Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

ostentation of the physician, than compassion mankind, to the purposes to which they would
on the patient. It is a circumstance, wherein lead them. But this is not a thing for fools to
a man finds all the good he deserves inacces meddle with, for they only bring disesteem
sible, all the ill unavoidable; and the poor upon those whom they attempt to serve, when
hero is as certainly ragged, as the poor villain they unskilfully pronounce terms of art. I have
hanged. Under these pressures the poor man observed great evils arise from this práctice,
speaks with besitation, undertakes with irre- and not only the cause of piety, but also the
solution, and acts with disappointinent. He secular interest of clergymen, has extremely
is slighted in men's conversations, overlooked suffered by the general unexplained significa.
in their assemblies, and beaten at their doors. tion of the word Church.
But from whence, alas, has he this treatment? The Examiner, upon the strength of being
from a creature that has only the supply of, a received church-man, has offended in this
but not an exemption from, the wants, for particular more grossly than any other man
which he despises him. Yet such is the unac-ever did before, and almost as grossly as ever
countable insolence of mau, that he will not be himself did, supposing the allegations in
see that he wbo is supported, is in the same the following letter are just. To slander any
class of natural necessity with him that wants man is a very heinous offence; but the crime
a support; and to be helped implies to be in- is still greater, when it falls upon such as ought
digent. In a word, after all you can say of a to give example to others. I cannot imagine
man, conclude that he is rich, and you have how the Examiner can divest any part of the
made bim friends ; nor have you utterly over- clergy of the respect due to their characters,
thrown a man in the world's opinion, until you so as to treat them as he does, without an in-
have said he is poor. This is the emphatical dulgence unknown to our religion, though
expression of praise and blame: for men so taken up in the name of it, in order to dis.
stupidly forget their natural impotence and parage such of its communicants as will not
want, that riches and poverty have taken in sacrifice their conscience to their fortunes.
our imagination the place of innocence and This confusion and subdivision of interests and
guilt.

sentiments among people of the same com.
Reflections of this kind do but waste ones munion, is what would be a very good subject
being, without capacity of helping the dis- of mirth; but when I consider against whom
tressed ; yet though I know no way to do any this insult is committed, I think it too great,
service to my brethren under such calamities, and of tõo ill a consequence, to be io guod
I cannot help having so much respect for them, bumour on the occasion.
as to suffer with them in a fruitless fellow-
feeling.

"SIR,

June 9, 1713. Your character of universal Guardian,

joined to the concern you ought to bave for No. 80.] Friday, June 12, 1713.

the cause of virtue and religion, assure me you

will not think that clergymen when injured, Virg. Æn. i. 11.

have the least right to your protection; and Anger in heav'nly minds.

it is from that assurance I trouble you with I have found by experience, that it is im- this, to complain of the Examiner, who calum possible to talk distinctiy without defining the niates as freely as he commends, and whose words of which we make use. There is not a invectives are as groundless as his panegyrics. term in our language which wants explanation * In his paper of the eighth instant, after a so much as the word Church. One would most furious invective against mauy noble lords, think when people utter it, they should bave a considerable number of the commons, and a in their minds ideas of virtue and religion ; very great part of her majesty's good subjects, but that important monosyllable drags all the as disaffected and full of discontent, (which by other words in the language after it, and it is the way, is but an awkward compliment to the made use of to express both praise and blame, prince, whose greatest glory it is to reign in the according to the character of him who speaks hearts of her people,) that the clergy may not it. By this means it happens, that no one go without their share of his resentment, he knows what his neighbour means when he says concludes with a most malicious reflection upon such a one is for or against the church. It some of them. He names indeed nobody, but has happened that the person, who is seen points to Windsor and St. Paul's, where he every day at church, has not been in the eye tells us some are disrespectful to the queen, of the world a church-man; and he who is and enemies to her peace; most odious chavery zealous to oblige every man to frequent racters, especially in clergymen, whose profesit, but bimself, has been held a very good son sion is peace, and to whose duty and affection of the church. This prepossession is the best her majesty has a more immediate right, by handle imaginable for politicians to make use her singular piety and great goodness to them. of, for managing the loves and hatreds of They have sucked in," he says,

this war

Calestibus Iræ.

[ocr errors]

like principle from their arbitrary patrons." come in before the psalms ; and ibe verger It is not enough, it seems, to calumniate them, was ordered to look out, if be could see any of unless their patrons also be insulted, no less the choir, to hasten them to their places ; and patrons than the late king and the duke of so it proved, two of the best voices came in Marlborough. These are bis arbitrary men; time enough, and the service was performed though nothing be more certain than that cathedral-wise, though in a manner to bara without the king, the shadow of a legal govern- walls, with an anthem suitable to the day. ment had not been left to us ; nor did there This is the fact on which the Examiner grounds ever live a man, who in the nature and tempera charge of factious and seditious principles of him, less deserved the character of arbitrary against some at St. Paul's, and I am persuaded than the duke. How now is this terrible there is as little truth in what he charges some charge against those clergymen supported ? of Windsor with, though I know not certainly Why, as to St. Paul's, the fact, according to whom he means. Were I disposed to expos. him, is this: Some of the church, to affronttulate with the Examiner, I would ask bim if the queen, on the day the peace was proclaimed, be seriously thinks this be answering her ma. gave orders for parochial prayers only, without jesty's intentions? Whether disquieting the singing, as is used upon fast-days, though in minds of her people is the way to calm them? this particular their inferiors were so very ho. Or to traduce men of learning and virtue, be nest to disubey them." This the Examiner to cultivate the arts of peace? But I am to roudly affirnis after his usual mancer, but well acquainted with his writings not to see he without the least regard to truth; for it is is past correction ; nor does any thing in bis p«fallen in my way, without inquiring, to be per surprise me, merely because it is false ; for exactly informed of this matter, and therefore, to use his own words, not a day passes," with I take upon me in their vindication to assure him, “but it brings forth a mouse or a monster, you, that every part of what is said is absolutely some ridiculous lie, some vile calumny or forfalse, and the truth is just the reverse. The gery." He is almost equally false in every inferiors desired there might be only parochial thing he says ; but it is not always equally easy prayers; but the person applied to was aware to make bis falsehood plain and palpable. And to what construction it might be liable, and it is chiefly for that reason I desire you to give therefore would not consent to the request, this letter a place in your papers, that the though very innocent and reasonable.

The that are willing to be undeceived may learn, case was this: the procession of the ceremony from so clear an instance, what a faithful

, had reached Ludgate just at the time of prayers, modest writer ibis is, who pretends to teach nod there was such a prodigious concourse of them how to think and speak of things and people, that one of the vergers came to ibe persons they know nothing of themselves

. As residentiary in waiting, to represent, that it this is no way disagreeable to your character would be impossible to have prayers that after- of Guardian, your publication of it is a favour poon ; that the crowds all round the church which I fatter myself you will not depy to, was so great, there would be no getting in:

Sir, but it was insisted, that there must be prayers,

'Your bumble servant, only the tolling of the bell should be deferred a little, until the bead of the procession, was got beyond the church. When the bell bad done, and none of the choir appeared, but one No. 81.] Saturday, June 13, 1713. to read, it was upon this again represented, that there could be only parochial prayers, a

Quietè et pure atqne eleganter actæ talis placida ac thing that sometimes happens, twice or thrice

Placid and soothing is the remembrance of a life passed perhaps in a year, when, upon some allowable

with quiet, innocence, and elegance. occasion, the absence of the choir.men is so great, as not to leave the necessary voices for

The paper which was published on the thircathedral service; which very lately was the tieth of last month, ended with a piece of decase opon a performance of the thanksgiving votion written by the archbishop of Cambray

, music at Whitehall. So that had the prayers, | It would (as it was hinted in that precaution) on this occasion, been parochial only, it had be of singular use for the improvement of our been neither new nor criminal, but necessary minds, to bave the secret thoughts of men of and vpavoidable, unless the Examiner can tell good talents on such occasions. I shall for the now the service may be sung decently without entertainment of this day give ny reader two singing-men. However, to leave informers no pieces, which, if he is curious, will be pleasing room for calumny, it was expressly urged, that for that reason, if they prove to have no other parochial prayers on such a day, would look effect upon him. One of them was found in ill; that therefore, if possible, it should be the closet of an Athevian libertine, who lived avoiled, and the service should be begun as many ages ago, and is a soliloquy wherein die usual, in hopes one or two of the chuir night contemplates his own life and actions according

[ocr errors]

lenis recordatio.

Cicero.

[ocr errors]

to the lights men have from nature, and the worthy the observation of those who possess
compunctions of natural reason. The other is the like advantages.
a prayer of a gentleman who died witbin few

Oh, Almighty Being! How shall I look up years last past; and lived to a very great age; towards thee, when I reflect that I am of no but had passed his youth in all the vices in consideration but as I have offended? My fashion. The Atheniat is supposed to have existence, O my God, without thy mercy, is been Alcibiades, a man of great spirit, ex- not to be prolonged in this or another world tremely addicted to pleasures, but at the same but for my punishment. I apprehend, Oh, my time very capable, and upon occasion very Maker, let it not be too late: I apprehend, attentive to business. He was by nature en and tremble at thy presence; and shall I not dued with all the accomplishments she could consider thee, who art all goodness, but with bestow; he had beauty, wit, courage, and a terror ? Oh, my Redeemer, do tbou behold great understanding; but in the first bloom my anguish. Turn to me, thou Saviour of the of his life was arrogantly affected with the ad-world: Who has offended like me? Oh, my vantages he had over others. That temper is God, I cannot fy out of thy presence, let me pretty visible in an expression of his: when it fall down in it; I humble myself in contrition was proposed to him to learn to play upon a of heart; but alas! I have not only swerved musical instrument, he answered, 'It is not from thee, but have laboured against thee. for me to give, but to receive delight. How. If thou dost pardon what I have committed, ever, the conversation of Socrates tempered a how wilt thou pardon wbat I have made others strong inclination to licentiousness into reflec- commit? I have rejoiced in ill, as in a pros. tions of philosophy ; and if it had not the force perity. Forgive, oh my God, all who have to make a man of his genius and fortune wholly offended by my persuasion, all who have transregular, it gave him some cool moments, and gressed by my example. Canst thou, O God, this following soliloquy is supposed by the accept of the confession of old age, to expiate learned to have been thrown together before all the labour and industry of youth spent in some expected engagement, and seems to be transgressions against thee? While I am still very much the picture of the man

alive, let me implore thee to recall to thy I am now wholly alone, my ears are not grace all whom I have made to sin. Let, oh entertained with music, my eyes with beauty, Lord, thy gooduess admit of his prayer for their nor any of my senses so forcibly affected, as to pardon, by whose instigation they have transdivert the course of my inward thoughts. Me-gressed. Accept, O God, of this interval of thinks there is something sacred in myself, age, between my sinful days and the hour of now I am alone. What is this being of mine? my dissolution, to wear away the corrupt babits I came into it without my choice, and yet in my soul, and prepare myself for the manSocrates says it is to be imputed to me. In sions of purity and joy. Impute not to me, this repose of my senses wherein they commu- lub my God, the offences I may give, after my nicate nothing strongly to myself, I taste, me death, to those I leave behind me; let me not thinks, a being distinct from their operation. transgress when I am no more seen; but preWhy may not then my soul exist, when she is vent the ill effects of my ill-applied studies, wholly gone out of these organs ? I can perceive and receive me into thy mercy.' my faculties grow stronger, the less I admit It is the most melancholy circumstance that the pleasures of sense; and the nearer I place can be imagioed, to be on a death-bed, and myself to a bare existence, the more worthy, wish all that a man has most laboured to bring the more noble, the more celestial does that to pass were obliterated for ever.

How emexistence appear to me. If my soul is weakened pbatically worse is this, than having passed all rather than improved by all that the body ado one's days in idleness! Yet this is the frequent ministers to her, she may reasonably be sup- case of many men of refined talents. It is, posed to be designed for a mansion more suit. methinks, monstrous that the love of fame, able than this, wherein what delights her and value of the fashion of the world, can diminishes her excellence, and that which transport a man so far as even in solitude to afflicts her adds to her perfection. There is act with so little reflection upon his real inan hereafter, and I will not fear to be immor- terest. This is premeditated madness, for it tal for the sake of Athens.'

is an error done with the assistance of all the This soliloquy is but the first dawnings of faculties of the mind. thougbt in the mind of a mere man given up When every circumstance about us is a conto sensuality. The paper which I mention of stant admonition how transient is every labour our contemporary was found in his scrutoire of man, it should, methioks, be no hard matafter his death, but communicated to a friend ter to bring one's self to consider the emptiness or two of his in his life-time. You see in it a of all our endeavours; but I was not a little man wearied with the vanities of this life; and charmed the other day, when sitting with an the reflections which the success of his wit and old friend and communing together on such subo gallantry bring upon his old age, are not un. jects, he expressed himself after this manner :

.

