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tus, endeavoured to recommend themselves at
a great man popular for his honesty and hu
Such a constellation of great persons, if I may so speak, while they shine out in their own distinct capacities, reflect a lustre upon each other, but in a more particular manner on their sovereign, who has placed them in those proper situations, by which their virtues become so beneficial to all her subjects. It is the anniversary of the birth-day of this glorious Queen, which naturally led me into this field of contemplation, and, instead of joining in the public exultations that are made on such occasions, to entertain my thoughts with the more serious pleasure of ruminating upon the glories of her reign.
While I behold her surrounded with triumphs, and adorned with all the prosperity and suc cess which heaven ever shed on a mortal, and still considering herself as such; though the person appears to me exceeding great, that has these just honours paid to her, yet I must confess, she appears much greater in that she receives them with such a glorious humility, and shows she has no further regard for them, than as they arise from these great events, which have made her subjects happy. For my own part, I must confess, when I see private virtues in so high a degree of perfection, I am not astonished at any extraordinary success that attends them, but look upon public triumphs as the natural consequences of religious retire. ments.
It is therefore a particular happiness to a people, when the men of superior genius and character are so justly disposed in the high places of honour, that each of them moves in a sphere which is proper to him, and requires those particular qualities in which he excels.
If I see a general commanding the forces of his country, whose victories are not to be paralleled in story, and who is as famous for his negotiations as his victories; and, at the same time, see the management of a nation's treasury in the hands of one, who has always distinguished himself by a generous contempt of his own private wealth, and an exact frugality of that which belongs to the public;+ I cannot but think a people under such an administration may promise themselves conquests abroad, and plenty at home. If I were to wish for a proper person to preside over the public councils, it should certainly be one as much admired for his universal knowledge of men and things, as for his eloquence, courage, and integrity, in the exerting of such extraordinary talents.
Who is not pleased to see a person in the highest station in the law, who was the most eminent in his profession, and the most accomplished orator at the bar? § Or at the head of the fleet a commander, under whose conduct the common enemy received such a blow, as he has never been able to recover? ||
Were we to form to ourselves the idea of one whom we should think proper to govern a distant kingdom, consisting chiefly of those who differ from us in religion, and are influenced by foreign politics; would it not be such a one as had signalized himself by a uniform and unshaken zeal for the protestant interest, and by his dexterity in defeating the skill and artifice of its enemies?¶ In short, if we find
Steele takes occasion here to pay his compliments to some of the principal people in the higher departments of
the state; and first to the duke of Marlborough, commander
in chief of her majesty's forces.
↑ Sidney lord Godolphin was then lord high-treasurer of England.
The great lord Somers was at this time lord president
§ Lord chancellor Cowper is here alluded to.
Edward Russel, earl of Orford, first lord commissioner of the admiralty.
Thomas earl of Wharton had recently been honoured with the title of lord lieutenant of Ireland. Addison was his secretary.
Finding some persons have mistaken Pasquin, who was mentioned in my last, for one who has been pilloried at Rome, I must here advertise them, that it is only a maimed statue so called, on which the private scandal of that city is generally pasted. Marforio is a person of the same quality, who is usually made to answer whatever is published by the other. the wits of that place, like too many of our own country, taking pleasure in setting innocent people together by the ears. The mentioning of this person, who is a great wit, and a great cripple, put me in mind of Mr. Estcourt, who is under the same circumstances. He was formerly my apothecary, and being at present disabled by the gout and stone, I must recommend him to the public on Thursday next; that admirable play of Ben Jonson's, called The Silent Woman, being appointed to be acted for his benefit. It would be indecent for me to appear twice in a season at these
Sheer-lane, February 8.
THERE is in this city a certain fraternity of chemical operators, who work under ground in holes, caverns, and dark retirements, to conceal their mysteries from the eyes and observation of mankind. These subterraneous philosophers are daily employed in the transmutation of liquors, and, by the power of ma. gical drugs and incantations, raising under the streets of London the choicest products of the hills and valleys of France. They can squeeze Bourdeaux out of the sloe, and draw Cham-advocate for these sophistications. His rhetoric pagne from an apple. Virgil, in that remark. able prophecy,
The counsel for the brewers had a face so extremely inflamed, and illuminated with carbuncles, that I did not wonder to see him an
was likewise such as I should have expected from the common draught, which I found he often drank to a great excess. Indeed, I was so surprised at his figure and parts, that I ordered him to give me a taste of his usual liquor; which I had no sooner drunk, but I found a pimple rising in my forehead; and felt such a sensible decay in my understanding, that I would not proceed in the trial until the fume of it was entirely dissipated.
