Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

mar'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 peoir mit 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 $1 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 high

life she would admit into her heart no value est subjects of morality treated of as natural f for any thing that should interfere 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 de circumstances. The lady admonished her easy, and herself capable of being an ho

of 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 I 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, 11 satisfactions to be expected in the com- I must tell you, by way of letter, that there ji merce of a man of honour whom one tender-is a mystery among the gladiators which els 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 hindi man's pains, whose welfare depends upon that renowned seat of honour above-menso my assiduity about him, that I willingly ex- tioned, I overheard two masters of the at clude the loose gratifications of passion for science agreeing to quarrel on the next op

the solid reflections of duty.. I know not portunity. This was to happen in a comkepin whether any man's wife would be allowed, pany of a set of the fraternity of basket

and (what I still more fear) I know not hilts, 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.' The happy 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 ing, and be cheated. Your humble serrising, meals, and rest.

vant,

SCABBARD RUSTY.' When the general crowd of female youth T. i 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 sweeten 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-presergood old man is, that Fidelia, where merit vation (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 most dear, viz, security: and I wish I could

Get money, money still ;

say she had here put a stop to her victo- men do their wives and children, and there. ries; 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 8001. 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 before than 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 fames 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 cur 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 out 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 no 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 Ay 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

end of the town; of whom I recovered enough to employ his thoughts on every

15,0001. which made me amends for what moment of the day; so that I cannot call to t she had idly squandered, and put a silence mind, that in all the time I was a husband, a to all my neighbours, taking off my re- which, off and on, was above twelve years,

proach by the gain they saw I had by it. I ever once thought of my wives but in bed. The last died about two years after I mar- And, lastly, for religion, I have ever been ried her, in labour of three children. I a constant churchman, both forenoons and conjecture they were begot by a country afternoons on Sundays, never forgetting to kinsman of hers, whom, at her recommen- be thankful for any gain or advantage I had dation, I took into my family, and gave had that day; and on Saturday nights, upon wages to as a journeyman. What this crea- casting, up my accounts, I always was ture expended in delicacies and high diet grateful for the sum of my week's profits, with her kinsman (as well as I could com- and at Christmas for that of the whole pute by the poulterer's, fishmonger's, and year. It is true, perhaps, that my devogrocer's bills,) amounted in the said two tion has not been the most fervent; which, years to one hundred eighty-six pounds four I think, ought to be imputed to the evenshillings and five-pence half-penny. The fine ness and sedateness of my temper, which apparel, bracelets, lockets, and treats, &c. never would admit of any impetuosities of of the other, according to the best calcula- any sort: and I can remember, that in my tion, came, in three years and about three youth and prime of manhood, when my quarters, to seven hundred-forty four pounds blood ran brisker, I took greater pleasure seven shillings and nine pence. After this in religious exercises than at present, or I resolved never to marry more, and found many years ast, and that my devotion I had been a gainer by my marriages, and sensibly declined as age, which is dull and the damages granted me for the abuses of unwieldy, came upon me. my bed (all charges deducted) eight thou I have, I hope, here proved, that the sand three hundred pounds, within

a trifle. love of money prevents all immorality and I come now to show the good effects of vice; which if you will not allow, you the love of money on the lives of men, to- must, that the pursuit of it obliges men to wards rendering them honest, sober, and the same kind of life as they would follow religious. When I was a young man, I had if they were really virtuous; which is all I a mind to make the best of my wits, and have to say at present, only recommending over-reached a country chap in a parcel of to you, that you would think of it, and turn unsound goods; to whom, upon his upbraid- ready wit into ready money as fast as you ing, and threatening to expose me for it, I can. I conclude, your servant, returned the equivalent of his loss; and T.

ÉPHRAIM 'WEED.' upon his good advice, wherein he clearly demonstrated the folly of such artifices, which can never end but in shame, and the No. 451.] Thursday, August 7, 1712. ruin of all correspondence, I never after transgressed. Can your courtiers, who take

-Jam sævus apertam

In rabiam cæpit verti jocus, et per honestas bribes, or your lawyers or physicians in

Ire minax impune domostheir practice, or even the divines who

Hor. Ep. i. Lib. 2. 148. intermeddle in worldly affairs, boast of

- Times corrupt, and nature ill inclin'd, making but one slip in their lives, and of Produc'd the point that left the sting behind; such a thorough and lasting reformation?

Till, friend with friend, and families at strife, Since my coming into the world I do not

Triumphant malice rag'd through private life.- Pops remember I was ever overtaken in drink, THERE is nothing so scandalous to a gosave nine times, once at the christening of vernment, and detestable in the eyes of all my first child, thrice at our city feasts, and good men, as defamatory papers and pamfive times at driving of bargains. My re- phlets; but at the same time there is no formation I can attribute to nothing so thing so difficult to tame as a satirical much as the love and esteem of money, for author. An angry writer who cannot apI found myself to be extravagant in my pear in print, naturally vents his spleen in drink, and apt to turn projector, and make libels and lampoons. A gay old woman, rash bargains. As for women, I never says the fable, seeing all her wrinkles reknew any except my wives: for my reader presented in a large looking-glass, threw must know, and it is what he may confide it upon the ground in a passion, and broke in as an excellent recipe, that the love of it in a thousand pieces; but as she was business and money is the greatest mortifier afterwards surveying the fragments with a of inordinate desires imaginable, as em- spiteful kind of pleasure, she could not forploying the mind continually in the careful bear uttering herself in the following solioversight of what one has in the eager quest loquy: What have I got by this revengeful after more, in looking after the negligences blow of mine? I have only multiplied my and deceits of servants, in the due entering deformity, and see a hundred ugly faces, and stating of accounts, in hunting after where before I saw but one.' chaps, and in the exact knowledge of the It has been proposed, to oblige every state of markets; which things whoever person that writes a book, or a paper, to thoroughly attends to, will find enough and I swear himself the author of it, and enter

down in a public register his name and punishments, is under the direction and place of abode.

distribution of the magistrate, and not of This indeed would have effectually sup- any private person. Accordingly we learn, pressed all printed scandal, which generally from a fragment of Cicero, that though appears under borrowed names, or under there were very few capital punishments none at all. But it is to be feared that such in the twelve tables, a libel or lampoon, an expedient would not only destroy scan- which took away the good name of andal, but learning. It would operate pro- other, was to be punished by death. But miscuously, and root up the corn and tares this is far from being our case. Our satire together. Not to mention some of the most is nothing but ribaldry and billingsgate. celebrated works of piety, which have Scurrility passes for wit; and he who proceeded from anonymous authors, who can call names in the greatest variety have made it their merit to convey to us so of phrases, is looked upon to have the great a charity in secret; there are few shrewdest pen. By this means the honour works of genius that come out at first with of families is ruined; the highest posts and the author's name. The writer generally the greatest titles are rendered cheap and makes a trial of them in the world before vile in the sight of the people; the noblest he owns them; and, I believe, very few, virtues and most exalted parts exposed to who are capable of writing, would set pen the contempt of the vicious and the ignoto paper, if they knew beforehand that rant. Should a foreigner, who knows nothey must not publish their productions thing of our private factions, or one who is but on such conditions. For my own part, to act his part in the world when our preI must declare, the papers I present the sent heats and animosities are forgotpublic are like fairy favours, which shall should, I say, such a one form to himself sast no longer than while the author is con- a notion of the greatest men of all sides in cealed.

the British nation, who are now living, That which makes it particularly dif- from the characters which are given them ficult to restrain these sons of calumny and in some or other of those abominable writdefamation is, that all sides are equally ings which are daily published among us, guilty of it, and that every dirty scribbler what a nation of monsters must we appear! is countenanced by great names, whose in As this cruel practice tends to the utter terests he propagates by such vile and subversion of all truth and humanity among infamous methods. I have never yet heard us, it deserves the utmost detestation and of a ministry who have inflicted an exem- discouragement of all who have either the plary punishment on an author that has love of their country, or the honour of their supported their cause with falsehood and religion at heart. I would therefore earnscandal, and treated, in a most cruel man- estly recommend it to the consideration of ner, the names of those who have been those who deal in these pernicious arts of looked upon as their rivals and antagonists. writing, and of those who take pleasure in Would a government set an everlasting the reading of them. As for the first, I mark of their displeasure upon one of those have spoken of them in former papers, and infamous writers, who makes his court to have not stuck to rank them with the murthem by tearing to pieces the reputation derer and assassin. Every honest man sets of a competitor, we should quickly see an as high a value upon a good name, as upon end put to this race of vermin, that are a life itself: and I cannot but think that those scandal to government, and a reproach to who privily assault the one, would destroy human nature. Such a proceeding would the other, might they do it with the same make a minister of state shine in history, security and impunity. and would fill all mankind with a just ab As for persons who take pleasure in the horrence of persons who should treat him reading and dispersing such detestable liunworthily, and employ against him those bels, I am afraid they fall very little short arms which he scorned to make use of of the guilt of the first composers. By a against his enemies.

law of the emperors Valentinian and Va'I cannot think that any one will be so lens, it was made death for any person not unjust as to imagine, what I have here said only to write a libel, but, if he met with one is spoken with respect to any party or fac- by chance, not to tear or burn it. But be tion. Every one who has in him the senti- cause I would not be thought singular in my ments either of a Christian or a gentleman, opinion of this matter, I shall conclude my cannot but be highly offended at this wick-paper with the words of Monsieur Bayle, ed and ungenerous practice, which is so who was a man of great freedom of though, much in use among us at present, that it is as well as of exquisite learning and judgbecome a kind of national crime, and dis- ment. tinguishes us from all the governments that • I cannot imagine that a man who dislie about us. I cannot but look upon the perses a libel, is less desirous of doing finest strokes of satire which are aimed at mischief than the author himself. But particular persons, and which are support- what shall we say of the pleasure which a ed even with the appearances of truth, to man takes in the reading of a defamatory be the marks of an evil mind, and highly libel? Is it not a heinous sin in the sight criminal in themselves. Infamy, like other of God? We must distinguish in this point,

This pleasure is either an agreeable sensa- 1 of cooking it is so very different, that there tion we are affected with, when we meet is no citizen, who has an eye to the public with a witty thought which is well ex- good, that can leave the coffee-house with pressed, or it is a joy which we conceive a peace of mind, before he has given every from the dishonour of the person who is one of them a reading. These several dishes defamed. I will say nothing to the first of of news are so very agreeable to the palate these cases; for perhaps some would think of my countrymen, that they are not only that my morality is not severe enough, if pleased with them when they are served I should affirm that a man is not master of up hot, but when they are again set cold those agreeable sensations, any more than before them, by those penetrating politiof those occasioned by sugar or honey, cians who oblige the public with their rewhen they touch his tongue; but as to the flections and observations upon every piece second, every one will own that pleasure to of intelligence that is sent us from abroad, be a heinous sin. The pleasure in the first This text is given us by one set of writers, case is of no continuance; it prevents our and the comment by another. reason and reflection, and may be imme But notwithstanding we have the same diately followed by a secret grief, to see tale told us in so many different papers, and our neighbour's honour blasted. If it does if occasion requires, in so many articles not cease immediately, it is a sign that we of the same paper; notwithstanding, in a are not displeased with the ill nature of the scarcity of foreign posts, we hear the same satirist, but are glad to see him.defame his story repeated by different advices from enemy by all kinds of stories; and then Paris, Brussels, the Hague, and from every

we deserve the punishment to which the great town in Europe; notwithstanding the = writer of the libel is subject. I shall here multitude of annotations, explanations, re

add the words of a modern author. St. Hections, and various readings which it [ Gregory, upon excommunicating those passes through, our time lies heavy on our 1 writers who had dishonoured Castorius, hands till the arrival of a fresh mail: we

does not except those who read their long to receive farther particulars, to hear i works; because, says he, if calumnies have what will be the next step, or what will be $ always been the delight of their hearers, the consequences of that which we have al

and a gratification of those persons who ready taken. A westerly wind keeps the I have no other advantage over honest men, whole town in suspense, and puts a stop to 5 is not he who takes pleasure in reading conversation.

them as guilty as he who composed them? This general curiosity has been raised

It is an uncontested maxim, that they who and inflamed by our late wars, and if rightly & approve an action, would certainly do it if directed, might be of good use to a person

they could; that is, if some reason of self- who has such a thirst awakened in him. love did not hinder them. There is no dif- Why should not a man, who takes delight ference, says Cicero, between advising a in reading every thing that is new, apcrime, and approving it when committed. ply himself to history, travels, and other

The Roman law confirmed this maxim, writings of the same kind, where he will ; having subjected the approvers and authors find perpetual fuel for his curiosity, and * of this evil to the same penalty. We may meet with much more pleasure and im3 therefore conclude, that those who are provement than in these papers of the ** pleased with reading defamatory libels, so week? An honest tradesman, who lanvi far as to approve the authors and dis-guishes a whole summer in expectation of

persers of them, are as guilty as if they a battle, and perhaps is baulked at last, had composed them; for, if they. not may here meet with half a dozen in a day. write such libels themselves, it is because He may read the news of a whole campaign they have not the talent of writing, or be- in less time than he now bestows upon the cause they will run no hazard.'

products of a single post Fights, conquests The author produces other authorities to and revolutions, lie thick together. The confirm his judgment in this particular. reader's curiosity is raised and satisfied

C. every moment, and his passions disap

pointed or gratified, without being detained

in a state of uncertainty from day to day, No. 452.] Friday, August 8, 1712. or lying at the mercy of the sea and wind;

in short, the mind is not here kept in a Est natura hominum novitatis avida.

Plin. apud Lilium.

perpetual gape after knowledge, nor pu

nished with that eternal thirst, which is Human nature is fond of novelty.

the portion of all our modern newsmongers THERE is no humour in my countrymen, and coffee-house politicians. which I am more inclined to wonder at, All matters of fact, which a man did not than their general thirst after news. There know before, are news to him;

and I do not are about half a dozen ingenious men, who see how any haberdasher in Cheapside is live very plentifully upon this curiosity of more concerned in the present quarrel of their fellow-subjects. They all of them re- the Cantons, than he was in that of the ceive the same advices from abroad, and League. At least, I believe, every one will very often in the same words; but their way lallow me, it is of more importance to an Vol. II,

25

« AnteriorContinuar »