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drank the bowl of poison, with a discourse on the immortality of the soul, at his entering upon it says, that he does not believe any the most comic genius can censure him for talking upon such » subject at such a time. This passage, I think, evidently glances upon Aristophanes, who writ a comedy on purpose to ridicule the discourses of that divine philosopher. It has been observed by many writers that Socrates was so little moved at this piece of buffoonery, that he was several times present at its being acted apon the stage, and never expressed the least resentment of it. But with submission, I think the remark I have here made shews us that this unworthy treatment made an impression. upon his mind, though he had been too wise to discover it.
When Julius Cæsar was lampooned by Catullus, he invited him to a supper, and treated him with such a generous civility, that he made the poet his friend ever after. Cardinal Mazarine gave the same kind of treatment to the learned Quillet, who had reflected upon his eminence in a famous Latin poem. The cardinal sent for him, and, after some kind expostulations upon what he had written, assured him of his esteem, and dismissed him with a promise of the next good abbey that should fall, which he accordingly conferred upon him in a few months after.
This had sc good an effect upon the author, that he dedicated the second edi. tion of his book to the cardinal, after having expunged the passages which had given him offence.
Sextus Quintus was not of so generous and forgiving a tem. per. Upon his being made pope, the statue Pasquin was one night dressed in a very dirty shirt, with an excuse written under it, that he was forced to wear foul linen because his laundress was made a princess. This was a reflection upon the pope's sister, who, before the promotion of her brother, was in those mean circumstances that Pasquin represented her. As this pasquinade made a great noise in Rome the pope offered a considerable sum of money to any
person that should discover the author of it. The author rely. ing upon his holiness's generosity, as also on some private overtures which he had received from him, made the discovery himself; upon which the pope gave him the reward he had promised, but at the same time, to disable the satirist for the future, ordered his tongue to be cut out, and both his hands to be chopped off. Aretine is too trite an instance. Everyone knows that all the kings of Europe were his tributaries. Nay, there is a letter of his extant, in which he makes his boasts that he had laid the Sophi of Persia under contribution.”
Though, in the various examples which I have here drawn together, these several great men behaved themselves very differently towards the wits of the age who had reproached them; they all plainly shewed that they were very sensible of their reproaches of them, and consequently that they received them as very great injuries. For my own part, I would never trust a man that I thought was capable of giving these secret wounds; and cannot but think that he would hurt the person, whose reputation he thus assaults, in his body or in his fortune, could he do it with the same security. There is indeed something very barbarous and inhuman in the ordinary scribblers of lampoons. An innocent young lady shall be exposed for an unhappy feature. A father of a family turned
i Pietro Aretino, born at Arezzo in 1492—died 1556—poet and prose writer; vain, licentious, and mean: equally distinguished by his base adulation and bitter invective. The pensions which he received were as much the reward of his flattery, as bribes against his satire. His devotional writings look strangely by the side of his comedies and sonetti lussuriosi : yet they won him such favor at Rome, that he was not without hopes of obtaining the Cardinal's hat. It was on a medal struck by his own directions that the title, which Addison gives him, is found—Divus Petrus Aretinus, flagellum principum.-G.
3 V. Aretino's lett., L. vi. fol. 115.-C.
Circumstances that Pasquin represented her. Carelessly and ellipti. cally expressed, vol. iv.-H.
into ridicule for some domestic calamity. A wife be made uneasy all her life for a misinterpreted word or action. Nay, a good, a temperate, and a just man, shall be put out of countenance by the representation of those qualities that should do him hon.
So pernicious a thing is wit, when it is not tempered with virtue and humanity.
I have indeed heard of heedless inconsiderate writers, that without any malice have sacrificed the reputation of their friends and acquaintance, to a certain levity of temper, and a silly ambition of distinguishing themselves by a spirit of raillery and satire: as if it were not infinitely more honourable to be a good-natured man than a wit. Where there is this little petulant humour in an author, he is often very mischievous without designing to be so. For which reason I always lay it down as a rule, that an indiscreet man is more hurtful than an ill-natured one; for as the one will only attack his enemies, and those he wishes ill to, the other injures indifferently both friends and foes. I cannot forbear, on this occasion, transcribing a fable out of Sir Roger L'Estrange, which accidentally lies before me. “A company of waggish boys were watching of frogs at the side of a pond, and still as any of them put up their heads, they'd be pelting them down again with stones. · Children,' says one of the frogs, 'you never consider that though this be play to you, 'tis death to us.'”
As this week is in a manner set apart and dedicated to serious thoughts, I shall indulge myself in such speculations as may not be altogether unsuitable to the season ; and in the mean time, as the setting in ourselves a charitable frame of mind is a work very proper for the time, I have in this paper endeavoured to expose that particular breach of charity which has been generally overlooked by divines, because they are but few who can be guilty of it.
No. 25. THURSDAY MARCH 2!
VIRG. Æn. xil. 46.
The following letter will explain itself, and needs no apology,
'Sir, I am one of that sickly tribe who are commonly known by the name of valetudinarians; and do confess to you, that I first contracted this ill habit of body, or rather of mind, by the study of physic. I no sooner began to peruse books of this nature, but I found my pulse was irregular; and scarce ever read the account of any disease, that I did not fancy myself afflicted with.' Doctor Sy. denham's learned treatise of fevers threw me into a lingering hectic, which hung upon me all the while I was reading that excellent piece. I then applied myself to the study of several authors, who have written upon phthisical distempers, and by that means fell into a consumption; till at length growing very fat, I was in a manner shamed out of that imagination. Not long after this I found in myself all the symptoms of the gout, except pain : but was cured of it by a treatise upon the gravel, written by a very ingenious author, who (as it is usual for physicians to convert one distemper into another) eased me of the gout by giving me the stone. I at length studied myself into a complication of distempers; but accidentally taking into my hand that ingenious discourse written by Sanctorius, I was resolved to direct myself by a scheme of rules which I had collected from his observations. The learned world are very well acquainted with that gentleman's invention; who, for the better carrying on of his experiments, contrived a cer
Mr. Tickell, in his preface to Addison's works, says that Addison never had a regular pulse, which Steele questions, in his dedication of the Drum mer to Mr. Congreve.-C.
tain mathematical chair,' which was so artificially hung upon springs, that it would weigh any thing as well as a pair of scales. By this means he discovered how many ounces of his food passed by perspiration, what quantity of it was turned into nourishment, and how much went away by the other channels and distributions of nature.
Having provided myself with this chair, I used to study, eat, drink, and sleep in it; insomuch that I may be said, for these three last years, to have lived in a pair of scales. I compute myself, when I am in full health, to be precisely two hundred weight, falling short of it about a pound after a day's fast, and exceeding it as much after a very full meal; so that it is my continual employment to trim the balance between these two volatile pounds in my constitution. In my ordinary meals I fetch myself up to two hundred weight and half a pound; and if after having dined I find myself fall short of it, I drink just so much smallbeer, or eat such a quantity of bread, as is sufficient to make me weight. In my greatest excesses I do not transgress more than the other half pound; which, for my health's sake, I do the first Monday in every month. As soon as I find myself duly poised after
1 Sanctorius, or Santorius, the ingenious inventor of the first thermometer, as has been shown in a note on Tatler, No. 220, was a celebrated profesbor of medicine in the University of Padua early in the XVIIth century, who, by means of a weighing chair of his own invention, made and ascertained many curious and important discoveries relative to insensible perspiration On this subject he published at Venice in 1634, 16mo., a very ingenious and interesting book, entitled De Medicina Statica, which has gone through very many editions, and has been translated into all modern languages. The Latin edition before me is 2 vols. 12mo. Parisiis, 1725 ; by glancing at which, in a bookseller's shop, the annotator was led to believe that Santorius had lived to befriend the important invention of inoculation for the amallpox, as is said in a note on the Tatler, No. 55; but having bought the book, he soon after discovered that the paper De Variolarum Insitione, annexed to the edition of Santorius above-mentioned, was written origi: pally by Dr. Keill.-C.