It is unworthy a Christian philosopher to However, the speaking of it got Mr. Peer more jet any thing here below stand in the least reputation, than those who speak the length competition with his duty. In vain is reason of a puritan's sermon every nigbt will ezer fortified by faith, if it produces in our practice attain to. Besides this, Mr. Peer gut a great nu greater effects than what reason wrought fame on another little occasion. He played in mere man.

the apothecary in Caius Marius, as it is called 'I contemn, (in dependence on the support hy Otway ; but Romeo and Juliet, as originally of heaven I speak it) i contemn all which the in Sbakspeare; it will be necessary to recite genei ality of mankind call great and glorious. more out of the play than he spoke, to bave a I will no longer think or act like a mortal, but right conception of what Peer did in it. Marius, consider myself as a being that commenced at weary of life, recollects means to be rid of it my birth, and is to endure to all eternity. The after this manner: accident of death will not end but improve my • I do remember an apothecary being; I will think of myself, and provide for That dwelt about this rendezvous of death! myself as an immortal; and I will do notbing

Meagre and very rueful were his looks, now which I do not believe I shall approve a

Sbarp misery had worn him to the bones.' thousand years hence.'

When this spectre of poverty appeared, Marius addresses bim tbus :

• I see thou art very poor, No. 82.] Monday, June 15, 1713.

Thou may'st do any thing, here's fifty drachmas,

Get me a drauglit of what will soonest free Cedat uti conviva satar-Hor. Lib. 1. Sat. i. 119.

A wretch from all his cares. Let him depart like a contended guest.

When the apothecary objects that it is unlaw THOUGH men see every day people go

ful, Marius urges,

to Cheir long home, who are younger than them.

· Art thoa so base and full of wretchedness

Yet fear'st to die ! Famine is in thy cheeks, selves, they are not so apt to be alarmed at

Neerl and oppression stareth in thy eyes, that, as at the decease of those who have lived Contempt and beggary hang on thy back; longer in their sight. They miss their ac

The world is not thy friend, vor the world's laws;

The world affords no law to make thee rich; quaintance, and are surprised at the loss of an

Then be not poor, bat break it, and take this. habitual object. This gave me so much concern for the death of Mr. William Peer of the

Without all this quotation the reader could theatre-royal, wbo was an actor at the Re- not have a just idea of the visage and man der storation, and took his theatrical degree with which Peer assumed, when in the most lamentBetterton, Kynaston, and Harris. Though his able tone imaginable he consents; and destation was humble, he performed it well; and livering the poison, like a man reduced to the the common comparison with the stage and drinking it himself, if he did not vend it, says human life, which has been so often made,

to Marius, may well be brought out upon this occasion. • My poverty, but not my will, consents; It is no matter, say tbe muralists, whether

Take this and drink it off, the work is done.' you act a prince or a beggar, the business is It was an odd excellence, and a very parti to do your part well. Mr. William Peer dis- cular circumstance this of Peer's, that his whole tinguished himself particularly in two charac-action of life depended upon speaking five lines ters, which no man ever could touch but bim- better than any man else in the world. But self; one of them. was the speaker of the this eminence lying in so narrow a compass, prologue to the play, which is contrived in the the governors of the theatre observing bis tragedy of Hamlet, to awake the consciences talents to lie in a certain knowledge of proof the guilty princes. Mr. William Peer spoke priety, and his person admitting him to shine that preface to the play with such an air, as only in the two above parts, bis sphere of acrepresented that he was an actor, and with tion was enlarged by the addition of the post such an inferior manner as only acting an of property man.

This officer has always actor, as made the otbers on the stage appear ready, in a place appointed for him bebind the real great persons, and not representatives. prompter, all such tools and implements as are This was a nicety in acting that none but the necessary in the play, and it is bis business most subtle player could so much as conceive. never to want billet-doux, poison, false money I remember his speaking these words, in which thunderbolts, daggers, scrolls of parchment, there is no great matter but in the right ad- wine, pomatum, truncheons, and wooden legs, justment of the air of the speaker, with uni. ready at the call of the said prompter, accorda versal applause :

ing as his respective utensils were necessary, * For us and for onr tragedy,

for promoting what was to pass on the stage. Here stooping to your clemency,

The addition of this office, so important to We beg your hearing patiently.'

tbe conduct of the whole affair of the stage, Hamlet says very arcbly upon the pronouncing and the good economy observed by their preof it,' Is this a prologue, or a posy of a ring?' | sent managers in punctual payments, made

[ocr errors]

1

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

8

[ocr errors]

0

Mr. Peer's subsistence very comfortable. But, are let duwn and escape at a trap-door. In a
it frequently happens, that men lose their word, any who have the curicsity to observe
virtue in prosperity, who were sbining charac- what pleased in the last generation, and does
Lers in the contrary condition. Goud fortune not go to a comedy with a resolution to be
indeed had no effect on the mind, but very grave, will find this evening ample food for
much on the body of Mr. Peer. For in the mirth. Johnson, who understands what he
seventieth year of his age he grew fat, which does as well as any man, exposes the imper
rendered his figure unfit for the utterance of tinence of an old fellow, who has lost his senses,
the five lines above-mentioned. He had now still pursuing pleasures, with great mastery.
unfortunately lost the wan distress necessary The ingenious Mr. Pinkethman is a bashful
for the countenanee of the apothecary, and rake, and is sbeepish without having modesty
was too jolly to speak the prologue with the with great success, Mr. Bullock succeeds
proper humility. It is thought this calamity Nokes in the part of Bubble, and in my opinion
went too near bim. It did not a little contri is not much below him: for he does excellently
bute to the shortening his days; and, as there that sort of folly we call absurdity, which is
is no state of real happiness in this life, Mr. Peer the very contrary of wit, but, next to that, is
was undone by his success, and lost all by ar- of all things the properest to excite mirth.
riving at what is the end of all other men's What is foolish is the object of pity; but ab-
pursuits, bis ease.

surdity often proceeds from an opinion of suf-
I could not forbear enquiring into the effects ficiency, and consequently is an honest occasion
Mr. Peer left behind him, but find there is no for langhter. These characters in this play
demand due to him from the house, but the cannot choose but make it a very pleasant en-
following bill:

tertainment, and the decorations of singing

£ s. d. and dancing will more than repay the goodFor hire of six case of pistols,

4 nature of those who make an honest man a A drum for Mrs. Bignall in the Pil.

visit of two merry bours to make his following
grim,

4 4 year unpainful.
A truss of straw for the madmen,
Pomatum and vermilion to grease
the face of the stuttering cook,

8 No. 83.) Tuesday, June 16, 1713.
For boarding a setting dog two days

Nimirum insanos paucis videatur, cò quoil
to follow Mr. Johnson in Epsom

Maxima pais hominum morbo jactatar nodem.
Wells,

0 6

Hor. Lib. 2. Sat. iii. 120.
For blood in Macbeth,

0 3

Few think these mad, for most like these,
Raisins and almonds for a witch's

Are sick and troubled with the same disease.

Crecch. banquet,

There is a restless endeavour in the mind of This contemporary of mine, whom I have man after happiness. This appetite is wrought often rallied for the narrow compass of his sin into the original frame of our nature, and exerts gular persections, is now at peace, and wants itself in all parts of tbe creation that are enno further assistance from any man; but men dued with any degree of thought or seuse. But of extensive genius, now living, still depend as the human mind is dignified by a more comupon the good offices of the town.

prehensive faculty than can be found in the I am therefore to remind my reader, that inferior animals, it is natural for men not only on this day, being the fifteenth of June, the to have an eye, each to his own happiness, but Plotting Sisters is to be acted for the benefit also to endeavour to promote that of others in of the autbor, my old friend Mr. D'Urfey. This the same rank of being : and in proportion to comedy was honoured with the presence of the generosity that is ingredient in the temper king Charles the Second three of its first five of the soul, the object of its benevolence is of nights.

a larger and narrower extent. There is hardly My friend bas in this work shown bimself a a spirit upon earth so mean and contracted, as master, and made not only the characters of to centre all regards on its own interest, exthe play, but also the furniture of the house clusive of the rest of mankind. Even the contribute to the main design. He has inade selfish man has some sbare of love, which he excellent use of a table with a carpet, and the bestows on his family and his friends. A nobler key of a closet. With these two implements, mind hath at heart the common interest of the which would, perhaps, have been overlooked society or country of which he makes a part. oy an ordinary writer, he contrives the most And there is still a more diffusive spirit, whose natural perplexities (allowing only the use of being or intentions reach the whole mass of these bousehold goods in poetry) that ever were mankind, and are continned beyond the prerepresented on a stage. He has also made good sent age to a succession of future generations. advantage of the knowledge of the stage itself; The advantage arising to him who bath a for in the nick of being surprised, the lovers | tincture of this generosity on his soul, is, that

R

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

8

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »