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fort of raillery which may not only be in. Shall a man speak in his own praise? No: offensive, but even flattering; as when, by the hero of his own little tale always poz. a genteel irony, you accufe people of those zles and disgusts the company; who do imperfe&ions which they are most notori- not know what to say, or how to look. oully free frons, and confequently infinuate Shall he blame himfelf? No: vanity is as that they possess the contrary virtues. You much the motive of his condemnation a's may safely call Aristides á knave, or å of his panegyric. very handsome woman an ugly one. Take I have known many people take shame care, however, that neither the man's cha. to themselves, and, with a modeft contriracer nor the lady's beauty be in the leart tion, confess themselves guilty of most of doubtful. But this sort of raillery requires the cardinal virtues. They have fuch a a very light and steady hand to administer weakness in their nature, that they cannot it. A little too itrong, it may be mistaken help being too much moved with the misinto an offence; and a little too smooth, it fortunes and miseries of their fellow-crea. may be thought a sneer, which is a most tures; which they feel perhaps more, but odious thing.
at least as much as they do their own. There is another fort, I will not call it Their generofity, they are fenfible, is imwit, but merriment and buffoonery, which prudence; for they are apt to carry it too is minicry. The most successful mimic far, from the weak, the irresistible benefiin the world is always the most absurd fel. cence of their nature. They are possibly tow, and an ape is infinitely his superior. too jealous of their honour, too irafcible His profesion is to imitate and ridicule when they think it is touched; and this those natural defects and deformities for proceeds from their unhappy warm con. which no man is in the least accountable, ftitution, which makes them too sensible and in the imitation of which he makes upon that point; and so possibly with rehimself, for the time, as disagreeable and spect to all the virtues. A poor trick, and thocking as those he mimics. But I will a wretched instance of human vanity, and fay no more of these creatures, who only what defeats its own purpose. amuse the lowest rabble of mankind.
Do you be sure never to speak of your. There is another fort of human animals, felf, for yourself, nor against yourself; but called wags, whose profession is to make let your character speak for you: whatever the company laughimmoderately; and who that lays will be believed; but whatever always succeed, provided the company con- you say of it will not be believed, and only fift of fools; but who are equally disap. make you odious and ridiculous. pointed in finding that they never can alter I know that you are generous and be. a muscle in the face of a man of sense. nevolent in your nature; but that, though This is a moft contemptible character, and the principal point, is not quite enough; never esteemed, even by those who are filly you must seem fo too. I do not mean enough to be diverted by them.
oftentatiously; but do not be ashamed, as Be content for your felf with found good many young fellows are, of owning the fenfe and good manners, and let wit be laudable sentiments of good-nature and thrown into the bargain, where it is proper humanity, which you really feel. I have and inoffensive. Good sense will make known many young men, who defired to you esteemed; good manners will make be reckoned men of spirit, affect a hard. you beloved; and wit will give a lustre to ness and unfeelingness which in reality both.
Chesterfield. they never had; their conversation is in
the decisive and menacing tone, mixed $ 31. Egotism to be avoided.
with horrid and filly oaths; and all this to The egouism is the most usual and fa. be thought men of spirit. Astonishing vourite figure of most people's rhetoric, error this! which natnrally reduces them and which I hope you will never adopt, to this dilemma: If they really mean what but, on the contrary, most scrupulously they say, they are brutes; and if they do avoid. Nothing is more disagreeable or not, they are fools for saying it. This, irksome to the company, than to hear a however, is a common character among man either, praising or condemning him- young men; carefully avoid this contagion, felf; for both proceed from the same mo. and content yourself with being calmly tive, vanity. I would allow no man to and mildly resolute and steady, when you speak of himself unless in a court of juf- are thoroughly convinced you are in the tice, in his own defence, or as a witness. right; for this is true. Spirit.
