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guishes a genius in the son, or gives such a wrong cast to his mind as it is hard for him ever to wear off. In short, where the head of a family is weak, you hear the repetitions of his insipid pleasantries, shallow conceits, and topical points of mirth, in every member of it. His table, his fire-side, his parties of diversion, are all of them so many standing scenes of folly. This is one reason why I would the more recommend the improvements of the mind to my female readers, that a family may have a double chance for it; and if it meets with weakness in one of the heads, may have it made up in the other. It is indeed an unhappy circumstance in a family, where the wife has more knowledge than the husband; but it is better it should be so, than that there should be no knowledge in the whole house. It is highly expedient that at least one of the persons, who sits at the helin of affairs, should give an example of good sense to those who are under them in these little domes. tic governments. If folly is of ill consequence in the head of a family, vice is much more so, as it is of a more ernicious and of a more contagious nature. When the master is a profligate, the rake runs through the house. You hear the sons talking loosely, and swearing after the father, and see the daughters cither familiarized to his dis. course, or every moment blushing for him. The very footman will be a fine gentleman in his master's way. IIe improves by his table. talk, and repeats in the kitchen what he learns in the parlour. Invest him with the same title and ornaments, and you would scarce know him from his lord. He practises the same oaths, the same ribaldry, the same way of joking. It is therefore of very great concern to a family, that the ruler of it should be wise and virtuous. The first of these qualifications does not indeed lie within his power; but though a man cannot abstain from being weak, he may from being vicious. It is in his power to give a good example of modesty, of temperance, of frugality, of religion, and of all other virtues, which though the greatest ornaments of human nature, may be put in practice by men of the most ordinary capacities. As wisdom and virtue are the proper qualifi. cations in the master of a house, if he is not accomplished in both of them, it is much better that ho should be deficient in the former than in the latter, since the consequences of vice are of an infinitely more dangerous nature than those of folly. When I read the histories that are left us of Pythagoras, I cannot but take notice of the extraordinary influence which that great philoso. pher, who was an illustrious pattern of virtue and wisdom, had on his private family. This excellent man, after having perfected himself in the learning of his own country, travelled into all the known parts of the world, on purpose to converse with the most learned men of every to: by which means he gleaned up all the nowledge of the age, and is still admired by the greatest men of the present times as a prodigy of science. His wife Theano wrote several books, and after his death taught his philosophy in his public school, which was frequented by
numberless disciples of different countries. There are several excellent sayings recorded of her. I shall only mention one, because it does honour to her virtue, as well as to her wisdom. Being asked by some of her sex, in how long a time a woman might be allowed to pray to the gods, after having conversed with a man ‘If it were her husband, says she, “the next day; if a stranger, never. Pythagoras had by this wife two sons and three daughters. His two sons, Telanges and Mnesarchus, were both emiment philosophers, and were joined with their mother in the government of the Pythagorean school. Arignote was one of the daughters, whose writings were extant, and very much admired, in the age of Porphyrius. Damo was another of his daughters, in whose hands Pythagoras left his works, with a prohibition to communicate them to strangers, which she observed to the hazard of her life; and though she was offered a great sum for them, rather chose to live in poverty, than not obey the commands of her beloved father. Myla was the third of the daughters, whose works and history were very famous, even in Lucian's time. She was so signally virtuous, that for her unblemished behaviour in her virginity, she was chosen to lead up the chorus of maids in a national solemnity; and for her exemplary conduct in marriage, was placed at the head of all the matrons, in the like public ceremony. The memory of this learned woman was so precious among her countrymen, that her house was after her death converted into a temple, and the street she lived in called by the name of the Museum. Nor must I omit, whilst I am mentioning this great philosopher, under his character as the master of a family, that two of his servants so improved themselves under him, that they were instituted into his sect, and make an eminent figure in the list of Pythagoreans. The names of these two servants were Astrous and Zamolxes. This single example sufficiently shows us both the influence and the merit of one who discharges as he ought the office of a good master of a family; which, if it were well observed in every house, would quickly put an end to that universal depravation of manners, by which the present age is so much distinguished, and which it is more easy to lament than to reform. -->
No. 166.] Monday, September 21, 1713.
—aliquisque malo fuit usus in illo. Ovid. Met. Lib, ii. 332.
Some comfort from the mighty mischief rose. .dddison.
CHARITY is a virtue of the heart, and not of the hands, says an old writer. Gifts and alms are the expressions, not the essence, of this virtue. A man may bestow great sums on the poor and indigent without being charitable, and may be charitable when he is not able to bestow any thing. Charity is therefore a habit of goodwill, or benevolence in the soul, which disposes us to the love, assistance, and relief of mankind, especially of those who stand in need of it. The
poor man who has this excellent frame of mind, is no less entitled to the reward of this virtue than the man who founds a college. For my own part, I am charitable to an extravagance this way. I never saw an indigent person in my life, without reaching out to him some of this imaginary relief. I cannot but sympathize with every one I meet that is in affliction; and if my abilities were equal to my wishes, there should be neither pain nor poverty in the world. To give my reader a right notion of myself in this particular, I shall present him with the secret history of one of the most remarkable parts of my life. I was once engaged in search of the philosopher's stone. It is frequently observed of men who have been busied in this pursuit, that though they have failed in their principal design, they have however made such discoveries in their way to it, as have sufficiently recompensed their inquiries. In the same manner, though I cannot boast of my success in that af. fair, I do not repent of my cngaging in it, be. cause it produced in my mind such an habitual exercise of charity, as made it much better than perhaps it would have been, had I never been lost in so pleasing a delusion. As I did not question but I should soon have a new Indies in my possession, I was perpetual. ly taken up in considering how to turn it to the benefit of mankind. In order to it I employed a whole day in walking about this great city, to find out proper places for the crection of hospitals. I had likewise entertained that project, which has since succeeded in another place, of building churches at the court end of the town, with this only difference, that instead of fifty, I intended to have built a hundred, and to have seen them all finished in less than one year. I had with great pains and application got together a list of all the French protestants; and by the best accounts I could come at, had calculated the value of all those estates and effects which every one of them had left in his own country for the sake of his religion, being fully determined to make it up to him, and return some of them the double of what they had lost. As I was one day in my laboratory, my operator, who was to fill my coffers for me, and used to foot it from the other end of the town every morning, complained of a sprain in his leg, that he had met with over against Saint Clement's church. This so affected me, that as a standing mark of my gratitude to him, and out of compassion to the rest of my fellow-citi. zens, I resolved to new pave every street within the liberties, and entered a memorandum in my pocket book accordingly. About the same time I entertained some thoughts of mending all the highways on this side the Tweed, and of making all the rivers in England navigable. But the project I had most at heart was the settling upon every man in Great Britain three pounds a year (in which sum may be comprised, according to sir William Petty's observations, all the necessities of life,) leaving to them whatever else they could get by their own industry, to lay out on superfluities. I was above a week debating in myself what I should do in the matter of impropriations; but
at length came to a resolution to buy them all up, and restore them to the church. As I was one day walking near St. Paul's, I took some time to survey that structure, and not being entirely satisfied with it, though I could not tell why, I had some thoughts of pulling it down, and building it up anew at my own expense. For my own part, as I have no pride in me, I intended to take up with a coach and six, half a dozen footmen, and live like a private gentleman. It happened about this time that public matters looked very gloomy, taxes came hard, the war went on heavily, people complained of the great burdens that were laid upon them. This made me resolve to set aside one morning, to consider seriously the state of the nation. I was the more ready to enter on it, because I was obliged, whether I would or no, to sit at home in my morning gown, having after a most incredible expense, pawned a new suit of clothes, and a full-bottomed wig, for a sum of money, which my operator assured me was the last he should want to bring all our matters to bear. After having considered many projects, I at length resolved to beat the common enemy at his own weapons, and laid a scheme which would have blown him up in a quarter of a year, had things succeeded to my wishes. As I was in this golden dream, somebody knocked at my door. I opened it, and found it was a messenger that brought me a letter from the laboratory. The fellow looked so miserably poor, that I was resolved to make his fortune before he delivered his message: but seeing he brought a letter from my operator, I concluded I was bound to it in honour, as much as a prince is to give a reward to one that brings him the first news of a victory. I knew this was the long-expected hour of projection, and which I had waited for with great impatience, above half a year before. In short, I broke open my letter in a transport of joy, and found it as follows:
‘SIR,-After having got out of you every thing you can conveniently spare, I scorn to trespass upon your generous nature, and therefore must ingenuously confess to you, that I know no more of the philosopher's stone than you do... I shall only tell you for your comfort, that I could never yet bubble a blockhead out of his money. They must be men of wit and parts who are for my purpose. This made me apply myself to a person of your wealth and ingenuity. How I have succeeded you yourself can best tell. Your humble servant to command, THOMAS WHITE.
‘I have locked up the laboratory, and laid the key under the door.”
I was very much shocked at the unworthy treatment of this man, and not a little mortified at my disappointment, though not so much for what I myself, as what the public suffered by it. I think however I ought to let the world know what I designed for them, and hope that such of my readers who find they had a share in my good intentions, will accept of the will for the deed. IG"
The following story is lately translated out of an Arabian manuscript, which I think has very much the turn of an oriental tale; and as it has never before been printed, I question not but it will be highly acceptable to my reader.
The name of Helim is still famous through all the eastern parts of the world. He is called among the Persians, even to this day, Helim, the great physician. He was acquainted with all the powers of simples, understood all the influences of the stars, and knew the secrets that were engraved on the seal of Solomon the son of David. Helim was also governor of the Black Palace, and chief of the physicians to Alnareschin the great king of Persia.
Alnareschin was the most dreadsul tyrant that ever reigned in this country. He was of a fearful, suspicious, and cruel nature, having put to death, upon very slight jealousies and surmises, five-and-thirty of his queens, and above twenty sons whom he suspected to have conspired against his life. Being at length wearied with the exercise of so many crueltics in his own family, and fearing lest the whole race of caliphs should be entirely lost, he one day sent for Helim, and spoke to him after this manner: ‘Helim,' said he, “I have long ad. mired thy great wisdom, and retired way of living. I shall now show thee the entire confidence which I place in thee. I have only two sons remaining, who are as yet but infants. It is my design that thou take them home with thee, and educate them as thy own. Train them up in the humble, unambitious pursuits of knowledge. By this means shall the line of caliphs be preserved, and my children succeed after me, without aspiring to my throne whilst I am yet alive.’ ‘The words of my lord the king shall be obeyed,” said Helim; after which he bowed, and went out of the king's presence. He then received the children into his own house, and from that time bred them up with him in the studies of knowledge and virtue. The young princes loved and respected Helim as their father, and made such improvements under him, that by the age of one-and-twenty they were instructed in all the learning of the East. The name of the eldest was Ibrahim, and of the youngest Abdallah. They lived to. gether in such a perfect friendship, that to this day it is said of intimate friends, that they live together like Ibrahim and Abdallah. Helim had an only child, who was a girl of a fine soul, and a most beautiful person. Her father omitted nothing in her education that might make her the most accomplished woman of her age. As the young princes were in a manner excluded from the rest of the world, they frequently conversed with this lovely virgin, who had been brought up by her father in the same course of knowledge and of virtue. Abdallah, whose mind was of a softer turn than that of his brother, grew by degrees so enamoured of her conversation, that he did not think he lived when he was not in company with his beloved Belso. ra, for that was the name of the maid. The
fame of her beauty was so great, that at length it came to the ears of the king, who pretending to visit the young princes his sons, demanded of Helim the sight of Belsora, his fair daughter. The king was so inflamed with her beauty and behaviour, that he sent for Helim the next morning, and told him it was now his design to recompense him for all his faithful services; and that in order to it, he intended to make his daughter queen of Persia. Helim, who knew very well the fate of all those unhappy women who had been thus advanced, and could not but be privy to the secret love which Abdallah bore his daughter, ‘Far be it,” says he, “from the king of Persia to contaminate the blood of the caliphs, and join himself in marriage with the daughter of his physician. The king, however, was so impatient for such a bride, that without hearing any excuses, he immediately ordered Belsora to be sent for into his presence, keeping the father with him, in order to make her sensible of the honour which he designed her. Belsora, who was too modest and humble to think her beauty had made such an impression on the king, was a few moments after brought into his presence as he had commanded. She appeared in the king's eye as one of fe virgins of Paradise. But, upon hearing the honour which he intended her, she fainted away, and fell down as dead at his feet. Helim wept, and after having recovered her out of the tranco into which she was fallen, represented to the king, that so unexpected an honour was too great to have been communicated to her all at once; but that, if he pleased, he would himself prepare her for it. The king bid him take his own way, and dismissed him. Balsora was conveyed again to her father's house, where the thoughts of Abdallah renewed her afiliction every moment; insomuch, that at length she fell into a raging sever. The king was informed of her condition by those that saw her. Helim
finding no other means of extricating her from
the difficulties she was in, after having composed her mind, and made her acquainted with his intentions, gave her a certain potion, which he knew would lay her asleep for many hours; and afterwards, in all the seeming distress of a disconsolate father, informed the king she was dead. The king, who never let any sentiments of humanity come too near his heart, did not much trouble himself about the matter; however, for his own reputation, he told the father, that since it was known through the empire that Balsora died at a time when he designed her for his bride, it was his intention that she should be honoured as such after her death, that her body should be laid in the Black Palace, . among those of his deceased queens. In the mean time, Abdallah, who had heard of the king's design, was not less afflicted than his beloved Balsora. As for the several circumstances of his distress, as also how the king was informed of an irrecoverable distemper into which he was fallen, they are to be found at length in the history of Helim. It shall suffice to acquaint the reader, that Helim, some days after the supposed death of his daughter, gave the prince a potion of the same nature with that which had laid asleep Bulsora.
