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Virg. En. iv. 15.
ing objects of pity. In short, I have seen more though I am very sensible of the blessing, yet I caseloquence in a look from one of these despicable oot but dislike, because such advice from them creatures than in the eye of the fairest she I ever rather seems to insult than comfort me, and reminds saw, yet no one is a greater admirer of that sex than me too much of what I was: which melancholy con. myself. What I have to desire of you is, to lay downsideration I cannot yet perfectly surmount, but hope some directions in order to guard against these power your sentiments on this head will make it supful orators, or else I know nothing to the contrary portable. but I must myself be forced to leave the profession “ To show you what a value I hare for your dic. of the law, and endeavour to get the qualifications tates, these are to certify the persons concerued, that necessary to that more profitable one of begging. unless one of them returns to his colours, if I may s6 But, in whichsoever of these two capacities I shine, call them now, before the winter is over, I will FI shall always desire to be your constant reader, luntarily confine myself to a retirement, where I will and ever will be
punish them all with my needle. I will be revenged “ Your post humble Servant, on them by deciphering them on a carpet, humbly J. B. begging admittance, myself scornfully refusing it
. If you disapprove of this, as savouring too much of Sir,
malice, be pleased to acquaint ine with a draugh: “Upon reading a Spectator last week, where you like better, and it shall be faithfully performed Mrs. Fanny Fickle submitted the choice of a lover by the unfortunate, for life to your decisive determination, and imagining
" MOXIMIA." I might claim the favour of your advice in an affair of the like, but much more difficult nature, I called No. 614.) MONDAY, NOVEMBER, 1, 1714 for pen and ink, in order to draw the characters of
Si mihi non animo fixum immotumque sederet seven humble servants, whom I have equally encou- Ne cui me vinclo vellem sociare jugali. raged for some time. But alas! while I was re- Postquam primus amor deceptam morte fefellit; flecting on the agreeable subject, and contriving an Si non pertæsum thalami tædieque fuisset,
Huic uni forsan potui succumbere culpa. advantageous description of the dear person I was most inclined to favour, I happened to look into my
Were I not resolved against the yoke giass. The sight of the small-pos, out of which I Or hapless marriage; never to be curs'd am just recovered, tormented me at once with the With second love, so fatal was the first, loss of my captivating arts and my captives. The
To this one error I might yield again. -DETDES. confusion I was in, on this unhapry, unseasonable The following account hath been transmitted to discovery, is inexpressible. Believe me, Sir, I was me by the love-casuist :so taken up with the thoughts of your fair correspondent's case, and so intent on my own design,
" Mr. SPECTATOR, that I fancied myself as triumphant in my conquests “ Having in some former papers taken care of the as ever.
two states of virginity and marriage, and being “ Now, Sir, finding I was incapacitated to amuse willing that all people should be served in their curs, myself on that pleasing subject, I resolved to apply I this day drew out my drawer of widows, where ! myself to you or your casuistical agent, for advice met with several cases, to each whereof I have rein my present circumstances. I am sensible the turned satisfactory answers by the post. The cases tincture of my skin, and the regularity of my fea- are as follow :tures, which the malice of my late illness has al. “Q. Whether Amoret be bound by a promise of tered, are irrecoverable; yet do not despair but that marriage to Philander, made during her busband's loss, by your assistance, may in some measure be re- life ? parable, if you will please to propose a way for the “Q. Whether Sempronia, having faithfully given recovery of one only of my fugitives.
a promise to two several persons during the last “One of them is in a more particular manner be sickness of her husband, is not thereby left at li holden to me than the rest; he, for some private berty to choose which of them she pleases, or to te reasons, being desirous to be a lover incognito, ject them both for the sake of a new lover? always addressed me with billets-doux, which I was “Cleora asks me, whether she be obliged to cob. so careful of in my sickness that I secured the key tinue
single according to a vow
made to her husband of my love-magazine under my head, and, hearing a at the time of his presenting her with a diamond noise of opening a lock in my chamber, endan- necklace; she being informed by a very pretty Foang gered my life by getting out of bed, to prevent, if it fellow, of a good conscience, that such vows are in had been attempted, the discovery of that amour. their nature sinful?
