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this consideration, that the little disappoint Even the men that are distinguished by, and ments in a life of pleasure are as terrible as envied for, their superior good sense and deli. those in a life of business; and if the end of one cacy of taste, are subject to several uneasinesses man is to spend his time and money as agreea- upon this account, that the men of less penetra. bly as he can, that of the other to save both, an tion are utter strangers to; and every little abinterruption in either of these pursuits is of surdity ruffles these fine judgments, which equal consequence to the pursuers. Besides, as would never disturb the peaceful state of the every trifle raiseth the mirth and gayety of the less discerning: men of good circumstances, so do others as in I shall end this essay with the following story. considerable expose them to spleen and passion, There is a gentleman of my acquaintance, of a and as Solomon says, 'according to their riches, fortune which may not only be called easy, but their anger riseth.'
superfluous; yet this person has, by a great One of the most bitter circumstances of po- deal of reflection, found out a method to be as verty has been observed to be, that it makes uneasy as the worst circumstances could have men appear ridiculous; but I believe this affirm-made him. By a free life he had swelled him. ation may with more justice be appropriated self above his natural proportion, and by a re. to riches, since more qualifications are required strained life had shrunk below it, and being by to become a great fortune, than even to make nature splenetic, and by leisure more so, he one; and there are several pretty persons about began to bewail this his loss of flesh (though town, ten times more ridiculous upon the very otherwise in perfect health) as a very melan. account of a good estate, than they possibly choly diminution. He became, therefore, the could have been with the want of it.
reverse of Cæsar, and as a lean, hungry-looked I confess, having a mind to pay my court to rascal was the delight of his eyes, a fat, sleekfortune, I became an adventurer in one of the headed fellow was his abomination. To support late lotteries ; in which, though I got none of himself as well as he could, he took a servant, the great prizes, I found no occasion to envy for the very reason every one else would have some of those that did; comforting myself with refused him, for being in a deep consumption; this contemplation, that nature and education and whilst he has compared himself to this having disappointed all the favours fortune creature, and with a face of infinite humour could bestow upon them, they had gained no contemplated the decay of his body, I have seen superiority by an unenvied affluence.
the master's features proportionably rise into a It is pleasant to consider, that whilst we are boldness, as those of his slave sunk and grew lamenting our particular afflictions to each languid. It was his interest, therefore, not to other, and repining at the inequality of condi- suffer the too hasty dissolution of a being, upon tion, were it possible to throw off our present which his own, in some measure depended. In miserable state, we cannot name the person short, the fellow, by a little too much indul. whose condition in every particular we would gence, began to look gay and plump upon his embrace and prefer; and an impartial inquiry master, who, according to Horace, into the pride, ill-nature, ill-health, guilt, spleen, Invidus alterius macrescit rebus opimis. or particularity of behaviour of others, general
Lib. 1. Ep. ii. 57. ly ends in a reconciliation to our dear selves. Sickens thro' envy at another's good :
This my way of thinking is warranted by and as he took him only for being in a con.
Sometimes am I a king,
Thursday, May 14, 1713. And so indeed I'am. Then crushing penury Persuades me I was better when a king,
-quis enim virtutem amplectitur ipsam, Then am I king'd again.Prior says very prettily:
For who would virtue for herself regard,
Or wed, without the portion of reward ? Dryden. Against our peace we arm our will: Amidst our plenty something still For horses, houses, pictures, planting,
It is usual with polemical writers. to object To thee, to me, to him is wanting.
ill designs to their adversaries. This turns That cruel something unpossest
their argument into satire, which, instead of That something if we could obtain,
showing an error in the understanding, tends Would soon create a future pain.
only to expose the morals of those they write Give me leave to fortify my unlearned reader against. I shall not act after this manner with with another bit of wisdom from Juvenal, by respect to the free-thinkers. Virtue and the Dryden :
happiness of society, are the great ends which Look round the habitable world, how few'
all men ought to promote ; and
some of that sect Know their own good, or, knowing it, pursue ! would be thought to have a heart above the How void of reason are our hopes and fears! rest of mankind. But supposing those who What in the conduct of our life appears So well designed, so luckily begun
make that profession, to carry on a good design But, when we have our wish, we wish undone! ton in the simplicity of their hearts, and according
Præmia si tollas ?
