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give me the observation of others. Indulge me,
Your majesty's most obedient 'subject and servant,
bility to all around me, and acting with ease be-f 'I have, most noble Pharamond, all honours and
This, sir, is my case; I was bred at a country school, where I learned Latin and Greek. The misfortunes of my family forced me up to tor where a profession of the politer sort has protected me against infamy and want. I ana now clerk to a lawyer, and in times of vacancy and recess from business, have made myself master of Italian and French; and though the progress I have made is my business has gained me reputation enough for one of my standing, yet my mind suggests to r every day, that it is not upon that foundation am to build my fortune.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 11,17
Compositus melius cum Bitho Bacchius; in jus
Those who accept of favour without merit, support themselves in it at the expense of your The person I have my present dependance majesty. Give me leave to tell you, sir, this is the upon, has it in his nature, as well as in his powe reason that we in the country hear so often re-to advance me, by recommending me to a peated the word prerogative. That part of your man that is going beyond sea in a public empl law which is reserved in yourself, for the readier ment. I know the printing this letter would pe service and good of the public, slight men are me out to those I want confidence to speak eternally buzzing in our ears, to cover their own and I hope it is not in your power to re follies and miscarriages. It would be an addition making any body happy. to the high favour you have done me, if you would September 9, 1712. let Eucrate send me word how often, and in what cases, you allow a constable to insist upon the prerogative. From the highest to the lowest officer in your dominions, something of their own carriage they would exempt from examination, under the shelter of the word prerogative. I would fain, most noble Pharamond, see one of your officers assert your prerogative by good and gracious actions. When is it used to help the afflicted, to rescue the innocent, to comfort the stranger? Uncommon methods, apparently undertaken to attain worthy ends, would never make power invidious. You see, sir, I talk to you with the freedom your noble nature approves in all whom you admit to your Ir is sometimes pleasant enough to consider different notions which different persons have But, to return to your majesty's letter, I hum- the same thing. If men of low condition bly conceive that all distinctions are useful to men, often set a value on things which are not pr only as they are to act in public; and it would be by those who are in a higher station of life, the a romantic madness for a man to be a lord in his are many things these esteem which are in no t closet. Nothing can be honourable to a man apart among persons of an inferior rank. Common from the world, but the reflection upon worthy ple are, in particular, very much astonished w actions; and he that places honour in a conscious they bear of those solemn contests and deba ness of well-doing, will have but little relish of which are made among the great upon the par any outward homage that is paid him, since what lios of a public ceremony; and wonder to gives him distinction to himself, cannot come with that any business of consequence should be retar in the observation of his beholders. Thus all the by those little circumstances which they repres words of lordship, honour, and grace, are only re-to themselves as trifling and insignificant petitions to a man that the king has ordered him mightily pleased with a porter's decision in ont to be called so; but no evidences that there is any Mr. Southern's plays, which is founded upont thing in himself, that would give the man, who applies to him, those ideas, without the creation of
Mr. Robert Harper, an eminent conveyancer, of Lines †The Fatal Marriage; or, The Innocent Adultery.
Pharr fine distress of a virtuous woman's marrying a se- punishment that was due to their insolence. To cond husband, while her first was yet living. The which he added, that the French nation was so first husband, who was supposed to have been dead, addicted to grimace, that, if there was no a s op returning to his house after a long absence, raises put to it at the general congress, there would be a noble perplexity for the tragic part of the play. no walking the streets for them in a time of peace, In the meanwhile, the nurse and the porter con- especially if they continued masters of the West ferring upon the difficulties that would ensue in Indies. The little man proceeded with a great such a case, honest Samson thinks the matter may deal of warmth, declaring that, if the allies were be easily decided, and solves it very judiciously by of his mind, he would oblige the French king to the old proverb, that, if his master be still living, burn his galleys, and tolerate the protestant reli'the man must have his mare again. There is gion in his dominions, before he would sheath his nothing in my time which has so much surprised sword. He concluded with calling Monsieur Mesand confounded the greatest part of my honest nager an insignificant prig.
ject and set
hat de countrymen, as the present controversy between The dispute was now growing very warm, and Count Rechteren and Monsieur Mesnager, which one does not know where it would have ended, employs the wise heads of so many nations, and had not a young man of about one-and-twenty, holds all the affairs of Europe in suspense. who seems to have been brought up with an eye to Upon my going into a coffee-house yesterday, the law, taken the debate into his hand, and given and lending an ear to the next table, which was it as his opinion, that neither Count Rechteren nor encompassed with a circle of inferior politicians, Monsieur Mesnager had behaved themselves right one of them, after having read over the news very in this affair. Count Rechteren,' says he, should attentively, broke out into the following remarks: have made affidavit that his servants had been 'I am afraid,' says he, this unhappy rupture be- affronted, and then Monsieur Mesnager would have tween the footmen at Utrecht will retard the peace done him justice, by taking away their liveries of Christendom. I wish the pope may not be at from them, or some other way that he might have the bottom of it. His holiness has a very good thought the most proper; for, let me tell you, if a hand at fomenting a division, as the poor Swiss man makes a mouth at me, I am not to knock the cantons have lately experienced to their cost. If teeth out of it for his pains. Then again, as for Monsieur What-d'ye-call-him's domestics will not Monsieur Mesnager, upon his servants being come to an accommodation, I do not know how the quarrel can be ended but by a religious war.' 'Why, truly,' says a wiseacre that sat by him, were I as the king of France, I would scorn to take part with the footmen of either side: here's all the business of Europe stands still, because Monsieur Mesnager's man has had his head broke. If Count Rectrum had given them a pot of ale after it, all would have been well, without any of this bustle; but they say he's a warm man, and fuct does not care to be made mouths at.'
Upon this, one that had held his tongue hitherto, began to exert himself; declaring, that he was very well pleased the plenipotentiaries of our Christian princes took this matter into their serious consideration; for that lackeys were never so saucy and pragmatical as they are now-a-days, and that he should be glad to see them taken down in the treaty of peace, if it might be done without prejudice to the public affairs.
beaten, why, he might have had his action of assault and battery. But as the case now stands, if you will have my opinion, I think they ought to bring it to referees.'
I heard a great deal more of this conference, but I must confess with little edification; for all I could learn at last from these honest gentlemen was, that the matter in debate was of too high a nature for such heads as theirs, or mine, to comprehend.
N° 482. FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 1712.
Floriferis ut apes in saltibus omnia libant.
LUCR. 1. iii. ver. 11.
One who sat at the other end of the table, and seemed to be in the interest of the French king, told them, that they did not take the matter right, WHEN I have published any single paper that falls for that his most Christian majesty did not resent in with the popular taste, and pleases more than this matter because it was an injury done to Mon-ordinary, it always brings me in a great return of sieur Mesnager's footman; for," says he, what are letters. My Tuesday's discourse, wherein I gave Monsieur Mesnager's footmen to him? but because several admonitions to the fraternity of the benit was done to his subjects. Now,' says he, let pecked, has already produced me very many corme tell you, it would look very odd for a subject respondents; the reason I cannot guess, unless it of France to have a bloody nose, and his sovereign be that such a discourse is of general use, and not to take notice of it He is obliged in honour every married man's money. An honest tradesman, to defend his people against hostilities; and, if the who dates his letter from Cheapside, sends me Dutch will be so insolent to a crowned head as, in any wise, to cuff or kick those who are under his protection, I think he is in the right to call them to an account for it'
thanks in the name of a club, who, he tells me, meet as often as their wives will give them leave, and stay together till they are sent for home. He informs me that my paper has administered great This distinction set the controversy upon a new consolation to their whole club, and desires me to foot, and seemed to be very well approved by most give some further account of Socrates, and to acthat heard it, until a little warm fellow, who had quaint them in whose reign he lived, whether he declared himself a friend to the house of Austria, was a citizen or a courtier, whether he buried fell most unmercifully upon his Gallic majesty, as Xantippe; with many other particulars: for that, encouraging his subjects to make mouths at their by his sayings, he appears to have been a very betters, and afterwards screening them from the wise man, and a good Christian. Another, who
⚫ Count Rechteren.
writes himself Benjamin Bamboo, tells me, that,
'I am, &c.' 0.
to tame her by such lawful means as those which I wears the petticoat. Why should not a female mentioned in my last Tuesday's paper, and that in character be as ridiculous in a man, as a male cha his wrath he had often gone further than Bracton racter in one of our sex? allows in those cases; but that for the future he was resolved to bear it like a man of temper and learning, and consider her only as one who lives in his house to teach him philosophy. Tom Dapperwit says, that he agrees with me in that whole
Nec deus intersit, nisi dignus vindice nodus
discourse, excepting only the last sentence, where N° 483. SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 1712. I affirm the married state to be either a heaven or a hell. Tom has been at the charge of a penny upon this occasion to tell me, that by his experience it is neither one nor the other, but rather that middle kind of state, commonly known by the name of purgatory.
HOR. Ars Poet. ver. 191
The fair sex have likewise obliged me with their reflections upon the same discourse. A lady, who We cannot be guilty of a greater act of uncharita calls herself Euterpe, and seems a woman of let-bleness than to interpret the afflictions which befa ters, asks me whether I am for establishing the our neighbours as punishments and judgments. I Salic law in every family, and why it is not fit that aggravates the evil to him who suffers, when le a woman who has discretion and learning should looks upon himself as the mark of divine vengeance. sit at the helm, when the husband is weak and illi- and abates the compassion of those towards him. terate? Another of quite contrary character, sub-who regard him in so dreadful a light. The he scribes herself Xantippe, and tells me that she mour of turning every misfortune into a judgment. follows the example of her namesake; for, being proceeds from wrong notions of religion, which in married to a bookish man, who has no knowledge its own nature produces good-will towards mer of the world, she is forced to take their affairs and puts the mildest construction upon every acci into her own hands, and to spirit him up now and dent that befals them. In this case, therefore, it is then, that he may not grow musty, and unfit for not religion that sours a man's temper, but it is lis temper that sours his religion. People of gloomy After this abridgment of some letters which are uncheerful imaginations, or of envious malignant come to my hands upon this occasion, I shall pub-tempers, whatever kind of life they are engaged lish one of them at large. in, will discover their natural tincture of mind in all their thoughts, words, and actions. As the finest wines have often the taste of the soil, so eve You have given us a lively picture of that kind the most religious thoughts often draw something of husband who comes under the denomination of that is particular, from the constitution of the mind the hen-pecked; but I do not remember that you in which they arise. When folly or superstition have ever touched upon one that is of the quite strike in with this natural depravity of tempe different character, and who, in several places of it is not in the power, even of religion itself, to England, goes by the name of "a cot-queen." I preserve the character of the person who is pos have the misfortune to be joined for life with one sessed with it from appearing highly absurd and of this character, who, in reality, is more a wo- ridiculous. inan than I am. He was bred up under the tui- An old maiden gentlewoman, whom I shall can tion of a tender mother, till she had made him as ceal under the name of Nemesis, is the greates good a housewife as herself. He could preserve discoverer of judgments that I have met with. She apricots, and make jellies, before he had been two can tell you what sin it was that set such a mari years out of the nursery. He was never suffered house on fire, or blew down his barns. Talk to her to go abroad, for fear of catching cold: when he of an unfortunate young lady that lost her best should have been hunting down a buck, he was by the small-pox, she fetches a deep sigh, and tel by his mother's side learning how to season it, or you, that when she had a fine face she was alway put it in crust; and was making paper boats with looking on it in her glass. Tell her of a pieced his sisters, at an age when other young gentlemen good fortune that has befallen one of her acqua are crossing the seas, or travelling into foreign ance, and she wishes it may prosper with her, b countries. He has the whitest hand that you ever her mother used one of her nieces very barbarous saw in your life, and raises paste better than any Her usual remarks turn upon people who had gre woman in England. These qualifications make estates, but never enjoyed them by reason of some him a sad husband. He is perpetually in the flaw in their own or their father's behaviour. S kitchen, and has a thousand squabbles with the can give you the reason why such an one cook-maid. He is better acquainted with the milk-childless; why such an one was cut off in the flower score than his steward's accounts. I fret to death of his youth; why such an one was unhappy in he when I hear him find fault with a dish that is not marriage; why one broke his leg on such a dressed to his liking, and instructing his friends cular spot of ground; and why another was kill that dine with him in the best pickle for a walnut, with a back-sword, rather than with any othe or sauce for an haunch of venison. With all this kind of weapon. She has a crime for every m he is a very good-natured husband, and never fell fortune that can befall any of her acquaintance out with me in his life but once, upon the over- and when she hears of a robbery that has bee roasting of a dish of wild fowl. At the same time made, or a murder that has been committed, I must own, I would rather he was a man of a larges more on the guilt of the suffering perso rough temper, that would treat me harshly some-than on that of the thief, or assassin. In short, s times, than of such an effeminate busy nature, in a is so good a Christian, that whatever happens province that does not belong to him. Since you herself is a trial, and whatever happens to h have given us the character of a wife who wears neighbours is a judgment. the breeches, pray say something of a husband that
The very description of this folly, in ordina
life, is sufficient to expose it; but, when it appears Another consideration, that may check our prein a pomp and dignity of style, it is very apt to sumption in putting such a consideration upon a amuse and terrify the mind of the reader. Hero- misfortune, is this, that it is impossible for us to dotus and Plutarch very often apply their judg-know what are calamities, and what are blessings. ments as impertinently as the old woman I have How many accidents have passed for misfortunes, before mentioned, though their manner of relating which have turned to the welfare and prosperity them makes the folly itself appear venerable. In- of the persons in whose lot they have fallen! How deed, most historians, as well Christian as pagan, many disappointments have, in their consequences, SEPTEE have fallen into this idle superstition, and spoken saved a man from ruin! If we could look into the of ill success, unforeseen disasters, and terrible effects of every thing, we might be allowed to events, as if they bad been let into the secrets of pronounce boldly upon blessings and judgments: dignus vindu na Providence, and made acquainted with that pri- but for a man to give his opinion of what he sees Hvate conduct by which the world is governed. One but in part, and in his beginnings, is an unjustiard would think several of our own historians in par-fiable piece of rashness and folly. The story of ticular had many revelations of this kind made to Biton and Clitobus, which was in great reputation them. Our old English monks seldom let any of among the heathens (for we see it quoted by all treret their kings depart in peace, who had endeavoured the ancient authors, both Greek and Latin, who hetto diminish the power or wealth of which the eccle- have written upon the immortality of the soul), ments and siastics were in those times possessed. William the may teach us a caution in this matter. These two invest Conqueror's race generally found their judgments brothers, being the sons of a lady who was priestess tark in the New Forest, where their father had pulled to Juno, drew their mother's chariot to the temple of the down churches and monasteries. In short, read at the time of a great solemnity, the persons being eatfall one of the chronicles written by an author of this absent who by their office were to have drawn her frame of mind, and you would think you were chariot on that occasion. The mother was so transsofrer reading an history of the kings of Israel or Judah, ported with this instance of filial duty, that she where the historians were actually inspired, and petitioned her goddess to bestow upon them the good fire where, by a particular scheme of Providence, the greatest gift that could be given to men; upon kings were distinguished by judgments, or bless-which they were both cast into a deep sleep, and ings, according as they promoted idolatry, or the the next morning found dead in the temple. This Peworship of the true God. was such an event, as would have been construed
N° 484. MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 1712.
Neque cuiquam tam statim clarum ingenium est, ut possit emer-
No man's abilities are so remarkably shining, as not to stand in need of a proper opportunity, a patron, and even the praises of a friend, to recommend them to the notice of the world.
I cannot but look upon this manner of judging into a judgment, had it happened to the two broupon misfortunes, not only to be very uncharitable thers after an act of disobedience, and would in regard to the person whom they befall, but very doubtless have been represented as such by any presumptuous in regard to Him who is supposed to ancient historian who had given us an account of it. inflict them. It is a strong argument for a state of retribution hereafter, that in this world virtuous persons are very often unfortunate, and vicious persons prosperous; which is wholly repugnant to the nature of a Being who appears infinitely wise and good in all his works, unless we may suppose that such a promiscuous and undistinguishing distribution of good and evil, which was necessary for carrying on the designs of Providence in this life, will be rectified, and made amends for in another. We are not therefore to expect that fire should fall from heaven in the ordinary course of providence; nor when we see triumphant guilt, or depressed virtue in particular persons, that Omnipotence will make bare his holy arm in the defence of the one, or punishment of the other. It s sufficient that there is a day set apart for the Or all the young fellows who are in their proearing and requiting of both, according to their gress through any profession, none seems to have so espective merits. good a title to the protection of the men of emiThe folly of ascribing temporal judgments to any nence in it, as the modest man; not so much beparticular crimes, may appear from several consi-cause his modesty is a certain indication of his lerations. I shall only mention two. First, that, merit, as because it is a certain obstacle to the progenerally speaking, there is no calamity or afflic-ducing of it. Now, as of all professions this virtue ion, which is supposed to have happened as a is thought to be more particularly unnecessary in udgment to a vicious man, which does not some- that of the law than in any other, I shall only apply imes happen to men of approved religion and myself to the relief of such who follow this proirtue. When Diagoras, the atheist, was on board fession with this disadvantage. What aggravates ne of the Athenian ships, there arose a very vio- the matter is, that those persons who, the better to ent tempest: upon which the mariners told him, prepare themselves for this study, have made some hat it was a just judgment upon them for having progress in others, have, by addicting themselves to aken so impious a man on board. Diagoras begged letters, increased their natural modesty, and conhem to look upon the rest of the ships that were sequently heightened the obstruction to this sort of the same distress, and asked them whether or no preferment; so that every one of these may emphaDiagoras was on board every vessel in the fleet. tically be said to be such a one as "laboureth and Ve are all involved in the same calamities, and taketh pains, and is still the more behind." It may ubject to the same accidents: and, when we wee be a matter worth discussing then, why that, which ny one of the species under any particular op- made a youth so amiable to the ancients, should ression, we should look upon it as arising from the make him appear so ridiculous to the moderns? ommon lot of human nature, rather than from the And why, in our days, there should be neglect, uilt of the person who suffers. and even oppression of young beginners, instead of
that protection which was the pride of theirs? In and to defy all contradiction, prevail over that the profession spoken of, it is obvious to every one deference and resignation with which the modest whose attendance is required at Westminster-Hall, man implores that favourable opinion which the with what difficulty a youth of any modesty has other seems to command? been permitted to make an observation, that could 'As the case at present stands, the best consola. in no wise detract from the merit of his elders, and tion that I can administer to those who cannot get is absolutely necessary for the advancing his own. into that stroke of business (as the phrase is) which I have often seen one of these not only molested in they deserve, is to reckon every particularly acqui his utterance of something very pertinent, but even sition of knowledge in this study as a real increase plundered of his question, and by a strong sergeant of their fortune; and fully to believe, that one day shouldered out of his rank, which he has recovered this imaginary gain will certainly be made out, by with much difficulty and confusion. Now, as great one more substantial. I wish you would talk t part of the business of this profession might be dis-us a little on this head; you would oblige, patched by one that perhaps
Abest virtute diserti
Messala, nec scit quantum Causellius Aulus;"
HOR. Ars Poet. ver. 370.
Wants Messala's powerful eloquence,
And is less read than deep Causellius;"
"Your humble servant.'
The author of this letter is certainly a man of good sense; but I am perhaps particular in my opinion on this occasion; for I have observed that under the notion of modesty, men have indulged themselves in a spiritless sheepishness, and been fo ever lost to themselves, their families, their friends, so I cannot conceive the injustice done to the pub- and their country. When a man has taken care to lic, if the men of reputation in this calling would pretend to nothing but what he may justly aim, introduce such of the young ones into business, and can execute as well as any other, without in whose application to this study will let them into justice to any other; it is ever want of breed ng the secrets of it, as much as their modesty will or courage, to be brow-beaten, or elbowed out of hinder them from the practice: I say, it would be his honest ambition. I have said often, modesty laying an everlasting obligation upon a young man, must be an act of the will, and yet it always to be introduced at first only as a mute, till by this plies self-denial: for, if a man has an ardent desire countenance, and a resolution to support the good to do what is laudable for him to perform, and opinion conceived of him in his betters, his com- from an unmanly bashfulness shrinks away, plexion shall be so well settled, that the litigious lets his merit languish in silence, he ought not t of this island may be secure of his obstreperous aid. be angry at the world that a more unskilful acts If I might be indulged to speak in the style of a succeeds in his part, because he has not confidence lawyer, I would say, that any one about thirty to come upon the stage himself. The generos years of age might make a common motion to the my correspondent mentions of Pliny cannot Court with as much elegance and propriety as the enough applauded. To cherish the dawn of mer most aged advocates in the hall. and hasten its maturity, was a work worthy a I cannot advance the merit of modesty by any noble Roman, and a liberal scholar. That concer argument of my own so powerfully as by inquiring which is described in the letter, is to all the world into the sentiments the greatest among the ancients the greatest charm imaginable; but then the of different ages entertained upon this virtue. If dest man must proceed, and show a latent res we go back to the days of Solomon, we shall find tion in himself; for the admiration of his modesty favour a necessary consequence to a shame-faced arises from the manifestation of his merit. In man. Pliny, the greatest lawyer and most elegant confess we live in an age wherein a few en writer of the age he lived in, in several of his blusterers carry away the praise of speaking, while epistles is very solicitous in recommending to the a crowd of fellows overstocked with knowledge public some young men of his own profession, and are run down by them: I say overstocked, beca very often undertakes to become an advocate, they certainly are so, as to their service of ma upon condition that some one of these his favour-kind, if from their very store they raise to the ites might be joined with him, in order to produce selves ideas of respect, and greatness of the oc the merit of such, whose modesty otherwise would sion, and I know not what, to disable themse have suppressed it. It may seem very marvellous from explaining their thoughts. I must cons to a saucy modern, that multum sanguinis, multum when I have seen Charles Frankair rise verecundia, multum solicitudinis in ore; to have the commanding nien, and torrent of handsome words "face first full of blood, then the countenance talk a mile off the purpose, and drive down twe dashed with modesty, and then the whole aspect bashful boobies of ten times his sense, who at the as of one dying with fear, when a man begins to same time were envying his impudence, and speak;" should be esteemed by Pliny the neces- spising his understanding, it has been matter sary qualifications of a fine speaker. Shakspeare great mirth to me; but it soon ended in a secret also has expressed himself in the same favourable mentation, that the fountains of every thing p strain of modesty, when he says,
“———— In the modesty of fearful duty
I read as much as from the rattling tongue
worthy in these realms, the universities, should b so muddled with a false sense of this virtue, a produce men capable of being so abused. In be bold to say, that it is a ridiculous educati which does not qualify a man to make his best
Now, since these authors have professed them-pearance before the greatest man, and the for selves for the modest man, even in the utmost con- woman, to whom he can address himself. fusions of speech and countenance, why should this judiciously corrected in the nurseries of lea an intrepid utterance and a resolute vociferation ing, pert coxcombs would know their distan thunder so successfully in our courts of justice? but we must bear with this false modesty in And why should that confidence of speech and be
haviour, which seems to acknowledge no superior,
* See Nos. 231, 234 and 458.