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had discovered new worlds, they were at a loss to possible to repeat all the agreeable delusions in explain the phenomena of their own, and their which a disappointed author is apt to find comfort. pride so unaccountable, that they disdained to bor-I conclude, that what my reputation wants in exrow from others that instruction which their natural tent, is made up by its solidity. Minus juvat Gloria indolence permitted them not to acquire. lata quam magna. I have great satisfaction in
It gives me, however, a secret satisfaction to be-considering the delicacy and discernment of those hold an extraordinary genius, now existing in that readers I have, and in ascribing my want of popunation, whose studious endeavours seem calcu- larity to the ignorance or inattention of those I lated to undeceive the superstitious, and instruct have not. All the world may forsake an author, the ignorant; I mean the celebrated Padre Freijo. but vanity will never forsake him. In unravelling the mysteries of nature and ex- Yet, notwithstanding so sincere a confession, I plaining physical experiments, he takes an oppor-was once induced to show my indignation against tunity of displaying the concurrence of second the public, by discontinuing my endeavours to causes in those very wonders, which the vulgar as-please; and was bravely resolved, like Raleigh, to cribe to supernatural influence. vex them by burning my manuscript in a passion.
An example of this kind happened a few years Upon recollection, however, I considered what set ago in a small town of the kingdom of Valencia. or body of people would be displeased at my rashPassing through at the hour of mass, he alightedness. The sun, after so sad an accident, might from his mule, and proceeded to the parish church, shine next morning as bright as usual; men might which he found extremely crowded, and there ap- laugh and sing the next day, and transact business peared on the faces of the faithful a more than usual as before, and not a single creature feel any regret alacrity. The sun it seems, which had been for but myself.
some minutes under a cloud, had begun to shine I reflected upon the story of a minister, who, in on a large crucifix, that stood in the middle of the the reign of Charles II., upon a certain occasion, altar, studded with several precious stones. The resigned all his posts, and retired into the country reflection from these, and from the diamond eyes in a fit of resentment. But as he had not given the of some silver saints, so dazzled the multitude, that world entirely up with his ambition, he sent a mesthey unanimously cried out, A miracle! a miracle! senger to town, to see how the courtiers would bear whilst the priest at the altar, with seeming con- his resignation. Upon the messenger's return he sternation, continued his heavenly conversation. was asked, whether there appeared any commotion Padre Freijo soon dissipated the charm, by tying at court? To which he replied, There were very his handkerchief round the head of one of the stat-great ones. Ay," says the minister, "I knew ues, for which he was arraigned by the inquisition; my friends would make a bustle; all petitioning the whose flames, however, he has had the good for-king for my restoration, I presume." "No, sir," tune hitherto to escape.
THE BEE No. IV.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27, 1759.
replied the messenger, "they are only petitioning his majesty to be put in your place." In the same manner, should I retire in indignation, instead of having Apollo in mourning, or the Muses in a fit of the spleen; instead of having the learned world apostrophizing at my untimely decease, perhaps all Grub-street might laugh at my fall, and self-approving dignity might never be able to shield mo from ridicule. In short, I am resolved to write on, if it were only to spite them. If the present generation will not hear my voice, hearken, O posteri
What rapture will it not give to have the Scaligers, Daciers, and Warburtons of future times commenting with admiration upon every line I now write, working away those ignorant creatures who offer
WERE I to measure the merit of my present un-ty, to you I call, and from you I expect redress! dertaking by its success, or the rapidity of its sale, I might be led to form conclusions by no means favourable to the pride of an author. Should I estimate my fame by its extent, every newspaper and inagazine would leave me far behind. Their fame to arraign my merit, with all the virulence of learn
is diffused in a very wide circle, that of some as far as Islington, and some yet farther still; while mine, I sincerely believe, has hardly travelled beyond the sound of Bow-bell; and while the works of others fly like unpinioned swans, I find my own move as heavily as a new plucked goose.
ed reproach. Ay, my friends, let them feel it: call names, never spare them; they deserve it all, and ten times more. I have been told of a critic, who was crucified at the command of another to the reputation of Homer. That, no doubt, was more than poetical justice, and I shall be perfectly conStill, however, I have as much pride as they tent if those who criticise me are only clapped in who have ten times as many readers. It is im- Ithe pillory, kept fifteen days upon bread and water
and obliged to run the gantlet through Paternoster- at last overcame my prudence, and determined me row. The truth is, I can expect happiness from to endeavour to please by the goodness of my enposterity either way. If I write ill, happy in being tertainment, rather than by the magnificence of my forgotten; if well, happy in being remembered with sign.
The Spectator, and many succeeding essayists, Yet, considering things in a prudential light, frequently inform us of the numerous compliments perhaps I was mistaken in designing my paper as paid them in the course of their lucubrations; of an agreeable relaxation to the studious, or a help to the frequent encouragements they met to inspire conversation among the gay; instead of addressing them with ardour, and increase their eagerness to it to such, I should have written down to the taste please. I have received my letters as well as they; and apprehension of the many, and sought for re-but alas! not congratulatory ones; not assuring me putation on the broad road. Literary fame, I now of success and favour; but pregnant with bodings find, like religious, generally begins among the vul- that might shake even fortitude itself. gar. As for the polite, they are so very polite as One gentleman assures me, he intends to throw never to applaud upon any account. One of these, away no more threepences in purchasing the BEE; with a face screwed up into affectation, tells you, and, what is still more dismal, he will not recomthat fools may admire, but men of sense only ap- mend me as a poor author wanting encouragement prove. Thus, lest he should rise in rapture at any to his neighbourhood, which, it seems, is very nuthing new, he keeps down every passion but pride merous. Were my soul set upon threepences, and self-importance; approves with phlegm; and what anxiety might not such a denunciation prothe poor author is damned in the taking a pinch of duce! But such does not happen to be the present snuff. Another has written a book himself, and motive of publication; I write partly to show my being condemned for a dunce, he turns a sort of good-nature, and partly to show my vanity; nor king's evidence in criticism, and now becomes the will I lay down the pen till I am satisfied one way terror of every offender. A third, possessed of full- or another. grown reputation, shades off every beam of favour Others have disliked the title and the motto of from those who endeavour to grow beneath him, my paper; point out a mistake in the one, and asand keeps down that merit, which, but for his in- sure me the other has been consigned to dulness fluence, might rise into equal eminence: while by anticipation. All this may be true; but what others, still worse, peruse old books for their amuse- is that to me? Titles and mottos to books are like ment, and new books only to condemn; so that escutcheons and dignities in the hands of a king. the public seem heartily sick of all but the busi-The wise sometimes condescend to accept of them; ness of the day, and read every thing now with as but none but a fool will imagine them of any real little attention as they examine the faces of the importance. We ought to depend upon intrinsic passing crowd. merit, and not the slender helps of title. Nam From these considerations, I was once deter- quæ non fecimus ipsi, vix ea nostra voco. mined to throw off all connexions with taste, and| For my part, I am ever ready to mistrust a profairly address my countrymen in the same engag-mising title, and have, at some expense, been ining style and manner with other periodical pam-structed not to hearken to the voice of an advertise phlets, much more in vogue than probably mine ment, let it plead never so loudly, or never so long. shall ever be. To effect this, I had thoughts of A countryman coming one day to Smithfield, in changing the title into that of the ROYAL BEE, the order to take a slice of Bartholomew-fair, found a • ANTI-GALLICAN BEE, or the BEE'S MAGAZINE. I perfect show before every booth. The drummer, had laid in a proper stock of popular topics, such the fire-eater, the wire-walker, and the salt-box, as encomiums on the King of Prussia, invectives were all employed to invite him in. "Just a-going; against the Queen of Hungary and the French, the court of the king of Prussia in all his glory: the necessity of a militia, our undoubted sovereignty pray, gentlemen, walk in and see." From people of the seas, reflections upon the present state of af- who generously gave so much away, the clown exfairs, a dissertation upon liberty, some seasonable pected a monstrous bargain for his money when thoughts upon the intended bridge of Blackfriars, he got in. He steps up, pays his sixpence, the and an address to Britons; the history of an old curtain is drawn; when, too late, he finds that he woman, whose teeth grew three inches long, an had the best part of the show for nothing at the de upon our victories, a rebus, an acrostic upon door. Miss Peggy P., and a journal of the weather. All this, together with four extraordinary pages of letter-press, a beautiful map of England, and two! prints curiously coloured from nature, I fancied might touch their very souls. I was actually be- EVERY country has its traditions, which, either ginning an address to the people, when my pride too minute, or not sufficiently authentic to receive
A FLEMISH TRADITION.
historical sanction, are handed down among the torture, the other only repeated his former excla vulgar, and serve at once to instruct and amuse mation, "Does the villain murmur?" them. Of this number, the adventures of Robin From this period, revenge as well as patriotism Hood, the hunting of Chevy-Chase, and the brave-took entire possession of his soul. His fury stooped ry of Johnny Armstrong, among the English; so low as to follow the executioner with unremitting of Kaul Dereg among the Irish; and Crichton resentment. But conceiving that the best method among the Scots, are instances. Of all the tradi- to attain these ends was to acquire some eminence tions, however, I remember to have heard, I do not in the city, he laid himself out to oblige its new recollect any more remarkable than one still current masters, studied every art, and practised every in Flanders; a story generally the first the peasants meanness, that serve to promote the needy, or rentell their children, when they bid them behave like der the poor pleasing; and by these means, in a few Bidderman the wise. It is by no means, however, years, he came to be of some note in the city, which a model to be set before a polite people for imita- justly belonged entirely to him. tion; since if, on the one hand, we perceive in it the steady influence of patriotism, we on the other find as strong a desire of revenge. But, to wave introduction, let us to the story.
The executioner was therefore the first object of his resentment, and he even practised the lowest fraud to gratify the revenge he owed him. A piece of plate, which Bidderman had previously stolen from the Saracen governor, he privately conveyed into the executioner's house, and then gave information of the theft. They who are any way acquainted with the rigour of the Arabian laws, know that theft is punished with immediate death. The proof was direct in this case; the executioner had nothing to offer in his own defence, and he was therefore condemned to be beheaded upon a scaf
When the Saracens overran Europe with their armies, and penetrated as far even as Antwerp, Bidderman was lord of a city, which time has since swept into destruction. As the inhabitants of this country were divided under separate leaders, the Saracens found an easy conquest, and the city of Bidderman, among the rest, became a prey to the victors. Thus dispossessed of his paternal city, our un-fold in the public market-place. As there was no fortunate governor was obliged to seek refuge from executioner in the city but the very man who was the neighbouring princes, who were as yet unsub-now to suffer, Bidderman himself undertook this, dued, and he for some time lived in a state of wretch- to him a most agreeable office. The criminal was ed dependence among them. conducted from the judgment-seat, bound with Soon, however, his love to his native country cords: the scaffold was erected, and he placed in brought him back to his own city, resolved to res-such a manner as he might lie most convenient for cue it from the enemy, or fall in the attempt: thus, the blow. in disguise, he went among the inhabitants, and But his death alone was not sufficient to satisfy endeavoured, but in vain, to excite them to revolt. the resentment of this extraordinary man, unless Former misfortunes lay so heavily on their minds, it was aggravated with every circumstance of cruthat they rather chose to suffer the most cruel elty. Wherefore, coming up the scaffold, and disbondage than attempt to vindicate their former freedom.
As he was thus one day employed, whether by information or from suspicion is not known, he was apprehended by a Saracen soldier as a spy, and brought before the very tribunal at which he once presided. The account he gave of himself was by no means satisfactory. He could produce no friends to vindicate his character, wherefore, as the Saracens knew not their prisoner, and as they had no direct proofs against him, they were content with condemning him to be publicly whipped as a vagabond.
posing every thing in readiness for the intended blow, with the sword in his hand he approached the criminal, and whispering in a low voice, assured him that he himself was the person that had once been used with so much cruelty; that to his knowledge he died very innocently, for the plate had been stolen by himself, and privately conveyed into the house of the other.
"O, my countrymen," cried the criminal, "do you hear what this man says?"-"Does the villain murmur?” replied Bidderman, and immediately at one blow severed his head from his body.
