Page images

country, arrived to considerable acquisitions, and yet seem incapable of acting in any constant tenor of life, but have gone on from one successful error to another: therefore I think I may shorten this inquiry after the method of pleasing; and as the old beau said to his son, once for all, "Pray, Jack, be a fine gentleman;" so may I to my reader, abridge my instructions, and finish the art of pleasing in a word, "Be rich."-T.

No. 281. TUESDAY, JANUARY 22, 1711-12.
Pectoribus inhians spirantia consulit exta.-VIRG. Æn. iv. 64.
Anxious the reeking entrails he consults.

HAVING already given an account of the dissection of the beau's head, with the several discoveries made on that occasion; I shall here, according to my promise, enter upon the dissection of a coquette's heart, and communicate to the public such particularities as we observed in that curious piece of anatomy.

it, the liquor mounted very sensibly, and immediately sunk again upon his looking serious. In short, he told us, that he knew very well, by this invention, whenever he had a man of sense or a coxcomb in his room.

Having cleared away the pericardium, or the case, and liquor above mentioned, we came to the heart itself. The outward surface of it was extremely slippery, and the mucro, or point, so very cold withal, that upon endeavouring to take hold of it, it glided through the fingers like a smooth piece of ice.

The fibres were turned and twisted in a more intricate and perplexed manner than they are usually found in other hearts; insomuch that the whole heart was wound up together in a Gordian knot, and must have had very irregular and unequal mo. tions, while it was employed in its vital function.

One thing we thought very observable, namely, that upon examining all the vessels which came into it, or issued out of it, we could not discover any communication that it had with the tongue.

I should perhaps have waived this undertaking, We could not but take notice likewise, that sevehad I not been put in mind of my promise by several of those little nerves in the heart which are ral of my unknown correspondents, who are very affected by the sentiments of love, hatred, and other importunate with me to make an example of the passions, did not descend to this before us from the coquette, as I have already done of the beau. It brain, but from the muscles which lie about the eye. is therefore in compliance with the request of my Upon weighing the heart in my hand, I found it friends, that I have looked over the minutes of my to be extremely light, and consequently very holformer dream, in order to give the public an exact low, which I did not wonder at, when, upon looking relation of it, which I shall enter upon without fur-into the inside of it, I saw multitudes of cells or ther preface.

cavities, running one within another as our hisOur operator, before he engaged in this visionary torians describe the apartments of Rosamond's dissection, told us, that there was nothing in his bower. Several of these little hollows were stuffed art more difficult than to lay open the heart of a with innumerable sorts of trifles, which I shall forcoquette, by reason of the many labyrinths and re- bear giving any particular account of, and shall cesses which are to be found in it, and which do therefore only take notice of what lay first and upnot appear in the heart of any other animal. permost, which upon our unfolding it, and applying He desired us first of all to observe the pericar-our microscopes to it, appeared to be a flame-codium, or outward case of the heart, which we did loured hood. very attentively; and by the help of our glasses. We are informed that the lady of this heart, discerned in it millions of little scars, which seem when living, received the addresses of several who to have been occasioned by the points of innumer-made love to her, and did not only give each of able darts and arrows, that from time to time had glanced upon the outward coat; though we could not discover the smallest orifice, by which any of them had entered and pierced the inward substance. Every smatterer in anatomy knows that this pericardium, or case of the heart, contains in it a thin reddish liquor, supposed to be bred from the vapours which exhale out of the heart, and being stopped here, are condensed into this watery substance. Upon examining this liquor, we found that it had in it all the qualities of that spirit which is made use of in the thermometer, to show the change of weather.


them encouragement, but made every one she conversed with believe that she regarded him with an eye of kindness; for which reason we expected to have seen the impressions of multitudes of faces among the several plaits and foldings of the heart; but to our great surprise not a single print of this nature discovered itself until we came into the very core and centre of it We there observed a little figure, which, upon applying our glasses to it, appeared dressed in a very fantastic manner. more I looked upon it. the more I thought I had seen the face before, but could not possibly recollect either the place or time; when at length, one of Nor must I here omit an experiment one of the the company, who had examined this figure more company assured us he himself had made with this nicely than the rest, showed us plainly by the make liquor, which he found in great quantity about the of its face, and the several turns of its features, that beart of a coquette whom he had formerly dissected. the little idol which was thus lodged in the very He affirmed to us, that he had actually enclosed it middle of the heart was the deceased beau, whose in a small tube made after the manner of a weather-head I gave some account of in my last Tuesday's glass; but that instead of acquainting him with the paper. variations of the atmosphere, it showed him the qualities of those persons who entered the room where it stood. He affirmed also, that it rose at the approach of a plume of feathers, an embroidered coat, or a pair of fringed gloves; and that it fell as soon as an ill-shaped periwig, a clumsy pair of shoes, or an unfashionable coat came into his house. Nay, he proceeded so far as to assure us, Lat upon his laughing aloud when he stood by

As soon as we had finished our dissection, we resolved to make an experiment of the heart, not being able to determine among ourselves the nature of its substance, which differed in so many particulars from that of the heart in other females. Accordingly we laid it in a pan of burning coals, when we observed in it a certain salamandrine quality, that made it capable of living in the midst of fire and flame, without being consumed, or so much as singed.

As we were admiring this strange phenomenon, and standing round the heart in a circle, it gave a most prodigious sigh, or rather crack, and dispersed all at once in smoke and vapour. This imaginary noise, which methought was louder than the burst of a cannon, produced such a violent shake in my brain, that it dissipated the fumes of sleep and left me in an instant broad awake.-L.

In prospect of this, and the knowledge of their own personal merit, every one was contemptible in their eyes, and they refused those offers which had been frequently made them. But mark the end The mother dies, the father is married again and has a son; on him was entailed the father's, uncle's, and grandmother's estate. This cut off 42,0002 The maiden aunt married a tall Irishman, and with her went the 6,000. The widow died, and left but enough to pay her debts and bury her; so that there remained for these three girls but their own 1,000l. They had by this time passed their prime, and got on the wrong side of thirty; and must pass the remainder of their days, upbraiding mankind that they mind nothing but money, and bewailing that virtue, sense, and modesty, are had at present in no manner of estimation.

No. 282. WEDNESDAY, JAN. 23, 1711-12. -Spes incerta futuri.-VIRG. Æn. viii. 580. Hopes and fears in equal balance laid.-DRYDEN. Ir is a lamentable thing that every man is full of complaints, and constantly uttering sentences against the fickleness of fortune, when people generally bring upon themselves all the calamities they fall I mention this case of ladies before any other, beinto, and are constantly heaping up matter for their cause it is the most irreparable; for though youth own sorrow and disappointment. That which pro- is the time least capable of reflection, it is in that duces the greatest part of the delusions of mankind, sex the only season in which they can advance their is a false hope which people indulge with so san- fortunes. But if we turn our thoughts to the men, guine a flattery to themselves, that their hearts are we see such crowds unhappy, from no other reason bent upon fantastical advantages which they have than an ill-grounded hope, that it is hard to say no reason to believe should ever have arrived to which they rather deserve, our pity or contempt. It them. By this unjust measure of calculating their is not unpleasant to see a fellow, after growing old happiness, they often mourn with real affliction for in attendance, and after having passed half a life imaginary losses. When I am talking of this un-in servitude, call himself the unhappiest of all men, happy way of accounting for ourselves, I cannot and pretend to be disappointed, because a courtier but reflect upon a particular set of people, who in broke his word. He that promises himself any thing their own favour, resolve every thing that is possible but what may naturally arise from his own property into what is probable, and then reckon on that pro- or labour, and goes beyond the desire of possessing bability as on what must certainly happen. Will above two parts in three even of that, lays up for Honeycomb, upon my observing his looking on a himself an increasing heap of afflictions and disaplady with some particular attention, gave me an ac-pointments. There are but two means in the world count of the great distresses which had laid waste that very fine face, and had given an air of melancholy to a very agreeable person. That lady and a couple of sisters of hers, were, said Will, fourteen years ago, the greatest fortunes about town; but without having any loss, by bad tenants, by bad securities, or any damage by sea or land, are reduced to very narrow circumstances. They were at that time the most inaccessible haughty beauties in town; and their pretensions to take upon them at that unmerciful rate, were raised upon the following scheme, according to which all their lovers were answered. "Our lather is a youngish man, but then our mother is somewhat older, and not likely to have any children: his estate being 8001. per annum, at twenty years' purchase, is worth 16,000l. Our uncle, who is above fifty, has 4001. per annum, which, at the aforesaid rate, is 8,000l. There is a widow aunt, who has 10,000l. at her own disposal, left by her husband, and an old maiden aunt, who has 6,000l. Then our father's mother has 9001. per annum, which is worth 18,000l. and 1,000l. each of us has of our own, which cannot be taken from us. These summed up together stand thus :

[blocks in formation]

of gaining by other men, and these are by being either agreeable, or considerable. The generalny of mankind do all things for their own sakes; and when you hope any thing from persons above you, if you cannot say, "I can be thus agreeable, or thus serviceable," it is ridiculous to pretend to the dignity of being unfortunate when they leave you; you were injudicious in hoping for any other than to be neglected for such as can come within these descriptions of being capable to please or serve your patron, when his humour or interests call for their capacity either way.

It would not methinks be a useless comparison between the condition of a man who shuns all the pleasures of life, and of one who makes it his business to pursue them. Hope in the recluse makes his austerities comfortable, while the luxurious man gains nothing but uneasiness from his enjoyments. What ie the difference in happiness of him who is macerated by abstinence, and his who is surfeited with excess? He who resigns the world has no temptation to envy, hatred, malice, anger, but is in constant possession of a serene mind; he who follows the pleasures of it, which are in their very nature disappointing, is in constant search of care, solicitude remorse, and confusion.

"MR. SPECTATOR, Jan. the 14th, 1712. "I am a young woman, and have my fortune to make, for which reason I come constantly to church to hear divine service, and make conquests: but one great hinderance to my design is, that our clerk who was once a gardener, has this Christmas so overdecked the church with greens, that he has quite spoiled my prospect; insomuch that I have scarce seen the young baronet I dress at these three weeks, though we have both been very cerstar.

please to reflect on their past lives, will not find that
had they saved all those little sums which they have
spent unnecessarily, they might at present have
been masters of a competent fortune. Diligence
justly claims the next place to thrift: I find both
these excellently well recommended to common use
in the three following Italian proverbs:

Never do that by proxy which you can do yourself.
Never defer that till to-morrow which you can do to-day.
Never neglect small matters and expenses.

at our devotions, and do not sit above three pews off. The church, as it is now equipped, looks more like a green-house than a place of worship. The middle aisle is a very pretty shady walk, and the pews look like so many arbours on each side of it. The pulpit itself has such clusters of ivy, holly, and rosemary, about it, that a light fellow in our pew took occasion to say, that the congregation heard the word out of a bush, like Moses. Sir Anthony Love's pew in particular is so well hedged, that all my batteries have no effect. I am obliged to shoot at random among the boughs, without taking any A third instrument of growing rich is method in manner of aim. Mr. Spectator, unless you will business, which, as well as the two former, is also at give orders for removing these greens, I shall growtainable by persons of the meanest capacities. a very awkward creature at church, and soon have little else to do there but to say my prayers. I am in haste, dear Sir, your most obedient Servant, "JENNY SIMPER."


[blocks in formation]

Magister artis ingenique largitor Venter Necessity is the mother of invention.-ENGLISH PROVERBS. LUCIAN rallies the philosophers in his time, who could not agree whether they should admit riches into the number of real goods; the professors of the severer sects threw them quite out, while others as resolutely inserted them.

The famous De Witt, one of the greatest statesmen of the age in which he lived, being asked by a friend how he was able to dispatch that multitude of affairs in which he was engaged? replied, that his whole art consisted in doing one thing at once. If," says he, "I have any necessary dispatches to make, I think of nothing else until those are finished if any domestic affairs require my attention, I give myself up wholly to them until they are set in order."

[ocr errors]

In short, we often see men of dull and phlegmatic tempers arriving to great estates, by making a regular and orderly disposition of their business, and that without it the greatest parts and most lively imaginations rather puzzle their affairs, than bring them to a happy issue.

I am apt to believe, that as the world grew more From what has been said, I think I may lay it polite, the rigid doctrines of the first were wholly dis-down as a maxim, that every man of good common carded; and I do not find any one so hardy at sense may, if he pleases, in his particular station of present as to deny that there are very great advan-life, most certainly be rich. The reason why we tages in the enjoyment of a plentiful fortune. Indeed the best and wisest of men, though they may possibly despise a good part of those things which the world calls pleasures, can, I think, hardly be insensible of that weight and dignity, which a moderate share of wealth adds to their characters, counsels, and actions.

We find it a general complaint in professions and trades, that the richest members of them are chiefly encouraged, and this is falsely imputed to the illnature of mankind, who are ever bestowing their favours on such as least want them. Whereas if we fairly consider their proceedings in this case, we shall find them founded on undoubted reason: since, supposing both equal in their natural integrity, I ought. in common prudence, to fear foul play from an indigent person, rather than from one whose circumstances seem to have placed him above the bare temptation of money.

This reason also makes the commonwealth regard her richest subjects, as those who are most concerned for her quiet and interest, and consequently fittest to be intrusted with her highest employments. On the contrary, Catiline's saying to those men of desperate fortunes, who applied themselves to him, and of whom he afterward composed his army, that they had nothing to hope for but from a civil war, was too true not to make the impressions he desired. I believe I need not fear but that what I have said in praise of money, will be more than sufficient with most of my readers to excuse the subject of my present paper, which I intend as an essay on the ways to raise a man's fortune, or the art of growing rich. The first and most infallible method towards the attaining of this end is thrift. All men are not equally qualified for getting money, but it is in the power of every one alike to practise this virtue, and I believe there are very few persons who, if they SPECTATOR-Nos. 41 & 42.

sometimes see that men of the greatest capacities are not so, is either because they despise wealth in comparison of something else; or at least are not content to be getting an estate, unless they may do it in their own way, and at the same time enjoy all the pleasures and gratifications of life.

But besides these ordinary forms of growing rich, it must be allowed that there is room for genius as well in this as in all other circumstances of life.

Though the ways of getting money were long. since very numerous, and though so many new ones have been found out of late years, there is certainly still remaining so large a field for invention, that a man of an indifferent head might easily sit down and draw up such a plan for the conduct and support of his life, as was never yet once thought of.

We daily see methods put in practice by hungry. and ingenious men, which demonstrate the power of invention in this particular.

It is reported of Scaramouch, the first famous Italian comedian, that being at Paris and in great want, he bethought himself of constantly plying near. the door of a noted perfumer in that city, and when. any one came out who had been buying snuff, never failed to desire a taste of them: when he had by this means got together a quantity made up of several, different sorts, he sold it again at a lower rate to the same perfumer, who, finding out the trick, called it" Tabac de mille fleurs," or, " Snuff of a thousand flowers." The story further tells us, that by this: means he got a very comfortable subsistence, until making too much haste to grow rich, he one day took such an unreasonable pinch out of the box of a Swiss officer, as engaged him in a quarrel, and obliged him to quit this ingenious way of life.

Nor can I in this place omit doing justice to a youth of my own country, who though he is scarce yet twelve years old, has with great industry and ap


plication attained to the art of beating the grena- No. 284.] FRIDAY, JANUARY 25, 1711-12 diers' march on his chin. I am credibly informed that by this means he does not only maintain himself and his mother, but that he is laying up money every day, with a design, if the war continues, to purchase a drum at least, if not a pair of colours.

I shall conclude these instances with the device of the famous Rabelais, when he was at a great distance from Paris, and without money to bear his expenses thither. The ingenious author being thus sharp-set, got together a convenient quantity of brick-dust, and having disposed of it into several papers, writ upon one, "Poison for monsieur;" upon a second," Poison for the dauphin," and on a third, "Poison for the king." Having made this provision for the royal family of France, he laid his papers so that his landlord, who was an inquisitive man, and a good subject, might get a sight of them. The plot succeeded as he desired. The host gave immediate intelligence to the secretary of state. The secretary presently sent down a special messenger, who brought up the traitor to court, and provided him at the king's expense with proper accommodations on the road. As soon as he appeared, he was known to be the celebrated Rabelais, and his powder upon examination being found very innocent, the jest was only laughed at; for which a less eminent droll would have been sent to the galleys.

Trade and commerce might doubtless be still varied a thousand ways, out of which would arise such branches as have not yet been touched. The famous Doily is still fresh in every one's memory, who raised a fortune by finding out materials for such stuffs as might at once be cheap and genteel. I have heard it affirmed, that had not he discovered this frugal method of gratifying our pride, we should hardly have been able to carry on the last war.

I regard trade not only as highly advantageous to the commonwealth in general, but as the most natural and likely method of making a man's fortune: having observed, since my being a Spectator in the world, greater estates got about 'Change, than at Whitehall or St. James's. I believe I may also add, that the first acquisitions are generally attended with more satisfaction, and as good a conscience.

Posthabui tamen illorum mea sería ludo.”—VIRG. Ecl vii. li
Their mirth to share, I bid my business wait

AN unaffected behaviour is without question a very great charm; but under the notion of being unconstrained and disengaged, people take upon them to be unconcerned in any duty of life. A general negligence is what they assume upon all occasions, and set up for an aversion to all manner of business and attention. "I am the carelessest creature in the world, I have certainly the worst memory of any man living," are frequent expressions in the mouth of a pretender of this sort. It is a professed maxim with these people never to think; there is something so solemn in reflection, they, forsooth, can never give themselves time for such a way of employing themselves. It happens often that this sort of man is heavy enough in his nature to be a good proficient in such matters as are attainable by industry; but, alas! he has such an ardent desire to be what he is not, to be too volatile, to have the faults of a person of spirit, that he professes himself the most unfit man living for any manner of application. When this humour enters into the head of a female, she generally professes sickness upon all occasions, and acts all things with an indisposed air. She is offended, but her mind is too lazy to raise her to anger, therefore she lives only as actuated by a violent spleen, and gentle scorn. She has hardly curiosity to listen to scandal of her acquaintance, and has never attention enough to hear them commended. This affectation in both sexes makes them vain of being useless, and take a certain pride in their insignificancy.

Opposite to this folly is another no less unreasonable, and that is, the "impertinence of being always in a hurry." There are those who visit ladies, and beg pardon, before they are well seated in their chairs, that they just called in, but are obliged to attend business of importance elsewhere the very next moment. Thus they run from place to place, professing that they are obliged to be still in another company than that which they are in. These persons who are just a going somewhere else should never be detained; let all the world allow I must not, however, close this essay without ob- that business is to be minded, and their affairs will serving, that what has been said is only intended be at an end. Their vanity is to be importuned, for persons in the common ways of thriving, and is and compliance with their multiplicity of affairs will not designed for those men who from low be-effectually dispatch them. The travelling ladies, ginnings push themselves up to the top of states, who have half the town to see in an afternoon, may and the most considerable figures in life. My be pardoned for being in a constant hurry; but it maxim of saving is not designed for such as these, is inexcusable in men to come where they have no since nothing is more usual than for thrift to dis-business, to profess they absent themselves where appoint the ends of ambition; it being almost im- they have. It has been remarked by some nice possible that the mind should be intent upon trifles, observers and critics, that there is nothing discovers while it is at the same time forming some great have by me two epistles, which are written by two the true temper of a person so much as his letters. design. people of the different humours above mentioned. It is wonderful that a man cannot observe upоD himself when he sits down to write, but that he will gravely commit himself to paper the same man that he is in the freedom of conversation. I have hardly seen a line from any of these gentlemen, but spoke them as absent from what they were doing, as they profess they are when they come into com pany. For the folly is, that they have persuaded

I may therefore compare these men to a great poet, who, as Longinus says, while he is full of the most magnificent ideas, is not always at leisure to

mind the little beauties and niceties of his art.

I would, however, have all my readers take great care how they mistake themselves for uncommon geniuses, and men above rule, since it is very easy for them to be deceived in this particular.-X.


The motto of the original paper in folio was what is now the motto of No. 54. "Strenua nos exercet inertia."-Hor

themselves they really are busy. Thus their whole time is spent in suspense of the present moment to the next, and then from the next to the succeeding, which, to the end of life is to pass away with pretence to many things, and execution of nothing.


"The post is just going out, and I have many other letters of very great importance to write this evening, but I could not omit making my compliments to you for your civilities to me when I was last in town. It is my misfortune to be so full of business, that I cannot tell you a thousand things I have to say to you. I must desire you to communicate the contents of this to no one living: but believe me to be, with the greatest fidelity,

"Sir, your most obedient humble Servant,
"STEPHEN Courier."


"I hate writing, of all things in the world; however, though I have drank the waters, and am told I ought not to use my eyes so much, I cannot forbear writing to you, to tell you I have been to the last degree hipped since I saw you. How could you entertain such a thought, as that I could hear of that silly fellow with patience? Take my word for it, there is nothing in it; and you may believe it when so lazy a creature as I am undergo the pains to assure you of it, by taking pen, ink, and paper in my hand. Forgive this; you know I shall not often offend in this kind.

"I am very much your Servant,

was almost the only person that looked in a prayer-
book all church-time. I had several projects in my
head to put a stop to this growing mischief; but as
I have long lived in Kent, and there often heard
how the Kentish men evaded the Conqueror, by car
rying green boughs over their heads, it put me in
mind of practising this device against Mrs. Simper.
I find I have preserved many a young man from her
eye-shot by this means: therefore humbly pray the
boughs may be fixed, until she shall give security
for her peaceable intentions.
"Your humble Servant,


No. 285.] SATURDAY, JANUARY 26, 1711-12.
Ne, quicunque Deus, quicunque adhibebitur heros,
Regali conspectus in auro nuper et ostro,
Migret in obscuras humili sermone tabernas;
Aut, dum vitat humum, nubes et inania captet.
HOR. Ars Poet. ver. 227.

But then they did not wrong themselves so much,
To make a god, a hero, or a king,
(Stript of his golden crown, and purple robe)
Descend to a mechanic dialect;

Nor (to avoid such meanness) soaring high,
With empty sound, and airy notions fly.-RosCOMMON.

HAVING already treated of the fable, the charac ters, and sentiments in Paradise Lost, we are in the last place, to consider the language; and as the learned world is very much divided upon Milton as to this point, I hope they will excuse me if I appear particular in any of my opinions, and incline to those who judge most advantageously of the author.

It is requisite that the language of a heroic poem
should be both perspicuous and sublime. In pro
portion as either of these two qualities are wanting,
the language is imperfect. Perspicuity is the first
and most necessary qualification; insomuch that a
good-natured reader sometimes overlooks a little
slip even in the grammar or syntax, where it is im-
possible for him to mistake the poet's sense.
this kind is that passage in Milton, wherein he
speaks of Satan :

God and his Son except,
Created thing nought valu'd he nor shunn'd:

"BRIDGET EITHERDOWN. "The fellow is of your country, pr'ythee send me word however whether he has so great an estate." "MR. SPECTATOR, Jan. 24, 1712. "I am clerk of the parish from whence Mrs. Simper sends her complaint, in your Spectator of Wednesday last. I must beg of you to publish this as a public admonition to the aforesaid Mrs. Simper, otherwise all my honest care in the disposition of the greens in the church will have no effect; I shall therefore, with your leave, lay before you the whole matter. I was formerly, as she charges me, for se- and that in which he describes Adam and Eve: veral years a gardener in the county of Kent: but I most absolutely deny that it was out of any affection I retain for my old employment that I have placed my greens so liberally about the church, but out of a particular spleen I conceived against Mrs. Simper (and others of the same sisterhood) some time ago. As to herself, I had one day set the hundredth Psalm, and was singing the first line in order to put the congregation into the tune; she was all the while curtseying to Sir Anthony, in so affected and indecent a manner, that the indignation I conceived at it made me forget myself so far, as from the tune of that psalm to wander into Southwell tune, and from thence into Windsor tune, still unable to recover myself, until I had with the utmost confusion set a new one. Nay, I have often seen her rise up and smile, and curtsey to one at the lower end of the church in the midst of a Gloria Patri; and when I have spoken the assent to a prayer with a long Amen, uttered with decent gravity, she has been rolling her eyes round about in such a manner, as plainly showed, however she was moved, it was not towards a heavenly object. In fine, she extended her conquests so far over the males, and raised such envy in the females, that what between the love of those, and the jealousy of these, I


Adam the goodliest man of men since born His sons, the fairest of her daughters Eve It is plain, that in the former of these passages, according to the natural syntax, the Divine Persons mentioned in the first line are represented as created beings; and that, in the other, Adam and Eve are confounded with their sons and daughters. Such little blemishes as these, when the thought is great and natural, we should, with Horace, impute to a pardonable inadvertency, or to the weakness of human nature, which cannot attend to each minute particular, and give the last finishing to every cir cumstance in so long a work. The ancient critics, therefore, who were actuated by a spirit of candour, rather than that of cavilling, invented certain figures of speech, on purpose to palliate little errors of this nature in the writings of those authors who had so many greater beauties to atone for them.

If clearness and perspicuity were only to be consulted, the poet would have nothing else to do but to clothe his thoughts in the most plain and natural expressions. But since it often happens that the most obvious phrases, and those which are used in ordinary conversation, become too familiar to the ear, and contract a kind of meanness by passing through the mouths of the vulgar; a poet should

« PreviousContinue »