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angel, or a tailor at the lion? A cook should not live at the boot, nor a shoemaker at the roasted pig; and yet, for want of this regulation, I have seen a goat set up before the door of a perfumer, and the French king's head at a sword-cutler's.
An ingenious foreigner observes, that several of those gentlemen who value themselves upon their families, and overlook such as are bred to trade, bear the toils of their forefathers in their coats of arms. I will not examine how true this is in fact. But though it may not be necessary for
I SHALL here present my reader with a letter from
thinks may very much contribute to the embellish.
a projector, concerning a new office which he posterity thus to set up the sign of their forefathers,
N 28. MONDAY, APRIL 2, 1711.
HOR, 2 Od. x. 19.
Nor does Apollo always bend his bow.
OBSERVING that you have thoughts of creating ingenious Mrs. Salmon to have lived at the sign of certain officers under you, for the inspection of se-the trout; for which reason she has erected before veral petty enormities which you yourself cannot her house the figure of the fish that is her nameattend to and finding daily absurdities hung out sake. Mr. Bell has likewise distinguished himself pon the sign-posts of this city, to the great scan-by a device of the same nature: and here, sir, I dal of foreigners, as well as those of our own coun-must beg leave to observe to you, that this particutry, who are curious spectators of the same; I do iar figure of a bell has given occasion to several Mmbly propose that you would be pleased to make pieces of wit in this kind. A man of your reading The your superintendent of all such figures and de-must know, that Abel Drugger gained great apvices, as are or shall be made use of on this occa-plause by it in the time of Ben Jonson. son, with full powers to rectify or expunge what-cryphal heathen god is also represented by this Our apoever I shall find irregular or defective. For want figure; which, in conjunction with the dragon, of such an officer, there is nothing like sound litera- makes a very handsome picture in several of our ture and good sense to be met, with in those ob- streets. jects, that are every where thrusting themselves of a savage man standing by a bell, I was formerly As for the bell-savage, which is the sign out to the eye, and endeavouring to become visible. very much puzzled upon the conceit of it, till I Our streets are filled with blue boars, black swans, accidentally fell into the reading of an old roand red hons; not to mention flying pigs, and hogs mance, translated out of the French: which gives in armour, with many other creatures more extraordinary than any in the deserts of Afric. found in a wilderness, and is called in the French an account of a very beautiful woman who was Sage! that one who has all the birds and beasts La belle Sauvage,† and is every where translated rature to choose out of, should live at the sign by our countrymen the bell-savage. This piece of Ens Rationis ! made sign-posts my study, and consequently quaphilosophy will, I hope, convince you that I have your hands. But before I conclude my letter, I hified myself for the employment that I solicit at must communicate to you another remark, which have made upon the subject with which I am now entertaining you, namely, that I can give a shrewd guess at the humour of the inhabitant by the sign
My first task therefore should be, like that of cules, to clear the city from monsters. Fond place I would forbid, that creatures of jar In the and incongruous natures should be joined totr in the same sign; such as the bell and the h's tongue, the dog and the gridiron. The fox goose may be supposed to have met, but what
e fox and the seven stars to do together?that hangs before his door. A surly choleric felA when did the lamb and dolphin ever meet, low generally makes choice of a bear; as men of pt upon a sign-post? As for the cat and fiddle, milder dispositions frequently live at the lamb. ere is a conceit in it: and therefore I do not intend Seeing a punch-bowl painted upon a sign near any thing I have here said should affect it. Charing-cross, and very curiously garnished, with st however observe to you upon this subject, a couple of angels hovering over it, and squeezing It is usual for a young tradesman, at his first a lemon into it, I had the curiosity to ask after the g up, to add to his own sign that of the mas-master of the house, and found upon inquiry, as I whom he served; as the husband after mar- had guessed by the little agremens upon his sign, se, gives a place to his mistress's arms in his that he was a Frenchman. Coat. This I take to have given rise to many requisite for me to enlarge upon these hints to a I know, sir, it is not absurdities which are committed over our gentleman of your great abilities; so humbly re5; and, as I am informed, first occasioned commending niy self to your favour and patronage, zee nuns and a hare, which we see so frely joined together. I would therefore esta 'I remain, &c.' certain rules, for the determining how far tradesman may give the sign of another, and which came to me by the same penny post. I shall add to the foregoing letter another
at cases he may be allowed to quarter it with
'From my own apartment near Charing-cros
the third place, I would enjoin every shop ake use of a sign which bears some affinity to wares in which it deals. What can be more sistent, than to see a bawd at the sign of the
When the name gives an occasion for an ingenious sign-post, I would likewise advise the owner to take that opportunity of letting the world know who he is. It would have been ridiculous for the
A humorous letter on the subject of sign-posts, &c. will be in the Gentleman's Magazine, vol. xl. 403.
· HONOURED SIR,
HAVING heard that this nation is a great en
* St. George.
Thus the notes of interrogation, or admiration, in the Italian music (if one may so call them) which resemble their accents in discourse on such occa
longing to the Great Mogul. He is by birth a properly express a passion in one language will monkey; but swings upon a rope, takes a pipe of not do it in another. Every one who has been long tobacco, and drinks a glass of ale, like any reason-in Italy knows very well, that the cadences in the able creature. He gives great satisfaction to the recitativo, hear a remote affinity to the tone of quality; and if they will make a subscription for their voices in ordinary conversation, or, to speak him, I will send for a brother of his out of Hol- more properly, are only the accents of their lanland, that is a very good tumbler; and also for guage made more musical and tuneful. another of the same family whom I design for my merry-andrew, as being an excellent mimic, and the greatest droll in the country where he now is. I hope to have this entertainment in a readiness sions, are not unlike the ordinary tones of an Eng. for the next winter; and doubt not but it will lish voice when we are angry; insomuch that I please more than the opera, or puppet-show. I have often seen our audiences extremely mistaken will not say that a monkey is a better man than as to what has been doing upon the stage, and exsome of the opera heroes; but certainly he is a pecting to see the hero knock down his messenger, better representative of a man, than the most arti-when he has been asking him a question; or fanficial composition of wood and wire. If you will cying that he quarrels with his friend, when he be pleased to give me a good word in your paper, only bids him good-morrow. you shall be every night a spectator at my show for nothing. 'I am, &c.'
For this reason the Italian artists cannot agree with our English musicians in admiring Purcell's compositions, and thinking his tunes so wonderfully adapted to his words; because both nations do not always express the same passions by the same sounds.
No 29. TUESDAY, APRIL 3, 1711.
I am therefore humbly of opinion, that an Eng lish composer should not follow the Italian recitative too servilely, but make use of many gentle deviations from it, in compliance with his own native language. He may copy out of it all the lulling softness and dying falls' (as Shakspeare calls them) but should still remember that he ought to accommodate himself to an English audience;
-Sermo lingua concinnus utraque Suavior: ut Chio nota si commista Falerni est. HOR. 1 Sat. x. 23. Both tongues united sweeter sounds produce, Like Chian mix'd with the Falernian juice. THERE is nothing that has more startled our Eng-and by humouring the tone of our voices in ordilish audience, than the Italian Recitativo at its nary conversation, have the same regard to the first entrance upon the stage. People were won-accent of his own language, as those persons had derfully surprised to hear generals singing the word to theirs whom he professes to imitate. It is ob of command, and ladies delivering messages in served, that several of the singing birds of our own music. Our countrymen could not forbear laugh-country learn to sweeten their voices, and mellow ing when they heard a lover chanting out a billet-the harshness of their natural notes, by practising doux, and even the superscription of a letter set under those that come off from warmer climates. to a tune. The famous blunder in an old play of In the same manner I would allow the Italian Enter a king and two fiddlers solus,' was now no opera to lend our English music as much as may longer an absurdity; when it was impossible for a grace and soften it, but never entirely to annihihero in a desert, or a princess in her closet, to late and destroy it. Let the infusion be as strong speak any thing unaccompanied with musical in- as you please, but still let the subject-matter of it be English.
