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Mr URBAN,

Tted to you on the Religion of MilHE Thoughts which I communica.

ton's Poem, were fuch as had often catt up to me in reading it; whether they were just or not, for any thing Philo. A Spec has faid, may deferve a further Hear ing. He has brought a great many Quo tations from the Spectator to fhew, that I was out on't when I faid, "In the Light wherein I had considered him, I did not oppofe any that I knew of." Both his Letters are almost only a continued Confutation of this fingle Allertion, which, B whether true or falfe, was not material. But tho' I pay a great deal of Regard to the Judgment of fuch a Perfon as Mr Addifon, and think his Authority the only Objection this Gentleman has alledged of any Confequence; yet I don't think it ought to be intirely decifive, and the rather, because he was himself a Post, and, C at the Time he wrote thofe excellent Criticifms, might be fo heated with the Beauties of the Poem as to overlook Faults in it, that did not belong to its Character as fuch; and to palliate others out of an Unwillingness to condemn, or leave without Excufe, a favourite Author in fo material a Point. But to come to Particulars,

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"Milton has rather chofe to neglect the numeroufnefs of his Verfe, than to deviate from thofe Speeches that are recorded on this great Occation," (fays Spectator on the Dialogue in Eden after the Fall, and God's Judgment on our firft Parents E and the Serpent, B. 10.)" which is (fays Philo-Spec) a pretty ftrong Proof of his reverencing the H. Writings. But if PhiLo-Spec will land by fuch Proofs, he must needs think it a Proof equally strong, that, where he introduces Fable and Fiction for the Sake of Embellishment, it is for want of Reverence of the fame H. Wri. tings. But as he will not (I believe) allow this, he must quit that Sort of Proof of the Poet's Religion, and account for the Unadornednefs of his Verfe fome other Way, viz. either by fuppofing he apprehended, that changing the Terms of the Sacred History in a Point fo uni

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Circumftance offers an Image that would be affecting, there he neither neglects the Numeroufnefs of his Verfe nor any other Art; tho' to give Scope to his Fancy, he fhould deviate ever fo much from his Original. Sec, for Inftance, Adam's natural and moving Specch, v. 124, &c. ibid.

To the Charge of Milton's reprefenting "the Chriftians Heaven almcit as fenfual as the Heathens." Philo-Spec replies, by ailedging the Angel's preparatory Caution before he fatisfied the Father of Mankind's Curiofity concerning what pafs'd in Heaven before his Creation. But it must be obferved (and Mülton's ingenious Advocate ought not to have fupprefs'd it) that tho' Raphael does tell Adam, that

What furmounts the Reach

Of human Senfe, he would delineate fo,
By lik'ning spiritual to corporeal Forms,
As may express them bef

Yet he immediately fuggefts, that there was greater Propriety in fo doing, than his firit Caution feem'd to imply;

Tho' what if Earth

therein Be but the Shadow of Heaven, and things Each to other like, more than on Earth is thought.

And this (I fay) is corrupting our Notions of fpiritual Things, and fenfualizing our Ideas of Heaven to a Degree that may have ill Effects on Religion in general: It is letting Fancy obtrude its wild Luxuriance into the Place of Truth and Reaion, and making room for the grofleft and moft abfurd Kind of Enthuliafim, and if one is to interpret his other Defcriptions of Heaven by this Hint, it is every whit as fenfual as the Mahometan's.

I fee no Juttnefs in Philo-Spec's Detence of the Angel's Countrey Dances, nor of any of their Dances, by the Example of David; and therefore I fhall only fay upon the Whole, that whoever reads the Poet's Defcription of this celeftial Jubilee, and thinks it not unworthy of chole Beings, and that Place, is qualified to preach in Bedlam, and almoft outdo Pa

verfally known and familiar to every Rea. G ganifin for Purity.

der, would give him a kind of Difap pointment, and thereby Diftaite, to whole Mind the fame Terms would rarurally be prefent: Or elfe by fuppofig. that it was not indeed Matter for his Invention to work upon, or his Fancy to wanton in: And this feems indeed the Truth of the Cafe; for in thefe very Speeches, where he can play the Poet with Delight and Entertairment, and where the

