Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

Na 198.] Wednesday, October 17, 1711.
Cerva luporum præda rapacium,
Sectamur ultro, quos opimus
Fallere et effugere est triumphus.
Hor. Lib. 4. Od. iv. 50.

We, like weak hinds," the brinded wolf provoke,

And when retreat is victory

Rush on, though sure to die.

being a man of more than ordinary pru-
An inhabitant of the kingdom of Castile,
dence, and of a grave composed behaviour,
determined about the fiftieth year of his

Oldisworth.

scandalized at the unreasonableness of a

husband, or the severity of a parent, that would debar the sex from such innocent

liberties. Your salamander is therefore

THERE is a species of women, whom I shall distinguish by the name of salaman-age to enter upon wedlock. In order to ders. Now a salamander is a kind of he- make himself easy in it, he cast his eye roine in chastity, that treads upon fire and upon a young woman who had nothing to lives in the midst of flames without being recommend her but her beauty and her hurt. A salamander knows no distinction education, her parents having been reduced of sex in those she converses with, grows to great poverty by the wars which for familiar with a stranger at first sight, and some years have laid that whole country is not so narrow-spirited as to observe whe-waste. The Castilian having made his adther the person she talks to be in breeches dresses to her and married her, they lived or petticoats. She admits a male visitant together in perfect happiness for some time; to her bed-side, plays with him a whole af- when at length the husband's affairs made ternoon at picquet, walks with him two or it necessary for him to take a voyage to the three hours by moonlight, and is extremely kingdom of Naples, where a great part of his estate lay. The wife loved him too tenderly to be left behind him. They had not been a shipboard above a day, when they unluckily fell into the hands of an Algerine Pirate, who carried the whole company on shore, and made them slaves. The Castilian and his wife had the comfort to be under the same master; who seeing how dearly they loved one another and gasped after their liberty, demanded a most exorbitant price for their ransom. The Castilian, though he would rather have died in slavery himself, than have paid such a sum as he found would go near to ruin him, was so moved with compassion towards his wife, that he sent repeated orders to his friend in Spain, (who happened to be his next relation) to sell his estate, and transmit the money to him. His friend hoping that the terms of his ransom might be made more reasonable, and unwilling to sell an estate which he himself had some prospect of inheriting, formed so many delays, that three whole years passed away without any thing being done for the setting them at liberty.

perpetual declaimer against jealousy, an admirer of the French good-breeding, and a great stickler for freedom in conversation. In short, the salamander lives in an invincible state of simplicity and innocence. Her constitution is preserved in a kind of natural frost. She wonders what people mean by temptations, and defies mankind to do their worst. Her chastity is engaged in constant ordeal, or fiery trial: like good Queen Emma, the pretty innocent walks blindfolded among burning ploughshares, without being scorched or singed by them. It is not therefore for the use of the salamander, whether in a married or a single state of life, that I design the following paper; but for such females only as are made of flesh and blood, and find themselves subject to human frailties.

a

There happened to live a French renegado, in the same place where the Castilian and his wife were kept prisoners. As this

As for this part of the fair sex who are not of the salamander kind, I would most earnestly advise them to observe a quite different conduct in their behaviour; and to avoid as much as possible what religion calls temptations, and the world opportuni- fellow had in him all the vivacity of his ties. Did they but know how many thou-nation, he often entertained the captives sands of their sex have been gradually be- with accounts of his own adventures; to trayed from innocent freedoms to ruin and which he sometimes added a song or a infamy; and how many millions of ours have dance, or some other piece of mirth, to begun with flatteries, protestations, and en-divert them during their confinement. His dearments, but ended with reproaches, per- acquaintance with the manners of the Aljury, and perfidiousness; they would shun gerines enabled him likewise to do them like death the very first approaches of one several good offices. The Castilian, as he that might lead them into inextricable la- was one day in conversation with this renebyrinths of guilt and misery. I must so far gado, discovered to him the negligence and give up the cause of the male world, as to treachery of his correspondent in Castile, exhort the female sex in the language of and at the same time asked his advice how Chamont in the Orphan: he should behave himself in that exigency, he further told the renegado, that he found money, unless he himself might go over to it would be impossible for him to raise the

which I lately heard from one of our Span-
ish officers, and which may show the dan
ger a woman incurs by too great familiarities
with a male companion.

Trust not to man; we are by nature false,
Dissembling, subtle, cruel, and unconstant;
When a man talks of love with caution trust him;
But if he swears, he'll certainly deceive thee.
I might very much enlarge upon this sub-
ject, but shall conclude it with a story

ployed in the war in Spain.
*Viz one of the English officers who had been em-

[ocr errors]

dispose of his estate. The renegado, after women, I do not remember that you have having represented to him that his Algerine directly considered the mercenary practice master would never consent to his release of men in the choice of wives. If you would upon such a pretence, at length contrived please to employ your thoughts upon that a method for the Castilian to make his subject, you would easily conceive the miseescape in the habit of a seaman. The Cas-rable condition many of us are in, who not tilian succeeded in his attempt; and having only from the laws of custom and modesty sold his estate, being afraid lest the money are restrained from making any advances should miscarry by the way, and determin- towards our wishes, but are also, from the ing to perish with it rather than lose one circumstance of fortune, out of all hopes of who was much dearer to him than his life, being addressed to by those whom we love. he returned himself in a little vessel that Under all these disadvantages I am obliged was going to Algiers. It is impossible to to apply myself to you, and hope I shall describe the joy he felt upon this occasion, prevail with you to print in your very next when he considered that he should soon see paper the following letter, which is a declathe wife whom he so much loved, and en- ration of passion to one who has made some dear himself more to her, by this uncom-faint mon piece of generosity.

addresses to me for some time. I believe he ardently loves me, but the inequality of my fortune makes him think he cannot answer it to the world, if he pursues his designs by way of marriage; and I believe, as he does not want discernment, he discovered me looking at him the other day unawares, in such a manner as has raised his hopes of gaining me on terms the men call easier. But my heart was very full on this occasion, and if you know what love and honour are, you will pardon me that I use no farther arguments with you, but hasten to my letter to him, whom I call Oroondates;* because if I do not succeed, it shall look like romance; and if I am regarded, you shall receive a pair of gloves at my wedding, sent to you under the name of Statira."

To Oroondates.

The renegado, during the husband's absence, so insinuated himself into the good graces of his young wife, and so turned her head with stories of gallantry, that she quickly thought him the finest gentleman she had ever conversed with. To be brief, her mind was quite alienated from the honest Castilian, whom she was taught to look upon as a formal old fellow, unworthy the possession of so charming a creature. She had been instructed by the renegado how to manage herself upon his arrival; so that she received him with an appearance of the utmost love and gratitude, and at length persuaded him to trust their common friend the renegado with the money he had brought over for their ransom; as not questioning but he would beat down the terms of it, and negociate the affair more to their advantage than they themselves could do. The good man admired her prudence, and followed her advice. I wish I could conceal the sequel of this story, but since cannot, I shall despatch it in as few words as possible. The Castilian having slept longer than ordinary the next morning, upon his awaking found his wife had left him. He immediately arose and inquired after her, but was told that she was seen with the renegado about break of day. In a word, her lover having got all things ready for their departure, they soon made their escape out of the territories of Algiers, carried away the money, and left the Castilian in captivity: who partly through the cruel treatment of the incensed Algerine

I

myself, and revolving how to acquaint you 'SIR,-After very much perplexity in with my own sentiments, and expostulate with you concerning yours, I have chosen this way, by which means I can be at once revealed to you, or if you please, lie concealed. If I do not within a few days find the effect which I hope from this, the whole affair shall be buried in oblivion. But alas! what am I going to do, when I am about to tell you that I love you? But after I have done so, I am to assure you, that with all the passion which ever entered a tender heart, I know I can banish you from my sight for ever, when I am convinced that my dishonour. But alas! sir, why should you have no inclination towards me but to you sacrifice the real and essential happi

his master, and partly through the unkindness of life to the opinion of a world, that usage of his unfaithful wife, died some few months after. L.

moves upon no other foundation but professed error and prejudice? You all can observe that riches alone do not make you happy, and yet give up every thing else when it stands in competition with riches. Since the world is so bad, that religion is left to us silly women, and you men act generally upon principles of profit and pleasure, I will talk to you without arguing from any thing but what may be most to your advantage, as a man of the world. And I

No. 199.] Thursday, October 18, 1711.
-Scribere jussit amor.-Ovid. Ep. iv. 10.
Love bade me write.

THE following letters are written with such an air of sincerity that I cannot deny the inserting of them.

'MR. SPECTATOR,-Though you are every where in your writings a friend to French romance of The Grand Cyrus, &c.

* A celebrated name in Mademoiselle Scudery's

will lay before you the state of the case, supposing that you had it in your power to make me your mistress or your wife, and hope to convince you that the latter is more for your interest, and will contribute more to your pleasure.

whom of the two will you choose? You,
perhaps, will think fit to spend a day abroad
in the common entertainments of men of
sense and fortune; she will think herself ill-
used in that absence, and contrive at home
an expense proportioned to the appearance
which you make in the world. She is in all
things to have a regard to the fortune which
she brought you; I to the fortune to which

nient corner of the town you thought fit, to
consummate all which your wanton imagi-
nation has promised to you in the possession
of one who is in the bloom of youth, and in
the reputation of innocence. You would
soon have enough of me, as I am sprightly,
young, gay, and airy. When fancy is sated,
and finds all the promises it made itself
false, where is now the innocence which
charmed you? The first hour you are alone,
you will find that the pleasure of a de-
bauchee is only that of a destroyer. He
blasts all the fruit he tastes; and where the
brute has been devouring, there is nothing
left worthy the relish of the man. Reason
resumes her place after imagination is cloy-
ed; and I am with the utmost distress and
confusion to behold myself the cause of un-
easy reflections to you, to be visited by
stealth, and dwell for the future with two
companions (the most unfit for each other
in the world) solitude and guilt. I will not No. 200.] Friday, October 19, 1711.

We will suppose, then, the scene was laid, and you were now in expectation of the approaching evening wherein I was to meet you, and be carried to what conve-you introduce me. The commerce between you two will eternally have the air of a bargain, between us of a friendship: joy will ever enter into the room with you, and kind wishes attend my benefactor when he leaves it. Ask yourself, how would you be pleased to enjoy for ever the pleasure of having laid an immediate obligation on a grateful mind? Such will be your case with me. In the other marriage you will live in a constant comparison of benefits, and never know the happiness of conferring or receiving any.

It may be you will, after all, act rather in the prudential way, according to the sense of the ordinary world. I know not what I think or say, when that melancholy reflection comes upon me; but shall only add more, that it is in your power to make me your grateful wife, but never your abanT. doned mistress.'

insist upon the shameful obscurity we should pass our time in, nor run over the little short snatches of fresh air, and free commerce, which all people must be satisfied with, whose actions will not bear examination, but leave them to your reflections, who have seen enough of that life, of which I have but a mere idea.

Vincit amor patriæ

Virg. En. vi. 823. The noblest motive is the public good. THE ambition of princes is many times as hurtful to themselves as to their people. This cannot be doubted of such as prove unfortunate in their wars, but it is often true too of those who are celebrated for their successes. If a severe view were to be taken of their conduct, if the profit and loss by their wars could be justly balanced, it would be rarely found that the conquest is sufficient to repay the cost.

As I was the other day looking over the letters of my correspondents, I took this hint from that of Philarithmus; which has turned my present thoughts upon political arithmetic, an art of greater use than entertainment. My friend has offered an Essay towards proving that Louis XIV. with all his acquisitions is not master of more people than at the beginning of his wars, nay, that for every subject he had acquired, he had lost three that were his inheritance. If Philarithmus is not mistaken in his calculations, Louis must have been impoverished by his ambition.

The prince for the public good has a sovereign property in every private person's estate; and consequently his riches must increase or decrease in proportion_to

'On the other hand, if you can be so good and generous as to make me your wife, you may promise yourself all the obedience and tenderness with which gratitude can inspire a virtuous woman. Whatever gratifications you may promise yourself from an agreeable person, whatever compliances from an easy temper, whatever consolation from a sincere friendship, you may expect as the due of your generosity. What at present in your ill view you promise yourself from me, will be followed with distaste and satiety; but the transports of a virtuous love are the least part of its happiness. The raptures of innocent passion are but like lightning to the day, they rather interrupt than advance the pleasure of it. How happy then is that life to be, where the highest pleasures of sense are but the lowest parts of its felicity? 'Now I am to repeat to you the unnatural request of taking me in direct terms. I know there stands between me and that happiness, the haughty daughter of a man the number and riches of his subjects. For who can give you suitably to your fortune. example; if sword or pestilence should deBut if you weigh the attendance and beha-stroy all the people of this metropolis, (God viour of her who comes to you in partner- forbid there should be room for such a supship of your fortune, and expects an equiva-position! but if this should be the case) the lent, with that of her who enters your house queen must needs lose a great part of her as honoured and obliged by that permission, revenue, or, at least, what is charged upon

the city, must increase the burden upon the rest of her subjects. Perhaps the inhabitants here are not above a tenth part of the whole; yet as they are better fed, and clothed, and lodged, than her other subjects, the customs and excises upon their consumption, the imposts upon their houses, and other taxes, do very probably make a fifth part of the whole revenue of the crown. But this is not all; the consumption of the city takes off a great part of the fruits of the whole island; and as it pays such a proportion of the rent or yearly value of the fands in the country, so it is the cause of paying such a proportion of taxes upon those lands. The loss then of such a people must needs be sensible to the prince, and visible to the whole kingdom.

much then the queen loses with every one of her old, and gains with every one of her new subjects.

When I was got into this way of thinking, I presently grew conceited of the argument, and was just preparing to write a letter of advice to a member of parliament, for opening the freedom of our towns and trades, for taking away all manner of distinctions between the natives and foreigners, for repealing our laws of parish settlements, and removing every other obstacle to the increase of the people. But as soon as I had recollected with what inimitable eloquence my fellow-labourers had exaggerated the mischiefs of selling the birthright of Britons for a shilling, of spoiling the pure British blood with foreign mixtures, of introducing a confusion of languages and religions, and of letting in strangers to eat the bread out of the mouths of our own people, became so humble as to let my project fall to the ground, and leave my country to increase by the ordinary way of generation.

On the other hand, if it should please God to drop from heaven a new people equal in number and riches to the city, I should be ready to think their excises, cus-I toms, and house-rent would raise as great a revenue to the crown as would be lost in the former case. And as the consumption of this new body would be a new market for the fruits of the country, all the lands, especially those most adjacent, would rise in their yearly value, and pay greater yearly taxes to the public. The gain in this case would be as sensible as the former loss.

Whatsoever is assessed upon the general, is levied upon individuals. It were worth the while then to consider what is paid by, or by means of, the meanest subjects, in order to compute the value of every subject to the prince.

As I have always at heart the public good, so I am ever contriving schemes to promote it: and I think I may without vanity pretend to have contrived some as wise as any of the castle-builders. I had no sooner given up my former project, but my head was presently full of draining fens and marshes, banking out the sea, and joining new lands to my country; for since it is thought impracticable to increase the people to the land, I fell immediately to consider how much would be gained to the prince by increasing the land to the people. If the same omnipotent Power which made the world, should at this time raise out of the ocean, and join to Great Britain, an equal extent of land, with equal buildings, corn, cattle, and other conveniences and necessaries of life, but no men, women, nor children, I should hardly believe this would add either to the riches of the people, or revenue of the prince; for since the present buildings are sufficient for all the inhabitants, if any of them should forsake the old to inhabit the new part of the island, the increase of house-rent in this would be attended with at least an equal decrease of

For my own part, I should believe that seven-eighths of the people are without property in themselves, or the heads of their families, and forced to work for their daily bread; and that of this sort there are seven millions in the whole island of Great Britain: and yet one would imagine that seven-eighths of the whole people should consume at least three-fourths of the whole fruits of the country. If this is the case, the subjects without property pay threefourths of the rents, and consequently enable the landed men to pay three-fourths of their taxes. Now, if so great a part of the land-tax were to be divided by seven millions, it would it in the other. Besides, we have such a amount to more than three shillings to every sufficiency of corn and cattle, that we give head. And thus, as the poor are the cause, bounties to our neighbours to take what without which the rich could not pay this exceeds of the former off our hands, and tax, even the poorest subject is, upon this we will not suffer any of the latter to be account, worth three shillings yearly to the imported upon us by our fellow-subjects; prince. and for the remaining product of the country, 'tis already equal to all our markets. But if all these things should be doubled to the same buyers, the owners must be glad with half their present prices; the landlords with half their present rents: and thus by so great an enlargement of the country, the rents in the whole would not increase, nor the taxes to the public.

Again; one would imagine the consumption of seven-eighths of the whole people should pay two-thirds of all the customs and excises. And if this sum too should be divided by seven millions, viz. the number of poor people, it would amount to more than seven shillings to every head: and therefore with this and the former sum, every poor subject, without property, except of his limbs or labour, is worth at least ten shillings yearly to the sovereign. So

arguments which were urged in the year 1708, against *This is an ironical allusion to some of the popular a bill for the naturalization of foreign Protestants.

On the contrary, I should believe they | No. 201.] Saturday, October 20, 1711. would be very much diminished: for as the land is only valuable for its fruits, and these are all perishable, and for the most part must either be used within the year, or perish without use, the owners will get rid of them at any rate, rather than that they should waste in their possession: so that it is probable the annual production of those perishable things, even of the tenth part of them, beyond all possibility of use, will reduce one half of their value. It seems to be for this reason that our neighbour merchants who engross all the spices, and know how great a quantity is equal to the demand, destroy all that exceeds it. It were natural then to think that the annual production of twice as much as can be used, must reduce all to an eighth part of their present prices; and thus this extended island would not exceed one-fourth part of its present value, or pay more than one-fourth part of the present tax.

It is generally observed, that in countries of the greatest plenty there is the poorest living; like the schoolman's ass in one of my speculations, the people almost starve between two meals. The truth is, the poor, which are the bulk of a nation, work only that they may live; and if with two days' labour they can get a wretched subsistence, they will hardly be brought to work the other four. But then with the wages of two days they can neither pay such prices for their provisions, nor such excises to the government.

That paradox, therefore. in old Hesiod, WALK IN TAUTOS, or, half is more than the whole,' is very applicable to the present case; since nothing is more true in political arithmetic, than that the same people with half the country is more valuable than with the whole. I begin to think there was nothing absurd in Sir W. Petty, when he fancied if all the highlands of Scotland and the whole kingdom of Ireland were sunk in the ocean, so that the people were all saved and brought into the lowlands of Great Britain; nay, though they were to be reimbursed the value of their estates by the body of the people, yet both the sovereign and the subjects in general would be enriched by the very loss.

If the people only make the riches, the father of ten children is a greater benefactor to the country than he who has added to it 10,000 acres of land, and no people. It is certain Lewis has joined vast tracts of land to his dominions: but if Philarithmus says true, that he is not now master of so many subjects as before; we may then account for his not being able to bring such mighty armies into the field, and for their being neither so well fed, nor clothed, nor paid as formerly. The reason is plainLewis must needs have been impoverished not only by his loss of subjects, but by his acquisition of lands. T.

Religentem esse oportet, religiosum nefas. Incerti Autoris apud Aul. Gell. A man should be religious, not superstitious. IT is of the last importance to season the passions of a child with devotion, which seldom dies in a mind that has received an early tincture of it. Though it may seem extinguished for a while by the cares of the world, the heats of youth, or the allurements of vice, it generally breaks out and discovers itself again as soon as discretion, consideration, age, or misfortunes have brought the man to himself. The fire may be covered and overlaid, but cannot be entirely quenched and smothered.

A state of temperance, sobriety, and justice, without devotion, is a cold, lifeless, insipid condition of virtue; and is rather to be styled philosophy than religion. Devotion opens the mind to great conceptions, and fills it with more sublime ideas than any that are to be met with in the most exalted science; and at the same time warms and agitates the soul more than sensual pleasure. It has been observed by some writers, that man is more distinguished from the animal world by devotion than by reason, as several brute creatures discover in their actions something like a faint glimmering of reason, though they betray in no single circumstance of their behaviour any thing that bears the least affinity to devotion. It is certain, the propensity of the mind to religious worship, the natural tendency of the soul to fly to some superior being for succour in dangers and distresses, the gratitude to an invisible superintendent which arises in us upon receiving any extraordinary and unexpected good fortune, the acts of love and admiration with which the thoughts of men are so wonderfully transported in meditating upon the divine perfections, and the universal concurrence of all the nations under heaven in the great article of adoration, plainly show that devotion or religious worship must be the effect of tradition from some first founder of mankind, or that it is conformable to the natural light of reason, or that it proceeds from an instinct implanted in the soul itself. For my part, I look upon all these to be the concurrent causes; but whichever of them shall be assigned as the principle of divine worship, it manifestly points to a Supreme Being as the first author of it.

I may take some other opportunity of considering those particular forms and methods of devotion which are taught us by Christianity; but shall here observe into what errors even this divine principle may sometimes lead us, when it is not moderated by that right reason which was given us as the guide of all our actions.

The two great errors into which a mistaken devotion may betray us, are enthu siasm and superstition.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »