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though in the most minute circumstances, pass with to himself, when, with great perturbation of spirit. so slight a censure. If a man should take a reso- he read as follows: lution to pay only sums above an hundred pounds, and yet contract with different people debts of five and ten, how long can we suppose he will keep his credit? This man will as long support his good name in business, as he will in conversation, who without difficulty makes assignations which he is indifferent whether he keeps or not.
You have gained a slight satisfaction at the expense of doing a very heinous crime. At the price of a faithful friend you have obtained an incon stant mistress. I rejoice in this expedient I have thought of to break my mind to you, and tell you, I am the more severe upon this vice, because I you are a base fellow, by a means which does not have been so unfortunate as to be a very great cri- expose you to the affront except you deserve it minal myself. Sir Andrew Freeport, and all my I know, sir, as criminal as you are, you have still other friends who are scrupulous to promises of shame enough to avenge yourself against the hardthe meanest consideration imaginable, from an ness of any one who should publicly tell you of it. habit of virtue that way, have often upbraided me I therefore, who have received so many secret with it. I take shame upon myself for this crime, hurts from you, shall take satisfaction with safety and more particularly for the greatest I ever com-to myself. I call you base, and you must bear it, mitted of the sort, that when as agreeable a com- or acknowledge it; I triumph over you that you pany of gentlemen and ladies as ever were got cannot come at me; nor do I think it dishonour. together, and I forsooth, Mr. Spectator, to be of able to come in armour to assault him, who was in the party with women of merit, like a booby as 1 ambuscade when he wounded me. was, mistook the time of meeting, and came the 'What need more be said to convince night following I wish every fool, who is negli- being guilty of the basest practice imaginable, gent in this kind, may have as great a loss as I had than that it is such as has made you liable to be in this; for the same company will never meet treated after this manner, while you yourself can more, but are dispersed into various parts of the not in your own conscience but allow the justice world, and I am left under the compunction that of the upbraidings of I deserve, in so many different places to be called a trifler.
"Your injured friend,
No 449. TUESDAY, AUGUST 5, 1712,
·Tibi scriptus, matrona libellus.
A book the chastest matron may peruse.
This fault is sometimes to be accounted for, when! desirable people are fearful of appearing precise and reserved by denials; but they will find the apprehension of that imputation will betray them into a childish impotence of mind, and make them promise all who are so kind to ask it of them. This leads such soft creatures into the misfortune of seeming to return overtures of good-will with ingratitude. The first steps in the breach of a man's integrity are much more important than men are aware of. The man who scruples not break- WHEN I reflect upon my labours for the public, ing his word in little things, would not suffer in his I cannot but observe, that part of the species, of own conscience so great pain for failures of con- which I profess myself a friend and guardian, is sequence, as he who thinks every little offence sometimes treated with severity; that is, there are against truth and justice a disparagement. We in my writings many descriptions given of ill pershould not make any thing we ourselves disapprove sons, and not any direct encomium made of those habitual to us, if we would be sure of our inte- who are good. When I was convinced of this grity. error, I could not but immediately call to mind I remember a falsehood of the trivial sort, though several of the fair sex of my acquaintance, whose not in relation to assignations, that exposed a man characters deserve to be transmitted to posterity to a very uneasy adventure. Will Trap and Jack in writings which will long outlive mine. But Stint were chamber-fellows in the Inner Temple do not think that a reason why I should not give about twenty-five years ago. They one night sat them their place in my diurnal as long as it will in the pit together at a comedy, where they both last. For the service therefore of my female observed and liked the same young woman in the readers, I shall single out some characters of maids boxes. Their kindness for her entered both hearts wives, and widows, which deserve the imitation deeper than they imagined. Stint had a good of the sex. She who shall lead this small illus faculty in writing letters of love, and made his ad-trious number of heroines shall be the amiable dress privately that way; while Trap proceeded Fidelia.
in the ordinary course, by money and her waiting. Before I enter upon the particular parts of her maid. The lady gave them both encouragement, character, it is necessary to preface, that she is the receiving Trap into the utmost favour, and answer-only child of a decrepit father, whose life is bound ing at the same time Stint's letters, and giving him up in hers. This gentleman has used Fidelia from appointments at third places. Trap began to sus her cradle with all the tenderness imaginable, an pect the epistolary correspondence of his friend, has viewed her growing perfections with the parand discovered also that Stint opened all his letters tiality of a parent, that soon thought her accom which came to their common lodgings, in order to plished above the children of all other men, but form his own assignations. After much anxiety never thought she was come to the utmost improve and restlessness, Trap came to a resolution, which ment of which she herself was capable. This fond he thought would break off their commerce withness has had very happy effects upon his own hap one another without any hazardous explanation. piness; for she reads, she dances, she sings, is He therefore writ a letter in a feigned hand to her spinet and lute to the utmost perfection; and Mr. Trap, at his chambers in the Temple. Stint, the lady's use of all these excellencies is, te diverf according to custom, seized and opened it, and the old man in his easy chair, when he is o was not a little surprised to find the inside directed the pangs of a chronical distemper. Fidelia is new
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in the twenty-third year of her age; but the appli- Fidelia, who gives him up her youth, does not cation of many lovers, her vigorous time of life, her think it any great sacrifice to add to it the spoiling quick sense of all that is truly gallant and elegant of her dress. Her care and exactness in her habit, in the enjoyment of a plentiful fortune, are not convince her father of the alacrity of her mind; and able to draw her from the side of her good old she has of all women the best foundation for affectfather. Certain it is, that there is no kind of affec-ing the praise of a seeming negligence. What adds tion so pure and angelic as that of a father to a to the entertainment of the good old man is, that daughter. He beholds her both with, and without, Fidelia, where merit and fortune cannot be overregard to her sex. In love to our wives there is looked by epistolary lovers, reads over the acdesire, to our sons there is ambition; but in that counts of her conquests, plays on her spinet the to our daughters, there is something which there gayest airs (and while she is doing so, you would are no words to express. Her life is designed think her formed only for gallantry,) to intimate wholly domestic, and she is so ready a friend and to him the pleasures she despises for his sake. companion, that every thing that passes about a Those who think themselves the pattern of goodman, is accompanied with the idea of her pre-breeding and gallantry would be astonished to hear sence. Her sex also is naturally so much exposed that, in those intervals when the old gentleman is to hazard, both as to fortune and innocence, that at ease, and can bear company, there are at his there is perhaps a new cause of fondness arising house, in the most regular order, assemblies of from that consideration also. None but fathers can people of the highest merit; where there is conhave a true sense of this sort of pleasures and versation without mention of the faults of the absensations; but my familiarity with the father of sent, benevolence between men and women withFidelia, makes me let drop the words which I have out passion, and the highest subjects of morality heard him speak, and observe upon his tenderness treated of as natural and accidental discourse; all which is owing to the genius of Fidelia, who at
Fidelia, on her part, as I was going to say, as once makes her father's way to another world easy, accomplished as she is, with all her beauty, wit, and herself capable of being an honour to his name air, and mien, employs her whole time in care and in this. attendance upon her father. How have I been
charmed to see one of the most beauteous women 6 MR, SPECTATOR,
the age has produced, on her knees, helping on an 'I was the other day at the Bear-garden in hopes old man's slipper! Her filial regard to him is to have seen your short face; but not being so what she makes her diversion, her business, and fortunate, I must tell you, by way of letter, that her glory. When she was asked by a friend of her there is a mystery among the gladiators which has deceased mother to admit of the courtship of her escaped your spectatorial penetration. For, being son, she answered, that she had a great respect and in a box at an alehouse near that renowned seat of gratitude to her for the overture in behalf of one honour above metioned, I overheard two masters so near to her, but that during her father's life she of the science agreeing to quarrel on the next opwould admit into her heart no value for any thing portunity. This was to happen in a company of that should interfere with her endeavour to make a set of the fraternity of basket-hilts, who were his remains of life as happy and easy as could be to meet that evening. When this was settled, one of expected in his circumstances. The lady admo- asked the other, "Will you give cuts or receive?" nished her of the prime of life with a smile; which The other answered, "Receive." It was replied, Fidelia answered with a frankness that always at-"Are you a passionate man ?"-" No, provided tends unfeigned virtue: It is true, madam, there you cut no more nor no deeper than we agree." I is to be sure very great satisfactions to be expect- thought it my duty to acquaint you with this, that ed in the commerce of a man of honour, whom one the people may not pay their money for fighting, tenderly loves; but I find so much satisfaction in and be cheated. the reflection, how much I mitigate a good man's "Your humble servant, pains, whose welfare depends upon my assiduity about him, that I willingly exclude the loose gra. tifications of passion for the solid reflections of duty. I know not whether any man's wife would be allowed, and (what I still more fear) I know not whether I, a wife, should be willing to be as officious as I am at present about my parent.' The happy father has her declaration that she will not marry during his life, and the pleasure of seeing that resolution not uneasy to her. Were one to paint filial affection in its utmost beauty, he could not have a more lively idea of it than in beholding Fidelia serving her father at his hours of rising, meals, and rest.