Still, however, he was not content till he had The execution of this sentence was accordingly ample vengeance of the governors of the city, who performed with the utmost rigour. Bidderman condemned him. To effect this, he hired a smalı was bound to the post, the executioner seeming house adjoining to the town-wall, under which he disposed to add to the cruelty of the sentence, as he every day dug, and carried out the earth in a basket. received no bribe for lenity. Whenever Bidderman In this unremitting labour he continued several groaned under the scourge, the other, redoubling years, every day digging a little, and carrying the his blows, cried out "Does the villain murmur?" earth unsuspected away. By this means he at last If Bidderman entreated but a moment's respite from made a secret communication from the country in
to the city, and only wanted the appearance of an as possible. Nature has furnished the body of this enemy in order to betray it. This opportunity at little creature with a glutinous liquid, which, length offered; the French army came down into proceeding from the anus, it spins into thread, the neighbourhood, but had no thoughts of sitting coarser or finer, as it chooses to contract or dilate down before a town which they considered as im- its sphincter. In order to fix its thread when it pregnable. Bidderman, however, soon altered their begins to weave, it emits a small drop of its liquid resolutions, and, upon communicating his plan to against the wall, which, hardening by degrees, the general, he embraced it with ardour. Through serves to hold the thread very firmly. Then rethe private passage above mentioned, he introduced ceding from its first point, as it recedes the thread a large body of the most resolute soldiers, who soon lengthens; and when the spider has come to the opened the gates for the rest, and the whole army place where the other end of the thread should rushing in, put every Saracen that was found to be fixed, gathering up with his claws the thread the sword. which would otherwise be too slack, it is stretched tightly, and fixed in the same manner to the wall as before.
ANIMALS in general are sagacious in proportion as they cultivate society. The elephant and the beaver show the greatest signs of this when united; but when man intrudes into their communities, they lose all their spirit of industry, and testify but a very small share of that sagacity for which, when in a social state, they are so remarkable.
Among insects, the labours of the bee and the ant have employed the attention and admiration of the naturalist; but their whole sagacity is lost upon separation, and a single bee or ant seems destitute of every degree of industry, is the most stupid insect imaginable, languishes for a time in solitude, and soon dies.
In this manner it spins and fixes several threads parallel to each other, which, so to speak, serves as the warp to the intended web. To form the woof, it spins in the same manner its thread, transversely fixing one end to the first thread that was spun, and which is always the strongest of the whole web, and the other to the wall. All these threads being newly spun, are glutinous and therefore stick to each other wherever they happen to touch; and in those parts of the web most exposed to be torn, our natural artist strengthens them, by doubling the threads sometimes six-fold.
Thus far naturalists have gone in the description of this animal; what follows is the result of my own observation upon that species of the insect called a house-spider. I perceived about four years ago, a large spider in one corner of my room, making its web; and though the maid frequently levelled her fatal broom against the labours of the little animal, I had the good fortune then to prevent its destruction; and I may say, it more than paid me by the entertainment it afforded.
Of all the solitary insects I have ever remarked, the spider is the most sagacious; and its actions, to me who have attentively considered them, seem almost to exceed belief. This insect is formed by nature for a state of war, not only upon other in- In three days the web was with incredible dilisects, but upon each other. For this state nature gence completed; nor could I avoid thinking, that seems perfectly well to have formed it. Its head the insect seemed to exult in its new abode. It and breast are covered with a strong natural coat frequently traversed it round, examined the strength of mail, which is impenetrable to the attempts of of every part of it, retired into its hole, and came every other insect, and its belly is enveloped in a soft pliant skin, which eludes the sting even of a wasp. Its legs are terminated by strong claws, not unlike those of a lobster; and their vast length, like spears, serve to keep every assailant at a distance.
out very frequently. The first enemy, however, it had to encounter, was another and a much larger spider, which, having no web of its own, and having probably exhausted all its stock in former labours of this kind, came to invade the property of its neighbour. Soon, then, a terrible encounNot worse furnished for observation than for an ter ensued, in which the invader seemed to have attack or a defence, it has several eyes, large, trans- the victory, and the laborious spider was obliged to parent, and covered with a horny substance, which, take refuge in its hole. Upon this I perceived the however, does not impede its vision. Besides this, victor using every art to draw the enemy from his it is furnished with a forceps above the mouth, strong hold. He seemed to go off, but quickly rewhich serves to kill or secure the prey already turned; and when he found all arts vain, began to caught in its claws or its net. demolish the new web without mercy. This Such are the implements of war with which the brought on another battle, and, contrary to my exbody is immediately furnished, but its net to en-pectations, the laborious spider became conqueror, tangle the enemy seems what it chiefly trusts to, and fairly killed his antagonist.
and what it takes most pains to render as complete Now, then, in peaceable possession of what was
justly its own, it waited three days with the ut- The insect I am now describing lived three most impatience, repairing the breaches of its web, years; every year it changed its skin, and got a and taking no sustenance that I could perceive. new set of legs. I have sometimes plucked off a At last, however, a large blue fly fell into the snare, leg, which grew again in two or three days. At and struggled hard to get loose. The spider gave first it dreaded my approach to its web, but at last it leave to entangle itself as much as possible, but it became so familiar as to take a fly out of my it seemed to be too strong for the cobweb. I must hand; and upon my touching any part of the web, own I was greatly surprised when I saw the spider would immediately leave its hole, prepared either immediately sally out, and in less than a minute for a defence or an attack.
weave a new net round its captive, by which the motion of its wings was stopped; and, when it was fairly hampered in this manner, it was seized, and dragged into the hole.
To complete this description, it may be observed, that the male spiders are much less than the female, and that the latter are oviparous. When they come to lay, they spread a part of their web under the eggs, and then roll them up carefully, as we roll up things in a cloth, and thus hatch them in their hole. If disturbed in their holes, they never attempt to escape without carrying this young brood in their forceps, away with them, and thus frequently are sacrificed to their paternal affection.
In this manner it lived, in a precarious state; and nature seemed to have fitted it for such a life, for upon a single fly it subsisted for more than a week. I once put a wasp into the net; but when the spider came out in order to seize it as usual, upon perceiving what kind of an enemy it had to deal with, it instantly broke all the bands that held As soon as ever the young ones leave their arit fast, and contributed all that lay in its power to tificial covering, they begin to spin, and almost sento disengage so formidable an antagonist. When sibly seem to grow bigger. If they have the good the wasp was at liberty, I expected the spider fortune, when even but a day old, to catch a fly, would have set about repairing the breaches that they fall too with good appetites: but they live were made in its net, but those it seems were irre-sometimes three or four days without any sort of parable wherefore the cobweb was now entirely sustenance, and yet still continue to grow larger, forsaken, and a new one begun, which was com- so as every day to double their former size. As pleted in the usual time. they grow old, however, they do not still continue
I had now a mind to try how many cobwebs a to increase, but their legs only continue to grow single spider could furnish; wherefore I destroyed longer; and when a spider becomes entirely stiff this, and the insect set about another. When I with age and unable to seize its prey, it dies at destroyed the other also, its whole stock seemed en- length of hunger.
tirely exhausted, and it could spin no more.
arts it made use of to support itself, now deprived THE CHARACTERISTICS OF GREAT
of its great means of subsistence, were indeed surprising. I have seen it roll up its legs like a ball, and lie motionless for hours together, but cautiously watching all the time: when a fly happened to approach sufficiently near, it would dart out all at once, and often seize its prey.
In every duty, in every science in which we would wish to arrive at perfection, we should propose for the object of our pursuit some certain station even beyond our abilities; some imaginary exOf this life, however, it soon began to grow cellence, which may amuse and serve to animate weary, and resolved to invade the possession of our inquiry. In deviating from others, in followsome other spider, since it could not make a web ing an unbeaten road, though we perhaps may of its own. It formed an attack upon a neighbour-never arrive at the wished-for object, yet it is possible ing fortification with great vigour, and at first was we may meet several discoveries by the way; and as vigorously repulsed. Not daunted, however, the certainty of small advantages, even while we with one defeat, in this manner it continued to lay travel with security, is not so amusing as the hopes siege to another's web for three days, and at length, of great rewards, which inspire the adventurer. having killed the defendant, actually took posses-Evenit nonnunquam, says Quintilian, ut aliquid sion. When smaller flies happen to fall into the grande inveniat qui semper quærit quod nimium snare, the spider does not sally out at once, but est.
very patiently waits till it is sure of them; for upon This enterprising spirit is, however, by no means his immediately approaching, the terror of his ap- the character of the present age: every person who pearance might give the captive strength sufficient should now leave received opinions, who should to get loose: the manner then is to wait patiently, attempt to be more than a commentator upon phitill by ineffectual and impotent struggles, the cap-losophy, or an imitator in polite learning, might be tive has wasted all its strength, and then he be- regarded as a chimerical projector. Hundreds comes a certain and casy conquest. would be ready not only to point out his errors,