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it accompanies; like the shades in paintings, it raises and rounds every figure, and makes the colours more beautiful, though not so glaring as they would be without it.
Modesty is not only an ornament, but also a guard to virtue. It is a kind of quick and delicate feeling in the soul; which makes her shrink and withdraw herself from every thing that has danger in it. It is such an exquisite sensibility, as warns her to shun the first appearance of every thing which is hurtful.
a serious discourse, and would scarce be able to show his head, after having disclosed a religious thought. Decency of behaviour, all outward show of virtue, and abhorrence of vice, are carefully avoided by this set of shamed-faced people, as what would disparage their gayety of temper, and infallibly bring them to dishonour. This is such a poorness of spirit, such a despicable cowardice, such a degenerate abject state of mind, as one would think human nature incapable of, did we not meet with frequent instances of it in ordinary conversation.
I cannot at present_recollect either the place or time of what I am going to men- There is another kind of vicious modesty tion; but I have read somewhere in the which makes a man ashamed of his person, history of ancient Greece, that the women his birth, his profession, his poverty, or the of the country were seized with an un- like misfortunes, which it was not his choice accountable melancholy, which disposed to prevent, and is not in his power to rectify. several of them to make away with them- If a man appears ridiculous by any of the selves. The senate, after having tried afore-mentioned circumstances, he becomes many expedients to prevent this self-murder, which was so frequent among them, published an edict, that if any woman whatever should lay violent hands upon herself, her corpse should be exposed naked in the street, and dragged about the city in the most public manner. This edict immediately put a stop to the practice which was before so common. We may fect with laurels. see in this instance the strength of female modesty, which was able to overcome the
much more so by being out of countenance for them. They should rather give him occasion to exert a noble spirit, and to palliate those imperfections which are not in his power, by those perfections which are; or to use a very witty allusion of an eminent author, he should imitate Cæsar, who, because his head was bald, covered that de
violence even of madness and despair. The No. 232.] Monday, November 26, 1711.
fear of shame in the fair sex, was in those days more prevalent than that of death.
Nihil largiundo gloriam adeptus est.
Sallust. Bell. Cat. If modesty has so great an influence over By bestowing nothing he acquired glory. our actions, and is in many cases so impregnable a fence to virtue; what can more un- My wise and good friend, Sir Andrew dermine morality than that politeness which Freeport, divides himself almost equally reigns among the unthinking part of man-between the town and the country. His time kind, and treats as unfashionable the most in town is given up to the public, and the ingenuous part of our behaviour; which recommends impudence as good-breeding, and keeps a man always in countenance, not because he is innocent, but because he is shameless?
Seneca thought modesty so great a check to vice, that he prescribes to us the practice of it in secret, and advises us to raise it in ourselves upon imaginary occasions, when such as are real do not offer themselves; for this is the meaning of his precept, That when we are by ourselves, and in our greatest solitudes, we should fancy that Cato stands before us and sees every thing we do. In short, if you banish Modesty out of the world, she carries away with her half the virtue that is in it.
management of his private fortune; and after every three or four days spent in this manner, he retires for as many to his seat within a few miles of the town, to the enjoyment of himself, his family, and his friend. Thus business and pleasure, or rather, in Sir Andrew, labour and rest, recommend each other. They take their turns with so quick a vicissitude, that neither becomes a habit, or takes possession of the whole man; nor is it possible he should be surfeited with either. I often see him at our club in good humour, and yet sometimes too with an air of care in his looks: but in his country retreat he is always unbent, and such a companion as I could desire; and therefore I seldom fail to make one with him when he is pleased to invite me.
