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their Children, Care of their Families, and Love of
BUT as this Passion for Admiration, when it works
IT would be as difficult a Task to reckon up. these dif. ferent kinds of Idols, as Milton's was to number those that were known in Canaan, and the Lands adjoining. Most of them are Worshipped, like Moloch, in Fires and Flames. Some of them, like. Baal, love to see their Votaries cuc and Nashed, and shedding their Blood for them. Some of them, like the Idol in the Apocrypha, must have Treats and Collations prepared for them every Night. It has
inded been known, that some of them have been used by their incensed Worshippers like the Chinese Idols, who are Whipped and Scourged when they refuse to comply with the Prayers that are offered to them.
I must here observe, that those Idolaters who devote themselves to the Idol's I am here speaking of, differ very much from all other kinds of Idolaters. For as others fall out because they worship different Idols, these Idolaters quarrel because they Worship the same.
THE Intention therefore of the Idol is quite contrary to the Wishes of the Idolater'; as the one desires to confine the Idol to himself, the whole Business and Ambition of the other is to multiply Adorers. This Humour of an Idol is prettily defcribed in a Tale of Ckaucer: He represents one of them fitting at a Table with three of her Votaries about her, who are all of them courting her Favour, and paying their Adorations : She smiled upon one, drank to another, and trod upon the other's Foot which was under the Table. Now which of these three, says the old Bard, do you think was the Favourite? In troth, says he, not one of all the three.
THE Behaviour of this old Idol in Chaucer, puts me in mind of the Beautiful Clarinda, one of the greatest Idols among the Moderns. She is worshipped once a week by Candle-light in the midst of a large Congregation, generally called an Assembly. Some of the gayeft Youths in the Nation endeavour to plant themselves in her Eye, while she sits in form with multitudes of Tapers burning about her. To encourage the Zeal of her Idolaters, the bestows a Mark of her Favour upon every one of them, before they go out of her Presence. She asks a Question of one, tells a story to another, glances an Ogle upon a third, takes a Pinch of Snuff from the fourth, lets her Fan drop by accident to give the fifth an occasion of taking it up. In short, every one goes away satisfied with his Success, and encouraged to renew his Devotions on the same Canonical Hour that Day Sevennight.
AN Idol may be Undeified by many accidental Causes. Marriage in particular is a kind of Counter-Apotheosis, or a Deification inverted. When a Man becomes familiar with his Goddess, she quickly links into a Woman.
OLD Age is likewise a great Decayer of your Idol : The truth of it is, there is not a more unhappy Being than a Superannuated Idel, especially when she has contracted such Airs and Behaviour as are only Graceful when her Worshippers are about her.
CONSIDERING therefore that in these and ma. ny other Cases the Woman generally out-lives the Idol, I must return to the Moral of this paper, and desire my fair Readers to give a proper Direction to their Passion for being admired: In order to which, they must endeavour to make themselves the Objects of a reasonable and lafting Admiration. This is not to be hoped for from Beauty, or Dress, or Fashion, but from those inward Or, naments which are not to be defaced by Time or Sickness, and which appear-most amiable to those who are most acquainted with them.
Friday, May 25.
Pendent opera interrupta
Virg. N my last Monday's Paper I gave some general In
stances of those beautiful Strokes which please the
Reader in the old Song of Chevy Chase; I shall here, according to my Promise, be more particular, and shew that the Sentiments in that Ballad are extreamly natural and poetical, and full of the majestick Simplicity which we admire in the greatest of the ancient Poets : For which Reason I shall quote several Passages of it, in which the Thought is altogether the same with what we meet in several Passages of the Æneid ; not that I would infer from thence, that the Poet (whoever he was) proposed to himself any Imitation of those Passages, but that he was directed to them in general by the same Kind of Poetical Genius, and by the same Copyings after Nature.
HAD this old Song been filled with Epigranımatical Turns and Points of Wit, it might perhaps have pleased the wrong Taste of some Readers; but it would never have become the Delight of the common People, nor have warmed the Heart of Sir Philip sidney like
the Sound of a Trumpet, it is only Nature that can have this Effect, and please those Taftes which are the most unprejudiced or the most refined, I must however
beg Leave to dissent from so great an Authority, as that of Sir Philip Sidney, in the Judgment which he has passed as to the rude Style and evil Apparel of this antiquated Song; for there are several Parts in it where not only the Thought but the Languge is majestick, and the Numbers sonorous at least, the Apparel is much more gorgeous than many of the Poets made use of in Queen Elizabeth's Time, as the Reader will see in several of the following Quotations.
WHAT can be greater than either the Thought or che Expression in that Stanza,
To drive the Deer with Hound and Horn
Earl Piercy took his Way;
The Hunting of that Day! This way of considering the Misfortunes which this Bata tel would bring upon Pofterity, not only on those whe were born immediately after the Battel, and lost their Fathers in it, but on those also who perished in future Battels which took their rise from this Quarrel of the two Earls, is wonderfully beautiful, and conformable to the Way of Thinking among the ancient Poets, Audiet pugnas vitio parentum Rara juventus.
Hor. What can be more sounding and poetical, or resemble more the majestick Simplicity of the Ancients, than the following Stanzas
The stout Earl of Northuniberland
A Vow to God did make,
Three Summer's Days to take.
All chofen Men of Might,
To aim their Shafts aright.
The nimble Deer to take,
Vocat ingenti Clamore Cithæron
His Men in Armour bright;
All marching in our sight.
Fast by the River Tweed, &c.
Adverse campo apparent, haftasque reductis
Qui Tiberim Fabarimque bibunt.
Earl Dowglas on a milk-white Stud,
Most like a Baron bold,
Whose Armour shone like Gold.
Our Englifh Archers bent their Bows,
Their Hearts were good and true;
Full threescore Scots they flew.
No Slackness there was found;
Lay gaping on the Ground,