Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

the world, received at that time a present more | has a prevailing power over the strength of the head, yet the strength of the head has but small force against the weakness of the heart. Osmyn, therefore, struggled in vain to revive departed desire; and for that reason resolved to retire to one of his estates in the country, and pass away his hours of wedlock in the noble diversions of the field; and in the fury of a disappointed lover, made an oath to leave neither stag, fox, or hare living, during the days of his wife. Besides that country-sports would be an amusement, he hoped also that his spouse would be half killed by the very sense of seeing this town no more, and would think her life ended as soon as she left it. He communicated his design to Elmira, who received it, as now she did all things, like a person too unhappy to be relieved or afflicted by the circumstance of place. This unexpected resignation made Osmyn resolve to be as obliging to her as possible; and if he could not prevail upon himself to be kind, he took a resolution at least to act sincerely, and communicate frankly to her the weakness of his temper, to excuse the indifference of his behaviour. He disposed his household in the way to Rutland, so as he and his lady travelled only in the coach for the convenience of discourse, They had not gone many miles out of town, when Osmyn spoke to this purpose:

valuable than the possession of both the Indies. She was then in her early bloom, with an understanding and discretion very little inferior to the most experienced matrons. She was not beholden to the charms of her sex, that her company was preferable to any Osmyn could meet with abroad; for, were all she said considered without regard to her being a woman, it might stand the examination of the severest judges. She had all the beauty of her own sex, with all the conversation-accomplishments of ours. But Osmyn very soon grew surfeited with the charms of her person by possession, and of her mind by want of taste; for he was one of that loose sort of men, who have but one reason for setting any value upon the fair sex; who consider even brides but as new women, and consequently neglect them when they cease to be such. All the merit of Elmira could not prevent her becoming a merè wife within few months after her nuptials; and Osmyn had so little relish for her conversation, that he complained of the advantages of it. 'My spouse,' said he to one of his companions, 'is so very discreet, so good, so virtuous, and I know not what, that I think her person is rather the object of esteem than of love; and there is such a thing as a merit which causes rather distance than passion.' But there being no medium in the state of matrimony, their life began to take the usual gradations to become the most irksome of all beings. They grew in the first place very complaisant; and having at heart a certain knowledge that they were indifferent to each other, apologies were made for every little circumstance which they thought betrayed their mutual coldness. This lasted but few months, when they showed a difference of opinion in every trifle; and, as a sign of certain decay of affection, the word 'perhaps,' was introduced in all their discourse. I have a mind to go to the park,' says she; 'but perhaps, my dear, you will want the coach on some other occasion.' He' would very willingly carry her to the play; but perhaps she had rather go to lady Centaur's and play at Ombre.' They were both persons of good discerning, and soon found that they mortally hated each other by their manner of hiding it. Certain it is, that there are some genios which are not capable of pure affection, and a man is born with talents for it as much as for poetry or any other science.

'My dear, I believe I look quite as silly now I am going to tell you I do not love you, as when I first told you I did. We are now going into the country together, with only one hope for making this life agreeable, survivorship: desire is not in our power; mine is all gone for you. What shall we do to carry it with decency to the world, and hate one another with discretion?'

Osmyn began too late to find the imperfection of his own heart, and used all the methods in the world to correct it, and argue himself into return of desire and passion for his wife, by the contemplation of her excellent qualities, his great obligatious to her, and the high value he saw all the world except himself did put upon her. But such man's unhappy condition, that though the weakness of the heart

The lady answered, without the least observation on the extravagance of his speech:

'My dear, you have lived most of your days in a court, and I have not been wholly unacquainted with that sort of life. In courts, you see good-will is spoken with great warmth, ill-will covered with great civility. Men ar long in civilities to those they hate, and short in expressions of kindness to those they love. Therefore, my dear, let us be well-bred still; and it is no matter, as to all who see us, whether we love or hate and to let you see how much you are beholden to me for my conduct, I have both hated and despised you, my dear, this half-year; and yet neither in language or behaviour has it been visible but that I loved you tenderly. Therefore, as I know you go out of town to divert life in pursuit of beasts, and conversation with men just above them; so, my life, from this moment, I shall read all the learned cooks who have ever writ; study broths, plasters, and conserves, until, from a fine lady, I become a notable woman. We must take our minds a note or two lower, or

Q

we shall be tortured by jealousy or anger. Thus, I am resolved to kill all keen passions, by employing my mind on little subjects, and lessening the easiness of my spirit; while you, my dear, with much ale, exercise, and ill company, are so good as to endeavour to be as contemptible as it is necessary for my quiet I should think you.'

of what we are to expect in a person of his way
of thinking. Shakspeare is your pattern. In
the tragedy of Cæsar he introduces his hero
in his night-gown. He had at that time al
the power of Rome: deposed consuls, subor
dinate generals, and captive princes might
have preceded him; but his genius was above
such mechanic methods of showing greatness.
Therefore, he rather presents that great soul
debating upon the subject of life and death
with his intimate friends, without endeavouring
to prepossess his audience with empty show
and pomp. When those who attend him talk
of the many omens which had appeared that
day, he answers:

At Rutland they arrived, and lived with great but secret impatience for many successive years, until Osmyn thought of a happy expedient to give their affairs a new turn. One day he took Elmira aside, and spoke as follows:

'My dear, you see here the air is so temperate and serene; the rivulets, the groves, and, soil, so extremely kind to nature, that we are stronger and firmer in our health since we left the town; so that there is no hope of a release in this place; but, if you will be so kind as to go with me to my estate in the hundreds of Essex, it is possible some kind damp may one day or other relieve us. If you will condescend to accept of this offer, I will add that whole estate to your jointure in this country.'

Elmira, who was all goodness, accepted the offer, removed accordingly, and has left her spouse in that place to rest with his fathers.

This is the real figure in which Elmira ought to be beheld in this town; and not thought guilty of an indecorum, in not professing the sense, or bearing the habit of sorrow, for one who robbed her of all the endearments of life, and gave her only common civility, instead of complacency of manners, dignity of passion, and that constant assemblage of soft desires and affections which all feel who love, but none can express.

"Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,

It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come, when it will come.

'When the hero has spoken this sentiment, there is nothing that is great which cannot be expected from one, whose first position is the contempt of death to so high a degree, as to make his exit a thing wholly indifferent, and not a part of his care, but that of heaven and fate.'

St. James's Coffee-house, August 10. Letters from Brussels of the fifteenth instant, N. S. say, that major-general Ravignan re. turned on the eighth, with the French king's answer to the intended capitulation for the citadel of Tournay, which is that he does not think fit to sign that capitulation, except the allies will grant a cessation of arms in general, during the time in which all acts of hostility were to have ceased between the citadel and the besiegers. Soon after the receipt of this news, the cannon on each side began to play. There are two attacks against the citadel, coni

Will's Coffee-house, August 10.

Mr. Truman, who is a mighty admirer of dramatic poetry, and knows I am about a tragedy, never meets me, but he is giving admo-manded by general Lottum and general Schuynitions and hints for my conduct. Mr. Bicker-lemberg, which are both carried on with great staff,' said he, 'I was reading last night your success; and it is not doubted but the citadel second act you were so kind to lend me: but will be in the hands of the allies before the last I find you depend mightily upon the retinue day of this month. Letters from Ipres say, of your hero to make bim magnificent. You that on the ninth instant part of the garrison make guards, and ushers, and courtiers, and of that place had mutinied in two bodies, each commons, and nobles, march before; and then consisting of two hundred; who being dispersed enters your prince, and says, they cannot de- [the same day, a body of eight hundred appeared fend him from his love. Why, pr'ythee, Isaac, in the market-place at nine the night following, who ever thought they could? Place me your and seized all manner of provisions, but were loving monarch in a solitude; let him have no with much difficulty quieted. The governor sense at all of his grandeur, but let it be eaten has not punished any of the offenders, the disup with his passion. He must value himself satisfaction being universal in that place; and as the greatest of lovers, not as the first of it is thought the officers foment those disorders, princes and then let him say a more tender that the ministry may be convinced of the thing than ever man said before-for his feather necessity of paying those troops, and supplying and eagle's beak are nothing at all. The man them with provisions. These advices add, that is to be expressed by his sentiments and affec- on the fourteenth the marquis d'Este passed tions, and not by his fortune or equipage. You express through Brussels from the duke of are also to take care, that at his first entrance Savoy, with advice that the army of his royal he says something, which may give us an idea highness had forced the retrenchments of the

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

enemy in Savoy, and defeated that body of men which guarded those passes under the command of the marquis de Thouy.

6

<

White's Chocolate house August, 12. OF THE GOVERNMENT OF AFFECTION.

"

·

one, but that she is his mistress. And he has himself often said, were he married to any one else, he would rather keep Laura than any woman living; yet allows, at the same time, that Phillis, were she a woman of honour, would have been the most insipid animal breathing. The other day Laura, who has a voice like an angel, began to sing to him. 'Fie, madam,' he cried. we must be past all these gayties.' Phillis has a note as rude and as loud as that of a milk-maid: when she begins to warble, 'Well,' says he, there is such a pleasing simplicity in all that wench does.' In a word, the affectionate part of his heart WHEN labour was pronounced to be the por- being corrupted, and his true taste that way tion of man, that doom reached the affections wholly lost, he has contracted a prejudice to of his mind, as well as his person, the matter all the behaviour of Laura, and a general paron which he was to feed, and all the animal tiality in favour of Phillis. It is not in the and vegetable world about him. There is, power of the wife to do a pleasing thing, nor therefore, an assiduous care and cultivation to in the mistress to commit one that is disagreebe bestowed upon our passions and affections; able. There is something too melancholy in for they, as they are the excrecences of our the reflection on this circumstance, to be the souls like our hair and beards, look horrid or subject of raillery. He said a sour thing to becoming, as we cut or let them grow. All Laura at dinner the other day; upon which this grave preface is meant to assign a reason she burst into tears. What the devil, madam,' in nature for the unaccountable behaviour of says he, cannot I speak in my own house?' Duumvir, the husband and keeper. Ten thou- He answered Phillis a little abruptly at supper sand follies had this unhappy man escaped, the same evening, upon which she threw his had he made a compact with himself to be periwig into the fire. ‘Well,' said he ‘thou art upon his guard, and not permitted his vagrant a brave termagant jade: do you know, hussy, eye to let in so many different inclinations that fair wig cost forty guineas?' Oh Laura! upon him, as all his days he has been perplexed is it for this that the faithful Cromius sighed with. But indeed, at present, he has brought for you in vain? How is thy condition altered, himself to be confined only to one prevailing since crowds of youth hung on thy eye, and mistress; between whom and his wife, Duum-watched its glances? It is not many months vir passes his hours in all the vicissitudes which since Laura was the wonder and pride of her attend passion and affection, without the in- own sex, as well as the desire and passion of tervention of reason. Laura his wife, and ours. At plays and at balls, the just turn of Phillis his mistress, are all with whom he has her behaviour, the decency of her virgin bad, for some months, the least amorous com-charms, chastised, yet added to diversions. At merce. Duumvir has passed the noon of life; public devotions, her winning modesty, her but cannot withdraw from those entertainments resigned carriage, made virtue and religion which are pardonable only before that stage appear with new ornaments, and in the natural of our being, and which, after that season, are apparel of simplicity and beauty. In ordinary rather punishments than satisfactions: for conversations, a sweet conformity of manners, palled appetite is humourous, and must be and a humility which heightened all the comgratified with sauces rather than food. For placencies of good-breeding and education, which end Duumvir is provided with a haughty,gave her more slaves than all the pride of her imperious, expensive, and fantastic mistress, sex ever made women wish for. Laura's hours to whom he retires from the conversation of are now spent in the sad reflection on her an affable, humble, discreet, and affectionate choice, and that deceitful vanity, almost insewife. Laura receives him after absence, with parable from the sex, of believing she could an easy and unaffected complacency; but reclaim one that had so often ensnared others; that he calls insipid: Phillis rates him for his as it now is, it is not even in the power of absence, and bids him return from whence he Duumvir himself to do her justice: for though came; this he calls spirit and fire; Laura's beauty and merit are things real and indepengentleness is thought mean; Phillis's insolence, dent on taste and opinion, yet agreeableness sprightly. Were you to see him at his own is arbitrary, and the mistress has much the home, and his mistress's lodgings; to Phillis advantage of the wife. But whenever fate is ne appears an obsequious lover, to Laura an so kind to her and her spouse as to end her imperious master. Nay, so unjust is the taste days, with all this passion for Phillis and inof Duumvir, that he owns Laura has no ill difference for Laura, he has a second wife in quality, but that she is his wife; Phillis no good view, who may avenge the injuries done to her

No. 54.] Saturday, August 13, 1709.

Quicquid agunt homines

——nosri est farrago libel i. Jtv. Sat. i. 85, 86.
Whate'er men do, or say, or think, or dream,
Our motley paper seizes for its theme.

P.

predecessor. Aglaura is the destined lady, j atonement for certain of your paragraphs which
who has lived in assemblies, has ambition and have not been highly approved by us.
play for her entertainment, and thinks of a
I am, Sir,
man, not as the object of love, but the tool of
ner interest or pride. If ever Aglaura comes
to the empire of this inconstant, she will en-
dear the memory of her predecessor. But, in
the mean time, it is melancholy to consider,
<hat the virtue of a wife is like the merit of a
poet, never justly valued until after death.

From my own Apartment, August 11. As we have professed that all the actions of men are our subject, the most solemn are not to be omitted, if there happens to creep into their behaviour any thing improper for such occasions. Therefore, the offence mentioned in the following epistles, though it may seem to be committed in a place sacred from observation, is such, that it is our duty to remark upon it; for though he who does it is himself only guilty of an indecorum, he occasions a criminal levity in all others who are present at it.

'Your most humble servant,
JEOFFRY CHANTICLEER.'

Dr. William Stanley, dean of St. Paul's.

It is wonderful that there should be such a general lamentation, and the grievance so frequent, and yet the offender never know any thing of it. I have received the following letter from my kinsman at the Heralds-office, near the same place.

'DEAR COUSIN,

'This office, which has had its share in the impartial justice of your censures, demands at present your vindication of their rights and privileges. There are certain hours when our young heralds are exercised in the faculties of making proclamation, and other vociferations, which of right belong to us only to utter: but, at the same hours, Stentor in St. Paul's Church, in spite of the coaches, carts, London cries, and all other sounds between us, exalts his throat to so high a key, that the most noisy of our order utterly unheard. If you please to observe upon this, you will ever oblige, &c.'

'MR. BICKERSTAFF,

St. Paul's Church-Yard,
Angust 11.

'It being mine as well as the opinion of
many others, that your papers are extremely
well fitted to reform any irregular or indecent
practice, I present the following as one which
requires your correction. Myself, and a great
many good people who frequent the divine
service at St. Paul's, have been a long time
scandalized by the imprudent conduct of
Stentor in that cathedral. This gentleman,
you must know, is always very exact and zea-
lous in his devotion, which I believe nobody
blames; but then he is accustomed to roar
and bellow so terribly loud in the responses,
that he frightens even us of the congregation
who are daily used to him; and one of our
petty canons, a punning Cambridge scholar,
calls his way of worship a Bull-offering. His
harsh untuneable pipe is no more fit than a
raven's to join with the music of a choir; yet,
nobody having been enough his friend, I sup-
pose, to inform him of it, he never fails, when
present, to drown the harmony of every hymn
and anthem, by an inundation of sound beyond
that of the bridge at the ebb of the tide, or
the neighbouring lions in the anguish of their
hunger. This is a grievance, which, to my
certain knowledge, several worthy people de- to the number of my defunct.
sire to see redressed; and if, by inserting this
epistle in your paper, or by representing the

matter your own way, you can convince Sten- No. 55.] Tuesday, August 16, 1709.

tor, that discord in a choir is the same sin that schism is in the church in general, you would lay a great obligation upon us; and make some

There have been communicated to me some other ill consequences from the same cause; as, the overturning of coaches by sudden starts of the horses as they passed that way, women pregnant frightened, and heirs to families lost; which are public disasters, though arising from a good intention: but it is hoped, after this admonition, that Stentor will avoid an act of so great supererogation, as singing without a voice.

But I am diverted from prosecuting Stentor's reformation, by an account, that the two faithful lovers, Lisander and Coriana, are dead; for, no longer ago than the first day of the last month, they swore eternal fidelity to each other, and to love until death. Ever since that time, Lisander has been twice a day at the chocolate-house, visits in every circle, is missing four hours in four-and-twenty, and will give no account of himself. These are undoubted proofs of the departure of a lover; and consequently Coriana is also dead as a mistress. I have written to Stentor, to give this couple three calls at the church-door, which they must hear if they are living within the bills of mortality; and if they do not answer at that time, they are from that moment added

Paulo majora canamus. Virg. Ecl. iv. 1.
Begin a loftier strain.

White's Chocolate-house, August 15. WHILE others are busied in relations which concern the interest of princes, the peace of

[ocr errors]

nations, and revolutions of empire ;* I think, though these are very great subjects, my theme of discourse is sometimes to be of matters of a yet higher consideration. The slow steps of providence and nature, and strange events which are brought about in an instant, are what, as they come within our view and observation, shall be given to the public. Such things are not accompanied with show and noise, and therefore seldom draw the eyes of the unattentive part of mankind; but are very proper at once to exercise our humanity, please our imaginations, and improve our judgments. It may not, therefore, be unuseful to relate many circumstances, which were observable upon a late cure done upon a young gentleman who was born blind, and on the twenty-ninth of June last received his sight, at the age of twenty years, by the operation of an oculist. This happened no farther off than Newington, and the work was prepared for in the following

6

knew her voice, and could speak no more than Oh me! are you my mother?' and fainted. The whole room, you will easily conceive, were very affectionately employed in recovering him; but, above all, the young gentlewoman who loved him, and whom he loved, shrieked in the loudest manner. That voice seemed to have a sudden effect upon him as he recovered, and he showed a double curiosity in observing her as she spoke and called to him, until at last he broke out, What has been done to me? Whither am I carried? Is all this about me the thing I have heard so often of? Is this the light? Is this seeing? Were you always thus happy, when you said you were glad to see each other? Where is Tom, who used to lead me? But I could now, methinks, go any where without him.' He offered to move, but seemed afraid of every thing around him. When they saw his difficulty, they told him, until he became better acquainted with his new being, he must let the servant still lead him.' The boy was called for, and presented to him. Mr. Caswell asked him, 'what sort of thing he took Tom to be before he had seen him?'. He answered, he believed there was not so much of him as of himself; but he fancied him the same sort of creature.' The noise of this sudden change made all the neighbourhood throng to the place where he was. As he saw the crowd thickening, he desired Mr. Caswell to tell him how many there were in all to be seen. The gentleman, smiling, answered him, that it would be very proper for him to return to his late condition, and suffer his eyes to be covered, until they had received strength: for he might remember well enough, that by degrees he had from little and little come to the strength he had at present in his ability of walking and moving; and that it was the same thing with his eyes, which,' he said, 'would lose the power of continuing to him that won

manner.

The operator, Mr. Grant, having observed the eyes of his patient, and convinced his friends and relations, among others the reverend Mr. Caswell, minister of the place, that it was highly probable that he should remove the obstacle which prevented the use of his sight; all his acquaintance, who had any regard for the young man, or curiosity to be present when one of full age and understanding received a new sense, assembled themselves on this occasion. Mr. Caswell, being a gentleman particularly curious, desired the whole company, in case the blindness should be cured, to keep silence; and let the patient make his own observations, without the direction of any thing he had received by his other senses, or the advantage of discovering his friends by their voices. Among several others, the mother, brethren, sisters, and a young gentlewoman, for whom he had a passion, were present. The work was performed with great skill and dex-derful transport he was now in, except he terity. When the patient first received the would be contented to lay aside the use of dawn of light, there appeared such an ectasy them, until they were strong enough to bear in his action, that he seemed ready to swoon the light without so much feeling as he knew away in the surprise of joy and wonder. The he underwent at present.' With much relucsurgeon stood before him with his instruments rance he was prevailed upon to have his eyes in his hands. The young man observed him bound; in which condition they kept him in from head to foot; after which he surveyed a dark room, until it was proper to let the himself as carefully, and seemed to compare organ receive its objects without further prehim to himself; and, observing both their caution. During the time of this darkness, he hands, seemed to think they were exactly alike, bewailed himself in the most distressed manner; except the instruments, which he took for parts and accused all his friends, complaining that of his hands. When he had continued in this some incantation had been wrought upon amazement some time, his mother could not him, and some strange magic used to deceive longer bear the agitations of so many passions him into ar opinion that he had enjoyed what as thronged upon her; but fell upon his neck, they called sight.' He added, that the imeiving out, 'My son! my son! The youth pressions then let in upon his soul would certainly distract him, if he were not so at that sub-present.' At another time, he would strive to name the persons he had seen among the crowd after he was couched, and would pretend to

·

"

The name of the young man, who is the principal ject of this paper, was William Jones of Newington Butts, who, it is said, was born blind, and brought to his sight at the age of twenty.

« ПредишнаНапред »