Page images

the exertion of a mind which overflows with tender sentiments, and the labour of one which is only describing distress. In performances of this kind, the most absurd of all things is to be witty; every sentiment must grow out of the occasion, and be suitable to the circumstances of the character. Where this rule is transgressed, the humble servant, in all the fine things he says, is but shewing his mistress how well he can dress, instead of saying how well he loves. Lace and drapery is as much a man, as wit and turn is passion.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

THE following verses are a translation of a Lapland love-song, which I met with in Scheffer's history of that country." I was agreeably surprised to find a spirit of tenderness and poetry in a region which I never suspected for delicacy. In hotter climates, though altogether uncivilized, I had not wondered if I had found some sweet mild notes among the natives, where they live in groves of oranges, and hear the melody of birds about them. But a lapland lyric, breathing sentiments of love and poetry, not unworthy old Greece or Rome; a regular ode from a climate pinched with frost, and cursed with darkness so great a part of the year; where it is amazing that the poor natives should get food, or be tempted to propagate their speciesthis, I confess, seemed a greater miracle to me than the famous stories of their drums, their winds, and enchantments.

[ocr errors]

I am the bolder in commending this northern song, because I have faithfully kept to the sentiments, without adding or diminishing; and pretend

*This lapland love-song is ascribed to Mr. Ambrose Phillips.

to no greater praise from my translation, than they who smooth and clean the furs of that country which have suffered by carriage. The numbers in the original are as loose and unequal as those in which the British ladies sport their Pindarics; and perhaps the fairest of them might not think it a disagreeable present from a lover. But I have ventured to bind it in stricter measures, as being more proper for our tongue, though perhaps wilder graces may better suit the genius of the Laponian language.

'It will be necessary to imagine that the author of this song, not having the liberty of visiting his mistress at her father's house, was in hopes of spying her at a distance in her fields;

"THOU rising sun, whose gladsome ray
Invites my fair to rural play,

Dispel the mist, and clear the skies,
And bring my Orra to my eyes.

Oh! were I sure my dear to view,
I'd climb that pine-tree's topmost bough,
Aloft in air that quiv'ring plays,
And round and round for ever gaze.

My Orra Moor, where art thou laid?
What wood conceals my sleeping maid?
Fast by the roots enrag'd I'd tear
The trees that hide my promis'd fair.

Oh! could I ride the clouds and skies,
Or on the raven's pinions rise!
Ye storks, ye swans, a moment stay,
And waft a lover on his way!

My bliss too long my bride denies,
Apace the wasting summer flies:
Nor yet the wintry blasts I fear,
Not storms or night shall keep me here.

What may for strength with steel compare?
Oh! love has fetters stronger far?

By bolts of steel are limbs confin'd,
But cruel love enchains the mind.

No longer then perplex thy breast;
When thoughts torment, the first are best;
'Tis mad to go, 'tis death to stay;

A way to Orra! haste away!"


'April the 10th.

I AM One of those despicable creatures called a chambermaid, and have lived with a mistress for some time, whom I love as my life, which has made my duty and pleasure inseparable. My greatest delight has been in being employed about her person; and indeed she is very seldom out of humour for a woman of her quality. But here lies my complaint, Sir. To bear with me is all the encouragement she is pleased to bestow upon me; for she gives her cast-off clothes from me to others; some she is pleased to bestow in the house to those that neither want nor wear them, and some to hangers-on, that frequent the house daily, who come dressed out in them. This, Sir, is a very mortifying sight to me, who am a little necessitous for clothes, and love to appear what I am; and causes an uneasiness, so that I cannot serve with that cheerfulness as formerly; which my mistress takes notice of, and calls envy and ill-temper at seeing others preferred before me. My mistress has a younger sister lives in the house with her, that is some thousands below her in estate, who is continually heaping her favours on her maid; so that she can appear every Sunday, for the first quarter, in a fresh suit of clothes of her mistress's giving, with all other things suitable. All this I see without envying, but not without

[ocr errors]

wishing my mistress would a little consider what a discouragement it is to me to have my perquisites divided between fawners and jobbers, which others enjoy entire to themselves. I have spoken to my mistress, but to little purpose: I have desired to be discharged (for indeed I fret myself to nothing), but that she answers with silence. I beg, Sir, your direction what to do, for I am fully resolved to follow your counsel; who am

"Your admirer'

' and humble servant,


'I beg that you will put it in a better dress, and let it come abroad, that my mistress, who is an admirer of your speculations, may see it.'

No 367. THURSDAY, MAY 1, 1712.


Peritura parcite charte.

Juv. Sat. i. 18.

In mercy spare us, when we do our best
To make as much waste paper as the rest.

I HAVE often pleased myself with considering the two kinds of benefits which accrue to the public from these my speculations, and which, were I to speak after the manner of logicians, I would distinguish into the material and the formal. By the latter I understand those advantages which my readers receive, as their minds are either improved or delighted by these my daily labours; but having al

ready several times descanted on my endeavours in this light, I shall at present wholly confine myself to the consideration of the former. By the word material, I mean those benefits which arise to the public from these my speculations, as they consume a considerable quantity of our paper-manufacture, employ our artisans in printing, and find business for great numbers of indigent persons.

Our paper-manufacture takes into it several mean materials, which could be put to no other use, and affords work for several hands in the collection of them which are incapable of any other employment. Those poor retailers, whom we see so busy in every street, deliver in their respective gleanings to the merchant. The merchant carries them in loads to the paper-mill, where they pass through a fresh set of hands, and give life to another trade. Those who have mills on their estates, by this means considerably raise their rents; and the whole nation is in a great measure supplied with a manufacture for which formerly she was obliged to her neighbours.

The materials are no sooner wrought into paper, but they are distributed among the presses, where they again set innumerable artists at work, and furnish business to another mystery. From hence, accordingly as they are stained with news and politics, they fly through the town in Post-men, Post-boys, Daily Courants, Reviews, Medleys, and Examiners. Men, women, and children, contend who shall be the first bearers of them, and get their daily sustenance by spreading them. In short, when I trace in my mind a bundle of rags to a quire of Spectators, I find so many hands employed in every step they take through their whole progress, that while I am writing a Spectator, I fancy myself providing bread for a multitude.

If I do not take care to obviate some of my witty

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »