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Hor. Ars Poet, v. 81.
paradox will not be understood, that a pre-| timed that the most judicious critic could judice towards atheism is not impartiality. never except against it. As soon as any I am, sir, your most humble servant, shining thought is expressed in the poet, or T. • PHILONOUS.' any uncommon grace appears in the actor,
he smites the bench or the wainscot. If
the audience does not concur with him, he No. 235.] Thursday, November 29, 1711. smites a second time: and if the audience
is not yet awakened, looks round him with - Populares
great wrath, and repeats the blow a third Vincentem strepitus
time, which never fails to produce the clap.
He sometimes lets the audience begin the Awes the tumultuous noises of the pit.
clap of themselves, and at the conclusion
of their applause ratifies it with a single THERE is nothing which lies more with thwack. in the province of a Spectator than public He is of so great use to the play-house, shows and diversions; and as among these that it is said, å former director of it, upon there are none which can pretend to vie his not being able to pay his attendance by with those elegant entertainments that are reason of sickness, kept one in pay to offiexhibited in our theatres, I think it parti- ciate for him until such time as he recovercularly incumbent on me to take notice of ed; but the person so employed, though he every thing that is remarkable in such nu- laid about him with incredible violence, merous and refined assemblies.
did it in such wrong places, that the audiIt is observed, that of late years there has ence soon found out that it was not their been a certain person in the upper gallery old friend the trunk-maker. of the playhouse, who when he is pleased It has been remarked, that he has not with any thing that is acted upon the stage, yet exerted himself with vigour this seaexpresses his approbation by a loud knock son. He sometimes plies at the opera; and upon the benches or the wainscot, which upon Nicolini's first appearance was said to may be heard over the whole theatre. The have demolished three benches in the fury person is commonly known by the name of of his applause. He has broken half a the Trunk-maker in the upper gallery.' dozen oaken plants upon Dogget, * and selWhether it be that the blow he gives on dom goes away from a tragedy of Shakthese occasions resembles that which is speare, without leaving the wainscot exoften heard in the shops of such artisans, tremely shattered. or that he was supposed to have been a real The players do not only connive at his trunk-maker, who, after the finishing of obstreperous approbation, but very cheerhis day's work, used to unbend his mind at fully repair at their own cost whatever these public diversions with his hammer in damages he makes. They once had a his hand, I cannot certainly tell. There thought of erecting a kind of wooden anvil are some, I know, who have been foolish for his use, that should be made of a very enough to imagine it is a spirit which sounding plank, in order to render his haunts the upper gallery, and from time strokes more deep and mellow; but as this to time makes those strange noises; and the might not have been distinguished from the rather, because he is observed to be louder music of a kettle-drum, the project was laid than ordinary every time the ghost of aside. Hamlet appears. Others have reported, In the meanwhile, I cannot but take nothat, it is a dumb man, who has chosen tice of the great use it is to an audience, this way of uttering himself when he is that a person should thus preside over their transported with any thing he sees or heads like the director of a concert, in orhears. Others will have it to be the play- der to awaken their attention, and beat time house thunderer, that exerts himself after to their applauses; or, to raise my simile, I this manner in the upper gallery when he have sometimes fancied the trunk-maker has nothing to do upon the roof.
in the upper gallery to be like Virgil's But having made it my business to get ruler of the winds, seated upon the top of a the best information I could in a matter of mountain, who when he struck his sceptre this moment, I find that the trunk-maker, upon the side of it, roused a hurricane, and as he is commonly called, is a large black set the whole cavern in an uproar. 7 man, whom nobody knows. He generally It is certain the trunk-maker has saved leans forward on a huge oaken plant with many a good play, and brought many a great attention to every thing that passes graceful actor into reputation, who would upon the stage. He never is seen to smile, not otherwise have been taken notice of. It but upon hearing any thing that pleases is very visible, as the audience is not a little him, he takes up his staff with both hands, and lays it upon the next piece of timber
* Thomas Dogget, a celebrated comic actor, many that stands in his way with exceeding ve-years joint manager of Drury-lane Theatre. He died hemence; after which he composes himself to be rowed for, from London Bridge to Chelsea, by six in his former posture, till such time as watermen yearly, on the first of August, the day of the something new sets him again at work.
accession of George I. There is a particular account
of him in Cibber's Apology. It has been observed, his blow is so well Æneid, i. 85.
abashed, if they find themselves betrayed dispositions are strangely averse to conjugal into a clap, when their friend in the upper friendship) but no one, I believe, is by his gallery does not come into it; so the actors own natural complexion prompted to tease do not value themselves upon the clap, but and torment another for no reason but being regard it as a mere brutum fulmen, or nearly allied to him. And can there be any empty noise, when it has not the sound of thing more base, or serve to sink a man so the oaken plant in it. I know it has been much below his own distinguishing characgiven out by those who are enemies to the teristic, (I mean reason,) than returning evil trunk-maker, that he has sometimes been for good in so open a manner, as that of bribed to be in the interest of a bad poet, or treating a helpless creature with unkinda vicious player; but this is a surmise which ness, who has had so good an opinion of has no foundation: his strokes are always him as to believe what he said relating to just, and his admonitions seasonable; he one of the greatest concerns of life, by dedoes not deal about his blows at random, livering her happiness in this world to his but always hits the right nail upon the head. care and protection? Must not that man be The inexpressible force wherewith he lays abandoned even to all manner of humanity, them on sufficiently shows the evidence and who can deceive a woman with appearances strength of his conviction. His zeal for a of affection and kindness, for no other end good authoris indeed outrageous, and breaks but to torment her with more ease and audown every fence and partition, every board thority? Is any thing more unlike a gentleand plank, that stands within the expres- man than when his honour is engaged for sion of his applause.
the performing his promises, because noAs I do not care for terminating my thing but that can oblige him to it, to bethoughts in barren speculations, or in re- come afterwards false to his word, and be ports of pure matter of fact, without draw-alone the occasion of misery to one whose ing something from them for the advantage happiness he but lately pretended was of my countrymen, I shall take the liberty dearer to him than his own? Ought such a to make an humble proposal, that when one to be trusted in his common affairs? or ever the trunk-maker shall depart this life, treated but as one whose honesty consisted or whenever he shall have lost the spring only in his incapacity of being otherwise ? of his arm by sickness, old age, infirmity, •There is one cause of this usage no less or the like, some able-bodied critic should absurd than common, which takes place be advanced to this post, and have a com- among the more unthinking men; and that petent salary settled on him for life, to be is, the desire to appear to their friends free furnished with bamboos for operas, crab- and at liberty, and without those trammels tree cudgels for comedies, and oaken plants they have so much ridiculed. To avoid this for tragedy, at the public expense. And to they fly into the other extreme, and grow the end that this place should be always tyrants that they may seem masters. Bedisposed of according to merit, I would have cause an uncontrollable command of their none preferred to it, who has not given con- own actions is a certain sign of entire domivincing proofs both of a sound judgment, nion, they will not so much as recede from and a strong arm, and who could not, upon the government even in one muscle of their occasion, either knock down an ox, or write faces. A kind look they believe would be a comment upon Horace's Art of Poetry. fawning, and a civil answer yielding the In short, I would have him a due composi- superiority. To this we must attribute an tion of Hercules and Apollo, and so rightly austerity they betray in every action. What · qualified for this important office, that the but this can put a man out of humour in his trunk-maker may not be missed by our wife's company, though he is so dintinguishposterity,
C. ingly pleasant every where else? The bit
terness of his replies, and the severity of
his frowns to the tenderest of wives, clearly No. 236.] Friday, November 30, 1711. demonstrate that an ill-grounded fear of -Dare jura maritis.--Hor. Ars Poct. v. 398.
being thought too submissive, is at the bot
tom of this, as I am willing to call it, affected With laws connubial tyrants to restrain.
moroseness; but if it be such, only put on to •MR. SPECTATOR,—You have not spoken convince his acquaintance of his entire doin so direct a manner upon the subject of minion, let him take care of the consemarriage, as that important case deserves. quence, which will be certain and worse It would not be improper to observe upon than the present evil; his seeming indifferthe peculiarity in the youth of Great Britain ence will by degrees grow into real conof railing and laughing at that institution; tempt, and if it doth not wholly alienate the and when they fall into it, from a profligate affections of his wife for ever from him, habit of mind, being insensible of the satis- make both him and her more miserable faction in that way of life, and treating their than if it really did so. wives with the most barbarous disrespect. • However inconsistent it may appear, to
•Particular circumstances, and cast of be thought a well-bred person has no small temper, must teach a man the probability share in this clownish behaviour. A disof mighty uneasiness in that state; (for un- course therefore relating to good-breeding questionably some there are whose very towards a loving and a tender wife, would
be of great use to this sort of gentlemen. I yet taken any notice of it: if you mention it Could you but once convince them, that to in your paper, it may perhaps have a very be civil at least is not beneath the character good effect. What I mean is, the disturb of a gentleman, nor even tender affection ance some people give to others at church, towards one who would make it reciprocal, by their repetition of the prayers after the betrays any softness or effeminacy that the minister; and that not only in the prayers, most masculine disposition need be ashamed but also in the absolution; and the comof; could you satisfy them of the generosity mandments fare no better, which are in a of voluntary civility, and the greatness of particular manner the priest's office. This soul that is conspicuous in benevolence with- I have known done in so audible a manner, out immediate obligations; could you re- that sometimes their voices have been as commend to people's practice the saying of loud as his. As little as you would think it, the gentleman quoted in one of your specu- this is frequently done by people seemingly lations, “That he thought it incumbent devout. This irreligious inadvertency is a upon him to make the inclinations of a wo- thing extremely offensive: But I do not reman of merit go along with her duty;" commend it as a thing I give you liberty to could you, I say, persuade these men of the ridicule, but hope it may be amended by beauty and reasonableness of this sort of the bare mention. Sir, your very humble behaviour, I have so much charity, for servant,
T, S.' some of them at least, to believe you would T. convince them of a thing they are only ashamed to allow. Besides, you would recommend that state in its truest, and con- No. 237.] Saturday, December 1, 1711. sequently its most agreeable colours: and
Visu carentem magna pars verit latet. the gentlemen, who have for any time been
Seneca in Edip such professed enemies to it, when occasion
They that are dim of sight see truth by halves. should serve, would return you their thanks for assisting their interest in prevailing over
It is very reasonable to believe, that part their prejudices. Marriage in general would of the pleasure which happy minds shall by this means be a more easy and comfort- enjoy in a future state, will arise from an able condition; the husband would be no enlarged contemplation of the Divine Wiswhere so well satisfied as in his own par- dom in the government of the world, and a lour, nor the wife so pleasant as in the com- discovering of the secret and amazing steps pany of her husband. A desire of being of Providence, from the beginning to the agreeable in the lover would be increased in end of time. Nothing seems to be an enterthe husband, and the mistress be more ami- tainment more adapted to the nature of able by, becoming the wife. Besides all man, if we consider that curiosity is one of which, I am apt to believe we should find the strongest and most lasting appetites imthe race of men grow wiser as their pro- planted in us, and that admiration is one of genitors grew kinder, and the affection of our most pleasing passions; and what a pertheir parents would be conspicuous in the petual succession of enjoyments will be afwisdom of their children; in short, men forded to both these, in a scene so large and would in general be much better humoured various as shall there be laid open to our than they are, did they not so frequently view in the society of superior spirits, who exercise the worst turns of their temper perhaps will join with us in so delightful a where they ought to exert the best.' prospect! •MR. SPECTATOR,- I am a woman who part of the punishment of such as are ex
It is not impossible, on the contrary, that left the admiration of the whole town to cluded from bliss, may consist not only in throw myself (for love of wealth) into the their being denied this privilege, but in arms of a fool.
When I married him, I having their appetites at the same time could have had any one of several men of vastly increased without any satisfaction sense who languished for me; but my case afforded to them. In these, the vain puris just. I believed my superior understand- suit of knowledge shall
, perhaps, add to ing would form him into a tractable crea- their infelicity, and bewilder them into ture. But, alas! my spouse has cunning and labyrinths of error, darkness, distraction, suspicion, the inseparable companions of and uncertainty of every thing but their little minds; and every attempt I make to own evil state. Milton has thus represented divert, by putting on an agreeable air, a the fallen angels reasoning together in a sudden cheerfulness, or kind behaviour, he kind of respite from their torments, and looks upon as the first act towards an insur-creating to themselves a new disquiet amidst • rection against his undeserved dominion their very amusements; he could not proover me. Let every one who is still to perly have described the sport of conchoose, and hopes to govern a fool, remem-demned spirits, without that cast of horror ber
and melancholy he has so judiciously min*St. Martin's, Nov. 25. gled with them: •MR. SPECTATOR,—This is to complain of an evil practice which I think very well
Others apart sat on a hill retird,
In thoughts more elevate, and reason'd high deserves a redress, though you have not as of providence, foreknowledge, will, and fate,
Fixt fate, freewill, foreknowledge absolute, is, that we are not at present in a proper And found no end in wandering mazes lost. *
situation to judge of the councils by which In our present condition, which is a mid- Providence acts, since but little arrives at dle state, our minds are as it were check- our knowledge, and even that little we disered with truth and falsehood: and as our cern imperfectly; or according to the elefaculties are narrow, and our views imper-gant figure in holy writ, we see but in fect, it is impossible but our curiosity must part, and as in a glass darkly 's It is to be meet with many repulses. The business considered, that Providence in its economy of mankind in this life being rather to act regards the whole system of time and than to know, their portion of knowledge is things together, so that we cannot disdealt to them accordingly.
cover the beautiful connection between inFrom hence it is, that the reason of the cidents which lie widely separate in time, inquisitive has so long been exercised with and by losing so many links of the chain, difficulties, in accounting for the promiscu- our reasonings become broken and imperous distribution of good and evil to the vir- fect. Thus those parts of the moral world tuous and the wicked in this world. From which have not an absolute, may yet have hence come all those pathetic complaints a relative beauty, in respect of some other of so many tragical events which happen parts concealed from us, but open to his to the wise and the good; and of such sur-eye before whom .past,''present,' and 'to prising prosperity, which is often the lott come,' are set together in one point of view: of the guilty and the foolish; that reason is and those events, the permission of which sometimes 'puzzled, and at a loss what to seems now to accuse his goodness, may in pronounce upon so mysterious a dispen- the consummation of things both magnify sation.
his goodness, and exalt his wisdom. And Plato expresses his abhorrence of some this is enough to check our presumption, fables of the poets, which seem to reflect since it is in vain to apply our measures of on the gods as the authors of injustice; and regularity to matters of which we know lays it down as a principle, that whatever is neither the antecedents nor the consequents, permitted to befal a just man, whether the beginning nor the end. poverty, sickness, or any of those things I shall relieve my readers from this abwhich seem to be evils, shall either in life stracted thought, by relating here a Jewish or death conduce to his good. My reader tradition concerning Moses, which seems will observe how agreeable this maxim is to be a kind of parable, illustrating what I to what we find delivered by a greater au- havé last mentioned. That great prophet, thority. Seneca has written a discourse it is said, was called up by a voice from purposely on this subject;t in which he heaven to the top of a mountain; where in takes pains, after the doctrine of the Stoics, a conference with the Supreme Being, he to show that adversity is not in itself an was admitted to propose to him some quesevil; and mentions a noble saying of Deme- tions concerning his administration of the trius, that' nothing would be more unhappy universe. In the midst of this divine colthan a man who had never known afflic- loquy he was commanded to look down on tion.' He compares prosperity to the in- the plain below. At the foot of the moundulgence of a fond mother to a child, which tain there issued out a clear spring of water, often proves his ruin; but the affection of at which a soldier alighted from his horse the Divine Being to that of a wise father, to drink. He was no sooner gone than a who would have his sons exercised with la- little boy came to the same place, and find bour, disappointments, and pain, that they ing a purse of gold which the soldier had may gather strength and improve their for- dropped, took it up and went away with it. titude. On this occasion, the philosopher Immediately after this came an infirm old rises into that celebrated sentiment, 'That man, weary with age and travelling, and there is not on earth a spectacle more worthy having quenched his thirst, sat down to rest the regard of a Creator intent on his work's himself by the side of the spring. The solthan a brave man superior to his sufferings;' dier missing his purse returns to search for to which he adds, that it must be a plea- it, and demands it of the old man, who sure to Jupiter himself to look down from affirms he had not seen it, and appeals to • heaven, and see Cato amidst the ruins of heaven in witness of his innocence. The his country preserving his integrity.' soldier not believing his protestations, kills
This thought will appear yet more rea- him. Moses fell on his face with horror sonable, if we consider human life as a state and amazement, when the divine voice thus of probation, and adversity as the post of prevented his expostulation: Be not surhonour in it, assigned often to the best and prised, Moses, nor ask why the Judge of most select spirits.
the whole earth has suffered this thing to But what I would chiefly insist on here pass. The child is the occasion that the
blood of the old man is spilt; but know that
the old man whom thou sawest was the * Paradise Lost, b.ii. v. 557.
murderer of that child's father,' C. Spect. in folio; for reward, &c.
Vid. Senec. De constantia sapientis, sive quod in Bapientem non cadit injuria.
$ 1 Cor. xiii. 12.
No 238.] Monday, December 3, 1711. with merit enough to be a coxcomb. But if
flattery be the most sordid act that can be Respue quod non es
Persius, Sat. iv. 50.
complied with, the art of praising justly is No more to flattering crowds thine ear incline,
as commendable; for it is laudable to praise Eager to drink the praise which is not thine. well; as poets at one and the same time
Brestor. give immortality, and receive it themselves AMONG all the diseases of the mind, there for a reward. Both are pleased; the one is not one more epidemical or more perni- whilst he receives the recompence of merit, cious than the love of flattery. For as the other whilst he shows he knows how to where the juices of the body are prepared discern it; but above all, that man is happy to receive a malignant influence, there the in this art, who, like a skilful painter, redisease rages with most violence; so in this tains the features and complexion, but still Jistemper of the mind, where there is ever softens the picture into the most agreeable a propensity and inclination to suck in the likeness. poison, it cannot be but that the whole order There can hardly, I believe, be imagined of reasonable action must be overturned, a more desirable pleasure than that of for, like music, it
praise unmixed with any possibility of flat-So softens and disarms the mind,
tery. Such was that which Germanicus That not one arrow can resistance find.
enjoyed, when, the night before a battle, First we flatter ourselves, and then the desirous of some sincere mark of the esteem flattery of others is sure of success. It of his legions for him, he is described by awakens our self-love within, a party which Tacitus listening in a disguise to the disis ever ready to revolt from our better judg- course of a soldier, and wrapt up in the ment, and join the enemy without. Hence fruition of his glory, whilst with an undeit is, that the profusion of favours we so signed sincerity they praised his noble and often see poured upon the parasite, are re- majestic mien, his affability, his valour, presented to us by our self-love, as justice conduct, and success in war. How must a done to the man who so agreeably recon
man have his heart full-blown with joy in ciled us to ourselves. When we are over- such an article of glory as this? What a come by such soft insinuations and ensnaring spur and encouragement still to proceed in compliances, we gladly recompense the ar- those steps which had already brought him tifices that are made use of to blind our to so pure a taste of the greatest of mortal reason, and which triumph over the weak- enjoyments? nesses of our temper and inclinations. It sometimes happens that even enemies
But were every man persuaded from how and envious persons bestow the sincerest mean and low a principle this passion is de- marks of esteem when they least design rived, there can be no doubt but the person it. Such afford a greater pleasure, as exwho should attempt to gratify it, would then torted by merit,
and freed from all suspicion be as contemptible as he is now successful. of favour or flattery. Thus it is with MalIt is the desire of some quality we are not volio; he has wit, learning, and discernpossessed of, or inclination to be something ment, but tempered with an allay of envy, we are not, which are the causes of our self-love, and detraction. Malvolio turns giving ourselves up to that man who be- pale at the mirth and good-humour of the stows upon us the characters and qualities company, if it centre not in his person; he of others, which perhaps suit us as ill, and grows jealous and displeased when he were as little designed for our wearing, as ceases to be the only person admired, and their clothes. Instead of going out of our looks upon the commendations paid to anown complexional nature into that of others, other as a detraction from his merit, and an it were a better and more laudable industry attempt to lessen the superiority he affects; to improve our own, and instead of a mise- but by this very method, he bestows such rable copy become a good original; for praise as can never be suspected of flattery, there is no temper, no disposition so rude His uneasiness and distastes are so many and untractable, but may in its own pecu- sure and certain signs of another's title to liar cast and turn be brought to some agree that glory he desires, and has the mortifiable use in conversation, or in the affairs of cation to find himself not possessed of, life. A person of a rougher deportment,
A good name is fitly compared to a preand less tied up to the usual ceremonies of cious ointment, and when we are praised behaviour, will, like Manly in the play,* with skill and decency, it is indeed the please by the grace which 'nature gives to most agreeable perfume; but if too strongly every action wherein she is complied with; admitted into a brain of a less vigorous and the brisk and lively will not want their ad happy texture, it will, like too strong an mirers, and even a more reserved and odour, overcome the senses, and prove permelancholy temper may at sometimes be nicious to those nerves it was intended to agreeable.
refresh. A generous mind is of all others When there is not vanity enough awake the most sensible of praise and dispraise; in a man to undo him, the fatterer stirs up and a noble spirit is as much invigorated that dormant weakness, and inspires him with its due proportion of honour and ap* Wycherley's comedy of the Plain Dealer.
Eccles. vii. 1.