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"The Character of Maminon, and the Defcription of Pandemonium may have their Beauties," as Mr Addison oblerves, fo far as they are confidered as Pieces of mere Fancy and Invention, to which a Latitude may be allow'd where Religion is not concerned, (and this was the Light in which that ingenious Critic confidered them): But to make religious Truths give Way to thefe, rather than oil a Scere in a Foem, is what I am not yet convir

can be confiftent with the Regard that is produces feveral Forms of Speech out of due to Religion. But neither does Mr Ad- the Prophets, which have fomething of di fon's Criticifi abfolutely infer the Just like Analogy in them; as meting out the nels of reprefenting Mammon admiring Heavens with a Span, &c. But how wide more the Riches of Heaven's Pavement the Difference is between thefe fhort Althan ought divine; but only the just Re- legories and the Poet's Compaffes, every lation and Agreement between his Speech body must fee; the Precileness of the in the fecond Book, and this his Cha- A Defcription here, and the Manner of the racter in the first, and I must here beg Melliah's Operation, one Foot he center'd, Leave to ask Philo Spec, whether he and the other turn'd, &c. (B. vii. v. thinks it poflible indeed, that such a Being, 228) may indeed be in the Spirit of Homer, yet in the Condition of an Angel of Light, when speaking of his Jupiter, or his chief cou'd have fuch Sentiments, were the Ambaflador Mercury; but carries in it Pavement of Heaven really as fine as it is fuch a Narrownels of Idea as, when apdefcrib'd? plied to the Almighty Architect, is utterly profane. Allegories from fenfible Things, when applied to the fupreme Understanding, ought to be fhort, and at fpun out into Particulars and Circumftances; for fince we are reduced to the Use of them, merely by the Imperfection of our Minds, we ought to recover our Though from them as foon as poffible; otherwise, we muft become fhacking and ridiculous.

What I objected to the Poet's reprefent- B ing Satan as ignorant of God's natural and incommunicable Attributes, PhiloSpec has anfwered with no little Wit; but (I'm obliged to tell him) nothing to the Purpofe For the Question is not, how it fuited beft with the Defign of the Poet to reprefent him; (and this is the Ground upon which Philo-Spec's Defence turns) but whether it was not contrary to Truth and Reafon to reprefent him as he does, vi. A Being of fuch an Order ignorant of those Attributes which are first in Conception?

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Tho' Mr Addison's Defence of Satan's Artillery is very ingenious, and as much as could be faid for it, yet ftill it is not fufficient to take off the Imputation of its being both a very violent and ridicu lous Machine in fuch a Poem, and a very odd Sort of Engineer-Work for Spirits to have plann'd; it is indeed (as he fays) a bold Thought! Tho' (by the bye) I think it E may well be doubted whether Satan had ever yet heard that Thunder, which thefe Engines are faid to have been made for Imitation of.

Philo-Spec has an elegant Joke, and a curious (as being very far fetcht) on the Remark of the Mellah's Chariot, which (he fays) "raifed thofe Clouds of Duft that feem to have rendered my Eyes blind to the Poet's Care and Regard for Decen cy and Religion:" And this was fo na tural too, that (as he aflures us) "he could not help faying it." But I must tell him, for all fo confident as he feems, that Paffage in the Pfalms which he alludes to, is no more a Vindication of Milton's Machine of the warlike Chariot and its Mo tion, than it would be a Vindication of the Bow in the fame Defcription, to alledge the Rainbow in the 9th Chap. of Genefis, whieh the Almighty there calls his Bow.

The Golden Compaffes he next undertakes to defend, by a Quotation from the Speator; where the ingenious Critic

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The last Thing that Philo-Spec refents is, finding fault with the Guard fet to watch the Gates of Hell: But that was not all the Ground of the Objection; it was the Reafon of the Angels being appointed Centinels there, viz.

Left he (the Almighty) incens'd at fuch Eruption bild,

Deftruction with Creation might have mixt.
And this (I faid) was very injurious to the
Honour and Wifdom of God: And what
has Milton faid to the contrary in the
Words quoted by Philo-Spec? Or what
has Phil-Spec himfelt faid? Is is not in-
jurious to the Character of the Supream
Being to fuppofe him capable of being
acted by a furious and blind Impulse?
Milton could make the Devils themfelves
out-reafon him in this;

Will be, fo wife, let loose at once his Ire,
Blike through Impotence, or unaware,
To give his Enemies their Wigh, and end
Them in his Anger, whom his Anger farves
To punish endless? B. ii. v. 155.

I could inftance in many more Particulars of this Poem, that bear no good Alpect towards Religion; but do not incline to enter the Lifts with Philo Spec, and therefore fhall take my Leave of the Subje&t by obferving, that if Monieur Hast's Definition of Romance be proper, vi. That it is a Hiftory which hath Truth for the main Ground of it, but yet 's interwoven with the Embellishments of Fiction; then this Peem may not improperly be called the Romance of the War in Heaven, and the Fall of Man.

