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heaven would reward with long possession of a disinterested friend, and an unbiassed patriot, that reputation into which you have made so | is the hearty prayer of, sir, your most obliged, early an entrance, the reputation of a man of and most obedient, humble servant,
sense, a good citizen, and agreeable companion,
THE PUBLISHER TO THE READER.
It is a justice which Mr. Ironside owes gen: tlemen who have sent him their assistances from time to time, in the carrying on of this work, to acknowledge that obligation, though at the same time he himself dwindles into the character of a mere publisher, by making the acknowledgment. But whether a man does it out of justice or gratitude, or any other virtuous reason or not, it is also a prudential act to take no more upon a man than he can bear. Too large a credit has made many a bankrupt, but taking even less than a man can answer with ease, is a sure fund for extending it whenever his occasions require. All those papers which are distinguished by the mark of a Hand, were written by a gentleman who has obliged the world with productions too sublime to admit that the author of them should receive any addition to his reputation, from such loose occasional thoughts as make up these little treatises; for which reason his name shall be concealed. Those which are marked with a Star, were composed by Mr. Budgell. That upon Dedications, with the Epistle of an Author to Himself, the Club of little Men, the Receipt to make an Epic Poem, the paper of the Gardens of Alcinous, and the Catalogue of Greens, that against Barbarity to Animals, and some others, have
Mr. Pope for their author. Now I mention this gentleman, I take this opportunity, out of the affection I have for his person, and respect to his merit, to let the world know, that he is now translating Homer's Iliad by subscription. He has given good proof of his ability for the work, and the men of greatest wit and learning of this nation, of all parties, are, according to their dif: ferent abilities, zealous encouragers, or solicitors for the work. But to my present purpose. The letter from Gnatho of the Cures performed by Flattery, and that of comparing Dress to Criticism, are Mr Gay's. Mr. Martin, Mr. Philips, Mr. Tickell, Mr. Carey, Mr. Eusden, Mr. Ince, and Mr. IIughes, have obliged the town with entertaining discourses in these volumes; and Mr. Berkeley, of Trinity College in Dublin, has embellished them with many excellent arguments in honour of religion and virtue. Mr. Parnell will I hope forgive me, that without his leave I mention, that I have seen his hand on the like occasion. There are some discourses of a less pleasing nature which relate to the divisions amongst us, and such (lest any of these gentlemen should suffer from unjust suspicion,) I must impute to the right author of them, who is one Mr. Steele, of Langun
nor, in the county of Carinarthen, in South Wales.
opposite to the title-page of his learned treatise,
wherein he instructs the youth of this nation to arrive at a flourishing hand. The author of The Key to Interest, both simple and compound, containing practical rules plainly expressed in words at length for all rates of interest, and times of payment, for what time soever, makes up to us the misfortune of his living at Chester, by following the example of the above-mentioned Airs, and coming up to town, over against his title-page, in a very becoming periwig, and a flowing robe or mantle, inclosed in a circle of foliages; below his portraiture, for our farther satisfaction as to the age of that useful writer, is subscribed, “Johannes Ward de civitat. Cestriae, a tat. sua, 58. An. Dum. 1706. The serene aspect of these writers, joined with the great encouragement I observe is given to another, or what is indeed to be suspected, in which he indulges himself, confirmed me in the notion I have of the prevalence of ambition this way. The author whom I hint at shall be nameless, but his countenance is communicated to the public in several views and aspects drawn by the most eminent painters, and forwarded by engravers, artists by way of mezzotinto, etchers, and the like. There was, I remember, some years ago, one John Gale, a fellow that played upon a pipe, and diverted the multitude by dancing in a ring they made about him, whose face became generally known, and the artists employed their skill in delineating his features, because every man was a judge of the similitude of them. There is little else, than what this John Gale arrived at, in the advantages men enjoy from common fame; yet do I fear it has always a part in moving us to exert ourselves in such things as ought to derive their beginnings from nobler considerations. But I think it is no great matter to the public what is the incentive which makes men bestow time in their service, provided there be any thing useful in what they produce; I shall proceed therefore to give an account of my intended labours, not without
some hope of having my vanity, at the end of them, indulged in the sort above-mentioned.
I should not have assumed the title of Guar. dian, had I not maturely considered, that the qualities necessary for doing the duties of that character, proceed from the integrity of the mind more than the excellence of the understanding. The former of these qualifications it is in the power of every man to arrive at; and the more he endeavours that way, the less will he want the advantages of the latter; to be faithful, to be honest, to be just, is what you will demand in the choice of your Guardian; or if you find added to this, that he is pleasant, ingenious, and agreeable, there will overflow satisfactions which make for the ornament, if not so immediately to the use of your life. As to the diverting part of this paper, by what assistance I shall be capacitated for that, as well as what proofs I have given of my behaviour as to integrity in former life, will appear from my history to be delivered in ensuing discourses. The main purpose of the work shall be, to protect the modest, the industrious; to celebrate the wise, the valiant; to encourage the good, the pious; to confront the impudent, the idle; to contemn the vain, the cowardly; and to disappoint the wicked and profane. This work cannot be carried on but by preserving a strict regard, not only to the duties but civilitics of life, with the utmost impartiality towards things and persons. The unjust application of the advantages of breeding and fortune, is the source of all calamity, both public and private; the correction, therefore, or rathcradmonition, of a Guardian in all the occurrences of a various being, if given with a benevolent spirit, would certainly be of general service.
In order to contribute as far as I am able to it, I shall publish in respective papers whatever I think may conduce to the advancement of the conversation of gentlemen, the improvement of ladies, the wealth of traders, and the encouragement of artificers. The circumstance relating to those who excel in mechanics, shall be considered with particular application. It is not to be immediately conceived by such as have not turned themselves to reflections of that kind, that Providence, to enforce and endear the necessity of social life, has given one man's hands to another man's head, and the carpenter, the smith, the joiner, are as immediately necessary to the mathematician, as my amanuensis will be to me, to write much fairer than I can myself. I am so well convinced of this truth, that I shall have a particular regard to mechamics; and to show my honour for them, I shall place at their head the painter. This gentleman is, as to the execution of his work, a mechanic; but as to his conception, his spirit, and
design, he is hardly below even the poet, in liberal art. It will be from these considerations useful to make the world see the affinity between all works which are beneficial to mankind is much nearer, than the illiberal arrogance of scholars will at all times allow. But I am from experience convinced of the importance of mechanic heads, and shall therefore take them all into my care, from Rowley, who is improving the globes of the earth and heaven in Fleet-street, to Bat. Pigeon, the hair cutter in the Strand. But it will be objected upon what pretensions I take upon me to put in for the prochain ami, or nearest friend of all the world. How my head is accomplished for this employment towards the public, from the long exercise of it in a private capacity, will appear by reading me the two or three next days with diligence and attention. There is no other paper in being which tends to this purpose. They are most of them histories, or advices of public transactions; but as those representations affect the passions of my readers, I shall sometimes take care, the day after a foreign mail, to give then an account of what it has brought. The parties amongst us are too violent to make it possible to pass them by without observation. As to these matters, I shall be impartial, though I cannot be neuter: I am, with relation to the government of the church, a tory, with regard to the state, a whig. The charge of intelligence, the pain in compiling and digesting my thoughts in proper style, and the like, oblige me to value my paper a half-penny above all other half sheets.” And all persons who have anything to communicate to me, are desired to direct their letters (postage paid,) to Nestor Ironside, Esq. at Mr. Tonson's in the Strand. I declare beforehand, that I will at no time be conversed with any other way than by letter: for as I am an ancient man, I shall find enough to do to give orders proper for their service, to whom I am, by will of their parents, Guardian, though I take that to be too narrow a scene for me to pass my whole life in. But I have got my wards so well off my hands, and they are so able to act for themselves, that I have little to do but give a hint, and all that I desire to be amended is altered accordingly. My design upon the whole is no less than to make the pulpit, the bar, and the stage, all act in concert in the care of piety, justice, and virtue; for I am past all the regards of this life, and have nothing to manage with any person or party, but to deliver myself as becomes an old man with one foot in the grave, and one who thinks he is passing to eternity. All sorrows which can arrive at me are comprehended in the sense of guilt and pain; if I can keep clear of these two evils, I shall not be apprehensive of any other. Ambition, lust, envy, and revenge, are excrescences of the mind, which I have cut off long ago; but as they are excrescences which do not only deform, but also torment those on whom they grow, I shall do all I can to persuade all others to take the same measures for their cure which I have.
* Two pence was the original price of this paper.
The readiest way to proceed in my great undertaking, is to explain who I am myself, that promise to give the town a daily half. sheet: I shall therefore enter into my own his. tory, without losing any time in preamble. I was born in the year 1642, at a lone house within half a mile of the town of Brentford, in the county of Middlesex; my parents were of ability to bestow upon me a liberal cducation, and of a humour to think that a great happiness even in a fortune which was but just enough to keep me above want. In my sixteenth year I was admitted a commoner of Magdalene-hall, in Oxford. It was one great advantage, among many more, which men, educated at our universities, do usually enjoy above others, that they often contract friendships there, which are of service to them in all the parts of their future life. This good fortune happened to me; for during the time of my being an under-graduate, I became intimately acquainted with Mr. Ambrose Lizard, who was a fellow-commoner of the neighbouring college. I have the honour to be well known to Mr. Josiah Pullen, of our hall above-mentioned; and attribute the florid old age I now enjoy to my constant morning walks up Hedington-hill, in his cheerful company. If the gentleman be still living, I hereby give him my humble service. But as I was going to say, I contracted in my early youth, an intimate friendship with young Mr. Lizard, of Northamptonshire. He was sent for a little before he was of bachelor's standing, to be mar. ried to Mrs. Jane Lizard, an heiress, whose father would have it so for the sake of the name. Mr. Ambrose knew nothing of it till he came to Lizard-hall, on Saturday night, saw the young lady at dinner the next day, and was married, by order of his father, sir Ambrose, between eleven and twelve the Tuesday following. Some years after, when my friend came to be sir Ambrose himself, and finding upon proof of her, that he had lighted upon a good wife, he gave the curate who joined their hands the parsonage of Welt, not far off Wellingborough. My friend was married in the year sixty-two, and every year following, for eighteen years together, I left the college (except that year wherein I was chosen fellow of Lincoln,) and sojourned at sir Ambrose's for the months of June, July, and August. I remember very well that it was on the fourth of July, in the year 1674, that I was reading in an arbour to my friend, and stopt of a sudden, observing he did not attend. “Lay by your book,” said he, ‘ and let us take a turn in the grass-walk, for I have something to say to you.” After a silence for about forty yards, walking both of us with our eyes downward, one big to hear, the other to speak a matter of great importance, sir Ambrose expressed himself to this effect: “My good friend,' said he, “you may have observed that from the first moment I was in your company at Mr. Willis's chambers, at University College, I ever after sought and courted you, that inclination towards you has improved from similitude of manners, if I may so say when I tell you I have not observed in any man
Friday, March 13, 1713.
a greater candour and simplicity of mind than in yourself. You are a man that are not inclined to launch into the world, but prefer security and ease, in a collegiate or single life, to going into the cares which necessarily attend a public character, or that of a master of a family. You see within, my son Marmaduke, my only child; I have a thousand anxieties upon me concerning him, the greater part of which I would transfer to you, and when I do so, I would make it, in plain English, worth your while.” He would not let me speak, but proceeded to inform me, that he had laid the whole scheme of his affairs upon that foundation. As soon as we went into the house, he gave me a bill upon his goldsmith,” in London, of two thousand pounds, and told me, with that he had purchased me, with all the talents I was master of, to be of his family, to educate his son, and to do all that should ever lie in my power for the service of him and his to my lie's end, according to such powers, trusts, and instructions, as I should hereafter receive. The reader will here make many speeches for me, and without doubt suppose I told my friend he had retained me with a fortune to do that which I should have thought myself obliged to by friendship: but, as he was a prudent man, and acted upon rules of life, which were least liable to the variation of humour, time, or season, I was contented to be obliged by him his own way; and believed I should never enter into any alliance which should divert me from pursuing the interests of his family, of which I should hereafter understand myself a member. Sir Ambrose told me, he should lay no injunction upon me, which should be inconsistent with any inclination I might have hereafter to change my condition. All he meant was, in general, to insure his family from that pest of great estates, the mercenary men of business who act for them, and in a few years become creditors to their masters in greater surns than half the incorne of their lands amounts to, though it is visible all which gave rise to their wealth was a slight salary, for turning all the rest, both estate and credit of that estate, to the use of their principals. To this purpose we had a very long conference that evening, the chief point of which was, that his only child Marmaduke was from that hour under my cere, and I was engaged to turn all my thoughts to the service of the child in particular, and all the concerns of the family in general. My most excellent friend was so well satisfied with my behaviour, that he made me his executor, and guardian to his son. My own conduct during that time, and my manner of educating his son Marmaduke to manhood, and the interest I had in him to the time of his death also, with my present conduct towards the numerous descendants of my old friend, will make, possibly, a series of history of common life, as useful as the relations of the more pompous passages in the lives of princes and statesmen. The widow of sir Ambrose, and the no less worthy relict of sir Marmaduke, are both living at this time. I am to let the reader know, that his chief
* A banker at this time was called a goldsmith.
entertainment will arise from what passes at the tea-table of my lady Lizard. That lady is now in the forty-sixth year of her age, was married in the beginning of her sixteenth, is blessed with a numerous offspring of each sex, no less than four sons and five daughters. She was the mother of this large family before she arrived at her thirtieth year: about which time she lost her husband, sir Marmaduke Lizard, a gentle. man of great virtue and generosity. He left behind him an improved paternal estate of six thousand pounds a-year to his cliest son, and one year's revenue, in ready money, as a por. tion to each younger child. My lady's Chris. tian name is Aspasia; and as it may give a certain dignity to our style to mention her by that name, we beg leave at discretion to say lady Lizard, or Aspasia, according to the matter we shall treat of. When she shall be consulting about her cash, her rents, her household affairs, we will use the more familiar name; and when she is employed in the forming the minds and sentiments of her children, exerting herself in the acts of charity, or speaking of matters of religion or piety, for the elevation of style we will use the word Aspasia. Aspasia is a lady of great understanding and noble spirit. She has passed several years in widowhood, with that abstinent enjoyment of life, which has done honour to her deceased husband, and devolved reputation upon her children. As she has both sons and daughters marriageable, she is visited by many on that account, but by many more for her own merit. As there is no circumstance in human life, which may not directly or indirectly concern a woman thus related, there will be abundant matter offer itself from passages in this family to supply my readers with diverting, and perhaps useful notices for their conduct in all the incidents of human life. Placing money on mortgages, in the funds, upon bottomry, and almost all other ways of improving the fortune of a family, are practised by my lady Lizard, with the best skill and advice. The members of this family, their cares, passions, interests, and diversions, shall be represented, from time to time, as news from the teatable of so accomplished a woman as the intelligent and discreet lady Lizard.
No. 3.) - Saturday, March 14, 1713.
Quicquid est illud, quod sentit, quod sapit, quod vult, quod viget, caleste et divinuin est, obeamque rom deternunn sit necesse est. Cicero.
Whatever that be, which thinks, which understands, which wills, which acts, it is something celestial and divine, and, upon that account, must necessarily be eternal.
I AM diverted from the account I was giving the town of my particular concerns, by casting my eye upon a treatise which I could not over: look without an inexcusable negligence, and want of concern for all the civil, as well as religious interests of mankind. This piece has for its title, A Discourse of Free-thinking, occasioned by the rise and growth of a sect called Freethinkers. The author very methodically enters upon his argument, and says, “by free-thinking, I mean the use of the understanding in endeavouring to find out the meaning of any proposition whatsoever, in considering the nature of the evidence for or against, and in judging of it according to the seeming force or weakness of the evidence.” As soon as he has delivered this definition, from which one would expect he did not design to show a particular inclination for or against any thing before he had considered it, he gives up all title to the character of a free-thinker, with the most apparent prejudice against a body of men, whom of all other a good man would be most careful not to violate, I inean men in holy orders. Persons who have devoted themselves to the service of God, are venerable to all who fear him ; and it is a certain characteristic of a dissolute and ungoverned mind, to rail, or speak disrespectfully of them in general. It is certain, that in so great a crowd of men, some will intrude who are of tempers very unbecoming their function: but because ambition and avarice are sometimes lodged in that bosom which ought to be the dwelling of sanctity and devotion, inust this unreasonable author vilify the whole order 2 He has not taken the least care to disguise his being an enemy to the persons against whom he writes, nor any where granted that the institution of religious men to serve at the altar, and instruct such who are not as wise as himself, is at all necessary or desirable; but proceeds, without the least apology, to undermine their credit, and frustrate their labours: whatever clergymen, in disputes against each other, have unguardedly uttered, is here recorded in such a manner as to affect religion itself, by wresting concessions to its disadvantage from its own teachers. If this be true, as sure any man that reads the discourse must allow it is, and if religion is the strongest tie of human society, in what manner are we to treat this our common enemy, who promotes the growth of such a sect as he calls free-thinkers ? He that should burn a house, and justify the action by asserting he is a free agent, would be more excusable than this author in uttering what he has from the right of a free-thinker. But there are a set of dry, joyless, dull fellows, who want capacities and talents to make a figure amongst mankind upon benevolent and generous principles, that think to surmount their own natural meanness, by laying offences in the way of such as make it their endeavour to excel upon the received maxims and honest arts of life. If it were pos. sible to laugh at so melancholy an affair as what hazards salvation, it would be no unpleasant inquiry to ask, what satisfactions they reap, what extraordinary gratification of sense, or what delicious libertinism this sect of free-thinkers enjoy, after getting loose of the laws which confine the passions of other men 7 Would it not be a matter of mirth to find, after all, that the heads of this growing sect are sober wretches, who prate whole evenings over coffee, and have not themselves fire enough to be any further debauchees, than merely in principle These sages of iniquity are, it seems, themselves only speculatively wicked, and are contented that all the abandoned young men of the age are kept
safe from reflection by dabbling in their rhap. sodies, without tasting the pleasures for which their doctrines leave them unaccountable. Thus do heavy mortals, only to gratify a dry pride of heart, give up the interests of another world, without enlarging their gratifications in this: but it is certain there are a sort of men that can puzzle truth, but cannot enjoy the satisfaction of it. This same free-thinker is a creature unacquainted with the emotions which posscss great minds when they are turned for religion, and it is apparent that he is untouched with any such sensation as the rapture of devotion. Wilatever one of these scorners may think, they certainly want parts to be devout; and a sense of piety towards heaven, as well as the sense of any thing else, is lively and warm in proportion to the faculties of the head and heart. This gentleman may be assured he has not a taste for what he pretends to decry, and the poor man is certainly more a blockhead than an atheist. I must repeat, that he wants capacity to relish what true piety is; and he is as capable of writing an heroic poem, as making a servent prayer. When men are thus low and narrow in their apprehensions of things, and at the same time vain, they are naturally led to think every thing they do not understand, not to be understood. Their contradiction to what is urged by others, is a necessary consequence of their incapacity to receive it. The atheistical follows who appeared the last age did not serve the devil for nought, but revelled in excesses suitable to their principles; while in these unhappy days mischief is done for mischief's sake. These free-thinkers, who lead the lives of recluse students, for no other purpose but to disturb the sentiments of other men, put ine in mind of the monstrous recreation of those late wild youths, who, without provocation, had a wantonness in stabbing and defacing those they met with. When such writers as this, who have no spirit but that of malice, pretend to inform the age, mohocks and cut-throats may well set up for wits and men of pleasure. It will be perhaps expected, that I should produce some instances of the ill intention of this free-thinker, to support the treatment I here give him. In his fifty-second page he says, ‘Secondly, The priests throughout the world differ about scriptures, and the authority of scriptures. The Bramins have a book of scripture called the Shaster. The Persees have their Zundavastaw. The Bonzes of China have books written by the disciples of Fo-he, whom they call the “God and Saviour of the world, who was born to teach the way of salvation, and to give satisfaction for all men's sins.” The Talapoins of Siam have a book of scripture written by Sommonocodom, who, the Siamese say, “was born of a virgin, and was the God expected by the universe.” The Dervises have their Alcoran." I believe there is no one will dispute the author's great impartiality in setting down the accounts of these different religions. And I think it is pretty evident he delivers the matter with an air that betrays that the history of “one born of a virgin' has as much authority with him from St. Sommonocodom as from St. Matthew. Thus he treats revelation. Then as