« ZurückWeiter »
freedom of their looks. Such incidents as these inake some ladies wholly absent themselves from t'e playhouse; and others never miss the first day of a play, lest it should prove too luscious to admit their going with any countenance to it on the second.
If men of wit, who think fit to write for the stage, instead of this pitiful way of giving delight, would turn their thoughts upon raising it from such good natural impulses as are in the audience, but are choked up by vice and luxury, they would not only please, but befriend us at the same time. If a man had a minal to be new in his way of writing, might not he who is now represented as a fine gentleman, though he betrays the honour and bed of his neighbour and friend, and lies with half the women in the play, and is at last rewarded with her of the best character in it.--I say, upon giving the comedy another cast, might not such a one divert the audie quite as well, if at the catastrophe he were found out for a traitor, and mes with contempt accordingly? There is seldom a person devoted to above one darling vice at a time, so that there is room enough to catch at men's hearts to their good and advantage, if the poets will attempt it with the honesty which becomes their characters.
There is no man who loves his bottle or his mistress in a manner so very abandoned, as not to be capable of relishing an agreeable character, that is no way a slave to either of these pursuits. A man that is temperate; generous, valiant, chạste, faithful, and honest, may at the same time have wit, humour, mirth, good-breeding, and gallantry. While he exerts these latter qualities, twenty occasions might be invented to shew he is master of the other noble virtues. Such character's would smite and reprove the heart of a man of sense when he is given up to his pleasures. He would see he has been mistaken all this while, and be convinced that a sound constitution and an innocent mind are the true ingredients for becoming and enjoying life. All men of true taste would call a man of wit, who should turn his ambition this way, a friend and benefactor to his country; but I am at a loss what name they would give him who makes use of his capacity for contrary purposes.
No. LII. MONDAY, APRIL 30.
Oinnes ut tecum meritis pro talibus annos
To crown thy worth, she shall be ever thine,
AN ingenious correspondent, like a sprightly wife, will always have the last word. I did not think my last letter to the deformed fraternity would have occasioned any answer, especially since I had promised them so sudden a visit; but as they think they cannot shew too great a veneration for my person, they have already sent me up an answer.
As to the proposal of a marriage between myself and the matchless Hecatissa, I have but one objection to it; which is, that all the society will expect to be acquainted with. her; and who can be sure of keeping a woman's heart long, where she may have so much choice? I am the more alarmed at this, because the lady seems. particularly smitten with men of their make.
I believe I shall set my heart upon her; and think never the worse of my mistress for an epigram a smart fellow writ, as he thought, against her; it does but the more recommend her to me. At the same time I cannot but discover that his malice is stolen from Martial.
Tacta places, audita places, si non videare,
Tota places, neutro, si videare, places.
Whilst in the dark on thy soft hand I hung,
YOUR letter to us we have received as a signal " mark of your favour and brotherly affection. We « shall be heartily glad to see your short face in Ox• ford; and since the wisdom of our legislature has
been immortalized in your speculations, and our personal deformities in some sort by you recorded to all posterity; we hold ourselves in gratitude • bound to receive, with the highest respect, all such
persons as for their extraordinary merit you shall I think fit, from time to time, to recommend unto the 6 board.
As for the Pictish damsel, we have an easy ' chair prepared at the upper end of the table ; which
we doubt not but she will grace with a very hideous
aspect, and much better become the seat in the na" tive and unaffected uncomeliness of her person, than
with all the superficial airs, of the pencil, whici, as you have very ingeniously observed, vanish with a breath; and the most innocent adorer may deface
the shrine with a salutation, and in the literal sense • of our poets, snatch and imprint his balmy kisses, . and devour her melting lips; in short, the only faces o of the Pictish kind that will endure the weather, ' must be of Dr. Carbuncle's die; though his, in truth,
has cost him a world the painting; but then he o boasts with Zeuxes, in æternitatem fingo; and oft . jocosely tells the fairones, would they acquire colours o that would stand kissing, they must no longer paint 6 but drink for a complexion; a maxim that in this
our age has been pursued with no ill success; and • has been as admirable in its effects as the famous
i cosmetic mentioned in the Postman, and invented • by the renowned British Hippocrates of the pestle and « morlar; making the party, after a due course, rosy,
hale, and airy; and the best and most approved receipt now extant for the fever of the spirits. But to return to our female candidate, who, I understand, is returned to herself, and will no longer hang out false colours; as she is the first of her sex that has done us so great an honour, she will certainly, in a
very short time, both in prose and verse, be a lady • of the most celebrated deformity now living, and
meet with admirers here as frightful as herself. But
being a long headed gentlewoman, I am apt to ima! gine she has some further design than you have yet
penetrated ; and perhaps has more mind' to the
Spectator than any of his fraternity, as the person of • all the world she could like for a paramour; and if
so, really I cannot but applaud her choice; and should be glad if it might lie in my power to effect an amicable accommodation betwixt two faces of such
different extremes, as the only possible expedient to ( mend the breed, and rectify the physiognomy of the • family on both sides. And again, as she is a lady of
a very fluent elocution, you need not fear that your « first child will be born dumb, which otherwise you • might have some reason to be apprehensive of. To • be plain with you, I can see nothing shocking in it; • for thouglı she has not a face like a John Apple, yet
as a late friend of mine, who at sixty-five ventured
on a lass of fifteen, very frequently, in the remain. ;ing five years of his life, gave me to understand, that
old as he then seemed, when they were first mar. (ried he and his spouse could make but fourscore; so
may madam Hecatissa very justly alledge hereafter, " that, as long-visaged as she may then be thought,
upon their wedding-day, Mr. Spectator and she had but half an ell face betwixt them; and this my very
(worthy predecessor, Mr. Serjeant Chin, always o maintained to be no more than the true oval propor« tion between man and wife. But as this
may new thing to you, who have hitherto had no expec( tations from women, I shall allow you what time
you think fit to consider on it; not without some hope
of seeing at last your thoughts thereupon subjoined (to mine, and which is an honour much desired by
• Hugh GOBLIN, Præses."
The following letter has not so much in it; but as it is written in my own praise, I cannot from my heart suppress it.
“ YOU proposed in your Spectator of last Tuesday, (Mr. Hobbes's hypothesis, for solving that very odd • phenomenon of laughter. You have made the hy
pothesis valuable by espousing it yourself; for, had . it continued Mr. Hobbes's, nobody would have mind( ed it. Now here this perplexed case arises. A ( certain company laughed very heartily upon the « reading of that very paper of yours; and the truth « on it is, he must be a man of more than ordinary o constancy that could stand it out against so much 6 comedy, and not do as we did. Now there are few omen in the world so far lost to all good sense, as to • look upon you to be a man in a state of folly inferior ( to himself. Pray then, how do you justify your hypothesis of laughter? (Your most humble,
• Q.R.' • Thurday, the 26th of 2.