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sibly reap from any Accomplishments of his own. But all the Credit of Wit which was given me by the Gentlemen above-mentioned (with whom I have now accounted) has not been able to attone for the Exceptions made against me for some Raillery in Behalf of that learned Advocate for the Epifcopacy of the Church, and the Liberty of the People, Mr. Hoadley. I mention'd this only to defend myself against the Imputation of being moved rather by Party than Opinion ; and I think it is apparent, I have with the utmost Frankness allowed. Merit where-ever I found it, though joined in Interests different from those for which I have declared myself. When my Favonius is acknowledged to be Dr. Smalridge, and the amiable CharaEter of the Dean in the Sixty-sixth Tatler, drawn for Dr. Atterbury ; I hope I need say na more as to my Impartialit
I really have acted in these Cafes with Honesty, and am concerned it should be thought otherwise : For Wit, if a Man had it, unless it be directed to fome useful End, is but a wanton frivolous Quality ; all that one should value himself upon in this Kind is, that he had some honourable Intention in it.
AS for this point, never Hero in Romance was carried away with a more furious Ambition to conquer Giants and Tyrants, than I have been in extirpating Gamesters and Duellifts. And indeed, like one of those Knights too, tho I was calm before, I am apt to fly out again, when the Thing that first disturbed me, is presented to my Imagination. I shall therefore leave off when I am well, and fight with Windmills no more: Only foall be so arrogant as to say of myself, that in Spight of all the Force of Fashion and Prejudice, in the Face of all the World, 1 alone betailed the Condition of an English Gentleman, whose Fortune and Life are at this Day precarious; while his Eftate,
is liable to the Demands of Gamefters, through a false Sense of Juflice; and to the Demands of Ducilisis, through a false Sense of Honour. As to the first of shefe Orders of Men, I have not one Iord more io Jay of them: 1s to the latter, I shall conclude all I have more to offer agains them (with Respect to their being prompted by the Fear of Shame) ly applying 10 the Duellift what I think Dr. South Says Jomewhere of the Liar, He is a Coward to Man, and a Brave to GOD.
Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq;
Timeo Danaos & dona ferentes. Virg.
Tuesday, June 27, 1710.
Sheer-Lane, June 26.
HERE are some Occasions in Life, be
wherein Regard to a Man's self is the moft pitiful and contemptible of all Paffions; and such a Time certainly is when the true publick Spirit of a Nation is
run into a Faction against their friends and Benefactors. I have hinted heretofore some Things which discover the real Sorrow I am in at the Observation, that it is now very much fo in Great Britain, and have had the Honour to be pelted with several Epistles VOL. IV.
to expoftulate with me on that Subject. Among others one from a Person of the Number of those they call Quakers, who seems to admonish me out of pure Zeal and Good-will. But as there is no Character so unjust as that of talking in Party upon all Occasions, without Respect to Merit or Worth on the contrary Side; so there is no Part we can act so juitihable as to speak our Mind when we see Things urged to Extremity, against all that is Praise worthy or valuable in Life, upon general and groundless Suggestions. But if I have talked too frankly upon such Reflections, my Correspondent has laid befora me, after his Way, the Error of it in a Manner that makes me indeed thankful for his Kindness, but the more inclinable to repeat the Imprudence from the Neceflity of the Circumstance.
Tbe 23d of the 6th Montb, Friend Ifaac,
which is the Month June. FORASMUCH as I love thee, I cannot
any longer refrain declaring my Mind unto thee concerning fome Things. Thou didnt thy felf indite • the Epittle in one of thy late Lucubrations, as thou .. would have us call them: For verily thy Friend of • Stone, and I speak according to Knowledge, hath no • Fingers; and though he hath a Mouth, yet speaketh • he not therewith ; nor yet did that Epistle at all come • unto thee from the Mansion house of the Scarlet. • Whore. Ji is plain therefore, that the Truth is not • in thee: But since thou wouidit lie, couldīt thou not • lia with more Discretion ? Wherefore Thouldlt thou • insult over the AMicted, or add Sorrow unto the Hea.
vy of Heart? Truly this Gall proceedeth not from • the Spirit of Meekness. I tell thee moreover, the • People of this Land be marvelously given to Change ; • inlomuch that it may likely come to pass, that before • thou art many Years nearer to thy Diffolution, thou • may'st behold him fitting on a high Place whom thou
now laughest to Scorn: And then how wilt thou be glad to humble thy self to the Ground, and lick the Dust of his Feet, that thou may'll find Favour in his
Sight? If thou didst meditate as much upon the • Word, as thou dost upon the profane Scribblings of
'the wise ones of this Generation, thou wouldst have remembred what happened unto Shimei, the Son of • Gera the Benjamite, who cursed the good Man David • in his Distress. David pardoned his Transgression, yet was he afterwards taken as in a Snare by the • Words of his own Mouth, and fell by the Sword of
Solomon the chief Ruler. Furthermore, I do not re* member to have heard in the Days of my Youth and
Vanity, when, like thine, my Conversation was with the Gentiles, that the Men of Rome, which is Babylon, ever sued unto the Men of Carthage, for Tranquillity, as thou doft aver : Neither was Hannibal, the Son of Hamilcar, called Home by his Countrymen, till these saw the Sword of their Enemies at their • Gates; and then was it not Time for him, thinkest
thou, to return? It appeareth therefore that thou * dost prophesy backwards ; thou doft row one Way ' and look another ; and indeed in all Things art thou too much a Time-server ; yet seemeft thou not to confider what a Day may bring forth. Think of this, and take Tobacco.'
If the zealous Writer of the above Letter has any Meaning, it is of too high a Nature to be the Subjeét of my Lucubrations. I fall therefore wave such high Points, and be as useful as I can to Persons of less Mo. ment than any he hints at. When a Man runs into a little Fame in the World, as he meets with a great deal of Reproach which he does not deserve, so does he also a great deal of Esteem to which he has in himself no Pretensions. Were it otherwise, I am sure no one would offer to put a Law-Case to me: But because I am an Adept in Phyfick and Aftrology, they will needs perswade me that I am no less a Proficient in all other Sciences. However, the Point mentioned in the fol. lowing Letter is so plain a one, that I think I need not trouble myself to caft a Figure to be able to dis