Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

clutches of the hangman for doing it.

NED SOFTLY I shall therefore hereafter consider, how the bravest men in other ages and na- 170 No. 163. Tuesday, April 25, 1710. tions have behaved themselves upon such incidents as we decide by combat; and Idem inficeto est inficetior rure, show, from their practice, that this re Simul poemata attigit; neque idem unquam sentment neither has its foundation from Æquè est beatus, ac poema cum scribit: true reason or solid fame; but is an im- | Tam gaudet in se, tamque se ipse miratur. posture, made of cowardice, falsehood, | Nimirum idem omnes fallimur; neque est and want of understanding. For this quisquam work, a good history of quarrels would Quem non in aliquâ re videre Suffenum be very edifying to the public, and I | Possisapply myself to the town for par- [80

Catul. de Suffeno, xx. 14. ticulars and circumstances within their | Suffenus has no more wit than a mere knowledge, which may serve to embellish clown when he attempts to write verses, and the dissertation with proper cuts. Most yet he is never happier than when he is of the quarrels I have ever known, have scribbling; so much does he admire himself proceeded from some valiant coxcomb's and his compositions. And, indeed, this persisting in the wrong, to defend some 1 is the foible of every one of us, for there is prevailing folly, and preserve himself no man living who is not a Suffenus in one from the ingenuity of owning a mistake. thing or other.

By this means it is called “giving a man satisfaction,” to urge your (90 WILL'S COFFEE HOUSE, April 24. offense against him with your sword; I yesterday came hither about two which puts me in mind of Peter's order to | hours before the company generally make the keeper in The Tale of a Tub: “If you | their appearance, with a design to read neglect to do all this, damn you and your over all the newspapers; but, upon my generation for ever: and so we bid you | sitting down, I was accosted by Ned heartily farewell.” If the contradiction Softly, who saw me from a corner in the in the very terms of one of our challenges other end of the room, where I found he were as well explained and turned into had been writing something. “Mr. downright English, would it not run after Bickerstaff,” says he, “I observe by a this manner?

late Paper of yours, that you and I (10 “Sir,

are just of a humor; for you must know, Your extraordinary behavior last night, of all impertinences, there is nothing which and the liberty you were pleased to take I so much hate as news. I never read a with me, makes me this morning give Gazette in my life; and never trouble my you this, to tell you, because you are an head about our armies, whether they win ill-bred puppy, I will meet you in Hyde or lose, or in what part of the world they park, an hour hence; and because you want lie encamped.” Without giving me time both breeding and humanity, I desire to reply, he drew a paper of verses out you would come with a pistol in your of his pocket, telling me, “that he had hand, on horseback, and endeavor to (110 something which would entertain me (20 shoot me through the head, to teach you more agreeably; and that he would desire more manners. If you fail of doing me my judgment upon every line, for that this pleasure, I shall say, you are a rascal, we had time enough before us until the on every post in town: and so, sir, if you company came in." will not injure me more, I shall never Ned Softly is a very pretty poet, and a forgive what you have done already. great admirer of easy lines. Waller is his Pray, sir, do not fail of getting everything favorite: and as that admirable writer ready; and you will infinitely oblige, sir, has the best and worst verses of any among your most obedient humble servant, our great English poets, Ned Softly has

(120 got all the bad ones without book; 130 -STEELE. | which he repeats upon occasion, to show

(100

etc."

* * *

his reading, and garnish his conversation. | When dressed in laurel wreaths you shine. Ned is indeed a true English reader, in

“That is,” says he, “when you have capable of relishing the great and mas

your garland on; when you are writing · terly strokes of this art; but wonderfully

verses.” To which I replied, “I know pleased with the little Gothic ornaments

your meaning: a metaphor!” “The of epigrammatical conceits, turns, points,

same,” said he, and went on: and quibbles, which are so frequent in the most admired of our English poets, and “And tune your soft melodious notes. practised by those who want genius (40 | “Pray observe the gliding of that verse; and strength to represent, after the man

there is scarce a consonant in it: I 190 ner of the ancients, simplicity in its nat took care to make it run upon liquids. ural beauty and perfection.

Give me your opinion of it.” “Truly," Finding myself unavoidably engaged said I, “I think it as good as the former.” in such a conversation, I was resolved to “I am very glad to hear you say so," turn my pain into a pleasure, and to di says he; “but mind the next: vert myself as well as I could with so very odd a fellow. “You must understand,"

You seem a sister of the Nine. says Ned, “that the sonnet I am going “That is," says he, "you seem a sister to read to you was written upon a 150 of the Muses; for, if you look into ancient lady, who showed me some verses of her authors, you will find it was their opinion own making, and is, perhaps, the best that there were nine of them.” “I (100 poet of our age. But you shall hear it.” remember it very well,” said I; “but pray Upon which he began to read as follows: proceed."

“Or Phæbus' self in petticoats. To MIRA ON HER INCOMPARABLE POEMS.

“Phæbus,” says he, "was the god of When dressed in laurel wreaths you shine, poetry. These little instances, Mr. BickAnd tune your soft melodious notes

erstaff, show a gentleman's reading. Then, You seem a sister of the Nine,

to take off from the air of learning, which Or Phoebus' self in petticoats.

Phæbus and the Muses had given to this

first stanza, you may observe, how it I fancy, when your song you sing. 160 falls all of a sudden into the familiar; 110 (Your song you sing with so much art)

'in Petticoats'! Your pen was plucked from Cupid's wing; Or Phoebus' self in petticoats.” For, ah! it wounds me like his dart.

"Let us now,” says I, “enter upon the “Why,” says I, “this is a little nosegay

second stanza; I find the first line is still a of conceits, a very lump of salt: every verse

continuation of the metaphor: has something in it that piques; and then I fancy, when your song you sing." the dart in the last line is certainly as

"It is very right,” says he, “but pray pretty a sting in the tail of an epigram,

gram, observe the turn of words in those two for so I think you critics call it, as ever

lines. I was a whole hour in adjusting entered into the thought of a poet.” 170

of them, and have still a doubt upon (120 “Dear Mr. Bickerstaff,” says he, shaking

me, whether in the second line it should me by the hand, “everybody knows you

be ‘Your song you sing;' or, “You sing to be a judge of these things; and to tell

your song.' You shall hear them both: you truly, I read over Roscommon's translation of 'Horace's Art of Poetry’

I fancy, when your song you sing, three several times, before I sat down to

(Your song you sing with so much art) write the sonnet which I have shown you. But you shall hear it again, and pray

I fancy, when your song you sing, observe every line of it; for not one of

(You sing your song with so much art.)” them shall pass without your approba- (80 “Truly,” said I, “the turn is so natural

| either way, that you have made me (130

Or

tion.

almost giddy with it.” “Dear sir,” said being examined or contradicted. Among he, grasping me by the hand, "you have all the authors of this kind, our renowned a great deal of patience; but pray what do countryman, Sir John Mandeville, has you think of the next verse?

distinguished himself by the copiousness

of his invention and the greatness of (10 Your pen was plucked from Cupid's wing."

his genius. The second to Sir John I take “Think!” says I; “I think you have to have been Ferdinand Mendez Pinto, made Cupid look like a little goose.” a person of infinite adventure, and un“That was my meaning,” says he: “I

| bounded imagination. One reads the think the ridicule is well enough hit off. voyages of these two great wits, with as But we come now to the last, which (140 | much astonishment as the travels of Ulyssums up the whole matter:

ses in Homer, or of the Red-Cross Knight

in Spenser. All is enchanted ground, and For, ah! it wounds me like his dart. fairyland. “Pray, how do you like that Ah! doth

I have got into my hands, by great [20 it not make a pretty figure in that place?

chance, several manuscripts of these two Ahl it looks as if I felt the dart, and

eminent authors, which are filled with cried out as being pricked with it!

greater wonders than any of those they

have communicated to the public; and For, ah! it wounds me like his dart. indeed, were they not so well attested, they

would appear altogether improbable. I “My friend Dick Easy,” continued he,

am apt to think the ingenious authors did “assured me, he would rather have written

not publish them with the rest of their that Ah! than to have been the au- (150

works, lest they should pass for fictions thor of the Æneid. He indeed objected,

and fables: a caution not unnecessary, 130 that I made Mira's pen like a quill in one of

when the reputation of their veracity was the lines, and like a dart in the other. But

not yet established in the world. But as as to that- ” “Oh! as to that,” says I,

this reason has now no farther weight, I “it is but supposing Cupid to be like a

shall make the public a present of these porcupine, and his quills and darts will be

curious pieces, at such times as I shall the same thing.” He was going to em- |

find myself unprovided with other subbrace me for the hint; but half a dozen

jects. critics coming into the room, whose faces

The present paper I intend to fill with he did not like, he conveyed the son- (160

an extract from Sir John's Journal, in net into his pocket, and whispered me in

which that learned and worthy knight 140 the ear, “he would show it me again as

gives an account of the freezing and soon as his man had written it over fair."

thawing of several short speeches, which -ADDISON.

he made in the territories of Nova Zembla.

I need not inform my reader, that the FROZEN WORDS

author of “Hudibras" alludes to this

strange quality in that cold climate, No. 254. Thursday, November 23, 1710. when, speaking of abstracted notions

clothed in a visible shape, he adds that Splendidè mendax

apt simile,
Hor. 2 Od. iii. 35.
Gloriously false

“Like words congealed in northern air.” 50 Francis.

Not to keep my reader any longer in susMy Own APARTMENT, November 22. pense, the relation put into modern lanThere are no books which I more delight guage, is as follows: in than in travels, especially those that “We were separated by a storm in the describe remote countries, and give the latitude of seventy-three, insomuch, that writer an opportunity of showing his only the ship which I was in, with a Dutch parts without incurring any danger of and French vessel, got safe into a creek

of Nova Zembla. We landed, in order thing that had been spoken during the to refit our vessels, and store ourselves whole three weeks that we had been (110 with provisions. The crew of each ves- [60 silent, if I may use that expression. It sel made themselves a cabin of turf and was now very early in the morning, and wood, at some distance from each other, yet, to my surprise, I heard somebody to fence themselves against the inclemen say, “Sir John, it is midnight, and time cies of the weather, which was severe for the ship's crew to go to bed.' This beyond imagination. We soon observed, I knew to be the pilot's voice; and, upon that in talking to one another we lost recollecting myself, I concluded that he several of our words, and could not hear had spoken these words to me some days one another at above two yards distance, before, though I could not hear them and that too when we sat very near the until the present thaw. My reader (120 fire. After much perplexity, I found [70 will easily imagine how the whole crew was that our words froze in the air, before amazed to hear every man talking, and they could reach the ears of the persons see no man opening his mouth. In the to whom they were spoken. I was soon midst of this great surprise we were all confirmed in this conjecture, when, upon | in, we heard a volley of oaths and curses, the increase of the cold, the whole com- | lasting for a long while, and uttered in a pany grew dumb, or rather deaf; for very hoarse voice, which I knew belonged every man was sensible, as we afterwards to the boatswain, who was a very choleric found, that he spoke as well as ever; but fellow, and had taken his opportunity of the sounds no sooner took air than they cursing and swearing at me, when he (130 were condensed and lost. It was now 80 thought I could not hear him; for I had a miserable spectacle to see us nodding several times given him the strappado on and gaping at one another, every man that account, as I did not fail to repeat talking, and no man heard. One might it for these his pious soliloquies, when observe a seaman that could hail a ship I got him on shipboard. at a league's distance, beckoning with “I must not omit the names of several his hand, straining his lungs, and tearing beauties in Wapping, which were heard his throat; but all in vain:

every now and then, in the midst of a

long sigh that accompanied them; as, "- Nec vox nec verba sequuntur. 'Dear Kate!' ‘Pretty Mrs. Peggy!' (140

OVID, Met. xi. 326. 'When shall I see my Sue again! This Nor voice, nor words ensued. betrayed several amours which had been

concealed until that time, and furnished “We continued here three weeks [90 us with a great deal of mirth in our return in this dismal plight. At length, upon a to England.

