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Nor woman neither."
am more than afraid, that these things tive temper to the advantage or diminution which shock me even in the behaviour of a of those whom they mention, without being mistress, will appear insupportable in that moved either by malice or good-will. It of a wife. I am, sir, yours, &c.'
will be too long to expatiate upon the sense
all mankind have of fame, and the inexMy next letter comes from a corres-pressible pleasure which there is in the appondent whom I cannot but very much probation of worthy men, to all who are value, upon the account which she gives capable of worthy actions, but methinks of herself.
one may divide the general word fame into *MR. SPECTATOR,—I am happily arrived three different species, as it regards the at a state of tranquillity, which few people different orders of mankind who have any envy, I mean that of an old maid; therefore thing to do with it. Fame therefore may being wholly unconcerned in all that med- | be divided into glory, which respects the ley of follies which our sex is apt to con- hero; reputation, which is preserved by tract from their silly fondness of yours, I every gentleman; and credit, which must read your railleries on us, without provoca
be supported by every tradesman. These tion I can say with Hamlet,
| possessions in fame are dearer than life to
those characters of men, or rather are the -"Man delights not me,
life of these characters. Glory, while the
hero pursues great and noble enterprises, • Therefore, dear sir, as you never spare is impregnable; and all the assailants of his your own sex, do not be afraid of reproving renown do but show their pain and impawhat is ridiculous in ours, and you will tience of its brightness, without throwing oblige at least one woman, who is your the least shade upon it. If the foundation humble servant,
of an high name be virtue and service, all "ŚUSANNAH FROST.' that is offered against it is but rumour, MR. SPECTATOR, I am wife to a cler- which is too short-lived to stand up in comgyman, and cannot help thinking that in petition with glory, which is everlasting. your tenth or tithe character of womankind
Reputation, which is the portion of every you meant myself, therefore I have no
man who would live with the elegant and quarrel against you for the other nine cha- knowing part of mankind, is as stable as Your humble servant,
glory, if it be as well founded; and the s A. B.'
common cause of human society is thought concerned when we hear a man of good
behaviour calumniated. Besides which, No. 218.] Friday, November 9, 1711.
according to a prevailing custom amongst
us, every man has his defence in his own Quid de quoque viro, et eui dicas, sæpe caveto.
arm: and reproach is soon checked, put out Hor. Lib. 1. Ep. xviii. 68. of countenance, and overtaken by disgrace,
The most unhappy of all men, and the Of whom you talk, to whom, and what, and where.
most exposed to the malignity and wantonPooley.
ness of the common voice, is the trader, I HAPPENED the other day, as my way is, Credit is undone in whispers. The tradesto stroll into a little coffee-house beyond man's wound is received from one who is Aldgate; and as I sat there, two or three more private and more cruel than the rufvery plain sensible men were talking of the fian with the lantern and dagger. The manSpectator. One said, he had that morning ner of repeating a man's name,-As; 'Mr. drawn the great benefit ticket; another Cash, Oh! do you leave your money at his wished he had; but a third shaked his head shop? Why, do you know Mr. Searoom? and said, It was a pity that the writer of He is indeed a general merchant.' I say, that paper was such a sort of man, that it I have seen, from the iteration of a man's was no great matter whether he had or no. name, hiding one thought of him, and exHe is, it seems, said the good man, the most plaining what you hide, by saying someextravagant creature in the world; has run thing to his advantage when you speak, a through vast sums, and yet been in con- merchant hurt in his credit; and him who, tinual want: a man, for all he talks so well every day he lived, literally added to the of economy, unfit for any of the offices of value of his native country, undone by life by reason of his profuseness. It would one who was only a burden and a blemish be an unhappy thing to be his wife, his to it. Since every body who knows the child, or his friend; and yet he talks as well world is sensible of this great evil, how of those duties of life as any one. Much careful ought a man to be in his language reflection has brought me to so easy a con- of a merchant? It may possibly be in the tempt for every thing which is false, that power of a very shallow creature to lay this heavy accusation gave me no manner the ruin of the best family in the most opuof uneasiness; but at the same time it threw lent city; and the more so, the more highly me into deep thought upon the subject of he deserves of his country; that is to say, fame in general; and I could not but pity the farther he places his wealth out of his such as were so weak, as value what the hands, to draw home that of another clicommon people say out of their own talka-I mate,
Have a care
In this case an ill word may change plenty | them down as they have occurred to me, into want, and by a rash sentence a free without being at the pains to connect or and generous fortune may in a few days be methodise them. reduced to beggary. How little does a All superiority and pre-eminence that giddy prater imagine, that an idle phrase one man can have over another, may be reto the disfavour of a merchant, may be as duced to the notion of quality, which, conpernicious in the consequence, as the for- sidered at large, is either that of fortune, gery of a deed to bar an inheritance would body, or mind. The first is that which conbe to a gentleman Land stands where it sists in birth, title, or riches; it is the most did before a gentleman was calumniated, foreign to our natures, and what we can the and the state of a great action is just as it least call our own of any of the three kinds was before calumny was offered to diminish of quality. In relation to the body, quality it, and there is time, place, and occasion, arises from health, strength, or beauty; expected to unravel all that is contrived which are nearer to us, and more a part of against those characters; but the trader who ourselves than the former. Quality, as it is ready only for probable demands upon regards the mind, has its rise from knowhim, can have no armour against the in- ledge or virtue; and is that which is more quisitive, the malicious, and the envious, essential to us, and more intimately united who are prepared to fill the cry to his dis- with us than either of the other two. honour. "Fire and sword are slow engines The quality of fortune, though a man has of destruction, in comparison of the babbler less reason to value himself upon it than on in the case of the merchant.
that of the body or mind, is however the For this reason I thought it an imitable kind of quality which makes the most shinpiece of humanity of a gentleman of my ing figure in the eye of the world. acquaintance, who had great variety of af As virtue is the most reasonable and fairs, and used to talk with warmth enough genuine source of honour, we generally find against gentlemen by whom he thought in titles an intimation of some particular himself ill dealt with; that he would never merit that should recommend men to the let any thing be urged against a merchant high stations which they possess. Holiness (with whom he had any difference) exceptis ascribed to the pope; majesty to kings: in a court of justice. He used to say, that to serenity or mildness of temper to princes; speak ill of a merchant, was to begin his excellence or perfection to ambassadors; suit with judgment and execution. One grace to archbishops; honcur to peers; worcannot, I think, say more on this occasion, ship or venerable behaviour to magistrates; than to repeat, that the merit of the mer- and reverence, which is of the same import chant is above that of all other subjects; as the former, to the inferior clergy. for while he is untouched in his credit, his In the founders of great families, such hand-writing is a more portable coin for the attributes of honour are generally correservice of his fellow-citizens, and his word spondent with the virtues of the person to the gold of Ophir to the country wherein whom they are applied; but in the descendhe resides.
T. ants they are too often the marks rather of
grandeur than of merit. The stamp and
denomination still continues, but the inNo. 219.] Saturday, November 10, 1711. trinsic value is frequently lost.
The death-bed shows the emptiness of Vix ea nostra voco.— Ovid. Met. Lib. xiii. 141.
titles in a true light. A poor dispirited sinThese I scarce call our own.
ner lies trembling under the apprehensions There are but few men, who are not of the state he is entering on; and is asked ambitious of distinguishing themselves in by a grave attendant how his holiness does? the nation or country where they live, and Another hears himself addressed to under of growing considerable among those with the title of highness or excellency, who lies whom they converse. There is a kind of under such mean circumstances of mortality grandeur and respect, which the meanest as are the disgrace of human nature. Titles and most insignificant part of mankind en- at such a time look rather like insults and deavour to procure in the little circle of mockery than respect. their friends and acquaintance. The poorest The truth of it is, honours are in this mechanic, nay, the man who lives upon world under no regulation; true quality is common alms, gets him his set of admirers, neglected, virtue is oppressed, and vice and delights in that superiority which he triumphant. The last day will rectify this enjoys over those who are in some respects disorder, and assign to every one a station beneath him. This ambition, which is natu uitable to the dignity of his character. ral to the soul of man, might methinks re- Ranks will be then adjusted, and precedency ceive a very happy turn; and, if it were set right. rightly directed, contribute as much to a Methinks we should have an ambition, if person's advantage, as it generally does to not to advance ourselves in another world, his uneasiness and disquiet.
