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compassion, and without tormenting it. Let us consider, that it is in its own nature cruelty to put a living creature to death; we at least destroy a soul that has sense and perception.”—In the life of Cato the Censor, he takes occasion, from the severe disposition of that man, to discourse in this manner: “It ought to be esteemed a happiness to mankind, that our humanity has a wider sphere to exert itself in than bare justice. It is no more than the obligation of our very birth to practise equity to our own kind; but humanity may be extended through the whole order of creatures, even to the meanest. Such actions of charity are the overflowings of a mild good-nature on all below us. It is certainly the part of a well-natured man to take care of his horses and dogs, not only in expectation of their labour while they are foals and whelps, but even when their old age has made them incapable of service.' History tells us of a wise and polite nation, that rejected a person of the first quality, who stood for a judiciary office, only because he had been observed in his youth to take pleasure in tearing and murdering of birds. And of another that expelled a man out of the senate, for dashing a bird against the ground which had taken shelter in his bosom. Every one knows how remarkable the Turks are for their humanity in this kind. I remember an Arabian author, who has written a treatise to show, how far a man, supposed to have subsisted in a desert island, without any instruction, or so much as the sight of any other man, may, by the pure light of nature, attain the knowledge of philosophy and virtue. One of the first things he makes him observe is, that universal benevolence of nature in the protection and preservation of its creatures. In imitation of which the first act of virtue he thinks his self-taught philosopher would of course fall into is, to relieve and assist all the animals about him in their wants and distresses. Ovid has some very tender and pathetic lines applicable to this occasion:
The sheep was sacrific'd on no pretence,
And to the hatchet yield thv husbandman, Who finish'd autumn, and the spring began *
What more advance can Inortals make in sin
Perhaps that voice or cry so nearly resembling the human, with which Providence has endued so many different animals, might purposely be given them to move our pity, and prevent those cruelties we are too apt to inflict on our fellow-creatures. There is a passage in the book of Jonas, when God declares his unwillingness to destroy Nineveh, where methinks that compassion of the Creator, which extends to the meanest rank of his creatures, is expressed with wonderful tenderness. “Should I not spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than six score thousand persons and also much cattle?” And we have in Deuteronomy a precept of great good-nature of this sort, with a blessing in form annexed to it, in those words: “If thou shalt find a bird's nest in the way, thou shalt not take the dam with the young: But thou shalt in any wise let the dam go; that it may be well with thee, and that thou may’st prolong thy days.' To conclude, there is certainly a degree of gratitude owing to those animals that serve us, As for such as are mortal or noxious, we have a right to destroy them; and for those that are neither of advantage or prejudice to us, the common enjoyment of life is what I cannot think we ought to deprive them of This whole matter, with regard to each of these considerations, is set in a very agreeable light in one of the Persian fables of Pilpay, with which I shall end this paper. A traveller passing through a thicket, and seeing a few sparks of a fire, which some passengers had kindled as they went that way before, made up to it. On a sudden the sparks caught hold of a bush in the midst of which lay an adder, and set it in flames. The adder entreated the traveller's assistance, who tying a bag to the end of his staff, reached it, and drew him out: he then bid him go where he pleased, but never more be hurtful to men, since he owed his life to a man's compassion. The adder, however, prepared to sting him, and when he expostulated how tinjust it was to retaliate good with evil, ‘ I shall do no more,” said the adder, “than what you men practise every day, whose custom it is to requite benefits with ingratitude. If you cannot deny this truth, let us refer it to the first we meet.” The man consented, and seeing a tree, put the question to it, in what manner a
they met a cow. The same demand was made, and much the same answer given, that among men it was certainly so. “I know it,” said the cow, “by woful experience; for I have served a man this long time with milk, butter, and cheese, and brought him besides a calf every year; but now I am old, he turns me into this pasture with design to sell me to a butcher, who will shortly make an end of me.' The traveller upon this stood confounded, but desired, of courtesy, one trial more, to be finally judged by the next beast they should meet. This happened to be the fox, who, upon hearing the story in all its circumstances, could not be persuaded it was possible for the adder to enter in so narrow a bag. The adder, to convince him, went in again; when the fox told the man he had now his enemy in his power, and with that he fastened the bag, and crushed him to pieces.
Upon the late election of king's scholars, my curiosity drew me to Westminster school. The sight of a place where I had not been for many years, revived in my thoughts the tender images of my childhood, which by a great length of time had contracted a softness that rendered then inexpressibly agreeable. As it is usual with me to draw a secret unenvied pleasure from a thousand incidents overlooked by other men, I threw myself into a short transport, forgetting my age, and fancying myself a school-boy. This imagination was strongly favoured by the presence of so many young boys, in whose looks were legible the sprightly passions of that age, which raised in me a sort of sympathy. Warm blood thrilled through every vein; the faded memory of those enjoyments that once gave me pleasure put on more lively colours, and a thousand gay amusements filled my mind. It was not without regret, that I was for. saken by this waking dream. The cheapness of puerile delights, the guiltless joy they leave upon the mind, the blooming hopes that lift up the soul in the ascent of life, the pleasure that attends the gradual opening of the imagination, and the dawn of reason, made me think most. men found that stage the most agreeable part of their journey. When men come to riper years, the innocent diversions which exalted the spirits and produced health of body, indolence of mind, and refreshing slumbers, are too often exchanged for criminal delights, which fill the soul with anguish, and the body with disease. The grateful employment of admiring and raising them. selves to an imitation of the polite style, beautiful images, and noble sentinents of ancient authors, is abandoned for law-latin, the lucubrations of our paltry news-mongers, and that swarm of vile pamphlets, which corrupt our taste, and infest the public. The ideas of virtue which the characters of heroes had imprinted on their
minds, insensibly wear out, and they come to be influenced by the nearer examples of a degenerate age. In the morning of life, when the soul first makes her entrance into the world, all things look fresh and gay; their novelty surprises, and every little glitter or gaudy colour transports the stranger. But by degrees the sense grows callous, and we lose that exquisite relish of trifles by the time our minds should be supposed ripe for rational entertainments. I cannot make this reflection without being touched with a commiseration of that species called beaux, the happiness of those men necessarily terminating with their childhood; who, from a want of knowing other pursuits, continue a fondness for the delights of that age, after the relish of them is decayed. Providence hath with a bountiful hand prepared variety of pleasures for the various stages of life. It behoves us not to be wanting to ourselves, in forwarding the intention of nature, by the culture of our minds, and a due preparation of each faculty for the enjoyment of those objects it is capable of being affected with. As our parts open and display by gentle degrees, we rise from the gratifications of sense, to relish those of the mind. In the scale of pleasure, the lowest are sensual delights, which are succeeded by the more enlarged views and gay portraitures of a lively imagination; and these give way to the sublimer pleasures of reason, which discover the causes and designs, the frame, connexion, and symmetry of things, and fills the mind with the contemplation of intellectual beauty, order, and truth. Hence I regard our public schools and universities, not only as nurseries of men for the service of the church and state, but also as places designed to teach mankind the most refined luxury, to raise the mind to its due perfection, and give it a taste for those entertainments which afford the highest transport, without the grossness or remorse that attend vulgar enjoyments. In those blessed retreats men enjoy the sweets of solitude, and yet converse with the greatest genii that have appeared in every age, wander through the delightful mazes of every art and science, and as they gradually enlarge their sphere of knowledge, at once rejoice in their present possessions, and are animated by the boundless prospect of future discoveries. There, a generous emulation, a noble thirst of fame, a love of truth and honourable regards, reign in minds as yet untainted from the world. There, the stock of learning transmitted down from the ancients, is preserved, and receives a daily increase; and it is thence propagated by men, who, having finished their studies, go into the world, and spread that general knowledge and good taste throughout the land, which is so distant from the barbarism of its ancient inhabitants, or the fierce genius of its invaders. And as it is evident that our literature is owing to the schools and universities, so it cannot be denied that these are owing to our religion. It was chiefly, if not altogether, upon religious considerations that princes, as well as private persons, have erected colleges, and
- assigned liberal endowments to students and
professors. Upon the same account they meet with encouragement and protection from all Christian states, as being esteemed a necessary means to have the sacred oracles and primitive traditions of Christianity preserved and understood. And it is well known, that after a long night of ignorance and superstition, the reformation of the church and that of learning began together; and made proportionable advances, the latter having been the effect of the former, which of course engaged men in the study of the learned languages, and of antiquity. Or, ifa free-thinker is ignorant of these facts, he may be convinced from the manifest reason of the thing. Is it not plain that our skill in literature is owing to the knowledge of Greek and Latin, which, that they are still preserved among us, can be ascribed only to a religious regard 2 What else should be the cause why the youth of Christendom, above the rest of mankind, are educated in the painful study of those dead languages; and that religious societies should peculiarly be employed in acquir. ing that sort of knowledge, and teaching it to others 1 And it is more than probable, that in case our free-thinkers could once achieve their glorious design of sinking the credit of the Christian religion, and causing those revenues to be withdrawn which their wiser forefathers had appointed to the support and encouragement of its teachers, in a little time the Shaster would be as intelligible as the Greek Testament; and we, who want that spirit and curiosity which distinguished the ancient Grecians, would by degrees relapse into the same state of barbarism which overspread the northern nations, before they were enlightened by Christianity. Some perhaps, from the ill-tendency and vile taste which appear in their writings, may suspect that the free-thinkers are carrying on a malicious design against the belles lettres: for iny part, I rather conceive them as unthirking wretches, of short views and narrow capacities, who are not able to penetrate into the causes or consequences of things.
reflections upon the letter I writ to you, published in yours of the twelfth instant. The sentence upon which he spends most of his invectives, is this, “I will give myself no manner of liberty to make guesses at him, if I may say him, for though sometimes I have been told by familiar friends, that they saw me such a time talking to the Examiner: others who have rallied me upon the sins of my youth, tell me it is credibly reported that I have formerly lain with the Examiner.” ‘Now, Mr. Ironside, what was there in all this but saying, “I cannot tell what to do in this case. There has been named for this paper, one for whom I have a value, and another whom I cannot but neglect 7” I have named no man, but if there be any gentleman who wrongfully lies under the imputation of being or assisting the Examiner, he would do well to do himself justice, under his own hand, in the eye of the world. As to the exasperated mistress, the Examiner demands in her behalf, a “reparation for offended innocence.” This is pleasant language, when spoken of this person; he wants to have me unsay what he makes me to have said before. I declare then it was a false report, which was spread concerning me and a lady, sometimes reputed the author of the Examiner; and I can now make her no reparation, but in begging her pardon, that I never lay with her. “I speak all this only in regard to the Examiner's offended innocence, and will make no reply as to what relates merely to myself. I have said before, “he is welcome from henceforward, to treat me as he pleases.” But the bit of Greek, which I entreat you to put at the front of to-morrow's paper, speaks all my sense on this occasion. It is a speech put in the mouth of Ajax, who is engaged in the dark : He cries out to Jupiter, “Give me but daylight, let me but see my foe, and let him destroy me if he can.” “But when he repeats his story of the “general for life,” I cannot hear him with so much patience. He may insinuate what he pleases to the ministry of me; but I am sure I could not, if I would, by detraction, do them more injury than he does by his ill-placed, ignorant, nauseous flattery. One of them, whose talent is address, and skill in the world, he calls Cato; another, whose praise is conversation-wit and a taste of pleasures, is also Cato. Can any thing in nature be more out of character, or more expose those whom he would recommend to the raillery of his adversaries, than comparing these to Cato ? But gentlemen of their eminence are to be treated with respect, and not to suffer because a sycophant has applauded them in a wrong place. . ‘As much as he says I am in defiance with those in present power, I will lay before them one point that would do them more honour than any one circumstance in their whole administration; which is, to show their resentment of the Examiner's nauseous applause of themselves, and licentious calumny of their predecessors. Till they do themselves that justice, men of sense will believe they are pleased with the adulation of a prostitute, who heaps upon them injudicious applauses, for which he makes way by randon abuses upon those who are in present possession of all that is laudable. I am, sir, your most hunble servant,
“RICHARD STEELE." * To Mr. Ironside.
