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To compare one man's singing to that of another, or greatest extremities of love, concludes the torrid to represent the whiteness of any object by that of zone to be habitable. When his mistress has read milk and snow, or the variety of its colours by those his letter written in juice of lemon, by holding it to of the rainbow, cannot be called wit, unless, besides the fire, he desires her to read it over a second time this obvious resemblance, there be some farther con- by love's fame. When she weeps, he wishes it were gruity discovered in the two ideas, that is capable of inward heat that distilled those drops from the limgiving the reader some surprise. Thus when a poet beck. When she is absent, he is beyond eighty, tells us the bosom of his mistress is as white as snow, that is, thirty degrees nearer the pole than when she there is no wit in the comparison ; but when he adds, is with him. His ambitious love is a fire that natuwith a sigh, it is as cold too, it then grows into wil. rally mounts upwards; his happy love is the beams Every reader's memory may supply him with innu- of heaven, and his unhappy love flames of hell. merable instances of the same nature. For this When it does not let him sleep, it is a flame that reason, the similitudes in heroic poets, who endea- sends up no smoke; when it is opposed by counsel vour rather to fill the mind with great conceptions and advice, it is a fire that rages the more by the than to divert it with such as are new and surprising, winds blowing upon it. Upon the dying of a tree, have seldom any thing in them that can be called in which he had cut his loves, he observed that his wit. Mr. Locke's account of wit, with this short written flames had burnt up and withered the tree. explanation, comprehends most of the species of wit, When he resolves to give over his passion, he tells as metaphors, similitudes, allegories, enigmas, mottos, us that one burnt like him for ever dreads the fire. parables, fables, dreams, visions, dramatic writings, His heart is an Ætna, that instead of Vulcan's shop, burlesque, and all the methods of allusion. There encloses Cupid's forge in it. His endeavouring to are many other species of wit (how remote soever drown his love in wine, is throwing oil upon the fire. th may appear at first sight from the foregoing He would insinuate to his mistress that the fire of description) which upon examination will be found love, like that of the sun (which produces so many to agree with it.
living creatures), should not only warm, but beget. As true wit generally consists in this resemblance Love in another place cooks pleasure at bis tire. and congruity of ideas, false wit chiefly consists in Sometimes the poet's heart is frozen in every breast, the resemblance and congruity sometimes of single and sometimes scorched in every eye. Sometimes he letters, as in anagrams, chronograms, lipograms, and is drowned in tears and burnt in love, like a shipset acrostics; sometimes of syllables, as in echoes and on fire in the middle of the sea. doggerel rhymes : sometimes of words, as in puns The reader may observe in every one of these inand quibbles; and sometimes cf whole sentences or stances, that the poet mixes the qualities of fire with poems, cast into the figures of eggs, axes, or altars: those of love; and in the saine sentence speaking of nay, some carry the notion of wit so far, as to as-it both as a passion and as real fire, surprises the cribe it even to external mimicry; and to look upon reader with those seeminy resemblances or contra
man as an ingenious person that can resemble the dictions, that make up all the wit in this kind of tone, posture, or face of another.
writing. Mixed wit therefore is a composition of pun As true wit consists in the resemblance of ideas, and true wit, and is more or less perfect as the reand false wit in the resemblance of words, according semblance lies in the ideas or in the words. Its to the foregoing instances; there is another kind of foundations are laid partly in falsehood and partly wit which consists partly in the resemblance of ideas, in truth; reason puts in her claim for one half of it, and partly in the resemblance of words, which for and extravagance for the other. The only province distinction-sake I shall call mixed wit. This kind therefore for this kind of wit is epigram, or those of wit is that which abounds in Cowley, more than little occasional poems that in their own nature are in any other author that ever wrote. Mr. Waller nothing else but a tissue of epigrams. I cannot conhas likewise a great deal of it. Mr. Dryden is very clude this head of mixed wit
, without owning that sparing in it. Milton had a genius much above it. the admirable poet, out of whom I have taken the Spenser is in the same class with Milton. The Ita- examples of it, had as much true wit as any author lians, even in their epic poetry, are full of it. Mon- that ever writ; and indeed, all other talents of an sieur Boileau, who formed himself upon the ancient extraordinary genius. poets, has every where rejected it with scorn. If we It may be expected, since I am upon this subject, look after mixed witamong the Greek writers, we shall that I should take notice of Mr. Dryden's detinition find it no where but in the epigrammatists. There of wit; which, with all the deference that is due to are indeed some strokes of it in the little poem as- the judgment of so great a man, is not so properly a cribed to Musæus, which by that, as well as many definition of wit as of good writing in general. Wit, other marks, betrays itself to be a modern composi- as he defines it, is “a propriety of words and thoughts tion. If we look into the Latin writers, we tind adapted to the subject.” If this be a true definition none of this mixed wit in Virgil, Lucretius, or Ca- of wit, I am apt to think that Euclid was the greattullus; very little in Horace, but a great deal of it est wit that ever set pen to paper. It is certain in Ovid, and scarce any thing else in Martial. there never was a greater propriety of words and
Out of the innumerable branches of mixed wit, I thoughts adapted to the subjeci, than what that aushall choose one instance which may be met with in thor has made use of in his Elements. I shall only all the writers of this class. The passion of love in appeal to my reader if this definition agrees with any its nature has been thought to resemble tire; for notion he has of wit. If it be a true one, I am sure which reason the words fire and flame are made use Mr. Dryden was not only a better poet, but a greater of to signify love. The witty poets therefore have wit, than Mr. Cowley; and Virgil a much more fataken an advantage from tne double meaning of the cetious man than either Ovid or Martial word fire, to make an infinite number of witticisms. Bouhours, whom I look upon to be the most peCowley, observing the cold regard of his mistress's netrating of all the French critics has taken pains eyes, and at the same time their power of producing to shew, that it is impossible for any thought to be love in him, considers them as burning-glasses made beautiful which is not just, and has not its foupof ice; and finding himself able to live in the dation in the pature of things; that the basis of ail
wit is truth; and that no thought can be valuable, | by reading better books, and by conversation with of which good sense is not the ground-work. Boi- men of judgment), they soon forsake them.” leau has endeavoured to inculcate the same notion I must not dismiss this subject without observing, in several parts of his writings, both in prose and that as Mr. Locke in the passage above-mentioned verse. This is that natural way of writing, that has discovered the most fruitful source of wit, so beautiful simplicity, which we so much admire in the there is another of a quite contrary nature to it, compositions of the ancients; and which nobody which does likewise branch itself out into several deviates from, but those who want strength of ge- kinds. For not only the resemblance, but the opnius to make a thought shine in its own natural position of ideas, does very often produce wit; as I beauties. Poets who want this strength of genius could shew in several little points, turns, and antito give that majestic simplicity to nature, which we theses, that I may possibly enlarge upon in some so much admire in the works of the ancients, are future speculation.-C. forced to bunt after foreign ornaments, and not to let any piece of wit of what kind soever escape them. I look upon these writers as Goths in poetry, No. 63.) SATURDAY, MAY 12, 1711. #ho, like those in architecture, not being able to
Humano capiti cervicem pictor equinam come up to the beautiful simplicity of the old Greeks Jungere si velit, et varias inducere plumas, and Romans, have endeavoured to supply its place
Undique collatis membris, ut turpiter atrum with all the extravagancies of an irregular fancy.
Desinat in piscem mulier formosa superne ;
Spectatum admissi risum teneatis amici? Mr. Dryden makes a very handsome observation on
Credite, Pisones, isti tabulæ fore librum Ovid's writing a letter from Dido to Æneas, in the Persimilem, cujus, velut ægri somnia, vanæ following words: “Ovid,” says he, speaking of Vir. Fingentur species. -Hor. Ars. Poet. ver 1. gil's fiction of Dido and Æneas, “ takes it up after
If in a picture, Piso, you should see
A handsome woman with a fishi's tail, him, even in the same age, and makes an ancient
Or a man's bead upon a horse's neck, heroine of Virgil's new-created Dido; dictates a Or limbs of beasts, of the most different kinds, letter for her just before her death to the ungrateful
Cover'd with feathers of all sorts of birds ;
Wou'd you not laugh, and think the painter mad ? fagitive, and very unluckily for bimself, is for
Trust me that book is as ridiculous, measuring a sword with a man so much superior in Whose incoherent style, like sick men's dreams, force to him on the same subject. I think I may Varies all shapes, and inixes all extremes. be judge of this, because I have translated both.
RoscomXON. The famous author of the Art of Love has nothing It is very hard for the mind to disengage itself of his own; he borrows all from a greater master from a subject on which it has been long employed. in his own profession, and, which is worse, improves The thoughts will be rising of themselves from time nothing which he finds. Nature fails him, and, to time, though we give them no encouragement; as being forced to his old shift
, he has recourse to wit- the tossings and Auctuations of the sea continue seyeticism. This passes indeed with his soft admirers, ral hours after the winds are laid. and gives him the preference to Virgil in their It is to this that I impute my last night's dream esteem."
or vision, which formed into one continued allegory Were I not supported by so great an authority the several schemes of wit, whether false, mixed, or as that of Mr. Dryden, I should not venture to ob- true, that have been the subject of my late papers. serve, that the taste of most of our English poets, Methought I was transported into a country that as well as readers, is extremely Gothic. He quotes was filled with prodigies and enchantments, governed Monsieur Segrais, for a threefold distinction of the by the goddess of Falsehood, and entitled the Region readers of poetry; in the first of which he compre- of False Wit. There was nothing in the fields, the bends the rabble of readers, whom he does not treat woods, and the rivers, that appeared natural. Seveas such with regard to their quality, but to their ral of the trees blossomed in leaf-gold, some of them nuinbers and the coarseness of their taste. His produced bone-lace, and some of them precious words are as follow: " Segrais has distinguished the stones. The fountains bubbled in an opera tune, readers of poetry, according to their capacity of and were filled with stags, wild boars, and mermaids judging, into three classes." (He might have said that lived among the waters; at the same time that the same of writers too, if he had pleased.). “In the dolphins and several kinds of fish played upon the lowest form he places those whom he calls Les Petits banks, or took their pastime in the meadows. The Esprits, such things as are our upper-gallery audi- birds had many of them golden beaks and human ence in a playhouse ; who like nothing but the busk voices. The flowers perfumed the air with smells of and rind of wit, and prefer a quibble, a conceit, an incense, ambergrease, and pulvillios ;* and wete so epigram, before solid sense and elegant expression. interwoven with one another, that they grew up in These are mob readers. If Virgil and Martial stood pieces of embroidery. The winds were filled with for parliament-men, we know already who would sighs and messages of distant lovers. As I was carry it. But though they made the greatest ap- walking to and fro in this enchanted wilderness, I pearance in the field, and cried the loudest, the best could not forbear breaking out into soliloquies upon of it is, they are but a sort of French huguenots, or the several wonders which iay before me, when, to Dutch boors, brought over in herds, but not natu- my great surprise, I found there were artificial ralized; who have not lands of two pounds per an. echoes in every walk that, by repetitions of certain num in Parnassus, and therefore are not privileged words which I spoke, agreed with me, or contradicted to poll.* The authors are of the same level, fit me, in every thing I said. In the reidst of my conto represent them on a mountebank's stage, or versation with these invisible companions, I discoto be masters of the ceremonies in a bear.garden; vered in the centre of a very dark grove a monstrous yet these are they who have the most admirers. But fabric built after the gothic manner, and covered it often happens, to their mortification, that as their with innumerable devices in that barbarous kind of Traders improve their stock of sense (as they may sculpture. I immediately went up to it, and found • To poll as used here as signifying to vote; but in pro
it to be a kind of heathen temple consecrated to the priety of speech, the poll only ascertains the majority of votes.
Pulvillios, sweet soents.
god of Dulness. Upon my entrance I saw the deity I left the temple, and crossed over the fields that lay of the place dressed in the habit of a monk, with a about it with all the speed I could make. I was not book in one hand and a rattle in the other. Upon gone far, before I heard the sound of trumpets and his right hand was Industry, with a lamp burning alarms, which seemed to proclaim the march of an before her; and on his left Caprice, with a monkey enemy; and, as I afterward found, was in reality sitting on her shoulder. Before his feet there stood what I apprehended it. There appeared at a great an altar of a very odd make, which, as I afterward distance a very shining light, and in the midst of it found, was shaped in that manner to comply with a person of a most beautiful aspect; her name was the inscription that surrounded it. Upon the altar Truth On her right hand there marched a nale there lay several offerings of axes, wings, and eggs, deity, who bore several quivers on his shoulders, cut in paper, and inscribed with verses. The temple and grasped several arrows in his hand. His name was filled with votaries, who applied themselves to was Wit. The approach of these two enemies filled different diversions, as their fancies directed them. all the terzitories of False Wit with an unspeakable In one part of it I saw a regiment of anagrams, who consternation, insomuch that the goddess of those were continually in motion, turning to the right or regions appeared in person upon her frontiers, with to the left, facing about, doubling their ranks, shift. the several inferior deities, and the different bodies ing their stations, and throwing themselves into all of forces which I had before seen in the temple, who the figures and counter-marches of the most change were now drawn up in array, and prepared to give able and perplexed exercise.
their foes a warm reception. As the march of the Not far from these was the body of acrostics, enemy was very slow, it gave time to the several inmade up of very disproportioned persons. It was habitants who bordered upon the regions of Falsedisposed into three columns, the officers planting hood to draw their forces into a body, with a design themselves in a line on the left hand of each column. to stand upon their guard as neuters, and attend the The officers were all of them at least six feet high, issue of the combat. and made three rows of very proper men; but the I must here in form my reader, that the frontiers of common soldiers, who filled up the spaces between the enchanted region which I have before described, the officers, were such dwarfs, cripples, and scare- were inhabitated by a species of Mixed Wit, who crows, that one could hardly look upon them without made a very odd appearance when they were muslaughing. There were behind the acrostics two or tered together in an army. There were men whose three files of chronograms, which differed only from bodies were stuck full of darts, and women whose the former, as their officers were equipped (like the eyes were burning-glasses: men that had hearts of figure of Time) with an hour-glass in one hand and fire, and women that had breasts of snow. It would a scythe in the other, and took their posts promis- be endless to describe several monsters of the like cuously among the private men whom they com- nature, that composed this great army; which immemanded.
diately fell asunder, and divided itself into two parts, In the body of the temple, and before the very the one half throwing themselves bebind the banners face of the Deity, methought I saw the phantom of of Truth, and the other behind those of Falsehood. Tryphiodorus, the lipogrammatist, engaged in a ball The goddess of Falsehood was of a gigantic stawith four-and-twenty persons, who pursued him by ture, and advanced some paces before the front of turns through all the intricacies and labyrinths of a her army; but as the dazzling light which flowed country dance, without being able to overtake him. from Truth began to shine upon her, she faded in,
Observing several to be very busy at the western sensibly; insomuch that in a little space, she looked end of the temple, I inquired into what they were rather like a huge phantom, than a real substance. doing, and found there was in that quarter the great At length, as the goddess of Truth approached still magazine of rebusses. These were several things of nearer to her, she fell away entirely, and vanished the most different natures tied up in bundles, and amidst the brightness of her presence; so that there thrown upon one another in heaps like faggots. You did not remain the least trace or impression of her might behold an anchor, a night-rail
, and a hobby- figure in the place where she had been seen. horse, bound up together. One of the workmen As at the rising of the sun the constellations grow seeing me very much surprised, told me there was thin, and the stars go out one after another, till the an infinite deal of wit in several of those bundles, whole hemisphere is extinguished ; such was the and that he would explain them to me if I pleased; 1 vanishing of the goddess : and not only of the godthanked him for his civility, but told him I was in dess herself, but of the whole army that attended very great haste at that time. As I was going out her, which sympathised with their leader, and shrank of the temple, I observed in one corner of it a clus- into nothing, in proportion as the goddess disapter of men and women laughing very heartily, and peared. At the same time the whole temple sank, diverting themselves at a game of crambo. I heard the fish betook themselves to the streams and the several double rhymes as I passed by them, which wild beasts to the woods, the fountains recovered raised a great deal of mirth.
their murmurs, the birds their voices, the trees their Not far from these was another set of merry leaves, the flowers their scents, and the whole face people engaged at a diversion, in which the whole of nature its true and genuine appearance. Though jest was to mistake one person for another. To give I still continued asleep, I fancied myself, as it were, occasion for these ludicrous mistakes, they were di- awakened out of a dream, when I saw this region of vided into pairs, every pair being covered from head prodigies restored to woods and rivers, fields and to foot with the same kind of dress, though perhaps mealows. there was not the least resemblance in their faces. Upon the removal of that wild scene of wonders, By this means an old man was sometimes mistaken which had very much disturbed my imagination, I for a boy, a wounan for a man, and a black-a-moor took a full survey of the persons of Wit and Truth; for a European, which very often produced great for indeed it was impossible to look upon the first, peals of laughter. These I guessed to be a party of without seeing the other at the same time. There puns. But being very desirous to get out of this was behind them a strong compact body of tigures. world of magic, which had almost turned my brain, The genius of Heroic Poetry appeared with a sword
in her hand, and a laurel on her head. Tragedy was the time appointed for beginning to mourn, as dark crowned with cypress, and covered with robes dipped as a cloud. This humour does not prevail only on in blood. Satire had smiles in her look, and a those whose fortunes can support any change in their dagger under her garment. Rhetoric was known equipage, nor on those only whose incomes demand by her thunderbolt; and Comedy by her mask. After the wantopness of new appearances; but on such several other figures, Epigram marched up in the also who have just enough to clothe them. An old rear, who had been posted there at the beginning of acquaintance of mine, of ninety pounds a year, who the expedition, that he might not revolt to the has naturally the vanity of being a man of fashion enemy, whom he was suspected to favour in his deep at his heart, is very much put to it to bear the heart. I was very much awed and delighted with mortality of princes. He made a new black suit the appearance of the god of Wit; there was some- upon the death of the King of Spain, he turned it thing so amiable, and yet so piercing in his looks, as for the King of Portugal, and he now keeps his inspired me at once with love and terror. As I was chamber while it is scouring for the Emperor. He gazing on him, to my unspeakable joy he took a is a good economist in his extravagance, and makes quirer of arrows from his shoulder, in order to make only a fresh black button on his iron-grey suit for me a present of it; but as I was reaching out my any potentate of small territories; he indeed adds hand to receive it of him, I knocked it against a his crape hatband for a prince whose exploits he has chair, and by that means awaked.
admired in the Gazette. But whatever compliments may be made on these occasions, the true mourners
are the mercers, silkmen, lacemen, and milliners. No. 64.1 MONDAY, MAY 14, 1711. A prince of a merciful and royal disposition would -Hic vivimus ambitiosa
reflect with great anxiety upon the prospect of his Paupertate omnes Juv. Sat. lii. 183.
death, if he considered what numbers would be reThe face of wealth in poverty we wear.
duced to misery by that accident only. He would The most improper things we commit in the con- think it of moment enough to direct, that in the noduet of our lives, we are led into by the force of tification of his departure, the honour done, to him fashion. Instances might be given, in which a pre- might be restrained to those of the household of the vailing custom makes us act against the rules of na- prince to whom it should be signified. He would ture, law, and common sense ; but at present I shall think a general mourning to be, in a less degree, the contine my consideration to the effect it has upon same ceremony which is practised in barbarous namen's minds, by looking into our behaviour when it tions, of killing their slaves to attend the obsequies is the fashion to go into mourning. The custom of of their kings. representing the grief we have for the loss of the I had been wonderfully at a loss for many months dead by our habits, certainly had its rise from the together, to guess at the character of a man who real sorrow of such as were too much distressed to came now and then to our coffee-house. He ever take the proper care they ought of their dress. By ended a newspaper with this reflection, “ Well, I degrees it prevailed, that such as had this inward see all the foreign princes are in good health.” If oppression upon their minds, made an apology for you asked, "Pray, Sir, wbat says the Postmau from Dot joining with the rest of the world in their ordi- Vienna?” He answered, “ Make us thankful, the nary diversions by a dress suited to their condition. German princes are all well.”—“What does he say This
, therefore, was at first assumed by such only as from Barcelona ?”-“ He does not speak but that were under real distress ; to whom it was a relief the country agrees very well with the new Queen." that they had nothing about them so light and gay After very much inquiry, I found this man of unias to be irksome to the gloom and melancholy of versal loyalty was a wholesale dealer in silks and their in ward reflections, or that might misrepresent ribands. His way is, it seems, if he hires a weaver them to others. In process of time this laudable or workman, to have it inserted in his articles, that distinction of the sorrowful was lost, and mourning all this shall be well and truly performed, provided is now worn by heirs and widows. You see nothing no foreign potentate shall depart this life within the but magnificence and solemnity in the equipage of time above mentioned.” It happens in all public the relict, and an air of release from servitude in mournings that the many trades which depend upon the pomp of a son who has lost a wealthy father. our habits, are during that folly either pinched with preThis fashion of sorrow is now become a generous sent want, or terrified with the apparent approach of it. part of the ceremonial between princes and sove- All the atonement which men can make for wanton reigns, who, in the language of all nations, are expenses (which is a sort of insulting the scarcity styled brothers to each other, and put on the purple* under which others labour) is, that the superfluities upou the death of any potentate with whom they live of the wealthy give supplies to the necessities of the in amity. Courtiers, and all who wish themselves poor; but instead of any other good arising from Each, are immediately seized with grief from head to the affectation of being in courtly habits of mournfoot upon this disaster to their prince; so that one ing, all order seems to be destroyed by it: and the may know by the very buckles of a gentleman-uslier, true honour which one court does to another on that what degree of friendship any deceased monarch occasion, loses its force and efficacy. When a maintained with the court to which he belongs. A foreign minister beholds the court of a nation (which good courtier's habit and behaviour is hieroglyphical flourishes in riches and plenty) lay aside, upon the on these occasions. He deals much in whispers, loss of his master, all marks of splendour and magand you may see he dresses according to the best nificence, though the head of such a joyful people, intelligence.
he will conceive a greater idea of the honour done The general affectation among men, of appearing to his master, than when he sees the generality of the greater than they are, makes the whole world run people in the same habit. When one is afraid to into the habit of the court. You see the lady, who ask the wife of a tradesman whom she has lost of her the day before was as various as a rainbow, upon know whom she mourns for, how ridiculous is it to
family: and after some preparation, endeavours to Royal and princely mourners are clad in purple. hear ber explain berself, “That we have lost one of
Hox. 1 Sat. x. 90.
the house of Austria!" Princes are elevated so a pretty phrase of “How now, Double Tripe ?" highly above the rest of mankind, that it is a presump- upon the mention of a country-gentlewoman, whom tuous distinction to take a part in honours done to he knows nothing of (no one can imagine why), their memories, except we have authority for it by he will lay his life she is some awkward ill-fabeing related in a particular manner to the court shioned country toad, who, not having above four which pays the veneration to their friendship, and dozen of hairs on her head, has adorned her baldseems to express on such an occasion the sense of ness with a large white furz, that she may look the uncertainty of human life in general, by assuming sparkishly in the fore-front of the king's box at an the habit of sorrow, though in the full possession of old play.” Unnatural mixture of senseless comtriumph and royalty.
As to the generosity of his temper, he tells his poor footman, “ If he did not wait better," he
would turn him away-in the insolent phrase of, No. 65.1 TUESDAY, MAY 15, 1711.
“ I'll uncase you.” -Demetri, teque, Tigelli,
Now for Mrs. Harriet. She laughs at obedience Discipularum inter jubeo piorare cathedras. to an absent mother, whose tenderness Busy de
scribes to be very exquisite, for, " that she is so Demetrius and Tigellius, know your place : pleased with finding Harriet again, that she cannot
Go hence, and whine among the school-boy race. chide her for being out of the way.” This witty AFTER having at large explained what wit is, and daughter and fine lady has so little respect for this described the false appearances of it, all that labour good woman, that she ridicules her air in taking seems but a useless inquiry, without some time be leave, and cries, “ In what struggle is my poor spent in considering the application of it. The seat mother yonder! See, see, her head tottering, her of wit, when one speaks as a man of the town and eyes staring, and her under-lip trembling.” But al! the world, is the playhouse; I shall therefore fill this is atoned for, because " she has more wit than this paper with reflections upon the use of it in that is usual in her sex, and as much malice, though she place. The application of wit in the theatre has is as wild as you could wish her, and has a demureas strong an effect upon the manners of our gen ness in her looks that makes it so surprising." tlemen, as the taste of it has upon the writings of Then to recommend her as a fit spouse for his hero, our authors. It may, perhaps, look like a very pre- the poet makes her speak her sense of marriage sumptuous work, though not foreign from the duty very ingenuously; I think,” says she, “I might of a Spectator, to tax the writings of such as have be brought to endure him, and that is all a reasonlong had the general applause of a nation ; but I able woman should expect in a husband.” It is meshall always make reason, truth, and nature, the thinks unnatural, that we are not made to undermeasures of praise and dispraise; if those are for stand, how she that was bred under a silly pious old me, the generality of opinion is of no consequence mother
, that would never trust her out of her sight, against me; if they are against me, the general came to be so polite. opinion cannot long support me.
It cannot be denied, but that the negligence of Without farther preface, I am going to look into every thing which engages the attention of the so. some of our most applauded plays, and see whether ber and valuable part of mankind, appears very they deserve the figure they at present bear in the well drawn in this piece. But it is denied, that it imaginations of men or not.
is necessary to the character of a fine gentleman, In reflecting upon these works, I shall chiefly that he should in that manner trample upon all ordwell upon that for which each respective play is der and decency. As for the character of Dorimost celebrated. The present paper shall be em- mant, it is more of a coxcomb than that of Fopling. ployed upon Sir Fopling Flutter. The received He says of one of his companions, that a good corcharacter of this play is, that it is the pattern of respondence between them is their mutual interest. genteel comedy. Dorimant and Harriet are the Speaking of that friend, he declares, their being characters of greatest consequence, and if these are much together“ makes the women think the better low and mean, the reputation of the play is very of his understanding, and judge more favourably of unjust.
my reputation. It makes him pass upon some for I will take for granted, that a fine gentleman a man of very good sense, and me upon others for should be honest in his actions, and refined in his a very civil person.” language. Instead of this, our hero in this piece
This whole celebrated piece is a perfect contrais a direct knave in his designs, and a clown in his diction to good manners, good sense, and common language. Bellair is his admirer and friend; in honesty; and as there is nothing in it but what is return for which, because he is forsooth a greater built upon the ruin of virtue and innocence, accorwit than his said friend, he thinks it reasonable to ding to the notion of merit in this comedy, I take persuade him to marry a young ady, whose virtue, the shoemaker* to be in reality the fine gentleman he thinks, will last no longer than till she is a wife, of the play: for it seems he is an atheist, if we and then she cannot but fall to his share, as he is an may depend upon his character as given by the irresistible fine gentleman. The falsehood to Mrs. orange-woman, who is herself far from being the Loveit, and the barbarity of triumphing over her lowest in the play. She says of a fine man who anguish for losing him, is another instance of his is Dorimant's companion, there “is not such anohonesty as well as his goodnature. As to his fine ther heathen in the town, except the shomaker." language, he calls the orange-woman, who, it seems, His pretension to be the hero of the drama, appears is inclined to grow fat, “ An overgrown jade, with still more in his own description of his way of living a flasket of guts before her;" and salutes her with with his lady. “ There is,” says he,“ never a man
in town lives more like a gentleman with his wife “ The Man of the Mode." Sir Fopling was Beau Hewit, son of Sir Thomas Hewit, of Pishiobury, in Hertfordshire, • He also was a real person, and got vast employment by Bart.; and the author's own character is represented in Bellair. the representation of him in this play.