Jucultisque rubens pendebit sentibus uva.
Virg. Ecl. iv. 29. The ripening grape shall hang on every thorn. seems to have hinted at this art, which can turn a plantation of northern hedges into a vineyard. These adepts are known among one another by the name of Wine-brewers; and, I am afraid, do great injury, not only to her majesty's customs, but to the bodies of many of her good subjects.
tions were prepared for it by wealth and idleness. He then enlarged, with a great show of reason, upon the prejudice, which these mixtures and compositions had done to the brains of the English nation; as is too visible, said he, from many late pamphlets, speeches, and sermons, as well as from the ordinary conversations of the youth of this age. He then quoted an ingenious person, who would undertake to know by a man's writings the wine he most delighted in; and, on that occasion, named a certain satirist, whom he had discovered to be the author of a lampoon, by a manifest taste of the sloe, which showed itself in it, by much roughness, and little spirit.
In the last place, he ascribed to the unnatural tumults and fermentations which these mixtures raise in our blood, the divisions, heats, and animosities, that reign among us; and, in particular, asserted most of the modern enthusiasms and agitations to be nothing else but the effects of adulterated Port.
Having received sundry complaints against these invisible workmen, I ordered the proper officer of my court to ferret them out of their respective caves, and bring them before me, which was yesterday executed accordingly.
The person, who appeared against them, was a merchant, who had by him a great magazine of wines, that he had laid in before the war; but these gentlemen, as he said, had so vitiated the nation's palate, that no man could believe his to be French, because it did not taste like what they sold for such. As a man never pleads better than where his own personal interest is concerned, he exhibited to the court, with great eloquence,' that this new corporation of druggists had inflamed the bills of mortality, and puzzled the college of physicians with diseases, for which they neither knew a name or cure.' He accused some of giving all their customers colics and megrims; and mentioned one who had boasted, he had a tun of claret by him, that in a fortnight's time should give the gout to a dozen of the healthfulest men in the city, provided that their constitu
This notable advocate had little to say in the defence of his clients, but that they were under a necessity of making claret, if they would keep open their doors; it being the nature of mankind to love every thing that is prohibited. He further pretended to reason, that it might be as profitable to the nation to make French wine as French hats; and concluded with the great advantage that this practice had already brought to part of the kingdom. Upon which he informed the court, that the lands in Herefordshire were raised two years purchase since the beginning of the war.
When I had sent out my summons to these people, I gave, at the same time, orders to each of them to bring the several ingredients he made use of in distinct phials, which they bad done accordingly, and ranged them into two rows on each side of the court. The workmen were drawn up in ranks behind them. The merchant informed me,' that in one row of phials were the several colours they dealt in, and in the other, the tastes.' He then showed me, on the right hand, one who, went by the name of Tom Tintoret, who, as he told me, was the greatest master in his colouring of any vintner in London.' To give me a proof
rf his art, he took a glass of fair water; and, | by the infusion of three drops out of one of his phials, converted it into a most beautiful pale Burgundy. Two more of the same kind heightened it into a perfect Languedoc: from thence it passed into a florid Hermitage: and after having gone through two or three other changes, by the addition of a single drop, ended in a very deep Pontac. This ingenious virtuoso, seeing me very much surprised at his art, told me, that he had not an opportunity of showing it in perfection, having only made use of water for the ground-work of his colouring: but that, if I were to see an operation upon liquors of stronger bodies, the art would appear to a much greater advantage. He added, that he doubted not but it would please my curiosity to see the eyder of one apple take only a vermilion, when another, with a less quantity of the same infusion, would rise into a dark purple, according to the different texture of parts in the liquor. He informed me also, that he could hit the different shades and degrees of red, as they appear in the pink and the rose, the clove and the carnation, as he had Rhenish or Moselle, Perry or White Port, to work in.
I was so satisfied with the ingenuity of this virtuoso, that, after having advised him to quit so dishonest a profession, I promised him, in consideration of his great genius, to recommend him as a partner to a friend of mine, who has heaped up great riches, and is a scarlet-dyer.
