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body after different manners, so the same and irregular practices, as sallying out into aspiring principle within us sometimes nocturnal exploits, breaking of windows, breaks forth upon one object, sometimes singing of catches, beating the watch, getupon another.
ting drunk twice a day, killing a great It cannot be doubted, but that there is as number of horses; with many other entergreat a desire of glory in a ring of wrestlers prises of the like fiery nature: for certainly or cudgel-players, as in any other more re- many a man is more rakish and extravagant fined competition for superiority. No man than he would willingly be, were there not that could avoid it, would ever suffer his others to look on and give their approbation. head to be broken but out of a principle of One very common, and at the same time honour. This is the secret spring that the most absurd ambition that ever showed pushes them forward; and the superiority itself in human nature, is that which comes which they gain above the undistinguished upon a man with experience and old age, many, does more than repair those wounds the season when it might be expected he they have received in the combat. It is Mr. should be wisest; and therefore it cannot Waller's opinion, that Julius Cæsar, had receive any of those lessening circumstances he not been master of the Roman empire, which do, in some measure, excuse the diswould, in all probability, have made an ex- orderly ferments of youthful blood: I mean cellent wrestler:
the passion for getting money, exclusive of "Great Julius on the mountains bred,
the character of the provident father, the A flock perhaps or herd had led;
affectionate husband, or the generous friend. He that the world subdu'd, had been But the best wrestler on the green.'
It may be remarked, for the comfort of
honest poverty, that this desire reigns most That he subdued the world, was owing to in those who have but few good qualities to the accidents of art and knowledge; had he recommend them. This is a weed that will not met with those advantages, the same grow in a barren soil. Humanity, goodsparks of emulation would have kindled nature, and the advantages of a liberal within him, and prompted him to distin- education, are incompatible with avarice. guish himself in some enterprise of a lower It is strange to see how suddenly this abject nature. Since therefore no man's lot is so passion kills all the noble sentiments and unalterably fixed in this life, but that a generous ambitions that adorn human nathousand accidents may either forward or ture; it renders the man who is overrun disappoint his advancement, it is, methinks, with it a peevish and cruel master, a severe a pleasant and inoffensive speculation, to parent, an unsociable husband, a distant consider a great man as divested of all the and mistrustful friend. But it is more to the adventitious circumstances of fortune, and present purpose to consider it as an absurd to bring him down in one's imagination to passion of the heart, rather than as a vicious that low station of life, the nature of which affection of the mind. As there are frequent bears some distant resemblance to that high instances to be met with of a proud humility, one he is at present possessed of. Thus so this passion, contrary to most others, one may view him, exercising in miniature affects applause, by avoiding all show and those talents of nature, which being drawn appearance; for this reason it will not someout by education to their full length, enable times endure even the common decencies him for the discharge of some important of apparel. 'A covetous man will call himemployment. On the other hand, one may self poor, that you may soothe his vanity by raise uneducated merit to such a pitch of contradicting him.' Love and the desire of greatness as may seem equal to the possible glory, as they are the most natural, so they extent of his improved capacity.
are capable of being refined into the most Thus nature furnishes man with a gene- delicate and rational passions. It is true, ral appetite of glory, education determines the wise man who strikes out of the secret it to this or that particular object. The paths of a private life, for honour and digdesire of distinction is not, I think, in any nity, allured by the splendour of a court, instance more observable than in the variety and the unfelt weight of public employof outsides and new appearances, which the ment, whether he succeeds in his attempts modish part of the world are obliged to or no, usually comes near enough to this provide, in order to make themselves re- painted greatness to discern the daubing; markable; for any thing glaring or particu- he is then desirous of extricating himself lar, either in behaviour or apparel, is known out of the hurry of life, that he may pass to have this good effect, that it cat es the away the remainder of his days in tranquileye, and will not suffer you to pass over the lity and retirement. person so adorned without due notice and It may be thought then but common pruobservation. It has likewise, upon this ac- dence in a man not to change a better state count, been frequently resented as a very for a worse, nor ever to quit that which he great slight, to leave any gentleman out of knows he shall take up again with pleasure; a lampoon or satire, who has as much right and yet if human life be not a little moved to be there as his neighbour, because it sup- with the gentle gales of hopes and fears, poses the person not eminent enough to be there may be some danger of its stagnating taken notice of. To this passionate fondness in an unmanly indolence and security. It is for distinction are owing various frolicksome a known story of Domitian, that after he
Jun. Sat. x. 365.
had possessed himself of the Roman em- | No. 225.) Saturday, November 17, 1711. pire, his desires turned upon catching flies.
Nullum numen abest si sit prudentiaActive and masculine spirits in the vigour of youth neither can nor ought to remain at Prudence supplies the want of every good. rest. If they debar themselves from aiming I have often thought if the minds of men at a noble object, their desires will move were laid open, we should see but little • downwards, and they will feel themselves difference between that of the wise man actuated by some low and abject passion. and that of the fool. There are infinite Thus, if you cut off the top branches of a reveries, numberless extravagances, and a tree, and will not suffer it to grow any perpetual train of vanities which pass higher, it will not therefore cease to grow, through both. The great difference is that but will quickly shoot out at the bottom. the first knows how to pick and cull his The man indeed who goes into the world thoughts for conversation, by suppressing only with the narrow views of self-interest, some and communicating others; whereas who catches at the applause of an idle mul- the other lets them all indifferently fly out titude, as he can find no solid contentment in words. This sort of discretion, howat the end of his journey, so he deserves to ever, has no place in private conversation meet with disappointments in his way: but between intimate friends. On such occahe who is actuated by a nobler principle; sions the wisest men very often talk like whose mind is so far enlarged as to take in the weakest: for indeed the talking with a the prospect of his country's good; who is friend is nothing else but thinking aloud. enamoured with that praise which is one Tully has therefore very justly exposed of the fair attendants of virtue, and values a precept delivered by some ancient wrinot those acclamations which are not se- ters, that a man should live with his enemy conded by the impartial testimony of his in such a manner, as might leave him room own mind; who repines not at the low sta- to become his friend; and with his friend in tion which Providence has at present allot- such a manner, that if he became his eneted him, but yet would willingly advance my, it should not be in his power to hurt himself by justifiable means to a more rising him. The first part of this rule, which and advantageous ground; such a man is regards our behaviour towards an enemy warmed with a generous emulation; it is a is indeed very reasonable, as well as very virtuous movement in him to wish and to prudential; but the latter part of it, which endeavour that his power of doing good may regards our behaviour towards a friend, be equal to his will.
savours more of cunning than of discretion, The man who is fitted out by nature, and and would cut a man off from the greatest sent into the world with great abilities, is pleasures of life, which are the freedoms of capable of doing great good or mischief in conversation with a bosom friend. Besides it. It ought therefore to be the care of that, when a friend is turned into an enemy, education to infuse into the untainted youth and, as the son of Sirach calls him, a early notices of justice and honour, that so bewrayer of secrets,'* the world is just the possible advantages of good parts may enough to accuse the perfidiousness of the not take an evil turn, nor be perverted to friend rather than the indiscretion of the base and unworthy purposes. It is the person who confided in him. business of religion and philosophy not so Discretion does not only show itself in much to extinguish our passions as to words, but in all the circumstances of acregulate and direct them to valuable well- tion, and is like an under-agent of Provichosen objects. When these have pointed dence, to guide and direct us in the ordinary out to us which course we may lawfully concerns of life. steer, it is no harm to set out all our sail;
There are many more shining qualities if the storms and tempests of adversity in the mind of man, but there is none so should rise upon us, and not suffer us to useful as discretion; it is this indeed which make the haven where we would be, it gives a value to all the rest, which sets will however prove no small consolation to them at work in their proper times and us in these circumstances, that we have places, and turns them to the advantage of neither mistaken our course, nor fallen into the person who is possessed of them. Withcalamities of our own procuring.
out it, learning is pedantry, and wit imperReligion therefore (were we to consider tinence; virtue itself looks like weakness; it no farther than as it interposes in the the best parts only qualify a man to be affairs of this life) is highly valuable, and more sprightly in errors, and active to his worthy of great veneration; as it settles the own prejudice. various pretensions, and otherwise interfer * Nor does discretion only make a man the ing interests of mortal men, and thereby master of his own parts, but of other men's. consults the harmony and order of the great The discreet man finds out the talents of community; as it gives a man room to play those he converses with, and knows how to his part, and exert his abilities; as it aní- apply them to proper uses. Accordingly, mates to actions truly laudable in them- if we look into particular communities and selves, in their effects beneficial to society; divisions of men, we may observe, that it is as it inspires rational ambition, correct love, and elegant desire.
• Eccles. vi. 9. zzvii. 17.
the discreet man, not the witty, nor the his thoughts to the end of every action, and learned, nor the brave, who guides the con- considers the most distant as well as the versation, and gives measures to the so- most immediate effects of it. He superciety. A man with great talents, but void sedes every little prospect of gain and adof discretion, is like Polyphemus in the fa- vantage which offers itself here, if he does ble, strong and blind, endued with an irre- not find it consistent with his views of an sistible force, which for want of sight is of hereafter. In a word, his hopes are full no use to him.
of immortality, his schemes are large and Though a man has all other perfections, glorious, and his conduct suitable to one and wants discretion, he will be of no great who knows his true interest, and how to consequence in the world; but if he has pursue it by proper methods. this single talent in perfection, and but a I have in this essay upon discretion, concommon share of others, he may do what sidered it both as an accomplishment and he plcases in his particular station of life. as a virtue, and have therefore described
At the same time that I think discretion it in its full extent; not only as it is converthe most useful talent a man can be master sant about worldly affairs, but as it regards of, I look upon cunning to be the accom- our whole existence; not only as it is the plishment of little, mean, ungenerous minds, guide of a mortal creature, but as it is in Discretion points out the noblest ends to us, general the director of a reasonable being. and pursues the most proper and laudable It is in this light that discretion is repremethods of attaining them. Cunning has sented by the wise man, who sometimes only private selfish aims, and sticks at mentions it under the name of discretion, nothing which may make them succeed. and sometimes under that of wisdom. It Discretion has large and extended views, is indeed (as described in the latter part of and like a well-formed eye, commands a this paper) the greatest wisdom, but at the whole horizon. Cunning is a kind of short- same time in the power of every one to sightedness, that discovers the minutest attain. Its advantages are infinite, but its objects which are near at hand, but is not acquisition easy; or to speak of her in the able to discern things at a distance. Dis- words of the apocryphal writer, whom I cretion, the more it is discovered, gives a quoted in my last Saturday's paper, * •
,* Wisgreater authority to the person who pos- dom is glorious, and never fadeth away, yet sesses it. Cunning, when it is once de- she is easily seen of them that love her, tected, loses its force, and makes a man in- and found of suc as seek her. She precapable of bringing about even those events venteth them that desire her, in' making which he might have done, had he passed herself first known unto them. He that only for a plain man. Discretion is the seeketl her early, shall have no great traperfection of reason, and a guide to us in vel: for he shall find her sitting at his all the duties of life: cunning is a kind doors. To think therefore upon her is the of instinct, that only looks out after our perfection of wisdom, and whoso watcheth immediate interest and welfare. Discre- for her shall quickly be without care. For tion is only found in men of strong sense she goeth about seeking such as are worthy and good understandings: cunning is often of her, showeth herself favourably unto to be met with in brutes themselves, and them in the ways, and meeteth them in in persons who are but the fewest removes every thought.'
C. from them. In short, cunning is only the mimic of discretion, and may pass upon weak men, in the same mannner as viva- No. 226.] Monday, November 19, 1711. city is often mistaken for wit, and gravity for wisdom.
-Mutum est pictura poema. The cast of mind which is natural to a
A picture is a poem without words. discreet man, makes him look forward into futurity, and consider what will be his con
+ I HAVE very often lamented and hinted dition millions of ages hence, as well as my sorrow in several speculations, that the what it is at present. He knows that the art of painting is made so little use of to the
When we misery or happiness which are reserved improvement of our manners. for him in another world, lose nothing of consider that it places the action of the their reality by being placed at so great a person represented in the most agreeable distance from him. The objects do not aspect imaginable, that it does not only exappear little to him because they are re- him who is drawn, but has under those fea
press the passion or concern as it sits upon mote. He considers that those pleasures tures the height of the painter's imagi, and pains which lie hid in eternity, ap, nation, what strong images of virtue and proach nearer to him every moment, and will be present with him in their full humanity might we not expect would be weight and measure, as much as those
* Wisdom of Solomon, chap. vi. ver. 12-16. pains and pleasures which he feels at this
| This paper was written for the purpose of promoting very instant. For this reason he is careful a subscription to Nicholas Dorigny's set of the Cartoons, to secure to himself that which is the which he had got the queen's permission to engrave. proper happiness of his nature, and the The king was so much pleased with the abilities of the
artist, that he conferred the bonour of knighthood on ultimate design of his being. He carries him.
instilled into the mind from the labours of aspect. The figures of the eleven apostles the pencil? This is a poetry which would are all in the same passion of admiration, be understood with much less capacity, but discover it differently according to their and less expense of time, than what is character. Peter receives his master's taught by writings; but the use of it is gene- orders on his knees, with an admiration rally perverted, and that admirable skill mixed with a more particular attention: prostituted to the basest and most unwor- the two next with a more open ecstasy, thy ends. Who is the better man for be- though still constrained by an awe of the holding the most beautiful Venus, the best divine presence. The beloved disciple, wrought Bacchanal, the images of sleeping whom I take to be the right of the two first Cupids, languishing nymphs, or any of the figures, has in his countenance wonder representations of gods, goddesses, demi- drowned in love; and the last personage, gods, satyrs, Polyphemes, sphynxes, or whose back is towards the spectators, fawns? But if the virtues and vices, which and his side towards the presence, one are sometimes pretended to be represented would fancy to be St. Thomas as abashed under such draughts, were given us by the by the conscience of his former diffidence; painter in the characters of real life, and which perplexed concern it is possible the persons of men and women whose Raphael thought too hard a task to draw, actions have rendered them laudable, or but by this acknowledgment of the diffiinfamous, we should not see a good history- culty to describe it. piece without receiving an instructive lec The whole work is an exercise of the ture. There needs no other proof of this highest piety in the painter; and all the truth, than the testimony of every reason- touches of a religious mind are expressed able creature who has seen the cartoons in in a manner much more forcible than can her majesty's gallery at Hampton-court. possibly be performed by the most moving These are representations of no less actions eloquence. These invaluable pieces are than those of our Blessed Saviour and his very justly in the hands of the greatest and apostles. As I now sit and recollect the most pious sovereign in the world, and canwarm images which the admirable Raphael not be the frequent object of every one at has raised, it is impossible even from the their own leisure: but as an engraver is to faint traces in one's memory of what one has the painter what a printer is to the author, not seen these two years, to be unmoved at it is worthy her majesty's name that she the horror and reverence which appear in has encouraged that noble artist Monsieur the whole assembly when the mercenary Dorigny, to publish these works of Raphael. man fell down dead; at the amazement of We have of this gentleman a piece of the the man born blind, when he first receives Transfiguration, which, I think, is held a sight; or at the graceless indignation of the work second to none in the world. sorcerer, when he is struck blind. The Methinks it would be ridiculous in our lame when they first find strength in their people of condition, after their large bounfeet, stand doubtful of their new vigour. ties to foreigners of no name or merit, The heavenly apostles appear acting these should they overlook this occasion of havgreat things with a deep sense of the in- ing for a trifling subscription, a work which firmities which they relieve, but no value it is impossible for a man of sense to beof themselves whó administer to their hold, without being warmed with the noblest weakness. They know themselves to be sentiments that can be inspired by love, but instruments; and the generous distress admiration, compassion, contempt of this they are painted in when divine honours world, and expectation of a better. are offered to them, is a representation in It is certainly the greatest honour we can the most exquisite degree of the beauty of do our country, to distinguish strangers of holiness. When St. Paul is preaching to merit who apply to us with modesty and the Athenians, with what wonderful art diffidence which generally accompanies meare almost all the different tempers of man- rit. No opportunity of this kind ought to kind represented in that elegant audience? be neglected; and a modest behaviour should You see one credulous of all that is said; alarm us to examine whether we do not lose another wrapt up in deep suspense; another something excellent under that disadvantage saying, there is some reason in what he in the possessor of that quality. My skill says; another angry that the apostle de- in paintings, where one is not directed by stroys a favourite opinion which he is the passion of the pictures, is so inconsiderunwilling to give up; another wholly con-able, that I am in very great perplexity vinced, and holding out his hands in rapture; when I offer to speak of any performances while the generality attend, and wait for of painters of landscapes, buildings, or sinthe opinion of those who are of leading gle figures. This makes me at a loss how characters in the assembly. I will not pre- to mention the pieces which Mr. Boul extend so much as to mention that chart on poses to sale by auction on Wednesday next which is drawn the appearance of our in Chandos Street: but having heard him blessed Lord after his resurrection. Pre-commended by those who have bought of sent authority, late sufferings, humility and him heretofore, for great integrity in his majesty, despotic command, and divine dealing, and overheard him himself (though love, are at once seated in his celestial la laudable painter) say, nothing of his own
was fit to come into the room with those he MR. SPECTATOR,—The lover's leap, had to sell, I feared I should lose an occa- which you mention in your 223d paper, sion of serving a man of worth, in omitting was generally, I believe,, a very effectual to speak of his auction.
T. cure for love, and not only for love, but
for all other evils. In short, sir, I am afraid
it was such a leap as that which Hero took No. 227.] Tuesday, November 20, 1711.
to get rid of her passion for Leander. A
man is in no danger of breaking his heart, Ωμοι εγω, τι σας; τι οδυσσιος; ουχ υπακούεις; Τα βιταν αποδυς εις κυματα τηνα αλευμαι
who breaks his neck to prevent it. I know Ωπιε της γυννως σκοπιαζεται Ολπις ο γριπιυς.
very well the wonders which antient auΚης και μη τοξανω, το γε μαν τεον αδυ τέτυκται.
thors relate concerning this leap; and in Theocr. Idyl. iii. 2.
particular, that very many persons who Wretch that I am! ah, whither shall I go?
tried it, escaped not only with their lives, Will you not hear me, nor regard my woe?
but their limbs. If by this means they got I'll strip, and throw me from yon rock so high, Where Olpis sits to watch the scaly fry.
rid of their love, though it may in part be Should I be drown'd, or 'scape with life away, ascribed to the reasons you give for it; why If curd of love, you, tyrant, would be gay.-P.
may we not suppose that the cold bath, In my last Thursday's paper, I made into which they plunged themselves, had mention of a place called the Lover's also some share in their cure? A leap into Leap, which I find has raised a great cu- the sea, or into any creek of salt waters, very riosity among several of my correspondents. often gives a new motion to the spirits, and I there told them that this leap was used to a new turn to the blood: for which reason be taken from a promontory of Leucas. we prescribe it in distempers which no This Leucas was formerly a part of Acar- other medicine will reach. I could pronania, being joined to it by a narrow neck duce a quotation out of a very venerable of land, which the sea has by length of time author, in which the frenzy produced by overflowed and washed away; so that at love is compared to that which is produced present Leucas is divided from the conti- by the biting of a mad dog. But as this nent, and is a little island in the Ionian sea. comparison is a little too coarse for your
The promontory of this island, from whence paper, and might look as if it were cited to. the lover took his leap, was formerly call- ridicule the author who has made use of it; ed Leucate. If the reader has a mind to I shall only hint at it, and desire you to conknow both the island and the promontory sider whether, if the frenzy produced by by their modern titles, he will find in his these two different causes be of the same map the ancient island of Leucas under the nature, it may not very properly be cured name of St. Mauro, and the ancient pro- by the same means.
am, sir, your most montory of Leucate under the name of humble servant, and well-wisher, ?, the Cape of St. Mauro.
*ÆSCULAPIUS.' Since I am engaged thus far in antiquity, I must observe that Theocritus in the
•MR. SPECTATOR, -I am a young womotto prefixed to my paper, describes one man crossed in love. My story is very long of his despairing shepherds addressing him- and melancholy. To give you the heads of self to his mistress after the following man-it, a young gentleman, after having made ner: Alas! what will become of me? his applications to me for three years toWretch that I am! Will you not hear me gether, and filled my head with a thousand I'll throw off my clothes and take a leap dreams of happiness, some few days since into that part of the sea which is so much married another. Pray tell me in what part frequented by Olpis the fisherman. And of the world your promontory lies, which though I should escape with my life, I you call the Lover's Leap, and whether know you will be pleased with it." I shall one may go to it by land? But, alas! I am leave it with the critics to determine whe- afraid it has lost its virtue, and that a wother the place, which this shepherd so man of our times would find no more relief particularly points out, was not the above in taking such a leap, than in singing a mentioned 'Leucate, or at least some other hymn to Venus. So that I must cry out with lover's leap, which was supposed to have Dido, in Dryden's Virgil: had the same effect. I cannot believe, as Ah! cruel heav'n, that made no cure for love! all the interpreters do, that the shepherd
• Your disconsolate servant, means nothing farther here than that he would drown himself, since he represents
*ATHENAIS.' the issue of his leap as doubtful, by adding, Mister SPICTATUR,-My heart is so that if he should escape with his life, he full of lofes and passions for Mrs. Gwiniknows his mistress would be pleased with frid, and she is so pettish and overrun with it: which is, according to our interpreta- cholers against me, that if I had the good tion, that she would rejoice any way to get happiness to have my dwelling (which is rid of a lover who was so troublesome to her. placed by my crete-cranfather upon the
After this short preface, I shall present pottom of an hill) no farther distance but my reader with some letters which I have twenty mile from the Lofer's Leap, I would received upon this subject. The first is sent indeed endeafour to preak my neck upon me by a physician.
it on purpose. Now, good Mr. Spictatur