N° 450. WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 6, 1712.
· Quærenda pecunia primum Virtus post nummos.
HOR. Ep. i. l. 1. ver. 53,
Get money, money still :
ALL men, through different paths, make at the When the general crowd of female youth are same common thing, money f and it is to her we consulting their glasses, preparing for balls, assem- owe the politician, the merchant, and the lawyer; blies, or plays; for a young lady, who could be nay, to be free with you, I believe to that also we regarded among the foremost in those places, either are beholden for our Spectator. I am apt to think, for her person, wit, fortune, or conversation, and that could we look into our own hearts, we should yet contemn all these entertainments, to sweeten see money engraved in them in more lively and the heavy hours of a decrepit parent, is a resigna- moving characters than self-preservation; for who tion truly heroic. Fidelia performs the duty of a can reflect upon the merchant hoisting sail in a nurse with all the beauty of a bride; nor does she doubtful pursuit of her, and all mankind sacrificing neglect her person, because of her attendance on their quiet to her, but must perceive that the chahim, when he is too ill to receive company to
whom she may make an appearance.
* See No. 436.
+ See No. 442.
racters of self-preservation (which were doubtless means to alleviate, and at last conquer, my afflic originally the brightest) are sullied, if not wholly tion, by reflecting how that she and her children defaced; and that those of money (which at first having been no great expense to me, the best part was only valuable as a mean to security) are of of her fortune was still left; that my charge being late so brightened, that the characters of self-pre- reduced to myself, a journeyman, and a maid, servation, like a less light set by a greater, are be- I might live far cheaper than before; and that come almost imperceptible? Thus has money got being now a childless widower, I might perhaps the upperhand of what all mankind formerly marry a no less deserving woman, and with a much thought most dear, viz. security and I wish I better fortune than she brought, which was but could say she had here put a stop to her victories; 8004. And, to convince my readers that such con but, alas! common honesty fell a sacrifice to her. siderations as these were proper and apt to pro This is the way scholastic men talk of the greatest duce such an effect, I remember it was the congood in the world: but I, a tradesman, shall give stant observation, at that deplorable time when so you another account of this matter in the plain many hundreds were swept away daily, that the narrative of my own life. I think it proper, in rich ever bore the loss of their families and relathe first place to acquaint my readers that, since tions far better than the poor; the latter, having my setting out in the world, which was in the year little or nothing before-hand, and living from hand 1660, I never wanted money; having begun with to mouth, placed the whole comfort and satisfac an indifferent good stock in the tobacco trade, to tion of their lives in their wives and children, and which I was bred; and by the continual successes were therefore inconsolable. it has pleased Providence to bless my endeavours "The following year happened the fire; at which with, I am at last arrived at what they call a time, by good providence, it was my fortune to plumb. To uphold my discourse in the manner have converted the greatest part of my effects into of your wits or philosophers, by speaking fine ready money, on the prospect of an extraordinary things, or drawing inferences, as they pretend, advantage which I was preparing to lay hold on. from the nature of the subject, I account it vain; This calamity was very terrible and astonishing, having never found any thing in the writings of the fury of the flames being such, that whole such men, that did not savour more of the inven- streets, at several distant places, were destroyed at tion of the brain, or what is styled speculation, one and the same time; so that (as it is well known) than of sound judgment or profitable observation. almost all our citizens were burnt out of what they I will readily grant indeed, that there is what the had. But what did I then do? I did not stand gazing wits call natural in their talk; which is the utmost on the ruins of our noble metropolis; I did not those curious authors can assume to themselves, and shake my head, wring my hands, sigh and shed is indeed all they endeavour at, for they are but tears; I considered with myself what could this lamentable teachers. And what, I pray, is natu- avail: I fell a plodding what advantages might be ral? That which is pleasing and easy? And what made of the ready cash I had; and immediately are pleasing and easy? Forsooth, a new thought bethought myself that wonderful pennyworths or conceit dressed up in smooth quaint language, might be bought of the goods that were saved out to make you smile and wag your head, as being of the fire. In short, with about 2,000, and a what you never imagined before, and yet wonder little credit, I bought as much tobacco as raised my why you had not; mere frothy amusements, fit only estate to the value of 10,000%. I then "looked on for boys or silly women to be caught with! the ashes of our city, and the misery of its late inIt is not my present intention to instruct my habitants, as an effect of the just wrath and indigna readers in the methods of acquiring riches; that tion of heaven towards a sinful and perverse people. may be the work of another essay but to exhibit After this I married again; and that wife dying the real and solid advantages I have found by them I took another; but both proved to be idle bag in my long and manifold experience; nor yet all gages; the first gave me a great deal of plague and the advantages of so worthy and valuable a bless- vexation by her extravagancies, and I became one ing, (for who does not know or imagine the com- of the by-words of the city. I knew it would be forts of being warm, or living at ease, and that to no manner of purpose to go about to curb the power and pre-eminence are their inseparable at- fancies and inclinations of women, which fly out tendants?) but only to instance the great supports the more for being restrained; but what I could! they afford us under the severest calamities and did; I watched her narrowly, and by good luck misfortunes; to show that the love of them is a found her in the embraces (for which I had twe special antidote against immorality and vice; and witnesses with me) of a wealthy spark of the court that the same does likewise naturally dispose men end of the town of whom I recovered 15,000 to actions of piety and devotion. All which I can pounds, which made me amends for what she had make out by my own experience, who think my-idly squandered, and put a silence to all my neighself no ways particular from the rest of mankind, bours, taking off my reproach by the gain they nor better nor worse by nature than generally saw I had by it. The last died about two years other men are. after I married her, in labour of three children In the year 1665, when the sicknesst was, I conjecture they were begot by a country kins lost by it my wife and two children, which were man of her's, whom, at her recommendation, all my stock. Probably I might have had more, took into my family, and gave wages to as a jour considering I was married between four and five neyman. What this creature expended in deli years; but finding her to be a teeming woman, I cacies and high diet for her kinsman (as well as was careful, as having then little above a brace of could compute by the poulterer's, fishmonger's and thousand pounds to carry on my trade, and main-grocer's bills,) amounted in the said two years to tain a family with. I loved them as usually men one hundred eighty-six pounds four shillings and do their wives and children, and therefore could five pence half-penny. The fine apparel, bracelets not resist the first impulses of nature on so wound-lockets, and treats, &c. of the other, according to the ing a loss; but I quickly roused myself, and found best calculation, came, in three years and about three quarters, to seven hundred forty-four pounds seve shillings and nine pence. After this I resolved never
+ The plague.
nd at last conque that she ad a expense to left; that journey, per than be
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N° 451. THURSDAY, AUGUST 7, 1712.
Jam saus apertam
In rabiem cæpit verti jocus, et per honestas
HOR. Ep. i. 1. 2. ver. 149.
Times corrupt, and nature ill-inclin'd,
'I come now to show the good effects of the love of money on the lives of men, towards rendering them honest, sober, and religious. When I was a young man, I had a mind to make the best of my wits, and overreached a country chap in a parcel of unsound goods; to whom, upon his upbraiding, and threatening to expose me for it, I returned the equivalent of his loss; and upon his good advice, wherein he clearly demonstrated the folly of such artifices, which can never end but in shame, and THERE is nothing so scandalous to a government, the ruin of all correspondence, I never after and detestable in the eyes of all good men, as detransgressed. Can your courtiers, who take bribes, famatory papers and pamphlets; but at the same or your lawyers or physicians in their practice, or time there is nothing so difficult to tame as a satirieven the divines who intermeddle in worldly af- cal author. An angry writer, who cannot appear fairs, boast of making but one slip in their lives, in print, naturally vents his spleen in libels and and of such a thorough and lasting reformation? lampoons. A gay old woman, says the fable, seeSince my coming into the world I do not remem- ing all her wrinkles represented in a large lookber I was ever overtaken in drink, save nine times, ing-glass, threw it upon the ground in a passion, once at the christening of my first child, thrice at and broke it into a thousand pieces; but as she was our city feasts, and five times at driving of bar-afterwards surveying the fragments with a spiteful gains. My reformation I can attribute to no- kind of pleasure, she could not forbear uttering thing so much as the love and esteem of money; herself in the following soliloquy. What have I for I found myself to be extravagant in my drink, got by this revengeful blow of mine? I have only and apt to turn projector, and make rash bar-multiplied my deformity, and see an hundred ugly gains. As for women, I never knew any except faces, where before I saw but one.'
my wives: for my reader must know, and it is It has been proposed, to oblige every person what he may confide in as an excellent recipe, that that writes a book, or a paper, to swear himself the love of business and money is the greatest the author of it, and enter down in a public regismortifier of inordinate desires imaginable, as em- ter his name and place of abode.
ploying the mind continually in the careful over- This indeed would have effectually suppressed adrages: sight of what one has, in the eager quest after all printed scandal, which generally appears under ad; and more, in looking after the negligencies and de- borrowed names, or under none at all. But it is
derfai per about
niser d'a wrath
d to be
deal ar pir
ceits of servants, in the due entering and stating of to be feared, that such an expedient would not accounts, in hunting after chaps, and in the exact only destroy scandal, but learning. It would knowledge of the state of markets; which things operate promiscuously, and root up the corn and whoever thoroughly attends to, will find enough tares together. Not to mention some of the most and enough to employ his thoughts on every mo- celebrated works of piety, which have proceeded ment of the day; so that I cannot call to mind, from anonymous authors who have made it their that in all the time I was a husband, which, off and merit to convey to us so great a charity in secret; on, was about twelve years, I ever once thought there are few works of genius that come out at of my wives but in bed. And, lastly, for religion, first with the author's name. The writer generally I have ever been a constant churchman, both fore-makes a trial of them in the world before he owns noons and afternoons on Sundays, never forgetting them; and, I believe, very few, who are capable to be thankful for any gain or advantage I had of writing, would set pen to paper, if they knew had that day; and on Saturday nights, upon cast-beforehand that they must not publish their proing up my accounts, I always was grateful for the ductions but on such conditions. For my own sum of my week's profits, and at Christmas for part, I must declare, the papers I present the pubthat of the whole year. It is true, perhaps, that lic are like fairy favours, which shall last no longer my devotion has not been the most fervent; which, than while the author is concealed.
