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has the malice to speak some good or other of every man of their acquaintance.
The reliefs of the envious man are those little blemishes and imperfections that discover themselves in an illustrious character. It is matter of great consolation to an envious person, when a man of known honour does a thing unworthy himself; or when any aetion which was well executed, upon better information appears so altered in its circumstances, that the fame of it is divided among many, instead of being attributed to one. This is a secret satisfaction to these malignants; for the person whom they before could not but admire, they fancy is nearer their own condition as soon as his merit is shared among others. I remember some Fears ago there came out an excellent poem without the name of the author. The little wits, who were incapable of writing it, began to pull in pieces the supposed writer. "When that would not do , they took great pains to suppress the opinion that it was his
. That again failed. The next refuge was, to say it was overlooked hy one man, and many pages wholly written by another. An honest fellow who sat among a cluster of them in debate on this subject, cried out, “Gentlemen, if you are sure none of you your. selves had a hand in it, you are but where you were, whoever writ it.” But the most usual succour to the envious, in cases of nameless merit in this kind, is to keep the property, if possible, unfixed, and by that means to hinder the reputation of it from falling upon any particular person. You see an envious man clear up his countenance, if in the relation of any man’s great happiness in one point, you mention his uneasiness in another. When he hears such a one is very rich he turns pale, but recovers when you add that he has many children. In a word, the only sure way to an envious man's favour is not to deserve it. But if we consider the envious man in delight, it is like reading of the seat of a giant in a romance; the magnificence of his house consists in the many limbs of men whom he has slain. If any who promised themselves success in any uncommon undertaking miscarry in the attempt, or he that aimed at what would have been useful and laudable, meets with contempt and derision, the envious man, under the colour of hating vain-glory, can smile with an inward wantonness of heart at the ill effect it may have upon an honest ambition for the future.
Having thoroughly considered the nature of this passion, I have made it my study how to avoid the envy that may accrue to me from these my speculations; and if I am not mistaken in myself, I think I have a genius to escape it. Upon hearin
in a coffeehouse one of my papers commended, I immediately apprehended the envy that would spring from that applause ; and therefore
and sometimes miserable, as they found it in the fable which made choice of, or as it might affect their audience in the i agreeable manner. Aristotle considers the tragedies that written in either of these kinds, and observes, that those w ended unhappily had always pleased the people, and carried a the prize in the public disputes of the stage, from those that er happily. Terror and commiseration leaving a pleasing ang in the mind, and fix the audience in such a serious com posui thought, as is much more lasting and delightful than any 1 transient starts of joy and satisfaction. Accordingly we find, more of our English tragedies have succeeded, in which favourites of the audience sink under their calamities, than thos which they recover themselves out of them. The best plays of kind are
“ The Orphan,” “ Venice Preserved," “ Alexander Great," " Theodosius, “All for Love," “ Edipus," “ Oroono “Othello,” &c. “King Lear" is an admirable tragedy of the sa kind as Shakespeare wrote it; but as it is reformed according to chimerical notion of poetical justice, in my humble opinion, it lost half its beauty. At the same time I must allow, that there very noble tragedies, which have been framed upon the other p and have ended happily; as indeed most of the good traged which have been written since the starting of the above-mentio criticism, have taken this turn: as “ The Mourning Bri “ Tamerlane," “ Ulysses,” “ Phædra and Hippolitus," with mos Mr. Dryden's. I must also allow that many of Shakespeare's a several of the celebrated tragedies of antiquity are cast in the sa form. . I do not therefore dispute against this way of writ tragedies, but against the criticism that would establish this as only method; and by that means would very much cramp English tragedy, and perhaps give a wrong bent to the genius our writers.*
The tragi-comedy, which is the product of the English theat is one of the most monstrous inventions that ever entered into poet's thoughts. An author might as well think of weaving adventures of Æneas and Hudibras into one poem, as of writi
* After Cato had appeared it was whispered that Addison in the Sp TATOR had endeavoured to prepare the public to give his tragedy a go reception, by promulgating critical opinions in accordance with his draz It was said that the condemnation of poetical justice in this Essay was inspir by this motive. But this report is like many other slanders which w malignantly insinuated against Addison's fair fame. All profound crit agree now that nothing can be more absurd than this Paley doctrine rewards and punishments brought into tragedy. The greatest tragedies, a especially those of Shakespeare, are formed on a principle quite opposed this cant about poetical justice.-(M.)
bly for a puppet show or a bear-garden ; but devout supplicants and attentive hearers, are the audience one ought to expect in churches. I am, sir, member of a small pious congregation near one of the north gates of this city; much the greater part of us indeed are females, and used to behave ourselves in a regular attentive manner, till very lately one whole aisle has been disturbed by one of these monstrous starers; he is the head taller than any one in the church; but for the greater advantage of exposing himself, stands upon a hassock, and commands the whole congregation, to the great annoyance of the devoutest part of the auditory; for what with blushing, confusion, and vexation, we can neither mind the prayers nor sermon, Your animadversion upon this insolence would be a great favour to,
“ S. C.”
I have frequently seen of this sort of fellows, and do think there cannot be a greater aggravation of an offence, than that it is committed where the criminal is protected by the sacredness of the place which he violates. Many reflections of this sort might be Fery justly made upon this kind of behaviour, but a Starer is not usually a person to be convinced by the reason of the thing; and a fellow that is capable of showing an impudent front before a whole congregation, and can bear being a public spectacle, is not so easily rebuked as to amend by admonitions. If, therefore, my correspondent does not inform mě, that within seven days after this date the barbarian does not at least stand upon his own legs only, without an eminence, my friend Will Prosper* has promised to take an hassock opposite to him, and stare against him in defence of the ladies. I have given him directions, according to the most exact rules of optics, to place himself in such a manner that he shall meet his eyes wherever he throws them. I have hopes, that when Will confronts him and all the ladies, in whose behálf he engages him, cast kind looks and wishes of success at their champion, he will have some shame, and feel a little of the pain he has so often put others to, of being out of countenance.
It has indeed been, time out of mind, generally remarked, and as often lamented, that this family of Starers have infested public assemblies: and I know no other way to obviate so great an evil, except, in the case of fixing their eyes upon women, some male friend will take the part of such as are under the oppression of impudence, and encounter the eyes of the Starers wherever they
* See No. 19:
meet them. While we suffer our women to be thus impudently attacked they have no defence, but in the end to cast yielding glances at the Starers. In this case, a man who has no sense of shame, has the same advantage over his mistress, as he who has no regard for his own life has over bis adversary. While the generality of the world are fettered by rules, and move by proper and just methods; he who has no respect to any of them, carries away the reward due to that propriety of behaviour, with no other merit but that of having neglected it.
I take an impudent fellow to be a sort of outlaw in good breeding, and therefore what is said of him no nation or person can be concerned for. For this reason one may be free upon him. I have put myself to great pains in considering this prevailing quality which we call impudence, and have taken notice that it exerts itself in a different manner, according to the different soils wherein such subjects of these dominions as are masters of it, were born. Impudence in an Englishman is sullen and insolent; in a Scotsman it is untractable and rapacious; in an Irishman absurd and fawning: as the course of the world now runs, the impudent Englishman behaves like a surly landlord, the Scot, like an ill received guest, and the Irishman like a stranger, who knows he is not welcome. There is seldom anything entertaining either in the impudence of a South or North Britain ; but that of an Irishman is always comic. A true and genuine impudence is ever the effect of ignorance without the least sense of it. The best and most successful Starers now in this town are of that nation; they have usually the advantage of the stature mentioned in the above letter of my correspondent, and generally take their stands in the eye of women of fortune; insomuch that I have known one of them, three months after he came from plough, with a tolerable good air, lead out a woman from a play, which one of our own breed, after four years at Oxford and two at the Temple, would have been afraid to look at.
I cannot tell how to account for it, but these people have usually the preference to our own fools, in the opinion of the sillier part of womankind. Perhaps it is that an English coxcomb is seldom so obsequious as an Irish one; and when the design of pleasing is visible, an absurdity in the way toward it is easily forgiven.
But those who are downright impudent, and go on without reflection that they are such, are more to be tolerated, than a set of fellows among us who profess impudence with an air of huinour, and think to carry off the most inexcusable of all faults in the world, with no other apology than saying in a gay tone, “ I put an impudent face upon the matter." No; no man shall be allowed the advantage of impudence, who is conscious that he is such. If
he knows he is impudent, he may as well be otherwise; and it shall be expected that he blush, when he sees he makes another do it. For nothing can atone for the want of modesty; without Fhieh beauty is ungraceful, and wit detestable.
No. 21. SATURDAY, MARCH 24, 1710-11.
Locus est et pluribus umbris.
HOR. 1. EP. y. 28. There's room enough, and each may bring his friend.
I ay sometimes very much troubled, when I reflect upon the three great professions of divinity, law, and physic; how they are each of them overburdened with practitioners, and filled with multitudes of ingenious gentlemen that starve one another.
We may divide the clergy into generals, field officers, and subalterns. Among the first we may reckon bishops, deans, and archdeacons Among the second are doctors of divinity, prebendaries, and all that wear scarfs. The rest are comprehended under the subalterns. As for the first class, our constitution preserves it from any redundancy of incumbents, notwithstanding competitors are numberless. Upon a strict calculation, it is found that there has been a great exceeding of late years in the second division, eral brevets having been granted for the converting of subalterns into scarf officers; insomuch, that within my memory the price of lustring is raised above twopence in a yard. As for the subalterns, they are not to be numbered. Should our clergy once enter into the corrupt practice of the laity, by the splitting of their freeholds, they would be able to carry most of the elections in England
The body of the law is no less encumbered with superfluous members, that are like Virgil's army, which he tells us was so crowded, many of them had not room to use their weapons. This prodigious society of men may be divided into the litigious and peaceable. Under the first are comprehended all those who are carried down in coach-fulls to Westminster Hall every morning in term time. Martial's description of this species of lawyers is full of humour:
“ Iras et verba locant."