" I have formerly made use of all those artifices " Another inquires, whether she hath not the right which our sex daily practises over yours, to draw, of widowhood, to dispose of herself to a gentleman as it were undesignedly, the eyes of a whole congre great merit, who presses very hard; her husband gation to my pew; I have taken a pride in the being irrecoverably gone in a consumption ? number of admirers at my afternoon levee; but am “An unreasonable creature hath the confidence now quite another creature. I think, could I regain to ask, whether it be proper for her to marry a man the attractive influence I once had, if I had a le- who is younger than her eldest son ? gion of suitors I should never be ambitious of enter- “A scrupulous well-spoken matron, who gives taining more than one. I have almost contracted me a great many good words, only doubts
, whether an antipathy to the trifling discourses of impertinent she is not obliged in conscience to shut up her two lovers ; though I must needs own I have
thought it marriageable daughters, until such time as she bath very odd of late to hear gentlemen, instead of their comfortably disposed of herself? usual coinplaisances, fall into disputes before me of “Sophronia, who seems by her phrase and spelling politics, or else weary me with the tedious repetition to be a person of condition, sets forth, that whereas of how thankful I ought to be, and satisfied with iny she hath a great estate, and is but a womar
, sbe recovery but of so dangerous a distemper; this, I desires to be informed, whether she would not do pru.
dently to marry Camillus, a very idle tall young The like custom there is in the manor of Torre in fellow, who hath no fortune of his own, and conse- Devonshire, and other parts of the West. quently hath nothing else to do but to manage It is not impossible but I may in a little time hers?"
present you with a register of Berkshire ladies, and Before I speak of widows, I cannot but observe other western dames, who rode publicly upon this one thing, which I do not know how to account for; occasion; and I hope the town will be entertained a widow is always more sought after than an old with a cavalcade of widows. maid of the same age. It is common enough among ordinary people, for a stale virgin to set up a shop No.615.| WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 1714 in a place where she is not known; where the large thumb-ring, supposed to be given her by her hus
Muneribus sapienter uti, band, quickly recommends her to some wealthy
Duramque callet pauperiem pati, weighbour, who takes a liking to the jolly, widow,
Pejusque letho flagitium tamet: that would have overlooked the venerable spinster.
Non ille pro caris amicis The truth of it is, if we look into this set of women,
Aut patria timidus perire.--HOR. 4 Od. ix. 47. we find, according to the different characters or cir
Who spend their treasure freely, as 'twas giv'n
By the large bounty of indulgent Heav'n: cumstances wherein they are left, that widows may Who in a fixt unalterable state be divided into those who raise love and those who Smile at the doubtful tide of fate, raise compassion.
And scorn alike her friendship and her hate :
Who poison less than falsehood fear, Bul, not to ramble from this subject, there are Loath to purchase life so dear; two things in which consists chiefly the glory of the But kindly for their friend embrace cold death, widow-the love of her deceased husband, and the And seal their country's love with their departing breath.
STEPNKY. care of her children; to which may be added a third, arising out of the former, such a prudent conduct as It must be owned that fear is a very powerful may do honour to both.
passion, since it is esteemed one of the greatest of A widow possessed of all these three qualities virtues to subdue it. It being implanted in us for makes not only a virtuous but a sublime character. our preservation, it is no wonder that it sticks close
There is something so great and so generous in to us as long as we have any thing we are willing this state of life, when it is accompanied with all its to preserve. But as life, and all its enjoyments, virtues, that it is the subject of one of the finest among would be scarce worth the keeping if we were under our modern tragedies in the person of Andromache, a perpetual dread of losing them, it is the business and bath met with a universal and deserved ap- of religion and pbilosophy to free us from all unplause, when introduced upon our English stage necessary anxieties, and direct our fear to its proper by Mr. Phillips.