But however this Italian method of acting in re- A composer should fit his music to the genius of citativo might appear at first hearing, I cannot the people, and consider that the delicacy of hear but think it much more just than that which pre-ing, and taste of harmony, has been formed upon vailed in our English opera before this innovation: those sounds, which every country abounds with. the transition from an air to recitative music being In short, that music is of a relative nature, and more natural, than the passing from a song to what is harmony to one ear, may be dissonance to plain and ordinary speaking, which was the com- another. mon method in Purcell's operas.
The same observations which I have made upon The only fault I find in our present practice, is the recitative part of music, may be applied to all the making use of the Italian recitativo with Eng-our songs and airs in general. lish words
Signior Baptist Lully acted like a man of sense
To go to the bottom of this matter I must ob-in this particular. He found the French music serve, that the tone, or (as the French call it) the extremely defective, and very often barbarous. accent of every nation in their ordinary speech, is However, knowing the genius of the people, the altogether different from that of every other peo-humour of their language, and the prejudiced ears ple; as we may see even in the Welsh and Scotch, he had to deal with, he did not pretend to extirwho border so near upon us. By the tone or ac-pate the French music, and plant the Italian in its cent I do not mean the pronunciation of each par- stead; but only to cultivate and civilize it with ticular word, but the sound of the whole sentence. innumerable graces and modulations which he bor Thus it is very common for an English gentleman rowed from the Italians. By this means the French when he hears a French tragedy, to complain that music is now perfect in its kind; and when you the actors all of them speak in a tone: and there- say it is not so good as the Italian, you only mean ore he very wisely prefers his own countrymen, that it does not please you so well; for there is t considering that a foreigner complains of the scarce a Frenchman who would not wonder to ne tone in an English actor. hear you give the Italian such a preference. The or this reason, the recitative music, in every music of the French is indeed very properly celage, should be as different as the tone or ac-adapted to their pronunciation and accent, as their feach language; for otherwise, what may whole opera wonderfully favours the genius of such
of his own thoughts, She gave me
agay, airy people. The chorus in which that
-maids. The shepherds are all embroidered, sentation of the matter from my letters, the comand acquit themselves in a ball better than our pany appear like so many players rehearsing beEnglish dancing-masters. I have seen a couple of hind the scenes; one is sighing and lamenting his rivers appear in red stockings; and Alpheus, in-destiny in beseeching terms, another declaring he stead of having his head covered with sedge and will break his chain, and another, in dumb-show, bulushes, making love in a full-bottomed peri- striving to express his passion by his gesture. It ig, and a plume of feathers; but with a voice is very ordinary in the assembly for one of a sudfull of shakes and quavers, that I should have den to rise and make a discourse concerning his hought the murmurs of a country brook the much passion in general, and describe the temper of his more agreeable music. mind in such a manner, as that the whole company shall join in the description, and feel the force of
make the more tempting figure, puts himself in French equipage, and brings Ascalaphus along th him as his valet de chambre. This is what we folly and impertinence; but what the French kupon as gay and polite.
I remember the last opera I saw in that merry tion was the Rape of Proserpine, where Pluto, it. In this case, if any man has declared the violence of his flame in more pathetic terms, he is made president for that night, out of respect to his superior passion.
We had some years ago in this town a set of people who met and dressed like lovers, and were distinguished by the name of the Fringeglove club; but they were persons of such moderate intellects, even before they were impaired by their passion,
I shall add no more to what I have here offered, an that music, architecture, and painting, as well poetry and oratory, are to deduce their laws d rules from the general sense and taste of that their irregularities could not furnish sufficient kind, and not from the principles of those arts variety of folly to afford daily new impertinences; mselves; or, in other words, the taste is not to by which means that institution dropped. These form to the art, but the art to the taste. Music fellows could express their passion in nothing but t designed to please only chromatic ears, but their dress; but the Oxonians are fantastical, now that are capable of distinguishing harsh from they are lovers, in proportion to their learning and greeable notes. A man of an ordinary ear is understanding before they became such. The dge whether a passion is expressed in proper thoughts of the ancient poets on this agreeable. ds, and whether the melody of those sounds phrensy, are translated in honour of some modern more or less pleasing. beauty; and Chloris is won to-day by the same compliment that was made to Lesbia a thousand years ago. But as far as I can learn, the patron of the club is the renowned Don Quixotte. The adventures of that gentle knight are frequently mentioned in the society, under the colour of laughing at the passion and themselves: but at the same time, though they are sensible of the extravagancies of that unhappy warrior, they do not observe, that to turn all the reading of the best and wisest writings into rhapsodies of love is a phrensy no less diverting than that of the aforesaid accomplished Spaniard. A gentleman who, hope, will continue his correspondence, is lately admitted into the fraternity, and sent me the following letter:
30. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4, 1711.
S, Mimnermus uti censet, sine amore jocisque
If nothing, as Mimnermus strives to prove,
Common calamity makes men extremely affect other, though they differ in every other parThe passion of love is the most general n among men; and I am glad to hear by my dvices from Oxford, that there are a set of
Carterre of the French, is the pit of the English the
in that university, who have erected them- SINCE I find you take notice of clubs, I beg leave into a society in honour of that tender pas-to give you an account of one in Oxford, which These gentlemen are of that sort of inamo-you have no where mentioned, and perhaps never who are not so very much lost to common heard of. We distinguish ourselves by the title of but that they understand the folly they are the Amorous club, are all votaries of Cupid, and f; and for that reason separate themselves admirers of the fair sex. The reason that we are other company, because they will enjoy so little known in the world, is the secrecy which asure of talking incoberently, without being we are obliged to live under in the university us to any but each other. When a man Our constitution runs counter to that of the pla nto the club, he is not obliged to make any wherein we live: for in love there are no docte, ction to his discourse, but at once, as he is and we all profess so high a passion, that we adit himself in his chair, speaks in the thread of no graduates in it. Our presidentship be stowed according to the dignity of passion, our number is unlimited; and our statutes fe like those of the Druids, recorded in our ow areasts
"Navia sex cyathis, septem Justina bibatur.”
The Expedition of Alexander* opens with his consulting the oracle at Delphos, in which the dumb conjurer, who had been visited by so many persons of quality of late years, is to be introduced as telling his fortune. At the same time Clinch of Barnet is represented in another corner of the temple, as ringing the bells of Delphos, for joy of his arrival. The tent of Darius is to be peopled by the ingenious Mrs. Salmon, where Alexander is to fall in love with a piece of wax-work, that represents the beautiful Statira. When Alexander comes into that country, in which Quintus Curtius tells us
This method of a glass to every letter of her name, occasioned the other night a dispute of some warmth A young student, who is in love with Mrs. Elizabeth Dimple, was so unreasonable as to begin her health under the name of Elizabetha; which so exasperated the club, that by common consent we retrenched it to Betty. We look upon a man as no company that does not sigh five times the dogs were so exceeding fierce, that they would in a quarter of an hour; and look upon a member not loose their hold, though they were cut to as very absurd, that is so much himself as to make pieces limb by limb, and that they would hang a direct answer to a question. In fine, the whole upon their prey by their teeth when they had assembly is made up of absent men, that is, of such nothing but a mouth left, there is to be a scene of persons as have lost their locality, and whose minds Hockley in the Hole, in which is to be represented and bodies never keep company with one another all the diversions of that place, the bull-baiting As I am an unfortunate member of this distracted only excepted, which cannot possibly be exhibited society, you cannot expect a very regular account in the theatre, by reason of the lowness of the roof. of it; for which reason I hope you will pardon The several woods in Asia, which Alexander must me that I so abruptly subscribe myself,
be supposed to pass through, will give the audience a sight of monkies dancing upon ropes, with many other pleasantries of that ludicrous species. At the same time, if there chance to be any strange animals in town, whether birds or beasts, they may
I forgot to tell you, that Albina, who has six be either let loose among the woods, or driven votaries in this club, is one of your readers.'
