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found the tory Patches to be about twenty stronger than the whig; but to make amends for this small inequality, I the next morning found the whole puppet-shew filled with faces spotted after the whiggish manner. Whether or no the ladies had retreated hither in order to rally their forces, I cannot tell; but the next night they came in so great a body to the opera, that they out-numbered the enemy.

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against those who are perhaps of the same family, or at least of the same religion or nation, but against those who are the open, professed, undoubted enemies of their faith, liberty and country. When the Romans were pressed with a foreign enemy, the ladies voluntarily contributed all their rings and jewels to assist the government under the public exigence, which appeared so laudable an action in the eyes of their countrymen, that from thenceforth it was permitted by a law to pronounce public orations at the funeral of a woman in praise of the deceased person, which till that time was peculiar to men. Would our English ladies, instead of sticking on a patch against those of their own country, show themselves so truly 20 public-spirited as to sacrifice every one her necklace against the common enemy, what decrees ought not to be made in favor of them?

This account of Party-patches will, I am afraid, appear improbable to those who live at a distance from the fashionable world; but as it is a distinction of 15 a very singular nature, and what perhaps may never meet with a parallel, I think I should not have discharged the office of a faithful SPECTATOR, had I not recorded it.

I have, in former papers, endeavored to expose this party-rage in women, as it only serves to aggravate the hatred and animosities that reign among men, and in a great measure deprives the fair sex 25 of those peculiar charms with which nature has endowed them.

When the Romans and Sabines were at war, and just upon the point of giving

Since I am recollecting upon this subject such passages as occur to my memory out of ancient authors, I cannot omit a sentence in the celebrated funeral oration of Pericles, which he made in honor of those brave Athenians that

battle, the women who were allied to 30 were slain in a fight with the Lacedæboth of them, interposed with so many tears and entreaties, that they prevented. the mutual slaughter which threatened both parties, and united them together in a firm and lasting peace.

monians. After having addressed himself to the several ranks and orders of his countrymen, and shown them how they should behave themselves in the 35 public cause, he turns to the female part I would recommend this noble example of his audience; ‘And as for you (says to our British ladies, at a time when their he) I shall advise you in very few country is torn with so many unnatural words: Aspire only to those virtues that divisions, that if they continue, it will are peculiar to your sex; follow your be a misfortune to be born in it. The 40 natural modesty, and think it your greatGreeks thought it so improper for women est commendation not to be talked of to interest themselves in competitions and one way or other." contentions, that for this reason, among others, they forbad them, under pain of death, to be present at the Olympic 45 games, notwithstanding these were the public diversions of all Greece.

As our English women excel those of all nations in beauty, they should en

[No. 253-]

Saturday, June 2, 1711.

DETRACTION AMONG POETS

There is nothing which more denotes

deavor to outshine them in all other ac- 50 a great mind, than the abhorrence of

complishments proper to the sex, and to
distinguish themselves as tender mothers
and faithful wives, rather than as fu-
rious partisans. Female virtues are of
a domestic turn. The family is the 55
proper province for private women to
shine in. If they must be showing
their zeal for the public, let it not be

envy and detraction. This passion reigns more among bad poets, than among any other set of men.

As there are none more ambitious of fame, than those who are conversant in poetry, it is very natural for such as have not succeeded in it, to depreciate the works of those who have. For since

they cannot raise themselves to the reputation of their fellow-writers, they must endeavor to sink it to their own pitch, if they would still keep themselves upon a level with them.

tions follow one another like those in Horace's Art of Poetry, without that methodical regularity which would have been requisite in a prose author. They 5 are some of them uncommon, but such as the reader must assent to, when he sees them explained with that elegance and perspicuity in which they are delivered. As for those which are the

The greatest wits that ever were produced in one age, lived together in so good an understanding, and celebrated one another with so much generosity, that each of them receives an additional 10 most known, and the most received, they luster from his contemporaries, and is more famous for having lived with men of so extraordinary a genius, than if he had himself been the sole wonder of the age. I need not tell my reader, that 15 I here point at the reign of Augustus, and I believe he will be of my opinion, that neither Virgil nor Horace would have gained so great a reputation in the world, had they not been the friends and 20 admirers of each other. Indeed all the great writers of that age, for whom singly we have so great an esteem, stand up together as vouchers for one another's reputation. But at the same time that 25 world, to make observations in criticism,

Virgil was celebrated by Gallus, Propertius, Horace, Varius, Tucca and Ovid, we know that Bavius and Mævius were his declared foes and calumniators.

are placed in so beautiful a light, and illustrated with such apt allusions, that they have in them all the graces of novelty, and make the reader, who was before acquainted with them, still more convinced of their truth and solidity. And here give me leave to mention what Monsieur Boileau has so very well enlarged upon in the preface to his works, that wit and fine writing doth not consist so much in advancing things that are new, as in giving things that are known. an agreeable turn. It is impossible for us, who live in the latter ages of the

morality, or in any art or science, which have not been touched upon by others. We have little else left us, but to represent the common sense of mankind in

In our own country a man seldom sets 30 more strong, more beautiful, or more

up for a poet, without attacking the reputation of all his brothers in the art. The ignorance of the moderns, the scribblers of the age, the decay of poetry, are the topics of detraction, with which 35 he makes his entrance into the world; but how much more noble is the fame that is built on candor and ingenuity, according to those beautiful lines of Sir John Denham, in his poem on Fletcher's 40 works!

But whither am I strayed? I need not
raise

Trophies to thee from other men's dispraise:
Nor is thy fame on lesser ruins built,
Nor needs thy juster title the foul guilt
Of eastern Kings, who to secure their reign
Must have their brothers, sons, and kindred
slain.

uncommon lights. If a reader examines Horace's Art of Poetry, he will find but very few precepts in it, which he may not meet with in Aristotle, and which were not commonly known by all the poets of the Augustan age. His way of expressing and applying them, not his invention of them, is what we are chiefly to admire.

For this reason I think there is nothing in the world so tiresome as the works of those critics who write in a positive dogmatic way, without either language, genius or imagination. If the 45 reader would see how the best of the Latin critics writ, he may find their manner very beautifully described in the characters of Horace, Petronius, Quintilian and Longinus, as they are drawn 50 in the essay of which I am now speaking.

I am sorry to find that an author, who is very justly esteemed among the best judges, has admitted some strokes of this nature into a very fine poem, I 55 mean The Art of Criticism, which was published some months since, and is a master-piece in its kind. The observa

Since I have mentioned Longinus, who in his reflections has given us the same kind of sublime, which he observes in the several passages that occasioned them; I cannot but take notice, that our English author has after the same manner exemplified several of his precepts

in the very precepts themselves. I shall
produce two or three instances of this
kind. Speaking of the insipid smooth-
ness which some readers are so much
in love with, he has the following verses. 5
These EQUAL SYLLABLES alone require,
Though oft the ear the OPEN VOWELS tire,
While EXPLETIVES their feeble aid Do join,
And ten low words oft creep in one dull
line.

The gaping of the vowels in the second line, the expletive do in the third, and the ten monosyllables in the fourth, give such a beauty to this passage, as would have been very much admired in an ancient poet. The reader may observe the following lines in the same view.

A NEEDLESS ALEXANDRINE ends the song, That like a wounded snake, drags its slow length along

And afterwards,

'T'is not enough no harshness gives offense,

The SOUND must seem an ECHO to the SENSE.

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piece in its kind; the Essay on Translated Verse, the Essay on the Art of Poetry, and the Essay upon Criticism. Thursday, December 20, 1711.

[No. 26.]

WESTMINSTER ABBEY

When I am in a serious humor, I very often walk by myself in Westminster Abbey; where the gloominess of the place and the use to which it is applied, with the solemnity of the building, and the condition of the people who lie in it, are apt to fill the mind with a kind of melancholy, or rather thoughtfulness, that is not disagreeable. I yesterday passed a whole afternoon in the church20 yard, the cloisters, and the church, amusing myself with the tombstones and inscriptions that I met with in those several regions of the dead. Most of them recorded nothing else of the buried per25 son, but that he was born upon one day, and died upon another, the whole history of his life being comprehended in those two circumstances, that are common to all mankind. I could not but look upon

SOFT is the strain when ZEPHIR gently blows, 30 these registers of existence, whether of And the SMOOTH STREAM in SMOOTHER NUM

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brass or marble, as a kind of satire upon the departed persons; who had left no other memorial of them, but that they were born and that they died. They put me in mind of several persons mentioned in the battles of heroic poems, who have sounding names given them, for no other reason but that they may be killed, and are celebrated for nothing but being 40 knocked on the head.

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It would be endless to quote verses out of Virgil which have this particular kind 50 of beauty in the numbers; but I may take an occasion in a future paper to shew several of them which have escaped the observation of others.

I cannot conclude this paper without 55 taking notice, that we have three poems in our tongue, which are of the same nature, and each of them a master

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The life of these men is finely described in holy writ by the path of an arrow,' which is immediately closed up and lost.

Upon my going into the church, I entertained myself with the digging of a grave; and saw in every shovel-full of it that was thrown up, the fragment of a bone or skull intermixt with a kind of fresh moldering earth, that some time or other had a place in the composition of an human body. Upon this, I began to consider with myself what innumerable multitudes of people lay confused

together under the pavement of that ancient cathedral; how men and women, friends and enemies, priests and soldiers, monks and prebendaries, were crumbled amongst one another, and blended together in the same common mass; how beauty, strength, and youth, with old-age, weakness and deformity, lay undistinguished in the same promiscuous heap of

matter.

the many remarkable actions he had performed in the service of his country, it acquaints us only with the manner of his death, in which it was impossible for 5 him to reap any honor. The Dutch, whom we are apt to despise for want of genius, shew an infinitely greater taste of antiquity and politeness in their buildings and works of this nature, than 10 what we meet with in those of our own country. The monuments of their admirals, which have been erected at the public expense, represent them like themselves; and are adorned with ros

beautiful festoons of sea-weed, shells, and coral.

But to return to our subject. I have left the repository of our English kings. for the contemplation of another day, when I shall find my mind disposed for so serious an amusement. I know that entertainments of this nature are apt to raise dark and dismal thoughts in timor

After having thus surveyed this great magazine of mortality, as it were, in the lump; I examined it more particularly by the accounts which I found on several of the monuments which are raised in every 15 tral crowns and naval ornaments, with quarter of that ancient fabric. Some of them were covered with such extravagant epitaphs, that, if it were possible for the dead person to be acquainted with them, he would blush at the praises 20 which his friends have bestowed upon him. There are others so excessively modest, that they deliver the character of the person departed in Greek or Hebrew, and by that means are not un- 25 ous minds, and gloomy imaginations; derstood once in a twelvemonth. In the poetical quarter, I found there were poets who had no monuments, and monuments which had no poets. I observed indeed that the present war had filled the 30 church with many of these uninhabited monuments, which had been erected to the memory of persons whose bodies were perhaps buried in the plains of Blenheim, or in the bosom of the ocean. 35 the great, every emotion of envy dies in

I could not but be very much delighted with several modern epitaphs, which are written with great elegance of expression and justness of thought, and therefore do honor to the living as well as 40 to the dead. As a foreigner is very apt to conceive an idea of the ignorance or politeness of a nation, from the turn of their public monuments and inscriptions, they should be submitted to the perusal 45 of men of learning and genius, before they are put in execution. Sir Cloudesly Shovel's monument has very often given me great offense: Instead of the brave rough English admiral, which was 50 the distinguishing character of that plain gallant man, he is represented on his tomb by the figure of a beau, dressed in a long periwig, and reposing himself upon velvet cushions under a canopy of 55 state. The inscription is answerable to the Monument; for instead of celebrating

but for my own part, though I am always serious, I do not know what it is to be melancholy; and can therefore take a view of nature in her deep and solemn scenes, with the same pleasure as in her most gay and delightful ones. By this means I can improve myself with those objects, which others consider with terror. When I look upon the tombs of

me; when I read the epitaphs of the beautiful, every inordinate desire goes out; when I meet with the grief of parents upon a tomb-stone, my heart melts with compassion; when I see the tomb of the parents themselves, I consider the vanity of grieving for those whom we must quickly follow; when I see kings lying by those who deposed them, when I consider rival wits placed side by side, or the holy men that divided the world with their contests and disputes, I reflect with sorrow and astonishment on the little competitions, factions and debates of mankind. When I read the several dates of the tombs, of some that died yesterday, and some six hundred years ago, I consider that great day when we shall all of us be contemporaries, and make our appearance together.

Friday, March 30, 1711.

ALEXANDER POPE (1688-1744)

Pope was born in London, the year of the protestant revolution. His parents, who were catholics, shortly retired to a country home near Windsor Forest, and there the poet passed most of his boyhood. Deformed and sickly from his birth, he was reared with great tenderness and compliance and, after his twelfth year, was chiefly self-educated. He read widely and at random among English authors and was an eager, though inexact, student of the ancient classics. At a remarkably early age, he became avid of literary fame and displayed a talent for acquainting himself with the literary personalities of the day. Before he was twelve, he had visited Will's coffee-house in order to have a look at the great Dryden and. while yet a boy, had passed from the courting to the quarreling stage with Wycherley. His precocity as a verse-maker, which he never troubled himself to disparage, is celebrated in the well-known couplet:

As yet a child, nor yet a fool to fame,

I lisped in numbers for the numbers came.

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He claimed to have written his Pastorals at sixteen. They were printed in 1709, and immediately attracted attention. His Messiah and his Essay on Criticism won the encomiums of The Spectator and admitted him to Addison's circle. The Rape of the Lock (1712-14) confirmed his reputation, and his translation of the Iliad (1715-18) and the Odyssey (completed 1726) procured him a competence. Thanks to Homer,' he could live and thrive, indebted to no prince or peer alive.' He purchased a villa on the Thames at Twickenham, and there spent the last twenty-five years of his life, improving his grotto' and gardens. entertaining wits and social celebrities, and polishing off his rivals in finished satirical verse of which the monumental example is The Dunciad, published in 1728, but afterward much altered and amplified. His best known attempt at philosophical poetry is the superficial, but eminently quotable, Essay on Man (1732-4). Pope is chiefly valued for the smoothness and sweetness of his versification, and for his gift of turning into brief and memorable phrase what oft was thought, but ne'er so well expressed.' Though not a great poet in the highest sense of that term, he is often glowing and sometimes powerful in declamation; while for mischievous innuendo and sustained condensation and point he has no equal in English poetry. His satire, unlike Dryden's, is usually personal and frequently poisoned by the same envy and malice which impaired his character and conduct. Leave Pope as soon as you can: he is sure to play you some devilish trick else,' Addison wrote to Lady Montagu,— one victim of Pope's shiftiness to another. Pope's physical inferiority made him preternaturally sensitive and distorted his social outlook. He could be pitifully base and treacherous where his vanity was engaged, and his literary career was a tissue of trivial deceits and mean animosities. Yet we cannot but admire the indomitableness of the mind which, in spite of physical suffering and humiliation, fought its way by fair means and foul, to the chief place in the literature of its time.

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