Friday, October 24, 1710

London Tatler

Location: London, Middlesex

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London Tatler (Newspaper) - October 24, 1710, London, Middlesex T T--L By Ijaac mkerftaff Efq; Quisnniqude Tarn pattern Vrbis^ tarn femus ut teneat fe ? Juv* From Tuefday Oftofor 24. Co Thitvfdjy Qtiober 26, 17160 FrOm my oven Apartment, OHobef 2^. IT was with very great Difpleafure f heard this Day a Man fay of a Companion of his with an Air of Approbation, Ton know Tom never fails of faying a frightful Thing. He has a great deal of Wit, but Satyr is his particular Talenr. Did, yon mind how he put the young Fellow out of Countenance that pretended to talk to hint ? Such impertinent Applaufes, which one meets with every Day, put me upon coufidering what true Raiilery and Satyr were in themfelves; and this, methought, occurred to me from Reflection upon the great and excellent Perlons that were admired for Talents this Way. When I had ran over ieveral fuch in my Thoughts, I concluded, (however unaccountable the Aflertion might appear at nrii Sight) that Good-Nature was an effential Quality in aSaryrift, and that all the Sentiments winch are beautiful in this Way of Writing mult proceed from that Quality in the Author. Good-Nature products'a Dif-dain of all Bafenef?, Vice, and Folly, which prompts them to expiefs themfelves with Stuartneisagainivthe Errors of Men, without Bitterneis towards their Per-fons. This Quality keeps the Mind in Equanimity, and never lets an Offence unieaionaoly throw a Mau out of his Character. When Virgil faid, He that did not hate Bavins might love M&v'uts, he was in perfect good Humour, and was not lb much moved at their Abfurdities, as paffionarely to call them Sots or Blockheads in a direct Invective, but laughed at them with a Delicacy of Scorn, without any Mixture of Anger. The be/} good Man, and mofi \ll-natured Muje, was the Character among us of a Gentleman as famous for his Humanity as his Wit. The ordinary Subiefts for Satyr are fuch as incite the greatcii Indignation in the belt Tempers, and consequently Men of fuch a Make are the belt qualified for fpeaking of the Offences in Humane Life. Thefe Men can behold Vice and Folly when they injure Perions to whom they are wholly unacquainted, with the lame Severity as others relent the Ills they do thcmielve?. A good-natured Man cannot lee an over-bearing Fellow put a balhtul Min of Merit out of Countenance, or outHriphim in the Purfuit of any Advantage ; bur he is a Sire to luccour the Oppteffed, to produce the Merit of the one, and confront the Impudence of the other. The Men of thegreatelt Character nvthis Kind were Horace and Juvenal. There is not, that I remember, one ill-natured ExprefTbn in all their Writingsj not one Sentence or Seventy which does not apparently proceed from the contrary Diipo-fition. Whoever reads them, will, I believe, be of this Mind ; and if they were read with this View, it may poflibly perfwade our young Fellows, that, they may be very witty Men without .lpeakmg ill of any but thofe who deferve it: But in the Peru-fa 1 of thefe Writers it -nay not be unneceiLrv to confider, that they lived m very different Times. Horace was intimate with a Piince of the greatest Goodnels and Humanity imaginable , and his Court was formed after his Example: Therefore tiie Faults that Poet falls upon were little inconfi-itencies in Benavjour, falle Pretences to Politenels, or impertinent Affectations of what Men were not fit for. Vices of a coarler Sere could not come under his Confjderttion, or enter the Palace of Aagafiw. Juvenal o.i the other Hand lived under Vomitun, ia whole Reign every Thing that was great and noble was banifhed the Habitations of the Men in Power. Therefore he attacks Vice as it pa lies by in Triumph, not as it breajes into Convention. The Fall of Empire, Contempt of Glory, and a general Degeneracy of Manners, are before his Eyes in all his Writings. In the Days of Augujtus, to have talked like Juvenal had been Madness, or in thole of Domitian like Horace. Morality and Virtue are every where recommended in Horace, as became a Man in a polite Court, from the Beauty, the Propriety, tht Convenience, of purfuing them. Vice and Corruption are attacked by Juvenal in a Style which denotes, he fears be fhall not be heard without he calls to them in their own Language, with a bare-faced Mention of the Villanies and Obicem-ties of his Contemporaries. This accidental Talk of thefe Two great Men runs me from my Defign, which was to tell Ibme Coxcombs that run about this Town with the Name of Smart Satyrical Fellows, that they are by no Means qualified for the Characters they pretend to, of being fevere uponotlur Me;), for ihey w,nt Good-Nature. There is no Foundation in them for arriving at what they aim ac; and th^y may a5 wellpretend to flatter, as rait agreeably without being Good-Natured.

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