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Docturn imitatorum et veras hinc ducere voces.
Hor. Ars Poct. v. 327.
No. 335.] Tuesday, March 25, 1711-12. [head of his footmen in the rear, we convoyRespicere exemplar vite morumque jubebo
ed him in safety to the playhouse, where after having marched up the entry in good
order, the captain and I went in with him, Keep nature's great original in view,
and seated him betwixt us in the pit. As And thence the living images pursue.-- Francis.
soon as the house was full, and the candles **My friend, Sir Roger de Coverley, when lighted, my old friend stood up, and looked we last' met together at the club, told me about him with that pleasure which a mind that he had a great mind to see the new seasoned with humanity naturally feels in tragedy* with me, assuring me at the same itself, at the sight of a multitude of people time, that he had not been at a play these who seem pleased with one another, and twenty years. The last I saw,' said Sir partake of the same common entertainment. Roger, was The Committee, which I i could not but fancy to myself, as the old should not have gone to neither, had not I man stood up in the middle of the pit, that been told beforehand that it was a good he made a very proper centre to a tragic church of England comedy.' He then pro- audience. Upon the entering of Pyrrhus, ceeded to inquire of me who this distrest the knight told me, that he did not believe the mother was; and upon hearing that she was king of France himself had a better strut. I Hector's widow, he told me that her hus- was indeed very attentive to my old friend's band was a brave man, and that when he remarks, because I looked upon them as a was a schoolboy he had read his life at the piece of natural criticism, and was well end of the dictionary. My friend asked me pleased to hear him, at the conclusion of in the next place, if there would not be some almost every scene telling me that he could danger in coming home late, in case the not imagine how the play would end. One Mohocks should be abroad. “I assure you,' while he appeared much concerned for Ansays he, I thought I had fallen into their dromache; and a little while after as much hands last night; for I observed two or three for Hermione; and was extremely puzzled lusty black men that followed me half way to think what would become of Pyrrhus. up Fleet-street, and mended their pace be- When Sir Roger saw Andromache's obhind me, in proportion as I put on to get stinate refusal to her lover's importunities, away from them. You must know,' conti-he whispered me in the ear, that he was nued the knight with a smile, 'I fancied sure she would never have him; to which they had a mind to hunt me; for I remem- he added, with a more than ordinary veber an honest gentleman in my neighbour- hemence, You can't imagine, sir, what it hood, who was served such a trick in King is to have to do with a widow.' Upon Charles the Second's time, for which reason Pyrrhus's threatening afterwards to leave he has not ventured himself in town ever her, the knight shook his head, and mutsince. I might have shown them very good tered to himself, “Ay, do if you can.' This sport, had this been their design; for, as I part dwelt so much upon my friend's imagiam an old fox-hunter, I should have turned nation, that at the close of the third act, as and dodged, and have played them a thou- I was thinking of something else, he whissand tricks they had never seen in their pered me in my ear, “These widows, sir, lives before.' Sir Roger added that if these are the most perverse creatures in the gentlemen had any such intention, they did world. But pray,' says he, "you that are not succeed very well in it, for I threw them a critic, is the play according to your draout,' says he, at the end of Norfolk-street, matic rules, as you call them? Should your where I doubled the corner, and got shelter people in tragedy always talk to be underin my lodgings before they could imagine stood? Why, there is not a single sentence what was become of me. However,' says in this play that I do not know the meanthe knight, “if Captain Sentry will make one ing of.' with us to-morrow night, and you will both The fourth act very luckily began before of you call upon me about four o'clock, that I had time to give the old gentleman an anwe may be at the house before it is full, I swer. “Well,' says the knight, sitting down will have my own coach in readiness to at- with great satisfaction, 'I suppose we are tend you, for John tells me he has got the now to see Hector's ghost.' 'He then refore-wheels mended.'
newed his attention, and, from time to time The captain, who did not fail to meet me fell a-praising the widow. He made, inthere at the appointed hour, bid Sir Roger deed, a little mistake as to one of her pages, fear nothing, for that he had put on the whom at his first entering he took for As same sword which he made use of at the tyanax; but quickly set himself right in that battle of Steenkirk. Sir Roger's servants, particular, though, at the same time, he and among the rest my old friend the butler, owned he should have been very glad to had, I found, provided themselves with good have seen the little boy, who, says he, must oaken plants, to attend their master upon needs be a very fine child by the account this occasion. When we had placed him that is given of him. Upon Hermione's in his coach, with myself at his left hand, going off with a menace to Pyrrhus, the the captain before him, and his butler at the audience gave a loud clap, to which Sir
Roger added, On my word, a notable young baggage!'
* The Distrest Mother.
As there was a very remarkable silence has prevailed from generation to generaand stillness in the audience during the tion, which gray hairs and tyrannical custom whole action, it was natural for them to continue to support: I hope your spectatotake the opportunity of the intervals be- rial authority will give a seasonable check tween the acts to express their opinion of to the spread of the infection; I mean old the players, and of their respective parts. men's overbearing the strongest sense of Sir Roger, hearing a cluster of them praise their juniors by the mere force of seniority; Orestes, struck in with them, and told so that, for a young man in the bloom of them, that he thought his friend Pylades life, and vigour of age, to give a reasonable was a very sensible man.' As they were contradiction to his elders, is esteemed an afterwards applauding Pyrrhus, Sir Roger unpardonable insolence, and regarded as put in a second time. And let me tell reversing the decrees of nature. I am a you,' says he, though he speaks but little, young man, I confess; yet I honour the gray I like the old fellow in whiskers as well as head as much as any one; however, when, any of them.' Captain Sentry, seeing two in company with old men, I hear them or three wags who sat near us, lean with an speak obscurely, or reason preposterously, attentive ear towards Sir Roger, and fear-into which absurdities, prejudice, pride, or ing lest they should smoke the knight, interest, will sometimes throw the wisest,) plucked him by the elbow, and whispered I count it no crime to rectify their reasomething in his ear, that lasted till the sonings, unless conscience must truckle to opening of the fifth act. The knight was ceremony, and truth fall a sacrifice to comwonderfully attentive to the account which plaisance. The strongest arguments are Orestes gives of Pyrrhus's death, and at enervated, and the brightest evidence disap the conclusion of it, told me it was such a pears, before those tremendous reasonings bloody piece of work that he was glad it and dazzling discoveries of venerable old was not done upon the stage. Seeing after- age. “You are young, giddy-headed felwards Orestes in his raving fit, he grew lows; you have not yet had experience of the more than ordinarily serious, and took oc-world.” Thus we young folks find our amcasion to moralize (in his way,) upon an bition cramped, and our laziness indulged; evil conscience, adding, that Orestes, in his since while young we have little room tó madness, looked as if he saw something. display ourselves; and, when old, the weak| As we were the first that came into the ness of nature must pass for strength of house, so we were the last that went out of sense, and we hope that hoary heads will it; being resolved to have a clear passage raise us above the attacks of contradicfor our old friend, whom we did not care to tion. Now, sir, as you would enliven our venture among the jostling of the crowd. activity in the pursuit of learning, take our Sir Roger went out fully satisfied with his case into consideration; and, with a gloss on entertainment, and we guarded him to his brave Elihu's sentiments, assert the rights lodging in the same manner that we brought of youth, and prevent the pernicious enhim to the playhouse; being highly pleased croachments of age. The generous reasonfor my own part, not only with the per- ings of that gallant youth would adorn your formance of the excellent piece which had paper; and I beg you would insert them, been presented, but with the satisfaction not doubting but that they will give good which it had given to the old man, L. entertainment to the most intelligent of
“So these three men ceased to answer No. 336.] Wednesday, March 26, 1711-12. Job, because he was righteous in his own
eyes. Then was kindled the wrath of Elihu, -Clament periisse pudorem
the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the kinCuncti pene patres: ea cum reprehendere coner, dred of Ram: against Job was his wrath Quæ gravis Æsopus, quæ doctus Roscius egit; Vel quia nil rectum, nisi quod placuit sibi, ducunt
kindled, because he justified himself rather Vel quia turpe putant parere minoribus, et quæ
than God, Alsó against his three friends Imberbes didicere, senes perpenda fateri.
was his wrath kindled, because they had Hor. Ep. i. Lib. 2. 80.
found no answer, and yet had condemned IMITATED.
Job. Now Elihu had waited till Job had One tragic sentence if I dare deride,
spoken, because they were elder than he. With Betterton's grave action dignified, Or well-mouth'd Booth with emphasis proclaims,
When Elihu saw there was no answer in (Though but, perhaps, a muster-roll of names.)
the mouth of these three men, then his How will our fathers rise up in a rage,
wrath was kindled. And Elihu, the son of And swear all shame is lost in George's age ? You'd think no fools disgrac'd the former reign,
Barachel the Buzite, answered and said, I Did not some grave examples yet remain,
am young, and ye are very old; wherefore Who scorn a lad should teach his father skill, I was afraid and durst not show you mine And, having once been wrong, will be so still.
opinion. I said, days should speak, and Pope.
multitude of years should teach wisdom. MR. SPECTATOR,—As you are the daily But there is a spirit in man, and the inspiendeavourer to promote learning and good ration of the Almighty giveth them undersense, I think myself obliged to suggest to standing. Great men are not always wise: your consideration whatever may promote neither do the aged understand judgment. or prejudice them. There is an evil which | Therefore I said, Hearken to me, I also
will show mine opinion. Behold, I waited the better for it. Lord, what signifies one for your words; gave ear to your reasons, poor pot of tea, considering the trouble they whilst you searched out what to say. Yea, put me to? Vapours, Mr. Spectator, are Į attended unto you: and behold there was terrible things; for, though I am not posnone of you that convinced Job, or that sessed by them myself, I suffer more from answered his words: lest you should say, them than if I were. Now I must beg of We have found out wisdom: God thrusteth you to admonish all such day-goblins to him down, not man. Now he hath not di-make fewer visits, or to be less troublesome rected his words against me: neither will I when they come to one's shop; and to conanswer him with your speeches. They vince them that we honest shop-keepers were amazed: they answered no more; they have something better to do than to cure left off speaking. "When I had waited (for folks of the vapours gratis. A young son of they spake not, but stood still and answered mine, a school-boy, is my secretary, so I no more,) I said, I will answer also my hope you will make allowances. I am, sir, part, I also will show mine opinion. For I your constant reader, and very humble am full of matter, the spirit within me con- servant, straineth me. Behold, my belly is as wine
REBECCA the distressed. which hath no vent, it is ready to burst like March the 22d.'
T. new bottles. I will speak that I may be refreshed: I will open my lips and answer. Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's No. 337.] Thursday, March 27, 1712. person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man. For I know not to give flatter- Fingit equum tenera docilem cervice magister,
Ire viam quum monstrat equesing titles: in so doing my Maker would soon
Hor. Ep. 2. Lib. 1. 64. take me away."
The jockey trains the young and tender horse
While yet sott-mouth'd, and breeds him to the course. *MR. SPECTATOR, -I have formerly read with great satisfaction your paper about idols, and the behaviour of gentle- the gentleman who has already given the
I HAVE lately received a third letter from men in those coffee-houses where women public two essays upon education. As his officiate; and impatiently waited to see you thoughts seem to be very just and new upon take India and China shops into considera- this subject, I shall communicate them to tion: but since you have passed us over in the reader. silence, either that you have not as yet thought us worth your notice, or that the “Sir,-If I had not been hindered by grievances we lie under have escaped your some extraordinary business, I should have discerning eye, I must make my complaints sent you sooner my further thoughts upon to you, and am encouraged to do it because education. You may please to remember, you seem a little at leisure at this present that in my last letter, I endeavoured to give writing. I am, dear sir, one of the top the best reasons that could be urged in China-women about town; and though I favour of a private or public education. say it, keep as good things and receive as Upon the whole, it may perhaps be thought fine company as any over this end of the that I seemed rather inclined to the latter, town, let the other be who she will. In though at the same time I confessed that short, I am in a fair way to be easy, were virtue, which ought to be our first and prinit not for a club of female rakes, who, under cipal care, was more usually acquired in pretence of taking their innocent rambles, the former. forsooth, and diverting the spleen, seldom *I intended, therefore, in this letter, to fail to plague me twice or thrice a day, to offer at methods, by which I conceive boys cheapen tea, or buy a skreen. What else might be made to improve in virtue as they should they mean? as they often repeat it. advance in letters. These rakes are your idle ladies of fashion, "I know that in most of our public schools who, having nothing to do, employ them- vice is punished and discouraged, whenever selves in tumbling over my ware. One of it is found out: but this is far from being these no-customers (for by the way they sufficient, unless our youth are at the same seldom or never buy any thing,) calls for a time taught to form a right judgment of set of tea-dishes, another for a bason, a third things, and to know what is properly virtue. for my best green tea, and even to the pu *To this end, whenever they read the bowl, there's scarce a piece in my shop but lives and actions of such men as have been must be displaced, and the whole agree- famous in their generation, it should not be able architecture disordered, so that I can thought enough to make them barely uncompare them to nothing but to the night- derstand so many Greek or Latin sentences; goblins that take a pleasure to overturn but they should be asked their opinion of the disposition of plates and dishes in the such an action or saying, and obliged to give kitchens of your housewifery maids. Well, their reasons why they take it to be good after all this racket and clatter, this is too or bad. By this means they would insensidear, that is their aversion; another thing bly arrive at proper notions of courage, is charming, but not wanted; the ladies are temperance, honour, and justice. cured of the spleen, but I am not a shilling “There must be great care taken how
the example of any particular person is, he would inspire me with an abhorrence recommended to them in gross; instead of of debauchery, "Do not,' says he, ‘make which they ought to be taught wherein yourself like Sectanus, when you may be such a man, though great in some respects, happy in the enjoyment of lawful pleasures. was weak and faulty in others. For want How scandalous,' says he, is the character of this caution, a boy is often so dazzled of Trebonius, who was lately ca cht in bed with the lustre of a great character, that with another man's wife!"" To illustrate he confounds its beauties with its blemishes, the force of this method, the poet adds, that and looks even upon the faulty part of it as a headstrong patient who will not follow with an eye of admiration.
at first his physician's prescriptions, grows 'I have often wondered how Alexander, orderly when he hears that the neighbours who was naturally of a generous and merci- die all about him; so youth is often frightful disposition, came to be guilty of so bar-ened from vice, by hearing the ill report it barous an action as that of dragging the brings upon others. governor of a town after his chariot. I * Xenophon’s schools of equity, in his Life know this is generally ascribed to his pas- of Cyrus the Great, are sufficiently famous. sion for Homer, but I lately met with a He tells us, that the Persian children went passage in Plutarch, which, if I am not to school, and employed their time as dili. very much mistaken, still gives us a clearer gently in learning the principles of justice light into the motives of this action. Plu- and sobriety, as the youth in other countries tarch tells us, that Alexander in his youth did to acquire the most difficult arts and had a master named Lysimachus, who, sciences; their governors spent most part though he was a man destitute of all polite- of the day in hearing their mutual accusaness, ingratiated himself both with Philip tions one against the other, whether for and his pupil, and became the second man violence, cheating, slander, or ingratitude; åt court, by calling the king Peleus, the and taught them how to give judgment Prince Achilles, and himself Phænix. It is against those who were found to be any no wonder if Alexander, having been thus ways guilty of these crimes. I omit the used not only to admire but to personate story of the long and short coat, for which Achilles, should think it glorious to imitate Cyrus himself was punished, as a case him in this piece of cruelty and extrava- equally known with any in Littleton. gance.
The method which Apuleius tells us the "To carry this thought yet further, I Indian Gymnosophists took to educate their shall submit it to your consideration, whe- disciples, is still more curious and remarkther, instead of a theme or copy of verses, able. His words are as follow: “When · which are the usual exercises, as they are their dinner is ready, before it is served called in the school phrase, it would not be up, the masters inquire of every particular more proper that a boy should be tasked, scholar how he has employed his time since once or twice a week, to write down his sun-rising: some of them answer, that, opinion of such persons and things as occur having been chosen as arbiters between two to him by his reading; that he should des persons, they have composed their differcant upon the actions of Turnus, or Æneas; ences, and made them friends; some that show wherein they excelled, or were de- they have been executing the orders of fective; censure or approve any particular their parents; and others, that they have action; observe how it might have been either found out something new by their carried to a greater degree of perfection, own application, or learnt it from the inand how it exceeded or fell short of an- structions of their fellows. But if there other. He might at the same time mark happens to be any one among them who what was moral in any speech, and how cannot make it appear that he has emfar it agreed with the character of the per- ployed the morning to advantage, he is son speaking. This exercise would soon immediately excluded from the company, strengthen his judgment in what is blame- and obliged to work while the rest are at able or praiseworthy, and give him an early dinner." seasoning of morality.
• It is not impossible, that from these Next to those examples which may be several ways of producing virtue in the met with in books, I very much approve minds of boys, some general method might Horace's way of setting before youth the be invented. What would endeavour to infamous or honourable characters of their inculcate is, that our youth cannot be too contemporaries. That poet tells us, this soon taught the principles of virtue, seeing was the method his father made use of to the first impressions which are made on incline him to any particular virtue, or give the mind, are always the strongest. him an aversion to any particular vice. • The archbishop of Cambray makes “ If,” says Horace, “my father advised Telemachus say, that, though he was young me to live within bounds, and be contented in years, he was old in the art of knowing with the fortune he should leave me; “Do how to keep both his own and his friends' you not see,' says he, 'the miserable condi- secrets. “When my father,” says the tion of Burrus, and the son of Albus? Let prince, “ went to the siege of Troy, he the misfortunes of those two wretches teach took me on his knees, and, after having you to avoid luxury and extravagance. If | embraced and blessed me, as he was sur
rounded by the nobles of Ithaca, O my self upon, that he will easily forgive me for friends,' says he, 'into your hands I com- publishing the exceptions made against mit the education of my son: if ever you gaiety at the end of serious entertainments loved his father, show it in your care to- in the following letter: I should be more wards him; but, above all, do not omit to unwilling to pardon him, than any body, a form him just, sincere, and faithful in keep- practice which cannot have any ill conseing a secret. These words of my father,” quence but from the abilities of the person says Telemachus, “were continually re- who is guilty of it. peated to me by his friends in his absence; who made no scruple of communicating to * MR. SPECTATOR, I had the happiness me their uneasiness to see my mother sur- the other night of sitting very near you, and rounded with lovers, and the measures they your worthy friend Sir Roger, at the acting designed to take on that occasion.” He of the new tragedy, which you have, in a adds, that he was so ravished at being thus late paper or two, so justly recommended. treated like a man, and at the confidence I was highly pleased with the advantageous reposed in him, that he never once abused situation fortune had given me in placing it; nor could all the insinuations of his me so near two gentlemen, from one of father's rivals ever get him to betray what which I was sure to hear such reflections was committed to him under the seal of on the several incidents of the play as pure secrecy.
nature suggested, and from the other, such * There is hardly any virtue which a lad as flowed from the exactest art and judg. might not thus learn by practice and ex- ment: though I must confess that my cuample.
riosity led me so much to observe the I have heard of a good man, who used knight's reflections, that I was not well at at certain times to give his scholars six- leisure to improve myself by yours. Napence a-piece, that they might tell him the ture, I found, played her part in the knight next day how they had employed it. The pretty well, till at the last concluding lines third part was always to be laid out in she entirely forsook him. You must know, charity, and every boy was blamed, or sir, that it is always my custom, when I commended, as he could make it appear have been well entertained at a new tragedy, he had chosen a fit object.
to make my retreat before the facetious • In short, nothing is more wanting to our epilogue enters; not but that those pieces public schools, than that the masters of are often very well written, but having paid them should use the same care in fashioning down my half-crown, and made a fair purthe manners of their scholars, as in forming chase of as much of the pleasing melancholy their tongues to the learned languages. as the poet's art can afford me, or my own Wherever the former is omitted, I cannot nature admit of, I am willing to carry some help agreeing with Mr. Locke, that a man of it home with me: and cannot endure to must have a very strange value for words, be at once tricked out of all, though by the when, preferring the languages of the wittiest dexterity in the world. However, Greeks and Romans to that which made I kept my seat the other night in hopes of them such brave men, he can think it worth finding my own sentiments of the matter while to hazard the innocence and virtue favoured by your friends; when, to my great of his son for a little Greek and Latin. surprise, I found the knight entering with 1. As the subject of this essay is of the equal pleasure into both parts, and as much highest importance, and what I do not re- satisfied with Mrs. Oldfield's gaiety as he member to have yet seen treated by any had been before with Andromache's greatauthor, I have sent you what occurred to ness. Whether this were no more than an me on it from my own observation, or read-effect of the knight's peculiar humanity, ing, and which you may either suppress or pleased to find at last; that, after all the publish, as you think fit. I am, sir, yours, tragical doings, every thing was safe and &c.'
X. well, I do not know; but for my own part,
I must confess, I was so dissatisfied, that I
was sorry the poet had saved Andromache, No. 338.] Friday, March 28, 1712. and could heartily have wished that he had
left her stone-dead upon the stage. For you
cannot imagine, Mr. Spectator, the mis Tam dispar sibi. - Hor. Sat. iii. Lib. 1. 18.
chief she was reserved to do me. I found my Made up of nought but inconsistencies.
soul, during the action, gradually worked I FIND the tragedy of the Distrest Mo- up to the highest pitch, and felt the exalted ther* is published to-day. The author of passion which all generous minds conceive the prologue, † I suppose, pleads an old at the sight of virtue in distress. The inexcuse I have read somewhere, of being pression, believe me, sir, was so strong dull with design;' and the gentleman who upon me, that I am persuaded, if I had writ the epiloguef has, to my knowledge, been let alone in it, I could, at an extremity, "So much of greater moment to value him- have ventured to defend yourself and Sir
Roger against half a score of the fiercest * By A. Phillips, first published in 1712
Mohocks; but the ludicrous epilogue in the 1 Steele; See Tat No. 38. $ Eustace Budgell. close extinguished all my ardeur, and made
-Nil fuit unquam