at least to preserve our post in it, and outI shall therefore put together some shine our inferiors in virtue here, that they thoughts on this subject, which I have not may not be put above us in a state which is met with in other writers; and shall set to settle the distinction for eternity,
Men in Scripture are called strangers and children of God, and his lot is among the sojourners upon earth, and life a pilgrimage. saints!'t Several heathen, as well as Christian au If the reader would see the description of thors, under the same kind of metaphor, a life that is passed away in vanity and have represented the world as an inn, which among the shadows of pomp and greatness, was only designed to furnish us with ac- he may see it very finely drawn in the same commodations in this our passage. It is place, t. In the mean time, since it is netherefore very absurd to think of setting up cessary in the
present constitution of things, our rest before we come to our journey's that order and distinction should be kept up end, and not rather to take care of the re- in the world, we should be happy, if those ception we shall there meet, than to fix our who enjoy the upper stations in it, would thoughts on the little conveniences and ad- endeavour to surpass others in virtue, as vantages which we enjoy one above another much as in rank, and by their humanity in the way to it.
and condescension make their superiority Epictetus makes use of another kind of easy and acceptable to those who are beallusion, which is very beautiful, and won- neath them; and if, on the contrary, those derfully proper to incline us to be satisfied who are in meaner posts of life, would conwith the post in which Providence has sider how they may better their condition placed us, We are here, says he, as in a hereafter, and by a just deference and theatre, where every one has a part allot- submission to their superiors, make them ted to him. The great duty which lies upon happy in those blessings with which Provia man is to act his part in perfection. We dence has thought fit to distinguish them, may indeed say, that our part does not suit C. us, and that we could act another better. But this, says the philosopher, is not our business. All that we are concerned in is No. 220.] Monday, November 12, 1711, to excel in the part which is given us. If it be an improper one, the fault is not in us, Rumoresque serit variosbut in Him who has cast our several parts,
Virg. Æn. xii. 228,
A thousand rumours spreads, and is the great disposer of the drama. *
The part that was acted by this philoso “SIR,-Why will you apply to my father pher himself was but a very indifferent one, for my love? I cannot help it if he will give for he lived and died a slave. His motive you my person; but I assure you it is not in to contentment in this particular, receives his power, nor even in my own, to give you a very great enforcement from the above my heart. Dear sir, do but consider the ill mentioned consideration, if we remember consequence of such a match; you are fifty. that our parts in the other world will be five, I'twenty-one. You are a man of businew-cast, and that mankind will be there ness, and mightily conversant în arithmetic ranged in different stations of superiority and making calculations; be pleased thereand pre-eminence, in proportion as they fore to consider what proportion your spirits have here excelled one another in virtue, bear to mine; and when you have made a and performed in their several posts of life just estimate of the necessary decay on one the duties which belong to them.
side, and the redundance on the other, you There are many beautiful passages in the will act accordingly. This perhaps is such little apocryphal book, entitled, The Wis: language as you may not expect from a dom of Solomon, to set forth the vanity of young lady; but my happiness is at stake, honour, and the like temporal blessings and I must talk plainly. I mortally hate which are in so great repute among men, you; and so, as you and my father agree, and to comfort those who have not the pos- you may take me or leave me: but if you session of them. It represents in very warm will be so good as never to see me more, and noble terms this advancement of a good you will for ever oblige, sir, your most man in the other world, and the great sur-| humble servant, HENRIÉTTA.' prise which it will produce among those who are his superiors in this. •Then shall * MR. SPECTATOR,_There are so many the righteous man stand in great boldness artifices and modes of false wit, and such a before the face of such as have afflicted variety of humour discovers itself among its him, and made no account of his labours, votariés, that it would be impossible to exWhen they see it they shall be troubled haust so fertile a subject, if you would think with terrible fear, and shall be amazed at fit to resume it. The following instances the strangeness of his salvation, so far be- may, if you think fit, be added by way of yond all that they looked for. And they appendix to your discourses on that subject. repenting and groaning for anguish of spirit, *That feat of poetical activity mentioned shall say within themselves, This was he by Horace, of an author who could compose whom we had sometime in derision, and a two hundred verses while he stood upon one proverb of reproach. We fools accounted leg, has been imitated (as I have heard,) his life madness and his end to be without by a modern writer; who priding himself honour. How is he numbered among the on the hurry of his invention, thought it no
* Epicteti Enchirid. cap. 23.
Hor. Lib. 1. Sat. iv. 1.
small addition to his fame to have each I think the only improvement beyond piece minuted with the exact number of this, would be that which the late Duke of hours or days it cost him in the composi- Buckingham mentioned to a stupid pretion. He could taste no praise until he had tender to poetry, as the project of a Dutch acquainted you in how short space of time mechanic, viz. a mill to make verses. This he had deserved it; and was not so much being the most compendious method of all led to an ostentation of his art, as of his which have yet been proposed, may dedespatch :
serve the thoughts of our modern virtuosi, Accipe, si vis,
who are employed in new discoveries for Accipe jam tabulas; detur nobis locus, hora, the public good; and it may be worth the Custodes: videamus uter plus scribere possit. while to consider, whether in an island
where few are content without being Here's pen and ink, and time, and place; let's try Who can write most, and fastest, you or I.-Creech.
thought wits, it will not be a common
benefit, that wit as well as labour should • This was the whole of his ambition; and be made cheap. I am, sir, your humble therefore I cannot but think the flights of
servant, &c.' this rapid author very proper to be opposed to those laborious nothings which you have
MR. SPECTATOR,-I often dine at a observed were the delight of the German gentleman's house where there are two wits, and in which they so rapidly got rid young ladies in themselves very agreeable, of such a tedious quantity of their time. but very cold in their behaviour, because
'I have known a gentleman of another they understand me for a person that is to turn of humour, who despising the name of "break my mind," as the phrase is, very an author, never printed his works, but con- suddenly to one of them. But I take this tracted his talent, and by the help of a very way to acquaint them that I am not in love fine diamond which he wore on his little with either of them, in hopes they will use finger, was a considerable poet upon glass. me with that agreeable freedom and indifHe had a very good epigrammatic wit; and ference which they do all the rest of the there was not a parlour or tavern window world, and not to drink to one another only, where he visited or dined for some years, but sometimes cast a kind look, with their which did not receive some sketches or service to, sir, your humble servant.' memorials of it. It was his misfortune at • MR. SPECTATOR,-I am a young genlast to lose his genius and his ring to a tleman, and take it for a piece of goodsharper at play, and he has not attempted breeding to pull off my hat when I see any to make a verse since. • But of all contractions or expedients for whether I know her or not. I take care
thing, peculiarly charming in any woman, wit, I admire that of an ingenious projector that there is nothing ludicrous or arch in whose book I have seen. This virtuoso my manner, as if I were to betray a woman being a mathematician, has according to into a salutation by way of jest or humour; his taste, thrown the art of poetry into a and yet, except I am acquainted with her, I short problem, and contrived tables, by find she ever takes it for a rule, that she is which any one without knowing a word of to look upon this civility and homage I pay grammar or sense, may to his great comfort to her supposed merit, as an impertinence be able to compose, or rather to erect; or forwardness which she is to observe and Latin verses.* His tables are a kind of neglect. I wish, sir, you would settle the poetical logarithms, which being divided business of salutation; and please to inform into several squares, and all inscribed with me how I shall resist the sudden impulse I so many incoherent words, appear to the have to be civil to what gives an idea of eye somewhat like a fortune-telling screen. merit; or tell these creatures how to be. What a joy must it be to the unlearned have themselves in return to the esteem I operator to find that these words being have for them. My affairs are such, that carefully collected and writ down in order your decision will be a favour to me, if it be according to the problem, start of them- only to save the unnecessary expense of selves into hexameter and pentameter wearing out my hat so fast as I do at preverses? A friend of mine, who is a student sent. I am, sir, yours,
T. D.' in astrology, meeting with this book, performed the operation, by the rules there set
POSTSCRIPT. down; he showed his verses to the next of • There are some that do know me, and his acquaintance, who happened to under- won't bow to me.' stand Latin; and being informed they described a tempest of wind, very luckily prefixed them, together with a translation, No. 221.] Tuesday, November 13, 1711. to an almanack he was just then printing, and was supposed to have foretold the last
Usque ad mala great storm.t
From eggs, which first are set upon the board, * This erecter of Latin verses was a John Peter, who
To apples ripe, with which it last is stor'd. in 1678 published an 8vo. pamphlet, entitled Artificial When I have finished any of my specuVersifying, a new Way to make Latin verses. † November 26th, 1703.
lations, it is my method to consider which
Hor. Lib. 1. Sat, iii. 6.
of the ancient authors have touched upon | adding however such explications to it as the subject that I treat of. By this means he thought might be for the benefit of his I meet with some celebrated thought upon people. He afterwards entered upon As in it, or a thought of my own expressed in bet- Præsenti, which he converted in the same ter words, or some similitude for the illus- manner to the use of his parishioners. This tration of my subject. This is what gives in a very little time thickened his audience, birth to the motto of a speculation, which I filled his church, and routed his antagonist.. rather choose to take out of the poets than The natural love to Latin, which is so the prose writers, as the former generally prevalent in our common people, makes gives a finer turn to a thought than the lat- me think that my speculations fare never ter, and by couching it in few words and in the worse among them for that little scrap harmonious numbers, make it more portable which appears at the head of them; and to the memory.
what the more encourages me in the use of My reader is therefore sure to meet with quotations in an unknown tongue, is, that I at least one good line in every paper, and hear the ladies, whose approbation I value very often finds his imagination entertained more than that of the whole learned world, by a hint that awakens in his memory some declare themselves in a particular manner beautiful passage
of a classic author. pleased with my Greek mottos. It was a saying of an ancient philoso Designing this day's work for a dissertapher,* which I find some of our writers tion upon the two extremities of my papers, have ascribed to Queen Elizabeth, who and having already despatched my motto, I perhaps might have taken occasion to re- shall, in the next place, discourse upon peat it, that a good face is a letter of re- those single capital letters, which are placed commendation. It naturally makes the at the end of it, and which have afforded beholders inquisitive into the person who great matter of speculation to the curious. is the owner of it, and generally prepos- I have heard various conjectures upon this sesses them in his favour. A handsome subject. Some tell us that C is the mark motto has the same effect. Besides that it of those papers that are written by the always gives a supernumerary beauty to a clergyman, though others ascribe them to paper, and is sometimes in a manner neces- the club in general: that the papers marked sary, when the writer is engaged in what with R were written by my friend Sir Roger: may appear a paradox to vulgar minds, as that L signifies the lawyer, whom I have it shows, that he is supported by good au- described in my second speculation; and thorities, and is not singular in his opinion. that T stands for the trader or merchant.
I must confess, the motto is of little use to But the letter X, which is placed at the end an unlearned reader, for which reason I con- of some few of my papers, is that which has sider it only as a word to the wise.' But as puzzled the wholc town, as they cannot for my unlearned friends, if they cannot re- think of any name which begins with that lish the motto, I take care to make provision letter, except Xenophon and Xerxes, who for them in the body of my paper. If they can neither of them be supposed to have do not understand the sign that is hung out, had any hand in these speculations. they know very well by it that they may In answer to these inquisitive gentlemen, meet with entertainment in the house; and who have many of them made inquiries of I think I was never better pleased than me by letter, I must tell them the reply of with a plain man's compliment, who upon an ancient philosopher, who carried somehis friends telling him that he would like thing hidden under his cloak. A certain the Spectator much better if he understood acquaintance desiring him to let him know the motto, replied, that “good wine needs what it was he covered so carefully: 'I no bush.'t
cover it,' says he, on purpose that you I have heard of a couple of preachers in should not know.' I have made use of a country town, who endeavoured which these obscure marks for the same purpose. should outshine one another, and draw to. They are, perhaps, little amulets or charms gether the greatest congregation. One of to preserve the paper against the fascinathem being well versed in the Fathers, used tion and malice of evil eyes: for which reato quote every now and then a Latin sen- son I would not have my reader surprised tence to his illiterate hearers, who it seems if hereafter he sees any of my papers marked found themselves so edified by it, that they with a Q, a Z, Y, an &c. or with the word flocked in greater numbers to this learned Abracadabra. man than to his rival. The other finding I shall, however, so far explajn myself to his congregation mouldering every Sunday, the reader, as to let him know that the letand hearing at length what was the occa- ters C, L, and X, are cabalistical, and carry sion of it, resolved to give his parish a little more in them than it is proper for the world Latin in his turn; but being unacquainted to be acquainted with. Those who are with any of the Fathers, he digested into versed in the philosophy of Pythagoras, his sermons the whole book of Quæ Genus, and swear by the Tetrachtys, that is the
number four,* will know very well that the Aristotle, or, according to some, Diogenes. See Diogenes Laertius, lib. 5. cap. 1. n. 11. + The mottos in the original publication were not * See Stanley's Lives of the Philosophers, page 527,
2nd edition, 1687, folio,