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guished with abilities to know how to vend their wares, and have the good fortune to bring them into port, should suffer being plundered by privateers under the very cannon that should protect them! The most eminent and useful author of the age we live in, after having laid out a princely revenue in works of charity and beneficence, as became the greatness of his mind, and the sanctity of his character, would have left the person in the world who was the dearest to him in a narrow condition, had not the sale of his immortal writings? brought her in a very considerable dowry; though it was impossible for it to be equal to their value. Every one will know, that I here mean the works of the late Archbishop of Canterbury, the copy of which was sold for £2500.
. I do not speak with relation to any party; but it has happened, and may often so happen, that men of great learning and virtue cannot qualify themselves for being employed in business, or receiving preferments. In this case, you cut them off from all support, if you take from the benefit that may arise from their writings. For my own part, I have brought myself to consider things in so unprejudiced a manner, that I esteem more a man who can live by the products of his understanding, than one who does it by the favour of great men.
The zeal of an author has transported me thus far, though I think myself as much concerned in the capacity of a reader. If this practice goes on, we must never expect to see again a beautiful edition of a book in Great Britain.
We have already seen the memoirs of Sir William Temple published in the same character and volume with the history of Tom Thumb, and the works of our greatest poets shrunk into
penny books and garlands. For my own part, I expect to see my lucubrations printed on browner paper than they are at present; and, if the humour continues, must be forced to retrench my expensive way of living, and not smoke above two pipes a day.
[Sir Richard Steele joined in this paper. T.]
| Immortal writings.] It is to be hoped that this epithet is rightly given to Archbishop Tillotson's works, for the credit of our taste as well as morals.
No. 102. SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3, 1709.
From my own Apartment, December 3.
A CONTINUATION OF THE VISION. The male world were dismissed by the Goddess of Justice, and disappeared, when on a sudden the whole plain was covered with women. So charming a multitude filled my heart with unspeakable pleasure ; and as the celestial light of the mirror sbone
upon their faces, several of them seemed rather persons that descended in the train of the goddess, than such who were brought before her to their trial. The clack of tongues, and confusion of voices, in this new assembly, was so very great, that the goddess was forced to command silence several times, and with some severity, before she could make them attentive to her edicts. They were all sensible, that the most important affair among womankind was then to be settled, which every one knows to be the point of place. This had raised innumerable disputes among them, and put the whole sex into a tumult. Every one produced her claim, and pleaded her pretensions. Birth, beauty, wit, or wealth, were words that rung in my ears from all parts of the plain. Some boasted of the merit of their husbands; others, of their own power in governing them. Some pleaded their unspotted virginity ; others, their numerous issue. Some valued themselves as they were the mothers, and others as they were the daughters, of considerable persons. There was not a single accomplishment unmentioned, or unpractised. The whole congregation was full of singing, dancing, tossing, ogling, squeaking, smiling, sighing, fanning, frowning, and all those irresistible arts which women put in practice to captivate the hearts of reasonable creatures. The goddess, to end this dispute, caused it to be proclaimed, “That every one should take place according as she was more or less beautiful.” This declaration gave great satisfaction to the whole assembly, which immediately bridled up, and appeared in all its beauties. Such as believed themselves graceful in their motion, found an occasion of falling back, advancing forward, or making a false step, that they might show their persons in the most becoming air. Such as had fine necks and bosoms, were wonderfully curious to look over the heads of the multitude, and observe the most distant parts of the assembly.
Several clapped their hands on their foreheads, as helping their sight to look upon the glories that surrounded the goddess, but in reality to show fine hands and arms. The ladies were yet better pleased when they heard, that in the decision of this great controversy, each of them should be her own judge, and take her place according to her own opinion of herself, when she consulted her looking-glass.
The goddess then let down the mirror of truth in a golden chain, which appeared larger in proportion as it descended and approached nearer to the eyes of the beholders. It was the particular property of this looking-glass to banish all false appearances, and show people what they are. The whole woman was represented, without regard to the usual external features, which were made entirely conformable to their real characters. In short, the most accomplished (taking in the whole circle of female perfections) were the most beautiful; and the most defective, the most deformed. The goddess so varied the motion of the glass, and placed it in so many different lights, that each had an opportunity of seeing herself in it.
It is impossible to describe the rage, the pleasure, or astonishment, that appeared in each face upon its representation in the mirror: multitudes started at their own form, and would have broke the glass if they could have reached it. Many saw their blooming features wither as they looked upon them, and their self-admiration turned into a loathing and abhorrence. The lady who was thought so agreeable in her anger, and was so often celebrated for a woman of fire and spirit, was frighted at her own image, and fancied she saw a fury in the glass. The interested mistress beheld a harpy, and the subtle jilt a sphinx. I was very much troubled in my own heart, to see such a destruction of fine faces ; but at the same time had the pleasure of seeing several improved, which I had before looked upon as the greatest master-pieces of nature. I observed, that some few were so humble, as to be surprised at their own charms; and that many a one, who had lived in the retirement and severity of a vestal, shined forth in all the graces and attractions of a siren. I was ravished at the sight of a particular
image in the mirror, which I think the most beautiful object that my eyes ever beheld. There was something more than human in her countenance : her eyes were so full of light, that they seemed to beautify everything they looked upon. Her face was enlivened with such a florid bloom, as did not so properly seem the mark of health, as of immortality. Her shape, her stature, and her mien, were such as distinguished her even there where the whole fair sex was assembled.
I was impatient to see the lady represented by so divine an image, whom I found to be the person that stood at my right hand, and in the same point of view with myself. This was a little old woman, who in her prime had been about five foot high, though at present shrunk to about three quarters of that measure. Her natural aspect was puckered up with wrinkles, and her head covered with grey hairs. I had observed all along an innocent cheerfulness in her face, which was now heightened into rapture as she beheld herself in the glass. It was an odd circumstance in my dream, (but I cannot forbear relating it) I conceived so great an inclination towards her, that I had thoughts of discoursing her
upon the point of marriage, when on a sudden she was carried from me; for the word was now given, that all who were pleased with their own images, should separate, and place themselves at the head of their sex.
This detachment was afterwards divided into three bodies, consisting of maids, wives, and widows: the wives being placed in the middle, with the maids on the right, and widows on the left; though it was with difficulty that these two last bodies were hindered from falling into the centre. This separation of those, who 'liked their real selves, not having lessened the number of the main body so considerably as it might have been wished, the goddess, after having drawn up her mirror, thought fit to make new distinctions among those who did not like the figure which they saw in it.
She made several wholesome edicts, which are slipped out of my mind; but there were two which dwelt upon me, as being very extraordinary in their kind and executed with great severity. Their design was, to make an example of two extremes in the female world; of those who are very severe on the conduct of others, and of those who are very regardless of their own. The first sentence, therefore, the goddess pronounced, was,
“ That all females addicted to censoriousness and detraction, should lose the use of speech ;” a punishment which would be the most grievous to the offender, and (what should be the end of all punishments) effectual for rooting out the crime. Upon this edict, which was as soon executed as published, the noise of the assembly very considerably abated. It was a melancholy spectacle, to see so many who had the reputation of rigid virtue struck dumb. A lady who stood by me, and saw my concern, told me, she wondered how I could be concerned for such a pack of I found, by the shaking of her head, she was going to give me their characters; but by her saying no more, I perceived she had lost the command of her tongue. This calamity fell very heavy upon that part of women who are distinguished by the name of Prudes, a courtly word for female hypocrites, who have a short way to being virtuous, by showing that others are vicious. The second sentence was then pronounced against the loose part of the sex, " That all should immediately be pregnant, who in any part of their lives had ran the hazard of it.” This produced a very goodly appearance, and revealed so many misconducts, that made those who were lately struck dumb, repine more than ever at their want of utterance, though at the same time (as afflictions seldom come single) many of the mutes were also seized with this new calamity. The ladies were now in such a condition, that they would have wanted room, had not the plain been large enough to let them divide their ground, and extend their lines on all sides. It was a sensible affliction to me, to see such a multitude of fair ones either dumb or big-bellied; but I was something more at ease, when I found that they agreed upon several regulations to cover such misfortunes. Among others, that it should be an established maxim in all nations, That a woman's first child might come into the world within six months after her acquaintance with her husband; and that grief might retard the birth of her last fourteen months after his decease.
This vision lasted till my usual hour of waking, which I did with some surprise, to find myself alone, after having been engaged almost a whole night in so prodigious a multitude. I could not but reflect with wonder, at the partiality and extravagance of my vision; which, according to my thoughts, has not done justice to the sex. If virtue in meņ is more