Juv. Sat. x. 141.
Corrodes and leavens all the rest.
to their best knowledge, yet it is much to be rouse and awaken our hopes and fears, like feared, those well-meaning souls, while they those prospects that warm and penetrate the endeavoured to recommend virtue, have in real heart of a christian, but are not regarded by a ity been advancing the interests of vice; which, free-thinker? as I take to proceed from their ignorance of It is not only a clear point, that a christian human nature, we may hope, when they be- breaks through stronger engagements whenever come sensible of their mistake, they will, in he surrenders himself to commit a criminal acconsequence of that beneficent principle they tion, and is stung with a sharper remorse after pretend to act upon, reform their practice for it than a free-thinker ; but it should even seem the future.
that a man who believes no future state, would The sages whom I have in my eye, speak of act a foolish part in being thoroughly honest. virtue as the most amiable thing in the world; For what reason is there why such a one should but at the same time that they extol her beauty, postpone his own private interest, or pleasure, they take care to lessen her portion. Such in- to the doing his duty ? If a christian foregoes nocent creatures are they, and so great strangers some present advantage for the sake of his con. to the world, that they think this a likely me. science, he acts accountably, because it is with thod to increase the number of her admirers. the view of gaining some greater future good :
Virtue' has in herself the most engaging but he that, having no such view, should yet charms; and Christianity, as it places her in conscientiously deny himself a present good in the strongest light, and adorned with all her any incident where he may save appearances, native attractions, so it kindles a new fire in is altogether as stupid as he that would trust the soul, by adding to them the unutterable re. him at such a juncture. wards which attend her votaries in an eternal It ill, perhaps, be said, that virtue is her state. Or, if there are men of a saturnine and own reward, that a natural gratification attends heavy complexion, who are not easily lifted up good actions, which is alone sufficient to excite by hope, there is the prospect of everlasting men to the performance of them. But although punishments to agitate their souls, and frighten there is nothing more lovely than virtue, and them into the practice of virtue, and an aversion the practice of it is the surest way to solid from vice.
natural happiness, even in this life; yet titles, Whereas, your sober free-thinkers tell you, estates, and fantastical pleasures, are more ar. that virtue indeed is beautiful, and vice de- dently sought after by most men, than the naformed; the former deserves your love, and the tural gratifications of a reasonable mind; and it latter your abhorrence; but then it is for their cannot be denied, that virtue and innocence are own sake, or on account of the good and evil not always the readiest methods to attain that which immediately attend them, and are inse- sort of happiness. Besides, the fumes of passion parable from their respective natures. As for must be allayed, and reason must burn brighter the immortality of the soul, or eternal punish- than ordinary, to enable men to see and relish ments and rewards, those are openly ridiculed, all the native beauties and delights of a virtuous or rendered suspicious by the most sly and la- life. And though we should grant our free. boured artifice.
thinkers to be a set of refined spirits, capable I will not say these men act treacherously in only of being enamoured of virtue, yet what the cause of virtue; but will any one deny, that would become of the bulk of mankind who have they act foolishly, who pretend to advance the gross understandings, but lively senses, and interest of it by destroying or weakening the strong passions ? What a deluge of lust, and strongest motives to it, which are accommodated fraud, and violence, would in a little time overto all capacities, and fitted to work on all dis- flow the whole nation, if these wise advocates positions, and enforcing those alone which can for morality were universally hearkened to! affect only a generous and exalted mind! Lastly, opportunities do sometimes offer, in
Surely they must be destitute of passion them. which a man may wickedly make his fortune, selves, and unacquainted with the force it hath on or indulge a pleasure, without fear of temporal the minds of others, who can imagine that the damage, either in reputation, health, or fortune. mere beauty of fortitude, temperance, and jus. In such cases what restraint do they lie under tice, is sufficient to sustain the mind of man in who have no regards beyond the grave; the ina severe course of self-denial against all the ward compunctions of a wicked, as well as the temptations of present profit and sensuality. joys of an upright mind being grafted on the
It is my opinion that free-thinkers should be sense of another state ? treated as a set of poor ignorant creatures, that The thought, that our oxistence terminates have not sense to discover the excellency of with this life,' doth naturally check the soul in religion; it being evident those men are no any generous pursuit, contract her views, and witches, nor likely to be guilty of any deep de. fix them on temporary and selfish ends. It design, who proclaim aloud to the world, that they thrones the reason, extinguishes all noble and have less motives to honesty than the rest of heroic sentiments, and subjects the mind to the their fellow-subjects, who have all the induce slavery of every present passion. The wise ments to the exercise of any virtue which a heathens of antiquity were not ignorant of this: free-thinker can possibly have, and besides, the hence they endeavoured by fables, and conjec. expectation of never-ending happiness or misery, tures, and the glimmerings of nature, tu possess as the consequence of their choice.
the minds of men with the belief of a future Are not men actuated by their passions ? and state, which has been since brought to light by are not hope and fear the most powerful of our the gospel, and is now most inconsistenly de. passions ? and are there any objects which can cried by a few weak men, who would have us
believe that they promote virtue, by turning after, Enmity lying in ambush for her, became religion into ridicule.
the father of him whom you saw along with me. The temper of our mother inclines us to the
same sort of business, the informing mankind No. 56.]
of their faults; but the different complexions of Friday, May 15, 1713.
our fathers make us differ in our designs and Quid mentum traxisse polo, quid profuit altum
company. I have a natural benevolence in my Erexisse caput? pecudum si more pererrant. mind which engages me with friends; and he a
Claud. natural impetuosity in his, which casts him What profits us, that we from heaven derive
among enemies.' A soul immortal, and with looks erect Survey the stars; if, like the brutal kind,
As he thus discoursed, we came to a place We follow where our passions lead the way?
where there were three entrances into as many
several walks, which lay aside of one another. I was considering last night, when I could We passed into the middlemost, a plain straight not sleep, how noble a part of the creation man regular walk, set with trees, which added to was designed to be, and how distinguished in the beauty of the place, but did not so close their all his actions above other earthly creatures. boughs over head as to exclude the light from it. From whence I fell to take a view of the change Here, as we walked, I was made to observe, how and corruption which he has introduced into his the road on one hand was full of rocks and pre. own condition, the grovelling appetites, the cipices, over which Reproach (who had already mean characters of sense, and wild courses of gotten thither) was furiously driving unhappy passions, that cast him from the degree in which wretches: the other side was all laid out in garProvidence had placed him; the debasing him- dens of gaudy tulips, amongst whose leaves the self with qualifications not his own; and his serpents wreathed, and at the end of every degenerating into a lower sphere of action. grassy walk the enchantress Flattery was weavThis inspired me with a mixture of contempt ing bowers to lull souls asleep in. We conti. and anger; which, however, was not so violent nued still walking on the middle way, till we as to hinder the return of sleep, but grew con arrived at a building in which it terminated. fused as that came upon me, and made me end This was formerly erected by Truth for a watch. my reflections with giving mankind the oppro- tower, from whence she took a view of the earth, brious names of inconsiderate, mad, and foolish. and, as she saw occasion, sent out Reproof, or
