Imágenes de páginas

do them the same favour iv Friday's Spectator creation which are poured about him, and for Sunday next, when they are to appear with does not feel the full weight of those accidentheir humble airs at the parish church of Saint tal evils which may befall him, Bride's. Sir, the mention of this may possibly If we consider him in relation to the persons be serviceable to the children; and sure no whom he converses with, it naturally produces one will omit a good action attended with no love and good-will towards him. A cheerful expense. 'I am, Sir,

inind is not only disposed to be affable and . Your very humble servant, obliging; but raises the same good-humour

"THE SEXTON.' in those who come within its influence. A

man finds himself pleased, he does not know

why, with the cheerfulness of his companion. No. 381.] Saturday, May 17, 1712.

It is like a sudden sunshine that awakens a quem momento rebux in arduris

secret delight in the mind, without her atServare mentem, non secus in bonis

tending to it The heart rejoices of its own Ab insolenti temperatam Laetitia, inoriture Deli. Hor. Od. 3. 1. 2. v. 1.

accord, and naturally flows out into friendship

and benevolence towards the person who has Be calm, my Delius, and serene,

so kindly an effect upon it.
However fortune change the scene :
In thy inost dejected stato,

When I consider this cheerful state of mind
Sink not underneath the weight;

in its third relation, I cannot but look upon Nor yet, when happy days begin,

it as a constant habitual gratitude to the great And the full tide comes rolling in,

Author of nature. An inward cheerfulness is
Let a fierce, unruly joy
The settled quiet of thy mind destroy. Anon. an inplicit praise and thanksgiving to Prov

dence under all its dispensations. It is a kind I HAVE always preferred cheerfulness to of acquiescence in the state wherein we are mirth. The latter I consider as an act, the placed, and a secret approbation of the divine former as an habit of the mind. Mirth is will in his conduct towards man. short and transient, cheerfulness fixed and There are but two things which, in my opin. permanent. Those are often raised into the ion, can reasonably deprive us of this cheergreatest transports of mirth, who are subject fulness of heart. The first of these is the sense to the greatest depressions of melancholy. On of guilt. A mau who lives in a state of vice the contrary, cheerfulness, though it does not and impenitence can have no title to that give the mind such an exquisite gladness, pre- evenness and tranquillity of mind which is the vents us from falling into any depths of sorrow. health of the soul and the natural effect of Mirth is like a flash of lightning, that breaks virtue and innocence. Cheerfulness in an ill through a gloom of clouds, and glitters for a man deserves a harder name than language moment; cheerfuluess keeps up a kind of can furnish us with, and is many degrees beday-light in the mind, and fills it with a steady yond what we conimonly call folly or inadness. and perpetual serenity.

Atheism, by which I mean a disbelief of a Men of austere principles look upon mirth Supreme Being, and consequently of a future as too wanton and dissolute for a state of pro- state, under whatsoever titles it shelters itself. bation, and as filled with a certain triumph may likewise very reasonably deprive a man and insolence of heart that is inconsistent with of this cheerfulness of temper. There is somea life which is every inoment obnoxious to the thing so particularly gloomy and offensive to greatest dangers Writers of this complexion human nature in the prospect of non-existence, have observed, that the Sacred Person who that I cannot but wonder, with many excellent was the great pattern of perfection was never writers, how it is possible for a man to outlive seen to laugh.

the expectation of it. For my own part, I Cheerfulness of mind is not liable to any of think the being of a God is so little to be these exceptions; it is of a serious and com- doubted, that it is almost the only truth we posed nature; it does not throw the mind into are sure of; and such a truth as we meet with a condition improper for the present state of in every object, in every occurrence, and in humanity, and is very conspicious in the cha- every thought. If we look into the characters racters of those who are looked upon as the of this tribe of infidels, we generally find they greatest philosophers among the heathens, as are made up of pride, spleen, and cavil. It is well as among those who have been deservedly indeed no wonder, that men who are uneasy estecmed as saints and holy men among Chris-to themselves should be so to the rest of the tians.

world; and how is it possible for a man to be If we consider cheerfulness in three lights, otherwise than uneasy in himself, who is in with regard to ourselves, to those we converse danger every moment of losing his entire exwith, and to the great Author of our being, it istence and dropping into nothing? will not a little recommend itself on each of The vicious man and atheist have therefore these accounts. The man who is possessed of no pretence to cheerfulness, and would act this excellent frame of mind, is not only easy very unreasonably should they endeavour after in his thoughts, but a perfect inaster of all the it. It is impossible for any one to live in good powers and faculties of his soul. His imagi- humour, and enjoy his present existence, who nation is always clear, and his judgment un. is apprehensive either of torment or of annihidisturbed; his temper is even and unruffled, lation; of being miserable, or of not being at all. whether in action or in solitude. He comes with After having mentioned these two great relish to all those goods which nature has pro-principles, which are destructive of cheerful. vided for him, tastes all the pleasures of the ness, in their own nature, as well as in right

reason, I cannot think of any other that ought but I dare say I have given him time to add to banish this happy temper from a virtuous practice to profession. He sent me some time mind. Pain and sickness, shame and reproach, ago a bottle or two of excellent wipe, to drink poverty and old age, pay death itself, consi- the health of a gentleman who had by the dering the shortness of their duration, and the penny-post advertised him of an egregious advantage we may reap from them, do not de- error in his conduct. My correspondent reserve the name of evils. A good mind may ceived the obligation from an unknown hand bear up under them with fortitude, with indo- with the candour which is natural to an ingelence, and with cheerfulness of heart. The nuous mind; and promises a contrary behatossing of a tempest does not discompose him, viour in that point for the future. He will which he is sure will bring him to a joyful offend his monitor with no more errors of barbour.

that kind, but thanks him for his benevoA man who uses his best endeavours to live lence. This frank carriage makes me reflect according to the dictates of virtue and right upon the amiable atonement a map makes in reason has two perpet al sources of cheerful- an ingenuous acknowledgment of a fault. All ness, in the consideration of his own nature, such miscarriages as flow from inadvertency and of that Being op whom he has a depend- are niore than repaid by it; for reason, though ence. If he looks into himself, he cannot but not concerned in the injury, employs all its force rejoice in that existence which is so lately be- in the atonement. He that says, he did not destowed upon him, and which, after millions sign to disoblige you in such an action, does as of ages, will be still new, and still in its be- much as if he should tell you, that though the ginning. How many self-congratulations na- circumstance which displeased was never in his turally rise in the mind, when it reflects on thoughts, he has that respect for you, that he this its entrance into eternity, when it takes is unsatisfied till it is wholly out of yours. It a view of those improvable faculties which in must be confessed, that when an acknowledge a few years, and even at its first setting out, ment of an offence is made out of poorness of have made so considerable a progress, and spirit, and not conviction of heart, the circumwhich will still be receiving an increase of stance is quite different. But in the case of perfection, and consequently an increase of my correspondent, where both the notice is happiness! The consciousness of such a be- taken, and the return made in private, the ing spreads a perpetual diffusion of joy affair begins and ends with the highest grace through the soul of a virtuous man, and makes on each side. To make the acknowledgment him look upon himself every moment as more of a fault in the highest manner graceful, it happy than he knows how to conceive. is lucky when the circumstances of the offen.

The second source of cheerfulness, to a der place him above all consequences from good mind, is the consideration of that Be- the resentment of the person offended. A dauing on whom we have our dependence, and phin of France, upon a review of the army, in whom, though we behold him as yet but and a command of the king to alter the posture in the first faint discoveries of his perfections, of it by a march of one of the wings, gave an we see every thing that we can imagine as improper order to an officer at the head of a great, glorious, or amiable. We find our- brigade, who told bis highness, he presumed selves every where upheld by his goodness, he had not received the last orders, which were and surrounded with an immensity of love to move a contrary way. The prince, instead and mercy. In short, we depend upon a Be- of taking the admonition, which was delivered ing, whose power qualifies him to make us in a manner that accounted for his error with happy by an infinity of means, whose good- safety to his understanding, shaked a cane at ness and truth engage him to make those the officer, and, with the return of opprobrious happy who desire it of him, and whose un- language, presisted in his own orders. The changeableness will secure us in this happi- whole matter came necessarily before the king, ness to all eternity.

who commanded his son, on foot, to lay his Such considerations, which every one should right hand on the gentleman's stirrup as he sat perpetually cherish in his thoughts, will ba- on horseback in sight of the whole army, and nish from us all that secret heavivess of ask his pardon. When the prince touched his heart which upthinking men are subject to stirrup, and was going to speak, the officer, when they lie under no real affliction : all with an incredible agility, threw himself on the that anguish which we may feel from any earth, and kissed his feet. evil that actually oppresses us, to which 1 The body is very little concerned in the way likewise add those little cracklings of pleasure or suffering of souls truly great ; and mirth and folly that are apter to betray vir- the reparation, when an honour was designed tue than support it; and establish in us such this soldier, appeared as much too great to be an even and cheerful temper, as makes us borne by his gratitude, as the injury was intopleasing to ourselves, to those with whom we lerable to his resentment. converse, and to Him whom we were made When we turn our thoughts from these ex. to please.

traordinary occurrences into commou life, we

see an ingenuous kind of behaviour not only No. 382.] Monday, May 19, 1712.

make up for faults connitted, but in a manHabes confitentem reum.

Tull. ner expiate them in the very commision. Thus The accused confesses his guilt.

many things wherein a man has pressed too I ought not to have neglected a request of far, he implicitly excuses, by owning. This is one of my correspondents so long as I have; a trespass : you'll pardon my confidence; I


am sensible I have no pretensions to this fa- No 383.] Tuesday, May 20, 1712.
vour;' and the like. But commend me to those
gay fellow's about town who are directly impu-

Criminibus depent hortos. — Juv. Sat. .. 75. dent, and make up for it no otherwise than by A beauteous garden, but by vice maintain'd. calling themselves such, and exulting in it. But this sort of carriage, which prompts a man.

As I was sitting in my chamber, and thinkagainst rules to urge what he has a mind to, is ing on a subject for my next Spectator, I beard pardonable only when you sue for another. two or three irregular bounces at my landlaWhen you are confident in preference of your dy's door, and upon the opening of it, a loud self to others of equal merit, every man that cheerful voice inquiring whetber the philosoloves virtue and modesty ought, in defence of pher was at home. The child who went to the those qualities, to oppose you. But, without door answered very innocently, that he did not considering the morality of the thing, let us at lodge there. I immediately recotiected that it this time behold any natural consequence of was my good friend sir Roger's voice; and caudour when we speak of ourselves.

that I had promised to go with him on the waThe Spectator writes often ju an elegant, of ter to Spring-garden,* in case it proved a good tep in an argumentative, and often in a sub- evening. The knight put me in mind of my lime style, with equal success; but how would promise from the bottom of the staircase, but it hurt the reputed author of that paper to own, told me, that if I was speculating, he would that of the most beautiful pieces under his title stay below till I had done. Upou my coming he is barely the publisher ? There is nothing down, I found all the children of the family but what a man really performs can be an ho- got about my old friend; and my landlady nour to him ; what he takes more than he ought hersell, who is a notable prating gossip, engain the eye of the world, he loses in the convic-ged in a conference with him; being mighuly tion of his own heart; and a man must lose his pleased with his stroking her little boy on the Consciousness, that is, his very selt, before he head, and bidding him to be a good child and can rejoice in any falsehood without inward mind his book mortification.

We were no sooner come to the TempleWho has not seen a very criminal at the stairs, but we were surrounded with a crowd bar, when bis counsel and friends have donel of watermen, offering us their respective serall that they could for him in vain, prevail on vices. Sir Roger, after having looked about the whole assembly to pity him, and his judge him very attentively, spied one with a wooden to recommend his case to the mercy of the leg, and immediately gave him orders to get throne, without offering any thing new in his his boat ready. As we were walking towards defence, but that he, whom before we wished it, 'You must know,' says sir Roger, I never convicted, became so out of his own mouth, make use of any body to row me, that bas and took upon himself all the shame and sor- not either lost a leg or an arm. I would rarow we were just before preparing for him ? ther bate him a few strokes of his car thad The great opposition to this kind of candour not employ an honest man that has been arises from the unjust idea people ordinarily wounded in the queen's service. If I was a have of what we call a high spirit. It is far lord or a bishop, and kept a barge, I would from greatness of spiritto persist in the wrong not put a fellow in my livery that had not a in any thing; nor is it a diminution of great-wooden leg.' ness of spirit to have been in the wrong. Per. My old friend, after having seated himself. fection is not the attribute of man, therefore and trimmed the boat with his coachman, who, he is not degraded by the acknowledgement being a very sober man, always serves for bal. of an imperfection ; but it is the work of little last on these occasious, we made the best of minds to imitate the fortitude of great spirits our way for Vauxball. Sir Roger obliged the on worthy occasions, by obstinacy in the wrong. waterman to give us the history of his right This obstinacy prevails so far upon them, that leg; and, hearing that he had left it at La they make it extend to the defence of faults in Hogue, with many particulars which passed in their very servants. It would swell this paper that glorious action, the knight, in the triumph to too great a length should I insert all the of his heart, made sei cral reflections on the quarrels and debates which are now on foot in greatness of the British nation; as, that one this town; where one party, and in some cases Englishman could beat three Frenchmen ;' both, is sensible of being on the faulty side, that we could never be in danger of popery so and hare not spirit enough to acknowledge it. long as we took care of our fleet; that the Among the ladies the case is very common ;Thames was the noblest river in Europe ; that for there are very few of them who know that London bridge was a greater piece of work it is to maintain a true and high spirit, to throw than any of the seven wonders of the world: away from it all wbich itself disapproves, and with many other honest prejudices which nato scorn so pitiful a shanie, as that which dis-turally cleave to the heart of a ture Englishables the heart from acquiring a liberality of man. aflections and sentiments. The candid mind. I After some short pause, the old knight turnby acknowledging and discharging its faults, ling about his head twice or thrice, to take a has reason and truth for the foundations of ail survey of this great metropolis, bid me observe its passions and desires, and consequently is how thick the city was set mith churches, and happy and simple ; the disengenuous spirit, by that there was scarce a single steeple on this indulgence of one unacknowledged error, is cutangled with an after-life of guilt, sorrow, and perplexity.

* Or Vauxhall.

side Temple-bar. 'A most heathepish sight!' of the place, told the mistress of the house, says sir Roger : there is no religion at this end who sat at the bar, that he should be a better of the town. The fifty new churches will very customer to her garden, if there were more much mend the prospect; but church-work is nightingales and fewer strumpets. I. slow, church-work is slow.'

I do not remember I have any where mentioned in sir Roger's character, his custom of No. 384.] Wednesday, May 21, 1712 saluting every body that passes by him with a Hague, May 24, N. S. The same republiean hands, who good-morrow, or a good-night. This the old have so often since the chevalier de St. George's recovery man does out of the overflowings of his hu- killed him in our public prints, have now reduced the manity: though, at the saine time, it renders weakness, and death itself, that it is hard to conjecturo

young dauphin of France to that desperate condition of him so popular among all his country neigh-what method they will take to bring him to life again. bours, that it is thought to have gone a good Mean time we are assured, by a very good hand from way in making him ouce or twice knight of

Paris, that on the 20th instant this young prince was as the sbire.

well as ever he was known to be since the day of his He cannot forbear this exercise of birth. As for the other, they are now sending his ghost, benevolence even in town, when he ineets with wo suppose (for they never had the modesty to contradict any one in his morning or evening walk. It their assertions of his death), to Commerei in Lorrain, broke from him to several boats that passed

attended only by four gentlemen, and a few domestics

of little consideration. The Baron de Bothmar" having by us on the water ; but, to the knight's great delivered in his credentials to qualify him as an ambassarprise, as he gave the good-night to two or sador to this state (an office to which his greatest enemies tkree young fellows a little before our landing. will acknowledge him to be equal), is gone to Utrecht, one of them, instead of returning the civility, I that court, for fear the peace should be made during his

' whence he will proceed to Hanover, but not stay long at asked us, what queer old put we had in the lamentable absonce.'

Post-Boy, May 20. boat, and whether he was not ashamed to go a wenching at his years ? with a great deal of I SHOULD be thought not able to read, should the like Thames-ribaldry. Sir Roger seemed I overlook some excellent pieces lately come a little shocked at first, but at length assum- out. My lord bishop of St. Asapht has just ing a face of magistracy, told us, that if he now published some sermons, the preface to were a Middlesex justice, he would make such which seems to me to determine a great point. vagrants know that her majesty's subjects He has, like a good man, and a good Chris. were no ruore to be abused by water than by tian, in opposition to all the flattery and base land.

subinission of false friends to princes, assertWe were now arrived at Spring-garden, ed, that Christianity left us where it found us which is exquisitely pleasant at this time of the as to our civil rights. The present entertain. year. When I considered the fragrancy of inent shall consist only of a sentence out of the walks aud bowers, with the choir of birds. the Post-Boy, and the said preface of the lord that sung upon the trees, and the loose tribe of of St. Asaph. I should think it a little odd people that walked under their shades, I could if the author of the Post-Boy should with imnot but look upon the place as a kind of Ma-punity call men republicans for a gladness on hometan paradise. Sir Roger told me it put the report of the death of the pretender; and him in mind of a little coppice by his house in treat baron Bothmar, the minister of Hanothe country, which his chaplain used to call an ver, in such a manner as you see in my motaviary of nightingales. You must under. (to. I must own, I think every man in England stand.' says the knight, 'that there is nothing concerned to support the succession of that in the world that pleases a man in love so family. such as your nightingale. Ah, Mr. Spectator, ' The publishing a few sermons, whilst I the many moonlight nights that I have walked live, the latest of which was preached about by myself, and thought on the widow by the eight years since, and the first above sevenmusic of the nightingale ! Here he fetched a tcen, will make it very natural for people to deep sigh, and was falling into a fit of musing.Jinquire into the occasion of doing so; and to when a mask, who came behind him, gave such I do very willingly assign these following him a gentle tap upon the shoulder, and asked reasons : him if he would drink a bottle of mead with! First, from the observations I have been her? But the knight being startled at so unex- able to make for these many years last past pected a familiarity, and displeased to be in-upon our public affairs, and from the natural terrupted in his thoughts of the widow, told her tendency of several principles and practices, she was a wanton baggage; and bid her to that have of late been studiously revived, and about her business

from what has followed thereupon, I could We concluded our walk with a glass of Bur- not help both fearing and presaging, that ton ale, and a slice of hung beef. When we these nations should some time or other, if had done eating ourselves, the koigbt called ever we should have an enterprising prince a waiter to him, and bid him carry the remain- upon the throne, of more ambition than virder to the waterman that had but one leg. 1 tue, justice, and true honour, fall into the perceived the fellow stared upon him at the way of all other nations, and lose their li." oddness of the message, and was going to be be saucy: upon which I ratified the knight's com- 'Nor could help foreseeing to whose mands with a peremptory look.

As we were going out of the garden, my old Ambassador from Hanover. and afterwards avent friend thinking himself obliged, as a member here for the Hanoverian family. of the quorum, to animadvert upon the morals + Dr. William Fleblwood.

vor. Ir.

[ocr errors]

charge a great deal of this dreadful mischief. lived to see their illustrious names very rudely whenever it should happen, would be laid; handled, and the great benefits they did this whether justly or unjustly, was not my busi- nation treated slightly and contemptuously. I ness to determine; but I resolved, for my own have lived to see our deliverance from arbiparticular part, to deliver myself, as well as trary power and popery traduced and vilified I could, from the reproaches and the curses of by some who formerly thought it was their posterity, by publicly declaring to all the greatest merit, and made it part of their boast world, that, although in the constant course and glory to have had a little band and share of my ministry I have never failed, on proper in bringing it about; and others who, withoccasions, to recommend, urge, and insist out it, must have lived in exile, poverty, and upou the loving, honouring, and reverencing misery, meanly disclaiming it, and using ill the prince's person, and holding it, according the glorious instruments thereof. Who could to the laws, inviolable and sacred; and pay expect such a requital of such merit? I have, ing all obedience and submission to the laws, I own it, an ambition of exempting myselt though never so hard and inconvenient to pri- from the number of unthankful people : and vate people: yet did I never think myself as I loved and honoured those great princes at liberty, or authorized to tell the people, living, and lamented over them when dead, that either Christ, St. Peter, or St. Paul, or so I would gladly raise them up a monument any other holy writer, had, by any doctrine of praise as lasting as any thing of mine delivered by them, subverted the laws and can be ; and I choose to do it at this time, constitutions of the country in which they when it is so unfashionable a thing to speak lived, or put them in a worse condition, with honourably of them. respect to their civil liberties, than they would “The sermon that was preached upon the have been bad they not been Christians. I duke of Gloucester's death was printed quickly ever thought it a most impious blasphemy after, and is now, because the subject was so against that holy religion, to father any thing suitable, joined to the others. The loss of that upon it that might encourage tyranny, op- most proinising and hopeful prince was at pression, or injustice in a prince, or that that time, I saw, unspeakably great ; and easily tended to make a free and happy peo- many accidents since have convinced us that ple slaves and miserable. No: people may it could not have been overvalued. That premake theinselves as wretched as they will, but cious life, had it pleased God to have prolong. let not God be called into that wicked party. ed it the usual space, had saved us many fears When force and violence, and hard necessity, and jealousies, and dark distrusts, and prehave brought the yoke of servitude upon a vented many alarms, that have long kept us, people's neck, religion will supply them with and will keep us still, waking and uneasy. a patient and submissive spirit under it till Nothing remained to comfort and support they can innocently shake it off: but certain. us under this heavy stroke, but the necesly religion never puts it on. This always was, sity it brought the king and nation under and this at present is, my judgment of these of settling the succession in the house of matters : and I would be transmitted to pos. Hanover, and giving it an hereditary right terity (for the little share of time such names by act of parliament, as long as it continues as mine can live) under the character of one protestant. So much good did God, in his who loved his country, and would be thought merciful providence, produce from a misfor. a good Englishman, as well as a good clergy- tune, which we could never otherwise have man.

sufficiently deplored! This character I thought would be trans- "The fourth scrmon was prcached upon the mitted by the following sermons, which were queen's accession to the throne, and the first made for and preached in a private audience. year in which that day was solemnly observed when I could think of nothing else but doing (for by some accident or other it had been my duty on the occasions that were then of- overlooked the year before); and every one fered by God's providence, without any man- will see, without the date of it, that it was ner of design of making them public; and for preached very early in this reign. since I that reason I give them now as they were then was able only to promise and presage its delivered; by which I hope to satisfy those future glories and successes, from the good people who have objected a change of princi- appearances of things, and the happy turn our ples to me, as if I were not now the same affairs began to take; and could not then man I formerly was. I never had but one count up the victories and triumphs that, for opinion of these matters; and that I think is seven years after, made it, in the prophet's so reasonable and well-grounded, that I be- language, a name and a praise among all the lieve I can never have any other.

people of the earth. Never did seven such Another reason of mr publishing these years together pass over the head of any Eng. sermons at this time is, that I have a mind Vish monarch, nor cover it with so much boto do myself some honour by doing what nour. The crown and sceptre seemed to be honour I could do to the memory of two inost the queen's least ornaments ; Those, other excellent princes, and who have very highly princes wore in common with her, and her deserved at the hands of all the people of great personal virtues were the same before these dominions, who have any true value for and since; but such was the fame of her adthe protestant religion, and the constitution or ministration of affairs at home, such was the the English government of which they were reputation of her wisdom and felicity in choosthe great deliverers and defenders. I have ing ministers, and such was then esteemed

« AnteriorContinuar »