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N° CXIII. THURSDAY, MARCH 25, 1756. .
O SANCTAS GENTES, QUIBUS HÆC NASCUNTUR IN HORTIS
TO MR. TOWN.
in which the appearance of literary adorned with Latin or Greek inscripknowledge is affected in the present age; tions; while the learned owner wonders and our persons of rank acquire juit at his own surprising stock of literature, enough scholarship to qualify themselves which he sees drawn out at large before for Connoisseurs. This sort of ftudents 'him, like the whole knowledge of an become fufficiently acquainted with the apothecary infcribed upon his gallipots. cuitoms of the ancients, to learn the less These persons of Talte inay be coninterelting particulars concerning them. fidered as a sort of learned 'idolaters, They can distinguish a Tiberius from a since they may be almoit laid to adore Trajan, know the Pantheon from the these graven iinages, and are quite en. Amphitheatre, and can explain the dif- thufiaitic in their veneration of them, ference between the presexta and the The following letter may possibly give iuniea: which (only Tuppöling the pre- them some offence; but as I have mysent times to have elapsed some hundred felf no extravagant fondness for a Jupiyears) is just as deep knowielge, as if ter Tonans, or a Belvidere Apollo, I fome future antiquarian should discover heartily with the scheme proposed by my the difference between a Carolus and an correfpondent may take place, though it Anna, or St. Paul's church and Drury mould reduce the price of heathen god. Lane playhouse, or a full-trimmed fuit heads. and a French frock.
But the full display of modern polite learning is exhibited in the cleceration of GIR, parks, gardens, &c. and centered in that AT a time when all wise heads are important monolyllable, Taite. Taste considering the ways and means to cumprehends the whole circle of the raise taxes, that may prove the least oppolite arts, and sheds it's influence on pressive to indigence, and inost effectualevery lawn, avenue, grass-plat, and par. iy restrictive of luxury, permit me to terré. Tafte has peopled the walks and propofe (as a supplement to the thoughts gardens of the great with more nume- of one of your correspondents on this rous inhabitants than the ancient Satyrs, fubje&t) a national tax upon Gods. Fauns, and Dryads. While infidelity It is a strange, but an undeniable has expunged the Christian Theology truth, Mr: Town, that if you and I from our creed, Talte has introduced were to travel through England, and to the Heathen Mythology into our gar- visit the citizen in his country box, the dens. If a pond is dug, Neptune, at nobleman at his feat, the efquire at the the command of Tatte, emerges from hall-house, and even the divine at his the bafon, and presides in the middle; parlonage, we hould find the gardens, or if a vista is cut through a grove, it avenues, and groves, belonging to each must be terminated by a Flora or an mansion, stuffed and ornamented with Apollo. As the ancients held that every Heathen Gods. fpot of ground had it's guardian Ge. In the present declining state of our nius, and that woodland deities were established religion, I almost tremble to pegged in the knotty entrails of every consider what may be the consequences tree, fo in the gardens laid out by mo- of these ready-made deities. Far be it dern Tafte, every walk is peopled with from me to suppose that the great and gods and goddesses, and every corner of the rich will worship any God wharfo. ' it has: it's tutelar deity. Temples are ever: but still I am induced to fear, that erected to all the train of deities men- the poor and the vulgar, when they find tiened in Homer or Ovid, which edin all other worship ridiculed and laid aside,
may foolishly take to these molten images, 's chapel in Hampshire. ' Is it and adore every leaden godhead they for such as these,' obterved a sneering can find. If a tax on wheels has put papist, who stood near me, that crucidown some hundreds of coaches, by a i fixes have been removed, and that parity of reason, a tax upon
reverend saints and martyr's have been pull down an equal, if not a greater destroyed, and pounded into dut? Is number of statues. I would also offer it for these that St. Peter has been another proposal, which is this: That broken to pieces, and St. Paul melted an oak be immediately planted wherever • down into water-pipes? Must Our a Itatue has been taken away; by which • Lady make room for Proferpine? and means those vast woods, which of late the holy giant St. Christopher fall a years have been cut down in England, ( victim to the Farnefan Hercules ? to supply the iiminecliate neceilities of " Will you not agree with me, Sir,' con. the illustrious Arthurites in St. James's tinued he,' that as men are induced, Street, may be in some measure lupplied • and almost conitrained, to judge of to future generations.
