Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

tell you with all the earnestness of a faithful | siderable figure in the learned and Christian friend, that to enter into a criminal commerce world. It is entitled, A Demonstration of the with a woman of merit, whom you find inno. Existence, Wisdom, and Omnipotence of God, cent, is of all the follies of this life, the most drawn from the knowledge of nature, particufruitful of sorrow. You must make your ap- larly of man, and fitted to the meanest capacity, proaches to her with the benevolence and lan- by the archbishop of Cambray, author of Teleguage of a good angel, in order to bring upon machus, and translated from the French by the her pollution and shame, which is the work of same hand that englished that excellent piece. a demon. The fashion of the world, the warmth This great author, in the writings which he has of youth, and the affluence of fortune, may, per- before produced, has manifested a heart full of haps, make you look upon me in this talk, like virtuous sentiments, great benevolence to mana poor well-meaning old man, who is past those kind, as well as a sincere and fervent piety toardencies in which you at present triumph; but wards his Creator. His talents and parts are a believe me, sir, if you succeed in what I fear very great good to the world, and it is a pleasa you design, you will find the sacrifice of beauty ing thing to behold the polite arts subservient and innocence so strong an obligation upon you, to religion, and recommending it from its natuthat your whole life will pass away in the worst ral beauty. Looking over the letters of my corcondition imaginable, that of doubt and irreso- respondents, I find one which celebrates this lution; you will ever be designing to leave her, treatise, and recommends it to my readers. and never do it; or else leave her for another, with a constant longing after her. He is a very

"To the Guardian. unhappy man who does not reserve the most pure and kind affections of his heart for his "Sir, -I think I have somewhere read, in marriage-bed, he will otherwise be reduced to the writings of one whom I take to be a friend this melancholy circumstance, that he gave his of yours, a saying which struck me very much, mistress that kind of affection which was pro- and as I remember, it was to this purpose: per for his wife, and has not for his wife either “The existence of a God is so far from being a that, or the usual inclination which men bestow thing that wants to be proved, that I think it is upon their mistresses. After such an affair as the only thing of which we are certain.” This this, you are a very lucky man if you find a is a sprightly and just expression; however, I prudential marriage is only insipid, and not dare say, you will not be displeased that I put actually miserable; a woman of as ancient a you in mind of saying something on the De. family as your own, may come into the house monstration of the bishop of Cambray. A man of the Lizards, murmur in your bed, growl at of his talents views all things in a light differ, your table, rate your servants, and insult your ent from that in which ordinary men see them, self

, while you bear all this with this unhappy and the devout disposition of his soul turns all reflection at the bottom of your heart, " This is those talents to the improvement of the pleaall for the injured The heart is ungo. sures of a good life. His style clothes philosovernable enough, without being biassed by pre. phy in a dress almost poetic; and his readers possessions; how emphatically unhappy there. enjoy in full perfection the advantage, while fore is he, who besides the natural vagrancy of they are reading him, of being what he is. The affection, has a passion to one particular object, pleasing representation of the animal powers in in which he sees nothing but what is lovely, the beginning of his work, and his considera, except what proceeds from his own guilt against tion of the nature of man with the addition of it! I speak to you, my dear friend, as one who reason in the subsequent discourse, impresses tenderly regards your welfare, and beg of you upon the mind a strong satisfaction in itself, to avoid this great error, which has rendered so and gratitude towards Him who bestowed that many agreeable men unhappy before you.- superiority over the brute-world. These thoughts When a man is engaged among the dissolute, had such an effect upon the author himself, that gay, and artful of the fair sex, a knowledge of he has ended his discourse with a prayer. This their manners and designs, their favours unen- adoration has a sublimity in it befitting his chadeared by truth, their feigned sorrows and gross racter, and the emotions of his heart fow from flatteries, must in time rescue a reasonable man wisdom and knowledge. I thought it would be from the inchantment; but in a case wherein proper for a Saturday's paper, and have transyou have none but yourself to accuse, you will lated it to make you a present of it. I have find the best part of a generous mind torn away not, as the translator was obliged to do, confined with her, whenever you take your leave of an myself to an exact version from the original, injured, deserving woman. Come to town, fly but have endeavoured to express the spirit of it, from Olinda, to your obedient humble servant, by taking the liberty to render his thoughts in NESTOR IRONSIDE.' such a way as I should have uttered them if

they had been my own. It has been observed,

that the private letters of great men are the No. 69.] Saturday, May 30, 1713. best pictures of their souls; but certainly their

private devotions would be still more instruc. Jupiter est quodcunque vides

tive, and I know not why they should not be as

curious and entertaining. Where'er you turn your eyes, 'tis God you see.

