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forced me up to town, where a profession between Count Rechteren and Monsieur of the politer sort has protected me against Mesnager, which employs the wise heads infamy and want. I am now clerk to a of so many nations, and holds all the affairs lawyer, and, in times of vacancy and re- of Europe in suspense. cess from business, have made myself mas Upon my going into a coffee-house yester of Italian and French; and though the terday, and lending an ear to the next table, progress I have made in my business has which was encompassed with a circle of gained me reputation enough for one of my inferior politicians, one of them, after havstanding, yet my mind suggests to me every ing read over the news very attentively, day, that it is not upon that foundation I broke out into the following remarks: "Í am to build my fortune.
am afraid,' says he, 'this unhappy rupture • The person I have my present depen- between the footmen at Utrecht will retard dence upon has in his nature, as well as in the peace of Christendom. I wish the
pope his power, to advance me, by recommend- may not be at the bottom of it. His holiing me to a gentleman that is going beyond ness has a very good hand in fomenting a sea, in a public employment. I know the division, as the poor Swiss cantons have printing this letter would point me out to lately experienced to their cost. If Monthose I want confidence to speak to, and I sieur What-d'ye-call-him's domestics will hope it is not in your power to refuse mak- not come to an accommodation, I do not ing any body happy. "Yours, &c.
know how the quarrel can be ended but by •September 9, 1712.
M. D.' a religious war.' T.
•Why, truly,' says a wiseacre that sat by him, were I as the king of France, I would scorn to take part with the footmen
of either side; here's all the business of EuNo. 481.] Thursday, September 11, 1712. rope stands still, because Monsieur Mesna
ger's man has had his head broke. If Count Compositus melius cum Bitho' Bacchius: in jus Rectrum* had given them a pot of ale after Acres procurrunt
it, all would have been well, without any Hor. Sat. vii. Lib. 1. 19.
of this bustle; but they say he's a warm Who shall decide when doctors disagree,
man, and does not care to be made mouths And, soundest casuists doubt like you and me ?
Upon this, one that had held his tongue It is sometimes pleasant enough to con- hitherto began to exert himself; declaring, sider the different notions which different that he was very well pleased the plenipopersons have of the same thing. If men tentiaries of our Christian princes took this of low condition very often set a value on matter into their serious consideration; for things which are not prized by those who that lackeys were never so saucy and pragare in a higher station of life, there are matical as they are now-a-days, and that many things these esteem which are in no he should be glad to see them taken down value among persons of an inferior rank. in the treaty of peace, if it might be done Common people are, in particular, very without prejudice to the public affairs. much astonished when they hear of those One who sat at the other end of the table, solemn contests and debates, which are and seemed to be in the interests of the made among the great upon the punctilios French king, told them, that they did not of a public ceremony; and wonder to hear take the matter right, for that his most that any business of consequence should Christian majesty did not resent this matter be retarded by those little circumstances, because it was an injury done to Monsieur which they represent to themselves as Mesnager's footmen; 'for,' says he, what trifling and insignificant. I am mightily are Monsieur Mesnager's footmen to him? pleased with a porter's decision in one of but because it was done to his subjects. Mr. Southern's plays, which is founded Now,' says he, let me tell you, it would upon that fine distress of a virtuous wo- look very odd for a subject of France to man's marrying a second husband, while have a bloody nose, and his sovereign not her first was yet living. The first husband, to take notice of it. He is obliged in howho was supposed to have been dead, re- nour to defend his people against hostilities; turning to his house, after a long absence, and if the Dutch will be so insolent to a raises a noble perplexity for the tragic part crowned head, as in any wise to cuff or of the play. In the meanwhile the nurse kick those who are under his protection, I and the porter conferring upon the diffi- think he is in the right to call them to an culties that would ensue in such a case, account for it.' honest Samson thinks the matter may be This distinction set the controversy upon easily decided, and solves it very judiciously a new foot, and seemed to be very well by the old proverb, that if his first master approved by most that-heard it, until a be still living, the man must have his little warm fellow, who had declared himmare again. There is nothing in my time self a friend to the house of Austria, fell which has so much surprised and con- most unmercifully upon his Gallic majesty, founded the greatest part of my honest countrymen, as the present controversy
* Count Rechteren.