‘SIR,-A mind so well qualified as your's, must receive every day large improvements, when exercised upon such truths which are the glory of our natures; such as those which lead us to an endless happiness in our life succeeding this. I here with send you Dr. Lucas's Practical Christianity, for your serious perusal. If you have already read it, I desire you would give it to one of your friends who has not. I think you cannot recommend it better than in inserting by way of specimen these passages which I point to you, as follows:— “'That I have, in this state I am now in, a soul as well as a body, whose interest concerns me, is a truth my sense sufficiently discovers: For I feel joys and sorrows, which do not make their abode in the organs of the body, but in the inmost recesses of the mind; pains and pleasures which sense is too gross and heavy to partake of, as the peace or trouble of conscience in the reflection upon good or evil actions, the delight or vexation of the mind, in the conternplation of, or a fruitless inquiry after, excellent and important truths. “And since I have such a soul capable of happiness or misery, it naturally follows, that it were sottish and unreasonable to lose this soul for the gain of the whole world. For my soul is I myself, and is that be miserable, I must needs be so. Outward circumstances of fortune may give the world occasion to think me happy, but they can never make me so. Shall I call myself happy, if discontent and sorrow cat out the life and spirit of my soul if lusts and passions riot and mutiny in my bo. som * if my sins scatter an uneasy shame all over Inc, and my guilt appals and frights me? What avails it me, that my rooms are stately, my tables full, my attendants numerous, and my attire gaudy, if all this while my very being pines and languishes away These indeed are rich and pleasant things, but I nevertheless am a poor and miserable man. Therefore I conclude, that whatever this thing be I call a soul, though it were a perishing, dying thing, and would not outlive the body, yet it were my wis. down and interest to prefer its content and satisfaction before all the world, unless I could choose to be miserable, and delight to be unhappy. “This very consideration, supposing the uncertainty of another world, would yet strongly engage me to the service of religion; for all it aims at, is to banish sin out of the world, which is the source and original of all the troubles that disquiet the mind; 1st. Sin in its very es: sence, is nothing else but disordered, distempered passions, affections foolish and preposter. ous in their choice, or wild and extravagant in their proportion, which our own experience suf. ficiently convinces us to be painful and uneasy. 2d. It engages us in desperate hazards, wearies us with daily toils, and often buries us in the
ruins we bring upon ourselves; and lastly, it fills our hearts with distrust, and fear, and shame; for we shall never be able to persuade ourselves fully, that there is no difference between good and evil; that there is no God, or none that concerns himself at the actions of this life: and if we cannot, we can never rid ourselves of the pangs and stings of a troubled conscience; we shall never be able to establish a peace and calm in our bosoms; and so enjoy our pleasure with a clear and uninterrupted freedom. But if we could persuade ourselves into the utmost height of atheism, yet still we shall be under these two strange inconveniences: 1st. That a life of sin will be still irregular and disorderly, and therefore troublesome : 2d. That we shall have dismantled our souls of their greatest strength, disarmed them of that faith which only can support them under the afflictions of this present life.””
‘That your petitioners behold with great sorrow, your honour employing your important moments in remedying matters which nothing but time can cure, and which do not so immediately, or at least so professedly, appertain to your office, as do the concerns of us your petitioners, and other handicraft persons, who excel in their different and respective dexterities.
‘That as all mechanics are employed in accommodating the dwellings, clothing the persons, or preparing the diet of mankind, your petitioners ought to be placed first in your guardianship, as being useful in a degree superior to all other workmen, and as being wholly conversant in clearing and adorning the head of naan. . ‘That the said Longbottom, above all the rest of mankind, is skilful in taking off that horrid excrescence on the chins of all males, and casting, by the touch of his hand, a cheerfulness where that excrescence grew ; an art known only to this your artificer.
‘That Charles Lilly prepares snuff and persumes which refresh the brain in those that have too much for their quiet, and gladdens it in those who have too little to know their want of it. . ‘That Bat. Pidgeon cuts the luxuriant locks growing from the upper part of the head, in so artful a manner, with regard to the visage, that he makes the ringlets, falling by the temples, conspire with the brows and lashes of the eye, to heighten the expressions of modesty and in: timations of good-will, which are most infallibly communicated by ocular glances. ‘That J. Norwood forms periwigs with respect to particular persons and visages, on the same plan that Bat. Pidgeon corrects natural hair; that he has a strict regard to the climate under which his customer was born, before he pretends to cover his head; that no part of his wig is composed of hair which grew above twenty miles from the buyer's place of nativity; that the very neck-lock grew in the same county, and all the hair to the face in the very parish where he was born. ‘That these your cephalic operators humbly entreat your more frequent attention to the mechanic arts, and that you would place your petitioners at the head of the family of the cosmetics, and your petitioners shall ever pray, &c."