object. The most memorable widow in history is Queen If we consider the painfulness of this passion, Artemisia, who not only erected the famous mauso- and the violent effects it produces, we shall see leum, but drank up the ashes of her dead lord; how dangerous it is to give way to it upon slight thereby enclosing them in a nobler monument than occasions. Some have frightened themselves into that v:hich she had built, though deservedly esteemed madness, others have given up their lives to these one of the wonders of architecture.
apprehensions. The story of a man who grew grey This last lady seems to have had a better title to a in the space of one night's anxiety is very famous. second husband than any I have read of, since not
0! nox quam longa es, quæ facit una senem! one dust of her first was remaining. Our modern
A tedious night indeed, that makes a young man old heroines might think a husband a very bitter draught, and would have good reason to complain, if they
These apprehensions, if they proceed from a con might not accept of a second partner until they had sciousness of guilt, are the sad warnings of reason taken such a troublesome method.of losing the me- and may excite our pity, but admit of no remedy; mory of the first.
When the hand of the Almighty is visibly lifted I shall add to these illustrious examples out of against the impious, the heart of mortal man cannot apcient story, a remarkable instance of the delicacy withstand him. We have this passion sublimely of our ancestors in relation to the state of widow- represerted in the 'punishment of the Egyptians, bood, as I find it recorded in Cowell's Interpreter. * tormented with the plague of darkness, in the At East and West Enborne, in the county of apocryphal book of Wisdom, ascribed to Solomon. Berks, if a customary tenant die, the widow shall "For when unrighteous men thought to oppress have what the law calls her freebench in all his copy- the holy nation; they being shut up in their houses, hold lands, dum sola et casta fuerit, that is, while she the prisoners of darkness, and fettered with the lives single and chaste; but if she commit incon- bonds of a long night, lay there exiled from the uineney she forfeits her estate ; yet if she will come eternal Providence. For while they supposed to lie into the court riding backward upon a black ram, hid in their secret sins, they were scattered under a with his tail in her
hand, and say the words follow" dark veil of forgetfulness, being horribly astonished ing, the steward is bound by the custom to readmit and troubled with strange apparitions.--For wickedher to her freebencb.
ness, condemned by her own witness, is very
timorous, and, being oppressed with conscience, Here I am, Riding upon a black ram,
always forecasteth grievous things. For fear is Like a whore as I am;
nothing else but a betraying of the succours which And for my crinoum crancun
reason offereth.-For the whole world shined with Have lost my bincum bancim ;
clear light, and none were hindered in their labour. And for my tail's game Have done this wordly shame;
Over them only was spread a heavy night, an image Therefore I pray you, Mr. Steward, let me have my of that darkness which should afterwards receive land again.
them; but yet were they unto themselves more
grievous than the darkness." * No record of this kind is to be found in the edition of Cowell's laterpreter of 1637, 410
• Wisd. xvil passim
To fear so justly yruunued no remedy can be strength, is often pleased, in listeuder sérerity, to seproposed; but a man (who hath no great guilt parate the soul from its body and miserics together. hanging upon his mind, who walks in the plain If we look forward to him for belp, we shall never path of justice and integrity, and yet, either by be in danger of falling down those precipices which natural complexion, or contirmed prejudices, or our imagination is apt to create. Like those who neglect of serious reflection, suffers himself to be walk upon a line, if we keep our eye fixed upon one moved by this abject and unmanly passion) would point, we may step forward securely; whereas an do well to consider that there is nothing which de- imprudent or cowardly glance on either side will serves his fear, but that beneficent Being who is his infallibly destroy us. friend, his protector, his father. Were this one thought strongly fixed in the mind, what calamity would be dreadful? What load can infamy lay No. 616.) FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 1714 upon us when we are sure of the approbation of him
Qui bellus homo est, Cotta, pusillus bomo est. who will repay the disgrace of a moment with the
MART. Epig. i. 10 glory of eternity ? What sharpness is there in pain A pretty fellow is but half a man. and diseases, when they only hasten us on to the
Cicero hath observed that a jest is never uttered pleasures that will never fade ? What sting is in death, when we are assured that it is only the be with a better grace than when it is accompanied
with a serious countenance. When a pleasant ginning of life ?-A man who lives so as not to fear to die, is inconsistent with himself if he delivers thought plays in the features before it discovers itself himself up to any incidental anxiety.
in words, it raises too great an expectation, and loses The intrepidity of a just good man is so nobly set the advantage of giving surprise. Wit and burnout forth by Horace, that it cannot be too often re- and that kind of language which may be distis
are no less poorly recommended by a levity of phrase, peated :
guished by the name of Cant. Ridicule is never The man resolv'd and steady to his trust,
more strong than when it is concealed in gravity. Inflexible to ill, and obstipately just,
True humour lies in the thought, and arises from May the rude rabble's insolence despise, Their senseless clamours and tumultuous cries
the representation of images in odd circumstances The tyrant's herceness he beguiles,
and uncommon lights. A pleasant thought strike And the stern brow and the harsh voice defies,
us by the force of its natural beauty; and the mirth And with superior greatness smiles. Not the rough whirlwind, that deforms
of it is generally rather palled than heightened by Adria's black guls, and vexes it with storms,
that ridiculous phraseology which is so mueh in The stubborn virtue of his soul can move :
fashion among the pretenders to humour and pleaNot the red arm of angry Jove, That flings the thunde: fro
santry. This tribe of men are like our mountebanks; And gives it rage to roar, and strength to fly.
they make a man a wit by putting himn in a fan. Should the whole frame of nature round him break, tastic habit. In ruin and confusion hurl'd,
Our little burlesque authors, who are the deligh! He, unconcern'd, would hear the mighty crack, And stand secure amidst a falling world.
of ordinary readers, generally abound in these pert The vanity of fear may be yet further illustrated phrases, which bave in them more vivacity than Kit if we reflect,
I lately saw an instance of this kind of writing First
, What we fear may not come to pass. No which gave me so lively an idea of it, that I could human scheme can be so accurately projected but not forbear begging a copy of the letter from the some little circumstance intervening may spoil it. gentleman who showed it to me. It is written by a He who directs the heart of man at his pleasure, and country wit, upon the occasion of the rejoicings oa understands the thoughts long before, may, by ten
the day of the king's coronation. thousand accidents, or an immediate change in the inclinations of men, disconcert the most subtle pro.
Past two o'clock, and a frosty morning. ject, and turn it to the benefit of his own servants.
“ Dear Jack, In the next place we should consider, though the “ I have just left the right worshipful and his evil we imagine should come to pass, it may be much myrmidons about a sneaker of five gallons. The more supportable than it appeared to be. As there whole magistracy was pretty well disguised before I is no prosperous state of life without its calamities, gave them the slip. Our friend the alderman was so there is no adversity without its benefits. Ask Half-seas over before the bonfire was out. We had the great and powerful, if they do not feel the pangs with us the attorney, and two or three other bright of envy and ambition. Inquire of the poor and fellows. The doctor plays least in sight. needy, if they have not tasted the sweets of quiet “At nine o'clock in the evening we set fire to the and contentient. Even under the pains of body, whore of Babylon. The devil acted his part to the infidelity of friends, or the misconstructions put miracle. He has made his fortune by it. We equip, upon our laudable actions ; our minds, when for ped the young dog
with a tester apiece. Honest old some time accustomed to these pressures
, are sen- Brown of England was very drunk, and showed his sible of secret flowings of comfort, the present re- loyalty to the tune of a hundred rockets. The mob ward of a pious resignation. The evils of this life drank' the king's health, on their marrow-bones, in appear like rocks and precipices, rugged and barren mother Day's double. They whipped us half a dozea at a distance; but at our nearer approach we find hogsheads. Poor Tom Tyler had like to have been little fruitful spots, and refreshing springs, mixed demolished with the end of a skyrocket, tbat tell with the harshness and deformities of nature.
upon the bridge of his nose as he was drioking the In the last place we may comfort ourselves with king's health, and spoiled his tip. The mob were this consideration, that, as the thing feared may not very loyal till about midnight
, when they grew a reach us, so we may not reach what we fear. Our little mutinous for more liquor. They had like to lives may not extend to that dreadful point which have dumbfounded the justice; and his clerk came we have in view. He who knows all our failings
, in to his assistance, and took them all down in black and will not suffer us to be tempted beyond our.I and white.
* When I had been huzzaed out of my seven our own making; and all the High-street lighted up senses, I made a visit to the women, who were guz- from one end to another with a galaxy of candles. thing very comfortably. Mrs. Mayoress clipped the We collected a largess for the multitude, who tipa king's English. Claek was the word.
pled eleemosynary until they grow exceeding voci. I forgot to tell thee that every one of the posse ferous. There was a pasteboard pontiff, with a little had his hat cocked with a distich; the senators sent swarthy demon at bis elbow, who, by his diabolical us down a cargo of riband and metre for the oc- whispers and insinuations, tempted his holiness into casion.'
the fire, and then left him to shift for himself. The “ Sir Richard, to show his zeal for the Protestant mobile were very sarcastic with their clubs, and gave religion, is at the expense of a tar-barrel and a ball. the old gentleman several thumps upon his triple I peeped into the knight's great hall, and saw a very head-piece.* Tom Tyler's phiz is something dapretty bevy of spinsters. My dear relict was amongst maged by the fall of a rocket
, which hath almost them, and ambled in a country dance as notably as spoiled the gnomon of his countenance. The mirtha the best of them.
of the commons grew so very outrageous, that it “May all his majesty's liege subjects love him as found work for our friend of the quorum, who, by the well as his good people of this his ancient borough ! help of his amanuensis, took down all their names Adieu!"
and their crimes, with a design to produce his manuscript at the next quarter sessions,” &c. &c. &c.
I shall subjoin to the foregoing piece of a letter No. 617.] MONDAY, NOV. 8, 1714.
the following copy of verses translated from an Torva Mimalloneis implerunt cornua bombis,
Italian poet, who was the Cleveland of his age, and Et raptum vitulo caput ablatura superbo
had multitudes of admirers. The subject is an acBassaris, et lyncem Mænas flexura corymbis, Evion ingeminat : reparabilis adsonat Echo.
cident that happened under the reign of Pope Leo,
PER, Sat. i. 99. when a firelock, that had been prepared upon the Their crooked horns the Mimallonian crew
castle of St. Angelo, began to play before its time, With biasts inspir'd; and Bassaris, who slew
being kindled by a flash of lightning. The author The scornful calf, with sword advanced on high, Made from his neck his haughty head to fly.
hath written bis poem in the same kind of style as aud Mæpas, when, with ivy-bridles bound.
that I have already exemplified in prose. Every She led the spotted lynx, then Evion rang around, line in it is a riddle, and the reader must be forced Evion from woods and floods repeating Echo's sound.
to consider it twice or thrice, before he will know
that the Cynic's tenement is a tub, and Bacchus's one of which consists in the use of that little pert phraseology which I took notice of in my last paper; + 'Twas night, and heaven, a Cyclops all the day, the other in the affectation of strained and pompous
An Argus now, did countless eyes display: expressions, fetched from the learned languages. The
In every window Rome her joy declares,
All bright and studded with terrestrial stars. first sa rours too much of the town; the other of the college.
A blazing chain of lights her roofs entwines,
And round her neck the mingled lustre sbínes: As nothing illustrates better than example, I The Cynic's rolling tenement conspires shall here present my reader with a letter of pedantic With Bacchus his cast-coat to feed the fires. bumour, which was written by a young gentleman The pile, still big with undiscover'd shows, of the university to bis friend, on the same occasion, The Tuscan pile, did last its freight disclose; and from the same place, as the lively epistle pub- Where the proud tops of Rome's new Ætna rise, lished in my last Spectator.
