« PreviousContinue »
to philosophy, he tells you, p. 136, “Cicero pro- , mercenary, yet the great man is no more in duces this as an instance of a probable opinion, reason obliged to thank him for his picture in a that they who study philosophy do not believe dedication, than to thank a painter for that on a there are any Gods ;' and then, from considera- sign-post; except it be a less injury to touch tion of various notions, he affirms Tully con- the most sacred part of him, his character, than cludes, that there can be nothing after death.' to make free with his countenance only. I
As to what he misrepresents of Tully, the should think nothing justified me in this point, short sentence on the head of this paper is but the patron's permission beforehand, that I enough to oppose; but who can have patience should draw him, as like as I could; whereas to reflect upon the assembla of impostu es, most authors proceed in this affair just as a among which our author places the religion of dauber I have heard of, who, not being able to his country? As for my part, I cannot see any draw portraits after the life, was used to paint possible interpretation to give this work, but a faces at random, and look out afterwards for design to subvert and ridicule the authority of people whom he might persuade to be like them. scripture. The peace and tranquillity of the To express my notion of the thing in a word : nation, and regards even above those, are so to say more to a man than one thinks, with a much concerned in this matter, that it is diffi- prospect of interest, is dishonest; and with. cult to express sufficient sorrow for the offender, out it, foolish. And whoever has had success or indignation against him. But if ever man in such an undertaking, must of necessity, at deserved to be denied the common benefits of air once think himself in his heart a knave for and water, it is the author of A Discourse of having done it, and his patron a fool for having Free-thinking.
I have sometimes been entertained with con.
sidering dedications in no very common light. Monday, March 16, 1713.
By observing what qualities our writers think
it will be most pleasing to others to compli. It matters not how false or forc'd,
ment them with, one may form some judgment So the best things be said o' th' worst;
which are most so to themselves; and in conIt goes for nothing when 'tis said,
sequence, what sort of people they are. WithOnly the arrow's drawn to th' head, Whether it be a swan or goose
out this view one can read very few dedications They level at : so shepherds use
but will give us cause to wonder how such To set the same mark on the hip
things came to be said at all, or how they were Both of their sound and rotten sheep.
said to such persons ? I have known a hero
complimented upon the decent majesty and Though most things which are wrong in state he assumed after victory, and a nobleman their own nature are at once confessed and ab- of a different character applauded for his con. solved in that single word Custom; yet there descension to inferiors. This would have seemed are some, which as they have a dangerous ten- very strange to me, but that I happened to know dency, a thinking man will the less excuse on the authors. He who made the first compliment that very account. Among these I cannot but was a lofty gentleman, whose air and gait dis. reckon the common practice of dedications, covered when he had published a new book ; which is of so much the worse consequence, as and the other tippled every night with the fel it is generally used by the people of politeness, lows who laboured at the press while his own and whom a learned education for the most part writings were working off. It is observable of ought to have inspired with nobler and juster the female poets, and ladies dedicatory, that sentiments. This prostitution of praise is not here (as elsewhere) they far exceed us in any only a deceit upon the gross of mankind, who strain or rant. As beauty is the thing that sex take their notion of characters from the learned; are piqued upon, they speak of it generally in but also the better sort must by this means lose a more elevated style than is used by the men. some part at least of that desire of fame which they adore in the same manner as they would is the incentive to generous actions, when they be adored. So when the authoress of a famous find it promiscuously bestowed on the meritori. modern romance* begs a young nobleman's pus and undeserving ; nay, the author himself
, permission to pay him her kneeling adorations, let him be supposed to have ever so true a value I am far from censuring the expression, as some for the patron, can find no terms to express it, critics would do, as deficient in grammar or but what have been already used, and rendered sense; but I reflect, that adorations paid in that suspected by flatterers. Even truth itself in a posture are what a lady might expect herself, dedication is like an honest man in a disguise and my wonder immediately ceases. These, or vizor-mask, and will appear a cheat by being when they flatter most, do but as they would dressed so like one. Though the merit of the be done unto: for, as none are so much con. person is beyond dispute, I see no reason that erned at being injured by calumnies as they because one man is eminent, therefore another who are readiest to cast them upon their neigh. has a right to be impertinent, and throw praises bours, so it is certain none are so guilty of in his face. 'Tis just the reverse of the practice Pattery to others as those who most ardently of the ancient Romans, when a person was ad- desire it themselves. vanced to triumph for his services. As they What led me into these thoughts was a dedi. hired people to rail at him in that circumstance cation I happened upon this morning. The to make him as humble as they could, we have fellows to flatter him, and make him as proud
* Mrs. Manley, authoress of the Memoirs from the -48 they can. Supposing the writer not to be l New Atalantis.
reader must understand that I treat the least as to you. First, as it was your most earnest instances or remains of ingenuity with respect, desire alone that could prevail upon me to make in what places soever found, or under whatever them public. Then as I am secure (from that circumstances of disadvantage. From this love constant indulgence you have ever shown to all to letters I have been so happy in my searches which is mine) that no man will so readily take after knowledge, that I have found invalued them into protection, or so zealously defend repositories of learning in the lining of band. them. Moreover, there is none can so soon dis. boxes. I look upon these pasteboard edifices, cover the beauties; and there are some parts adorned with the fragments of the ingenious, which it is possible, few besides yourself are ca. with the same veneration as antiquaries upon pable of understanding. Sir, the honour, affec. ruined buildings, whose walls preserve divers tion, and value I have for you are beyond ex. inscriptions and names, which are no where pression ; as great, I am sure, or greater, than else to be found in the world. This morning, any man else can bear you. As for any defects when one of the lady Lizard's daughters was which others may pretend to discover in you, I looking over some hoods and ribands, brought do faithfully declare I was never able to per by her tire-woman, with great care and dili. ceive them; and doubt not but those persons gence, I employed no less in examining the box are actuated purely by a spirit of malice or envy, which contained them; it was lined with cer- the inseparable attendants on shining merit and tain scenes of a tragedy, written (as appeared parts, such as I have always esteemed yours to by part of the title there extant) by one of the be. It may perhaps be looked upon as a kind of
What was most legible was the de violence to modesty, to say this to you in public; dication; which, by reason of the largeness of but you may believe me, it is no more than I the characters, was least defaced by those gothic have a thousand times thought of you in private. ornaments of flourishes and foliage, wherewith Might I follow the impulse of my soul, there is the compilers of these sort of structures do of no subject I could launch into with more pleaten industriously obscure the works of the sure than your panegyric. But since something learned. As much of it as I could read with is due to modesty, let me conclude by telling any ease, I shall communicate to the reader, as you, that there is nothing so much I desire al follows.
to know you more thoroughly than I have yet **** Though it is a kind of profanation to the happiness of doing. I may then hope to be approach your grace with so poor an offering, capable to do you some real service ; but till yet when I reflect how acceptable a sacrifice of then can only assure you, that I shall continue first-fruits was to Heaven, in the earliest and to be, as I am more than any man alive, dearest purest ages of religion, that they were honoured sir, your affectionate friend, and the greatest of with solemn feasts, and consecrated to altars by your admirers. a divine command, *** upon that consideration, as an argument of particular zeal, I dedicate***. It is impossible to behold you without adoring ; yet dazzled and awed by the glory that sur.
Tuesday, March 17, 1713. rounds you, men feel a sacred power, that re Laudantur simili prole puerperæ. fines their flames, and renders them pure as
Hor. Lib. 4. Od. v. 23. those we ought to offer to the Deity. ***The
The mother's virtues in the daughters shine. shrine is worthy the divinity that inhabits it. In your grace we see what woman was before I have, in my second paper, mentioned the she fell, how nearly allied to the purity and per- family into which I was retained by the friend fection of angels. And WE ADORE AND BLESS THE of my youth; and given the reader to underGLORIOUS WORK!'
stand, that my obligations to it are such as Undoubtedly these and other periods of this might well naturalize me into the interests of most pious dedication, could not but convince it. They have, indeed, had their deserved effect, the duchess of what the eloquent authoress as- and if it were possible for a man who has never bures her at the end, that she was her servant entered into the state of marriage to know the with most ardent devotion. I think this a pat- instincts of a kind father to an honourable and tern of a new sort of style, not yet taken notice numerous house, I may say I have done it. I of by the critics, which is above the sublime, do not know but my regards, in some consideraand may be called the celestial ; that is, when tions, have been more useful than those of a fa. the most sacred phrases appropriated to the ho- ther, and as I wanted all that tenderness, which nour of the Deity are applied to a mortal of good is the bias of inclination in men towards their quality. As I am naturally emulous, I cannot own offspring, I have had a greater command but endeavour, in imitation of this lady, to be of reason when I was to judge of what concern. the inventor, or, at least, the first producer of a ed my wards, and consequently was not promptkind of dedication, very different from hers and ed, by my partiality and fondness towards their most others, since it has not a word but what persons, to transgress against their interests. the author religiously thinks in it. It may serve As the female part of a family is the more for almost any book, either prose or verse, that constant and immediate object of care and prohas been, is, or shall be published, and might tection, and the more liable to misfortune or disrun in this manner.
honour, as being in themselves more sensible of The Author to himself.
the former, and, from custom and opinion, for
less offences more exposed to the latter; I shall Most HONOURED SIR,—These labours, upon begin with the more delicate part of my guara many considerations, so properly belong to none) dianship, the women of the family of Lizard.
The ancient and religious lady, the dowager of parent has a mind to continue to be; but it is my friend sir Ambrose, has for some time es- | possible I am too observing in this particular, tranged herself from conversation, and admits and this might be overlooked in them both, in only of the visits of her own family. The ob- respect to greater circumstances: for Mrs. Jane servation, that old people remember best those is the right hand of her mother ; it is her study things which entered into their thoughts when and constant endeavour to assist her in the ma. their memories were in their full strength and nagement of her househould, to keep all idle vigour, is very remarkably exemplified in this whispers from her, and discourage them before good lady and myself when we are in conversa- they can come at her from any other hand; to tion; I choose, indeed, to go thither, to divert inforce every thing that makes for the merit of any anxiety or weariness which at any time I her brothers and sisters towards her, as well as find grow upon me from any present business the diligence and cheerfulness of her servants.
It is said, that a little mirth and di- It is by Mrs. Jane's management that the whole version are what recreate the spirits upon those family is governed, neither by love nor fear, but occasions ; but there is a kind of sorrow from a certain reverence which is composed of both. which I draw a consolation that strengthens my Mrs. Jane is what one would call a perfect good faculties and enlarges my mind beyond any young woman; but neither strict piety, dili. thing that can flow from merriment. When we gence in domestic affairs, or any other avocameet, we soon get over any occurrence which tion, have preserved her against love, which she passed the day before, and are in a moment hur- bears to a young gentleman of great expectaried back to those days which only we call good tion, but small fortune ; at the same time that ones; the passages of the times when we were men of very great estates ask her of her mother. in fashion, with the countenances, behaviour, My lady tells her that prudence must give way and jollity, so much, forsooth, above what any to passion: so that Mrs. Jane, if I cannot acappear in now, are present to our imaginations, commodate the matter, must conquer more than and almost to our very eyes. This conversation one passion, and out of prudence banish the man revives to us the memory of a friend, that was she loves, and marry the man she hates. more than a brother to me; of a husband that The next daughter is Mrs. Annabella, who was dearer than life to her: discourses about has a very lively wit, a great deal of good sense, that dear and worthy man generally send her is very pretty, but gives me much trouble for to her closet, and me to the despatch of some her from a certain dishonest cunning I know in necessary business which regards the remains, her; she can seem blind and careless, and full I would say the numerous descendants of my of herself only, and entertain with twenty affect
generous friend. I am got, I know not how, ed vanities; whilst she is observing all the comout of what I was going to say of this lady; pany, laying up store for ridicule, and, in a which that she is far gone towards a better word, is selfish and interested under all the world; and I mention her (only with respect to agreeable qualities in the world. Alas, what this) as she is the object of veneration to those shall I do with this girl! who are derived from her: whose behaviour to. Mrs. Cornelia passes away her time very wards her may be an example to others, and much in reading, and that with so great an at. make the generality of young people apprehend, tention, that it gives her the air of a student, that when the ancient are past all offices of life, and has an ill effect upon her, as she is a fine it is then the young are to exert themselves in young woman; the giddy part of the sex will their most laudable duties towards them. have it she is in love; none will allow that she
The widow of sir Marmaduke is to be consi- affects so much being alone, but for want of pardered in a very different view. My lady is not ticular company. I have railed at romances be. in the shining bloom of life, but at those years, fore her, for fear of her falling into those deep wherein the gratifications of an ample fortune, studies : she has fallen in with my humour that those of pomp and equipage, of being much es- way for the time, but I know not how, my imteemed, much visited, and generally admired, prudent prohibition has, it seems, only excited are usually more strongly pursued than in her curiosity; and I am afraid she is better younger days. In this condition she might very read than I know of, for she said of a glass of well add the pleasures of courtship, and the water in which she was going to wash her hands grateful persecution of being followed by a after dinner, dipping her fingers with a pretty crowd of lovers; but she is an excellent mother lovely air, “It is chrystalline. I shall examine and great economist; which considerations, farther, and wait for clearer proofs. joined with the pleasure of living her own way, Mrs. Betty is (I cannot by what means or preserve her against the intrusion of love. I methods imagine) grown mightily acquainted
that my lady has not a secret vanity with what passes in the town ; she knows all in being still a fine woman, and neglecting those that matter of my lord such-a-one's leading my addresses, to which perhaps we in part owe her lady such-a-one out from the play ; she is proconstancy in that her neglect.
digiously acquainted, all of a sudden, with the Her daughter Jane, her eldest child of that world, and asked her sister Jane the other day sex, is in the twenty-third year of her age, a in an argument, Dear sister, how should you lady who forms herself after the pattern of her know any thing, that hear nothing but what we mother; but in my judgment, as she happens do in our own family ?' I do not much like her to be extremely like her, she sometimes makes maid. her court unskilfully, in affecting that likeness Mrs. Mary, the youngest daughter, whom in her very mien, which gives the mother an they rally and call Mrs. Ironside, because I have easy sense, that Mrs. Jane really is what her I named her the sparkler, is the very quintessence
of good-nature and generosity; she is the perfect The estate at present in his hands is above picture of her grandfather; and if one can ima. three thousand a year, after payment of taxes gine all good qualities which adorn human life and all necessary charges whatsoever. He is a become feminine, the seeds, nay, the blossom of man of good understanding, but not at all what them, are apparent in Mrs. Mary. It is a weak. is usually called a man of shining parts. His ness I cannot get over, (for how ridiculous is a virtues are much greater than accomplishments, regard to the bodily perfections of a man who as to his conversation. But when you come to is dead) but I cannot resist my partiality to this consider his conduct with relation to his man. child, for being so like her grandfather ; how ners and fortune, it would be a very great injury often have I turned from her, to hide the melt- not to allow him [to be] a very fine gentleman. ing of my heart when she has been talking to It has been carefully provided in his education. me! I am sure the child has no skill in it, for that he should be very ready at calculations. artifice could not dwell under that visage ; but This gives him a quick alarm inwardly upon if I am absent a day from the family, she is sure all undertakings; and in a much shorter time to be at my lodging the next morning to know than is usual with men who are not versed what is the matter.
in business, he is master of the question before At the head of these children, who have very him, and can instantly inform himself with great plentiful fortunes, provided they marry with exactness in the matter of profit or loss that. mine and their mother's consent, is my lady shall arise from any thing proposed to him. The Lizard ; who, you cannot doubt, is very well vi. same capacity, joined to an honest nature, makes sited. Sir William Oger, and his son almost at him very just to other men, as well as to himage, are frequently at our house on a double self. His payments are very punctual, and I consideration. The knight is willing, (for so dare answer he never did, or ever will, underhe very gallantly expresses himself) to marry take any piece of building, or any ornamental the mother, or he will consent, whether that be improvement of his house, garden, park, or so or not, that his son Oliver shall take any one lands, before the money is in his own pocket of the daughters Noll likes best.
wherewith he is to pay for such undertaking. Mr. Rigburt, of the same county, who gives He is too good to purchase labourers or artifiin his estate much larger, and his family more cers (as by this means he certainly could) at an ancient, offers to deal with us for two daughters. under rate ; but he has by this means what I
Sir Harry Pandolf has writ word from his think he deserves from his superior prudence, seat in the country, that he also is much inclined the choice of all who are most knowing and to an alliance with the Lizards, which he has able to serve him. With his ready money, the declared in the following letter to my lady; she builder, mason, and carpenter, are enabled to showed it me this morning.
make their market of gentlemen in his neigh.
bourhood, who inconsiderately employ them; • Madam,—I have heard your daughters very and often pay their undertakers by sale of some well spoken of: and though I have very great of their land; whereas, were the lands on which offers in my own neighbourhood, and heard the those improvements are made, sold to the arti. small-pox is very rife at London, I will send my ficers, the buildings would be rated as lumber in eldest son to see them, provided, that by your la- the purchase. Sir Harry has for ever a year's dyship's answer, and your liking of the rent-roll income, to extend his charity, serve his pleawhich I send herewith, your ladyship assures sures, or regale his friends. His servants, his me he shall have one of them, for I do not think cattle, his goods, speak their master a rich man. to have my son refused by any woman; and so, Those about his person, as his bailiff, the groom madam, I conclude, your most humble servant, of his chamber, and his butler, have a cheerful, · HENRY PENDOLA.' not a gay air : the servants below them seem to
live in plenty, but not in wantonness. As sir Henry is a young man, and of an active dispo
sition, his best figure is on horseback. But be. No. 6.] Wednesday, March 18, 1713. fore I speak of that, I should acquaint you, that
during his infancy, all the young gentlemen of I HAVE despatched my young women, and the the neighbourhood were welcome to a part of town has them among them; it is necessary for the house, which was called the school ; where, the elucidation of my future discourses, which at the charge of the family, there was a gramI desire may be denominated, as they are the mar-master, a plain sober man, maintained (with precepts of a Guardian, Mr. Ironside's Precau- a salary, besides his diet, of fifty pounds a-year) tions; I say it is, after what has been already to instruct all such children of gentlemen or declared, in the next place necessary to give an lower people, as would partake of his education. account of the males of this worthy family, As they grew up, they were allowed to ride out whose annals I am writing. The affairs of with him upon his horses. There were always women being chiefly domestic, and not made up ten or twelve for the saddle in readiness to atof so many circumstances as the duties of men tend him and his favourites, in the choice of are, I fear I cannot despatch the account of the whom he showed a good disposition, and distrimales under my care, in so few words as I did buted his kindness among them by turns, with the explanation which regarded my women. great good-nature. All horses, both for the sad.
Sir Harry Lizard, of the county of Northamp-dle and swift draught, were very well bitted, ton, son and heir of the late sir Marmaduke, is and a skilful rider, with a riding-house, wherein now entered upon the twenty-sixth year of his he (the riding master) commanded, had it in age, and is now at his seat in the country, orders to teach any gentleman's son of the county
that would please to learn that exercise. We next morning, a computation of the value of found our account in this proceeding, as well in land in an island, consisting of so many miles, real profit, as in esteem and power in the coun- with so many good ports; the value of each try; for as the whole shire is now possessed by part of the said island, as it lay to such ports, gentlemen who owe sir Harry a part of educa- and produced such commodities. The whole tion which they all value themselves upon, (their of his working was to know why so few yards horsemanship) they prefer his horses to all near the Change, was so much better than so others, and it is ten per cent in the price of a many acres in Northamptonshire; and what steed, which appears to come out of his riding. those acres in Northamptonshire would be house.