“To Nestor Ironside, Esq. Guardian of Good Fame.
“The memorial of Esau Ringwood, showeth,
‘That though nymphs and shepherds, sonnets and complaints, are no more to be seen or heard in the forests and chases of Great Britain, yet are not the huntsmen who now frequent the woods so barbarous as represented in the Guardian of the twenty-first instant; that the knife is not presented to the lady of quality by the huntsman to cut the throat of the deer: but after he is killed, that instrument is given her, as the animal is now become food, in token that all our labour, joy, and exultation in the pursuit, were excited from the sole hope of making the stag an offering to her table; that your honour has detracted from the humanity of sportsmen in this representation; that they demand you would retract your error, and distinguish Britons from Scythians.
‘P. S. Repent, and eat venison.”
“To Nestor Ironside, Esquire, Avenger of Detraction.
“The humble petition of Susan How-d'ye-call, most humbly showeth,
• ‘That your petitioner is mentioned at all visits, with an account of facts done by her, of speeches she has made, and of journeys she has taken, to all which circumstances your petitioner is wholly a stranger; that in every family in Great Britain, glasses and cups are broken, and utensils displaced, and all these faults laid upon Mrs. How-d'ye-call; that your petitioner has applied to counsel, upon these grievances; that your petitioner is advised, that her case is the same with that of John-a-Styles, and that she is abused only by way of form; your petitioner therefore most humbly prays, that in be
half of herself, and all others defamed under the
term of Mr. or Mrs. How-d'yc-call, you will grant her and then the following concessions: that no reproach shall take place where the person has not an opportunity of defending himself; that tho phrase of a “certain person,”
means “no certain person;” that the “How-d'yecalls,” “some people,” “a certain set of men,” “there are folks now-a-days,” and “things are come to that pass,” are words that shall concern nobody after the present Monday in Whitsunweek, 1713.
‘That it is baseness to offend any person, except the offender exposes himself to that person's examination; that no woman is defamed by any man, without he names her name ; that “exasperated mistress,” “false fair,” and the like, shall from the said Whitsun-Monday, signify no more than Cloe, Corinna, or Mrs. How-d'yecall; that your petitioner, being an old maid, may be joined in marriage to John-a-Nokes, or, in case of his being resolved upon celibacy, to Tom Long, the carrier, and your petitioner shall ever pray, &c."
“To Nestor Ironside, Esquire
‘The humble petition of Hugh Pounce, of Grubstreet, showeth,
‘That in your first paper you have touched upon the affinity between all arts which concern the good of society, and professed that you should promote a good understanding between them. “That your petitioner is skilful in the art and mystery of writing verses or distichs. • That your petitioner does not write for vainglory, but for the use of society. ‘That, like the art of painting upon glass, the more durable work of writing upon iron is almost lost. ‘That your petitioner is retained as poet to the Ironmongers company. ‘Your petitioner therefore humbly desires you would protect him in the sole making of posies for knives, and all manner of learning to be wrought on iron, and your petitioner shall ever pray.’
* To the Guardian.
‘SIR,-Though every body has been talking or writing on the subject of Cato, ever since the world was obliged with that tragedy, there has not, methinks, been an examination of it, which sufficiently shows the skill of the author merely as a poet. There are peculiar graces which ordinary readers ought to be instructed how to admire; among others, I am charmed with his artificial expressions in well adapted similies: there is no part of writing in which it is more difficult to succeed, for on sublime occasions it requires at once the utmost strength of the imagination, and the severest correction of the judgment. Thus Syphax, when he is forming to himself the sudden and unexpected destruction which is to befall the man he hates, expresses himself in an image which none but a Numidian could have a lively sense of; but yet, if the author had ranged over all the objects upon the face of the earth, he could not have found a representation of a disaster so great, so sudden, and so dreadful as this: * • So where our willo Numidian wastes extend, Sudden th' impetitous hurricanes descend, wheel through the air, in circling ellies play, Tear up the sands, and sweep whole plains away.