Whence giants sally, and invade the skies
Whilst now the multitude expect the time. “ DEAR CHUM,*
And their tir'd eyes the losty mountain climb, " It is now the third watch of the night, the
A thousand iron nouths their voices try,
And thunder out a dreadful harmony: greatest part of whieb I have spent round a capa- In treble notes the small artillery plays. cious bowl of china, filled with the choicest products The deep-mouth'd cannon bellows in the bass; of both the Indies. I was placed at a quadrangular
The lab'ring pile now heaves, and, having given table, diametrically opposite to the mace-bearer.
Proofs of its travail, sighs in flames to heaven. The visage of that venerable herald was, according The clouds envelop'd heav'n from human sight. to custom, most gloriously illuminated on this joy
Quench'd ev'ry star, and put out ev'ry light;
Now real thunder grumbles in the skies, ful occasion. The mayor and aldermen, those pil. And in disrlainful murmurs Rome defies : tars of our constitution, began to totter; and if any Nor doth its answer'd challenge Rome decline: one at the board could have so far articulated, as to
But, whilst both parties in full concert join, have demanded intelligibly a reinforcement of liquor,
While heav'n and earth in rival peels resound,
The doubtful cracks the hearer's sense confound; the whole assembly bad been by this time extended Whether the claps of thunderbolts they hear. uoder the table.
Or else the burst of cannon wounds their ear; " The celebration of this night's solemnity was
Whether clouds rag'd by struggling metals rent, opened by the obstreperous joy of drummers, who,
Or struggling clouds in Roman metals pent:
But, O my Muse, the whole adventure tell, with their parchment thunder, gave a signal for the As ev'ry accident in order fell. appearance of the mob under their several classes
Tall groves of trees the Hadrian tower surround, and denominations. They were quickly joined by Fictitious trees with paper garlands crown'd. the melodious clank of marrowbones and cleavers, These know no spring, but when their bodies sprout whilst a chorus of bells filled up the concert. A
In fre, and shoot their gilded blossoms out; pyramid of stack-fagots cheered the hearts of the * The pope's tiara, or triple mitre. populace with the promise of a blaze; the guns had + This copy of verses is a translation from the Latin in Strada's Do sooner uttered the prologue, but the heavens Prolusiones Academicæ, &c. and an imitation originally of the were brightened with artificial meteors and stars of His character and his writings were equally singular; he was
poet and buffoon to Leo X., and the common butt of that lacoA cant word for a chamber-companion and bed-fellow at tious pontify and his courtiers. See Stradæ Prolusiones, Oxon. college
1745, p. 241; and Bayle's Dictionary, art-Leo X.
When blazing leaves appear abore their head, and understand the delicacies as well as the absarAnd into branching flames their bodies spread."
dities of conversation. He must have a lively turo Whilst real thunder splits the firniament, And heav'n's whole roof in one vast cleft is rent,
of wit, with an easy and concise manner of expresThe three-forked tongue amidst the rupture lolls, sion ; every thing he says must be in a free and disThen drops, and on the airy turret falls.
engaged manner. He must be guilty of nothing The trees now kindle, and the garland burns, And thousand thunderbolts for one returns :
that betrays the air of a recluse, but appear a man of Brigades of burning arches upward fly,
the world throughout. His illustrations, his compa. Bright spears and shining spearmen mount on high, risons, and the greatest parts of his images, must be Flash in the clouds, and glitter in the sky.
drawn from coinmon life. Strokes of satire and A seven-fold shield of spheres doth heav'n defend, And back again the blunted weapons send;
criticism, as well as panegyric, judiciously thrown Unwillingly they fall, and dropping down,
in (and as it were by-the-bye), give a wonderful Pour out their souls, their sulph'rous souls, and groan life and ornament to compositions of this kind. But
With joy, great Sir, we view'd this pompous show, | let our poet, while be writes epistles, though Deser
and must for that reason have a more than ordinary That Heav'n itself should turn an engineer
care not to fall into prose, and a vulgar diction, es. That Heav'n itsell should all its wonders show, cepting where the nature and humour of the thing And orbs above consent with orbs below.
do necessarily require it. In this point Horace bath
been thought by some critics to be sometimes careNo. 618.) WEDNESDAY, NOV. 10, 1714.
less, as well as too negligent of his versification ; of
which he seems to have been sepsible himself.. Neque enim concludere versum
"All I have to add is, that both these mappers of Dixeris esse satis; neque si quis scribat, uti nos Sermoni propiora, putes hunc esse poetam.
writing may be made as entertaining, in their way,
Hor, 1 Sat iv, 40. as any other species of poetry, if undertaken by 'Tis not enough the measured feet to close :
persons duly qualified; and the latter sort may be Nor will you give a poet's name to those
managed so as to become in a peculiar manner inWhose humble verse, like mine, approaches prose. structive.
* I am," &c. “ MR, SPECTATOR,
I shall add an observation or two to the remarks “ You having, in your two last Spectators, given of my ingenious correspondent; and, in the first the town a couple of remarkable letiers in very dif- place, take notice, that subjects of the most sublime ferent styles, I take this opportunity to offer to you bature are often treated in the epistolary way with some remarks upon the epistolary way of writing in advantage, as in the famous epistle of Horace to
This is a species of poetry by itself; and Augustus. The poet surprises us with his pomp, has not so much as heen hinted at in any of the and seems rather betrayed into his subject than to Arts of Poetry that have ever fallen into my hands, have aimed at it by design. He appears, like the neither has it in any age, or any nation, been so visit of a king incognito, with a mixture of famimuch cultivated as the other several kinds of poesy. liarity and grandeur. In works of this kind, when A man of genius may, if he pleases, write letters in the dignity of the subject burries the poet into de verse upon all manner of subjects that are capable scriptions and sentiments seemingly unpremediof being embellished with wit and language, and tated, by a sort of inspiration, it is usual for him to may render them new and agreeable by giving the recollecí himself, and fall back gracefully into the proper turn to them. But, in speaking at present of natural style of a letter. epistolary poetry, I would be understood to mean I might here mention an epistolary poem, jast only such writings in this kind as have been in use published by Mr. Eusden, on the king's accession amongst the ancients, and have been copied from them to the throne; wherein, amongst many other noble by some moderns. These may be reduced into two and beautiful strokes of poetry, his reader may see classes : in the one I shall range love-letters, letters this rule very happily observed. of friendship, and letters upon mournful occasions : in the other I shall place such epistles in verse as may properly be called familiar, critical
, and moral;/ No. 619.) FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 1714. to which may be added letters of mirth and humour. Ovid for the first, and Horace for the latter, are the Exercejímperia, et ranios compesce fuentes best originals we have left.
VIRG. Georg. ii. 369. “ He, that is ambitious of succeeding in the Ovi
Exert a rigorous sway, dian way, should first examine his heart well, and
And lop the too luxuriant boughs away. feel whether his passions (especially those of the I HAVE often thought that if the several letters gentler kind) play easy; since it is not his wit, but which are written to me under the character of the the delicacy and tenderness of his sentiments, that Spectator, and which I have not made use of, were will affect his readers. His versification likewise published in a volume, they would not be an unesshould be soft, and all his numbers flowing and tertaining collection. The variety of the subjects, querulous.
styles, sentiments, and informations, wbich are “ The qualifications requisite for writing epistles, transmitted to me, would lead a very curious, or after the model given us by Horace, are of a quite very idle, reader, insensibly along through a great different nature. He that would excel in this kind many pages. I know some authors who would pick must have a good fund of strong masculine sense : up a secret history out of such materials
, and make to this there must be joined a thorongh knowledge a bookseller an alderman by the copy. I shall of mankind, together with an insight into the busia therefore carefully preserve the original papers in a ness and the prevailing humours of the age. Our room set apart for that purpose, to the end that author must have his mind well-seasoned with the they may be of service to posterity ; but shall at finest precepts of morality, and be filled with vice present content myself with owning the receipt of reflections upon the bright and the dark sides of several letters, lately come to my hands, the authors human life; he must be a master of refined raillery, whereof are impatient for an answer.