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The NEW SPECTATOR, .
It is very strange, Spec, that the readers of this
paper cannot make a distinction between the SpectaTOR, and the OPINIONS of John Buil! Since your absence, I have received several letters, intimating that you are partial, personal, &c. &c. &c. and railing at you, because you do not copy the old Spectator. If these wonderfully sagacious gentry, were to accuse me of all these high crimes and misdemeanours, I should have some patience with them. But they cannot se. parate the Opinions of John Bull from the New Spectator; and they will abuse
and they will abuse you for my wri
ting; though you have stri&ly followed your intention, by adhering to t'e plan of the old Spectator in your own productions: and though I have constantly declared, that in mine, I would never let folly escape censure, and that when it was necessary, I would be perfonal. I wish, therefore, once for all, that those good people who cannot bear personality, and who wish to confine their reading to moral essays, would read the New Spectator only; and never trouble themselves about
The Sage OPINI0x3 of
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sylogistical sophisms? A man of forty must have existed at twenty, fifteen, or five years
of age, but is most probably as unacquainted with what happened at those periods as if he had not existed; fo that at this rate of arguing, to prove or remember the origin or existence of any thing, existing at any antecedent time, to subftantiate the truth of its actual existence now, a man of forty did not exist at twenty, fiftcen, or five, Nay, if he was admitted on oath in behalf of himself at the Old Bailey to tell the truth and nothing but the truth concerning his existence thirty-five years ago ; could he give the learned judge any
satisfaction on that head? Undoubtedly not ; he would therefore be committed as an impostor, for attempting to prove that he existed at the fifth year of his age! But if a man was obliged to prove the origin of himself, as to substance and figure; or to prove the origin of the innate idea, from whence such knowledge of himself must be derived, he would be more puzzled at the latter, as an innate idea bringing with the knowledge of its origin, the knowledge also of himself (a knowledge I am confident no man possesses), it is demonstrable, that the idea must have been more than coeval for the idea being actual, though to our senses imperceptible and unsubstantial, must have been to all eternity,
An innate idea is the root from which all our other ideas proceed. A man without an innate idea would be incapable of acquiring any. -Without intuitive knowledge he could have no tuitive. As all tuitive knowledge is acquired by the strength of the intuitive, or innate ideas, thofe only are changelings or naturals, who have no innate ideas; but to doubt the existence of innate idea, because its origin cannot be traced, is more absurd than to doubt your own cxistence, the origin of which, though no man pretends to trace, yet no man is ridiculous enough to call in question ; indeed you had an idea (I mean an acquired fleeting idea), ten years ago, at eight o'clock in the morning, or any other time of that day, no doubt ; yet, what account can you give the inquisitor of such idea ? ergo, you had no idea. But will fair argument admit such
must also make up the knowledge of the man's self in another state, or return to its almighty owner!' But as to the man's self, I mean his mere form, substance and vital being; that is adventitious, changeable, and finally perishable, for being produced by the strength of the idea implying a power of creation or knowledge of himself, is an infinite idea, out of the grafp of finite power. For to have a knowledge of an inħate idea, you must also have a knowledge of yourself, a knowledge incompatible with the cxistence of any thing that is created; such a knowledge would be nothing less than a knowledge of the creator:
It is very proud and insulting in man to pretend that all he knows is acquired, and yet deny the existence of the very power by which it is acquired; the word acquire, pre-supposes à capacity to acquire, without which, we are confident no man can acquire any thing, though all the arcana of human knowledge lay unravelled before him.
This capacity to acquire, is the innate idea we are contending for ;- the ideas multiplied, or got by sensation and reflection, are finite knowledge, and to be plainly accounted for; but the grand idea, or ideas, that acquired the finite ideas, is, or are, infinite, essential, actual, unknown ; for to know an innate idea, implics an antecedent knowledge, or a prior idea to that ; as an idea cannot in itself involve a knowledge of that idea, you must have one foregoing idea, even among acquired or finite idcas, 10 comprehend the present idca, as idea cannot judge of idea, any more than self can elucidate or judge of self.
As it is incompatible with the creator's dignity for a 'created being to have any know. ledge of himself, so would a man's life most probably be very painful, if he had any' the least idea of himself, as to the origin of innate ideas, from whence would incvitably proceed a knowledge of his properties, functions, powers, and very essence; a knowledge fo infinite, and consequently incompatible with a finite being, that I cannot imagine, even in another state, that a man will have any idea of himself. Of this I am confident that without an actual participation of God's power and glory, or being, as it were, an unannihilated component part of himself, he must for ever remain dependent and stupid as he undoubtedly is at present, being impelled by his innate or intuitive knowledge, and most
commonly in the dark, as to the consequences which will result from the next moment's operations,
I CANNOT, conceive, for my part, why philosophers should so much adore the acquired knowledge, and pride themselves in it, even to the exclusion of the very existence of the innate idea, or intuitive faculty. What has this facully done? Why, it puts a great man in mind of his arbitrary existence, and momentary dependance. Is a great man any less a great man for owing his great parts to the power of the intuitive faculty, or, in other words, is a great man less so,, betaufe, he was ready made to his own hands, and not put to that trouble that other men are, to make themselves great by acquirement ? An innate idea in man is exactly the same, as the conftituent and inherent properties to produce leaves, branches, vines, arteries, and a prodigious body, is in the acorn; so that it is the acorn we wonder at, and admire, and not the mighty tree! For any child can account for the leaves, branches, and body, but who must not remain ignorant of the properties in the acorn to produce all this?». But the greatest sophism to prove this affair of innate ideas is, Suppose, says 5 the philosopher, a man is born blind, has he " any idea of colours ? Suppose a man born deaf, 66 has he any idea of sound ? Ifa man is born in
a desart, what idea has he of property or ho
nesty, where there is nothing to steal, and no 6 one to defraud ?" LadyM.W. Montague might well say, she had rather be the harmless uníufSpecting milk-maid, than a Locke or Newton. That a bishop or a learned doctor, the alliftant, pupil, and continuer of the great Newton's system against Leibnitz, , and the expounder of hard sentences in scripture, fhould have nothing to write against such sophisms, but to fret and blubber, “ How could the great Mr. Locke serve
fo!" Could they not see the futility of proving there were no inpate ideas, hy depriving a man of his senses ? I am sure there is not a man breathing
who could hesitate a moment to pronounce it the most sophistical, illiberal, and pitiful method to prove the impoisibility of having any innate idea of lound, by first depriving a man of his ears; and so on as to his other senses, the mediums through which all ideas must be conveyed.
Tas BEVY OF ORIGINALS. were attempted, but were all overpowered by
the force of Latin, Greek, French, and Italian.
Would you believe it, reader -Cassandra filenced Miss CASSANDRA PEDANT.
nineteen women! She talked two hours withArcus nimis intenfus rumpitur.
out stopping ; prevented every one from spcakA MEDIUM in every sphere of life is commend ing, and then sat down to Quadrill, quarreling able ; but an " extravagant extremity” is not only about Spadill, and red Ace, the whole evening; contemptible, but disgusting. Miss Pedant has quoting deep maxims which nobody understood, had the misfortune of having a liberal education.
that a fenprendre a vole, cannot possibly There are but few languages that she does not be obtained, without a declaration before the know something of, at least a quantuin Sufcit to seventh trick! confuse you with her quotations. Not a sentence Ar ten, cards were banished, and young master can be repeated in her company but she must dis Edmund introduced. This boy was about seven play her erudition, which she does by repeating years old, son to Lady Flyflan, who informed us a few lines of French, Italian, and Latin,
that little Edmund was a miracle of nature ! - for She called on me one morning, inviting me that he talked French, and spit at the servants.to accompany her to a card party. I was in my
Sagacious child !—This was the time for my study, examining the beauties of ancient poetry. friend to display her knowledge : “ Indeed,” reMy room door suddenly flew open, and in came plied Cassandra, “ I see nothing so amazing as Callandra Pedant, voiciferating, “ Bless me,
insinuate in Master Edmund. Did not Tor“ OITARON Lwbat, in a brown study? Where
quato Tasso spcak plain at six months old ? at three “ are your thoughts ?"_She then interrogated
years went to school; at seven he understood Lame about the subject of my contemplation. I
tin and Greeks before twelve he finished his informed her, I was about a very serious under discourse of Rhetoric, Poetry, Logic, and taking, which I thought I could never fulfil, to Ethics ; at seventeen he received his degree in preserve the true unadulterated fimplicity in the Philosophy, Laws, and Divinity, and then printed translation of a few ancient reliques. She answer his Rinaldo !"-Lady Flyflap ordered Edmund cd, “ Never fear, for Chi ha attività e cervello troue to be taken out of the room, saying "t to be sure “ poche cofe impoffibili." I replied, your oblerva he was not a Torkato Tasho." Cassandra still tion is very just, Cassandra, for there are indeed continued her prodigies! Did not Cardinal
Molte cose dificile in idea, mettiti a farle e le farai Du Perron read over the Algamest of Ptolemy in au
facil mente.”—My knowledge in the Italian thirteen days, before he was eighteen years old ? language not only created her furprise, but pre --Did not Grotius, at eight years old, make verses vented the sporting of her learning any more in and perform his public exercises in philosophy, my company. She then insisted that I should and before fifteen publish his Comment upon attend her in the evening, which I promised to Martianus Capella ? At fixteen he pleaded caufcs. do, and she left me. I passed over the tranflation At seventeen he produced his Comment on Ara(which in a future number shall be inserted in tus. Did not Lipsius write his Books Variarum the New SPECTATOR) for that day, and went Leflionem at eighteen years old ? “ Ingenium haout to pay a few morning visits, after which I 6 buit docile, & omnium capax præter mufices : mecame home and dressed for the evening.
" moria non fine præceptorum miraculo etiam in pueABOUT cight o'clock, Cassandra called for me To, quæ in fenetlute non defecit."-During this in her carriage, which I entered, and the coach
long and learned oration, the company had endiove to Lady Flypap's; during our ride, love tirely quitted the room. Another story was bewas the topic, which the fenfible Mifs Podant,
gan, but Lady Flyflap pleaded an engagement, though well acquainted with grammar, could not
and left Cassandra and me the only persons in the for her soul decline. The coach Atopped in Berke
room abruptly. by-square, we entered the drawing-room, when The consequence of Miss Pedant's so univers the servant announced Miss Pedant and OITA sally sporting her knowledge is, that she is for NOH. I was introduced to Lady Flyflap and the saken by all the world. She, moving in the company, who received me with the customary circle of high life, and having ideas above com politeness of fashionable people. Tea was brought mon sense, those in that sphere, misconstrue her in, which the ladies were glad of, as it always erudition for madness, and, more than once, affords conversation ; but they were disappointed: have endeavoured 10 confine her. Others, conin Callandra Pedant was there! Soveral fubjects scious of their inability, and ignorance, avoid her
presence, so that at this period, Spec, OITAROH is the only friend and acquaintance that Caffandra Pedant can boast of.
By this Original every reader will see the advantages of mediocrity. Learning, without judgment to exercise it, will experience more dilasters than folly; the latter only creates commisseration; but pedantry will always be treated with contempt; and those that embrace it will find them. felves deceived by an ignis futuus!
[ To be continued. ]
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NEOTERIC,
DELECTABLE, CRITICAL Society.
Fifth Meeting * OITAROH having taken the chair, and the minutes of the last meeting being read over by Peggy Brittle, SELINA GRADUS began as fol. lows:-“ OITAROH, as the Haymarket Theatre * can afford but few critiques this week, I beg • leave to offer a few words which will be truly “ interesting to some worthy members I have in sos
my eye, who are subject to the caçoethes firiben. * di.
" I COULD on this subject, Legislator, rouse up " the feelings of sensibility to much commisse" ration of authors in general. But of all writ“ ers, the dramatic writer experiences the most “ difficulties--and always plays a hazard. In " the course of a man's life, especially an author “ of merit, he must have some few enemies 6 who to a certainty come to the first night's ex“ hibition of your piece, and, nine times out of “ ten, succeed in damning of it. Next, if an • author exposes the reigning foibles or vices, em“ braced by particular individuals mit is thought “ an insult; and a party of jolly friends is made
up on purpose, and the piece is annihilated by o brutal clamour.-But, throwing aside every “ opposition obstacle, and supposing the piece an“ swers every fanguine expectation of the public, " and becomes a favourite, yet, I am sorry to say, “ Legislator, that it is a fashionable but shameful
example to treat with indifference the man « who has exerted his genius, and succeeded in “ giving general fatisfa£tion. This circumstance
was proved by the third representation of Two « to One.-It being the author's night,--and a o cruel custom, nobody went. It is a very rare 6 circumstance indeed, Legislator, that an author, 6. however great his merit, can boast of a good " night. What will future times say of the no
“ bility of this age ?_when a shower of rain “has more force than sterling merit ?--Last Sa“ turday was the fixth and author's night of Two 6 to One, which, as chance directed it, was a rainy “ dull evening, and I scarcely ever remember " the house to have been so full or fo brilliant !
Fag BLINKHORN rose with some warmth ; she could assure them that the long insinuation given by that innocent member, Selina Gradus, was as feelingly spoken, as it was true; for 10 her knowledge, every allurement had been thrown out to secure the affections of the above author ; as being out of every engagement, the fon has certainly great interest with his fire. A general cry of order ensued, and Wilhelmina Blunt rose, hinting that private jealous piques, should not be exhibited before the society. After a dead filence,
Mrs. Tattoo got up, saying, " No member has
acquainted the society, that a new after-piece is “ to be performed next Saturday from a Mogul “ tale, in which is to be introduced a balloon.« Well may it be said, Legiflator, that Mr. Col“ man's theatre is the nursery of rifing genius; " for no less than three after-pieces, and a full “ one (an 'opera), will be launched this season. " It is no wonder, that a Summer theatre answers " whenVarietas is the motto."—Here the businefs of the society closed, and Peggy Brittle took down the Minutes.--Conversation was now free, and Statira Frightful informed us, that Farrinelli, Mamma, and a Constant Admirer, sported their conspicuous, and tremenduous presence in the upper boxes on Friday laft.-Sympathy intervened; her eyes were upon the whole house, and the eyes of the whole house were upon her ;whether it was for her deshabille or triumphant coquetry, Statira could not tell: but that she never remembered her to come in public so shabby before. There is fomething so outrè in a dirty neg. ligent dress, that it will doubtless, in a short period, be the reigning fashion-Bedgowns and night-caps will soon be as common in the boxes as footmen and servant maids in the two shilling gallery.-The reflection of the lights (she fat directly over the stage box) and a natural perfpiration suffused the face of the envied Farrinelli with a warm vermillion heat.-A fagacious little author, well known for his wit and writings, asked a friend that sat next to him, if Farrinella was not a Foxite --being answered in the affirmative, he replied :-" I thought so, by " for she looks as greasy as if she had been kil“ fing a whole regiment of butchers !" The fociety adjourned-laughing.