THEOPHILUS,

From the GLOUCESTER Journal, a
News Paper of the greatest Account
and Sale of any publifh'd in the Coun-
try, being circulated by Meffengers into
Wiltshire and all the Neighbouring
Counties, and even into Wales.
An ESSAY on RIOTS; their Cafes and A
Cure. With fome Thoughts on TRADE,
and a Method of Relief for the Mife-

ries of the poor Wiltshire Manufactu

rers.

At

Deut. xxiv. 14, &c. Thou shalt not opprefs an
bired Servant, that is pour and needy.-
bis Day thou fhalt give him bis Hire, neither
fball the Sun go down upon it.

James v. 4. Behold the Hire of the Labourers,
which bave reaped down your Fields, which
is by you kept back by Fraud, crieth. And the
Cries of them which have reaped, are enter'd
into the Ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.

HE frequent Riots that have hap

Kingdom, do certainly deferve the serious Attention of every honeft, loyal Briton, and ought to route the fincere Endeavours of all Perfons of that Character, to put a Stop to the Progrefs of a Spirit that, wherever it hath predominated, hath always proved deftructive of Natio

Evil in itself, have the happy Effect of endearing Governors and Subjects to each

other.

But then, the Government must have the Wisdom and Goodness to make the first Step towards this happy Union.-When it must not truft in the trite, and, of late, difcovers a riotous Spirit in the People, it too common Way of fuppreffing, or rather ftifling the Difcontents of the Subjets by a Military Force, which may only fpread the Gangrene farther, and produce worfe Effects at a longer Day. All well-meaning People juftly blame riotous Doings, which they fee; but fome B well-meaning People do not enough conLider the Pinchings of Hunger, which they do not feel!-A Body of Troops may dif perfe Rioters, and caufe an outward Face of Quiet on the People; but this is not giving Bread to the Hungry, nor covering the Naked with a Garment.-Here then it is, that the Wisdom and Goodness C of a Government ought to fhew them felves, by looking, with the utmoft Inte grity and Care, into the real Causes of a Riot, and ufing all poffible Means to redrefs all true Grievances of the People.

It is a Grievance to one to want Bread, and hear the piercing Cries of starv

nal Happinels, Liberty, and good Go- D ing Children; it is a Grievance to

vernment.

A riotous Spirit in a People is generally owing to one or more of the following Caufes: Carelessness in thofe at the Helm, of the true Intereft of the Subjects;-Negligence in the Magiftrates, in executing the Laws;Oppreflion of E the Poor, by the Rich, or those in Power;

or laftly, to a Spirit of Licentioufnels and Immorality, diffufed among the com mon People.

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It is the chief Business of a Government to convince the People, that it fecks their Happiness in, and above all Things. because the Good of the People is the great End for which all Governments are eitablifh'd.-There are never wanting proper Occalions for a Government to fhew, that it has the Good of the People at Heart. -Any Government may fhew this, by taking proper Care to make good Laws, preferve Order, and execute impartial Juftice, among the People. Our British Government hath a happy Advantage in this Refpect, in that it can hardly fail of convincing the People of this neceffary Credendum, when they behold it exerting its principal Care in preferving the antient Conftitution and Trade of Britain. Nay, H even Riots themfelves may be Means of convincing them of the Love which a Government bears to them; and, tho' an

another not to be paid his juft Wages; -It is a Grievance to another to be forced to give more for the Neceffaries of Life than their Value, or the Market Price; -and it is a Grievance to another to have his Houfe, Buildings, or Neceffaries of Trade, deftroy'd by a riotous Mob.-The great Work that a Government has to do in this Cafe, is, to make itfelf acquainted with the Caufes of Difcontent, and, like a wife and loving Common Parent of many Children, to make ufe of its Authority to relieve the Needy and Oppreffed, and to oblige all to conform to the common Rule or Just and Reasonable. Above all, a Government would do most wifely to confider if it is not in its own Power to give them fome Relief, by practifing a little Self-Denial: I mean, by lef fening the Number of thofe who are maintained by the Publick Revenue, and by that Means taking off fome of the most burthenfome Taxes on the PooR.-Thefe would be fuch lovely Inftances of Juitice, Wifdom and Goodness, as would charm Mankind, gain the Love of Subjects, and render even the Difaffected loya!!

