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are suitable to the design for which the person so defective or accomplished came into the world. To make this inquiry aright, we must speak of the life of people of condition; and the proportionable applications to those below them will be easily made, so as to value the whole species by the same rule. We will begin with the woman, and behold her as a virgin in her father's house. This state of her life is infinitely more delightful than that of her brother at the same age. While she is entertained with learning melodious airs at her spinnet, is led round a room in the most complaisant manner to a fiddle, or is entertained with applauses of her beauty and perfection in the ordinary conversation she meets with ; the young man is under the dictates of a rigid school-master or instructor, contradicted in every word he speaks, and curbed in all the inclinations he discovers. Mrs. Elizabeth is the object of desire and admiration, looked upon with delight, courted with all the powers of eloquence and address, approached with a certain worship, and defended with a certain loyalty. This is her case as to the world. In her domestic character, she is the companion, the friend, and confident of her mother, and the object of a pleasure, something like the love between angels, to her father. Her youth, her beauty, her air, are by him looked upon with an ineffable transport beyond any other joy in this life, with as much purity as can be met with in the next. Her brother William, at the same years, is but in the rudiments of those acquisitions which must gain him esteem in the world. His heart beats for applause among men; yet he is fearful of every step towards it. If he proposes to himself to make a figure in the world, his youth is damped with a prospect of difficulties, dangers, and dishonours; and an opposition in all generous attempts, whether they regard his love or his ambition. In the next stage of life, she has little else to do, but (what she is accomplished for by the mere gifts of nature) to appear lovely and agreeable to her husband, tender to her children, and affable to her servants. But a man, when he enters into this way, is but in the first scene, far from the accomplishment of his designs. He is now in all things to act for others as well as himsels. He is to have industry and frugality in his private affairs, and integrity and address in public. To these qualities, he must add a courage and resolution to support his other abilities, lest he be interrupted in the prosecution of his just endeavours, in which the honour and interest of his posterity are as much concerned as his own personal welfare. This little sketch may, in some measure, give an idea of the different parts which the sexes have to act, and the advantageous as well as inconvenient terms on which they are to enter upon their several parts of life. This may also be some rule to us in the examination of their conduct. In short, I shall take it for a maxim, that a woman who resigns the purpose of being pleasing, and the man who gives up the thoughts of being wise, do equally quit their claim to the true causes of living; and are to be allowed the
diet and discipline of my charitable structure, to reduce them to reason. On the other side, the woman who hopes to please by methods which should make her odious, and the man who would be thought wise by a behaviour that renders him ridiculous, are to be taken into custody for their false industry, as justly as they ought for their negligence.
N. B. Mr. Bickerstaff is taken extremely ill with the toothache, and cannot proceed in this discourse.
St. James's Coffee-house, May 22.
Advices from Flanders of the thirtieth instant, N. S. say, That the duke of Marlborough, having intelligence of the enemy's passing the Scarp on the twenty-ninth in the evening, and their march towards the plains of Lens, had put the confederate army in motion, which was advancing towards the camp on the north side of that river, between Vitry and Henin-Leitard. The confederates, since the approach of the enemy, have added several new redoubts to their camp, and drawn the cannon out of the lines of circumvallation in a readiness for the batteries.
It is not believed, notwithstanding these appearances, that the enemy will hazard a battle for the relief of Douay; the siege of which place is carried on with all the success that can be expected, considering the difficulties they meet with, occasioned by the inundations. On the twenty-eighth at night we made a lodgment on the salient angle of the glacis of the second counterscarp, and our approaches are so far advanced, that it is believed the town will be obliged to surrender before the eighth of the next month.
No. 176.) Thursday, May 25, 1710.
Nullum numen abest, si sit prudentia.
Whoe'er takes Prudence for his guard and guide, Engages every guardian beside.
From my own Apartment, May 23.
This evening, after a little ease from the raging pain caused by so small an organ as an aching tooth, (under which I behaved myself so ill as to have broke two pipes and my spectacles) I began to reflect with admiration on those heroic spirits, which in the conduct of their lives seem to live so much above the condition of our make, as not only under the agonies of pain to forbear any intemperate word or gesture, but also in their general and ordinary bchaviour, to resist the impulses of their very blood and constitution. This watch over a man's self, and the command of his temper, I take to be the greatest of human perfections, and is the effect of a strong and a resolute mind. It is not only the most expedient practice for carrying on our own designs; but is also very deservedly the most amiable quality in the sight of others. It is a winning deference to mankind, which creates an immediate imitation of itself wherever it appears; and prevails upon all, who have to do with a person endued with it, either through shame or emulation. I do not know how to express this habit of mind, except you will let me call it Equanimity. It is a virtue which is necessary at every hour, in every place, and in all conversations; and it is the effect of a regular and exact prudence. He that will look back upon all the acquaintances he has had in his whole life, will find, he has seen more men capable of the greatest employments and performances, than such as could, in the general bent of their carriage, act otherwise than according to their own complexion and humour. But the indulgence of ourselves, in wholly giving way to our natural propensity, is so unjust and improper a license, that when people take it up,
there is but very little difference, with relation
to their friends and families, whether they are good or ill-natured men : for he that errs by being wrought upon by what we call the sweet. ness of his temper, is as guilty as he that of. fends through the perverseness of it. It is not therefore to be regarded what men are in themselves, but what they are in their actions. Eucrates is the best natured of all men; but that natural softness has effects quite contrary to itself; and, for want of due bounds of his benevolence, while he has a will to be a friend to all, he has the power of being such to none. His constant inclination to please, makes him never fail of doing so; though, without being capable of falsehood, he is a friend only to those who are present; for the same humour which makes him the best companion, renders him the worst correspondent. It is a melancholy thing to consider, that the most engaging sort of men in conversation, are frcquently the most tyrannical in power, and the least to be depended upon in friendship. It is certain this is not to be imputed to their own disposition; but he that is to be led by others, has only good luck if he is not the worst, though in himself the best man living. For this reason, we are no more wholly to indulge our good than our ill dispositions. I remember a crafty old cit one day speaking of a well-natured young fellow, who set up with a good stock in Lombard-street; * I will,’ says he, “lay no more money in his hands; for he never denied me any thing.’ This was a very base, but with him a prudential, reason for breaking off commerce; and this acquaintance of mine carried this way of judging so far, that he has often told me ‘he never cared to deal with a man he liked; for that our affections must never enter into our business.” When we look round us in this populous city, and consider how credit and esteem are lodged, you find men have a great share of the former, without the least portion of the latter. He who knows himself for a beast of prey, looks upon others in the same light; and we are so apt to judge of others by ourselves, that the man who has no mercy, is as careful as possible never to want it. Hence it is, that in many instances men gain credit by the very contrary methods by which they do esteem; for wary traders think every affection of the mind a key to their cash. But what led me into this discourse, was my impatience of pain; and I have, to my great
disgrace secn an instance of the contrary carriage in so high a degree, that I am out of countenance that I ever read Seneca. When I look upon the conduct of others in such occurrences, as well as behold their equanimity in the general tenor of their life, it very much abates the self. love, which is seldom well governed by any sort of men, and least of all by us authors.
The fortitude of a man, who brings his will to the obedience of his reason, is conspicuous, and carries with it a dignity in the lowest state imaginable. Poor Martius, who now lies languishing in the most violent fever, discovers in the faintest moments of his distemper such a greatness of mind, that a perfect stranger, who should now behold him, would indeed see an object of pity, but at the same time, that it was lately an object of veneration. His gallant spirit resigns, but resigns with an air that speaks a resolution which could yield to nothing but fate itself. This is conquest in the philosophic sense; but the empire over ourselves is, methinks, no less laudable in common life, where the whole tenor of a man's carriage is in subservience to his own reason, and in conformity both to the good sense and inclination of other men.
* Aristasus is, in my opinion, a perfect master of himself in all circumstances. He has all the spirit that man can have; and yet is as regular in his behaviour as a mere machine. He is sensible of every passion, but ruffled by none. In conversation he frequently seems to be less knowing, to be more obliging, and chooses to be on a level with others rather than oppress with the superiority of his genius. In friendship, he is kind without profession. In business, expeditious without ostentation. With the greatest softness and benevolence imaginable, he is impartial in spite of all importunity, even that of his own good-nature. He is ever clear in his judgment; but, in complaisance to his company, speaks with doubt; and never shows confidence in argument but to support the sense of another. Were such an equality of mind the general endeavour of all men, how sweet would be the pleasures of conversation ? He that is loud would then understand, that we ought to call a constable; and know, that spoiling good company is the most heinous way of breaking the peace. We should then be relieved from those zealots in society, who take upon them to be angry for all the company, and quarrel with the waiters to show they have no respect for any body else in the room. To be in a rage before you is, in a kind, being angry with you. You may as well stand naked before company, as to use such familiarities; and to be careless of what you say, is the most clownish way of being undressed.
- Sheer-lane, May 24.
When I came home this evening, I found the following letters; and because I think one a very good answer to the other, as well as that it is the affair of a young lady, it must be immediately dismissed.
* Steele, with a delicacy dictated by genuine friend. ship, seeins to have taken the opportunity of Addison's absence from England, to treat the public with this fine picture of hism.
‘SIR,--I have a good fortune, partly paternal, and partly acquired. My younger years I spent in business; but, age coming on, and having no more children than one daughter, I resolved to be a slave no longer : and, accordingly, I have disposed of my effects, placed my money in the funds, bought a pretty seat in a pleasant country, am making a garden, and have set up a pack of little beagles. I live in the midst of a good many well-bred neighbours, and several welltempered clergymen. Against a rainy day, I have a little library; and against the gout in my stomach, a little good claret. With all this I am the miserablest man in the world; not that I have lost the relish of any of these pleasures, but an distracted with such a multiplicity of entertaining objects, that I am lost in the variety. I am in such a hurry of idleness, that I do not know with what diversion to begin. Therefore, sir, I must beg the favour of you, when your more weighty affairs will permit, to put me in some method of doing nothing; for I find Pliny makes a great difference betwixt nihil agere and agere nihil; and I fancy, if you would explain him, you would do a very great kindness to many in Great Britain, as well as to your humble servant, J. B."
‘SIR,--The inclosed is written by my father in one of his pleasant humours. He bids me seal it up, and send you a word or two from myself; which he would not desire to see until he hears of it from you. Desire him, before he begins his method of doing nothing, to leave nothing to do; that is to say, let him marry off his daughter. ‘ I am your gentle reader, S. B.’
No. 177.] Saturday, May 27, 1710.
—Male si palpere, recalcitrat undique tutus. Ilor. 1 Sat. ii. 20.
He spurns the flatterer, and his saucy praise. Francis.
Sheer-lane, May 26.
Tito ingenious Mr. Penkethman, the comedian, has lately left here a paper or ticket, to which is affixed a small silver inedal, which is to entitle the bearer to see one-and-twenty plays at his theatre for a guinea. Greenwich is the place where, it scens, he has crected his house; and his time of action is to be so contrived, that it is to fall in with going and returning with the tide. Besides that, the bearer of this ticket may carry down with him a particular set of company to the play, striking off for each person so introduced one of his twenty-one times of adinittance. In this warrant of his, he has made me a high compliment in a facetious distich, by way of dedication of his endeavours, and desires I would recommend them to the world. I must needs say, I have not for some time seen a properer choice than he has made of a patron. Who more fit to publish his work than a novel. ist 2 who to recommend it than a censor This honour done me, has inade ine turn ny thoughts npon the nature of dedications in general, and the abuse of that custom, as well by a long prac
tice of my predecessors, as the continued folly of my contemporary authors. In ancient times, it was the custom to address their works to some persons eminent for their merit to mankind, or particular patronage of the writers themselves, or knowledge in the matter of which they treated. Under these regards, it was a memorable honour to both parties, and a very agreeable record of their commerce with each other. These applications were never stuffed with impertinent praises, but were the native product of their esteem; which was inplicitly received, or generally known to be due to the patron of the work: but vain flourishes came into the world, with other barbarous embellishments; and the enumeration of titles and great actions, in the patrons themselves, or their sires, are as foreign to the matter in hand, as the ornaments are in a Gothic building. This is clapping together persons which have no manner of alliance; and can for that reason have no other effect than making both parties justly ridiculous. What pretence is there in nature for me to write to a great man, and tell him, “My lord, because your grace is a duke, your grace's father before you was an earl, his lordship's father was a baron, and his lordship's father both a wise and a rich man : I, Isaac Bickerstaff, an obliged, and could not possibly forbear addressing to you the following treatise.” Though this is the plain exposition of all I could possibly say to him with a good conscience, yet the silly custom has so universally prevailed, that my lord duke and I must necessarily be particular friends from this time forward; or clae I have just room for being disobliged, and may turn my panegyric into a libel. But to carry this affair still more home; were it granted that praises in dedications were proper topics, what is it that gives a man authority to commend, or what makes it a favour to me that he does cornmend me ! It is certain, that there is no praise valuable but from the praise-worthy. Were it otherwise, blame might be as much in the same hands. Were the good and evil of fame laid upon a level among mankind, the judge on the bench and the criminal at the bar would differ only in their stations; and if one's word is to pass as much as the other's, their reputation would be much alike to the jury. Pliny, speaking of the death of Martial, expresses himself with great gratitude to him, for the honours done him in the writings of that author; but he begins it with an account of his character, which only made the applause valuable. He indeed in the same epistle says, “It is a sign we have left off doing things which deserve praise, when we think commendation impertinent.’ This is asserted with a just regard to the persons whose good opinion we wish for; otherwise reputation would be valued according to the number of voices a man has for it, which are not always to be insured on the more virtuous side. But however we pretend to model these nice affairs, true glory will never attend any thing but truth ; and there is something so peculiar in it, that the very self.same action done by different inen, cannot merit the same degree of applause. The Roman, who was surprised in the enemy's camp before he had accomplished his design, and
thrust his bare arm into a flaming pile, telling the general, there were many as determined as himself, who, against sense of danger, had conspired his death, wrought in the very enemy an admiration of his fortitude, and a dismission with applause. But the condemned slave, who represented him in the theatre, and consumed his arm in the same manner, with the same resolution, did not raise in the spectators a great idea of his virtue, but of him whom he imitated in an action no way differing from that of the real Scaevola, but in the motive to it.
Thus true glory is inseparable from true me. rit; and whatever you call men, they are no more than what they are in themselves; but a romantic sense has crept into the minds of the generality, who will ever mistake words and appearances for persons and things.
The simplicity of the ancients was as conspicuous in the address of their writings, as in any other monuments they have left behind them. Caesar and Augustus were much more high words of respect, when added to occasions fit for their characters to appear in, than any appellations which have ever been since thought of. The latter of these great men had a very pleasant way of dealing with applications of this kind. When he received pieces of poetry which he thought had worth in them, he rewarded the writer; but where he thought them empty, he generally returned the compliment made him with some verses of his own.
This latter method I have at presont occasion to imitate. A female author has dedicated a piece to me,” wherein she would make my name, as she has others, the introduction of whatever is to follow in her book; and has spoke some panegyrical things which I know not how to return, for want of better acquaintance with the lady, and consequently being out of a capacity of giving her praise or blame; all therefore that is left for me, according to the foregoing rules, is to lay the picture of a good and evil woman before her eyes, which are but mere words is they do not concern her. Now you are to ob. serve, the way in a dedication is, to make all the rest of the world as little like the person we address to as possible, according to the following epistle.
‘MADAM, But M.
* Mrs. D. Manley published at this time one of her scandalous chronicles, in 8vo. under the title of Memoirs of Europe towards the Close of the eighth Cen. tury, written by Eginardus, secretary, &c. to Charle. magne, and done into English by the Translator of the New Atalantis.” 2 R
the exquisite genius and discerning spirit of Michael Cervantes; who has not only painted his adventurer with great mastery in the conspicuous parts of his story, which relate to love and honour; but also intimated in his ordinary life, in his economy and furniture, the infallible symptoms he gave of his growing frenzy, before he declared himself a lúnight Errant. His hall was furnished with old lances, halberds, and morions; his food, lentils; his dress, amorous. He slept moderately, rose early, and spent his time in hunting. When by watchfulness and exercise he was thus qualified for the hardships of his intended peregrinations, he had nothing more to do but to fall hard to study; and before he should apply himself to the practical part, get into the methods of making love and war by reading books of knighthood. As for raising tender passions in him, Cervantes reports, that he was wonderfully delighted with a sinooth intricate sentence; and when they listened at his study-door, they could frequently hear him read loud, “The reason of the unreasonableness, which against my reason is wrought, doth so weaken my reason, as with all reason I do justly complain of your beauty.' Again, he would pause until he came to another charming sentence, and, with the most pleasing accent imaginable, be loud at a new paragraph: 'The high heavens, which with your divinity, do sortify you divinely with the stars, make you deserveress of the deserts that your greatness deserves. With these and other such passages, says my author, the poor gentleman grew distracted, and was breaking his brains day and night to understand and unravel their sense. As much as the case of this distempered knight is received by all the readers of his his. tory as the most incurable and ridiculous of all frenzies; it is very certain, we have crowds among us far gone in as visible a madness as his, though they are not observed to be in that condition. As great and useful discoveries are sometimes made by accidental and small beginnings, I came to the knowledge of the most epidemic ill of this sort, by falling into a coffeehouse, where I saw my friend the upholsterer, whose crack towards politics I have heretofore mentioned. This touch in the brain of the British subject, is as certainly owing to the reading of newspapers, as that of the Spanish worthy above mentioned to the reading of works of chivalry. My contemporaries, the novelists, have, for the better spinning out paragraphs, and working down to the end of their columns, a most happy art in saying and unsaying, giving hints of intelligence, and interpretations of indifferent actions, to the great disturbance of the brains of ordinary readers. This way of going on in the words, and making no progress in the sense, is more particularly the excellency of my most ingenious and renowned fellow-labourer, the Post-man ; and it is to this talent in him that I impute the loss of my upholsterer's intellects. That unfortunate tradesman has, for years past, been the chief orator in ragged assemblies, and the reader in alley coffee-houses. He was yesterday surrounded by an audience of that sort, among whom I sat unobserved, through the favour of a cloud § tobacco, and saw him with the Post-man in his hand, and all the other papers safe under his elbow. He was intermixing remarks, and reading the Paris article of May the thirtieth, which says, “That it is given out that an express arrived this day with advice, that the armies were so near in the plain of Lens, that they cannonaded each other.’ ‘Ay, ay, here we shall have sport.” “And that it was highly probable the next express would bring us an account of an engagement.” “They are welcome as soon as they please.’ ‘Though some others say, that the same will be put off until the second or third of June, because the marshal Villars expects some further reinforcements from Germany, and other parts, before that time.” “What a-pox does he put it off for 2 Does he think our horse is not marching up at the same time ! But let us see what he says further.’ ‘They hope that Monsieur Albergotti, being encouraged by the presence of so great an army, will make an extraordinary defence.” ‘Why then, I find, Albergotti is one of those that love to have a great many on their side. Nay, I will say that for this paper, he makes the most natural inferences of any of them all.' “The elector of Bavaria, being uneasy to be without any command, has desired leave to come to court, to communicate a certain project to his majesty—Whatever it be, it is said, that prince is suddenly expected; and then we shall have a more certain account of his project, if this report has any foundation.” “Nay, this paper never imposes upon us; he goes upon sure grounds; for he will not be positive the elector has a project, or that he will come, or if he does coine at all; for he doubts, you see, whether the report has any foundation.’ What makes this the more lamentable is, that this way of writing falls in with the imaginations of the cooler and duller part of her majesty's subjects. The being kept up with one line contradicting another; and the whole, after many sentences of conjecture, vanishing in a doubt whether there is any thing at all in what the person has been reading, puts an ordinary head into a vertigo, which his natural dulness would have secured him from. Next to the labours of the Post-man, the upholsterer took from under his elbow honest Icabod Dawks's Letter; and there, among other speculations, the historian takes upon him to say, ‘That it is discoursed that there will be a battle in Flanders before the armies separate, and many will have it to be to-morrow, the great battle of Ramelics being fought on a Whitsunday.' A gentleman, who was a wag in this company, laughed at the expression, and said, ‘By Mr. Dawks's favour, I warrant you, if we meet them on Whitsunday or Monday we shall not stand upon the day with them, whether it be before or aster the holidays.' An admirer of this gentleman stood up, and told a neighbour at a distant table the conceit ; at which indeed we were all very merry. These reflections, in the writers of the transactions of the times, seize the noddles of such as were not born to have thoughts of their own, and consequently lay a weight upon every thing which they read in print. But Mr. Dawks concluded his paper with a courteous sentence, which was 'ery well taken and applauded by the whole
company. “We wish,' says he, “all our customers a merry Whitsuntide and many of them.” Honest Icabod is as extraordinary a man as any of our fraternity, and as particular. His style is a dialect between the familiarity of talking and writing, and his letter such as you cannot distinguish whether print or manuscript,” which gives us a refreshment of the idea from what has been told us from the press by others. This wishing a good Tide had its effect upon us, and he was commended for his salutation, as showing as well the capacity of a bell-man as a historian. My distempered old acquaintance read, in the next place, the account of the affairs abroad in the Courant: but the matter was told so distinctly, that these wanderers thought there was no news in it; this paper differing from the rest, as a history from a romance. The tautology, the contradiction, the doubts, and wants of confirmations, are what keep up imaginary entertainments in empty heads, and produce neglect of their own affairs, poverty, and bankruptcy, in many of the shop-statesmen; but turn the imaginations of those of a little higher orb into deliriums of dissatisfaction, which is seen in a continual fret upon all that touches their brains, but more particularly upon any advantage obtained by their country, where they are considered as lunatics, and therefore tolerated in their ravings. What I am now warning the people of is, that the newspapers of this island are as pernicious to weak heads in England, as ever books of chivalry to Spain; and therefore shall do all that in me lies, with the utmost care and vigilance imaginable, to prevent these growing ...i A flaming instance of this malady appeared in my old acquaintance at this time, who, after he had done reading all his papers, ended with a thoughtful air, “If we should have a peace, we should then know for certain whether it was the king of Sweden that lately came to Dunkirk " I whispered him, and desired him to step aside a little with me. When I had opportunity, I decoyed him into a coach, in order for his more easy conveyance to Moorfields. The man went very quietly with me; and by that time he had brought the Swede from the defeat by the czar to the Boristhenes, we were passing by Will's coffee-house, where the man of the house beckoned to us. We made a full stop, and could hear from above a very loud voice surearing, with some expressions towards treason, that the subject in France was as free as in England. His distemper would not let him reflect, that his own discourse was an argument of the contrary. They told him, one would speak with him below. He came immediately to our coach-side. I whispered him, ‘that I had an order to carry him to the Bastile." He immediately obeyed with great resignation: for to this sort of lunatic, whose brain is touched for the French, the name of a gaol in that kingdom has a more agreeable sound, than that of a paternal seat in this their own country. It happened a little unluckily bringing these lunatics together, for they immediately fell into a debate concerning the greatness of their respective monarchs; one
* Dawks's ‘Letter" was circulated in MS.