across the stage by some of the country people of
Sit mihi fas audita loqui-
LAST night, upon my going into a coffee-house not them go together to a puppet-show, in which the far from the Haymarket theatre, I diverted myself ingenious Mr. Powell, junior, may have an oppor for above half an hour with overhearing the dis-tunity of displaying his whole art of machinery course of one, who, by the shabbiness of his dress, for the diversion of the two monarchs. Some at the extravagance of his conceptions, and the hurry the table urged that a puppet-show was not a suitof his speech, I discovered to be of that species able entertainment for Alexander the Great; and who are generally distinguished by the title of that it might be introduced more properly, if we Projectors. This gentleman, for I found he was suppose the conqueror touched upon that part treated as such by his audience, was entertaining India which is said to be inhabited by the pigmies. a whole table of listeners with the project of an But this objection was looked upon as frivolous, opera, which he told us had not cost him above two and the proposal immediately overruled. Our proor three mornings in the contrivance, and which jector further added, that after the reconciliation he was ready to put in execution, provided he might of these two kings, they might invite one another find his account in it. He said, that he had observ-to dinner, and either of them entertain his guest ed the great trouble and inconvenience which ladies with the German artist, Mr. Pinkethman's heathen were at, in travelling up and down to the several shows that are exhibited in different quarters of the town. The dancing monkies are in one place; the puppet-show in another; the opera in a third; not mention the lions, that are almost a whole day's urney from the politer part of the town. By this ans people of figure are forced to lose half the er after their coming to town, before they hav seen all the strange sights about it. In order to redy this great inconvenience, our projector ut of his pocket the scheme of an opera,
'Your most obedient, humble servant,
N° 31. THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 1711.
*See No. 36.
Lately arrived a rare and curious artist, who in the pre sence of ali spectators makes all sorts and fashions of Inda they please. Also all sorts of birds, fowls, images of men. &c. China, and other curious figures of various colours as small as He bloweth all colours of glass curiously, &c. He showeth a glass of water wherein four or five images rise or fall as he pleases; with several rarities. A wheel turned by human power which spins 10,000 yards of glass in less than half an hour. He makes for sale, artificial eyes to admiration, curiously coloured and not to be discerned from natural eyes, and teaches how they may them in their heads themselves, to of all who use them.-Vivat Regina." Harl. MSS. 5961.
gods, or any of the like diversions, which shall and admit me into that select body; I could not then chance to be in vogue. restrain the vanity of publishing to the world the This project was received with very great ap- honour which is done ine. It is no small satisfacplause by the whole table. Upon which the under- tion that I have given occasion for the president's aker told us, that he had not yet communicated showing both his invention and reading to such o us above half his design; for that Alexander advantage as my correspondent reports he did: being a Greek, it was his intention that the whole but it is not to be doubted there were many very pera should be acted in that language, which was proper hums and patíses in his harangue, which tongue he was sure would wonderfully please the lose their ugliness in the narration, and which my des, especially when it was a little raised and correspondent (begging his pardon) has no very unded by the Ionic dialect; and could not but good talent at representing. Ivery much approve e acceptable to the whole audience, because of the contempt the society has of beauty. ere are fewer of them who understand Greek thing ought to be laudable in a man, in which his En Italian The only difficulty that remained, wil! is not concerned: therefore our society can s how to get performers, unless we could per- follow nature, and where she has thought fit, as it de some gentlemen of the universities to learn were, to mock herself, we can do so too, and be sing, in order to qualify themselves for the merry upon the occasion. ge: but this objection soon vanished, when the ector informed us that the Greeks were at preat the only musicians in the Turkish empire, and it would be very easy for our factory at na to furnish us every year with a colony of cians, by the opportunity of the Turkey fleet; des, says he, if we want any single voice for lower part in the opera, Lawrence can learn peak Greek, as well as he does Italian, in a ight's time.