• others by their own manners and inAmong our present taxes, some of clinations, we, who are supposed to them fall upon branches of iplendor not 'worship the images of Christians, must totally luxurious. Wieel-carriages may "naturally conclude, that the Protestants be neceftry; want of health or lameneis ' of the Church of England worship the of limbs may require them: but what 'images of Heathens?" I confess I was necesities can we pretend for itatues in at a loss how to aniwer the acuteness of our gardens, Penates in our libraries, his questions; and mult own, that I canand Lares on every chimney-piece? I not help thinking St. Anthony preaching have remarked many wild whinis of this to the fines, or St. Dunkan taking the kind, that have appeared fubmissions, if Devil by the nose, as proper ornaments not attachments, to idolatry. A gen- for a chapel as any Pagan Deities whattleman of my acquaintance has detroy. ed his chapel, merely because he could Hitherto I have kept you entirely not put up statues in it; and has filled among the molten images without doors; his garden with every god that can be but were we to enter the several man. found in Spence's Polymetis. Another fons whose avenues and demelnes are of my friends, after having placed a aslorned in the manner I describe, we Belvidere Apollo very confpicuously and nould find every chamber a pagod, fill. naked upon the top of a mount, based with all the monitrous images that ercted an Obelik to the Sun: and this the idolatry of India can produce. I espence he has not put himself to for will not presiune to infer that the ladies the beauty of the Obelisk, for ji is not address Kitoos (prayers which the Ja. beautiful, nor again for the fplendour panese make ute of in time of public of the planet, which is of powier double distress) to their Ingens, but I am apt gilt, but only because, being in politi: to furmise, that in times of danger and fion of copies or originals of every deity invasion, some of your fair readers that Greece or Italy could boat, he was would be more alarmed at the approach retoiveil io have ihe God of Pernia, to of the French to their china than to their complete his colle&ion. A poll tax chapels, and would sooner give up a fatherefore upon geds and goddeles, be vourite lap.dog, than a grotesque chimtheir representation what it will, Suns; ney. piece figure of a Chinele faint with Dogs, Moons, or Monkies, is ablolute, numberlels heads and arms. I have not ly neceffary, and would infallibly bring yet digerted my thoughts, in what man. in a large revenue to the state.
ner the fair sex ought to be taxed. It Happening to be the other day at is a tender point, and requires confidera. Slaughter's Coffee house in St. Martin's tion. At present, I am of opinion, they Lane, I lweivo very fine statues of Fame ought to be spared, and the whole burand Fortune, brought out of Mr. Rou. . then entirely laid upon those Bramins billiac's gate, induxposed to view, before and Innans, whole idolatrous temples lie they were
naried up and carted. The publicly open to our streets. I am, Sir, buy of the house told us they were to be your most humble servant, placed upon the top of Sir Thomas
No CXIV. THURSDAY, APRIL 1, 1756.
VESANUM TETIGISSE TIMENT, FUGIUNTQUE POETAM.
FLY! NEIGHBOURS, FLY! NE RAVES; HIS VERSES SHOW IT;
life, no better than any other common a relation carried me to visit a gentleman who had wrote some pieces that Nor is it less curious to consider the had been very well received, and made different ideas they conceive of the manme very happy by promising to intro- ner in which the business of writing is duce me to an Author. As soon as I executed. The novice in literature, Imic came I surveyed his whole person from with the love of facred song,' but not top to toe with the atrietest attention; yet dipt in ink, supposes it all rapture and fat open-mouthed to catch every syllable enthusiasin, and in imagination fees the that he uttered; and noticed his voice, Author running wildly about his room, manner, and every word and gesture, talking poetry to the chairs and tables: with the minutest observation. I could while the mechanic confiders him as not help whispering to myself the whole working at his trade, and thinks he can evening, 'I am in company with an fit down to write whenever he pleases, · Author,' and waited with the moit as readily as the finith can labour at his anxious impatience to hear hiin deliver forge, or a carpenter plane a board. Infumething that might diftinguish him deed, he regards the Author with some from the rest of mankind. The genile- veneration as a scholar: but writing apman behaved with great chearfulness and pears to him a mighty caly buliness, politeness: but he did not at all answer and he fmilles whenever he hears any the idea which I had conceived of an hody mention the labour of it; nor has Author; and I went away exceedingly he the least conception of the mind's bedisappointed, because I could not find ing fatigued with thinking, and the any ftriking difference between him and fancy harrassed with pursuing a long the rest of my acquaintance.
train of ideas. There is no character in human life, As people are frequently led to judge which is the subject of more frequent of a man from his ordinary conversaspeculation among the vulgar, than an tion, so it is common for theni to form Author. Some look on him with con. an idea of the Author's disposition froin tempt, and others with admiration; but the peculiar turn and colour of his writthey all agree in believing him to be ings: they expect a gloom to be spread something different from all other people; over the face of a mathematician; a and it is remarkable with what greedi- controversial writer must be given to ness they attend to any little anecdotes, wrangling and dispute; and they iniaa which they can pick úp concerning his gine, that a satirist must be made up of life and conversation. He is, indeed, a spleen, envy, and ill nature. But this kind of an ideal being, of which people criterion is hy no means certain and deconceive very different notions. By some terminate: I know an author of a trahe is supposed never to stir out of a gar- gedy who is the merrieft man living; and ret, to wear a rusty black coat, dirty one who has written a very witty coinedy, fhirt, and darned stockings, and to want though he will fit an hour in company all the necesaries, as well as conveni- without speaking a word. Lord Buckences of life: while others regard him hurit is celebrated for being the best as a creature superior to the rest of mor- good man with the worst-natured tals, and endued with something more muse;' and Addison was remarkably than reason. One part, therefore, is fur. Ihy and reserved in conversation. I reprised to see him walk abroad, and ap- member I once fell into company with a pear as well dressed as other people; and painter, a poct, a divine, and a phylia another is disappointed, when they find cian, who were no lels famous for their bon talk and ad, and fill the offices of wit and humour, than for their excel, lence in their several professions. After thing more dishonest, scandalous, of fonie minutes of general conversation, mean in it, than an officer in the army the physician and the poet fell into a (the politeit of all profeffions) living on dilute concerning predestination; the his commilliun. Sense and genius are divinc finoked his pipe quictly, without as proper cominodities to traffic in as putting in a word; while the painter and courage; and an Author is no more to bylelf formed a privy council for the to be condemned as an hackney fcribgood of the nation. Thus, were it polo bler, though he writes at the rate of so lible to conjure up the spirits of the most much per sheet, than a Colonel should eininent wits in former ages, and put be despised as a mercenary and a bravo, them together, they would perhaps ap- for exposing himself to be flashed, stuck, pear to be very dull company. Virgil and inot at for so much per day. The and Addison would probably sit staring truth is, that Authors themselves often at each other without opening their create the evils they complain of, and mouths; Horace and Steele would per- bring a disgrace on the service of iiterahaps join in the commendation of the ture, by being ahamed to wear the liquor; and Sivift would in all likeli- badge of it. Voitaire, in his Letters on kooi divert himself with sucking his the English, relates a remarkable in. cheeks, drawing figures in the wine stance of this kind of false pride in our spilt upon the tal or twirling the own Congreve. Voltaire, when he was cork-screw round his finger.
in England, waited on Congreve, and The strange prejudices which fome told him, that he was glad of an opporpersons conceive against Authors, deter tunity of paying his relpects to a writer many a youth from drawing his pen in so much celebrated for his wit and huthe service of literature; or, if he ven- mour. Congreve received him politely tures to commit a favourite work to the enough, but replied, that he should be press, he steals to the printer's with as glad to see him as a common gentleman, much caution and privacy, as he would but would not be considered or conversed perhaps, on another occasion, to a fur- with as an Author. The French writer geon. He is afraid that he hall injure was a good deal furprised at such a sidi. his character by being known to have culous piece of delicacy, and could not written any thing, and that the genteel help telling him, that, if he had been part of his acquaintance will despise him no more than a common gentleman, he ás a low wretch, as soon as they disco. should never have had any defire of leever hiin to be an Author: as it merelying him. the appearing in print was a disgrace to I have often pleased myself with rea gentleman, and the imprimatur to his flecting on the different opinions which works was no more than a Itamp of my readers must have formed of me, fhame and ignoniny. These are the lince my first appearance as an Author, terrors which ai firft difturb the peace of As poverty is one of the general charac. almost every Author, and have often put teristics of our brotherhood, those, who me in mind of the exclamation of that indulge themselves in a contempt of writer, who cried out, that mine writers, have, I doubt not, often paintenemy had written a book!"
ed me to their imagination in a very These fearful apprehensions are per- grotesque taste. Their ideal caricatures haps no unlucky drawback on the va- have perhaps often represented me lodg. nity natural to all Authors, which un- ed at leait three stories from the ground, doubtedly they often concealor suppress composing dissertations on the modern out of deference to the world: but, if taste in architecture; at another time I this false modeity is too much cherithed, may have been delineated fitting in a it muft of course damp all genius, and tattered night gown and the breeches of
scourage every literary undertaking. an heathen philosopher, writing satires Why should it be disgraceful to exert on the present modes of dress: and somethe nobieft faculties given 18 by nature? times perhaps they have figured me halfand why should any man bluíh at ac- starved for want of an hearty meal, penquitting himtelf well in a work, which ning invectives against luxury and dethere is scarce one in five hundred has bauchery. a capacity to perforin? Even suppofing But while there have reduced me to an Author to support himself by the this low condition, and steeped me in profit arising by his works, there is no- poverty to the very lips,' I datter mye,
felf, that some few have bestowed on me with me, promising himself great diveran extraordinary share of virtue and un. fion in cracking a bottle with the face. derfanding. After so many grave ler- tious Mr. Town. fons against the vices and luxury of the These various opinions of me as an present age, they will naturally suppose, Author I shall never labour to reconthat I never rilked a farthing at the cile: but shall be equally contented with gaming-table, never kept a mistress, instructing and amusing the gentle readwould decline an invitation to a turtle- er, whether he confiders my papers as feart, and, rather tha be provoked to favours showered down upon him from fight a duel, would take a kick on the a bookseller's garret, or issuing from my breech, or tweak by the nose, with all own apartment. However this may be, the calmness and resignation imaginable. I shall never think it a disgrace to have As to my wit and humour, I should written, or be ashamed to be considered .blush to see down the many compliments as an Author; and if ever Mr. Voltaire I have had from several unknown corre. should think proper to vist England spondents on that head : and I once re- again, I fall be very glad of a literary ceived a note from a very honest gentle. chat with him, and will give himn a most . man, who desired to spend an evening gracious reception.
No CXV. THURSDAY, APRIL 8, 1756.
TO MR. TOWN.
his legs, and wring him by the nose;
in short, that you cannot take too many APRIL 5, 1756. liberties with a Bachelor. I am at a O man is a sincerer friend to inno- lofs to conceive on what foundation
cent pleasantry, or more desirous these romping philosophers have groundof promoting it, than myself. Railleryed their hypothelis, though at the same of every kind, provided it be confined time I am a melancholy proof of it's within due bounds, is, in my opinion, , existence, as well as of it's abfurdity. an excellent ingredient in conversation; A friend of mire, whom I frequently and I am never displeased, if I can con- vilit, has a wife and three daughters, tribute to the harmless mirth of the com- the youngest of which has persecuted me pany, by being myself the subject of these ten years. These ingenious young it: but, in good truth, I have neither a ladies have not only foundout the foleend fortime, a constitution, nor a temper, and purpose of my being themfelves, that will enable me to chuckie and make but have likewise communicated their my fides, while I suffer niore from the discovery to all the girls in the neighfestivity of my friends, than the fpleen bourhood; so that, if they happen at or malice of my enemies could poflibly any time to be apprized of my coming, inflict upon me; nor do I see any reason (which I take all possible care to prewhy I hould so far move the mirth- vent) they immediately dispatch halt a ful indignation of the ladies, as to be dozen calls to their faithful allies, to teszed and worried to deatii in mere beg the favour of their company to Tport, for no earthly reason, but that I dink coffee, as welp teaze Mr. Ironam what the world calls an Old Ba- fide. Upon these occasions, my entry chelor.
into the room is sometimes obstructed The female part of my acquaintance by a cord, fastened across the bottom of entertain an odd opinion, that a Bache- the door-case; which, as I am a little lor is not in fact a rational creature; at near-lighted, I feldom discover, till it leait, that he has not the sense of feeling has brought me upon my knees before in common with the relt of mankind; them. While I am employed in brushing that a Bachelor may be beaten like a the dust from my black roilers, or Rock-filh; that you may thrust pins into chafing my broken hins, my wig is
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