The Spirit of Licentioufnefs hath been cherishing up in this Nation for many Years, and its fatal Effects have been fore feen by wife Men!-As foon as Majesty of the Laws that

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gion and Morality, is loft on the Minds of
the People, Diförder and Diffolutenefs
fpring up in them.-We are unhappily
fallen into a Way of raifing great Part of
the Publick and Civil Lift Revenue on
Malt, Beer, Wine, &c. the Confumption
ot which, and confequently the Revenue,
is mightily encreased by the Vices of the
People. This naturally ftops the Cur-
rent of Justice, and is an over-ruling Ar-
gument with avaricious Minifters, and
falfely loyal Magiftrates, not to exert
themfelves, according to their Duty, to
nip the first Buddings of vicious, difor-
derly Spirits. Hence the innumerable B
Alehoufes with which England abounds;
hence the Non-execution of fo many
good Laws against Tippling-Houfes, Tip-
plers, common Swearers, Sabbath-Break-
To this may be
ers, Vagrants, c.
added, a fupine Neglect of Duty, too, too
apparent in many Magiftrates, who feem C

to have little Senfe or the Concatenation
of vicious Habits and unruly Actions with
each other, and over fome of whom, the
large Fees for Warrants, Licences, Mitti-
mus's, Orders, &c. in their Clerks or
their own Pockets, may reafonably be fup-
pofed to have fome little Influence.

Within these two Years I was at a Sef- D fions held at a Trading Town in Wilts, for licenfing Alehoufes, where were feven Juftices fitting, one of whofe Clerks told me, with an Air of Gladnefs, that his Share came to between three and four Pounds. I mention this to fhew what a great Number of Alehoufes there must be in E that fingle Divifion, and not to throw any Reflection on thofe worthy Gentlemen, for feveral of whom I have a perfect Efteem, and who have only run in with the common Foible of the Times: I mention it likewife out of fome little F Hopes that it may be a Means to excite them and others to exert themselves to fupprefs our Alehoufes, and punish our Tipplers, to the Honour of our King, and the Good of our Country.

Thus hath the Spirit of Rioting been nurfed up in this Nation; I pray God it may not be the Fore-runner of Infurrections and Slavery. The only Means to prevent which terrible Evils are, for us to return to Order in Time, and to make the Laws, and in them, Jultice and Wifdom, to rule over us.

The Riot of the poor Weavers, and other Woollen Manufacturers in Wilts, is faid to have been occafion'd by Oppreffim in various Shapes, practifed towards them fome Clothiers.-The Badnefs, or rar, the Decay of our Woollen Trade, acowledged by all, felt by every Body

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except Pl-m-n and P-n-rs, and occa
fion'd by the Rivalship of France and
other neighbouring Nations, muft needs
be attended with fatal Effects to Matters
as well as Workmen. And this fingle
Contideration ought to operate, not in
mutual Oppreffion, and mutual Deftruction,
but in Love, and in Commiferation of the
unhappy Sufferings of one another, and
of our Country, fo far as to join our
united Refolutions to use all proper Means,
if poffible, to recover our Trade again.
The Progrefs of our Neighbours in that
Trade, according to a late Publick-fpi-
rited Writer, is owing to our Run Wooll,
and to their underfelling our Merchants at
Foreign Markets.-We prefumed fome
Months ago t to propofe what we can't
but think would, in a good measure, cure
thofe Evils; but having offer'd our Mite
to the publick Treafury, fhall be glad to
fee better Judges fall on other Methods
for that much-wanted Purpose, more
eanly feafible, more confiftent with Li.
berty and the Publick Good!

However, let Trade be bad as it will,
Juftice must be maintain'd. It is not fit
that Masters fhould be fuffer'd to opprefs
their Servants, torce them to take Goods,
in Defiance of Law, at an exorbitant
Price, nor enter into Combinations to fail
their Wages, in a Free Country.-Nor is it
fit that Servants fhould be let alone to
take their own Revenge on their Maflers;
'tis Pity, indeed, they fhould be driven
to it! Such Doings are tuil of Injustice
and Violence; they can produce no Good,
and are big with manifold Evils-In
this Cafe, Publick Authority ought to
decide the Controverfy, reduce both
Sides to Order, and force them to do
Justice, at least for the future, towards
each other.

I am far from thinking myfelf a competent Judge of the propereft Way of Procedure in this Affair; but as the tollowing appears to me the mott natural, I will take the Liberty to lay it before the Publick, fincerely fubmitting this, as I do all my Writings, to the Correction of Perfons of maturer Judgment; wifhing that the Publick Good may be promoted in the beft Manner, be it by what Means it will.-Our Method is:

That a mixt Commiffion be appointed, confifting of Gentlemen and Clothiers of the BEST CHARACTER that can be pick'd out in the Country, to examine impartially into the Causes of the late Riots, with Power to call all Perfons before them, in crder to make the proper *See Obfervations on Britifa Well, &c. † See Country Common Staje, No 4, 5, 6. Enquiry,

Enquiry. I will here take the Liberty to fuggeft fome Things, which it may be proper to make fo many Heads of Enquiry.