o It is the custom among the Persians, to convey in a private manner the bodies of all the royal family, a little after their death, into the Black Palace: which is the repository of all who are descended from the caliphs, or any way allied to them. The chief physician is always governor of the Black Palace ; it being his office to embalm and preserve the holy family after they are dead, as well as to take care of them while they are yet living. The Black Palace is so called from the colour of the building, which is all of the finest polished black marble. There are always burning in it five thousand everlasting lamps. It has also a hundred solding doors of ebony, which are each of them watched day and night by a hundred negroes, who are to take care that nobody enters besides the governor. Helim, after having conveyed the body of his daughter into this repository, and, at the appointed time, received her out of the sleep into which she was fallen, took care some time after to bring that of Abdallah into the same place. Baisora watched over him till such time as the dose he had taken lost its effect. Abdallah was .* acquainted with Helim's design when he gave him this sleepy potion. It is impossible to describe the surprise, the joy, the transport he was in at his first awaking. He fancied himself in the retirements of the blest, and that the spirit of his dear Balsora, who he thought was just gone before him, was the first who came to congratulate his arrival. She soon informed him of the place he was in, which, notwithstanding all its horrors, appeared to him more sweet than the bower of Mahomct, in the company of his Balsora. Helim, who was supposed to be taken up in the embalming of the bodies, visited the place very frequently. His greatest perplexity was how to get the lovers out of it, the gates being watched in such a manner as I have before related. This consideration did not a little dis. turb the two interred lovers. At length Helim bethought himself, that the first day of the full moon of the month Tizpa was near at hand. Now it is a received tradition among the Persians, that the souls of those of the royal family, who are in a state of bliss, do, on the first full moon after their decease, pass through the eastern gate of the Black Palace, which is therefore called the gate of Paradise, in order to take their flight for that happy place. Helim, therefore, having made due preparation for this night, dressed each of the lovers in a robe of azure silk, wrought in the finest looms of Persia, with a long train of linen whiter than snow, that floated on the ground behind them. Upon Ab: dallah's head he fixed a wreath of the greenest myrtle, and on Balsora's a garland of the freshest roses. Their garments were scented with the richest perfumes of Arabia. Having thus prepared every thing, the full moon was no sooner up, and shining in all its brightness, but he privately opened the gate of Paradise, and shut it after the same manner as soon as they had passed through it. The band of negroes who were posted at a little distance from the gate, seeing two such beautiful apparitions, that showed themselves to advantage by the
light of the full moon, and being ravished with the odour that flowed from their garments, immediately concluded them to be the ghosts of the two persons lately deceased. They fell upon their faces as they passed through the midst of them, and continued prostrate on the earth until such time as they were out of sight. They reported the next day what they had seen; but this was looked upon by the king himself, and most others, as the compliment that was usually paid to any of the deceased of his family. *Hé. lim had placed two of his own mules at about a mile's distance from the Black Temple, on the spot which they had agreed upon for their rendezvous. Here he met them, and conducted them to one of his own houses, which was situated on mount Khacan. The air of this mountain was so very healthful, that Helin had formerly transported the king thither, in order to recover him out of a long fit of sickness; which succeeded so well that the king made him a present of the whole mountain, with a beautiful house and gardens that were on the top of it. In this retirement lived Abdallah and Balsora. They were both so fraught with all kinds of knowledge, and possessed with so constant and mutual a passion for each other, that their solitude never lay heavy on them. Abdallah applied himself to those arts which were agreeable to his manner of living, and the situation of the place; insomuch that in a few years he converted the whole mountain into a kind of garden, and covered every part of it with plantations or spots of flowers. Helim was too good a father to let him want any thing that might conduce to make his retirement pleasant.
In about ten years after their abode in this place, the old king died, and was succeeded by his son Ibrahim, who, upon the supposed death of his brother, had been called to court, and entertained there as heir to the Persian empire. Though he was some years inconsolable for the death of his brother, Helim durst not trust him with the secret, which he knew would have fatal consequences, should it by any means come to the knowledge of the old king. Ibrahim was no sooner mounted to the throne, but Heliin sought after a proper opportunity of making a discovery to him, which he knew would be very agreeable to so good-natured and generous a prince. It so happened, that before Helim found such an opportunity as he desired, the new king Ibrahim, having been separated from his company in a chase, and almost fainting with heat and thirst, saw himself at the foot of mount Khacan. He immediately ascended the hill, and coming to Helin's house, demanded some refreshments. Helim was very luckily there at that time; and after having set before the king the choicest of wines and fruits, finding him wonderfully pleased with so seasonable a treat, told him that the best part of his entertainment was to come. Upon which he opened to him the whole history of what had passed. The king was at once astonished and transported at so strange a relation, and seeing his brother enter the room with Bulsora in his hand, he leaped off from the sofa on which he sat, and cried out, “It is he . it is my Abdallah!' Having said this, he fell upon his neck, and wept. The whole company,
for some time, remained silent and shedding tears of joy. The king at length, having kindly reproached Helim for depriving him so long of such a brother, embraced Balsora with the greatest tenderness, and told her that she should now be a queen indeed, for that he would immediately make his brother king of all the conquered nations on the other side the Tigris. He easily discovered in the eyes of our two lovers, that, instead of being transported with the offer, they preferred their present retirement to empire. At their request, therefore, he changed his intentions, and made them a present of all the open country as far as they could see from the top of mount Khacan. Abdallah continuing to extend his former improvements, beautified this whole prospect with groves and fountains, gardens and seats of pleasure, until it became the most delicious spot of ground within the em. pire, and is therefore called the garden of Persia. This caliph, Ibrahim, after a long and happy reign, died without children, and was succeeded by Abdallah, a son of Abdallah and Balsora. This was that king Abdallah, who afterwards fixed the imperial residence upon mount Khacan, which continues at this time to be the favourite palace of the Persian empire. - | "
No. 168.] Wednesday, September 23, 1743. o .*
locajam recitata revolvimus Hor. Lib. 2. Ep. i. 223.
The same subjects we repeat.
o ‘SIR-I observe that many of your late pa. pers have represented to us the characters of accomplished women; but among all of them I do not find a quotation which I expected to have seen in your works; I mean the character of the mistress of a family as it is drawn out at length in the book of Proverbs. For my part, considering it only as a human composition, I do not think that there is any character in Theophrastus, which has so many beautiful particulars in it, and which is drawn with such elegance of thought and phrase. I wonder that it is not written in letters of gold in the great hall of every country gentleman. “Who can find a virtuous woman for her price is far above rubies. - “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. “She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. “She seeketh wool and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. “She is like the merchants' ships, she bringeth her food from afar. “She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. “. She considereth a field, and buyeth it : wo the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineart 1. “She girdeth her loins with strength; and strengtheneth her arms. “She perceiveth that her merchandisc is good; her candle go; out by night.
“She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. “She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. “She is not afraid of the snow for her household, for all her household are clothed with scarlet. “She maketh herself coverings of tapestry, her ..". is silk and purple. “Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. “She maketh fine linen, and selleth it, and
delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
“Strength and honour are her clothing, and she shall rejoice in time to come. “She openeth her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness. “She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. “Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. “Many daughters håve done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman that feareth the Lord she shall be praised. “Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.” ‘Your humble servant.”
“Best and happiest artisan,
i As soft and black as she is fair :
Amidst the white of new fall'n snow.
With ev'ry grace her polish'd neck;