Observe the à propos in every thing you other man much slenderer or taller than fay or do. In conversing with those who yourself? Certainly not: it is the same are much your superiors, however easy and thing with the mind, if you affect a chafamiliar you may and ought to be with racter that does not fit you, and that nature them, preserve the respect that is due to never intended for you. them. Converse with your equals with an In fine, it may be laid down as a general easy familiarity, and, at the same time, rule, that a man who despairs of pleasing great civility and decency: but too much will never please; a man that is sure that familiarity, according to the old saying, he shall always please wherever he goes, is often breeds contempt, and sometimes a coxcomb; but the man who hopes and quarrels. I know nothing more difficult endeavours to please, will molt infallibly in common behaviour, than to fix due please.
Chesterfield. bounds to familiarity : too little implies an unfociable formality: too much destroys $ 32. Extract from Lord BOLINGBROKE'S friendly and social intercourse. The best
Letters. rule I can give you to manage familiarity My Lord,
3736. is, never to be more familiar with any You have engaged me on a subject body than you would be willing, and even which interrrupts the series of those letters with, that he should be with you. On the I was writing to you; but it is one which, other hand, avoid that uncomfortable re. I confess, I have very much at heart. I serve and coldness which is generally the shall therefore explain myself fully, nor shield of cunning or the protection of dul- blush to reason on principles that are out ness. To your inferiors you should use a of fashion among men who intend nothing hearty benevolence in your words and ac- by serving the public, but to feed their tions, instead of a refined politeness, which avarice, their vanity, and their luxury, would be apt to make them suspect that without the sense of any duty they owe to you rather laughed at them.
God or man. Carefully avoid all affectation either of It seems to me, that in order to maintain body or of mind. It is a very true and a the moral system of the world at a certain very trite observation, That no man is ri- point, far below that of ideal perfection, diculous for being what he really is, but for we are made capable of conceiving for affecting to be what he is not. No what we are incapable of attaining, but man is awkward by nature, but by af- however sufficient, upon the whole, to fecting to be genteel. I have known constitute a state easy and happy, or at the many a man of common sense pass gene. worst tolerable; I say, it seems to me, that rally for a fool, because he affected a de- the Author of nature has thought fit to gree of wit that nature had denied him. mingle from time to time among the soA plowman is by no means awkward in cieties of men, a few, and but a few,of those the exercise of his trade, but would be on whom he is gracioully pleased to bestow exceedingly ridiculous, if he attempted the a larger proportion of the ethereal spirit, air and graces of a man of fashion. You than is given in the ordinary course of his learned to dance; but it was not for the providence to the fons of men. These are fake of dancing; it was to bring your air they who engross almost the whole reason and motions back to what they would na- of the species, who are born to instruct, to turally have been, if they had had fair play, guide, and to preserve, who are designed and had not been warped in youth by bad to be the tutors and the guardians of huexamples, and awkward imitations of other man kind. When they prove such, they boys.
exhibit to us examples of the highest virNature may be cultivated and improved tue and the truest piety; and they deserve both as to the body and the mind'; but it to have their festivals kept, instead of that is not to be extinguished by art; and all pack of anchorites and enthusiasts, with endeavours of that kind are absurd, and an whose names the Calendar is crowded and inexpreslible fund for ridicule. Your body disgraced. When these men apply their and mind must be at ease to be agreeable; talents to other purposes, when they strive but affectation is a particular restraint, un- to be great, and despise being good, they der which no man can be genteel in his commit a most sacrilegious breach of trust; carriage or pleasing in his conversation. they pervert the means, they defeat, as far Do you think your motions would be easy as lies in them, the designs of Providence, or graceful, if you wore the cloaths of an and disturb, in some fort, the system of Infinite Wisdom. To misapply these talents that had been hitherto barren, appeared is the most diffused, and therefore the on a sudden laden with a vat quantity of greatest of crimes in its nature and con- crabs: this sign alio the old gentleman 1equences; but to keep them unexerted and imagined to be a prognostic of the acute. unemployed, is a crime too. Look about ness of his wit. A great swarm of wasps you, my Lord, from the palace to the cot- played round his ciajle without hurting tage, you will find that the bulk of man. him, but were very troublesome to all in kind is made to breathe the air of this at the room befides. This seemed a certain mosphere, to roam about this globc, and presage of the effects of his fatire. A to consume, like the courtiers of Alcinous, dunghill was seen within the space of one the fruits of the earth. Nos numerus jumus night to be covered all over with muih& fruges confumere nati. When they have rooms: this some interpreted to promise trod this infipid round a certain number the infant great fertility of fancy, but no of years, and left others to do the same long duration to his works; but the father after them, they have lived ; and if they was of another opinion. have performed, in some tolerable degree, But what was of all most wonderful, the ordinary moral duties of life, they have was a thing that seemed a monstrous fowl, done all they were born to do. Look which just then dropped through the kyabout you again, my Lord, nay, look into light, near his wife's apartment. It had your own breast, and you will find that a large body, two little disproportioned there are superior spirits, men who shew, wings, a prodigious tail, but no head. As even from their infancy, though it be not its colour was white, he took it at first always perceived by others, perhaps not fight for a fwan, and was concluding his always felt by themselves, that they were son would be a poct; but on a nearer viely born for something more, and better. he perceived it to be speckled with black, These are the men to whom the part I in the form of letters; and that it was inmentioned is afligned ; their talents denote deed a paper-kite which had broke its their general defignation, and the oppor- leath by the impetuofity of the wind. His tunities of conforming themselves to it, back was armed with the art military, his that arise in the courfe of things, or that belly was filled with physic, his wings are presented to thein by any circumstances were the wings of Quarles and Withers, of rank and situation in the society to which the several nodes of his voluminous tail they belong, denote the particolar voca- were diverified with several branches of tion which it is not lawful for them to re- science; where the Doctor beheld with lift, nor even to neglect. The duration of great joy a knot of logic, a knot of metathe lives of such men as these is to be de- physic, a knot of casuittry, a knot of po. termined, I think, by the length and import- lemical divinity, and a knot of common ance of the parts they act, not by the num. law, with a lanthorn of Jacob Behmen. ber of years that pass between their com- There went a report in the family, that ing into the world and their going out of it. as soon as he was born, he uttered the Whether the piece be of three or five acts, voice of nine several animals: he cried the part may be long; and he who fuf- like a calf, bleated like a sheep, chattered tains it through the whole, may be said to like a magpye, grunted like a bog, neighed die in the fulness of years; whilft he who like a foal, croaked like a raven, mewed declines it sooner, may be said not to live like a cat, gabbled like a goole, and brayout half his days.
ed like an ass; and the next morning be
was found playing in his bed with two § 33. The Birth of MARTINUS SCRIB- owls which came down the chimney. His LERUS.
father was greatly rejoiced at all these Nor was the birth of this great man signs, which betokened the variety of his unaitended with prodigies : he himself has eloquence, and the extent of his learning; often told me, that on the night before but he was more particularly pleased with he was born, Mrs. Scribierus dreamed the the last, as it nearly resembled what hapwas brought to bed of a huge ink-horn, pened at the birth of Homer. out of which issued several large streams of ink, as it had been a fountain. This
The Doctor and his Shield. dream was by her husband thought to lig The day of the christening being come, nify, that the child should prove a very and the house filled with goslips, the levity voluminous writer. Likewise a crab-tree, of whose conversation suites bur ill with
the the gravity of Dr. Cornelius, he cast about the child : he took it in his arms, and prohow to pass this day more agreeable to his ceeded: character ; that is to say, not without some “ Behold then my child, but first behold profitable conference, nor wholly without “ the shield : behold this ruft, or rather observance of some ancient custom. “ let me call it this precious ærugo ;-bc
He remembered to have read in Theo. “ hold this beautiful varnih os cime,- this critus, that the cradle of Hercules was a « venerable verdure of so many ages!” shield : and being possessed of an antique In speaking these words, he slowly lifted buckler, which he held as a most inestima- up the mantle which covered it inch by ble relick, he determined to have the in- inch; but at every inch he uncovered, his fant laid therein, and in that manner cheeks grew paler, his hand trembled, his brought into the study, to be shewn to cer- nerves failed, till on sight of the whole the tain learned men of his acquaintance. tremor became universal: the shield and
The regard he had for this shield, had the infant both dropped to the ground, and caused him formerly to compile a differta- he had only strength enough to cry out, tion concerning it, proving from the seve. « O God! my shield ! my ihield !”. ral properties, and particularly the colour The truth was, the maid (extremely of the rust, the exact chronology thereof. concerned for the reputation of her own
With this treatise and a moderate sup. cleanliness, and her young master's hoser, he proposed to entertain his guests; nour) bad scoured it as clean as her handthough he had also another design, to have irons. their assistance in the calculation of his son's Cornelius sunk back on a chair, the nativity.
guests stood astonished, the infant squalled, He therefore took the buckler out of a the maid ran in, snatched it up again in her care (in which he always kept it, left it arms, flew into her mistress's room, and might contract any modern ruft) and en- told what had happened. Down stairs in truited it to his house-maid, with others, an instant hurried all the gossips, where that when the company was come, the they found the Doctor in a trance : Hunshould lay the child carefully in it, co. gary-watar, hartshorn, and the confused vered with a mantle of blue sattin.
noise of fhrill voices, at length awakened The guests were no sooner seated, but him: when, opening his eyes, he saw the they entered into a warm debate about the shield in the hand of the house-maid. “O Triclinium, and the manner of Decubitus, woman! woman!” he cried, (and snatched of the ancients, which Cornelius broke off it violently from her) " was it to thy ig. in this manner:
“ norance that this relick owes its ruin? « This day, wy friends, I propose to “Where, where is the beautiful crust that « exhibit my son before you ; a child not “ covered thee so long? where those traces “ wholly unworthy of inspection, as he is “ of time, and fingers as it were of anti“ descended from a race of virtuosi. Let « quity? Where all those beautiful obscu“ the physiognomift examine his features; “rities, the cause of much delightful dif“ let the chirographists behold his palm; “ putation, where doubt and curiosity went “ but, above all, let us consult for the cal. “ hand in hand, and eternally exercised sculation of his nativity. To this end, “ the speculations of the learned ? And b6 as the child is not vulgar, I will not pre- « this the rude touch of an ignorant woman “ sent him to you in a vulgar manner. “ hath done away! The curious promi« He shall be cradled in my ancient shield, “nence at the belly of that figure, which « so famous through the univerfities of " fome, taking for the cuspis of a sword, “ Europe. You all know how I purchased « denominated a Roman soldier ; others, « that invaluable piece of antiquity, at the “ accounting the infignia virilia, pronounce “ great (though indeed inadequate) ex- “ to be one of the Dii Termini ; behold she “ pence of all the plate of our family, how “ hath cleaned it in like shameful fort, and « happily I carried it off, and how trium- “ shewn to be the head of a nail. O my " phantly I transported it hither, to the “ shield ! my shield! well may I say with « inexpreflible grief of all Germany. Hap. “Horace, Non bene reli&ta parmula.” “ py in every circumstance, but that it The goslips, not at all inquiring into the “ broke the heart of the great Melchior cause of his forrow, only aked if the child “ Infipidus!”
had no hurt? and cried, “ Come, come, Here he stopped his speech, upon sight "all is well ; what has the woman done of the maid, who entered the room with “ but her duty ? a tight cleanly wench, I
(* warrant * warrant her: what a ftir a man makes Don't tell me of your ancients, had nos “ about a bafon, that an hour ago, before you almost killed the poor babe, with a dish “ her labour was bestowed upon it, a coun- of dæmonial black broth? --- Lacedæ. “ try barber would not have hung at his « monian black broth, thou would'st say “ ihop door?” “ A balon, (cried ano- “ (replied Cornelius ;) but I cannot allow • ther) no such matter ; 'tis nothing but a “ the surfeit to have been occafioned by • paultry old sconce, with the nozzle broke “ that diet, fince it was recommended by “ off.” The learned gentlemen, who till us the divine Lycurgus. No, nurse, thou now had flood speechless, hereupon look- “must certainly have eaten some meats of ing narrowly on the field, declared their “ill digestion the day before ; and that assent to this latter opinion, and desired “ was the real cause of his disorder, ConCornelius to be comforted; assuring him it « fider, woman, the different temperawas a sconce, and no other. But this, in- “ ments of different nations : What makes tead of comforting, threw the doctor into "the English phlegmatic and melancholy, such a violent fit of passion, that he was “bat beet? What renders the Welsh so carried off groaning and speechless to bed; “ hot and choleric, but cheese and leeks? where, being quite spent, he fell into a “ The French derive their levity from the kind of sumber.
“ foups, frogs, and mushrooms. I would
“ not let my son dine like an Italian, left, The Nutrition of SCRIBLERUS.
“ like an Italian, he should be jealous and Cornelius now began to regulate the “ revengeful. The warm and solid diet suction of his child; feldom did there pass “ of Spain may be more beneficial, as it a diy without disputes between him and “might endow him with a profound grathe mother, or the nurse, concerning the “vity; but, at the same time, he might nature of aliment. The poor woman never « fuck in with their food their intolerable dined but he denied her fome dish or other, “ vice of pride. Therefore, norse, in which he judged prejudicial to her milk. “ short, I hold it requisite to deny you, at One day he had a longing desire to a piece “present, not only beef, but likewise what. of beef; and as the stretched her hand to- “ Toever any of those nations eat.” Durwards it, the old gentleman drew it away, ing this speech, the nurse remained pouting and spoke to this effect : “ Hadit thou read and marking her plate with the knife, nor " the ancierts, O nurse, thou would'At pre. would she touch a bit during the whole “ fer the welfare of the infant which thou dinner. This the old gentieman observing, “ nourishet, to the indulging of an irre- ordered, that the child, to avoid the risque “ gular and voracious appetite. Beef, it of imbibing ill humours, should be kept “ is true, may confer a robustness on the from her breast all that day, and be fed “ limbs of my son, but will hebetate and with butter mixed with honey, according “ clog his intellectuals.” While he spoke to a prescription he had met with somethis the nurse looked upon him with much where in Eustathius upon Homer. This anger, and now and then cast a wishful eye indeed gave the child a great looseness, upon the beef. Paffion (continued the but he was not concerned at it, in the opi. “ doctor, ftill holding che diih) throws the nion that whatever harm it might do his “ mind into too violent a fermentation : it body, would be amply recompensed by the “ is a kind of fever of the soul; or, as Ho improvements of his understanding. But “ race expresses it, a short madness. Con- from thenceforth he insisted every day upon “ fider, woman, that this day's suction of a particular diet to be observed by the " my son may cause him to imbibe many nurse; under which, having been long un“ ungovernable passions, and in a manner easy, she at last parted from the family, on “ spoil him for the temper of a philoso- his ordering her for dinner the paps of a « pher. Romulus, by sucking a wolf, be- row with pig; taking it as the highest in“ came of a fierce and favage disposition : dignity, and a direct infult upon her sex “ and were I to breed some Ottoman em and calling. “ peror, or founder of a military common“ wealth, perhaps I might indulge thee in
Play-Things. “ this carnivorous appetite.”-What! in Here follow the instructions of Corneliu terrupted the nurse, beef spoil the under- Seriblerus concerning the plays and playstanding ! that's fine indeed how then things to be used by his son Martin. could our parson preach as he does upon « Play wa: invented by the Lydians, as leef, and pudding too, if you go to that? “a remedy against huuger. Sophocles,
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