1. If any Combinations have been enter'd into, to lower the Price of Weaving, Spinning, &c. and by whom?

2. If any Matters have forced the poor A Manufacturers to take Truck, who they are, and what Prices they have oblig'd

them to take Goods at?

3. If any Mafters have oblig'd their Work-people to buy Bread, &c. at any particular Shops: What Weight they have fold, and the Prices they have taken?

4. If fome poor Manufacturers do not B give extravagant Rents for their Tenements, &c. and if they are under no Compullion from their Masters, in that Article ?.

5. Who were the Heads of the late Riot, what Damage is done, and what Sums may be railed, thro' the Country, C by the Statutes against Truck or Combinations, towards paying the Damages?

I do not pretend to fay, whether thefe are all the Heads of Enquiry proper to be gone upon, or it any of them may be omitted. But as the happy Success of the Affair would depend, in a great measure, on the Conduct of the Commiffioners, they ought to be Perfons of the greatest Integrity and Skill that can be thought of, who wou'd go to the Bottom of the Grievances on both Sides, without Fear or Favour, and make a faithful Representation to the Parliament; Juftice and good Policy both requiring that rich Oppreffors fhould be properly punish'd, as well as poor Rioters!

I fhall now take Notice of fome Things, which, I humbly think, would be helpful to our Trade, and give confiderable Relief to our Poor.

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The first is, the Hardships which the Poor groan under, from the Excifes on the Neceflaries of Life and Trade, fuch as Malt, Beer, Soap, Candles, Leather, Salt, Oil, &c. which fo much enhance the Price of our Manufactures; and the two former of which, as I have already taken Notice, naturaily tend to tie up the Hands of Minifters and Magiftrates from G executing the Laws againit Vice and Idlenefs. By these Taxes Trade is oppreffed by them the Neceflaries of Life are raifed to the Poor; confequently the taking them off would relieve them, and give Life to Trade. And whether the cafieft, and moft politick Way of railing the yearly Supplies, be not a Tax on the yearly Income of all People of Substance, we beg leave to refer our Readers to our Enquiry into the Causes of the Encrease

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and Miseries of the Poor of England (pa17, &c. and 75, &c.) publifh'd laft Winter, and to our Common Senje Essays, already mention'd.

Another Thing, which exceedingly hurt s our Poor, is, the great Number of People who live upon them, and fuck their Maintenance out of their Labour; I mean, our innumerable Alehoufe-keepers, Bakers, and petty Shopkeepers: 'Tis plain, thefe People live, in general, much better than our poor Manufacturers do, out of whofe Earnings the greatest Part of their Subfiftence arises.

Our Rivals in France and other Coun tries, take the greatest Care, and use the utmoft Frugality in thefe Articles, being wifely fenfible, that thofe on whofe Labour, Trade, and the Wealth and Power of a Nation depend, must not spend the Fruits of that Labour in Sottishness, nor give them away to a Set of petty Oppref fors, who make them pay a good deal more for Things, than they are worth. The Author of the Obfervations on Wooll, and the Woollen Manufactures of France, Flanders, and Holland, (who is a Manyfacturer, has been feveral Times in those Countries himself, feen their Manufacturies, and conversed with their Manufacturers) tells us, that the greatest Care poffible is taken there to keep their Workmen from Drunkenness, and spending their Money idly. He tells us likewife, that the Magiftrates of their great Trading Towns make it their Bulinefs to buy in Corn, and other Neceffaries of Life and Trade, at the cheapest Markets, which they put into a Store-house, and deal out again to the poor Manufacturers, in small Quantities, as they want 'em, at the Prime Coft.-Where fhall we fee fuch Care of Trade, fuch an Inftance of Goodnefs and Publick Spirit in England?

I do not mention This, as propofing their Example to be follow'd in every lit tle Article, altho' it would be a very good Thing if our Officers were to look into the Prices of Small Wares at Shops, and have Power to lower them, if exceflive. But I have often thought, that if there was a Law made for erecting an OVEN in every poor Tenement, and fome Officer in every Trading Parish to buy Wheat at Market every Week, to deal out in that manner to the Poor for their Money, (or as Relief, if they want it) at a fet Day, and that none fhould be entitled to Relief of their Parish, except they had baked their own Bread three Months, it would be highly beneficial to the Poor in general, and keep more off from their P›. rishes, than our Badges and Workhe

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