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around him are in a flux, and continually changing : thus he is in the space of ten or fifteen years surrounded by a new set of people, whose manners are as natural to them as his delights, method of thinking, and mode of living, were formerly to him and his friends. But the mischief is, he looks upon the same kind of error which he himself was guilty of with an eye of scorn, and with that sort of ill-will which men entertain against each other for different opinions. Thus a crazy constitution, and an uneasy mind is fretted with vexatious passions for young men's doing foolishly, what it is folly to do at all. Dear sir, this is my present state of mind; I hate those I should laugh at, and envy those I contemn, The time of youth and vigorous manhood, passed the way in which I have disposed of it, is attended with these consequences; but to those who live and
pass away life as they ought, all parts of it are equally pleasant; only the memory of good and worthy actions is a feast which must give a quicker relish to the soul than ever it could possibly taste in the highest enjoyments or jollities of youth. As for me, if I sit down in my great chair and begin to ponder, the vagaries of a child are not more ridiculous than the circumstances which are heaped up in my memory; fine gowns, country dances, ends of tunes, interrupted conversations, and midnight quarrels, are what must necessarily compose my soliloquy. I beg of you to print this, that some ladies of my acquaintance, and my years, may be persuaded to wear warm night-caps this cold season : and that my old friend Jack Tawdry may buy him a cane, and not creep with the air of a strut. I must add to all this, that if it were not for one pleasure, which I though a very mean one until of very late years, I should have no one great satisfaction left; but
if I live to the tenth of March 1714, and all my securities are good, I shall be worth fifty thousand p pound,
I am, SIR,
Your most humble servant,
'You will infinitely oblige a distressed lover, if you will insert in your very next paper, the following letter to my mistress. You must know, I am not a person apt to despair, but she has got an odd humour of stopping short unaccountably, and as she herself told a confidant of hers, she has cold fits, These fits shall last her a month or six weeks together; and as she falls into them without provocation, so it is to be hoped she will return from them without the merit of new services. But life and love will not admit of such intervals, therefore pray let her be admonished as follows:
'I LOVE you, and honour you: therefore pray do not tell me of waiting until decencies, until forms, until humours are consulted and gratified. If you have that happy constitution as to be indolent for ten weeks together, you should consider that all that while I burn in impatiences and fevers; but still you say it will be time enough, though I and you too grow older while we are yet talking. Which do you think the most reasonable, that you should alter a state of indifference for happiness, and that to oblige me; or I live in torment, and that to lay no manner of obligation on you? While I indulge your insensibility I am doing nothing; if you favour
my passion, you are bestowing bright desires, gay hopes, generous cares, noble resolutions, and transporting raptures upon,
'HERE is a gentlewoman lodges in the same house with me, that I never did any injury to in my whole life; and she is always railing at me to those that she knows will tell me of it. Do not you think she is in love with me? or would you have me break my mind yet, or not?
6 MR. SPECTATOR,
I AM a footman in a great family, and am in love with the house-maid. We were all at hotcockles last night in the hall these holidays; when I lay down and was blinded, she pulled off her shoe, and hit me with the heel such a rap, as almost broke my head to pieces. Pray, sir, was this love or spite?'
No 261. SATURDAY, DECEMBER 29, 1711.
Γάμος γαρ άνθρωποισιν έυκλαίον κακόν.
FRAG. vet. Poet.
My father, whom I mentioned in my
first speculation, and whom I must always name with honour and gratitude, has very frequently talked to me upon the subject of marriage. I was in my younger years engaged partly by his advice, and partly by my own inclinations, in the courtship of a person who had a great deal of beauty, and did not at my first approaches seem to have any aversion to me; but as my natural taciturnity bindered me from shewing myself to the best advantage, she by degrees began to look upon me as a very silly fellow, and being resolved to regard merit more than any thing else in the persons who made their applications to her, she married a captain of dragoons who happened to be beating up for recruits in those parts.
This unlucky accident has given me an aversion to pretty fellows ever since, and discouraged me from trying my fortune with the fair sex. The observations which I made at this conjuncture, and the repeated advises which I received at that time from the good old man abovementioned, have produced the following essay upon love and mar, riage.
The pleasantest part of a man's life is generally that which passes in courtship, provided his passion be sincere, and the party beloved kind with discre,
tion. Love, desire, hope, all the pleasing emotions of the soul rise in the pursuit.
It is easier for an artful man who is not in love to persuade his mistress he has a passion for her, and to succeed in his pursuits, than for one who loves with the greatest violence. True love has ten thousand griefs, impatiences, and resentments, that render a man unamiable in the eyes of the person whose affection he solicits; besides that it sinks his figure, gives him fears, apprehensions, and poorness of spirit, and often makes him appear ridiculous where he has a mind to recommend himself.
Those marriages generally abound most with love and constancy, that are preceded by a long courtship. The passion should strike root, and gather strength before marriage be grafted on it. A long course of hopes and expectations fixes the idea in our minds, and habituates us to a fondness of the person beloved.
There is nothing of so great importance to us, as the good qualities of one to whom we join ourselves for life; they do not only make our present state agreeable, but often determine our happiness to all eternity. Where the choice is left to friends, the chief point under consideration is an estate ; where the parties choose for themselves, their thoughts turn most upon the person. They have both their
The first would procure many conveniences and pleasures of life to the party whose interests they espouse; and at the same time may hope that the wealth of their friends will turn to their own credit and advantage. The others are preparing for themselves a perpetual feast. A good person does not only raise but continue love, and breeds a secret pleasure and complacency in the beholder, when the first heats of desire are extinguished. It puts the wife or husband in countenance both among