After these reflections on modesty, as it is a virtue, I must observe, that there is a The other day, as soon as we were got vicious modesty which justly deserves to be into his chariot, two or three beggars on ridiculed, and which those persons very each side hung upon the doors, and solioften discover who value themselves most cited our charity with the usual rhetoric of upon a well-bred confidence. This happens a sick wife or husband at home, three or when a man is ashamed to act up to his four helpless little children all starving with reason, and would not upon any considera- cold and hunger. We were forced to part tion be surprised at the practice of those with some money to get rid of their imporduties, for the performance of which he tunity; and then we proceeded on our jourwas sent into the world. Many an impu-ney with the blessings and acclamations of dent libertine would blush to be caught in these people
'Well, then,' says Sir Andrew, we go off with the prayers and good wishes of the beggars, and perhaps too our healths will be drunk at the next ale-house: so all we shall be able to value ourselves upon, is, that we have promoted the trade of the victualler and the excises of the government. But how few ounces of wool do we see upon the backs of these poor creatures? And when they shall next fall in our way, they will hardly be better dressed; they must always live in rags to look like objects of compassion. If their families too are such as they are represented, it is certain they cannot be better clothed, and must be a great deal worse fed. One would think potatoes should be all their bread, and their drink the pure element; and then what goodly customers are the farmers like to have for their wool, corn, and cattle? Such customers, and such a consumption, cannot choose but advance the landed interest, and hold up the rents of the gentlemen.
resumed the discourse. It may seem,' says he, a paradox, that the price of labour should be reduced without an abatement of wages, or that wages can be abated without any inconvenience to the labourer, and yet nothing is more certain than that both these things may happen. The wages of the labourers make the greatest part of the price of every thing that is useful; and if in proportion with the wages the price of all other things should be abated, every labourer with less wages would still be able to purchase as many necessaries of life; where then would be the inconvenience? But the price of labour may be reduced by the addition of more hands to a manufacture, and yet the wages of persons remain as high as ever. The admirable Sir William Petty has given examples of this in some of his writings: one of them, as I remember, is that of a watch, which I shall endeavour to explain so as shall suit my present purpose. It is certain that a single watch But of all men living, we merchants, could not be made so cheap in proportion who live by buying and selling, ought never by only one man, as a hundred watches by to encourage beggars. The goods which a hundred; for as there is a vast variety in we export are indeed the product of the the work, no one person could equally suit lands, but much the greater part of their himself to all the parts of it: the manufacvalue is the labour of the people: but how ture would be tedious, and at last but clummuch of these people's labour shall we ex-sily performed. But if a hundred watches port whilst we hire them to sit still? The very alms they receive from us are the wages of idleness. I have often thought that no man should be permitted to take relief from the parish, or to ask it in the street, until he has first purchased as much as possible of his own livelihood by the labour of his own hands; and then the public ought only to be taxed to make good the deficiency. If this rule was strictly observed we should see every where such a multitude of new labourers, as would in all probability, reduce the prices of all our manufactures. It is the very life of merchandise to buy cheap and sell dear. The merchant ought to make his outset as cheap as possible, that he may find the greater profit upon his returns; and nothing will enable him to do this like the reduction of the price of labour upon all our manufactures. This too would be the ready way to increase the number of our foreign markets. The abatement of the price of the manufacture would pay for the carriage of it to more distant countries; and this consequence would be equally beneficial both to the landed and trading interests. As so great an addition of labouring hands would produce this happy consequence both to the merchant and the gentleman, our liberality to common beggars, and every other obstruction to the increase of labourers, must be equally pernicious to both.'
Sir Andrew then went on to affirm, that the reduction of the prices of our manufactures by the addition of so many new hands, would be no inconvenience to any man; but observing I was something startled at the assertion, he made a short pause, and then
were to be made by a hundred men, the cases may be assigned to one, the dials to another, the wheels to another, the springs to another, and every other part to a proper artist. As there would be no need of perplexing any one person with too much variety, every one would be able to perform his single part with greater skill and expedition; and the hundred watches would be finished in one-fourth part of the time of the first one, and every one of them at onefourth part of the cost, though the wages of every man were equal. The reduction of the price of the manufacture would increase the demand of it, all the same hands would be still employed, and as well paid. The same rule will hold in the clothing, the shipping, and all other trades whatsoever. And thus an addition of hands to our manufactures will only reduce the price of them; the labourer will still have as much wages, and will consequently be enabled to purchase more conveniences of life, so that every interest in the nation would receive a benefit from the increase of our working people.
Besides I see no occasion for this charity to common beggars, since every beggar is an inhabitant of a parish, and every parish is taxed to the maintenance of their own poor. For my own part I cannot be mightily pleased with the laws which have done this, which have provided better to feed than employ the poor. We have a tradition from our forefathers, that after the first of those laws was made, they were insulted with that famous song:
Hang sorrow and cast away care,
And if we will be so good-natured as to
maintain them without work, they can do no less in return than sing us "The merry Beggars."
This account is very dry in many parts, as only mentioning the name of the lover who leaped, the person he leaped for, and relating in short, that he was either cured, or killed, or maimed by the fall. It indeed gives the names of so many who died by it, that it would have looked like a bill of mortality, had I translated it at full length; I have therefore made an abridgment of it, and only extracted such particular passages as have something extraordinary, either in the case or in the cure, or in the fate of the person who is mentioned in it. After this short preface take the account as follows:
Battus, the son of Menalcas the Sicilian, leaped for Bombyca the musician: got rid of his passion with the loss of his right leg and arm, which were broken in the fall. Melissa, in love with Daphnis, very much bruised, but escaped with life.
What then? Am I against all acts of charity? God forbid! I know of no virtue in the gospel that is in more pathetic expressions recommended to our practice. "I was hungry and ye gave me no meat, thirsty and ye gave me no drink, naked and ye clothed me not, a stranger and ye took me not in, sick and in prison and ye visited me not." Our blessed Saviour treats the exercise or neglect of charity towards a poor man, as the performance or breach of this duty towards himself. I shall endeavour to obey the will of my lord and master: and therefore if an industrious man shall submit to the hardest labour and coarsest fare, rather than endure the shame of taking relief from the parish, or asking it in the street, that is the hungry, the thirsty, the naked; and I ought to believe, if any man is come hither for shelter against persecution or oppression, this is the stranger, and I ought to take him in. If any countryman of our own is fallen into the hands of infidels, and lives in a state of miserable captivity, this is the man in prison, and I should contribute to his ransom. I ought to give to an hospital of invalids, to recover Larissa, a virgin of Thessaly, deserted as many useful subjects as I can: but I shall by Plexippus, after a courtship of three bestow none of my bounties upon an alms-years; she stood upon the brow of the prohouse of idle people; and for the same reason I should not think it a reproach to me if I had withheld my charity from those common beggars. But we prescribe better rules than we are able to practise; we are ashamed not to give into the mistaken manners of our country: but at the same time, I cannot but think it a reproach worse than that of common swearing, that the idle and the abandoned are suffered in the name of heaven and all that is sacred to extort from
christian and tender minds a supply to a profligate way of life, that is always to be supported, but never relieved.?
Cynisca, the wife of Aschines, being in love with Lycus; and schines her husband being in love with Eurilla; (which had made this married couple very uneasy to one another for several years) both the husband and the wife took the leap by consent; they both of them escaped, and have lived very happily together ever since.
montory for some time, and after having thrown down a ring, a bracelet, and a little picture, with other presents which she had received from Plexippus, she threw herself into the sea, and was taken up alive.
N. B. Larissa before she leaped made an offering of a silver Cupid in the temple of Apollo.
Simatha, in love with Daphnis the Myndian; perished in the fall.
Charixus, the brother of Sappho, in love with Rhodope the courtesan, having spent his whole estate upon her, was advised by his sister to leap in the beginning of his amour, but would not hearken to her until he was reduced to his last talent; being forNo. 233.] Tuesday, November 27, 1711. saken by Rhodope, at length resolved to
-Tanquam hæc sint nostri medicina furoris
As if by these, my sufferings I could ease;
take the leap. Perished in it.
Aridæus, a beautiful youth of Epirus, in love with Praxinoe, the wife of Thespis; escaped without damage, saving only that two of his fore-teeth were struck out and his nose a little flatted.
Cleora, a widow of Ephesus, being inconsolable for the death of her husband, was resolved to take this leap in order to get rid of her passion for his memory; but being arrived at the promontory, she there met with Dimachus the Milesian, and after a short conversation with him, laid aside the thoughts of her leap, and married him in the temple of Apollo.
N. B. Her widow's weeds are still seen hanging up in the western corner of the temple.
Olphis, the fisherman, having received a box on the ear from Thestylis the day be
cate that very evening, in order to take the leap upon her account: but hearing that Sappho had been there before him, and that her body could be no where found, he very generously lamented her fall, and is said to have written his hundred and twen
fore, and being determined to have no more | Sappho, arrived at the promontory of Leuto do with her, leaped, and escaped with life. Atalanta, an old maid, whose cruelty had several years before driven two or three despairing lovers to this leap; being now in the fifty-fifth year of her age, and in love with an officer of Sparta, broke her neck inty-fifth ode upon that occasion. the fall.
Hipparchus, being passionately fond of his own wife, who was enamoured of Bathyllus, leaped, and died of his fall; upon which his wife married her gallant.
Tettyx, the dancing-master, in love with Olympia, an Athenian matron, threw himself from the rock with great agility, but was crippled in the fall.
Diagoras, the usurer, in love with his cook-maid; he peeped several times over the precipice: but his heart misgiving him, he went back and married her that evening.
Leaped in this Olympiad.
Cinadus, after having entered his own No. 234.] Wednesday, November 28, 1711.
name in the Pythian records, being asked the name of the person whom he leaped for, and being ashamed to discover it, he was set aside, and not suffered to leap.
Eunicia, a maid of Paphos, aged nineteen, in love with Eurybates. Hurt in the fall but recovered.
N. B. This was the second time of her leaping.
Hesperus, a young man of Tarentum, in love with his master's daughter. Drowned, the boats not coming in soon enough to his relief.
Sappho the Lesbian, in love with Phaon, arrived at the temple of Apollo habited like a bride in garments as white as snow. She wore a garland of myrtle on her head, and carried in her hand the little musical instrument of her own invention. After having sung an hymn to Apollo, she hung up her garland on one side of his altar, and her harp on the other. She then tucked up her vestments like a Spartan virgin, and amidst thousands of spectators, who were anxious for her safety, and offered up vows for her deliverance, marched directly forwards to the utmost summit of the promontory, where after having repeated a stanza of her own verses, which we could not hear, she threw herself off the rock with such an intrepidity as was never before observed in any who had attempted that dangerous leap. Many who were present related, that they saw her fall into the sea, from whence she never rose again; though there were others who affirmed that she never came to the bottom of her leap, but that she was changed into a swan as she fell, and that they saw her hovering in the air under that shape. But whether or no the whiteness and fluttering of her garments might not deceive those who looked upon her, or whether she might not really be metamorphosed into that musical and melancholy bird, is still a doubt among the Lesbians.
Alcæus, the famous lyric poet, who had for some time been passionately in love with
Vellem in amicitia sic erraremus.
Hor. Lib. 1. Sat. iii. 41. I wish this error in your friendship reign'd.
You very often hear people, after a story has been told with some entertaining circumstances, tell it over again with particulars that destroy the jest, but give light into the truth of the narration. This sort of veracity, though it is impertinent, has something amiable in it, because it proceeds from the love of truth even in frivolous occasions. If such honest amendments do not promise an agreeable companion, they do a sincere friend; for which reason one should allow them so much of our time, if we fall into their company, as to set us right in matters that can do us no manner of harm, whether the facts be one way or the other. Lies which are told out of arrogance and ostentation, a man should detect in his own defence, because he should not be triumphed over. Lies which are told out of malice he should expose, both for his own sake and that of the rest of mankind, because every man should rise against a common enemy: but the officious liar, many have argued, is to be excused, because it does some man good, and no man hurt. The man who made more than ordinary speed from a fight in which the Athenians were beaten, and told them they had obtained a complete victory, and put the whole city into the utmost joy and exultation, was checked by the magistrates for this falsehood; but excused himself by saying, 'O Athenians! am I your enemy because I gave you two happy days" This fellow did to a whole people what an acquaintance of mine does every day he lives, in some eminent degree, to particular per sons. He is ever lying people into good humour, and as Plato said it was allowable in physicians to lie to their patients to keep up their spirits, I am half doubtful whether my friend's behaviour is not as excusable. His manner is to express himself surprised
hood two days ago one of your gay gentlemen of the town, who being attended at his entry with a servant of his own, besides a countryman he had taken up for a guide, excited the curiosity of the village to learn whence and what he might be. The countryman (to whom they applied as most easy of access) knew little more than that the gentleman came from London to travel and see fashions, and was, as he heard say, a free-thinker. What religion that might be, he could not tell: and for his own part, if they had not told him the man was a free-thinker, he should have guessed, by his way of talking, he was little better than a heathen; excepting only that he had been a good gentleman to him, and made him drunk twice in one day, over and above what they had bargained for.
at the cheerful countenance of a man whom he observes diffident of himself; and generally by that means make his lie a truth. He will, as if he did not know any thing of the circumstance, ask one whom he knows at variance with another, what is the meaning that Mr. Such-a-one, naming his adversary, does not applaud him with that heartiness which formerly he has heard him? He said, indeed,' continues he, I would rather have that man for my friend than any man in England; but for an enemy! This melts the person he talks to, who expected nothing but downwright raillery from that side. According as he sees his practice succeed, he goes to the opposite party, and tells him, he cannot imagine how it happens that some people know one another so little; You spoke with so much coldness of a gentleman who 'I do not look upon the simplicity of this, said more good of you, than, let me tell and several odd inquiries with which I shall you, any man living deserves.' The suc- not trouble you, to be wondered at, much cess of one of these incidents was, that the less can I think that our youths of fine next time one of the adversaries spied the wit, and enlarged understandings, have any other, he hems after him in the public reason to laugh. There is no necessity street, and they must crack a bottle at the that every 'squire in Great Britain should next tavern, that used to turn out of the know what the word free-thinker stands for; other's way to avoid one another's eye- but it were much to be wished, that they shot. He will tell one beauty she was com- who value themselves upon that conceited mended by another, nay, he will say she title, were a little better instructed in what gave the woman he speaks to, the prefer- it ought to stand for; and that they would rence in a particular for which she herself not persuade themselves a man is really is admired. The pleasantest confusion ima- and truly a free-thinker, in any tolerable ginable is made through the whole town by sense, merely by virtue of his being an my friend's indirect offices. You shall have atheist, or an infidel of any other distinca visit returned after half a year's absence, tion. It may be doubted with good reason, and mutual railing at each other every whether there ever was in nature a more abday of that time. They meet with a thou-ject, slavish, and bigoted generation than sand lamentations for so long a separation, the tribe of beaux-esprits, at present so each party naming herself for the greatest prevailing in this island. Their pretension delinquent, if the other can possibly be so good as to forgive her, which she has no reason in the world, but from the knowledge of her goodness, to hope for. Very often a whole train of railers of each side tire their horses in setting matters right which they have said during the war between the parties; and a whole circle of acquaintances are put into a thousand pleasing passions and sentiments, instead of the pangs of anger, envy, detraction, and malice.
to be free-thinkers, is no other than rakes have to be free-livers, and savages to be free-men; that is, they can think whatever they have a mind to, and give themselves up to whatever conceit the extravagancy of their inclination, or their fancy, shall suggest; they can think as wildly as they talk and act, and will not endure that their wit should be controlled by such formal things as decency and common sense. duction, coherence, consistency, and all the rules of reason they accordingly disdain, as too precise and mechanical for men of a liberal education.
The worst evil I ever observed this man's falsehood occasion, has been, that he turned detraction into flattery. He is well skilled This as far as I could ever learn from in the manners of the world, and by over- their writings, or my own observation, is a looking what men really are, he grounds true account of the British free-thinker. his artifices upon what they have a mind Our visitant here, who gave occasion to to be. Upon this foundation, if two distant this paper, has brought with him a new friends are brought together and the cement system of common sense, the particulars seems to be weak, he never rests until of which I am not yet acquainted with, but he finds new appearances to take off all will lose no opportunity of informing myremains of ill-will, and that by new mis-self whether it contains any thing worth understandings they are thoroughly recon
Mr. Spectator's notice. In the mean time, sir, I cannot but think it would be for the good of mankind, if you would take this subject into your consideration, and convince the hopeful youth of our nation, that 'SIR,-There arrived in this neighbour-licentiousness is not freedom; or, if such a
To the Spectator.