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generous action, which unexpectedly averts impending fate, than by seeing it fall with dreadful weight on some unhappy person's head; and it must be acknowledged that those gentlemen, who at present write for the stage, or who have done so for some years past, are sensible of the error their predecessors were guilty of; and, wholly unwilling to encourage a blood-thirsty disposition by dressing destruction in a pleasing shape, avoid as much as possible, in their tragedies, those murdering scenes which with so much reason are complained of in several of the celebrated Shakspeare's, Lee's, Dryden's, and even Otway's plays.

This reformation, so happily begun in the drama, will, it is to be hoped, extend by degrees to other things, till manners in general become unexceptionable, and such as will leave no possibility of a cavil to be made by those, who, jealous and envious of your good qualities, industriously seek to find out some bad ones, in order to make the balance between them turn on the side of the latter. The power of averting their endeavours is lodged entirely in yourselves ; and it seems to be merely owing to a want of serious reflection, that you have ever failed to exert it to their confusion and your own glory,


In the “Compendium of the Times,” annexed to this number, and dated Saturday, August 23, 1746, is the following passage relative to the execution of of the rebel lords :

“Last Monday, the Earl of Kilmarnock and the Lord Balmerino were beheaded on Tower-hill, before the greatest concourse of people that were ever seen together on such an occasion. The former of these lords seemed fearful and irresolute on the approach of death, and got up three or four times from the block, in order to delay the fatal stroke: but the other behaved as he did ever since his sentence, with the greatest intrepidity and cheerfulness; and after reading a paper he took out of his pocket to the people, plucked his clothes off himself, and put on a plaid night-cap, saying, he died a Scotchman ; then laid down his head, and immediately bid the executioner do his office; whose hand, I am told, trembled in such a manner, that it was not without three blows the head of that unhappy lord was severed from his body. They were attended by Mr. Foster, a dissenting minister; and the chaplain of the Tower."

No. XL.

Nec te quæsiveris extra.


Let your own eyes be those with which you see,


Having in a former paper set forth the valuable privileges and prerogatives of the Ear, I should be very much wanting to another matetial part of our composition, if I did not do justice to the Eyes, and shew the influence they either have, or ought to have, in Great Britain.

While the eyes of my countrymen were in a great measure the part that directed, the whole people saw for themselves; seeing was called believing, and was a sense so much trusted to, that the eyes of the body and those of the mind were, in speaking, indifferently made use of for one another; but I am sorry to say, that the case is now greatly altered; and I observe with concern an epidemical blindness, or, at least, a general weakness and distrust of the eyes, scattered over this whole kingdom ; from which we may justly apprehend the worst consequences.

This observation must have, no doubt, oc, curred to all who frequent public places, who,

instead of seeing so many eyes employed, as usual, either in looking at one another, or in viewing attentively the object that brings them there, we find them modestly delegating their faculty to glasses of all sorts and sizes to see for them. I remarked this more particularly at an opera I was at the beginning of this winter, where Polypheme was almost the only person in the house that had two eyes; the rest had but one a-piece, and that a glass one.

As I cannot account for this general decay of our optics from any natural cause, not having observed any alteration in our climate or' manner of living considerable enough to have brought so suddenly upon us this universal shortsightedness, I cannot but entertain some suspi. cions that these pretended helps to the sight are rather deceptions of it, and the inventions of wicked and designing persons, to represent objects in that light, shape, size, and number, in which it is their inclination or interest to have them beheld. I shall communicate to the public the grounds of my suspicion.

. The honest plain spectacles and readingglasses were formerly the refuge only of aged and decayed eyes; they accompanied grey hairs, and in some measure shared their respect; they magnified the object a little, but still they represented it in its true light and figure. Whereas, now, the variety of refinements upon this first useful invention have persuaded the youngest, the strongest, and the finest eyes in the world, out of their faculty, and convinced them that, for the true discerning of objects, they must have recourse to some of these artificial media ums: nay, into such disrepute is the natural sight now fallen, that we may observe, while one eye is employed in the glass, the other is carefully covered with the hand, or painfully shut, not without shocking distortions of the countenance:

It is very well known that there are not above three or four eminent operators for these portable or pocket-eyes, and that they engross that whole business. Now, as these persons are not people of quality (who are always above such infamous and dirty motives), it is not unreasonable to suppose that they may be liable to a pecuniary influence; nor consequently is it improbable, that an administration should think it worth its while, even at a large expense, to secure those few that are to see for the bulk of the whole nation. This surely deserves our attention.

It is most certain, that great numbers of people already see objects in a very different light

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