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Quick come to tell me that it is come up this morning a five hundred pound prize. The husband replies immediately, You lye, you slut, you have no ticket, for I have sold it. The poor woman upon this faints away in a fit, recovers, and is now run distracted. As she had no design to defraud her husband, but was willing only to participate in his good fortune, every one pities her, but thinks her husband's punishment but just. This, sir, is matter of fact, and would, if the persons and circumstances were greater, in a wellwrought play be called beautiful distress. I have only sketched it out with chalk, and know a good hand can make a moving picture with worse materials.
• Mr. Spectator,
I am what the world calls a warm fellow, and by good success in trade I have raised myself to a capacity of making some figure in the world; but no matter for that. I have now under my guardianship a couple of nieces, who will certainly make me run mad; which you will not wonder at, when I tell you they are female virtuosos, and during the three years and a half that I have had them under my care, they never in the least inclined their thoughts towards any one single part of the character of a notable woman. Whilst they should have been considering the proper ingredients for a sack-posset, you should hear a dispute concerning the magnetic virtue of the loadstone, or perhaps the pressure of the atmosphere. Their language is peculiar to themselves, and they scorn to express
themselves on the meanest trifle with words that are not of a Latin derivation. But this were support-. able still, would they suffer me to enjoy an uninter
rupted ignorance; but, unless I fall in with their abs. tracted ideas of things (as they call them), I must not expect to smoke one pipe in quiet. In a late fit of the gout I complained of the pain of that distemper, when my niece Kitty begged leave to assure me, that, whatever I might think, several great philosophers, both antient and inodern, were of opinion, that both pleasure and pain were imaginary distinctions, and that there was no such thing as either in rerum natura. I have often heard them affirm that the fire was not hot; and one day when I, with the authority of an old fellow, desired one of them to put my blue cloke on my knees, she answered, Sir, I will reach the cloke; but take notice, I do not do it as allowing your description; for it might as well be called yellow as blue; for colour is nothing but the various infractions of the rays of the sun. Miss Molly told me one day, that to say snow was white, is following a vulgar error; for, as it contains a great quantity of nitrous particles, it might more reasonably be supposed to be black. In short, the young husseys would persuade me, that to believe one's eyes is a sure way to be deceived; and have often advised me, by no means to trust any thing so fallible as my senses.
What I have to beg of you now is, to turn one speculation to the due regulation of female literature--so far, at least, as to make it consistent with the quiet of such whose fate it is to be liable to its insults; and to tell us the difference between a gentleman that should make cheese-cakes and raise paste, and a lady that reads Locke and understands the mathematics. In which you will extremely oblige "Your hearty friend and humble servant,
• Abraham Thrifty.'
ON PARENTAL AND FILIAL DUTY.
"I AM the happy father of a very towardly son, in whom I do not only see my life, but also my manner of life, renewed. It would be extremely bencficial to society, if you would frequently resume subjects which serve to bind these sort of relations faster, and endear the ties of blood with those of good-will, protection, observance, indulgence, and veneration. I thank Heaven I have no outrageous offence against my own excellent parents to answer for; but when I am now and then alone, and look back upon my past life, from my carliest infancy to this time, there are many faults which I committed that did not appear to me, even until I myself became a father. I had not until then a notion of the yearnings of heart which a man has when he sees his child do a laudable thing, or the sudden damp which seizes him when he fears he will act something unworthy. It is not to be imagined what a remorse touched me for a long train of childish negligences of my mother, when I saw my wife the other day look out of the window, and turn as pale as ashes upon seeing my younger boy sliding upon the ice. These slight intimations will give you to understand, that there are numberless little crimes which children take no notice of while they are doing, which upon reflection, when they shall themselves become fathers, they will look upon with the utmost sorrow and contrition, that they did not regard before those whom they offended were to be no more seen. How many thousand things do I remember which would have highly pleased my father, and I omitted for no
other reason but that I thought what he proposed the effect of humour and old age, which I am now convinced had reason and good sense in it! I cannot now go into the parlour to him, and make his heart glad with an account of a matter which was of no consequence, but that I told it, and acted in it. The good man and woman are long since in their graves, who used to sit and plot the welfare of us their children, while, perhaps, we were sometimes laughing at the old folks at another end of the house. The truth of it is, were we merely to follow nature in these great duties of life, though we have a strong instinct towards the performing of them, we should be on both sides
very deficient. Age is so unwelcome to the generality of mankind, and growth towards manhood so desirable to all, that resignation to decay is too difficult a task in the father; and deference, amidst the impulse of gay desires, appears unreasonable to the son. There are su few who can grow old with a good grace, and yet fewer who can come slow enough into the world, that a father, were he to be actuated by his desires, and a son, were he to consult himself only, could neither of them behave himself as he ought to the other. But when reason interposes against instinct, where it would carry either out of the interests of the other, there arises that happiest intercourse of good offices between those dearest relations of human life, The father, according to the opportunities which are offered to him, is throwing down blessings on the son, and the son endeavouring to appear the worthy offspring of such a father. It is after this manner that Cainillus and his first-born dwell together. Camillus enjoys a pleasing and indolent old age, in which passion is subdued and reason exalted. He waits the day
of his dissolution with a resignation mixed with deJight, and the son fears the accession of his father's fortune with diffidence, lest he should not enjoy or become it as well as his predecessor. Add to this, that the father knows he leaves a friend to the children of his friends, an easy landlord to his tenants, and an agreeable companion to his acquaintance. He believes his son's behaviour will make him frequently remembered, but never wanted. This commerce is so well cemented, that without the pomp of saying Son, be a friend to such a one when I am gone, Camillus knows, being in his favour is direction enough to the grateful youth who is to succeed him, without the admonition of his mentioning it. These gentlemen are honoured in all their neighbourhood, and the same effect which the court has on the manners of a kingdom, their characters have on all who live within the influence of them.
One would think there should need no more to make men keep up this sort of relation with the utmost sanctity, than to examine their own hearts. If every father remembered his own thoughts and inclinations when he was a son, and every son remembered what he expected from his father, when he himself was in a state of dependence, this one reflection would preserve men from being dissolute or rigid in these several capacities. The power and subjection between them, when broken, make them more emphatically tyrants and rebels against each other, with greater cruelty of heart than the disruption of states and empires can possibly produce. I shall end this application to you with two letters which passed between a mother and son very lately, and are as follows: