Imagens das páginas

Mr. Bickersaff

T is some Years ago lince the Entail of the Estate

of our family was altered, by palling a tine in • Favour of me (who now am in : oiellion of it) after • some others decealed. The liers General who lived • beyond Sea, were excluded by the Settlement, and • the whole Estate is to pass in a new Cnar nei after me • and my Heirs. But several Tenants of the Lordship • perswade me to let them hereafter hold their Lands of • me according to the old Customs of the Barony, and • not oblige them to act by the Limitations of the last • Settlement. This, they fay, will make me more po· pular among my Dependants, and the antient Valials of

ihe Esate, to whom any Deviation from the Line of • Succession is always insidious.

Yours, &c.

: Y


Sheer. Lane, June 24. OU have by the Fine a plain Right, in which

none else of your family can be your Compe• titor ; for which Reason, by all Means demand Val• sallage upon that Title. The contrary Advice can • be given for no other Purpose in Nature but to betray * you, and favour other Pretenders, by making you • place a Right which is in you only, upon a Level • with a Right which you have in Common with others, • I am,


Your most Faithful
Servant, till Death,

I. B.

THERE is nothing fo dangerous or so pleafing, as Compliments made to us by our Enemies : And my Cor. respondent tells me, That though he knows several of those who give him this Counsel were at first againit parfing the Fine in favour of him; yet he is so touched with their Homage to him, that he can hardly believe they have a Mind to set it aside, in order to introduce the Heirs General into his Esate.


THESE are great Evils ; but since there is no proceeding with Success in this world, without complying with the Arts of it, I shall use the fame Method as my Correspondent's Tenants did with him, in Relation to one whom I never had Kindness for ; but shall, notwithstanding, presume to give him my Advice.


Isaac Bickerstaff, Efq; of Great Britain, to Lewis XIV,

of France. SIR,

OUR Majesty will pardon me while I take the

Liberty to acquaint you, that some Passages written from your Side of the Water do very much obstruct your Interest

. We take it very unkindly that the Prints of Paris are fo very partial in Favour of one Set of Men among us, and treat the others as irreconcileable to your Interests. Your Writers are very large in recounting any Thing which relates to the Figure - and Power of one Party, but are dumb when they should represent the Actions of the other. This is a trifling Circumstance many here are apt to lay fome Stress upon; therefore I thought fit to offer it to your Confideration before you dispatch the next Courier.

1. B.


-Propter vitam vivendi perdere caufas. .
For the sake of Life to lose the Means of Living.

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my own Apartment, June 28. F all the Evils under the Sun, that of making

Vice commendable is the greatest: For it seems to be the Batis of Society, that Applause and Contempt should be always given to proper Objects. But in this Age we behold Things, for which we ought to have an Abhorrence, not only received without Difdain, but even valued as Motives of Emulation. This is naturally the Destruction of Simplicity of Manners, Openness of


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Heart, and Generosity of Teniper. When one gives one's self the Liberty to range, and run over in one's Thoughts the different Genius's of Men which one meets in the World, one cannot but observe, that most of the Indirection and Artifice which is used among Men, does not proceed so much from a Degeneracy in Nature, as an Affectation of appearing Men of Consequence by such Practices. By this Means it is, that a cunning Man is so far from being ashamed of being esteemed such, that he secretly rejoices in it. It has been a Sort of Maxim, That the greatest Art is to conceal Art; but I know not how, among some People we meet with, their greatest Cunning is to appear cunning. There is Polypragmon makes it the whole Business of his Life to be thought a cunning Fellow, and thinks it a much greater Character to be terrible than agrecable. When it has on.ce enter'd into a Man's Head to have an Am. bition :o be thought crafty, all other Evils are necessary Consequences. To deceive, is the immediate Endeavour of him who is proud of the Capacity of doing it. It is certain, Polypragmon does all the ill he posibly can, but pretends to much more than he performs. He is contented in his own Thoughts, and hugs himself in his Closet, that though he is locked up there and doing nothing, the World does not know but that he is doing Mischief. To favour this Sufpicion, he gives HalfLooks and Shrugs in his general Behaviour, to give you to underlland that you don't kaow what he means. He is also wonderfully adverbial in his Expresions, and breaks off with a Perhaps and a Nod of the Head upon Matters of the most indifferent Nature. It is a mighty Practice with Men of this Genius to avoid frequent Appearance in Publick, and to be as mysterious as possible when they do come into Company. There is nothing to be done, according to them, the Common Way; and let the Matter in Hand be what it will, it must be carried with an Air of Importance, and transacted, if we may fo speak, with an oftentatious Secrecy. There are your Persons of long Heads, who would fain make the World believe their Thoughts and Ideas are very much fuperior to their Neighbours, and do not value what thele their Neighbours think of them, provided


they do not reckon them Fools. These have such a Romantick Touch in Business, that they hate to perform any Thing like other Men. Were it in their Choice, they had rather bring their Purposes to bear by overreaching the Persons they deal with, than by a plain and simple Manner. They make Difficulties for the Honour of furmounting them. Polypragmon is eternally busied after this Manner, with no other Prospect than that he is in hopes to be thought the most cunning of all Men, and fears the Imputation of the want of Understanding much more than that of the Abuse of it. But alas! How contemptible is such an Ambition, which is the very Reverse of all that is truly laudable, and the very Contradiction to the only Means to a juft Reputation, Simplicity of Manners ! Cunning can in no Circumstance imaginable be a Quality worthy a Man, except in his own Defence, and meerly to conceal himself from such as are so; and in such Cases it is no longer Craft, but Wisdom. The monstrous Affectation of being thought artful, immediately kills all Thoughts of Humanity and Goodness, and gives Men a Sense of the soft Affections and Impulses of the Mind (which are imprinted in us for our mutual Advantage and Succour) as of meer Weaknesses and Follies. According to the Men of Cunning, you are to put off the Nature of a Man as fast as you can, and acquire that of a Dæmon, as if it were a more eligible Character to be a powerful Enemy, than an able Friend. But it ought to be a Mortification to Men affected this way, that there wants but little more than Instinct to be considerable in it; for when a Man has arrived at being very bad in his Inclination, he has not - much more to do but to conceal himself, and he may revenge, cheat, and deceive without much Employment for Understanding, and go on with great Chearfulness with the high Applaule of being a prodigious cunning Fellow. But indeed, when we arrive at that Pi:ch of falfe Taste, as not to think Cunning a contemptible Quality, it is methinks, a Very great Injustice that Pick-pockets are had in fo litde Veneration, who muft be admirably well turned, not only for the Theoretick, but also the practical Beha. vious of cunning Fellows. After all the Endeavours of B4



this Family of Men whom we call cunning, their whole Work falls to Pieces, if others will lay down all Esteem for such Artifices, and treat it as an unmanly Quality, which they forbear to practice only because they abhor it. When the Spider is ranging in the different Apartments of his Web, it is true, that he only can weave fo fine a Thread; but it is in the Power of the meerest Drone that lias Wings to fly through and destroy it.

Will's Coffee-bouf, June 28. THO' the Tale of Wit and Pleasure is at present but very low in this Town, yet there are some that preserve their kelish undebauched with common Im. preslions, and can dilinguish between Reality and Impoilure. A Gentleman was saying here this Evening, That he would go to the I lay to morrow Night to see Ileroism as it has been reprefented by some of our Tragedians, reprelented in Burlesque. It seems, the Play of Alexander is to be then turned into Ridicule for its Bombalt, and other falle Ornaments in the Thought as wel as the Language. The Blackr Alexander makes is as much inçonfiltent with the Character of an Hero, as the loughness of Clytus, an Inflance of the Sincerity of a bold artless Soldier. To be plain is not to be rude, but rather inclines a Man to Civility and Deference; not indeed to thew it in the Gestures of the Body, but in the Sentiments of the Mind. It is, among other Things, from the impertinent figures untiltul Dra. matists draw of the Characters of Men, that Youth are bewildered and prejudiced in their Senle of the World, of which they have no Notions but what they draw from Books and such Representations. Thus talk to a very young Man, let him be of never so good Sense, and he ihall smile when you speak of Sincerity in a Coortier, good Sense in a Soldier, or Honelty in a l'olitician. The Reason of this is, That you hardly see one Play wherein each of these Ways of Life is not drawn by Hands that know nothing of any one of them; and the Truth is so far of the opposite Side to what they paint, that it is more impracticable, to live in Elteem in Courts, than any where else, without Sincerity. Good Sense is


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