worth, were there no trade at all in this island. By this means it is, that sir Harry, as I was It makes my heart ache, when I think of going to say, makes the best figure on horse. this young man, and consider upon what plain back; for his usual hours of being in the field maxims, and in what ordinary methods men are well known; and at those seasons the neigh. of estate may do good wherever they are seated, bouring gentlemen, his friends and school-fel. that so many should be what they are ! It is lows, take a pleasure in giving him their com certain, that the arts which purchase wealth or pany, with their servants well behaved, and fame, will maintain them; and I attribute the horses well commanded.
splendour and long continuance of this family, I cannot enough applaud sir Harry for a par- to the felicity of having the genius of the foundticular care in his horses. He not only bits all er of it run through all his male line. Old sir which are ridden, but also all which are for the Harry, the great grandfather of this gentleman, coach or swift draught, for grace adds mightily has written in his own hand upon all the deeds to the price of strength ; and he finds his ac- which he ever signed in the humour of that sen. count in it at all markets, more especially for tentious age, this sentence, There are four good the coach or troop horses, of which that county mothers, of whom are often born four unhappy produces the most strong and ostentatious. To daughters ; truth begets hatred, happiness pride, keep up a breed for any use whatever, he gives security danger, and familiarity contempt.' plates for the best performing horse in every way in which that animal can be serviceable. There is such a prize for him that trots best, such for the best walker, such for the best gal.
Thursday, March 19, 1713. loper, such for the best pacer; then for him who draws most in such a time to such a place, then
Properat cursu to him that carries best such a load on his back.
Senec. Trag. He delights in this, and has an admirable fancy With speedy step life posts away. in the dress of the riders; some admired coun. try girl is to hold the prize, her lovers to trot, I this morning did myself the honour to visit and not to mend their pace into a gallop when lady Lizard, and took my chair at the tea-table, they are out-trotted by a rival; some known at the upper end of which that graceful woman, country wit to come upon the best pacer; these, with her daughters about her, appeared to me and the like little joyful arts, gain him the love with greater dignity than ever any figure, either of all who do not know his worth, and the es. of Venus attended by the graces, Diana with her teem of all who do. Sir Harry is no friend to nymphs, or any other celestial who owes her the race-horse; he is of opinion it is inhuman, being to poetry. that animals should be put upon their utmost The discourse we had there, none being prestrength and mettle for our diversion only. How- sent but our own family, consisted of private ever, not to be particular, he puts in for the matters, which tended to the establishment of queen's plate every year, with orders to his rider these young ladies in the world. My lady, I obnever to win or be distanced; and, like a good served, had a mind to make mention of the procountry gentleman, says, it is a fault in all mi- posal to Mrs. Jane, of which she is very fond, nistries, that they encourage no kind of horses and I as much avoided, as being equally against but those which are swift.
it; but it is by no means proper the young la. As I write lives, I dwell upon small matters, dies should observe we ever dissent; therefore being of opinion with Plutarch, that little cir. I turned the discourse, by saying, it was time cumstances show the real man better than enough to think of marrying a young lady, who things of greater moment. But good economy was but three-and-twenty, ten years hence.' is the characteristic of the Lizards. I remem. The whole table was alarmed at the assertion, ber a circumstance about six years ago, that and the Sparkler scalded her fingers, by learfing gave me hopes he would one time or other make suddenly forward to look in my face : but my a figure in parliament; for he is a landed man, business at present was to make my court to and considers his interest, though he is such, to the mother; therefore, without regarding the rebe impaired or promoted according to the state sentment in the looks of the children, · Madam,' of trade. When he was but twenty years old, said I, there is a petulant and hasty manner I took an opportunity in his presence, to ask an practised in this age, in hurrying away the life intelligent woollen-draper, what he gave for his of woman, and confining the grace and princi. shop [at] the corner of Change-alley? The shop pal action of it to those years wherein reason is, I believe, fourteen feet long, and eight broad. and discretion are most feeble, humour and pasI was answered, ninety pounds a-year. I took sion most powerful. From the time a young no notice, but the thought descended into the woman of quality has first appeared in the draw. breast of sir Harry, and I saw on his table the ing-room, raised a whisper and curiosity of the