« AnteriorContinuar »
disagreeable to him at first; but use and are to make us happy in the next. The application will certainly render it not only seeds of those spiritual joys and raptures, less painful, but pleasing and satisfactory.' which are to rise up and flourish in the soul
In the second place, I would recommend to all eternity, must be planted in her durto every one that admirable precept which ing this her present state of probation. In Pythagoras is said to have given to his dis- short, heaven is not to be looked upon only ciples, and which that philosopher must as the reward, but as the natural effect of have drawn from the observation I have a religious life. enlarged upon, Optimum vitæ genus eli- ! On the other hand, those evil spirits, gito, nam consuetudo faciet jucondissimum: who, by long custom, have contracted in
Pitch upon that course of life which is the the body habits of lust and sensuality, mamost excellent, and custom will render it lice and revenge, and aversion to every the most delightful.' Men, whose circum- thing that is good, just, or laudable, are stances will permit them to choose their naturally seasoned and prepared for pain own way of life, are inexcusable if they do and misery. Their torments have already not pursue that which their judgment tells taken root in them; they cannot be happy them is the most laudable. The voice of when divested of the body, unless we may reason is more to be regarded than the bent suppose, that Providence will in a manner of any present inclination, since, by the rule create them anew, and work a miracle in above-mentioned, inclination will at length the rectification of their faculties. They come over to reason, though we can never may, indeed, taste a kind of malignant force reason to comply with inclination. pleasure in those actions to which they are
In the third place, this observation may accustomed, whilst in this life; but when teach the most sensual and irreligious man they are removed from all those objects to overlook those hardships and difficulties which are here apt to gratify them, they which are apt to discourage him from the will naturally become their own tormentprosecution of a virtuous life. The gods,' ors, and cherish in themselves those painful said Hesiod, have placed labour before habits of mind which are called, in scripvirtue: the way to her is at first rough and ture phrase, the worm which never dies.' difficult, but grows more smooth and easy This notion of heaven and hell is so very the farther you advance in it.' The man conformable to the light of nature, that it who proceeds in it with steadiness and re- was discovered by several of the most exsolution, will in a little time find that 'her alted heathens. It has been finely improved ways are ways of pleasantness, and that all by many eminent divines of the last age, as her paths are peace.'
l in particular by archbishop Tillotson and To enforce this consideration, we may Dr. Sherlock: but there is none who has farther observe, that the practice of reli- raised such noble speculations upon it as gion will not only be attended with that Dr. Scot, in the first book of his Christian pleasure which naturally accompanies those Life, which is one of the finest and most actions to which we are habituated, but with rational schemes of divinity that is written those supernumerary joys of heart that rise in our tongue, or in any other. That excelfrom the consciousness of such a pleasure, lent author has shown how every particular from the satisfaction of acting up to the dic- custom and habit of virtue will, in its own tates of reason, and from the prospect of nature, produce the heaven, or a state of a happy immortality,
happiness, in him who shall hereafter pracIn the fourth place, we may learn from tise it: as on the contrary, how every custhis observation, which we have made on tom or habit of vice will be the natural the mind of man, to take particular care, hell of him in whom it subsists. C. when we are once settled in a regular course of life, how we too frequently indulge ourselves in any the most innocent diversions and entertainments; since the mind may
No. 448.] Monday, August 4, 1712. insensibly fall off from the relish of virtuous Fædius hoc aliquid quandoque audebis. actions, and, by degrees, exchange that
Juv. Sat. ii. 2 pleasure which it takes in the performance
In time to greater baseness you'll proceed. of its duty, for delights of a much more in | The first steps towards ill are very careferior and unprofitable nature.
fully to be avoided, for men insensibly go The last use which I shall make of this on when they are once entered, and do not remarkable property in human nature, of keep up a lively abhorrence of the least being delighted with those actions to which unworthiness. There is a certain frivolous it is accustomed, is to show how absolutely falschood that people indulge themselves necessary it is for us to gain habits of virtue in, which ought to be had in greater detestain this life, if we would enjoy the pleasures tion than it commonly meets with. What of the next. The state of bliss we call hea- I mean is a neglect of promises made on ven will not be capable of affecting those small and indifferent occasions, such as minds which are not thus qualified for it; parties of pleasure, entertainments, and we must, in this world, gain a relish of sometimes meetings out of curiosity, in men truth and virtue, if we would be able to of like faculties, to be iri each other's comtaste that knowledge and perfection, which / pany. There are many causes to which one may assign this light infidelity. Jack Sippet | great, that they subsist by still promising never keeps the hour he has appointed to on. I have heretofore discoursed of the income to a friend's to dinner; but he is an significant liar, the boaster, and the castleinsignificant fellow, who does it out of builder, and treated them as no ill-designvanity. He could never, he knows, make ing men (though they are to be placed any figure in company, but by giving a little among the frivolous false ones,) but persons disturbance at his entry, and therefore takes who fall into that way purely to recommend care to drop in when he thinks you are just themselves by their vivacities; but indeed I seated. He takes his place after having cannot let heedless promisers, though in discomposed every body, and desires there the most minute circumstances, pass with may be no ceremony; then does he begin to so slight a censure. If a man should take call himself the saddest fellow, in disap- a resolution to pay only sums above a hunpointing so many places as he was invited dred pounds, and yet contract with difto elsewhere. It is the fop's vanity to name ferent people debts of five and ten, how houses of better cheer, and to acquaint you long can we suppose he will keep his credit that he chose yours out of ten dinners which | This man will as long support his good he was obliged to be at that day. The last name in business, as he will in conversation, time I had the fortune to eat with him, he who without difficulty makes assignations was imagining how very fat he should have which he is indifferent whether he keeps been had he eaten all he had ever been in- or not. vited to. But it is impertinent to dwell upon I am the more severe upon this vice, bethe manners of such a wretch as obliges all cause I have been so unfortunate as to be a whom he disappoints, though his circum very great criminal myself. Sir Andrew stances constrain them to be civil to him. Freeport, and all my other friends who are But there are those that every one would scrupulous to promises of the meanest conbe glad to see, who fall into the same de- sideration imaginable, from a habit of virtestable habit. It is a merciless thing that tue that way, have often upbraided me with any one can be at ease, and suppose a set it. I take shame upon myself for this crime, of people who have a kindness for him, at and more particularly for the greatest I that moment waiting out of respect to him, ever committed of the sort, that when as and refusing to taste their food or conversa- agreeable a company of gentlemen and tion, with the utmost impatience. One of ladies as ever were got together, and I forthese promisers sometimes shall make his sooth, Mr. Spectator, to be of the party excuses for not coming at all, so late that with women of merit, like a booby as I was, half the company have only to lament, that mistook the time of meeting, and came the they have neglected matters of moment to night following. I wish every fool who is meet him whom they find a trifler. They negligent in this kind, may have as great a immediately repent of the value they had loss as I had in this; for the same company for him; and such treatment repeated, will never meet more, but are dispersed makes company never depend upon his into various parts of the world, and I am promises any more; so that he often comes left under the compunction that I deserve, at the middle of a meal, where he is secretly in so many different places to be called a slighted by the persons with whom he eats, trifler. and cursed by the servants, whose dinner This fault is sometimes to be accounted is delayed by his prolonging their master's | for, when desirable people are fearful of entertainment. It is wonderful that men | appearing precise and reserved by denials; guilty this way could never have observed, but they will find the apprehension of that that the whiling time, and gathering to imputation will betray them into a childish gether, and waiting a little before dinner, impotence of mind, and make them prois the most awkwardly passed away of any mise all who are so kind to ask it of them. part in the four-and-twenty hours. If they This leads such soft creatures into the misdid think at all, they would reflect upon fortune of seeming to return overtures of their guilt, in lengthening such a suspension good-will with ingratitude. The first steps of agreeable life. The constant offending in the breach of a man's integrity are much this way has, in a degree, an effect upon more important than men are aware of, the honesty of his mind who is guilty of it, The man who scruples not breaking his as common swearing is a kind of habitual word in little things, would not suffer in his perjury: it makes the soul unattentive to own conscience so great pain for failures of what an oath is, even while it utters it at consequence, as he who thinks every little the lips. Phocion beholding a wordy orator, offence against truth and justice a disparagewhile he was making a magnificent speech ment. We should not make any thing we to the people, full of vain promises; -Me- ourselves disapprove habitual to us, if we thinks,' said he, “I am now fixing my eyes would be sure of our integrity. upon a cypress tree; it has all the pomp and I remember a falsehood of the trivial beauty imaginable in its branches, leaves, sort, though not in relation to assignations, and height: but alas! it bears no fruit.' that exposed a man to a very uneasy ad
Though the expectation which is raised venture. Will Trap and Jack Stint were by impertinent promises is thus barren, chamber-fellows in the Inner-Temple about their confidence, even after failures, is so twenty-five years ago. They one night sat in the pit together at a comedy, where they lings many descriptions given of ill persons, both observed and liked the same young and not any direct encomium made of those woman in the boxes. Their kindness for who are good. When I was convinced of her entered both hearts deeper than they this error, I could not but immediately call imagined. Stint had a good faculty in writ- to mind several of the fair sex of my acing letters of love, and made his address quaintance, whose characters deserve to be privately that way; while Trap proceeded transmitted to posterity in writings which in the ordinary course, by money and her will long outlive mine. But I do not think waiting-maid. The lady gave them both that a reason why I should not give them encouragement, received Trap into the ut-their place in my diurnal as long as it will most favour, answering at the same time last. For the service thereof of my female Stint's letters, and giving him appointments readers, I shall single out some characters at third places. Trap began to suspect the of maids, wives, and widows which deserve epistolary correspondence of his friend, and the imitation of the sex. She who shall discovered also that Stint opened all his let-lead this small illustrious number of heters which came to their common lodgings, roines shall be the amiable Fidelia in order to form his own assignations. After Before I enter upon the particular parts much anxiety and restlessness, Trap came of her character, it is necessary to preface, to a resolution, which he thought would that she is the only child of a decrepid break off their commerce with one another father, whose life is bound up in hers. This without any hazardous explanation. He gentleman has used Fidelia from her cradle therefore writ a letter in a feigned hand to with all the tenderness imaginable, and has Mr. Trap at his chambers in the Temple. viewed her growing perfections with the Stint, according to custom, seized and partiality of a parent, that soon thought opened it, and was not a little surprised to her accomplished above the children of all find the inside directed to himself, when, other men, but never thought she was come with great perturbation of spirit, he read to the utmost improvement of which she as follows:
herself was capable. This fondness has had MR. STINT. You have gained a slight | very happy effects upon his own happiness; satisfaction at the expense of doing a very
for she reads, she dances, she sings, uses heinous crime. At the price of a faithful
her spinet and lute to the utmost perfection; friend you have obtained an inconstant mis
and the lady's use of all these excellences tress. I rejoice in this expedient I have
is to divert the old man in his easy chair, thought of to break my mind to you, and
when he is out of the pangs of a chronical tell you, you are a base fellow, by a means
distemper. Fidelia is now in the twentywhich does not expose you to the affront
third year of her age; but the application except you deserve it. I know, sir, as
of many lovers, her vigorous time of life, criminal as you are, you have still shame nes quick,
e her quick sense of all that is truly gallant enough to avenge yourself against the hardi- and elegant in the enjoyment of a plentiful ness of any one that should publicly tell tortune, are not,
tell fortune, are not able to draw her from the vou of it. I therefore, who have received / side of her good old father. Certain it is. so many secret hurts from you, shall take th
that there is no kind of affection so pure satisfaction with safety to myself. I call and angelic as tha
uland angelic as that of a father to a daughter. you base, and you must bear it, or acknow
He beholds her both with and without reledge it; I triumph over you that you can
gard to her sex. In love to our wives there not come at me; nor do I think it disho
is desire, to our sons there is ambition; but nourable to come in armour to assault him,
in that to our daughters, there is something who was in ambuscade when he wounded which there are no words to express. Her
life is designed wholly domestic, and she is me. •What need more be said to convince
so ready a friend and companion, that every you of being guilty of the basest practice
thing that passes about a man is accomimaginable, than that it is such as has made
panied with the idea of her presence. Her you liable to be treated after this manner,
sex also is naturally so much exposed to while you yourself cannot in your own con
hazard, both as to fortune and innocence, science but allow the justice of the upbraid
that there is perhaps a new cause of fondings of your injured friend,
ness arising from that consideration also RALPH TRAP.'
None but fathers can have a true sense of these sort of pleasures and sensations; but
| my familiarity with the father of Fidelia, No. 449.] Tuesday, August 5, 1712.
makes me let drop the words which I have
heard him speak, and observe upon his - Tibi scriptus, matrona, libellus.
tenderness towards her, Mart. iii. 68.
| Fidelia, on her part, as I was going to say, A book the chastest matron may peruse.
as accomplished as she is, with her beauty, When I reflect upon my labours for the wit, air, and mien, employs her whole public, I cannot but observe, that part of time in care and attendance upon her fathe species, of which I profess myself a ther. How have I been charmed to see one friend and guardian, is sometimes treated of the most beautiful women the age has with severity; that is, there are in my writ-produced, on her knees, helping on an old
man's slipper! Her filial regard to him is astonished to hear that, in those intervals what she makes her diversion, her busi- when the old gentleman is at ease, and can ness, and her glory. When she was asked bear company, there are at his house, in by a friend of her deceased mother to ad- the most regular order, assemblies of peomit of the courtship of her son, she answer- ple of the highest merit; where there is ed that she had a great respect and grati conversation without mention of the faults tude to her for the overture in behalf of one of the absent, benevolence between men so dear to her, but that during her father's and women without passion, and the highlife she would admit into her heart no value est subjects of morality treated of as natural for any thing that should interiere with her and accidental discourse; all which is owing endeavour to make his remains of life as to the genius of Fidelia; who at once happy and easy as could be expected in his makes her father's way to another world circumstances. The lady admonished her easy, and herself capable of being an hoof the prime of life with a smile; which nour to his name in this. Fidelia answered with a frankness that al- MR. SPECTATOR, I was the other day ways attends unfeigned virtue: It is true, at the Bear-garden, in hopes to have seen madam, there are to be sure very great your short face: but not being so fortunate, satisfactions to be expected in the com- I must tell you, by way of letter, that there merce of a man of honour whom one tender- lis a mystery among the gladiators which ly loves; but I find so much satisfaction, in has escaped your spectatorial penetration, the reflection, how much I mitigate a good For, being in a box at an ale-house near man's pains, whose welfare depends upon that renowned seat of honour above-menmy assiduity about him, that I willingly ex- tioned, I overheard two masters of the clude the loose gratifications of passion for science agreeing to quarrel on the next opthe solid reflections of duty. I know not portunity. This was to happen in a comwhether any man's wife would be allowed, Dany of a set of the fraternity of basketand (what I still more fear) I know nothilts, who were to meet that evening. whether I, a wife, should be willing to be so When this was settled, one asked the officious as I am at present about my pa-other, “Will you give cuts or receive?” rent.' Thehappy father has her declaration The other answered, “ Receive.” It was that she will not marry during his life, and replied, “ Are you a passionate man?" the pleasure of seeing that resolution not“ No, provided you cut no more nor no uneasy to her. Were one to paint filial affec- | deeper than we agree.” I thought it my tion in its utmost beauty, he could not have duty to acquaint you with this, that the a more lively idea of it than in beholding people may not pay their money for fightFidelia serving her father at his hours of Jing, and be cheated. Your humble serrising, meals, and rest.
SCABBARD RUSTY.' When the general crowd of female youth are consulting their glasses, preparing for balls, assemblies, or plays; for a young lady, who could be regarded among the No. 450.] Wednesday, August 6, 1712. foremost in those places, either for her per
Quærenda pecunia primum, son, wit, fortune, or conversation, and yet Virtus post nummos. Hor. Ep. i. Lib. 1. 53. contemn all these entertainments, to sweet
Get money, money still; en the heavy hours of a decrepid parent, is And then let virtue follow, if she will.- Pope. a resignation truly heroic. Fidelia performs "Mr. SPECTATOR,-All men through the duty of a nurse with all the beauty of a different paths, make at the same common bride; nor does she neglect her person, be-thing, money: and it is to her we owe the cause of her attendance on him, when he politician, the merchant, and the lawyer; is too ill to receive company, to whom she nay, to be free with you, I believe to that may make an appearance.
also we are beholden for our Spectator. I Fidelia, who gives him up her youth, am apt to think, that could we look into does not think it any great sacrifice to add our own hearts, we should see money ento it the spoiling of her dress. Her care graved in them in more lively and moving and exactness in her habit convince her fa- characters than self-preservation; for who ther of the alacrity of her mind; and she can reflect upon the merchant hoisting sail has of all women the best foundation for in a doubtful pursuit of her, and all manaffecting the praise of a seeming negligence. kind sacrificing their quiet to her, but must What adds to the entertainment of the perceive that the characters of self-preser good old man is, that Fidelia, where meritvation (which were doubtless originally the and fortune cannot be overlooked by episto- brightest) are sullied, if not wholly defaced; lary lovers, reads over the accounts of her and that those of money (which at first conquests, plays on her spinet the gayest was only valuable as a mean to security) airs (and while she is doing so you would are of late so brightened, that the characthink her formed only for gallantry) to in- ters of self-preservation, like a less light timate to him the pleasures she despises set by a greater, are become almost imperfor his sake.
ceptible? Thus has money got the upperThose who think themselves the pattern hand of what all mankind formerly thought of good-breeding and gallantry would be l most dear, viz, security: and I wish I could say she had here put a stop to her victo- men do their wives and children, and thereries; but, alas! common honesty fell a sa- | fore could not resist the first impulses of crifice to her. This is the way scholastic nature on so wounding a loss; but I quickly men talk of the greatest good in the world: roused myself, and found means to allebut I, a tradesman, shall give you another viate, and at last conquer, my affliction, by account of this matter in the plain narra- reflecting how that she and her children tive of my own life. I think it proper, in having been no great expense to me, the the first place, to acquaint my readers, best part of her fortune was still left; that that since my setting out in the world, my charge being reduced to myself, a jourwhich was in the year 1660, I never wanted neyman, and a maid, I might live far money, having begun with an indifferent cheaper than before; and that being now a good stock in the tobacco-trade, to which I childless widower, I might perhaps marry was bred; and by the continual successes it a no less deserving woman, and with a has pleased Providence to bless my endea-much better fortune than she brought, vours with, I am at last arrived at what which was but 800. And, to convince my they call a plum. To uphold my discourse readers that such considerations as these in the manner of your wits or philosophers, were proper and apt to produce such an by speaking fine things, or drawing infer- affect, I remember it was the constant obences, as they pretend, from the nature of servation at that deplorable time, when so the subject, I account it vain; having never many hundreds were swept away daily, found any thing in the writings of such men, that the rich ever bore the loss of their fathat did not savour more of the invention milies and relations far better than the poor; of the brain, or what is styled speculation, the latter having little or nothing beforethan of sound judgment or profitable ob- hand, and living from hand to mouth, servation. I will readily grant indeed, that placed the whole comfort and satisfaction there is what the wits call natural in their of their lives in their wives and children, talk; which is the utmost those curious au- and were therefore inconsolable. thors can assume to themselves, and is in- •The following year happened the fire: deed all they endeavour at, for they are but at which time, by good providence, it was lamentable teachers. And what, I pray, is my fortune to have converted the greatest natural? That which is pleasing and easy. part of my effects into ready money, on the
And what are pleasing and easy? For- prospect of an extraordinary advantage sooth, a new thought, or conceit dressed up which I was preparing to lay hold on. This in smooth quaint language, to make you calamity was very terrible and astonishing, smile and wag your head, as being what the fury of the flames being such, that you never imagined before, and yet wonder whole streets, at several distant places, why you had not; mere frothy amusements, were destroyed at one and the same time, fit only for boys or silly women to be caught so that (as it is well known) almost all our with.
citizens were burnt out of what they had. It is not my present intention to instruct But what did I then do? I did not stand my readers in the method of acquiring gazing on the ruins of our noble metropolis; riches; that may be the work of another I did not shake my head, wring my hands, essay; but to exhibit the real and solid ad- sigh and shed tears; I considered with myvantages I have found by them in my long self what could this avail; I fell a plodding and manifold experience; nor yet all the ad- what advantages might be made of the vantages of so worthy and valuable a bless-ready cash I had; and immediately being, (for who does not know or imagine the thought myself that wonderful pennyworths comforts of being warm or living at ease, and might be bought of the goods that were that power and pre-eminence are their in- saved out of the fire. In short, with about separable attendants?) but only to instance 20001. and a little credit, I bought as much the great supports they afford us under the tobacco as raised my estate to the value of severest calamities and misfortune; to show 10,0001. I then “looked on the ashes of our that the love of them is a special antidote city, and the misery of its late inhabitants, against immorality and vice; and that the as an effect of the just wrath and indignasame does likewise naturally dispose men tion of heaven towards a sinful and perverse to actions of piety and devotion. All which people.” I can make ouť by my own experience, | •After this I married again; and that who think myself no ways particular from wife dying, I took another; but both proved the rest of mankind, nor better nor worse to be idle baggages: the first gave me a by nature than generally other men are great deal of plague and vexation by her
In the year 1665, when the sickness extravagances, and I became one of the was, I lost by it my wife and two children, by-words of the city. I knew it would be to which were all my stock. Probably I might nó manner of purpose to go about to curb have had more, considering I was married the fancies and inclinations of women, which between four and five years; but finding her fly out the more for being restrained; but to be a teeming woman, I was careful, as what I could I did; I watched her narhaving then little above a brace of thou- | rowly, and by good luck found her in the sand pounds to carry on my trade and main- embraces (for which I had two witnesses tain a family with. I loved them as usually I with me) of a wealthy spark of the court