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Ye storks, ye swans, a moment stay,
My bliss too long my bride denies,
What may for strength with steel compare?
By bolts of steel are limbs confin'd,
No longer then perplex thy breast;
6 MR. SPECTATOR,
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 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 illtemper 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 es
tate, 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 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
and humble servant, CONSTANTIA COMB-BRUSH.
'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.
-Perituræ parcite charta.
In mercy spare us, when we do our best
Juv. Sat. i. 18,
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 already 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 respec ve gleanings to the merchant. The merchant carries them in loads to the paper-mill, where ey 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 artisans 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 vast multitude.
If I do not take care to obviate some of my witty readers, they will be apt to tell me, that my paper, after it is thus printed and published, still beneficial to the public on several occasions. I must confess I have lighted my pipe with my own works for this twelvemonth past. My landlady often sends up her little daughter to desire some of my old Spectators, and has frequently told me, that the paper they are printed on is the best in the world to wrap spices in. They likewise made a good foundation for a mutton-pye, as I have more than once experienced, and were very much sought for last Christmas by the whole neighbourhood.
It is pleasant enough to consider the changes that a linen fragment undergoes, by passing through the several hands above mentioned. The finest pieces of Holland, when worn to tatters, assume a whiteness more beautiful than the first, and often return in the shape of letters to their native country. A lady's shift may be metamorphosed into billet-doux, and come into her possession a second time. A beau may peruse his cravat after it is worn out, with greater pleasure and advantage than ever he did in a glass. In a word, a piece of cloth, after having officiated for some years as a towel or a napkin, may by this means be raised from a dunghill, and become the most valuable piece of furniture in a prince's cabinet.
The politest nations of Europe have endea
voured to vie with one another for the reputation of the finest printing. Absolute governments as well as republics, have encouraged an art which seems to be the noblest and most beneficial that ever was invented among the sons of men. The present king of France, in his pursuits after glory, has particularly distinguished himself by the promoting of this useful art, insomuch that several books have been published in the Louvre at his own expense, upon which he set so great a value, that he considers them as the noblest presents he can make to foreign princes and ambassadors. If we look into the commonwealths of Holland and Venice, we shall find that in this particular they have made themselves the envy of the greatest monarchies. Elzevir and Aldus are more frequently mentioned than any pensioner of the one, or doge of the other.
The several presses which are now in England, and the great encouragement which has been given to learning for some years last past, has made our own nation as glorious upon this account, as for its late triumphs and conquests. The new edition which is given us of Cæsar's Commentaries* has already been taken notice of in foreign gazettes, and is a work that does honour to the English press. It is no wonder that an edition should be very correct which has passed through the hands of one of the most accurate, learned, and judicious writers this age has produced. The beauty of the paper, of the character, and of the several cuts with which this noble work is illustrated, makes it the finest book that I have ever seen; and is a true instance of the English geni
*A most beautiful edition of Cæsar's Memoirs, published about this time in folio, by Dr. Samuel Clarke.