Изображения страниц

drunken fellows, it tends only to make vice | the number 134. On the contrary, I have in themselves, as they think, pleasant and been told of a certain zealous dissenter humorous, and at the same time nauseous who being a great enemy to popery, and in us. I shall, sir, hereafter, from time to believing that bad men are the most fortime give you the names of these wretches tunate in this world, will lay two to one on who pretend to enter our houses merely as the number 666 against any other number, Spectators. Those men think it wit to use because, says he, it is the number of the us ill: pray tell them, however worthy we beast. Several would prefer the number are of such treatment, it is unworthy them 12,000 before any other, as it is the number to be guilty of it towards us. Pray, sir, of the pounds in the great prize. In short, take notice of this, and pity the oppressed: some are pleased to find their own age in I wish we could add to it, the innocent.' their number; some that have got a number which makes a pretty appearance in the cyphers; and others, because it is the same number that succeeded in the last lottery. Each of these upon no other grounds, thinks he stands fairest for the great lot, and that he is possessed of what may not be improperly called 'the golden number.'


These principles of election are the pastimes and extravagances of human reason, which is of so busy a nature, that it will be exerting itself in the meanest trifles, and working even when it wants materials. The wisest of men are sometimes acted‡ by such unaccountable motives, as the life of the fool and the superstitious is guided by nothing else.

tellers, or, as the French call them, the I am surprised that none of the fortuneDiseurs de bonne Avanture, who publish their bills in every quarter of the town, have turned our lotteries to their advantage. Did any of them set up for a caster of fortunate figures, what might he not get by his pretended discoveries and predictions?

I remember among the advertisements in the Post-Boy of September the 27th, I was surprised to see the following one:

No. 191.]

Tuesday, October 9, 1711.

ύλον όνειρον. Hom. Il. ii. 6. -Deluding vision of the night. Pope. SOME ludicrous schoolmen have put the case, that if an ass were placed between two bundles of hay, which affected his senses equally on each side, and tempted him in the very same degree, whether it would be possible for him to eat of either. They generally determine this question to the disadvantage of the ass, who they say would starve in the midst of plenty, as not having a single grain of free-will, to determine him more to the one than to the other. The bundle of hay on either side striking his sight and smell in the same proportion, would keep him in perpetual suspense, like the two magnets, which travellers have told us, are placed one of them in the roof, and the other in the floor of Mahomet's burying-place at Mecca, and by that means say they, pull the impostor's iron coffin with such an equal attraction, that it hangs in the air between both of them. As for the ass's behaviour in such nice circumstances, whether he would starve sooner than violate his neutrality to the two bundles of hay, I shall not presume to determine; but only take notice of the conduct of our own species in the same perplexity. When a man has a mind to venture his money in a lottery, every figure of it appears equally alluring, and as likely to succeed as any of its fellows. They all of them have the same pretensions to good-luck, stand upon the same foot of competition, and no manner of reason can be given why a man should prefer one to the other before the lottery is drawn. In this case therefore caprice very often acts in the place of reason, and forms to itself some groundless imaginary motive, where real and substantial ones are wanting. I know a well-meaning man that is very well pleased to risk his good-fortune upon the number 1711, because it is the year of our Lord. I am acquainted with a tacker that would give a good deal for

* In 1704 a bill was brought into the House of Com mons against occasional conformity; and in order to make it pass the lords, from whom much opposition was expected, it was proposed to tack it to a money-bill. This was violently opposed; and after a warm discussion, it was put to the vote, when 134 were for tacking:|

"This is to give notice, that ten shillings over and above the market-price, will be given for the ticket in the 1,500,000. lottery, No. 132, by Nath. Cliff, at the Bible and Three Crowns in Cheapside.'

This advertisement has given great matter of speculation to coffee-house theorists. Mr. Cliff's principles and conversation have been canvassed upon this occasion, and various conjectures made why he should thus set his heart upon No. 132. I have exbroken them into fractions, extracted the amined all the powers in those numbers, square and cube root, divided and multiplied them all ways, but could not arrive at the secret until about three days ago, when I received the following letter from an unknown hand; by which I find that Mr. Nath. Cliff is only the agent, and not the principal in this advertisement.

'MR. SPECTATOR,-I am the person that lately advertised I would give ten shillings No. 132 in the lottery now drawing; which more than the current price for the ticket

but 250 being against it, the motion was overruled, and
the bill committed unclogged.
+ Actuated.

