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This sort of good men is very frequent in the populous and wealthy city of London, and is the true hen-peckt man. The kind creature cannot break through his kindnesses so far as to come to an explanation with the tender soul, and therefore goes on to comfort her when nothing ails her, to appease her when she is not angry, and to give her his cash when he knows she does not want it; rather than be uneasy for a whole month, which is computed by hardhearted men the space of time which a froward woman takes to come to herself, if you have courage to stand out.
into the nature of affection itself, and tell | pretty." To this she answers, " All the us according to your philosophy, why it is world but you think I have as much sense that our dears should do what they will as yourself." I repeat to her, "Indeed you with us, shall be froward, ill-natured, as- are pretty." Upon this there is no pasuming, sometimes whine, at others, rail, tience; she will throw down any thing then swoon away, then come to life, have about her, stamp, and pull off her headthe use of speech to the greatest fluency clothes. "Fy, my dear," say I, "how imaginable, and then sink away again, and can a woman of your sense fall into such an all because they fear we do not love them intemperate rage?" This is an argument enough; that is, the poor things love us so that never fails. "Indeed, my dear," says heartily, that they cannot think it possible she, "you make me mad sometimes, so we should be able to love them in so great you do, with the silly way you have of a degree, which makes them take on so. treating me like a pretty idiot." Well, I say, sir, a true good-natured man, whom what have I got by putting her into good rakes and libertines call hen-peckt, shall humour? Nothing, but that I must convince fall into all these different moods with his her of my good opinion by my practice; dear life, and at the same time see they are and then I am to give her possession of my wholly put on; and yet not be hard-hearted little ready-money, and, for a day and a enough to tell the dear good creature that half following, dislike all she dislikes, and she is an hypocrite. extol every thing she approves. I am so exquisitely fond of this darling, that I seldom see any of my friends, am uneasy in all companies until I see her again; and when I come home she is in the dumps, because she says she is sure I came so soon only because I think her handsome. I dare not upon this occasion laugh: but though I am one of the warmest churchmen in the kingdom, I am forced to rail at the times, because she is a violent Whig. Upon this we talk politics so long, that she is convinced I kiss her for her wisdom. It is a common practice with me to ask her some question concerning the constitution, which she answers me in general out of Harrington's Oceana. Then I commend her strange memory, and her arm is immediately locked in mine. While I keep her in this temper she plays before me, sometimes dancing in the midst of the room, sometimes striking
There are indeed several other species of the hen-peckt, and in my opinion they are certainly the best subjects the queen has; and for that reason I take it to be your duty to keep us above contempt.
I do not know whether I make myself understood in the representation of a hen-an air at her spinet, varying her posture peckt life, but I shall take leave to give you and her charms in such a manner that I am an account of myself, and my own spouse. in continual pleasure. She will play the fool You are to know that I am reckoned no if I allow her to be wise! but if she suspects fool, have on several occasions been tried I like her for her trifling, she immediately whether I will take ill-usage, and the grows grave. event has been to my advantage; and yet there is not such a slave in Turkey as I am to my dear. She has a good share of wit, and is what you call a very pretty agree able woman. I perfectly doat on her, and my affection to her gives me all the anxieties imaginable but that of jealousy. My being thus confident of her, I take, as much as I can judge of my heart, to be the reason, that whatever she does, though it be never so much against my inclination, there is still left something in her manner that is amiable. She will sometimes look at me with an assumed grandeur, and pretend to resent that I have not had respect enough for her opinion in such an instance in company. I cannot but smile at the pretty anger she is in, and then she pretends she is used like a child. In a word, our great debate is, which has the superiority in point of understanding. She is eternally forming an argument of debate; to which I very indolently answer, "Thou art mighty
'These are the toils in which I am taken, and I carry off my servitude as well as most men; but my application to you is in behalf of the hen-peckt in general, and I desire a dissertation from you in defence of us. You have, as I am informed, very good authorities in our favour, and hope you will not omit the mention of the renowned Socrates, and his philosophic resignation to his wife Xantippe. This would be a very good office to the world in general, for the henpeckt are powerful in their quality and numbers, not only in cities, but in courts; in the latter they are ever the most obsequious, in the former the most wealthy of all men. When you have considered wedlock thoroughly, you cught to enter into the suburbs of matrimony, and give us an account of the thraldom of kind keepers and irresolute lovers; the keepers who cannot quit their fair ones, though they see their approaching ruin; the lovers who dare not marry, though they know they never
shall be happy without the mistresses whom | makes no distinction between its objects, if. they cannot purchase on other terms. it exerts itself promiscuously towards the deserving and undeserving, if it relieves alike the idle and the indigent, if it gives itself up to the first petitioner, and lights upon any one rather by accident than choice, it may pass for an amiable instinct, but must not assume the name of a moral virtue.
What will be a greater embellishment to your discourse will be, that you may find instances of the haughty, the proud, the frolic, the stubborn, who are each of them in secret downright slaves to their wives, or mistresses. I must beg of you in the last place to dwell upon this, that the wise and The third trial of good-nature will be the the valiant in all ages have been hen-peckt; examining ourselves, whether or no we are and that the sturdy tempers who are not able to exert it to our own disadvantage, slaves to affection, owe that exemption to and employ it upon proper objects, notwiththeir being enthralled by ambition, avarice, standing any little pain, want or inconveor some meaner passion. I have ten thousand nience, which may arise to ourselves from thousand things more to say, but my wife it. In a word, whether we are willing to sees me writing, and will, according to cus-risk any part of our fortune, or reputation, tom, be consulted, if I do not seal this im- or health, or ease, for the benefit of manmediately. Your's, kind. Among all these expressions of goodT. NATHANIEL HENROOST.' nature, I shall single out that which goes under the general name of charity, as it consists in relieving the indigent; that being a trial of this kind which offers itself to us almost at all times, and in every place.
I should propose it as a rule, to every one who is provided with any competency of fortune more than sufficient for the necessaries of life, to lay aside a certain portion of his income for the use of the poor. This I would look upon as an offering to Him who has a right to the whole, for the use of those whom in the passage hereafter mentioned, he has described as his own representatives upon earth. At the same time we should manage our charity with such prudence and caution, that we may not hurt our own friends or relations, whilst we are doing good to those who are strangers to us.
No. 177.] Friday, September 22, 1711.
-Quis enim bonus, aut face dignus Arcana, qualem Cereris vult esse sacerdos, Ulla aliena sibi credat mala ? Juv. Sat. xv. 140. Who can all sense of others' ills escape, Is but a brute, at best, in human shape. Tate. IN one of my last week's papers I treated of good-nature, as it is the effect of constitution; I shall now speak of it as a moral virtue. The first may make a man easy in himself and agreeable to others, but implies no merit in him that is possessed of it. A man is no more to be praised upon this account, than because he has a regular pulse, or a good digestion. This good-nature, however, in the constitution, which Mr. Dryden somewhere calls a milkiness of blood,' is an admirable ground work for the other. In order, therefore, to try our goodnature, whether it arises from the body or the mind, whether it be founded in the animal or rational part of our nature; in a word, whether it be such as is entitled to any other reward, besides that secret satisfaction and contentment of mind which is essential to it, and the kind reception it procures us in the world, we must examine it by the following rules:
First, whether it acts with steadiness and uniformity, in sickness and in health, in prosperity and in adversity; if otherwise, it is to be looked upon as nothing else but an irradiation of the mind from some new supply of spirits, or a more kindly circulation of the blood. Sir Francis Bacon mentions a cunning solicitor, who would never ask a favour of a great man before dinner; but took care to prefer his petition at a time when the party petitioned had his mind free from care, and his appetites in good humour. Such a transient temporary goodnature as this, is not that philanthropy, that love of mankind, which deserves the title of a moral virtue.
The next way of a man's bringing his good-nature to the test is, to consider whether it operates according to the rules of reason and duty; for if notwithstanding its general benevolence to mankind, it
This may possibly be explained better by an example than by a rule.
Eugenius is a man of an universal goodnature, and generous beyond the extent of his fortune; but withal so prudent, in the economy of his affairs, that what goes out in charity is made up by good management. Eugenius has what the world calls two hundred pounds a year; but never values himself above nine-score, as not thinking he has a right to the tenth part, which he always appropriates to charitable uses. To this sum he frequently makes other voluntary additions, insomuch that in a good year, for such he accounts those in which he has been able to make greater bounties than ordinary, he has given above twice that sum to the sickly and indigent. Eugenius prescribes to himself many particular days of fasting and abstinence, in order to increase his private bank of charity, and sets aside what would be the current expenses of those times for the use of the poor. He often goes afoot where his business calls him, and at the end of his walk has given a shilling, which in his ordinary methods of expense would have gone for coach-hire, to the first necessitous person that has fallen in his way. I have known him, when he has been going to a play or an opera, divert the money which was designed for that
purpose, upon an object of charity whom he of Job. It is the account which that holy has met with in the street; and afterwards man gives of his behaviour in the days of pass his evening in a coffee-house, or at a his prosperity, and if considered only as a friend's fire-side, with much greater satis-human composition, is a finer picture of a faction to himself, than he could have re- charitable and good-natured man than is to ceived from the most exquisite entertain-be met with in any other author. ments of the theatre. By these means he is generous without impoverishing himself, and enjoys his estate by making it the property of others.
"O that I were as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me: When his candle shined upon my head, and when by his light I walked through darkness: When the Almighty was yet with me; when my children were about me: When I washed my steps with butter, and the rock poured out rivers of oil.
"When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me. Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me, and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame: I was a father to the poor, and the cause which I knew not I searched out. Did not I weep for him that was in Sir Thomas Brown, in the last part of trouble? was not my soul grieved for the his Religio Medici, in which he describes poor? Let me be weighed in an even balhis charity in several heroic instances, and ance, that God may know mine integrity. with a noble heat of sentiment, mentions If I did despise the cause of my manthat verse in the Proverbs of Solomon, He servant or of my maid-servant when they that giveth to the poor, lendeth to the contended with me, what then shall I do Lord: "There is more rhetoric in that when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, one sentence," says he, "than in a library | what shall I answer him? Did not he that of sermons; and indeed, if those sentences made me in the womb, make him? and were understood by the reader, with the did not one fashion us in the womb? If I same emphasis as they are delivered by the have withheld the poor from their desire, author, we needed not those volumes of in- or have caused the eyes of the widow to structions, but might be honest by an epi-fail: Or have eaten my morsel myself alone, tome."t and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof: If I have seen any perish for want of clothing, or any poor without covering: If his loins have not blessed me, and if he were not warmed with the fleece of my sheep: If I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless, when I saw my help in the gate; then let mine arm fall from my shoulderblade, and mine arm be broken from the bone. If I have rejoiced at the destruction of him that hated me, or lifted up myself when evil found him: (Neither have I suffered my mouth to sin, by wishing a curse to his soul.) The stranger did not lodge in the street; but I opened my doors to the traveller. If my land cry against me, or that the furrows likewise therefore complain: If I have eaten the fruits thereof
This passage in scripture is indeed wonderfully persuasive; but I think the same thought is carried much farther in the New Testament, where our Saviour tells us in a most pathetic manner, that he shall hereafter regard the clothing of the naked, the feeding of the hungry, and the visiting of the imprisoned, as offices done to himself, and reward them accordingly. Pursuant to those passages in holy scripture, I have somewhere met with the epitaph of a charitable man, which has very much pleased me. I cannot recollect the words, but the sense of it is to this purpose: What I spent I lost; what I possessed is left to others; what I gave away remains with me.§
Since I am thus insensibly engaged in sacred writ, I cannot forbear making an ex-without money, or have caused the owners tract of several passages which I have thereof to lose their life; let thistles grow always read with great delight in the book instead of wheat, and cockle instead of barley.'ll L.
There are few men so cramped in their private affairs, who may not be charitable after this manner, without any disadvantage to themselves, or prejudice to their families. It is but sometimes sacrificing a diversion or convenience to the poor, and turning the usual course of our expenses into a better channel. This is, I think, not only the most prudent and convenient, but the most meritorious piece of charity, which we can put in practice. By this method, we in some measure share the necessities of the poor at the same time that we relieve them, and make ourselves not only their patrons, but their fellow-sufferers.
* Prov. xix. 17.
† Brown's Rel. Medici, Part II. Sect. 13. f. 1659. p. 2. 1 Mat. xxv. 31, et seqq.
The epitaph alluded to is (or was) in St. George's No. 178.] Monday, September 24, 1711.
Church, at Doncaster in Yorkshire, and runs in old
Comis in uxorem
Hor. Lib. 2. Ep. ii. 133.
Civil to his wife.
I CANNOT defer taking notice of this letter. 'MR. SPECTATOR,-I am but too good a
Job xxix. 2. &c. xxx. 25, &c. xxxi. 6, &c. passim.
the letter of this lady, to consider this dreadI had it in my thoughts, before I received ful passion in the mind of a woman: and the smart she seems to feel does not abate the inclination I had to recommend to husbands
more regular behaviour, than to give the most exquisite of torments to those who abated if they did not love them. love them, nay whose torments would be
judge of your paper of the 15th instant, I am answered only: That I expose my own which is a master-piece; I mean that of reputation and sense if I appear jealous. I jealousy: but I think it unworthy of you to wish, good sir, you would take this into speak of that torture in the breast of a man, serious consideration, and admonish husand not to mention also the pangs of it in bands and wives, what terms they ought to the heart of a woman. You have very ju- keep towards each other. Your thoughts diciously, and with the greatest penetration on this important subject will have the imaginable, considered it as woman is the greatest reward, that which descends on creature of whom the diffidence is raised: such as feel the sorrows of the afflicted. but not a word of a man, who is so unmer- Give me leave to subscribe myself, your ciful as to move jealousy in his wife, and unfortunate humble servant, not care whether she is so or not. It is possible you may not believe there are such tyrants in the world; but, alas, I can tell you of a man who is ever out of humour in his wife's company, and the pleasantest man in the world every where else; the greatest sloven at home when he appears to none but his family, and most exactly welldressed in all other places. Alas, sir, is it of course, that to deliver one's self wholly into a man's power without possibility of appeal to any other jurisdiction but his own made of this inexpressible injury, and how It is wonderful to observe how little is reflections, is so little an obligation to a gentleman, that he can be offended and fall easily men get into a habit of being least into a rage, because my heart swells tears agreeable, where they are most obliged to into my eyes when I see him in a cloudy speculation, and I shall observe for a day But this subject deserves a distinct mood? I pretend to no succour, and hope for no relief but from himself; and yet he or two the behaviour of two or three happy that has sense and justice in every thing tend to make a system of conjugal morality. pairs I am acquainted with, before I preelse, never reflects, that to come home only I design in the first place to go a few miles to sleep off an intemperance, and spend all the time he is there as if it were a punish-meet one who practises all the parts of a out of town, and there I know where to ment, cannot but give the anguish of a jeal-fine gentleman in the duty of an husband. ous mind. He always leaves his home as When he was a bachelor much business if he were going to court, and returns as if he were entering a jail. I could add to this, made him particularly negligent in his hathat from his company and his usual disbit; but now there is no young lover living course, he does not scruple being thought asked, Why he was so long washing his so exact in the care of his person. One who an abandoned man, as to his morals. Your own imagination will say enough to you mouth, and so delicate in the choice and concerning the condition of me his wife; wearing of his linen? was answered, “Beand I wish you would be so good as to re-receive me kindly, and I think it incumcause there is a woman of merit obliged to present to him, for he is not ill-natured, bent upon me to make her inclination go and reads you much, that the moment hear the door shut after him, I throw myalong with her duty.' self upon my bed, and drown the child he is so fond of with my tears, and often frighten it with my cries; that I curse my being; that I run to my glass all over bathed in sorrows, and help the utterance of my inward anguish by beholding the gush of my own calamities as my tears fall from my eyes. This looks like an imagined picture to tell you, but indeed this is one of my pastimes. Hitherto I have only told you the general temper of my mind, but how shall I give
If a man would give himself leave to
think, he would not be so unreasonable as live in commerce together; or hope that to expect debauchery and innocence could flesh and blood is capable of so strict an alimprove herself till she is as good and imlegiance as that a fine woman must go on to passive as an angel, only to preserve fidedesires me for her sake to end one of my lity to a brute and a satyr. The lady who suaded, thinks such a perseverance very papers with the following letter, I am perimpracticable.
HUSBAND, Stay more at home. I know where you visited at seven of the clock on Thursday evening. The colonel, whom you
you an account of the distraction of it? Could you but conceive how cruel I am one moment in my resentment, and at the ensuing minute, when I place him in the condition my anger would bring him to, how compassionate; it would give you some no-charged me to see no more, is in town. tion how miserable I am, and how little I T. 'MARTHA HOUSEWIFE.' deserve it. When I remonstrate with the greatest gentleness that is possible against unhandsome appearances, and that married No. 179.] Tuesday, September 25, 1711.
persons are under particular rules; when he is in the best humour to receive this, I
Centuria seniorum agitant expertia frugis:
If what I have here said does not recommend, it will at least excuse, the variety of my speculations. I would not willingly laugh but in order to instruct, or if I sometimes fail in this point, when my mirth ceases to be instructive, it shall never cease to be innocent. A scrupulous conduct in this particular, has, perhaps, more merit in it than the generality of readers imagine; did they know how many thoughts occur in a point of humour, which a discreet author in modesty suppresses; how many strokes of raillery present themselves, which could not fail to please the ordinary taste of mankind, but are stifled in their birth by reason of some remote tendency which they carry in them to corrupt the minds of those who read them; did they know how many glances of ill-nature are industriously avoided for fear of doing injury to the reputation of another, they would be apt to think kindly of those writers who endeavour to make themselves diverting without being immoral. One may apply to these authors that passage in Waller:
Omne tulit pinctum qui miscuit utile dulci, Lectorem deiectando, pariterque monendo. Hor. Ars Poet. v. 341. Old age is only fond of moral truth, Lectures too grave disgust aspiring youth; But he who blends instruction with delight, Wins every reader, nor in vain shall write.-P. I MAY cast my readers under two general divisions, the mercurial and the saturnine. The first are the gay part of my disciples; who require speculations of wit and humour, the others are those of a more solemn and sober turn, who find no pleasure but in papers of morality and sound sense. The former call every thing that is serious, stupid; the latter look upon every thing as impertinent that is ludicrous. Were I always grave, one half of my readers would fall off from me: were I always merry, I should lose the other. I make it therefore my endeavour to find out entertainments of both kinds, and by that means, perhaps, consult the good of both, more than I should do, did I always write to the particular taste of either. As they neither of them know what I proceed upon, the sprightly reader, who takes up my paper in order to be diverted, very often finds himself engaged unawares in a serious and profitable course of thinking; as, on the contrary, the thoughtful man, who perhaps may hope to find something solid, and full of deep reflection, is very often insensibly betrayed into a fit of mirth. In a word, the reader sits down to my entertainment without knowing his bill of fare, and has therefore at least the pleasure of hoping there may be a dish to his palate.
'SIR,-Having lately seen your discourse
I must confess, were I left to myself, I should rather aim at instructing than divert-upon a match of grinning, I cannot forbear ing; but if we will be useful to the world, we giving you an account of a whistling match, must take it as we find it. Authors of pro- which with many others, I was entertained fessed severity discourage the looser part of with about three years since at the Bath. mankind from having any thing to do with The prize was a guinea, to be conferred their writings. A man must have virtue in upon the ablest whistler, that is, on him him, before he will enter upon the reading who could whistle clearest, and go through of a Seneca or an Epictetus. The very title his tune without laughing, to which at the of a moral treatise has something in it aus- same time he was provoked by the antick tere and shocking to the careless and incon- postures of a merry-andrew, who was to siderate. stand upon the stage and play his tricks in the eye of the performer. There were three competitors for the guinea. The first was
For this reason several unthinking persons fall in my way, who would give no attention to lectures delivered with a reli-a ploughman of a very promising aspect; gious seriousness or a philosophic gravity. his features were steady, and his muscles They are ensnared into sentiments of wis- composed in so inflexible a stupidity, that dom and virtue when they do not think of upon his first appearance every one gave it; and if by that means they arrive only at the guinea for lost. The pickled herring such a degree of consideration as may dis- however found the way to shake him; for pose them to listen to more studied and upon his whistling a country jig, this unelaborate discourses, I shall not think my lucky wag danced to it with such variety speculations useless. I might likewise ob- of distortions and grimaces, that the counserve, that the gloominess in which some-tryman could not forbear smiling upon him, times the minds of the best men are in- and by that means spoiled his whistle and volved, very often stands in need of such lost the prize. little incitements to mirth and laughter, as are apt to disperse melancholy, and put our faculties in good humour. To which some will add, that the British climate, more than any other makes entertainments of this nature in a manner necessary.
"The next that mounted the stage was an under-citizen of the Bath, a person remarkable among the inferior people of that place for his great wisdom, and his broad band. He contracted his mouth with much gravity, and that he might dispose his mind to
Poets lose half the praise they would have got,
with all the above-mentioned liberties, it As nothing is more easy than to be a wit, requires some genius and invention to appear such without them.
What I have here said is not only in regard to the public, but with an eye to my the following letter, which I have castrated particular correspondent, who has sent me in some places upon these considerations: