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The inconvenience of this situation naturally, ed to comply. Mitissa was ordered to exert her disposed me to wish for a companion, and the power; she told me, that if I could refuse her papa known value of my estate, with my reputation I had no love for her; that she was an unhappy for frugality and prudence, easily gained me ad- creature, and that I was a perfidious man; then mission into every family; for I soon found that she burst into tears, and fell into fits. All this, no inquiry was made after any other virtue, nor as I was no passionate lover, had little effect. any testimonial necessary, but of my freedom She next refused to see me, and because I thought from incumbrances, and my care of what they myself obliged to write in terms of distress, they termed the main chance. I saw, not without in- had once hopes of starving me into measures; dignation, the eagerness with which the daugh- but, finding me inflexible, the father complied ters, wherever I came, were set out to show; nor with my proposal, and told me he liked me the could I consider them in a state much different more for being so good at a bargain. from prostitution, when I found them ordered to I was now married to Mitissa, and was to explay their airs before me, and to exhibit, by some perience the happiness of a match made without seeming chance, specimens of their music, their passion. Mitissa soon discovered that she was work, or their housewifery. No sooner was I equally prudent with myself, and had taken a placed at table, than the young lady was called husband only to be at her own command, and upon to pay me some civility or other; nor could have a chariot at her own call. She brought with I find means of escaping, from either father or her an old maid recommended by her mother, mother, some account of their daughter's excel- who taught her all the arts of domestic managelences, with a declaration that they were now ment, and was, on every occasion, her chief agent leaving the world, and had no business on this and directress. They soon invented one reason side the grave, but to see their children happily or other to quarrel with all my servants, and disposed of; that she whom I had been pleased either prevailed on me to turn them away, or to compliment at table was indeed the chief plea- treated them so ill that they left me of theniselves, sure of their age, so good, so dutiful, so great a and always supplied their places with some relief to her mamma in the care of the house, and brought from my wife's relations. Thus they esso much her papa’s favourite for her cheerfulness tablished a family, over which I had no authoriand wit, that it would be with the last reluctance ty, and which was in a perpetual conspiracy that they should part; but to a worthy gentleman against me; for Mitissa considered herself as in the neighbourhood, whom they might often having a separate interest, and thought nothing visit, they would not so far consult their own her own, but what she laid up without my knowgratification, as to refuse her; and their tender-ledge. For this reason she brought me false acness should be shown in her fortune, whenever counts of the expenses of the house, joined with a suitable settlement was proposed.
my tenants in complaints of hard times, and by As I knew these overtures not to proceed from means of a steward of her own, took rewards for any preference of me before another equally rich, soliciting abatements of the rent. Her great I could not but look with pity on young persons hope is to outlive me, that she may enjoy what condemned to be set to auction, and made cheap she has thus accumulated, and therefore she is by injudicious commendations; for how could always contriving some improvements of her they know themselves offered and rejected a jointure land, and once tried to procure an inhundred times, without some loss of that soft junction to hinder me from felling timber upon it elevation, and maiden dignity, so necessary to for repairs. Her father and mother assist her in the completion of female excellence ?
her projects, and are frequently hinting that she I shall not trouble you with a history of the is ill used, and reproaching me with the presents stratagems practised upon my judgment, or the that other ladies receive from their husbands. allurements tiird upon my heart
, which, if you Such, Sir, was my situation for seven years, have, in any part of your life, been acquainted till at last my patience was exhausted, and have with rural politics you will easily conceive. Their ing one day invited her father to my house, I laid arts have no great variety, they think nothing the state of my affairs before him, detected my worth their care but money, and supposing its wife in several of her frauds, turned out her stewinfluence the same upon all the world, seldom ard, charged a constable with her maid, took my endeavour to deceive by any other means than business in my own hands, reduced her to a setfalse computations.
tled allowance, and now write this account to I will not deny that, by hearing myself loudly warn others against marrying those whom they commended for my discretion, I began to set have no reason to esteem. some value upon my character, and was unwill
I am, &c ing to lose my credit by marrying for love. I therefore resolved to know the fortune of the lady whom I should address, before I inquired after her wit, delicacy, or beauty.
SATURDAY, JULY 21, 1750. This determination led me to Mitissa, the daughter of Chrysophilus, whose person was at
"Αμ' έποντο νομήες least without deformity, and whose manners
Τερπομενοι σύριγξι δόλον δ ούτι προνόησαν. were free from reproach, as she had been bred up at a distance from all common temptations. Piping on their reeds the shepherds go, To Mitissa therefore I obtained leave from her Nor fear an ambush nor suspect a foe. parents to pay my court, and was referred by her again to her father, whose direction she was re- THERE is scarcely any species of poetry that has solved to follow. The question then was, only, allured more readers, or excited more writers, what should be settled | The old gentleman than the pastoral. It is generally pleasing, bemade an enormous demand, with which I refus-l cause it entertains the mind with representations
of scenes familiar to almost every imagination, series of the composition; nor will a man, after and of which all can equally judge whether they the perusal of thousands of these performances, are well described. It exhibits a life, to which we find his knowledge enlarged with a single view of have been always accustomed to associate peace, nature not produced before, or his imagination and leisure, and innocence: and therefore we amused with any new application of those views readily set open the heart for the admission of to moral purposes. its images, which contribute to drive away cares The range of pastoral is indeed narrow: for and perturbations, and suffer ourselves, without though nature itself, philosophically considered, resistance, to be transported to elysian regions, be inexhaustible, yet its general effects on the eye where we are to meet with nothing but joy, and and on the ear are uniform, and incapable of plenty, and contentment; where every gale whis- much variety of description. Poetry cannot pers pleasure, and every shade promises repose. dwell upon the minuter distinctions, by which
It has been maintained by some, who love to one species differs from another, without departtalk of what they do not know, that pastoral is ing from that simplicity of grandeur which fills the the most ancient poetry; and, indeed, since it is imagination; nor dissect the latent qualities of probable that poetry is nearly of the same anti- things, without losing its general power of gratiquity with rational nature, and since the life of fying every mind by recalling its conceptions. the first men was certainly rural, we may reasona- However, as each age makes some discoveries, bly conjecture, that, as their ideas would neces- and those discoveries are by degrees generally sarily be borrowed from those objects with which known, as new plants or modes of culture are inthey are acquainted, their composures being filled troduced, and by little and little become common, chiefly with such thoughts on the visible creation pastoral might receive, from time to time, small as must occur to the first observers, were pastor- augmentations, and exhibit once in a century a al hymns, like those which Milton introduces the scene somewhat varied. original pair singing, in the day of innocence, to But pastoral subjects have been often, like the praise of their Maker.
others, taken into the hands of those that were For the same reason that pastoral poetry was not qualified to adorn them, men to whom the the first employment of the human imagination, face of nature was so little known, that they have it is generally the first literary amusement of our drawn it only after their own imagination, and minds. We have seen fields, and meadows, and changed or distorted her features, that their porgroves, from the time that our eyes opened upon traits might appear something more than servile life; and are pleased with birds, and brooks, and copies from their predecessors. breezes, much earlier than we engage among the Not only the images of rural life, but the oc actions and passions of mankind. We are there casions on which they can be properly produced, fore delighted with rural pictures, because we are few and general. The state of a man con know the original at an age when our curiosity fined to the employments and pleasures of the can be very little awakened by descriptions of country, is so little diversified, and exposed to so courts which we never beheld, or representations few of those accidents which produce perplexities, of passions which we never felt.
terrors, and surprises, in more complicated transThe satisfaction received from this kind of writ- actions, that he can be shown but seldom in such ing not only begins early, but lasts long; we do circumstances as attract curiosity. His ambition not, as we advance into the intellectual world, is without.policy, and his love without intrigue. throw it away among other childish amusements He has no complaints to make of his rival, but and pastimes, but willingly return to it in any that he is richer than himself; nor any disashour of indolence and relaxation. The images ters to lament, but a cruel mistress, or a bad of true pastoral have always the power of excit- harvest. 'ng delight, because the works of nature, from The conviction of the necessity of some new which they are drawn, have always the same or source of pleasure induced Sannazarius to remove der and beauty, and continue to force themselves the scene from the fields to the sea, to substitute upon our thoughts, being at once obvious to the fishermen for shepherds, and derive his sentimost careless regard, and more than adequate to ments from the piscatory life; for which he has the strongest reason, and severest contemplation. been censured by succeeding critics, because the Our inclination to stillness and tranquillity is sel- sea is an object of terror, and by no means prodom much lessened by long knowledge of the per to amuse the mind, and lay the passions busy and tumultuary part of the world. In child- asleep: Against this objection he might be dehood we turn our thoughts to the country, as to fended by the established maxim, that the poet the region of pleasure; we recur to it in old age has a right to select his images, and is no more as a port of rest, and perhaps with that secondary obliged to show the sea in a storm, than the land and adventitious gladness, which every man feels under an inundation; but may display all the on reviewing those places, or recollecting those pleasures, and conceal the dangers, of the water, occurrences, that contributed to his youthful en as he may lay his shepherd under a shady beech, joyments, and bring him back to the prime of without giving him an ague, or letting a wild life, when the world was gay with the bloom of beast loose upon him. novelty, when mirth wantoned at his side, and There are, however, two defects in the piscahope sparkled before him.
tory eclogue, which perhaps cannot be supplied, The sense of this universal pleasure has in- The sea, though in hot countries it is considered vited numbers without number to try their skill in by those who live, like Sannazarius, upon the pastoral performances in which they have gene- coast, as a place of pleasure and diversion, has rally succeeded after the manner of other imita- notwithstanding, much less variety than the land, tors, transmitting the same images in the same and therefore will be sooner exhausted by a decombination from one to another, till he that scriptive writer. When he has once shown the reads the title of a poem, may guess at the whole sun rising or setting upon it, curled its waters
with the vernal breeze, rolled the waves in gentle therefore must have endeavoured to recompense
If we search the writings of Virgil, for the true
any writer has consistently preserved the ArcaThis defect Sannazarius was hindered from dian manners and sentiments. The only reason, perceiving by writing in a learned language to that I have read, on which this rule has been readers generally acquainted with the works of founded, is, that, according to the custom of monature; but if he had made his attempt in any dern life, it is improbable that shepherds should vulgar tongue, he would soon have discovered be capable of harmonious numbers, or delicate how vainly he had endeavoured to make that sentiments; and therefore the reader must exalt loved, which was not understood.
his ideas of the pastoral character, by carrying I am afraid it will not be found easy to improve his thoughts back to the age in which the care the pastorals of antiquity, by any great additions of herds and flocks was the employment of the or diversifications. Our descriptions may indeed wisest and greatest men. differ from those of Virgil, as an English from an
These reasoners seem to have been led into Italian summer, and, in some respects, as mo- their hypothesis, by considering pastoral, not in dern from ancient life; but as nature is in both general, as a representation of rural nature, and countries nearly the same, and as poetry has to consequently as exhibiting the ideas and sentido rather with the passions of men, which are ments of those, whoever they are, to whom the uniform, than their customs, which are changea-country affords pleasure or employment, but ble, the varieties, which time or place can fur- simply as a dialogue, or narrative of men actualnish, will be inconsiderable; and I shall endea- | ly tending sheep, and busied in the lowest and vour to show, in the next paper, how little the most laborious offices; from whence they very latter ages have contributed to the improvement readily concluded, since characters must necesof the rustic muse.
sarily be preserved, that either the sentiments
speakers must be raised to the height of the sen No. 37.] Tuesday, July 24, 1750.
In consequence of these original errors, a thou Canto que solitus, si quando armenta vocabat, sand precepts have been given, which have only Amphion Dircæus.
contributed to perplex and confound. Some Such strains I sing as once Amphion play'd
have thought it necessary that the imaginary man When list’ning flocks the powerful call obey'd.
ners of the golden age should be universally pre
more could be admitted in pastoral, than lilies In writing or judging of pastoral poetry, neither and roses, and rocks and streams, among which the authors nor critics of latter times seem to have are heard the gentle whispers of chaste fondness, paid sufficient regard to the originals left us by or the soft complaints of amorous impatience. antiquity, but have entangled themselves with In pastoral, as in other writings, chastity of sen unnecessary difficulties, by advancing principles, timent ought doubtless to be observed, and puriwhich having no foundation in the nature of ty of manners to be represented; not because the things are wholly to be rejected from a species of poet is confined to the images of the golden age, composition, in which, above all others, mere na- but because, having the subject in his own choice, ture is to be regarded.
he ought always to consult the interest of virtue. It is therefore necessary to inquire after some These advocates for the golden age lay down more distinct and exact idea of this kind of writ- other principles, not very consistent with their ing. This may, I think, be easily found in the general plan; for they tell us, that, to support pastorals of Virgil, from whose opinion it will not the character of the shepherd, it is proper that appear very safe to depart, if we consider that all refinement should be avoided, and that some every advantage of nature and of fortune, con- slight instances of ignorance should be intersperscurred to complete his productions; that he was ed. Thus the shepherd in Virgil is supposed to born with great accuracy and severity of judy- have forgot the name of Anaximander, and in ment, enlightened with all the learning of one of Pope the term Zodiac is too hard for a rustic apthe brightest ages, and embellished with the ele- prehension. But if we place our shepherds in gance of the Roman court ; that he employed his their primitive condition, we may give them powers rather in improving, than inventing, and I learning among their other qualifications; and if
we suffer them to allude at all to things of later | kind, because though the scene lies in the coun existence, which, perhaps, cannot with any great try, the song, being religious and historical, had propriety be allowed, there can be no danger of been no less adapted to any other audience or making them speak with too much accuracy, place. Neither can it well be defended as a ficsince they conversed with divinities, and trans- tion; for the introduction of a god seems to immitted to succeeding ages the arts of life. ply the golden age, and yet he alludes to many Other
writers, having the mean and despicable subsequent transactions, and mentions Gallus, condition of a shepherd always before them, con- the poet's contemporary. ceive it necessary to degrade the language of pas It seems necessary to the perfection of this
potoral by obsolete terms and rustic words, which em that the occasion which is supposed to prothey very learnedly call Doric, without reflecting duce it be at least not inconsistent with a counthat they thus became authors of a mangled dia- try life, or less Lkely to interest those who have lect, which no human being ever could have spo- retired into places of solitude and quiet, than the *ken, that they may as well refine the speech as more busy part of mankind. It is therefore imthe sentiments of their personages, and that none proper to give the title of a pastoral to verses, in of the inconsistencies which they endeavour to which the speakers, after the slight mention of avoid, is greater than that of joining elegance of their flocks, fall to complaints of errors in the thought with coarseness of diction. Spenser be- church, and corruptions in the government, or to gins one of his pastorals with studied barbarity; lamentations of the death of some illustrious per.
son, whom, when once the poet has called a Diggon Davie, I bid her good day ;
shepherd, he has no longer any labour upon his Or, Diggon her is, or I missay. Dig. Her was her while it was daylight,
hands, but can make the clouds weep, and lilies But now her is a most wretched wight.
wither, and the sheep hang their heads, without
art or learning, genius or study. What will the reader imagine to be the subject It is part of Claudian's character of his rustic, on which speakers like these exercise their elo- that he computes his time not by the successioni quence? Will he not be somewhat disappointed, of consuls, but of harvests. Those who pass when he finds them met together to condemn their days in retreats distant from the theatres of the corruptions of the church of Rome? Surely, business, are always least likely to hurry their at the same time that a shepherd learns theolo- imagination with public affairs. gy, he may gain some acquaintance with his na The facility of treating actions or events in the tive language.
pastoral style, has incited many writers, from Pastoral admits of all ranks of persons, be- whom more judgment might have been expectcause persons of all ranks inhabit the country. ed, to put the sorrow or the joy which the occaIt excludes not, therefore, on account of the char- sion required into the mouth of Daphne or of acters necessary to be introduced, any elevation Thyrsis; and as one absurdity must naturally be or delicacy of sentiment; those ideas only are im- expected to make way to another, they have proper, which not owing their original to rural written with an utter disregard both of life and objects, are not pastoral. Such is the exclama- nature, and filled their productions with mythotion in Virgil,
logical allusions, with incredible fictions and with
sentiments which neither passion nor reason
could have dictated, since the change which reli-
Alien of birth, usurper of the plains.-DRYDEN. No. 38.] SATURDAY, JULY 28, 1750.
Diligit, tutus caret obsoleti
Sordibus tecti, caret invidenda
The man within the golden mean,
Who can his boldest wish contain,
Securely views the ruin'd cell,
Where sordid want and sorrow dwell, Sentiments like these, as they have no ground and in himself serenely great, in nature, are indeed of little value in any poem; but in pastoral they are particularly liable to censure, because it wants that exaltation above com- Among many parallels which men of imagina mon life, which in tragic or heroic writings often tion have drawn between the natural and moral reconciles us to bold flights and daring figures. state of the world, it has been observed that hap
Pastoral being the representation of an action or piness, as well as virtue, consists in mediocrity; passion, by its effects upon a country life, has no- that to avoid every extreme is necessary, even to thing peculiar but its confinement to rural ima- him who has no other care than to pass through gery, without which it ceases to be pastoral. the present state with ease and safety; and that This is its true characteristic, and this it cannot the middle path is the road of security, on either lose by any dignity of sentiment, or beauty of side of which are not only the pitfalls of vice, bu diction. The Pollio of Virgil, with all its eleva- the precipices of ruin. tion, is a composition truly bucolic, though re Thus the maxim of Cleobulus the Lindian, jected by the critics; for all the images are either mérpov á plotov, mediocrity is best, has been long contaken from the country, or from the religion of sidered as a universal principle, extended
through the age common to all parts of the empire. the whole compass of life and nature. The exo
The Silenus is indeed of a more disputable | perience of every age seems to have given it nei
Declines an envied room of state.
confirmation, and to show that nothing, how- i parted by some barrier, which may take away al.
dulged, Cleobulus would, perhaps, not refuse to
are seldom of any great accomplishments, be- real danger of its invasion easily precluded; that cause they, for the most part, study behaviour the claims of vanity, being without limits, must rather than virtue.”
be denied at last: and that the pain of repressing Health and vigour, and a happy constitution of them is less pungent before they have been long the corporeal frame, are of absolute necessity to accustomed to compliance. the enjoyment of the comforts, and to the per Whosover shall look heedfully upon those who formance of the duties of life, and requisite in yet are eminent for their riches, will not think their a greater measure to the accomplishment of any condition such as that he should hazard his quiet, thing illustrious or distinguished; yet even these, and much less his virtue to obtain it. For all that if we can judge by their apparent consequences, great wealth generally gives above a moderate are sometimes not very beneficial to those on fortune, is more room for the freaks of caprice, whom they are most liberally bestowed. They and more privilege for ignorance and vice, a that frequent the chambers of the sick will gene- quicker succession of flatteries, and a larger cirrally find the sharpest pains, and most stubborn cle of voluptuousness. maladies, among them whom confidence of the There is one reason seldom remarked, which force of nature formerly betrayed to negligence makes riches less desirable. Too much 'wealth and irregularity; and that superfluity of strength, is very frequently the occasion of poverty. He which was at once their boast and their snare, whom the wantonness of abundance has once has often, in the latter part of life, no other effect softened, easily sinks into neglect of his affairs, than that it continues them long in impotence and and he that thinks he can afford to be negligent, anguish.
is not far from being poor. He will soon be inThese gifts of nature are, however, always volved in perplexities, which his inexperience will blessings in themselves, and to be acknowledged render unsurmountable ; he will fly for help to with gratitude o him that gives them; since those whose interest it is that he should be more they are, in their regular and legitimate effects, distressed, and will be at last torn to pieces by productive of happiness, and prove pernicious the vultures that always hover over fortunes in only by voluntary corruption or idle negligence. decay. And as there is little danger of pursuing them When the plains of India were burnt up by a with too much ardour or anxiety, because no long continuance of drought, Hamet and Rasskill or diligence can hope to procure them, the chid, two neighbouring shepherds, faint with uncertainty of their influence upon our lives is thirst, stood at the common boundary of their mentioned, not to depreciate their real value, but grounds, with their flocks and herds panting to repress the discontent and envy to which the round them, and in extremity of distress prayed want of them often gives occasion in those who for water. On a sudden the air was becalmed, do not enough suspect their own frailty, nor con- the birds ceased to chi:p, and the flocks to bleat. sider how much less is the calamity of not pos. They turned their eyes every way, and saw a sessing great powers, than of not using them being of mighty stature advancing through the aright.
valley, whom they knew upon his nearer apOf all those things that make us superior to proach to be the Genius of Distribution. In one others, there is none so much within the reach of hand he held the sheaves of plenty, and in the our endeavours as riches, nor any thing more other the sabre of destruction. The shepherds eagerly or constantly desired. Poverty is an evil stood trembling, and would have retired before always in our view, an evil complicated with so him; but he called to them with a voice gentle many circumstances of uneasiness and vexation, as the breeze that plays in the evening among that every man is studious to avoid it. Some de- the spices of Sabæa; "Fly not from your benegree of riches is therefore required, that we may factor, children of the dust! I am come to offer beexempt from the gripe of necessity; when this you gifts, which only your own folly can make purpose is once attained, we naturally wish for vain. You here pray for water, and water I more, that the evil which is regarded with so will bestow; let me know with how much you much horror, may be yet at a greater distance will be satisfied: speak not rashly; consider, froin us; as he that has once felt or dreaded the that of whatever can be enjoyed by the body, expaw of a savage, will not be at rest till they are l cess is no less dangerous than scarcity. When