. turn of wind, the air about us began to “When this confusion of voices was thaw. Our cabin was immediately filled pretty well over, though I was afraid to with a dry clattering sound, which I offer at speaking, as fearing I should afterwards found to be the crackling of not be heard, I proposed a visit to the consonants that broke above our heads, | Dutch cabin, which lay about a mile (150 and were often mixed with a gentle hiss farther up in the country. My crew were ing, which I imputed to the letter s, that extremely rejoiced to find they had again occurs so frequently in the English tongue. recovered their hearing; though every I soon after felt a breeze of whispers (100 man uttered his voice with the same rushing by my ear; for those, being of a apprehensions that I had done, soft and gentle substance, immediately

Et timide verba intermissa retentat. liquefied in the warm wind that blew

OVID, Met. i. 746. across our cabin. These were soon fol

“And tried his tongue, his silence softly lowed by syllables and short words, and at length by entire sentences, that melted

broke. sooner or later, as they were more or less “At about half-a-mile's distance from congealed; so that we now heard every | our cabin we heard the groanings of a bear, which at first startled us; but, upon (160 something prolix, I pass them over in enquiry, we were informed by some of silence, and shall only observe, that the our company, that he was dead, and now honorable author seems, by his quotalay in salt, having been killed upon that tions, to have been well versed in the very spot about a fortnight before, in the ancient poets, which perhaps raised his time of the frost. Not far from the fancy above the ordinary pitch of histo same place, we were likewise entertained rians, and very much contributed to (220 with some posthumous snarls and barkings | the embellishment of his writings. of a fox.

-ADDISON. “We at length arrived at the little Dutch settlement; and, upon entering (170 the room, found it filled with sighs that From THE SPECTATOR smelt of brandy, and several other un

MR. SPECTATOR savory sounds, that were altogether inarticulate. My valet, who was an Irish No. 1. Thursday, March 1, 1711. man, fell into so great a rage at what he heard, that he drew his sword; but not Non fumum ex fulgore, sed ex fumo dare knowing where to lay the blame, he put

lucem it up again. We were stunned with these Cogitat, ut speciosa dehinc miracula promai. confused noises, but did not hear a single

Hor. Ars Poet. 143. word until about half-an-hour after; (180

One with a flash begins, and ends in smoke; which I ascribed to the harsh and ob

Another out of smoke brings glorious light, durate sounds of that language, which

And, without raising expectation high, wanted more time than ours to melt, and

Surprises us with dazzling miracles. become audible. “After having here met with a very

-ROSCOMMON. hearty welcome, we went to the cabin of I have observed that a reader seldom the French, who, to make amends for peruses a book with pleasure, till he their three weeks' silence, were talking knows whether the writer of it be a black and disputing with greater rapidity and or a fair man, of a mild or choleric disconfusion than I ever heard in an (190 position, married or a bachelor, with assembly, even of that nation. Their other particulars of the like nature, that language, as I found, upon the first giving conduce very much to the right underof the weather, fell asunder and dissolved. standing of an author. To gratify this I was here convinced of an error, into curiosity, which is so natural to a reader, which I had before fallen; for I fancied, I design this paper, and my next, 110 that for the freezing of the sound, it was | as prefatory discourses to my following necessary for it to be wrapped up, and, writings, and shall give some account in as it were, preserved in breath: but them of the several persons that are enI found my mistake when I heard the gaged in this work. As the chief trouble sound of a kit playing a minuet over (200 of compiling, digesting, and correcting our heads. I asked the occasion of it; upon | will fall to my share, I must do myself which one of the company told me that the justice to open the work with my it would play there above a week longer; | own history. 'for,' says he, 'finding ourselves bereft of I was born to a small hereditary esspeech, we prevailed upon one of the com tate, which, according to the tradition (20 pany, who had his musical instrument of the village where it lies, was bounded about him, to play to us from morning by the same hedges and ditches in Wilto night; all which time was employed liam the Conqueror's time that it is at in dancing in order to dissipate our present, and has been delivered down chagrin, and tuer le temps.

[210 from father to son whole and entire, Here Sir John gives very good philosoph without the loss or acquisition of a single ical reasons, why the kit could not be field or meadow, during the space of six heard during the frost; but, as they are hundred years. There runs a story in

« AnteriorContinuar »