If you insert this prayer, I know not but I I had this morning a very valuable and kind may send you, for another occasion, one used present sent me of a translated work of a most by a very great wit of the last age, which has excellent foreign writer, who makes a very con. I allusions, to the errors of a very wild life; and,

Lucan.

I believe you will think is written with an un. , thee, O my God! Thou and only thou, appearcommon spirit. The person whom I mean was est in every thing. When I consider thee, O an excellent writer, and the publication of this Lord, I am swallowed up, and lost in contem. prayer of his may be, perhaps, some kind of plation of thee. Every thing besides thee, even antidote against the infection in his other writ. my own existence, vanishes and disappears in ings. But this supplication of the bishop has the contemplation of thee. I am lost to myself, in it a more happy and untroubled spirit; it is and fall into nothing, when I think on thee. (if that is not saying something too fond) the The man who does not see thee, has beheld noworship of an angel concerned for those who thing; he who does not taste thee, has a relish had fallen, but himself still in the state of glory of nothing; his being is vain, and his life but a and innocence. The book ends with an act of dream. Set up thyself, O Lord, set up thyself, devotion, to this effect.

that we may behold thee. As wax consumes “O my God, if the greater number of man. before the fire, and as the smoke is driven away, kind do not discover thee in that glorious show so let thine enemies vanish out of thy presence. of nature which thou hast placed before our How unhappy is that soul who, without the eyes, it is not because thou art far from every sense of thee, has no God, no hope, no comfort one of us. Thou art present to us more than to support him! But how happy the man who any object which we touch with our hands; but searches, sighs, and thirsts after thee! But he our senses, and the passions which they pro- only is fully happy, on whom thou liftest up the duce in us, turn our attention from thee. Thy light of thy countenance, whose tears thou hast light shines in the midst of darkness, but the wiped away, and who enjoys in thy loving-kind. darkness comprehends it not. Thou, O Lord, ness the completion of all his desires. How dost every way display thyself. Thou shinest lon how O Lord, shall I wait for that in all thy works, but art not regarded by heed- day when I shall possess, in thy presence, fullless and unthinking man. The whole creation ness of joy and pleasures for evermore? O my talks aloud of thee, and echoes with the repeti- God, in this pleasing hope, my bones rejoice tions of thy holy name. But such is our insen- and cry out, Who is like unto thee! My heart sibility, that we are deaf to the great and uni. melts away, and my soul faints within me when versal voice of nature. Thou art every where I look up to Thee, who art the God of my life, about us, and within us; but we wander from and my portion to all eternity.” ourselves, become strangers to our own souls, and do not apprehend thy presence. O thou, who art the eternal fountain of light and beauty, who art the ancient of days, without beginning

No. 70.]

Monday, June 1, 1713. and without end; 0 thou, who art the life of all that truly live, those can never fail to find thee, ---mentisque capacius altæ. who seek for thee within themselves. But alas!

Ovid. Met. Lib. i. 76. the very gifts which thou bestowest upon us do Of thoughts enlarged and more exalted mind. so employ our thoughts, that they hinder us from perceiving the hand which conveys them As I was the other day taking a solitary walk to us. We live by thee, and yet we live without in St. Paul's, I indulged my thoughts in the thinking on thee; but, O Lord, what is life in pursuit of a certain analogy between that fabric the ignorance of thee! A dead unactive piece and the Christian church in the largest sense. of matter; a flower that withers; a river that The divine order and economy of the one glides away; a palace that hastens to its ruin; seemed to be emblematically set forth by the a picture made up of fading colours; a mass of just, plain, and majestic architecture of the shining ore: strike our imaginations, and make other. And as the one consists of a great vaus sensible of their existence. We regard them riety of parts united in the same regular design, as objects capable of giving us pleasure, not according to the truest art, and most exact proconsidering that thou conveyest, through them, portion ; so the other contains a decent subordi. all the pleasure which we imagine they give us. nation of members, various sacred institutions, Such vain empty objects that are only the sha- sublime doctrines, and solid precepts of morality dows of being, are proportioned to our low and digested into the same design, and with an ad. groveling thoughts. That beauty which thou mirable concurrence tending to one view, the hast poured out on thy creation, is as a veil happiness and exaltation of human nature. which hides thee from our eyes. As thou art a In the midst of my contemplation, I beheld a being too pure and exalted to pass through our fly upon one of the pillars; and it straightway senses, thou art not regarded by men, who have came into my head, that this same fly was a debased their nature, and have made themselves free-thinker. For it required some comprehenlike the beasts that perish. So infatuated are sion in the eye of the spectator, to take in at one they, that notwithstanding they know what is view the various parts of the building, in order wisdom and virtue, which have neither sound, to observe their symmetry and design. But to nor colour, nor smell, nor taste, nor figure, nor the fly, whose prospect was confined to a little any other sensible quality, they can doubt of part of one of the stones of a single pillar, the thy existence, because thou art not apprehended joint beauty of the whole, or the distinct use of by the grosser organs of sense. Wretches that its parts, were inconspicuous, and nothing could we are! we consider shadows as realities, and appear but small inequalities in the surface of truth as a phantom. That which is nothing, is the hewn stone, which in the view of that in all to us; and that which is all, appears to us sect seemed so many deformed rocks and preci. nothing. What do we see in all nature but pices.

The thoughts of a free-thinker are employed | largeth the mind beyond any other profession un certain minute particularities of religion, or science whatsoever. Upon that scheme, while the difficulty of a single text, or the unaccount. the earth, and the transient enjoyments of this ableness of some step of Providence or point life, shrink into the narrowest dimensions, and of doctrine to his narrow faculties, without com. are accounted as the dust of a balance, the prehending the scope and design of Christianity, drop of a bueket, yea, less than nothing,' the the perfection to which it raiseth human nature, intellectual world opens wider to our view. The the light it hath shed abroad in the world, and perfections of the Deity, the nature and excelthe close connexion it hath as well with the lence of virtue, the dignity of the human soul, good of public societies, as with that of particu- are displayed in the largest characters. The lar persons.

mind of man seems to adapt itself to the difThis raised in me some reflections on that ferent nature of its objects; it is contracted frame or disposition which is called “largeness and debased by being conversant in little and of mind,' its necessity towards forming a true low things, and feels a proportionable enlargejudgment of things, and where the soul is not ment arising from the contemplation of these incurably stinted by nature, what are the like- great and sublime ideas. liest methods to give it enlargement.

The greatness of things is comparative; and It is evident that philosophy doth open and this does not only hold in respect of extension enlarge the mind, by the general views to which but likewise in respect of dignity, duration, and men are habituated in that study, and by the all kinds of perfection. Astronomy opens the contemplation of more numerous and distant mind, and alters our judgment, with regard to objects, than fall within the sphere of mankind the magnitude of extended beings; but Chris. in the ordinary pursuits of life. Hence it comes tianity produceth a universal greatness of soul. to pass, that philosophers judge of most things Philosophy increaseth our views in every re. very differently from the vulgar. Some in. spect, but Christianity extends them to a degree stances of this may be seen in the Theatetus of beyond the light of nature. Plato, where Socrates makes the following re- How mean must the most exalted potentate marks, among others of the like nature. upon earth appear to that eye which takes in

When a philosopher hears ten thousand acres innumerable orders of blessed spirits, differing mentioned as a great estate, he looks upon it as in glory and perfection! How little must the an inconsiderable spot, having been used to amusements of sense, and the ordinary occucontemplate the whole globe of earth. Or when pations of mortal men, seem to one who is en. be beholds a man elated with the nobility of gaged in so noble a pursuit, as the assimilation his race, because he can reckon a series of seven of himself to the Deity, which is the proper rich ancestors; the philosopher thinks him a employment of every Christian ! stupid ignorant fellow, whose mind cannot And the improvement which grows from hareach to a general view of human nature, which bituating the mind to the comprehensive views would show him that we have all innumerable of religion must not be thought wholly to reancestors, among whom are crowds of rich and gard the understanding. Nothing is of greater poor, kings and slaves, Greeks and barbarians.' force to subdue the inordinate motions of the Thus far Socrates, who was accounted wiser heart, and to regulate the will. Whether a than the rest of the heathens, for notions which man be actuated by his passions or his reason, approach the nearest to Christianity.

these are first wrought upon by some object, As all parts and branches of philosophy, or which stirs the soul in proportion to its appaspeculative knowledge, are useful in that re- rent dimensions. Hence irreligious men, whose spect, astronomy is peculiarly adapted to reme- short prospects are filled with earth and sense, dy a little and narrow spirit. In that science and mortal life, are invited by these mean ideas there are good reasons assigned to prove the sun to actions proportionably little and low. But a a hundred thousand times bigger than our earth, mind, whose views are enlightened and extended and the distance of the stars so prodigious, that by religion, is animated to nobler pursuits by a cannon-bullet continuing in its ordinary rapid more sublime and remote objects. motion, would not arrive from hence at the There is not any instance of weakness in nearest of them in the space of a hundred and the free-thinkers that raises my indignation fifty thousand years. These ideas wonderfully more, than their pretending to ridicule Chris, dilate and expand the mind. There is some- tians, as men of narrow understandings, and to thing in the immensity of this distance that pass themselves upon the world for persons of shocks and overwhelms the imagination; it is superior sense, and more enlarged views. But too big for the grasp of a human intellect: I leave it to any impartial man to judge which estates, provinces, and kingdoms, vanish at its hath the nobler sentiments, which the greater presence. It were to be wished a certain prince,* views; he whose notions are stinted to a few who hath encouraged the study of it in his sub- miserable inlets of sense, or he whose sentijects, had been himself a proficient in astronoments are raised above the common taste, by my. This might have showed him how mean the anticipation of those delights which will an ambition that was, which terminated in a satiate the soul, when the whole capacity of her small part of what is itself but a point, in re- nature is branched out into new faculties? He spect to that part of the universe which lies who looks for nothing beyond this short span within our view.

of duration, or he whose aims are co-extended But the Christian religion ennobleth and en- with the endless length of eternity ? He who

derives his spirit from the elements, or he who * Lewis XIV.

thinks it was inspired by the Almighty?

Arida nutrix.

Hor. Lib. 1. Od. xxii. 13.

2

No. 71.1
Tuesday, June 2, 1713. self in the capacity of a spy, that from his

time a master-spy goes under the name of a Quale portentum neque militaris

lion. Daunia in latis alit esculetis: Nec Jubæ tellus generat, leonum

Walsingham had a most excellent penetra tion, and never attempted to turn any man into

a lion whom he did not see highly qualified No beast, of more potentous size,

for it when he was in his human condition. In the Hercinian forest lies;

Indeed the speculative men of those times say Nor fiercer in Numidia bred, With Carthage were in triumph led.

of him, that he would now and then play them Roscommon. off, and expose them a little unmercifully; but

that, in my opinion, seems only good policy, for I QUESTION not but my country customers will otherwise they might set up for men again, be surprised to hear me complain that this town when they thought fit, and desert his service, is, of late years, very much infested with lions : But however, though in that very corrupt age and will perhaps, look upon it as a strange he made use of these animals, he had a great es piece of news when I assure them that there teem for true men, and always exerted the are many of these beasts of prey, who walk our highest generosity in offering them more, withstreets in broad day-light, beating about from out asking terms of them, and doing more for coffee-house to coffee-house, and seeking whom them out of mere respect for their talents, they may devour.

though against him, than they could expect To unriddle this paradox, I must acquaint from any other minister whom they had served my rural reader that we polite men of the town never so conspicuously. This made Raleigh give the name of a lion to any one that is a (who profest himself his opponent) say one day great man's spy. And whereas I cannot dis to a friend, Pox take this Walsingham, he charge my office of Guardian without setting a baffles every body; he won't so much as let a mark on such a noxious animal, and cautioning man hate him in private.' True it is, that by my wards against him, I design this whole the wanderings, roarings, and lurkings of his paper as an essay upon the political lion. lions, he knew the way to every man breathing,

It has cost me a great deal of time to dis- who had not a contempt for the world itself. He cover the reason of this appellation, but after had lions rampant whom he used for the service many disquisitions and conjectures on so obscure of the church, and couchant who were to lie a subject, I find there are two accounts of it down for the queen. They were so much af more satisfactory than the rest. In the republic command, that the couchant would act as the of Venice, which has been always the mother rampant, and the rampant as couchant, without of politics, there are near the doge's palace being the least out of countenance, and all this several large figures of lions curiously wrought within four-and-twenty hours. Walsingham in marble, with mouths gaping in a most enor. had the pleasantest life in the world; for, by

Those who have a mind to give the force of his power and intelligence, he the state any private intelligence of what passes saw men as they really were, and not as the in the city, put their hands into the mouth of world thought of them : all this was principally one of these lions, and convey into it a paper of brought about by feeding his lions well, or keep such private informations as any way regard ing them hungry, according to their different the interest or safety of the commonwealth. constitutions. By this means all the secrets of state come out Having given this short, but necessary ac of the lion's mouth. The informer is concealed; count of this statesman and his barber, who, it is the lion that tells every thing. In short, like the taylor in Shakspeare's Pyramus and there is not a mismanagement in office, or a Thysby, was a man made as other men are, murmur in conversation, which the lion does notwithstanding he was a nominal lion, I shall not acquaint the government with. For this proceed to the description of this strange species reason, say the learned, a spy is very properly of creatures. Ever since the wise Walsingham distinguished by the name of lion.

was secretary in this nation, our statesmen are I must confess this etymology is plausible said to have encouraged the breed among us, as enough, and I did for some time acquiesce in it, very well knowing that a lion in our British till about a year or two ago I met with a little arms is one of the supporters of the crown, and manuscript which sets this whole matter in a that it is impossible for a government, in which clear light. In the reign of queen Elizabeth, there are such a variety of factions and in says my author, the renowned Walsingham triguès, to subsist without this necessary animal had many spies in his service, from whom the A lion, or master-spy, hath several jackalls government received great advantage. The under him, who are his retailers in intelligence, most eminent among them was the statesman's and bring him in materials for his report; his barber, whose surname was Lion. This fellow chief haunt is a coffee-house, and as his voice had an admirable knack of fishing out the is exceeding strong, it aggravates the sound of secrets of his customers, as they were under every thing it repeats. his hands. He woula rub and lather a man's As the lion generally thirsts after blood, and head, till he had got out every thing that was is of a fierce and cruel nature, there are no se in it. He had a certain snap in his fingers and crets which he hunts after with more delight a volubility in his tongue, that would engage a than those that cut off heads, hang, draw, and man to talk with him whether he would or no. quarter, or end in the ruin of the person why By this means he became an inexhaustible fund becomes his prey. If he gets the wind of an of private intelligence, and so signalized him. I word or action, that may do, a man good, it is

mous manner.

not for his purpose, he quits the chace and falls | talk there is about a public act, and that the into a more agreeable scent.

gay part of the university have great expectaHe discovers a wonderful sagacity in seeking tion of a Terræ-filius, who is to lash and sting after his prey. He couches and frisks about in all the world in a satyrical speech. Against the a thousand sportful motions to draw it within great licence which hath heretofore been taken his reach, and has a particular way of imitating in these libels, he expresses himself with such the sound of the creature whom he would en humanity, as is very unusual in a young persnare; an artifice to be met with in no beast son, and ought to be cherished and admired. of prey, except the hyena and the tical lion. For my own part, I so far agree with him, that

You seldom see a cluster of newsmongers if the university permits a thing, which I think without a lion in the midst of them. He never much better let alone; I hope those, whose duty misses taking his stand within ear-shot of one it is to appoint a proper person for that office, of those little ambitious men, who set up for will take care that he utter nothing unbecoming orators in places of public resort. If there is a a gentleman, a scholar, and a christian. More. whispering-hole, or any public-spirited corner over, I would have them consider that their in a coffee-house, you never fail of seeing a lion learned body hath already enemies enough, who couched upon his elbow in some part of the are prepared to aggravate all irreverent insinuneighbourhood.

ations, and to interpret all oblique indecencies, A lion is particularly addicted to the perusal who will triumph in such a victory, and bid the of

every loose paper that lies in his way. He university thank herself for the consequences. appears more than ordinary attentive to what * In my time I remember the Terræ-filius he reads, while he listens to those who are about contented himself with being bitter upon the him. He takes up the Post-man, and snuffs pope, or chastising the Turk; and raised a se. the candle, that he may hear the better by it. I rious and manly mirth, and adapted to the have seen a lion pore upon a single paragraph dignity of his auditory, by exposing the false in an old gazette for two hours together, if his reasoning of the heretic, or ridiculing the clumneighbours have been talking all that while. sy pretenders to genius and politeness. In the

Having given a full description of this mon- jovial reign of king Charles the Second, wherein ster, for the benefit of such innocent persons as never did more wit or more ribaldry abound, may fall into his walks, I shall apply a word or the fashion of being arch upon all that was two to the lion himself, whom I would desire to grave, and waggish upon the ladies, crept into consider that he is a creature hated both by God our seats of learning upon these occasions. This and man, and regarded with the utmost con- was managed grossly and awkwardly enough, tempt even by such as make use of him. Hang- in a place where the general plainness and simmen and executioners are necessary in a state, plicity of manners could ill bear the mention and so may the animal I have been here men- of such crimes, as in courts and great cities are tioning; but how despicable is the wretch that called by the specious names of air and gallanttakes on him so vile an employment? There ry. It is to me amazing, that ever any man, is scarce a being that would not suffer by a bred up in the knowledge of virtue and huma. comparison with him, except that being only nity, should so far cast off all shame and tenderwho acts the same kind of part, and is both the ness, as to stand up in the face of thousands, temper and accuser of mankind.

and utter such contumelies as I have read

and heard of. Let such a one know that he is N. B. Mr. Ironside has, within five weeks last past, muzzled three lions, gorged five, and making fools merry, and wise men sick; and On Monday next the skin of the less compunction than the common hangman,

that, in the eye of considering persons, he hath dead one will be hung up in terrorem, at But- and less shame than a prostitute. ton's coffee-house, over against Tom's, in Covent-Garden.

Infamy is so cutting an evil, that most persons who have any elevation of soul, think it worse than death. Those who have it not in

their power to revenge it, often pine away in Wednesday, June 3, 1713. anguish, and loath their being; and those who

have, enjoy no rest till they have vengeance. I -In vitium libertas excidit, et vim

shall therefore make it the business of this paDignam lege regi.

per to show how base and ungenerous it is to -Its liberty was turned to rage ;

traduce the women, and how dangerous to exSuch rage as civil pow'r was forced to tame.

pose men of learning and character, who have

generally been the subjects of these invectives. Oxford is a place which I am more inquisi- It hath been often said, that women seem tive about than even that of my nativity ; and formed to soften the boisterous passions, and when I have an account of any sprightly saying, sooth the cares and anxieties to which men are or rising genius from thence, it brings my own exposed in the many perplexities of life. That youthful days into my mind, and throws me having weaker bodies, and less strength of forty years back into life. It is for this reason, mind than man, nature hath poured out her that I have thought myself a little neglected of charms upon them, and given them such ten. late by Jack Lizard, from whom I used to hear derness of heart, that the most delicate delight at least once a week. The last post brought we receive from them is, in thinking them enme his excuse, which is, that he hath been tirely ours, and under our protection. Accord. wholly taken up in preparing some exercises ingly we find that all nations have paid a decent for the theatre. He tells me likewise, that the homage to this weaker and lovelier part of the

o

killed one.

No. 72.]

Hor. Ars Poet. ver. 282.

[ocr errors]

Creech.

« НазадПродовжити »