The artists on my other hand were ordered, No. 132.] Saturday, February 11, 1709-10.
in the second place, to make some experiments of their skill before me: upon which the famous Harry Sippet stepped out, and asked me,' what I would be pleased to drink?' At the same time he filled out three or four white liquors in a glass, and told me,' that it should be what I pleased to call for; adding, very learnedly,
That the liquor before him was as the naked substance, or first matter of his compound, to which he and his friend, who stood over-against him, could give what accidents, or form they pleased.' Finding him so great a philosopher, I desired he would convey into it the qualities and essence of right Bourdeaux. Coming, coming, sir,' said he, with the air of a drawer; and after having cast his eye on the several tastes and flavours that stood before him, he took up a little cruet that was filled with a kind of inky juice, and pouring some of it out into the glass of white wine, presented it to me; and told me, this was the wine over which most of the business of the last term had been despatched.' I must confess, I looked upon that sooty drug, which he held up in his cruet, as the quintessence of English Bourdeaux; and therefore desired him to give me a glass of it by itself, which he did with great unwillingness. My cat at that time sat by me upon the elbow of my chair; and as I did not care for making the experiment upon myself,
I reached it to her to sip of it, which had like to have cost her her life; for, notwithstanding it flung her at first into freakish tricks, quite contrary to her usual gravity, in less than a quarter of an hour she fell into convulsions; and, had it not been a creature more tenacious of life than any other, would certainly have died under the operation.
I was so incensed by the tortures of my innocent domestic, and the unworthy dealings of these men, that I told them, if each of them had as many lives as the injured creature before them, they deserved to forfeit them for the pernicious arts which they used for their profit. I therefore bid them look upon themselves as no better than as a kind of assassins and murderers within the law. However, since they bad dealt so clearly with me, and laid before me their whole practice, I dismissed them for that time; with a particular request, that they would not poison any of my friends and acquaintance, and take to some honest livelihood without loss of time.
For my own part, I have resolved hereafter to be very careful in my liquors; and have agreed with a friend of mine in the army, upon their next march, to secure me two hogsheads of the best stomach-wine in the cellars of Versailles, for the good of my lucubrations, and the comfort of my old age.
Habeo senectuti magnam gratiam, quæ mihi sermonis aviditatem auxit, potionis et cibi sustulit. Tull. de Sen.
I am much beholden to old age, which has increased my eagerness for conversation, in proportion as it has lessened my appetites of hunger and thirst.
Sheer-lane, February 10.
AFTER having applied my mind with more than ordinary attention to my studies, it is my usual custom to relax and unbend it in the conversation of such as are rather easy than shining companions. This I find particularly necessary for me before I retire to rest, in order to draw my slumbers upon me by degrees, and fall asleep insensibly. This is the particular use I make of a set of heavy honest men, with whom I have passed many hours with much indolence, though not with great pleasure. Their conversation is a kind of preparative for sleep: it takes the mind down from its abstractions, leads it into the familiar traces of thought, and lulls it into that state of tranquillity, which is the condition of a thinking man, when he is but half awake. After this, my reader will not be surprised to hear the account which I am about to give of a club of my own contemporaries, among whom I pass two or three hours every evening. This I look upon as taking my first nap before I go to bed. The truth of it is, I should think myself unjust to posterity, as well as to the society at the
leaves the club until he has applied them all. If any modern wit be mentioned, or any town frolic spoken of, he shakes his head at the dulness of the present age, and tells us a story of Jack Ogle.
For my own part, I am esteemed among them, because they see I am something respected by others; though at the same time I
Trumpet, of which I am a member, did not I in some part of my writings give an account of the persons among whom I have passed almost a sixth part of my time for these last forty years. Our club consisted originally of fifteen; but, partly by the severity of the law in arbitrary times, and partly by the natural effects of old age, we are at present reduced third part of that number; in which, how-understand by their behaviour, that I am conever, we have this consolation, that the best sidered by them as a man of a great deal of company is said to consist of five persons. I learning, but no knowledge of the world; inmust confess, besides the aforementioned be- somuch, that the major sometimes, in the nefit which I meet with in the conversation of height of his military pride, calls me the Phithis select society, I am not the less pleased losopher; and sir Jeoffery, no longer ago than with the company, in that I find myself the last night, upon a dispute what day of the greatest wit among them, and am heard as month it was then in Holland, pulled his pipe their oracle in all points of learning and diffi- out of his mouth, and cried, 'What does the culty. scholar say to it?"
Sir Jeoffery Notch, who is the oldest of the club, has been in possession of the right-hand chair time out of mind, and is the only man among us that has the liberty of stirring the fire. This, our foreman, is a gentleman of an ancient family, that came to a great estate some years before he had discretion, and run it out in hounds, horses, and cock-fighting; for which reason he looks upon himself as an honest, worthy gentleman, who has bad misfortunes in the world, and calls every thriving inan a pitiful upstart.