Here, methought, where my waking reason even Reproach, for our reformation. Over the left the subject, my fancy pursued it in a dream; door I took notice that a face was carved with a and I imagined myself in a loud soliloquy of heart upon the lips of it, and presently called to passion, railing at my species, and walking hard mind that this was the ancients' emblem of sin. to get rid of the company I despised; when two cerity. In the entrance I met with Freedom of men who had overheard me, made up on either Speech and Complaisance, who had for a long hand. These I observed had many features in time looked upon one another as enemies; but common which might occasion the mistake of Reproof has so happily brought them together, one for the other in those to whom they appear that they now act as friends and fellow agents single; but I, who saw them together, could in the same family. Before I ascended the stairs, easily perceive, that though there was an air of I had my eyes purified by a water which made severity in each, it was tempered with a natural me see extremely clear; and I think they said sweetness in the one, and by turns constrained it sprung in a pit, from whence (as Democritus or ruffled by the designs of malice in the other. had reported) they formerly brought up Truth,
I was at a loss to know the reason of their who had hid herself in it. I was then admitted joining me so briskly; when he, whose appear to the upper chamber of prospect, which was ance displeased me most, thus addressed his called the Knowledge of Mankind: here the companion : Pray, brother, let him alone, and window was no sooner opened, but I perceived we shall immediately see him transformed into the clouds to roll off and part before me, and a a tiger. This struck me with horror, which the scene of all the variety of the world presented other perceived, and, pitying my disorder, bid itself. me be of good courage, for though I had been But how different was mankind in this view savage in my treatment of mankind, (whom I from what it used to appear! Methought the should rather reform than rail against) he would, very shape of most of them was lost; some had however, endeavour to rescue me from my dan- the heads of dogs, others of apes or parrots, and, ger. At this I looked a little more cheerful, and in short, wherever any one took upon him the while I testified my resignation to him, we saw inferior and unworthy qualities of other creathe
angry brother fling away from us in a pas- tures, the change of his soul became visible in sion for his disappointment. Being now left to his countenance. The strutting pride of him my friend, I went back with him at his desire, who is endued with brutality instead of courage, that I might know the meaning of those words made his face shoot out into the form of a which had so affrighted me.
horse's; his eyes became prominent, his nostrils As we went along, • To inform you,' says he, widened, and his wig untying, flowed down
on 'with whom you have this adventure, my name one side of his neck in a waving mane. The is Reproof, and his Reproach, both born of the talkativeness of those who love the ill-nature of same mother; but of different fathers. Truth conversation made them turn into assemblies of is our common parent. Friendship, who saw geese, their lips hardened to bills by eternal her, fell in love with her, and she being pleased using, they gabbled for diversion, they hissed in with him, he begat me upon her; but, a while I scandal, and their ruffles falling back on their
arms, a succession of little feathers appeared, J and susceptible of admonition. Expose the which formed wings for them to flutter with beasts whose qualities you see them putting or from one visit to another. The envious and ma- where you have no mind to engage with their licious lay on the ground with the heads of dif. persons. The possibility of their applying this is ferent sorts of serpents ; and not endeavouring very obvious. The Egyptians saw it so clearly, to erect themselves, but meditating mischief to that they made the pictures of animals explain others, they sucked the poison of the earth, their minds to one another instead of writing; sharpened their tongues to stings upon the and, indeed, it is hardly to be missed, since stones, and rolled their trains un perceivably be. Æsop took them out of their mute condition, neath their habits. The hypocritical oppressors and taught them to speak for themselves with wore the face of crocodiles: their mouths were relation to the actions of mankind.' instruments of cruelty, their eyes of deceit; My guide had thus concluded, and I was prothey committed wickedness, and bemoaned that mising to write down what was shown me for there should be so much of it in the world ; they the service of the world, when I was awakened devoured the unwary and wept over the remains by a zealous old servant of mine, who brought of them. The covetous had so hooked and worn me the Examiner, and told me, with looks full their fingers by counting interest upon interest, of concern, he was afraid I was in it again. that they were converted to the claws of harpies, and these they still were stretching out for more, yet still seemed unsatisfied with their acquisi. tions. The sharpers had the looks of camelions ;
Saturday, May 16, 1713. they every minute changed their appearance, and fed on swarms of flies which fell as so many
Quam multa injusta ac prava fiunt moribus !
Ter. Heaut. Act iv. Sc. 6. cullies amongst them. The bully seemed a dunghill cock: he crested well, and bore his How many unjust and wrong things are authorised
by custom! comb aloft; he was beaten by almost every one, yet still sung for triumph; and only the mean
It is of no small concern to me that the incoward pricked up the ears of a hare to fly be. terests of virtue are supplanted by common cusfore him. Critics were turned into cats, whose tom and regard for indifferent things. Thus pleasure and grumbling go together. Fops mode and fashion defend the most absurd and were apes in embroidered jackets. Flatterers were curled spaniels, fawning and crouching: tenance for doing what every body practices
unjust proceedings, and nobody is out of conn. The crafty had the face of a fox, the slothful of though at the same time there is no one who is an ass, the cruel of a wolf, the ill-bred of a bear, not convinced in his own judgment of the er. the lechers were goats, and the gluttons swine. rors in which he goes on with the multitude. Drunkenness was the only vice that did not My correspondent, who writes me the following change the face of its professors into that of letter, has put together a great many points another creature; but this I took to be far from which would deserve serious consideration, as a privilege, for these two reasons :-because it much as things which at first appearance bear sufficiently deforms them of itself, and because none of the lower rank of beings is guilty of so little arts that are used in the way to matrimony,
a weightier aspect. He recites almost all the foolish an intemperance. As I was taking a view of these representa tħing more common than for people, who have
by the parents of young women. There is no tions of things without any more order than is good and worthy characters, to run without reusual in a dream, or in the confusion of the spect to the laws of gratitude, into the most exworld itself, I perceived a concern within me orbitant demands for their children, upon no for what I saw! My eyes began to moisten, as other foundation than that which should incline if the virtue of that water with which they were them to the quite contrary, the unreserved affecpurified was lost for a time, by their being tion of the lover. I shall at this time, by insert. touched with that which arose from a passion. ing my correspondent's letter, lay such offences The clouds immediately began to gather again, before all parents and daughters respectively, and close from either hand upon the prospect. I then turned towards my guide, who address-sidered in future precautions.
and reserve the particular instances to be con. ed himself to me after this manner: · You have seen the condition of mankind when it descends
• To Nestor Ironside, Esquire. from its dignity; now, therefore, guard yourself from that degeneracy by a modest greatness “Sir, I have for some time retired myself of spirit on one side, and a conscious shame on from the town and business to a little seat. the other. Endeavour also with a generosity of where a pleasant campaign country, good roads, goodness to make your friends aware of it; let and healthful air, tempt me often abroad; and them know what defects you perceive are grow. being a single man, have contracted more acing upon them; handle the matter as you see quaintance than is suitable to my years, or reason, either with the airs of severe or humour-agreeable to the intentions of retirement I ous affection; sometimes plainly describing the brought down with me hither. Among others degeneracy in its full proper colours, or at other I have a young neighbour, who yesterday, imtimes letting them know, that, if they proceed parted to me the history of an honourable amour, as they have begun, you give them to such a which has been carried on a considerable time day, or so many months, to turn bears, wolves, with a great deal of love on his side, and (as he or foxes, &c. Neither neglect your more re- says he has been made to believe) with somemote acquaintance, where you see any worthy thing very unlike aversion on the young lady's,
But so matters have been contrived, that he can love her as he ought, who can deny any could never get to know her mind thoroughly. I thing her parents demand. When he was first acquainted with her, he might . 4. Carrying on the affair by letters and conbe as intimate with her as other people; but fidants, without sufficient interviews. since he first declared his passion, he has never "I think you cannot fail obliging many in the been admitted to wait upon her, or to see her, world, besides my young neighbour and me, if other than in public. If he went to her father's you please to give your thoughts upon treaties house, and desired to visit her, she was either of this nature, wherein all the nobility and gento be sick or out of the way, and nobody would try of this nation in the unfortunate methods come near him in two hours, and then he should marriages are at present in) come at one time be received as if he had committed some strange or other unavoidably to be engaged; especially offence. If he asked her father's