Imágenes de páginas

In prospect of this, and the knowledge of their own personal merit, every one was contemptible in their eyes, and they refused those offers which had been frequently made them. But mark the end. The mother dies, the father is married again and has a son ; on him was entailed the father's, uncle's, and grandmother's, estate. This cut off 43,000. The maiden aunt married a tall Irishman, and with her went the 6,0001. The widow died, and left but enough to pay her debts and bury her ; so that there remained for these three girls but their own 1,000L. They had by this time passed their prime, and got on the wrong side of thirty; and must pass the remainder of their days, upbraiding mankind that they mind nothing but mones, and bewailing that virtue, sense, and modesty, are had at present in no manner of estimation.

I mention this case of ladies before any other, because it is the most irreparable ; for though youth is the time least capable of reflection, it is in that sex the only season in which they can advance their for tunes. But if we turn our thoughts to the men, we see such crowds of unhappy, for no other reason but an ill-grounded hope that it is hard to say which they rather deserve, our pity or contempt. It is not unpleasant to see a fellow, after growing old in attendance, and after having passed half a life in sera vitude, call himself the unhappiest of all men, and pretend to be disappointed, because a courtier broke his word. He that promises himself any thing but what may naturally arise from his own property labour, and goes beyond the desire of possessing abere two parts in three eren ef that, lays up for himself an increasing beap of afflictions and disap, pointments. There are but two means in the world of gaining by other men; and these are by being

either way

either agreeable or considerable. The generality of mankind do all things for their own 'sakes ; and when you hope any thing from persons above you, if you cannot say, "I can be thus agreeable, or thus serviceable, it is ridiculous to pretend to the dignity of being unfortunate when they leave you ; you were injudicious in hoping for any other than to be neglected for such as can come within these descriptions of being capable to please, or serve your patron, when his humour or interests call for their capacity

It would not methinks be an useless comparison between the condition of a man who shunsall the pleasures of life, and of one who makes it his business to pursue them. Hope in the recluse makes his austerities comfortable; while the luxurious man gains nothing but uneasiness from his enjoyments. What is the difference in the happiness of him who is macerated by abstinence, and his who is surfeited with excess? He who resigns the world has no temptation to envy, hatred, malice, anger, but is in constant possession of a serene mind : he who follows the pleasures of it, which are in their very nature disappointing, is in constant search of care, solicitude, remorse, and confusion.

MR. SPECTATOR, I am a young woman, and have


fortune to make; for which reason I come constantly to church to hear divine service, and make conquests : but one great hindrance in this my design is, that our clerk, who was once a gardener, has this Christmas so overdeckt the church with greens, that he has quite spoilt my prospect ; insomuch that I have scarce seen the young baronet I dress at these three weeks, though we have both been very constant at our de



votions, and don't sit above three pews off. The church, as it is now equipt, looks more like a greenhouse than a place of worship. The middle aisle is a very pretty shady walk, and the pews look like so many arbours on each side of it. The pulpit itself has such clusters of ivy, holly, and rosemary about it, that a light fellow in our pew took occasion to say, that the congregation heard the word out of a bush, like Moses. Sir Anthony Love's pew in particular is so well hedged, that all my batteries have no effect. I am obliged to shoot at random among the boughs, without taking any manner of aim. Mr. Spectator, unless you will give orders for removing these greens, I shall grow a very aukward creature at church, and soon have little else to do there but to say my prayers. I am in haste,

« Dear SIŘ,

“ Your most obedient servant, & Jan. the 14th, 1712."


No. 283. THURSDAY, JANUARY 24, 1711-12.

Magister artis, ingenique largior,
Venter. -

Necessity is the mother of invention.


Lucian rallies the philosophers in his time, who could not agree whether they should admit riches into the number of real goods; the professors of the

severer sects threw them quite out, while others as resolutely inserted them.

I am apt to believe, that, as the world grew more polite, the rigid doctrines of the first were wholly discarded : and I do not find any one so hardy at present as to deny that there are very great advantages in the enjoyment of a plentiful fortune. Indeed, the best and wisest of men, though they may possibly despise a good part of those things which the world calls pleasures, can, I think, hardly be insensible of that weight and dignity which a moderate share of wealth adds to their characters, counsels, and actions.

We find it a general complaint in professions and trades, that the richest members of them are chiefly encouraged, and this is falsely imputed to the illnature of mankind, who are ever bestowing their favours on such as least want them. Whereas if we fairly consider their proceedings, in this case, we shall find them founded on undoubted reason: since supposing both equal in their natural integrity, I ought, in common prudence, to fear foul play from an indigent person, rather than from one whose circumstances seem to have placed him above the bare temptation of money.

This reason also makes the commonwealth regard her richest subjects, as those who are most con. cerned for her quiet and interest, and consequently fittest to be intrusted with her highest employments. On the contrary, Catiline's saying to those men of desperate fortunes, who applied themselves to him, and of whom he afterwards composed his army, that they had nothing to hope for but from a civil war, was too true not to make the impressions he desired.

I believe I need not fear, but, that what I have said in praise of money, will be more than sufficient with

most of my readers to excuse the subject of my present paper, which I intend as an essay on the ways to raise a man's fortune, or the art of growing rich.

The first and most infallible method towards the attaining of this end is thrift. All men are not equally qualified for getting money, but it is in the power of every one alike to practise this virtue, and I believe there are very few persons, who, if they please to reflect on their past lives, will not find that had they sared all those little sums which they have spent unnecessarily, they might at present have been masters of a competent fortune. Diligence justly claims the next place to thrift: I find both these excellently well recommmended to common use in the three following Italian proverbs :

Nerer do that by prusy which you can do yourself.
Never defer that dill co-morrow which you can do to-day.
Never neglect swall matters and expenses.

A third instrument of growing rich is method in business, which, as well as the two former, is also sttainable by persons of the meanest capacities

The famous De Witt, one of the greatest states men of the age in which he lived, being asked by a friend how he was able to despatch that multitude of affairs in which he was engaged ? replied, that his whole art consisted in doing one thing at once. If, sers he. I have any necessary despatches to make. I think of nothing else till those are finished: if any domestie atsirs require my attention, I give myself up wholly to them till they are set in order."

In skort we often see men of dull and phlegmatie tempers arriving to great estates. by making a regre kar and orderly dispositive of their business, and that without it the greatest parts and most lively imagina.

« AnteriorContinuar »