I had no sooner taken my seat, but sir Jeoffery, to show his good-will towards me, gave me a pipe of his own tobacco, and stirred up the fire. I look upon it as a point of morality, to be obliged by those who endeavour to oblige me; and therefore, in requital for his kindness,
Major Matchlock is the next senior, who served in the last civil wars, and has all the battles by heart. He does not think any action in Europe worth talking of since the fight of Marston Moor;† and every night tells us of his having been knocked off his horse at the rising of the London apprentices; for which he is in great esteem among us. Honest old Dick Reptile is the third of our and to set the conversation a-going, I took the society. He is a good-natured indolent man,best occasion I could to put him upon telling who speaks little himself, but laughs at our us the story of old Gantlett, which he always jokes; and brings his young nephew along does with very particular concern. He traced with him, a youth of eighteen years old, to up his descent on both sides for several geneshow him good company, and give him a taste rations, describing his diet and manner of life, of the world. young fellow sits generally with his several battles, and particularly that silent; but whenever he opens his mouth, or in which he fell. This Gantlett was a game laughs at any thing that passes, he is constantly cock, upon whose bead the knight, in his youth, told by his uncle, after a jocular manner, Ay, had won five hundred pounds, and lost two ay, Jack, you young men think us fools; but thousand. This naturally set the major upon we old men know you are.' the account of Edge-hill fight,† and ended in a duel of Jack Ogle's.
Old Reptile was extremely attentive to all that was said, though it was the same he bad heard every night for these twenty years, and, upon all occasions, winked upon his nephew to mind what passed.
This may suffice to give the world a taste of our innocent conversation, which we spun out
The greatest wit of our company, next to myself, is a bencher of the neighbouring inn, who in his youth frequented the ordinaries about Charing-cross, and pretends to have been intimate with Jack Ogle. He has about ten distichs of Hudibras without book, and never
Our club meets precisely at six o'clock in the evening; but I did not come last night until half an hour after seven, by which means I escaped the battle of Naseby, which the major usually begins at about three quarters after six: I found also, that my good friend the bencher had already spent three of his distichs; and only waited an opportunity to bear a sermon spoken of, that he might introduce the couplet where a stick' rhymes to ' ecclesiastic.' At my entrance into the room, they were naming a red petticoat and a cloak, by which I found that the bencher had been diverting them with a story of Jack Ogle.
A public-house in Sheer-lane.
The battle of Marston Moor happened on July 2, 1644. July 14, 1647, the London apprentices presented a petition signed by above 10,000 hands; and on the 26th, they forced their way into the house, menacing, until votes had passed desirable to their demands. See the Parliamentary Listory, vol. xvi. p. 180, 18.
* Jack Ogle, said to have been descended from a decent family in Devonshire, was a man of some genius and great extravagance, but rather artful than witty.
The battle of Edge-hill was fought on Sunday Oct. 23, 1642.
the northern regions of the world, toat silence
until about ten of the clock, when my maid
The only way of avoiding such a trifling and
In short, we, who are in the last stage of life, and are apt to indulge ourselves in talk, ought to consider, if what we speak be worth being beard, and endeavour to make our discourse like that of Nestor, which Homer compares to the flowing of honey for its sweetness.
I am afraid I shall be thought guilty of this excess I am speaking of, when I cannot con. clude without observing, that Milton certainly thought of this passage in Homer, when, in his description of an eloquent spirit, he says,
'His tongue dropped manna.'
No. 133.] Tuesday, February 14, 1709.
Dum tacent, clamant.
SILENCE is some times more significant and
The next instance I shall mention is in Virgil, where the poet doubtless imitates this silence of Ajax in that of Dido; though I do not know that any of his commentators have taken notice of it. Eneas, finding among the shades of despairing lovers the ghost of her who had lately died for him, with the wound still fresh upon her, addresses himself to her with expanded arms, floods of tears, and the most passionate professions of his own innocence, as to what had happened; all which Dido receives with the dignity and disdain of a resenting lover, and an injured queen; and is so far from vouchsafing him an answer, that she does not give him a single look. The poet represents her as turning away her face from him while he spoke to her; and, after having kept her eyes some time upon the ground, as one that heard and contemned his protestations, flying from him into the grove of myrtle, and into the arms of another, whose fidelity had deserved her love.*
I have often thought our writers of tragedy have been very defective in this particular, and that they might have given great beauty to their works, by certain stops and pauses in the representation of such passions as it is not in the power of language to express. There is something like this in the last act of Venice Preserved,' where Pierre is brought to au infamous execution, and begs of his friend, as a