† See Revelations, ch. xiii. 18.

is a secret which I have communicated to No. 192.] Wednesday, October 10, 1711. some friends, who rally me incessantly upon that account. You must know I have but one ticket, for which reason, and a certain dream I have lately had more than once, I was resolved it should be the number I most approved. I am so positive I have pitched upon the great lot, that I could almost lay all I am worth of it. My visions are so frequent and strong upon this occasion, that I have not only possessed the lot, but disposed of the money which in all probability it will sell for. This morning in particular, I set up an equipage, which I look upon to be the gayest in the town: the liveries are very rich, but not gaudy. I should be very glad to see a speculation or two upon lottery subjects, in which you would oblige all people concerned, and in particular, your most humble servant, GEORGE GOSLING.

'P. S. Dear Spec, if I get the 12,000 pound, I'll make thee a handsome present.'

After having wished my correspondent good luck, and thanked him for his intended kindness, I shall for this time dismiss the subject of the lottery, and only observe, that the greatest part of mankind are in some degree guilty of my friend Gosling's extravagance. We are apt to rely upon future prospects, and become really expensive while we are only rich in possibility. We live up to our expectations, not to our possessions, and make a figure proportionable to what we may be, not what we are. We outrun our present income, as not doubting to disburse ourselves out of the profits of some future place, project, or reversion that we have in view. It is through this temper of mind, which is so common among us, that we see tradesmen break, who have met with no misfortunes in their business; and men of estates reduced to poverty, who have never suffered from losses or repairs, tenants, taxes, or law-suits. In short, it is this foolish, sanguine temper, this depending upon contingent futurities, that occasions romantic generosity, chimerical grandeur, senseless ostentation, and generally ends in beggary and ruin. The man who will live above his present circumstances, is in great danger of living in a little time much beneath them;' or, as the Italian proverb runs, The man who lives by hope, will die by hunger.'


It should be an indispensable rule in life, to contract our desires to our present condition, and, whatever may be our expectations, to live within the compass of what we actually possess. It will be time enough to enjoy an estate when it comes into our hands; but if we anticipate our good fortune we shall lose the pleasure of it when it arrives, and may possibly never possess what we have so foolishly counted upon. L.

* i. e. reimburse.

-Uno ore omnes omnia Bona dicere, et laudare fortunas meas, Qui gnatum haberem tali ingenio præditum. Ter. Andr. Act i. sc. 1. -All the world With one accord said all good things, and prais'd My happy fortunes, who possess a son So good, so liberally disposed.



I STOOD the other day, and beheld a father sitting in the middle of a room with a large family of children about him; and methought I could observe in his countenance different motions of delight, as he turned his eye towards the one and the other of them. The man is a person moderate in his designs for their preferment and welfare: and as he has an easy fortune, he is not solicitous to make a great one. His eldest son is a child of a very towardly disposition, and as much as the father loves him, I dare say he will never be a knave to improve his fortune. I do not know any man who has a juster relish of life than the person I am speaking of, or keeps a better guard against the terrors of want, or the hopes of gain. It is usual in a crowd of children, for the parent to name out of his own flock all the great officers of the kingdom. There is something so very surprising in the parts of a child of a man's own, that there is nothing too great to be expected from his endowments. I know a good woman who has but three sons, and there is, she says, nothing she expects with more certainty, than that she shall see one of them a bishop, the other a judge, and the third a court-physician. The humour is, that any thing which can happen to any man's child, is expected by every man for his own. But my friend, whom I was going to speak of, does not flatter himself with such vain expectations, but has his eye more upon the virtue and disposition of his children, than their advancement or wealth. Good habits are what will certainly improve a man's fortune and reputation; but, on the other side, affluence of fortune will not as probably produce good affections of the mind.

It is very natural for a man of a kind disposition, to amuse himself with the promises his imagination makes to him of the future condition of his children, and to represent to himself the figure they shall bear in the world after he has left it. When his prospects of this kind are agreeable, his fondness gives as it were a longer date to his own life; and the survivorship of a worthy man in his son, is a pleasure scarce inferior to the hopes of the continuance of his own life. That man is happy who can believe of his own son, that he will escape the follies and indiscretions of which he himself was guilty, and pursue and improve every thing that was valuable in him. The continuance of his virtue is much more to be regarded than that of his life; but it is the most lamentable of all reflections, to think

tune, so that no one ever obliged one of them, who had not the obligation multiplied in returns from them all.

It is the most beautiful object the eyes of man can behold, to see a man of worth and his son live in an entire unreserved correspondence. The mutual kindness and affection between them, give an inexpressible satisfaction to all who know them. It is a

that the heir of a man's fortune is such a one as will be a stranger to his friends, alienated from the same interests, and a promoter of every thing which he himself disapproved. An estate in possession of such a successor to a good man, is worse than laid waste; and the family of which he is the head, is in a more deplorable condition than that of being extinct. When I visit the agreeable seat of my sublime pleasure which increases by the honoured friend Ruricola, and walk from participation. It is as sacred as friendship, room to room revolving many pleasing oc-as pleasurable as love, and as joyful as recurrences, and the expressions of many just ligion. This state of mind does not only sentiments I have heard him utter, and see dissipate sorrow, which would be extreme the booby his heir in pain while he is doing without it, but enlarges pleasures which the honours of his house to the friend of his would otherwise be contemptible. The father, the heaviness it gives one is not to most indifferent thing has its force and be expressed. Want of genius is not to be beauty when it is spoke by a kind father, imputed to any man, but want of humanity and an insignificant trifle has its weight is a man's own fault. The son of Ruricola when offered by a dutiful child. I know (whose life was one continued series of wor-not how to express it, but I think I may thy actions, and gentleman-like inclinations) call it a 'transplanted self-love.' All the is the companion of drunken clowns, and enjoyments and sufferings which a man knows no sense of praise but in the flattery meets with are regarded only as they conhe receives from his own servants; his cern him in the relation he has to another. pleasures are mean and inordinate, his lan- A man's very honour receives a new value guage base and filthy, his behaviour rough to him, when he thinks that when he is in and absurd. Is this creature to be account- his grave, it will be had in remembrance ed the successor of a man of virtue, wit, that such an action was done by such an and breeding? At the same time that I one's father. Such considerations sweeten have this melancholy prospect at the house the old man's evening, and his soliloquy dewhere I miss my old friend, I can go to a lights him when he can say to himself, No gentleman's not far off it, where he has a man can tell my child, father was either daughter who is the picture both of his unmerciful, or unjust. My son shall meet body and mind, but both improved with the many a man who shall say to him, 'I was beauty and modesty peculiar to her sex. obliged to thy father; and be my child a It is she who supplies the loss of her father friend to his child for ever.' to the world; she, without his name or fortune, is a truer memorial of him, than her brother who succeeds him in both. Such an offspring as the eldest son of my friend, perpetuates his father in the same manner as the appearance of his ghost would: it is indeed Ruricola, but it is Ruricola grown frightful. I know not to what to attribute the brutal turn which this young man has taken, except it may be to a certain severity and distance which his father used towards him, and might, perhaps, have occasioned a dislike to those modes of life, which were not made amiable to him by freedom and affability.

It is not in the power of all men to leave illustrious names or great fortunes to their posterity, but they can very much conduce to their having industry, probity, valour, and justice. It is in every man's power to leave his son the honour of descending from a virtuous man, and add the blessings of heaven to whatever he leaves him. I shall end this rhapsody with a letter to an excellent young man of my acquaintance, who has lately lost a worthy father.

'DEAR SIR, I know no part of life more impertinent than the office of administering consolation: I will not enter into it, for I cannot but applaud your grief. The virtuous principles you had from that excellent man, whom you have lost, have wrought in you as they ought, to make a youth of three and twenty incapable of comfort upon coming into possession of a great fortune. I

We may promise ourselves that no such excrescence will appear in the family of the Cornelii, where the father lives with his sons like their eldest brother, and the sons converse with him as if they did it for no other reason but that he is the wisest man of their acquaintance. As the Cornelii* are eminent traders, their good correspond-doubt not but you will honour his memory ence with each other is useful to all that by a modest enjoyment of his estate; and know them as well as to themselves: and scorn to triumph over his grave, by emtheir friendship, good-will, and kind offices ploying in riot, excess, and debauchery, are disposed of jointly as well as their for- what he purchased with so much industry, prudence, and wisdom. This is the true way to show the sense you have of your loss, and to take away the distress of others upon the occasion. You cannot recall your father by your grief, but you may revive him to his friends by your conduct.' T.

The allusion is supposed to be to the family of the

Eyles's, who were merchants of distinction. Francis Eyles, the father, created baronet by George I was a director of the East India Company, and an alderman of London. His eldest son, Sir John Eyles, bart. was lord mayor in 1727; and another of his sons, Sir Joseph

Eyles, knight, sheriff of London in 1725.

No. 193.] Thursday, October 11, 1711.

However that is, I humbly conceive the

-Ingentem foribus domus alta superbis Mane salutantum totis vomit ædibus undam. Virg. Georg. ii. 461. His lordship's palace view, whose portals proud, Each morning vomit forth a cringing crowd. Warton, &c. WHEN We look round us and behold the strange variety of faces and persons which fill the streets with business and hurry, it is no unpleasant amusement to make guesses at their different pursuits, and judge by their countenances what it is that so anxiously engages their present attention. Of all this busy crowd, there are none who would give a man inclined to such inquiries better diversion for his thoughts, than those whom we call good courtiers, and such as are assiduous at the levees of great men. These worthies are got into a habit of being servile with an air, and enjoy a certain vanity in being known for understanding how the world passes. In the pleasure of this they can rise early, go abroad sleek and welldressed, with no other hope or purpose, but to make a bow to a man in court favour, and be thought, by some insignificant smile of his, not a little engaged in his interests and fortunes. It is wondrous, that a man can get over the natural existence and pos-business of a levee is to receive the acknowsession of his own mind so far as to take ledgments of a multitude, that a man is delight either in paying or receiving such wise, bounteous, valiant and powerful. cold and repeated civilities. But what main- When the first shot of eyes is made, it is tains the humour is, that outward show is wonderful to observe how much submission what most men pursue, rather than real the patron's modesty can bear, and how happiness. Thus both the idol, and idola- much servitude the client's spirit can deter, equally impose upon themselves in scend to. In the vast multiplicity of busipleasing their imaginations this way. But ness, and the crowd about him, my lord's as there are very many of her majesty's parts are usually so great, that to the good subjects who are extremely uneasy at astonishment of the whole assembly, he has their own seats in the country, where all something to say to every man there, and from the skies to the centre of the earth is that so suitable to his capacity, as any man their own, and have a mighty longing to may judge that it is not without talents that shine in courts, or to be partners in the men can arrive at great employments. I power of the world; I say, for the benefit have known a great man ask a flag-officer of these, and others who hanker after being which way was the wind; a commander of in the whisper with great men, and vexing horse the present price of oats, and a stocktheir neighbours with the changes they jobber, at what discount such a fund was, would be capable of making in the appear- with as much ease as if he had been bred ance at a country sessions, it would not to each of those several ways of life. Now methinks be amiss to give an account of this is extremely obliging, for at the same that market for preferment, a great man's time that the patron informs himself of levee. matters, he gives the person of whom he For aught I know, this commerce be- inquires an opportunity to exert himself. tween the mighty and their slaves, very What adds to the pomp of those interviews justly represented, might do so much good, is, that it is performed with the greatest as to incline the great to regard business silence and order imaginable. The patron rather than ostentation; and make the little is usually in the midst of the room, and know the use of their time, too well to some humble person gives him a whisper, spend it in vain applications and addresses. which his lordship answers aloud, 'It is The famous doctor in Moorfields, who gain-well: Yes, I am of your opinion. Pray ined so much reputation for his horary pre-form yourself further, you may be sure of dictions, is said to have had in his parlour my part in it.' This happy man is dismissdifferent ropes to little bells which hung in ed, and my lord can turn himself to a busithe room above stairs, where the doctor ness of a quite different nature, and off-hand thought fit to be oraculous. If a girl had gives as good an answer as any great man been deceived by her lover, one bell was is obliged to. For the chief point is to keep pulled: and if a peasant had lost a cow, the in generals, and if there be any thing offerservant rung another. This method was ed that is particular, to be in haste.

kept in respect to all other passions and concerns, and the skilful waiter below sifted the inquirer, and gave the doctor notice accordingly. The levee of a great man is laid after the same manner, and twenty whispers, false alarms, and private intimations, pass backward and forward from the porter, the valet, and the patron himself, before the gaping crew, who are to pay their court, are gathered together. When the scene is ready, the doors fly open and discover his lordship.

There are several ways of making this first appearance. You may be either halfdressed, and washing yourself, which is indeed the most stately; but this way of opening is peculiar to military men, in whom there is something graceful in exposing themselves naked; but the politicians, or civil officers, have usually affected to be more reserved, and preserve a certain chastity of deportment. Whether it be hieroglyphical or not, this difference in the military and civil list, I will not say; but have ever understood the fact to be, that the close minister is buttoned up, and the brave officer open-breasted on these occasions.

But we are now in the height of the affair, | ing an agreeable friend is punished in the and my lord's creatures have all had their very transgression; for a good companion whispers round to keep up the farce of the is not found in every room we go into. But thing, and the dumb-show is become more the case of love is of a more delicate nature, general. He casts his eye to that corner, and the anxiety is inexpressible, if every and there to Mr. Such-a-one; to the other, little instance of kindness is not reciprocal. And when did you come to town?' And There are things in this sort of commerce perhaps just before he nods to another; and which there are not words to express, and enters with him, 'But, sir, I am glad to see a man may not possibly know how to reyou, now I think of it.' Each of those are present what yet may tear his heart into happy for the next four-and-twenty hours; ten thousand tortures. To be grave to a and those who bow in ranks undistinguish- man's mirth, unattentive to his discourse, ed, and by dozens at a time, think they have or to interrupt either with something that very good prospects if they may hope to argues a disinclination to be entertained by arrive at such notices half a year hence. him, has in it something so disagreeable, that the utmost steps which may be made in farther enmity cannot give greater torment. The gay Corinna, who sets up for an indifference and becoming heedlessness, gives her husband all the torment imaginable out of mere insolence, with this peculiar vanity, that she is to look as gay as a maid in the character of a wife. It is no matter what is the reason of a man's grief, if it be heavy as it is. Her unhappy man is convinced that she means him no dishonour, but pines to death because she will not have so much deference to him as to avoid the appearance of it. The author of the following letter is perplexed with an injury that is in a degree yet less criminal, and yet the source of the utmost unhappiness.

The satirist says, there is seldom common sense in high fortune;* and one would think, to behold a levee, that the great were not only infatuated with their station, but also that they believed all below were seized too; else how is it possible they could think of imposing upon themselves and others in such a degree, as to set up a levee for any thing but a direct farce? But such is the weakness of our nature, that when men are a little exalted in their condition, they immediately conceive they have additional senses, and their capacities enlarged not only above other men, but above human comprehension itself. Thus it is ordinary to see a great man attend one listening, bow to one at a distance, and to call to a third at the same instant. A girl in new ribands is not more taken with herself, nor does she betray more apparent coquetries, than even a wise man in such a circumstance of courtship. I do not know any thing that I ever thought so very distasteful as the affectation which is recorded of Cæsar; to wit, that he would dictate to three several writers at the same time. This was an ambition below the greatness and candour of his mind. He indeed (if any man had pretensions to greater faculties than any other mortal) was the person; but such a way of acting is childish, and inconsistent with the manner of our being. It appears from the very nature of things, that there cannot be any thing effectually despatched in the distraction of a public levee; but the whole seems to be a conspiracy of a set of servile slaves, to give up their own liberty to take away their patron's understanding. T.

No. 194.] Friday, October 12, 1711.

-Difficili bile tumet jecur. Hor. Lib. 1. Od. xiii. 4. With jealous pangs my bosom swells. THE present paper shall consist of two letters which observe upon faults that are easily cured both in love and friendship. In the latter, as far as it merely regards conversation, the person who neglects visit

• Rarus enim ferme sensus communis in illa
Juv. viii. 73.

'MR. SPECTATOR,-I have read your papers which relate to jealousy, and desire your/advice in my case, which you will say is not common. I have a wife, of whose virtue I am not in the least doubtful; yet I cannot be satisfied she loves me, which gives me as great uneasiness as being faulty the other way would do. I know not whether I am not yet more miserable than in that case, for she keeps possession of my heart, without the return of her's, I would desire your observations upon that temper in some women, who will not condescend to convince their husbands of their innocence or their love, but are wholly negligent of what reflections the poor men make upon their conduct (so they cannot call it criminal,) when at the same time a little tenderness of behaviour, or regard to show an inclination to please them, would make them entirely at ease. Do not such women deserve all the misinterpretation which they neglect to avoid? Or are they not in the actual practice of guilt, who care not whether they are thought guilty or not? If my wife does the most ordinary thing, as visiting her sister, or taking the air with her mother, it is always carried with the air of a secret. Then she will sometimes tell a thing of no consequence, as if it was only want of memory made her conceal it before; and this only to dally with my anxiety. I have complained to her of this behaviour in the gentlest terms imaginable, and beseeched her not to use him, who de

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »