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life. There is in the first, an allegory so well carried on, that it cannot but be very pleasing to those who have a taste of good writing; and the other billets may have their use in common life.
ment, in a wonderful variety of figures, colours, and scents; however, most of them withered soon, or at best are but annuals Some professed florists make them their constant study and employment, and de spise all fruit; and now and then a few fanciful people spend all their time in the cultivation of a single tulip, or a carnation. But the most agreeable amusement seems to be the well-choosing, mixing, and binding together these flowers in pleasing nose gays, to present to ladies. The scent of Italian flowers is observed, like their other perfumes, to be too strong, and to hurt the brain; that of the French with glaring gaudy colours, yet faint and languid: German and northern flowers have little or no smell, or sometimes an unpleasant one. The ancients had a secret to give a lasting beauty, colour, and sweetness, to some of their choice flowers, which flourish to this day, and which few of the moderns can effect. These are becoming enough and agreeable in their seasons, and do often handsomely adorn an entertainment: but an over-fondness of them seems to be a disease. It rarely happens, to find a plant vigorous enough to have (like an orange-tree,) at once beautiful and shining leaves, fragrant flowers, and delicious, nourishing fruit Sir, yours, &c.'
August 6, 1712.
'MR. SPECTATOR,-As I walked the other day in a fine garden, and observed the great variety of improvements in plants and flowers, beyond what they otherwise would have been, I was naturally led into a reflection upon the advantages of education, or modern culture: how many good qualities in the mind are lost for want of the like due care in nursing and skilfully managing them; how many virtues are choked by the multitude of weeds which are suffered to grow among them; how excellent parts are often starved and useless, by being planted in a wrong soil; and how very seldom do these moral seeds produce the noble fruits which might be expected from them, by a neglect of proper manuring, necessary pruning, and an artful management of our tender inclinations and first spring of life. These obvious speculations made me at length conclude, that there is a sort of vegetable principle in the mind of every man when he comes into the world. In infants, the seeds lie buried and undiscovered, till after a while they sprout forth in a kind of rational leaves, which are words; and in due season the flowers begin to appear in a variety of beautiful colours, DEAR SPEC,-You have given us, in and all the gay pictures of youthful fancy your Spectator of Saturday last, a very exand imagination; at last the fruit knits and and its wonderful efficacy in making every cellent discourse upon the force of custom, is formed, which is green perhaps at first, sour and unpleasant to the taste, and not fit thing pleasant to us. I cannot deny but that to be gathered: till, ripened by due care struction from your paper, and in the gene I received above two-pennyworth of inand application, it discovers itself in all ral was very well pleased with it; but lam the noble productions of philosophy, ma- without a compliment, sincerely troubled thematics, close reasoning, and handsome argumentation. These fruits, when they that it makes every thing pleasing to us that I cannot exactly be of your opinion, arrive at just maturity, and are of a good In short, I have the honour to be yoked to kind, afford the most vigorous nourishment to the minds of men. I reflected farther her standing, a very eminent scold. She a young lady, who is, in plain English, for on the intellectual leaves before mentioned, began to break her mind very freely, both and found almost as great a variety among to me and to her servants, about two months them as in the vegetable world. I could after our nuptials; and, though I have been easily observe the smooth shining Italian accustomed to this humour of hers these leaves, the nimble French aspen, always in three years, yet I do not know what's the motion, the Greek and Latin ever-greens, matter with me, but I am no more delighted the Spanish myrtle, the English oak, the with it than I was at the very first. Thave Scotch thistle, the Irish shambrogue, the advised with her relations about her, and fish and Russian nettle, besides a vast num-grandmother before her were both taken prickly German and Dutch holly, the Pothey all tell me that her mother and her ber of exotics imported from Asia, Africa, much after the same manner; so and America. I saw several barren plants, it runs in the blood, I have but small hopes that, since which bore only leaves, without any hopes of her recovery. I should be glad to have fragrant and well-shaped, and others ill- a little of your advice in this matter.. scented and irregular. I wondered at a set of old whimsical botanists, who spent their whole lives in the contemplation of some withered Egyptian, Coptic, Armenian, or Chinese leaves; while others made it their 'Dear Spec, your very humble servant business to collect, in voluminous herbals, P. S. I must do the poor girl the justice all the several leaves of some one tree. The to let you know, that this match was none flowers afford a most diverting entertain-of her own choosing, (or indeed of mine
of flower or fruit. The leaves of some were
how it may be a pleasure to me; if you will would not willingly trouble you to contrive but put me in a way that I may bear it with indifference, I shall rest satisfied,
her;) in consideration of which I avoid ing her the least provocation; and, ined, we live better together than usually ks do who hated one another when they re first joined. To evade the sin against rents, or at least to extenuate it, my dear Is at my father and mother, and I curse rs for making the match.'
'August 8, 1712.
MR. SPECTATOR,-I like the theme lately gave out extremely, and should as glad to handle it as any man living: I find myself no better qualified to write out money than about my wife; for, to you a secret, which I desire may go no ther, I am master of neither of those pjects. Yours, PILL GARLICK.' MR. SPECTATOR,-I desire you will nt this in italic, so as it may be genely taken notice of. It is designed only to monish all persons, who speak either at bar, pulpit, or any public assembly atsoever, how they discover their ignoace in the use of similies. There are, in pulpit itself, as well as in other places, h gross abuses in this kind, that I give s warning to all I know. I shall bring em for the future before your spectatorial hority. On Sunday last, one, who shall nameless, reproving several of his congation for standing at prayers, was ased to say, "One would think, like the phant, you had no knees." Now I myf saw an elephant, in Bartholomew fair, eel down to take on his back the inious Mr. William Penkethman. Your st humble servant.' T.
- 456.] Wednesday, August 13, 1712.
quo libelli, in celeberrimis locis proponuntur, huic erire quidem tacite conceditur.-Tull.
he man whose conduct is publicly arraigned, is not
ered even to be undone quietly.
OTWAY, in his tragedy of Venice Preved, has described the misery of a man ose effects are in the hands of the law, h great spirit. The bitterness of being scorn and laughter of base minds, the uish of being insulted by men hardened ond the sense of shame or pity, and the ry of a man's fortune being wasted, unpretence of justice, are excellently agvated in the following speech of Pierre affier:
pass'd this very moment by thy doors,
nd found them guarded by a troop of villains:
all thy ancient most domestic ornaments,
ch hangings intermix'd and wrought with gold;
e very bed, which on thy wedding-night
ceiv'd thee to the arms of Belvidera.
e scene of all thy joys, was violated
By the coarse hands of filthy dungeon villains, And thrown amongst the common lumber.'
Nothing indeed can be more unhappy than the condition of bankruptcy. The calamity which happens to us by ill-fortune, or by the injury of others, has in it some consolation; but what arises from our own misbehaviour, or error, is the state of the most exquisite sorrow. When a man considers not only an ample fortune, but even the very necessaries of life, his pretence to cannot but look upon himself in the state food itself, at the mercy of his creditors, he of the dead, with his case thus much his adversaries instead of his friends. From worse, that the last office is performed by this hour the cruel world does not only take possession of his whole fortune, but even of every thing else which had no relation to it. All his indifferent actions have new interpretations put upon them; and those whom he has favoured in his former life, discharge themselves of their obligations to him, by joining in the reproaches of his enemies. It is almost incredible that it should be so; but it is too often seen that there is a pride mixed with the impatience of the creditor; and there are who would rather recover their own by the downfal of a prosperous man, than be discharged to the common satisfaction of themselves and their creditors. The wretched man, who was lately master of abundance, is now under the direction of others; and the wisdom, economy, good sense, and skill in human life before, by reason of his present misfortune, are of no use to him in the disposition of any thing. The incapacity of an infant or a lunatic is designed for his provision and accommodation; but that of a bankrupt, without any mitigation in respect of the accidents by which it arrived, is calculated for his utter ruin, except the discharge of his creditors, to bear also there be a remainder ample enough, after means the effect of all this labour was the expense of rewarding those by whose transferred from him. This man is to look on and see others giving directions upon what terms and conditions his goods are to be purchased; and all this usually done, not with an air of trustees to dispose of his effects, but destroyers to divide and tear them to pieces.
There is something sacred in misery to great and good minds; for this reason all wise lawgivers have been extremely tender how they let loose even the man who has right on his side, to act with any mixture of resentment against the defendant. Virtuous and modest men, though they be used with some artifice, and have it in their power to avenge themselves, are slow in the application of that power, and are ever constrained to go into rigorous measures. They are careful to demonstrate themselves not only persons injured, but also that to bear it longer would be a means to make the offender injure others,
rest of the world will regard me for yours. There is a happy contagion in riches, as well as a destructive one in poverty: the rich can make rich without parting with any of their store; and the conversation of the poor makes men poor, though they borrow nothing of them. How this is to be accounted for I know not; but men's estimation follows us according to the company we keep. If you are what you were to me, you can go a great way towards my reco very; if you are not, my good fortune, if ever it returns, will return by slower ap proaches. I am, sir, your affectionate friend, and humble servant."
This was answered by a condescension that did not, by long impertinent profes sions of kindness, insult his distress, but was as follows:
before they proceed. Such men clap their hands upon their hearts, and consider what it is to have at their mercy the life of a citizen. Such would have it to say to their own souls, if possible, that they were merciful when they could have destroyed, rather than when it was in their power to have spared a man, they destroyed. This is a due to the common calamity.of human life, due in some measure to our very enemies. They who scruple in doing the least injury are cautious of exacting the utmost justice. Let any one who is conversant in the variety of human life reflect upon it, and he will find the man who wants mercy has a taste of no enjoyment of any kind. There is a natural disrelish of every thing which is good in his very nature, and he is born an enemy to the world. He is ever extremely partial to himself in all his actions, and has no sense of iniquity but from the punishment which shall attend it. The law of the land is his gospel, and all his cases of conscience are determined by his attorney. Such men know not what it is to gladden the heart of a miserable man; that riches are the instruments of serving the purposes of heaven or hell, according to the disposition of the possessor. The wealthy can torment or gratify all who are in their power, and choose to do one or other, as they are affected with love or hatred to mankind. As for such who are insensible of the concerns of others, but merely as they affect themselves, these men are to be valued only for their mortality, and as we hope better things from their heirs. I could not but read with great delight, a letter from an eminent citizen, who has failed, to one who was intimate with him in his better fortune, and able by his No. 457.] Thursday, August 14, 1712 countenance to retrieve his lost condition.
'SIR,-It is in vain to multiply words and make apologies for what is never to be defended by the best advocate in the world, the guilt of being unfortunate. All that a man in my condition can do or say, will be received with prejudice by the generality of mankind, but I hope not with you: you have been a great instrument in helping me to get what I have lost; and I know (for that reason, as well as kindness to me) you cannot but be in pain to see me undone. To show you I am not a man incapable of bearing calamity, I will, though a poor man, lay aside the distinction between us,
and talk with the frankness we did when
we were nearer to an equality: as all I do will be received with prejudice, all you do will be looked upon with partiality. What I desire of you is, that you, who are courted by all, would smile upon me, who am shunned by all. Let that grace and favour which your fortune throws upon you, be turned to make up the coldness and indif
ference that is used towards me. All good and generous men will have an eye of kindness for me for my own sake, and the
DEAR TOM,-I am very glad to hear that you have heart enough to begin the world a second time. I assure you, I do not think your numerous family at all di minished (in the gifts of nature, for which I have ever so much admired them,) by what has so lately happened to you. not only countenance your affairs with my appearance for you, but shall accommodate you with a considerable sum at com mon interest for three years. You know I could make more of it; but I have so great love for you, that I can waive op portunities of gain to help you; for I do not care whether they say of me after I am dead, that I had a hundred or fifty thousand pounds more than I wanted when I was living. Your obliged humble servant."
-Multa et præclara minantis.
Hor. Sat. iii. Lib. 29 Seeming to promise something wondrous great.
I SHALL this day lay before my readers a letter, written by the same hand with that of last Friday, which contained pro posals for a printed newspaper that should take in the whole circle of the penny-post.
'SIR,-The kind reception you gave my last Friday's letter, in which I broached my project of a newspaper, encourages me to lay before you two or three more; for, you must know, sir, that we look upon you to be the Lowndes* of the learned world and cannot think any scheme practicable or rational before you have approved of it though all the money we raise by it is our own funds, and for our private use.
'I have often thought that a news-letter of whispers, written every post, and sent about the kingdom, after the same manner as that of Mr. Dyer, Mr. Dawkes, other epistolary historian, might be highly gratifying to the public, as well as bene
*Secretary at this time of the treasury, and directo of the mint.
cial to the author. By whispers I mean innocent young woman big with child, ose pieces of news which are communi- or fill a healthy young fellow with distemated as secrets, and which bring a double pers that are not to be named. She can leasure to the hearer: first, as they are turn a visit into an intrigue, and a distant rivate history; and, in the next place, as salute into an assignation. She can beggar ey have always in them a dash of scan- the wealthy, and degrade the noble.In al. These are the two chief qualifications short, she can whisper men base or foolish, an article of news, which recommend it jealous or ill-natured: or, if occasion rea more than ordinary manner, to the quires, can tell you the slips of their great ars of the curious. Sickness of persons in grandmothers, and traduce the memory of igh posts, twilight visits paid and receiv- honest coachmen, that have been in their by ministers of state, clandestine court- graves above these hundred years. By ips and marriages, secret amours, losses these and the like helps, I question not but play, applications for places, with their I shall furnish out a very handsome newsespective successes and repulses, are the letter. If you approve my project, I shall aterials in which I chiefly intend to deal. begin to whisper by the very next post, have two persons, that are each of them and question not but every one of my cuse representative of a species, who are to tomers will be very well pleased with me, rnish me with those whispers which I when he considers that every piece of news tend to convey to my correspondents. I send him is a word in his ear, and lets The first of these is Peter Hush, descend- him into a secret. d from the ancient family of the Hushes. 'Having given you a sketch of this proThe other is the old lady Blast, who has a ject, I shall, in the next place, suggest to ery numerous tribe of daughters in the you another for a monthly pamphlet, which wo great cities of London and Westmin-I shall likewise submit to your spectatorial er. Peter Hush has a whispering-hole wisdom. I need not tell you, sir, that there most of the great coffee-houses about are several authors in France, Germany, Own. If you are alone with him in a wide and Holland, as well as in our own counDom, he carries you up into a corner of it, try,* who publish every month what they nd speaks in your ear. I have seen Peter call An Account of the Works of the eat himself in a company of seven or eight Learned, in which they give us an abstract ersons whom he never saw before in his of all such books as are printed in any part fe; and, after having looked about to see of Europe. Now, sir, it is my design to here was no one that overheard him, has publish every month, An Account of the ommunicated to them in a low voice, and Works of the Unlearned. Several late nder the seal of secresy, the death of a productions of my own countrymen, who, reat man in the country, who was, per- many of them make a very eminent figure aps, a fox-hunting the very moment this in the illiterate world, encourage me in this count was given of him. If upon your undertaking. I may, in this work, possibly tering into a coffee-house you see a circle make a review of several pieces which heads bending over the table, and lying have appeared in the foreign accounts above ose to one another, it is ten to one but my mentioned, though they ought not to have iend Peter is among them. I have known been taken notice of in works which bear eter publishing the whisper of the day by such a title. I may likewise take into conght o'clock in the morning at Garra-sideration such pieces as appear, from time ay's, by twelve at Will's, and before two to time, under the names of those gentlethe Smyrna. When Peter has thus ef- men who compliment one another in public ctually launched a secret, I have been assemblies, by the title of "The Learned ry well pleased to hear people whis- Gentlemen." Our party-authors will also ering it to one another at second-hand, afford me a great variety of subjects, not to d spreading it about as their own; for mention the editors, commentators, and u must know, sir, the great incentive to others, who are often men of no learning, hispering is the ambition which every or, what is as bad, of no knowledge. I shall e has of being thought in the secret, and not enlarge upon this hint; but if you think ing looked upon as a man who has ac- any thing can be made of it, I shall set ss to greater people than one would ima- about it with all the pains and application e. After having given you this account that so useful a work deserves. I am ever, Peter Hush, I proceed to that virtuous most worthy sir, &c.' ly, the old lady Blast, who is to commuate to me the private transactions of the imp-table, with all the arcana of the No. 458.] Friday, August 15, 1712.
r-sex. The lady Blast, you must undernd, has such a particular malignity in r whisper, that it blights like an easterly nd, and withers every reputation that it eathes upon. She has a particular knack making private weddings, and last winmarried above five women of quality to ir footmen. Her whisper can make an VOL. II.
Αιδώς εκ αγαθη
I COULD not but smile at the account that was yesterday given me of a modest young
* Mr. Michael de la Roche, 38 vols. 8vo. in Engl. under different titles; and in Fr. 8 tomes, 24mo.
speaking or acting in a dissolute or im tional manner, but that one who is in their company should be ashamed of governing himself by the principles of reason and virtue.
gentleman, who, being invited to an enter- | nature, that men should not be ashamed of tainment, though he was not used to drink, had not the confidence to refuse his glass in his turn, when on a sudden he grew so flustered, that he took all the talk of the table into his own hands, abused every one of the company, and flung a bottle at the gentleman's head who treated him. This has given me occasion to reflect upon the ill effects of a vicious modesty, and to remember the saying of Brutus, as it is quoted by Plutarch, that the person has had but an ill education, who has not been taught to deny any thing.' This false kind of modesty has, perhaps, betrayed both sexes into as many vices as the most abandoned impudence; and is the more inexcusable to reason, because it acts to gratify others rather than itself, and is punished with a kind of remorse, not only like other vicious habits when the crime is over, but even at the very time that it is committed.
In the second place, we are to consider false modesty as it restrains a man from doing what is good and laudable. My rea der's own thoughts will suggest to him many instances and examples under this head. I shall only dwell upon one reflec tion, which I cannot make without a secret concern. We have in England a particu lar bashfulness in every thing that regards religion. A well-bred man is obliged to conceal any serious sentiment of this na ture, and very often to appear a greater libertine than he is, that he may keep himself in countenance among the men of mode Our excess of modesty makes us shame faced in all the exercises of piety and devo Nothing is more amiable than true mo- tion. This humour prevails upon us daily; desty, and nothing is more contemptible insomuch that, at many well-bred tables, than the false. The one guards virtue, the the master of the house is so very modest a other betrays it. True modesty is ashamed man, that he has not the confidence to say to do any thing that is repugnant to the rules grace at his own table: a custom which i of right reason; false modesty is ashamed not only practised by all the nations about to do any thing that is opposite to the hu- us, but was never omitted by the heathens mour of the company. True modesty avoids themselves. English gentlemen, who travel every thing that is criminal, false modesty into Roman-catholic countries, are not a lit every thing that is unfashionable. The latter tle surprised to meet with people of the best is only a general undetermined instinct; the quality kneeling in their churches, and en former is that instinct, limited and circum-gaged in their private devotions, though it scribed by the rules of prudence and re-be not at the hours of public worship. An ligion.
officer of the army, or a man of wit and We may conclude that modesty to be pleasure, in those countries, would be afraid false and vicious which engages a man to of passing not only for an irreligious but an do any thing that is ill or indiscreet, or ill-bred man, should he be seen to go to bed, which restrains him from doing any thing or sit down at table, without offering up that is of a contrary nature. How many his devotions on such occasions. The same men, in the common concerns of life, lend show of religion appears in all the foreign sums of money which they are not able to reformed churches, and enters so much in spare, are bound for persons whom they their ordinary conversation, that an Eng have but little friendship for, give recom-lishman is apt to term them hypocritical mendatory characters of men whom they are and precise. not acquainted with, bestow places on those whom they do not esteem, live in such a manner as they themselves do not approve, and all this merely because they have not the confidence to resist solicitation, importunity, or example!
This little appearance of a religious de portment in our nation, may proceed in some measure from that modesty which is natural to us; but the great occasion of it is certainly this. Those swarms of sect ries that overran the nation in the time of Nor does this false modesty expose us the great rebellion, carried their hypocrisy only to such actions as are indiscreet, but so high, that they had converted our whole very often to such as are highly criminal. language into a jargon of enthusiasm: in When Xenophanes was called timorous, somuch, that upon the restoration, me because he would not venture his money in thought they could not recede too far from a game of dice: 'I confess,' said he, that the behaviour and practice of those per I am exceeding timorous, for I dare not do sons who had made religion a cloak to an ill thing. On the contrary, a man of many villanies. This led them into the vicious modesty complies with every thing, other extreme; every appearance of dem and is only fearful of doing what may look tion was looked upon as puritanical, and singular in the company where he is en- falling into the hands of the ridicules gaged. He falls in with the torrent, and who flourished in that reign, and attacked lets himself go to every action or discourse, however unjustifiable in itself, so it be in vogue among the present party. This, though one of the most common, is one of the most ridiculous dispositions in human
every thing that was serious, it has ever since been out of countenance among By this means we are gradually fallen into that vicious modesty, which has in some measure worn out from among us the ap