leave to visit it is my humble request, you will be particular her, the old gentleman was mute. If he put it in speaking to the following points, to wit, negatively, and asked if he refused it, the father •1. Whether honourable love ought to be would answer with a smile, “No, I don't say so, mentioned first to the young lady, or her paneither." If they talked of the fortune, he had rents ? considered his circumstances, and it every day 2. If to the young lady first, whether a man diminished. If the settlements came into de- is obliged to comply with all the parents demand bate, he had considered the young gentleman's afterwards, under pain of breaking off dishoestate, and daily increased his expectations. If nourably ? the mother was consulted, she was mightily for 3. If to the parents first, whether the lover the match, but affected strangely the showing may insist upon what the father pretends to her cunning in perplexing matters. It went off give, and refuse to make such settlement as seemingly several times, but my young neigh- must incapacitate him for any thing afterwards, bour's passion was such that it easily revived without just imputation of being mercenary, or upon the least encouragement given him; but putting a slight upon the lady, by entertaining tired out with writing, (the only liberty allowed views upon the contingency of her death? him,) and receiving answers at cross purposes,
•4. What instructions a mother ought to give destitute of all hopes, he at length wrote a formal her daughter upon such occasions, and what the adieu ; but it was very unfortunately timed, for old lady's part properly is in such treaties, her soon after he had the long wished-for opportu- husband being alive ? nity of finding her at a distance from her pa 5. How far a young lady is in duty obliged rents. Struck with the joyful news, in heat of to observe her mother's directions, and not to passion, resolute to do any thing rather than receive any letters or messages without her leave her, down he comes post, directly to the knowledge ? house where she was, without any preparatory 6. How far a daughter is obliged to exert intercession after the provocation of an adieu. the power she has over her lover, for the ease She, in a premeditated anger to show her re- and advantage of her father and his family; and sentment, refused to see him. He in a kind of how far she may consult and endeavour the infond frenzy, absent from himself, and exas terest of the family she is to marry into ? perated into rage, cursed her heartily; but re. • 7. How far letters and confidants of both turning to himself
, was all confusion, repent- sexes may regularly be employed, and wherein ance, and submission. But in vain; the lady they are improper ? continued inexorable, and so the affair ended in 8. When a young lady's pen is employed 2 manner that renders them very unlikely ever about settlements, fortunes, or the like, whether to meet again. Through the pursuit of the it be an affront to give the same answers as if whole story (whereof I give but a short abstract) it had been in the hand-writing of those that inmy young neighbour appeared so touched, and structed her ? discovered such certain marks of unfeigned love, Lastly, be pleased at your leisure to correct that I cannot but be heartily sorry for them that too common way among fathers, of publishboth. When he was gone, I sat down immedi. ing in the world, that they will give their daughately to my scrutoire, to give you the account, ters twice the fortune they really intend, and whose business, as a Guardian, it is to tell your thereby draw young gentlemen, whose estates wards what is to be avoided, as well as what is are often in debt, into a dilemma, either of crossfit to be done. And I humbly propose, that you ing a fixed inclination, contracted by a long hawill, upon this occasion, extend your instructions bit of thinking upon the same person, and so to all sorts of people concerned in treaties of this being miserable that way; or else beginning nature, (which of all others do most nearly con. the world under a burden they can never get cern human life) such as parents, daughters, quit of. lovers, and confidants of both sexes. I desire • Thus, sage sir, have I laid before you all leave to observe, that the mistakes in this court that does at present occur to me on the import. ship (which might otherwise probably have suc ant subject of marriage; but before I seal up ceeded happily) seem chiefly these four, viz. my epistle, I must desire you farther to consider,
1. The father's close equivocal management, how far treaties of this sort come under the head so as always to keep a reservation to use upon of bargain and sale; whether you cannot find occasion, when he found himself pressed. out measures to have the whole transacted in
2. The mother's affecting to appear ex. fairer and more open market than at present. tremely artful.
How would it become you to put the laws in ex. 3. A notion in the daughter (who is a lady ecution against forestallers, who take up the of singular good sense and virtue) that no man I young things of each sex before they are ex