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worse than the infirmities of old age: wealth was often united to such a sordid avarice, as made it the most uncomfortable and painful kind of poverty. On the contrary, they often found pain made glorious by fortitude, poverty lost in content, deformity beautified with virtue. In a word, the blessings were often like good fruits planted in a bad soil, that by degrees fall off from their natural relish, into tastes altogether insipid or unwholesome; and the calamities, like harsh fruits, cultivated in a good soil, and enriched by proper grafts and inoculations, till they swell with generous and delightful juices.
There was still a third circumstance that occasioned as great a surprise to the three sisters as either of the foregoing, when they discovered several blessings and calamities which had never been in either of the tuns that stood by the throne of Jupiter, and were nevertheless as great occasions of happiness or misery as any there. These were that spurious crop of blessings and calamities which were never sown by the hand of the Deity, but grow of themselves out of the fancies and dispositions of human creatures. Such are dress, titles, place, equipage, false shame, and groundless fear, with the like vain imaginations that shoot up in trifling, weak, and irresolute minds.
The destinies finding themselves in so great a perplexity, concluded, that it would be impossible for them to execute the commands that had been given them according to their first intention; for which reason they agreed to throw all the blessings and calamities together in one large vessel, and in that manner offer them up at the feet of Jupiter.
This was performed accordingly, the eldest sister presenting herself before the vessel, and introducing it with an apology for what they had done.
• O Jupiter! (says she) we have gathered together all the good and evil, the comforts and distresses of human life, which we thus present before thee in one promiscuous heap. We besecch thee that thou thyself wilt sort them out for the future, as in thy wisdom thou shalt think fit. For we acknowledge, that there is none beside thee that can judge what will occasion grief or joy in the heart of a human creature, and what will prov blessing or a calamity to the person on whom it is bestowed.'
No. 147. SATURDAY, MARCH 18, 1709.
Ut ameris amabilis esto,- OVID.
From my own Apartment, March 18. Reading is to the mind, what exercise is to the body. As by the one, health is preserved, strengthened, and invigorated; by the other, virtue (which is the health of the mind) is kept alive, cherished, and confirmed. But as exercise becomes tedious and painful when we make use of it only as the means of health, so reading is apt to grow uncasy and burthensome, when we apply ourselves to it only for our improvement in virtue. For this reason, the virtue which we gather from a fable, or an allegory, is like the health we get by hunting; as we are engaged in an agreeable pursuit that draws us on with pleasure, and makes us insensible of the fatigues that accompany it.
After this preface, I shall set down a very beautiful allegorical fable of the great poet whom I mentioned in my
paper, and whom it is very difficult to lay aside when one is engaged in the reading of him: and this I particularly design for the use of several of my fair correspondents, who in their letters have complained to me, that they have lost the affections of their husbands, and desire
advice how to recover them. Juno, says Homer, seeing her Jupiter seated on the top of
Mount Ida, and knowing that he conceived an aversion to her, began to study how she should regain his affections, and make herself amiable to him. With this thought she immediately retired into her chamber, where she bathed herself in ambrosia, which gave her person all its beauty, and diffused so divine an odour, as refreshed all nature, and sweetened both heaven and earth. She let her immortal tresses flow in the most graceful manner, and took a particular care to dress herself in several ornaments, which the poet describes at length, and which the goddess chose out as the most proper to set off her person to the best advantage. In the next place, she made a visit to Venus, the deity who presides over love, and begged of her, as a particular favour, that she would lend her for a while those charms with which she subdued the hearts both of gods and men. the goddess, I would make use of them to reconcile the two deities, who took care of me in my infancy, and who, at present, are at so great a variance, that they are estranged from each other's bed. Venus was proud of an opportunity of obliging so great a goddess, and therefore made her a present of the cestus which she used to wear about her own waist, with advice to hide it in her bosom, till she had accomplished her intention. This cestas was a fine party-coloured girdle, which, as Homer tells us, had all the attractions of the sex wrought into it. The four principal figures in the embroidery were love, desire, fondness of speech, and conversation, filled with that sweetness and complacency which, says the poet, insensibly steal away the hearts of the wisest men.
Juno, after having made these necessary preparations, came as by accident into the presence of Jupiter, who is said to have been as much inflamed with her beauty, as when he first stole to her embraces without the consent of their parents. Juno, to cover her real thoughts, told him, as she had told Venus, that she was going to make a visit to Oceanus and Tethys. He prevailed upon her to stay with him, protesting to her, that she appeared more amiable in his eye, than ever any mortal, goddess, or even herself, had appeared to him till that day. The poet then represents him in so great an ardour, that (without going up to the house which had been built by the hands of Vulcan, according to Juno's direction) he threw a golden cloud over their heads as they sat upon the top of Mount Ida, while the earth beneath them sprung up in lotuses, saffrons, hyacinths, and a bed of the softest flowers for their repose.
This close translation of one of the finest passages in Homer, inay suggest abundance of instruction to a woman who has a mind to preserve or recal the affection of her husband. The care of the person, and the dress, with the particular blandishments woven in the cestus, are so plainly recommended by this fable, and so indispensably necessary in every female who desires to please, that they need no further explanation. The discretion likewise in covering all matrimonial quarrels from the knowledge of others, is taught in the pretended visit to Tethys, in the speech where Juno addresses herself to Venus; as the chaste and prudent management of a wife's charms is intimated by the same pretence for her appearing before Jupiter, and by the concealment of the cestus in her bosom.
I shall leave this tale to the consideration of such good housewives who are never well dressed but when they are abroad, and think it necessary to appear more agreeable to all men living than their husbands : as also to those prudent ladies, who, to avoid the appearance of being over-fond, entertain their husbands with indifference, aversion, sullen silence, or exasperating lanSheer-Lane, March 17. Upox my coming home last night, I found a very handsome present of wine left for me, as a taste of 216 hogsheads which are to be put to sale at 201. a hogshead, at Garraway's Coffeehouse, in Exchange- Alley, on the 22d instant, at three in the afternoon, and to be tasted in Major Long's vaults from the 20th instant till the time of sale.' This having been sent to me with a desire that I would give my judgment upon it, I immediately impannelled a jury of men of nice palates and strong heads, who being all of them very scrupulous, and unwilling to proceed rashly in a matter of so great importance, refused to bring in their verdict till three in the morning; at which time the foreman pronounced as well as he was able, Extra-a-ordinary French claret. For my own part, as I love to consult my pillow in all points of moment, I slept upon it before I would give my sentence, and this morning confirmed the verdict.
Having mentioned this tribute of wine, I must give notice to my correspondents for the future, who shall apply to me on this occasion, that as I shall decide nothing unadvisedly in matters of this nature, I cannot pretend to give judgment of a right good liquor, without examining at least three dozen bottles of it. I must at the same time do myself the justice to let the world know that I have resisted great temptations in this kind; as it is well known to a butcher in Clare-Market, who endeavored to corrupt me with a dozen and a half of marrow-bones. I had likewise a bribe sent me by a fishmonger, consisting of a collar of brawn, and a jole of salmon; but not finding them excellent in their kinds, I had the integrity to eat them both up without speaking one word of them. However, for the future, I shall have an eye
| The original ed. of No. 145 of the Tatler contains an advertisement of this sale of claret.-G.
? V. No. 162, paragraph 1.-G.