Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

<

a gay

• his principal goddesses, by that frequent expression of

« Βοώπις πότνια "Ηρη

“ The ox-ey'd venerable Juno." • Now as to the peculiar qualities of the eye, that fine part of our conftitution seems as much the receptacle • and feat of our passions, appetites and inclinations as the • mind itself; and at least it is as the outward portal to

introduce them to the house within, or rather the com

mon thoroughfare to let our affections pass in and out. • Love, anger, pride, and avarice, all visibly move in • those little orbs. I know a young lady that cannot see

a certain gentleman pass by without Thewing a secret • desire of seeing him again by a dance in her eye-balls; nay, she cannot for the heart of her help looking half a street's length after any man in dress. You cannot behold a covetous spirit walk by a goldsmith's shop without

casting a wishful eye at the heaps upon • the counter. Does not a haughty person shew the temper

of his soul in the supercilious roll of his eye ? and • how frequently in the height of passion does that moving

picture in our head start and stare, gather a redness and quick flashes of lightning, and makes all its humours sparkle with fire, as Virgil finely describes it.

Ardentis ab ore Scintilla abfiftunt : oculis micat acribus ignis.

Æn. 12. ver. 101. -From his wide noftrils Alies A fiery steam, and sparkles from his eyes.” Dryden. • As for the various turns of the eye-light, such as the

voluntary or involuntary, the half or the whole leer, I • shall not enter into a very particular account of them, • but let me observe, that oblique vision, when natural, • was anciently the mark of bewitchery and magical faf

cination, and to this day it is a malignant ill look ; but • when it is forced and affected, it carries a wanton de

sign, and in play-houses, and other public places, this • ocular intimation is often an assignation for bad praco • tices : but this irregularity in vision, together with • such enormities as tipping the wink, the circumfpec

tive roll, the side-peep through a thin hood or fan, • must be put in the class of heteroptics, as all wrong • notions of religion are ranked under the general name

[ocr errors]

s

[ocr errors]

of hetercdox. All the pernicious applications of sight

are more immediately under the direction of Spec' TATOR; and I hope you will arm your readers against • the mischiefs which are daily done by killing eyes, in s which

you will highly oblige your wounded unknown • friend,

«T. B.' • Mr. SPECTATOR, • YOU professed in several papers your particular ' endeavours in the province of SpeCTATOR, to correct ' the offences committed by starers who difturb whole • asseniblies without any regard to time, place or mo

desty. You complained also that a starer is not usually a

person to be convinced by the reason of the thing, nor • To easily rebuked, as to amend by admonitions. I thought . therefore fit to acquaint you with a convenient me• chanical way, which may easily prevent or correct

staring, by an optical contrivance of new perspectiveglasses, short and commodious like opera-glafles, fit for

short-sighted people as well as others, these glasses . making the objects appear, either as they are seen by • the naked eye, or piore distinct, though somewhat lefs * than life, or bigger and nearer. A person may, by the

help of this invention, take a view of another, without • the impertinence of staring : at the same time it shall

not be possible to know whom or what he is looking "at. One may look towards his right or left hand, when • he is fuppoted to look forwards : this is set forth at • large in the printed proposals for the fale of these

glailes, to be had at Mr. Dillon's in Long-Acre, next • door to the White-Hart. Now, fir, as your SPECTA

Tor has occasioned the publishing of this invention for • the benefit of modest spectators, the inventor desires

your admonitions concerning the decent use of it ; and hopes, by your recommendation, that for the future

beauty may be beheld without the torture and confu• fion which it suffers from the infolence of ftarers. By • this means you will relieve the innocent from an insult • which there is no law to punish, though it is a greater • offence than many which are within the cognizance of justice.

I am, Sir,

Your most humble servant, Q.

• ABRAHAM SPY,'

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

N° 251.

Tuesday, December 18.

[ocr errors]

There is nothing which more astonishes a fo

-Lingua centum sunt, oraque centum,
Ferrea vox-

VIRG. Æn. 6. ver. 625.
A hundred mouths, a hundred tongues,
And throats of brass inspir'd with iron lungs. DRYDEN.

a reigner, and frights a country 'squire, than the cries of London. My good friend fir Roger often declares, that he cannot get them out of his head or go to sleep for them, the first week that he is in town. On the contrary, Will HONEYCOME calls tbem the Ramage de la ville, and prefers them to the sounds of larks and nightingales, with all the music of the fields and woods. I have

lately received a letter from some very odd fellow

upon this subject, which I shall leave with my read er without saying any thing further of it.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

• IA M a man out of all business, and would willing• ly turn my head to any thing for an honest livelihood. • I have invented several projects for raising many mil• lions of money without burdening the subject, but I

cannot get the parliament to listen to me, who look upon me, forsooth, as a crack, and a projector, so that

despairing to enrich either myself or my country by ' this public-spiritedness, I would make some proposals

to you relating to a design which I have very much at
heart, and which may procure me a handsome subfift-
ence, if you will be pleased to recommend it to the ci-
ties of London and Westminster.
• The post I would aim at, is to be comptroller-general
of the London-cries, which are. at present under no
manner of rules or discipline. I think I am pretty well
qualified for this place, as being a man of very strong

lungs, of great insight into all the branches of our Bria • tish trades and manufactures, and of a competent skill

in music.

• The cries of London may be divided into vocal and • inftrumental. As for the latter, they are at present un• der a very great disorder. A freeman of London has

the privilege of disturbing a whole street for an hour • together, with the twanking of a brass kettle or a fry

ing-pan. The watchman's thump at midnight startles

us in our beds, as much as the breaking in of a thief. • The low-gelder's horn has indeed something musical in • it, but this is seldom heard within the liberties. I would " therefore propose, that no instrument of this nature • should be made use of, which I have not tuned and • licensed, after having carefully examined in what man• ner it may affect the ears of her inajesty's liege subjects.

• Vocal cries are of a much larger extent, and indeed ! so full of incongruities and barbarisms, that we appear

a distracted city to foreigners, who do not comprehend the meaning of such enormous outcries. Milk is gene

rally sold in a note above E la, and in sounds so exceed"ing Thrill, that it often sets our teeth on edge. The

chimney-sweeper is confined to no certain pitch ; he • sometimes utters hiinself in the deepest base, and some• times in the sharpett treble ; -fometimes in the highest,

and soinetimes in the lowest note of the gamut. The • fame observation might be made on the retailers of

small-coal, not to mention broken glasses or brick-duft. • In these therefore, and the like cales, it should be my

care to sweeten and mellow the voices of these itinerant tradesmen, before they make their appearance in

streets, as also to accommodate their cries to their respective wares ; and to take care in particular, that ' those may not make the most noise who have the leaft

to sell, which is very observable in the venders of card

matches, to whom I cannot but apply the old proverb • of “ Much cry but little wool." Some of these last-mentioned musicians are so

very • loud in the sale of these trifling manufactures, that an • honeft splenetic gentleman of my acquaintance bar

6

our

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

gained with one of them never to come into the street • where he lived: but what was the effect of this con• tract? why, the whole tribe of card-match-makers • which frequent that quarter, passed by his door the

very next day, in hopes of being bought off after the

« fame inanner.

[ocr errors]

• It is another great imperfection in our London cries, • that there is no juft time or measure observed in them. • Our news should indeed be published in a very quick

time, because it is a commodity that will not keep • cold. It should not, however, be cried with the same

precipitation as fire: yet this is generally the case. A bloody battle alarms the town from one end to another in an instant. Every motion of the French is publifhed in so great a hurry, that one would think the enemy were at our gates.

This likewise I would take upon ine to regulate in fuch a manner, that there should be * some distinction made between the fpreading of a vic

tory, a march, or an incainpment, a Dutch, a Portu

gal, or a Spanith mail. Nor muft I omit under this "head those excessive alarms with which several boister

ous rustics infest our streets in turnip-feason; and which are more inexcufable, because these are wares which are in no danger of cooling upon their hands. • There are others who affect a very low time, and are, in my opinion, much more tunable than the former ;

the cooper in particular swells his last note in an « hollow voice, that is not without its harmony ; nor can • I forbear being inspired with a moft agreeable melan

choly, when I hear that fad and folemn air with which • the public are very often asked, if they have any

chairs « to mend? Your own memory may suggest to you many • other lamentable ditties of the fame nature, in which • the music is wonderfully languiflıing and melodious.

* I am always pleased with that particular time of the year which is proper for the pickling of dill and cucumbers; but alas, this cry, like the song of the night

ingale, is not heard above two months. It would there• fore be worth while to confider, whether the same air

might not in fome cases be adapted to other words.

• It might likewise deserve cur most serious considera<tion, how far, in a well regulated city, those humorists

are to be tolerated, who, not contented with the tra• ditional cries of their forefathers, have invented parti• cular songs and tunes of their own: such as was, not

many years since, the pastry-man, commonly known • by the name of the Colly-Molly-Puff; and such as is at : this day the vender of powder and wash-balls, who,

Vol. III.

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »