) a race of running steeds. This is th' original contract; these the laws Impos'd by nature, and by nature's cause.-Dryden. THERE is no place in the town which I so much love to frequent as the Royal Ex-pendence upon one another, and be united change. It gives me a secret satisfaction, together by their common interest. Almost and in some measure gratifies my vanity, as every degree produces something peculiar I am an Englishman, to see so rich an as- to it. The food often grows in one country, sembly of countrymen and foreigners, con- and the sauce in another. The fruits of sulting together upon the private business Portugal are corrected by the products of of mankind, and making this metropolis a Barbadoes, and the infusion of a China kind of emporium for the whole earth. I plant is sweetened with the pith of an Inmust confess I look upon high Change to be dian cane. The Philippine islands give a a great council, in which all considerable flavour to the European bowls. The single nations have their representatives. Factors dress of a woman of quality is often the proin the trading world are what ambassadors ducts of a hundred climates. The muff and are in the politic world; they negotiate af- the fan come together from the different fairs, conclude treaties, and maintain a good ends of the earth. The scarf is sent from correspondence between those wealthy so- the torrid zone, and the tippet from beneath cieties of men that are divided from one the pole. The brocade petticoat rises out another by seas and oceans, or live on the of the mines of Peru, and the diamond neckdifferent extremities of a continent. I have lace out of the bowels of Indostan. often been pleased to hear disputes adjusted between an inhabitant of Japan and an al-tural prospect, without any of the benefits derman of London, or to see a subject of the and advantages of commerce, what a barGreat Mogul entering into a league with ren uncomfortable spot of earth falls to our one of the Czar of Muscovy. I am infinitely share! Natural historians tell us, that no delighted in mixing with these several mi- fruit grows originally among us, besides nisters of commerce, as they are distin- hips and haws, acorns and pig-nuts, with guished by their different walks and differ- other delicacies of the like nature; that our ent languages. Sometimes I am jostled climate of itself, and without the assistance among a body of Armenians; sometimes I of art, can make no farther advances toam lost in a crowd of Jews; and sometimes wards a plum, than to a sloe, and carries make one in a group of Dutchmen. I am an apple to no greater perfection than a a Dane, Swede, or Frenchman, at different crab; that our melons, our peaches, our times; or rather fancy myself like the old figs, our apricots, and cherries, are stranphilosopher, who upon being asked what gers among us, imported in different ages, countryman he was, replied, that he was a and naturalized in our English gardens; and citizen of the world. that they would all degenerate and fall away into the trash of our own country, if they were wholly neglected by the planter, and left to the mercy of our sun and soil. Nor has traffic more enriched our vegetable world, than it has improved the whole face of nature among us. Our ships are laden with the harvest of every climate. Our tables are stored with spices, and oils, and wines. Our rooms are filled with pyramids of China, and adorned with the workmanship of Japan. Our morning's draught comes to us from the remotest corners of the earth. We repair our bodies by the drugs of America, and repose ourselves under Indian canopies. My friend Sir Andrew, calls the vineyards of France our gardens; the spice-islands, our hot-beds; the Persians, our silk-weavers, and the Chinese, our potters. Nature indeed furnishes us with the bare necessaries of life, but traffic gives us a great variety of what is useful, and at the same time supplies us with every thing that is convenient and ornamental. Nor is it the least part of this our happiness, that whilst we enjoy the remotest products of the north and south, we are free from those extremities of weather which give them birth; that our eyes are
Though I very frequently visit this busy multitude of people, I am known to nobody there but my friend Sir Andrew, who often smiles upon me as he sees me bustling in the crowd, but at the same time connives at my presence without taking further notice of me. There is indeed a merchant of Egypt, who just knows me by sight, having formerly remitted me some money to Grand Cairo: but as I am not versed in the modern Coptic, our conferences go no further than a bow and a grimace.
This grand scene of business gives me an infinite variety of solid and substantial entertainments. As I am a great lover of mankind, my heart naturally overflows with pleasure at the sight of a prosperous and happy multitude, insomuch that at many public solemnities I cannot forbear expressing my joy with tears that have stolen down my cheeks. For this reason I am wonderfully delighted to see such a body of men thriving in their own private fortunes, and at the same time promoting the public stock; or, in other words, raising estates for their own families, by bringing into their country whatever is wanting, and carrying out of it whatever is superfluous.
refreshed with the green fields of Britain, at the same time that our palates are feasted with fruits that rise between the tropics.
For these reasons there are not more useful members in a commonwealth than merchants. They knit mankind together in a mutual intercourse of good offices, distribute the gifts of nature, find work for the poor, add wealth to the rich, and magnificence to the great. Our English merchant converts the tin of his own country into gold, and exchanges its wool for rubies. The Mahometans are clothed in our British manufacture, and the inhabitants of the frozen zone warmed with the fleeces of our sheep.
|plicity of thought, above that which I call the Gothic manner of writing, than thisthat the first pleases all kinds of palates, and the latter only such as have formed to themselves a wrong artificial taste upon little fanciful authors and writers of epigrams. Homer, Virgil, or Milton, so far as the language of their poems is understood, wili please a reader of plain common sense, who would neither relish nor comprehend an epigram of Martial, or a poem of Cowley; so, on the contrary, an ordinary song or ballad, that is the delight of the common people, cannot fail to please all such readers as are not unqualified for the entertainment by their affectation or ignorance; and the reason is plain, because the same paintings of nature, which recommend it to the most ordinary reader, will appear beautiful to the most refined.
The old song of Chevy-Chase is the favourite ballad of the common people of England, and Ben Jonson used to say, he had rather have been the author of it than
When I have been upon the Change, I have often fancied one of our old kings standing in person, where is represented in effigy, and looking down upon the wealthy concourse of people with which that place is every day filled. In this case, how would he be surprised to hear all the languages of Europe spoken in this little spot of his former dominions, and to see so many private men, of all his works. Sir Philip Sidney, in his who in bis time would have been the vas-discourse of poetry, speaks of it in the folsals of some powerful baron, negotiating lowing words: 'I never heard the old song like princes for greater sums of money than of Percy and Douglas, that I found not my were formerly to be met with in the royal heart more moved than with a trumpet; treasury! Trade, without enlarging the and yet it is sung by some blind crowder British territories, has given us a kind of with no rougher voice than rude style, additional empire. It has multiplied the which being so evil apparelled in the dust number of the rich, made our landed estates and cobweb of that uncivil age, what would infinitely more valuable than they were for- it work trimmed in the gorgeous eloquence merly, and added to them an accession of of Pindar?' For my own part, I am so proother estates as valuable as the lands them- fessed an admirer of this antiquated song, selves. C. that I shall give my reader a critique upon it, without any further apology for se doing.*
The greatest modern critics have laid it down as a rule, that an heroic poem should be founded upon some important precept of morality, adapted to the constitution of the country in which the poet writes. Homer and Virgil have formed their plans in this view. As Greece was a collection of many governments, who suffered very much among themselves, and gave the Persian emperor, who was their common enemy, many advantages over them by their mutual jealousies and animosities, Homer, in order to establish among them
No. 70.] Monday, May 21, 1711. Interdum vulgus rectum videtHor. Lib. ii. Ep. i. 63. Sometimes the vulgar see and judge aright. WHEN I travelled, I took a particular delight in hearing the songs and fables that are come from father to son, and are most in vogue among the common people of the countries through which I passed; for it is impossible that any thing should be universally tasted and approved by a multitude, though they are only the rabble of a nation, | which hath not in it some peculiar aptness a union which was so necessary for their to please and gratify the mind of man. safety, grounds his poem upon the discords Human nature is the same in all reasona- of the several Grecian princes who were ble creatures; and whatever falls in with engaged in a confederacy against an Asiatic it, will meet with admirers amongst rea-prince, and the several advantages which ders of all qualities and conditions. Mo- the enemy gained by such discords. At the liere, as we are told by Monsieur Boileau, time the poem we are now treating of was used to read all his comedies to an old wo-written, the dissensions of the barons, man who was his house-keeper, as she sat who were then so many petty princes, ran with him at her work by the chimney-cor- very high, whether they quarrelled among ner; and could foretel the success of his themselves, or with their neighbours, and play in the theatre, from the reception it met with at his fire-side: for he tells us the audience always followed the old woman, and never failed to laugh in the same place. I know nothing which more shows the essential and inherent perfection of sim-consequence of it.
much admired by Sir Philip Sidney and Ben Jonson, * Mr. Addison was not aware that the old song so was not the same as that which he here so elegantly criticises, and which, in Dr. Percy's opinion, cannot be written after the eulogium of Sir Philip Sidney, or in older than the time of Elizabeth; and was probably
produced unspeakable calamities to the country. The poet, to deter men from such unnatural contentions, describes a bloody battle and dreadful scene of death, occasioned by the mutual feuds which reigned in the families of an English and Scotch nobleman. That he designed this for the instruction of his poem, we may learn from his four last lines, in which, after the example of the modern tragedians, he draws from it a precept for the benefit of
'God save the king, and bless the land In plenty, joy, and peace;
And grant henceforth that foul debate 'Twixt noblemen may cease.'
The next point observed by the greatest heroic poets, hath been to celebrate persons and actions which do honour to their Country: thus Virgil's hero was the founder of Rome, Homer's a prince of Greece; and for this reason Valerius Flaccus and Statius, who were both Romans, might be justly derided for having chosen the expe dition of the Golden Fleece, and the wars of Thebes, for the subjects of their epic writings.
The poet before us has not only found out an hero in his own country, but raises the reputation of it by several beautiful incidents. The English are the first who take the field, and the last who quit it. The English bring only fifteen hundred to the battle, the Scotch two thousand. The English keep the field with fifty-three; the Scotch retire with fifty-five: all the rest on each side being slain in battle. But the most remarkable circumstance of this kind is the different manner in which the Scotch
and English kings receive the news of this fight, and of the great men's deaths who
commanded in it:
A gathering mist o'erclouds her cheerful eyes;
Bear my last words to Turnus; fly with speed,