as encouraging his subjects to make mouths the name of a club, who, he tells me, meet at their betters, and afterwards screening as often as their wives will give them leave, them from the punishment that was due to and stay together till they are sent for their insolence. To which he added, that home. He informs me that my paper has adthe French nation was so addicted to gri- ministered great consolation to their whole mace, that, if there was not a stop put to club, and desires me to give some farther acit at the general congress, there would be count of Socrates, and to acquaint them in no walking the streets for them in a time of whose reign he lived, whether he was a pence, especially if thev continued masters citizen or a courtier, whether he buried of the West Indies. The little man pro- Xantippe, with many other particulars: for ceeded with a great deal of warmth, de- that by his sayings, he appears to have been claring that, if the allies were of his mind, a very wise man, and a good Christian. he would oblige the French king to burn Another who writes himself Benjamin his galleys, and tnlerate the protestant re- Bamboo, tells me that, being coupled with ligion in his dominions, before he would a shrew, he had endeavoured to tame her sheath his sword. He concluded with call- by such lawful means as those which I ing Monsieur Mesnager an insignificant mentioned in my last Tuesday's paper, and prig.
that in his wrath he had often gone farther The dispute was now growing very warm, than Bracton always allows in those cases: and one does not know where it would have but that for the future he was resolved to ended, had not a young man of about one- bear it like a man of temper and learning, and-twenty, who seems to have been brought and consider her only as one who lives in up with an eye to the law, taken the debate his house to teach him philosophy. Tom into his hand, and given it as his opinion, Dapperwit says that he agrees with me in that nither Count Rechteren nor Monsieur that whole discourse, excepting only the Mesnager had behaved themselves right in last sentence, where I affirm the married this affair. •Count Rechteren,' says he, state to be either a heaven or a hell. Tom should have made affidavit that his ser- has been at the charge of a penny upon vant had been affronted, and then Monsieur this occasion to tell me, that by his expeMesnager would have done him justice, by rience it is neither one nor the other, but taking away their liveries from them, or rather that middle kind of state, commonly some other way that he might have thought known by the name of purgatory. the most proper; for, let me tell you, if a The fáir-sex have likewise obliged me man makes a mouth at me, I am not to with their reflections upon the same disknock the teeth out of it for his pains. course. A lady, who calls herself Euterpe, Then again, as for Monsieur Mesnager, and seems a woman of letters, asks me upon his servant's being beaten, why he whether I am for establishing the Salic law might have had his action of assault and in every family, and why it is not fit that a battery. But as the case now stands, if you woman who has discretion and learning will have my opinion, I think they ought should sit at the helm, when the husband to bring it to referees.'
is weak and illiterate? Another, of a quite I heard a great deal more of this confer- contrary character, subscribes herself Xanence, but I must confess with little edifica- tippe, and tells me that she follows the tion, for all I could learn at last from these example of her namesake; for being marhonest gentlemen was, that the matter in ried to a bookish man, who has no knowdebate was of too high a nature for such ledge of the world, she is forced to take heads as theirs, or mine, to comprehend. their affairs into her own hands, and to 0.
spirit him up now and then, that he may not grow musty, and unfit for conversation.
After this abridgment of some letters No. 482.) Priday, September 12, 1712.
which are come to my hands upon this oc
casion, I shall publish one of them at large. Flori feris ut apes in saltibus omnia libant.
*Mr. SPECTATOR,-You have given us As from the sweetest flowers the lab'ring bee a lively picture of that kind of husband Extracts her precious sweets --Creech.
who comes under the denomination of the
hen-pecked; but I do not remember that When I have published any single paper you have ever touched upon one that is that falls in with the popular taste, and quite of the different character, and who, pleases more than ordinary, it always brings in several places of England, goes by the me in a great return of letters. My Tues. name of a cot-queen.! I have the misforday's discourse, wherein I gave several tune to be joined for life with one of this admonitions to the fraternity of the hen- character, who in reality is more a woman pecked, has already produced me very than I am. He was bred up under the tuimany correspondents; the reason I cannot tion of a tender mother, till she had made guess, unless it be, that such a discourse is him as good a housewife as herself. He of general use, and every married man's could preserve apricots, and make jellies, money. An honest tradesman, who dates his before he had been two years out of the letter from Cheapside, sends me thanks in nursery. He was never suffered to go
Lucr. Lib. iii. 11.
abroad, for fear of catching cold; when he tural depravity of temper it is not in the should have been hunting down a buck, he power, even of religion itself, to preserve was by his mother's side learning how to the character of the person who is possessseason it, or put it in crust; and making ed with it from appearing highly absurd paper boats with his sisters, at an age and ridiculous. when other young gentlemen are crossing An old maiden gentlewoman, whom I the seas, or travelling into foreign coun- shall conceal under the name of Nemesis, tries. He has the whitest hand you ever is the greatest discoverer of judgments that saw in your life, and raises paste better I have met with. She can tell you what sin than any woman in England. These quali- it was that set such a man's house on fire, or fications make him a sad husband. He is blew down his barns. Talk to her of an perpetually in the kitchen, and has a thou- unfortunate young lady that lost her beauty sand squabbles with the cook-maid.' He is by the small-pox, she fetches a deep sigh, better acquainted with the milk-score than and tells you, that when she had a fine face his steward's accounts. I fret to death she was always looking on it in her glass. when I hear him find fault with a dish that Tell her of a piece of good fortune that has is not dressed to his liking, and instructing befallen one of her acquaintance, and she his friends that dine with him in the best wishes it may prosper with her, but her pickle for a walnut, or sauce for a haunch mother used one of her nieces very barbaof venison. With all this he is a very good- rously. Her usual remarks turn upon peonatured husband, and never fell out with ple who had great estates, but never enme in his life but once, upon the over- joyed them by reason of some flaw in their roasting of a dish of wild fowl. At the same own or their father's behaviour. She can time I must own, I would rather he was a give you the reason why such a one died man of a rough temper, and would treat me childless; why such a one was cut off in the harshly sometimes, than of such an effemi- flower of his youth; why such a one was nate busy nature, in a province that does unhappy in her marriage; why one broke not belong to him. Since you have given his leg on such a particular spot of ground; us the character of a wife who wears the and why another was killed with a backbreeches, pray say somewhat of a husband sword, rather than with any other kind of that wears the petticoat. Why should not weapon. She has a crime for every misfora female character be as ridiculous in a tune that can befall any of her acquaintman, as a male character in one of our sex? ance; and when she hears of a robbery that I am, &c.
O. has been made, or a murder that has been
committed, enlarges more on the guilt of
the suffering person, than on that of the No. 483.] Saturday, September 13, 1712. thief, or assassin. In short, she is so good
a Christian, that whatever happens to herNec deus intersit, nisi dignus vindice nodus
self is a trial, and whatever happens to her
neighbours is a judgment. Never presume to make a god appear, But for a business worthy of a god.--Roscommon.
The very description of this folly, in or
dinary life, is sufficient to expose it: but, We cannot be guilty of a greater act of when it appears in a pomp and dignity of uncharitableness than to interpret the af- style, it is very apt to amuse and terrify the flictions which befall our neighbours as mind of the reader. Herodotus and 'Plupunishments and judgments. It aggravates tarch very often apply their judgments as the evil to him who suffers, when he looks impertinently as the old woman I have beupon himself as the mark of divine ven- fore mentioned, though their manner of regeance, and abates the compassion of those lating them makes the folly itself appear towards him who regard him in so dread- venerable. Indeed most historians, as well ful a light. This humour, of turning every Christian as pagan, have fallen into this misfortune into a judgment, proceeds from idle superstition, and spoken of ill success, wrong notions of religion, which in its own unforeseen disasters, and terrible events, as nature produces good-will towards men, if they had been let into the secrets of Proviand puts the mildest construction upon dence, and made acquainted with that prievery accident that befalls them. In this vate conduct by which the world is governed. case, therefore, it is not religion that sours One would think several of our own histoa man's temper, but it is his temper that rians in particular had many revelations of sours his religion. People of gloomy, un- this kind made to them. Our old English cheerful imaginations, or of envious malig- monks seldom let any of their kings depart nant tempers, whatever kind of life they in peace, who had endeavoured to diminish are engaged in, will discover their natural the power of wealth of which the ecclesiastincture of mind in all their thoughts, tics were in those times possessed. Wilwords, and actions. As the finest vines liam the Conqueror's race generally found have often the taste of the soil, so even the their judgments in the New Forest where most religious thoughts often draw some- their father had pulled down churches and thing that is particular from the constitu- monasteries. In short, read one of the tion of the mind in which they arise. When chronicles written by an author of this, folly or superstition strike in with this na- I frame of mind, and you would think you
Hor. Ars Poet. ver. 191.
were reading a history of the kings of | If we could look into the effects of every Israel and Judah, where the historians thing, we might be allowed to pronounce were actually inspired, and where, by a boldly upon blessings and judgments; but particular scheme of Providence, the kings for a man to give his opinion of what he were distinguished by judgments, or bless- sees but in part, and in its beginnings, is an ings, according as they promoted idolatry unjustifiable piece of rashness and folly. or the worship of the true God.
The story of Biton and Clitobus, which I cannot but look upon this manner of was in great reputation among the heajudging upon misfortunes, not only to be thens, (for we see it quoted by all the anvery uncharitable in regard to the person cient authors, both Greek and' Latin, who on whom they fall, but very presumptuous have written upon the immortality of the in regard to him who is supposed to inflict soul,) may teach us a caution in this matter, them. It is a strong argument for a state of These two brothers, being the sons of a retribution hereafter, that in this world vir- lady who was priestess to Juno, drew their tuous persons are very often unfortunate, mother's chariot to temple at the time of a and vicious persons prosperous; which is great solemnity, the persons being absent wholly repugnant to the nature of a Being who, by their office, were to have drawn who appears infinitely wise and good in all her chariot on that occasion. The mother his works, unless we may suppose that such was so transported with this instance of a promiscuous and undistinguished distri- filial duty, that she petitioned her goddess bution of good and evil, which was neces- to bestow upon them the greatest gift that sary for carrying on the designs of Provi- could be given to men; upon which they denice in this life, will be rectified, and were both cast into a deep sleep, and the made amends for, in another. We are not next morning found dead in the temple. therefore to expect that fire should fall This was such an event, as would have been from heaven in the ordinary course of Pro- construed into a judgment, had it happened vidence; nor, when we see triumphant guilt to the two brothers after an act of disobeor depressed virtue in particular persons, dience, and would doubtless have been rethat Omnipotence will make bare his holy presented as such by any ancient historian arm in the defence of one, or punishment who had given us an account of it. O. of the other. It is sufficient that there is a day set apart for the hearing and requiting of both, according to their respective No. 484.] Monday, September 15, 1712. merits.
The folly of ascribing temporal judg Neque cuiquam tam statim clarum ingenium est, ut ments to any particular crimes, may ap- possit emergere; nisi illi materia, occasio, fautor ctiam,
Plin. Epist. pear from several considerations. I shall only mention two: First, that, generally Justrious instantaneously, unless it fortunately meets
Nor has any one so bright a genius as to become il speaking, there is no calamity or affliction, with occasion and employment, with patronage too, which is supposed to have happened as a and commendation. judgment to a vicious man, which does not • MR SPECTATOR,-Of all the young felsometimes happen to men of approved re-lows who are in their progress through any ligion and virtue. When Diagoras the profession, none seem to have so good a atheist was on board one of the Athenian title to the protection of the men of emiships, there arose a very violent tempest: nence in it as the modest man, not so much upon which the mariners told him, that it because his modesty is a certain indication was a just judgment upon them for having of his merit, as because it is a certain obtaken so impious a man on board. Diagoras stacle to the producing of it. Now, as of begged them to look upon the restof the ships all professions, this virtue is thought to be that were in the same distress, and asked more particularly unnecessary in that of them whether or no Diagoras was on board the law than in any other, I shall only apevery vessel in the fleet. We are all in- ply myself to the relief of such who follow volved in the same calamities, and subject this profession with this disadvantage. to the same accidents: and when we see What aggravates the matter is, that those any one of the species under any particular persons who, the better to prepare themoppression, we should look upon it as selves for this study, have made some proarising from the common lot of human na- gress in others, have, by addicting themture, rather than from the guilt of the per- selves to letters, increased their natural son who suffers.
modesty, and consequently heightened the Another consideration, that may check obstruction to this sort of preferment; so our presumption in putting such a construc- that every one of these may emphatically tion upon a misfortune, is this, that it is im- be said to be such a one as “laboureth and possible for us to know what are calamities taketh pains, and is still the more behind.” and what are blessings. How many acci- It may be a matter worth discussing, then, dents have passed for misfortunes, which why that which made a youth so amiable have turned to the welfare and prosperity to the ancients, should make him appear of the persons to whose lot they have fal- so ridiculous to the moderns? and why, in len! How many disappointments have, in our days, there should be neglect, and even their consequences, saved a man from ruin! oppression of young beginners, instead of
that protection which was the pride of expressed himself in the same favourable theirs? In the profession spoken of, it is strain of modesty, when he says, obvious to every one whose attendance is required at Westminster-hall, with what
In the modesty of fearful duty
I read as much as from the rattling tongue difficulty a youth of any modesty has been
Of saucy and audacious eloquencepermitted to make an observation, that could in no wise detract from the merit of his • Now, since these authors have professed elders, and is absolutely necessary for the themselves for the modest man, even in the advancing of his own. I have often seen utmost confusions of speech and counteone of these not only molested in his utter- nance, why should an intrepid utterance ance of something very pertinent, but even and a resolutę vociferation thunder so sucplundered of his question, and by a strong cessfully in our courts of justice? And why sergeant shouldered out of his rank, whịch should that confidence of speech and behe has recovered with much difficulty and haviour, which seems to acknowledge no confusion. Now, as great part of the busi- superior, and to defy all contradiction, preness of this profession might be despatched vail over that deference and resignation by one that perhaps
with which the modest man implores that Abest virtute diserti,
favourable opinion which the other seems Messalæ, nec scit quantum Causellius Aulus;
to command ? Hor. Ars Poet. v. 370. . As the case at present stands, the best -wants Messala's powerful eloquence, consolation that I can administer to those And is less read than deep Causellius:
who cannot get into that stroke of business
(as the phrase is) which they deserve, is so I cannot conceive the injustice done to to reckon every particular acquisition of the public, if the men of reputation in this knowledge in this study as a real increase calling would introduce such of the young of their fortune; and fully to believe, that ones into business, whose application in this one day this imaginary gain will certainly study will'let them into the secrets of it, as be made out by one more substantial. I much as their modesty will hinder them wish you would talk to us a little on this from the practice: I say, it would be laying head; you would oblige, sir, your humble an everlasting obligation upon a young man, servant.' to be introduced at first only as a mute, till by this countenance, and a resolution to The author of this letter is certainly a support the good opinion conceived of him man of good sense; but I am perhaps parin his befters, his complexion shall be so ticular in my opinion on this occasion: for I well settled, that the litigious of this island have observed that, under the notion of may be secure of this obstreperous aid. If modesty, men have indulged themselves in I might be indulged to speak in the style of spiritless sheepishness, and been for ever a lawyer, I would say, that any one about lost to themselves, their families, their thirty years of age might make a common friends, and their country. When a man motion to the court with as much elegance has taken care to pretend to nothing but and propriety as the most aged advocates what he may justly aim at, and can execute in the hall.
as well as any other, without injustice to • I cannot advance the merit of modesty any other, it is ever want of breeding or by any argument of my own so powerfully courage to be brow-beaten or elbowed out as by inquiring into the sentiments the of his honest ambition. I have said often, greatest among the ancients of different modesty must be an act of the will, and yet ages entertained upon this virtue. If we go it always implies self-denial; for, if a man back to the days of Solomon, we shall find has an ardent desire to do what is laudable favour a necessary consequence to a shame for him to perform, and, from an unmanly faced man. Pliny the greatest lawyer and bashfulness, shrinks away, and lets his most elegant writer of the age he lived in, merit languish in silence, he ought not to in several of his epistles is very solicitous be angry at the world that a more unskilful in recommending to the public some young actor succeeds in his part, because he has men, of his own profession, and very often not confidence to come upon the stage himundertakes to become an advocate, upon self. The generosity my, correspondent condition that some one of these his favour- mentions of Pliny cannot be enough apites might be joined with him, in order to plauded. To cherish the dawn of merit, produce the merit of such, whose modesty and hasten its maturity, was a work worthy otherwise would have suppressed it. It may a noble Roman and a liberal scholar. That seem very marvellous to a saucy modern, concern which is described in the letter, is that multum sanguinis, multum verecun- to all the world the greatest charm imagindiæ, multum sollicitudinis in ore, “to have able; but then the modest man must prothe face first full of blood, then the counte- ceed, and show a latent resolution in himnance dashed with modesty, and then the self; for the admiration of modesty arises whole aspect as of one dying with fear, from the manifestation of his merit. I must when a man begins to speak,” should be confess we live in an age wherein a few esteemed by Pliny, the necessary qualifica- empty blusterers carry away the praise of tions of a fine speaker. Shakspeare also has speaking, while a crowd of fellows over