e projector having thus settled matters, to the liking of all that heard him, he left his seat Se table, and planted himself before the fire, his phiz: and though our constitution has made no I had unluckily taken my stand for the con- particular provision for short faces, yet his being ance of overhearing what he said. Whether an extraordinary case, I believe we shall find an ad observed me to be more attentive than or-hole for him to creep in at; for I assure you he is y, I cannot tell, but he had not stood by me not against the canon; and if his sides are as comea quarter of a minute, but he turned short pact as his joles, he need not disguise himself to The on a sudden, and, catching me by a button make one of us." I presently called for the paper, coat, attacked me very abruptly after the to see how you looked in print: and after we had Sing manner: 'Besides, sir, I have heard of regaled ourselves awhile upon the pleasant image extraordinary genius for music that lives in of our proselyte, Mr. President told me I should erland, who has so strong a spring in his fin- be bis stranger at the next night's club: where we that he can make the board of an organ were no sooner come, and pipes brought, but Mr. ke a drum, and if I could but procure a President began an harangue upon your introduc ption of about ten thousand pound every tion to my epistle, setting forth with no less volu I would undertake to fetch him over, and bility of speech than strength of reason, “That a him by articles to set every thing that should speculation of this nature was what had been long gupon the English stage.' After this he and much wanted; and that he doubted not but it l in my face, expecting I would make would be of inestimable value to the public, in er, when, by good luck, a gentleman that reconciling even of bodies and souls; in composing ered the coffee-house since the projector and quieting the minds of men under all corporeal himself to me, hearing him talk of his redundancies, deficiencies, and irregularities whatpositions, cried out in a kind of laugh, soever; and making every one sit down content in music then to receive further improve his own carcase, though it were not perhaps so om Switzerland! This alarmed the pro-nathematically put together as he could wish." who immediately let go my button, and And again: "How that for want of a due consibout to answer him. I took the opportu-deration of what you first advance, viz. that our he diversion which seemed to be made in faces are not of our own choosing, people had been me, and laying down my penny upon transported beyond all good breeding, and hurried retired with some precipitation. themselves into unaccountable and fatal extravagancies; as, how many impartial looking-glasses had been censured and calumniated, nay, and sometimes shivered into ten thousand splinters, only for a fair representation of the truth? How many head-strings and garters had been made accessary, and actually forfeited, only because folks must needs quarrel with their own shadows? And who (continueshe) but is deeply sensible, that one great source of the uneasiness and misery of human life, nothing in the world else, but too severe a cor especially among those of distinction, arises from templation of an indefeasible contexture of o external parts, or certain natural and invinci dispositions to be fat or lean? when a little r of Mr. Spectator's philosophy would take aust this. In the mean time let them observe, that
32. FRIDAY, APRIL 6, 1711.
i larva aut tragicis opus esse cothurnis.
discourse concerning the statutes of the
See Guard. No. 84.
Your making public the late trouble I gave you, you will find to have been the occasion of this. Who should I meet at the coffee-house door the other night, but my old friend Mr. President? I saw somewhat had pleased him; and as soon as he had cast his eye upon me, "Oho Doctor, rare news from London (says he); the Spectator has published to the world his sincere desire to be a made honourable mention of the club (man), and member, with a recommendatory description of
HOR. 1 Sat. v. 64.