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ON THE SPECTATOR.....BY MR. TATE.
When first the Tatler to a mute was turn’d,
No. CCCCLXXXIX. SATURDAY, SEPT. 20.
..........Baduppuétao piace obáva 'Nexsavoro. HOM.
The mighty force of ocean's troubled Anod.
UPON reading your essay concerning the pleasures of the imagination, I find among the three sources of those pleasures which you have discovered, that greatness is one. This has suggested to me the reason why, of all objects that I have ever seen, there is none which affects my imagination so much as the sea or ocean. I cannot see the heavings of this prodigious bulk of waters, even in a calm, without a very pleasing astonishment; but when it is worked
up in a tempest, so that the horizon on every side is nothing but foaming billows and floating mountains, it is impossible to describe the agreeable borror that rises from such a prospect. A troubled ocean, to a man who sails upon it, is, I think, the biggest object that he can see in motion, and conse. quently gives his imagination' one of the highest kinds of pleasure that can arise from greatness. I must confess, it is impossible for me to survey this world of fluid matter, without thinking on the hand that first poured it out, and made a proper channel for its reception. Such an object naturally raises in my thoughts the idea of an almighty Being, and convinces me of his existence as much as a metaphysical demonstration. The imagination prompts the understanding, and, by the greatness of the sensible object, produces in it the idea of a Being who is neither circumscribed by time nor space.
"As I have made several voyages upon the sea, I have often been tossed in storms, and on that octasion have frequently reflected on the descriptions of them in ancient poets. I remember Longinus highly recommends one in Homer, because the poet has not amused himself with little fancies upon the occasion, as authors of an inferior genius, whom he mentions, had done, but because he has gathered together those circumstances which are the most apt to terrify the imagination, and which really happen in the raging of a tempest. It is for the same reason, that I prefer the following description of a ship in a storm, which the Psalmist has made, before any other I have ever met with. “They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters: these see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth and rais. eth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waters thereof: 'they mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths, their soul is melted because of
trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits end. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then they are glad, because they be quiet, so he bringeth them unto their desired haven."
"By the way, how much more comfortable as well as rational is this system of the Psalmist, than the pagan scheme in Virgil and other poets, where one deity is represented as raising a storm, and another as laying it? Were we only to consider the sublime in this piece of poetry, what can be nobler than the idea it gives us of the Supreme Being thus raising a tumult among the elements, and recovering them out of their confusion : thus troubling and becalming nature ?
• Great painters do not only give us landskips of gardens, groves, and meadows, but very often employ their pencils upon sea.pieces: I could wish you would follow their example. If this small sketch may deserve a place among your works, I shall accompany it with a divine (de, made by a gentleman upon the conclusion of his travels.
How sure is their defence!
Supported by thy care,
Made ev'ry region please:
And smooth'd the Tyrrhene se
Think, O my soul, devoutly think,
How with affrighted eyes,
And fear in ev'ry heart,
Thy mercy set me free,
High on the broken wave,
Obedient to thy will:
Thy goodness I'll adore,
Thy sacrifice shall be;
Shall join my soul to thee.
No. CCCCXC. MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 22.
Domus & placens uxor.
Thy house and pleasing wife.
I HAVE very long entertained an ambition to make the word wife the most agreeable and delightful name in nature. If it be not so in itself, all the wiser part of mankind from the beginning of the world to this day has consented in an error : but our unhappiness in England has been, that a few loose men of genius for pleasure, have turned it all to the gratification of ungoverned desires, in despite of good sense, form, and order; when, in truth, any satisfaction beyond the boundaries of reason, is but a step towards madness and folly. But is the sense of joy and accomplishment of desire no way to be indulged or attained ? and have we appetites given us not to be at all gratified? Yes, certainly: marriage is an institution calculated for a constant scene of delight as much as our being is capable of. Two persons who have chosen each other out of all the species, with design to be each other's mutual comfort and entertainment, have in that action bound themselves to be good-humoured, affable, discreet, forgiving, patient, and joyful, with respect to each other's frailties and perfections, to the end of their lives. The wiser of the two (and it always happens one of them is such) will for her or his own sake, keep things from outrage with the utmost sanctity. When this union is thus preserved (as I have often said) the most indifferent circumstance administers delight. Their condition is an endless source of new gratifications. The married man can say, If I am unacceptable to all the world beside, there is one whom I entirely love, that will receive me with joy and