I think, ought to be imputed to the evenness and That which makes it particularly difficult to re-
makes his court to them by tearing to pieces the reputation of a competitor, we should quickly see an end put to this race of vermin, that are a scandal to government, and a reproach to human nature. Such a proceeding would make a minister of state shine in history, and would fill all mankind with a just abhorrence of persons who should treat him unworthily, and employ against him those arms
which he scorned to make use of against his enemies.
of God? We must distinguish in this point. This pleasure is either an agreeable sensation we are I cannot think that any one will be so unjust as affected with, when we meet with a witty thought to imagine, what I have here said is spoken with which is well expressed, or it is a joy which we respect to any party or faction. Every one who conceive from the dishonour of the person who is has in him the sentiments either of a Christian or defamed. I will say nothing to the first of these gentleman, cannot but be highly offended at this cases; for perhaps some would think that my mowicked and ungenerous practice, which is so much rality is not severe enough, if I should affirm tha: in use among us at present, that it is become a a man is not master of those agreeable sensations, kind of national crime, and distinguishes us from any more than of those occasioned by sugar or bo all the governments that lie about us. I cannot ney, when they touch his tongue; but as to the se but look upon the finest strokes of satire which are cond, every one will own that pleasure to be a aimed at particular persons, and which are supported heinous sin. The pleasure in the first case is of no even with the appearances of truth, to be the marks continuance: it prevents our reason and reflection, of an evil mind, and highly criminal in themselves. and may be immediately followed by a secret grief, Infamy, like other punishments, is under the directo see our neighbour's honour blasted. If it does tion and distribution of the magistrate, and not of not cease immediately, it is a sign that we are not any private person. Accordingly we learn, from displeased with the ill-nature of the satirist, but a fragment of Cicero, that though there were very are glad to see him defame his enemy by all kinds few capital punishments in the twelve tables, a of stories; and then we deserve the punishment to libel or lampoon, which took away the good name which the writer of the libel is subject. I shall of another, was to be punished by death. But this here add the words of a modern author. St. Gre is far from being our case. Our satire is nothing gory, upon excommunicating those writers who had but ribaldry and Billingsgate. Scurrility passes for dishonoured Castorius, does not except those who wit; and he who can call names in the greatest va-read their works; because, says he, if calumnies riety of phrases, is looked upon to have the have always been the delight of their hearers, shrewdest pen. By this means the honour of fami- and a gratification of those persons who have no lies is ruined, the highest posts and greatest titles other advantage over honest men, is not he who are rendered cheap and vile in the sight of the takes pleasure in reading them as guilty as he who people, the noblest virtues and most exalted parts composed them? It is an uncontested maxim, that exposed to the contempt of the vicious and the ig- they who approve an action, would certainly do it norant. Should a foreigner, who knows nothing if they could; that is, if some reason of self-love of our private factions, or one who is to act his did not hinder them. There is no difference, says part in the world when our present heats and ani- Cicero, between advising a crime, and approving mosities are forgot, should, I say, such an one it when committed. The Roman law confirmed form to himself a notion of the greatest men of all this maxim, having subjected the approvers and sides in the British nation, who are now living, from authors of this evil to the same penalty. We may the characters which are given them in some or other of those abominable writings which are daily published among us, what a nation of monsters must we appear!
therefore conclude, that those who are pleased with reading defamatory libels, so far as to approve the authors and dispersers of them, are as guilty as if they had composed them; for if they do not write such libels themselves, it is because they have not the talent of writing, or because they will run no hazard.'
No 452. FRIDAY, AUGUST 8, 1712.
Est natura hominum novitatis avida.
Human nature is fond of novelty.
As this cruel practice tends to the utter subversion of all truth and humanity among us, it deserves the utmost detestation and discouragement of all who have either the love of their country, or the The author produces other authorities to confirm honour of their religion, at heart. I would there- his judgment in this particular. fore earnestly recommend it to the consideration of those who deal in these pernicious arts of writing, and of those who take pleasure in the reading of them. As for the first, I have spoken of them in former papers, and have not stuck to rank them with the murderer and assassin. Every honest man sets as high a value upon a good name, as upon life itself; and I cannot but think that those who privily assault the one, would destroy the other, might they do it with the same security and impunity. THERE is no humour in my countrymen which I am As for persons who take pleasure in the reading more inclined to wonder at, than their general and dispersing of such detestable libels, I am afraid thirst after news. There are about half a doze they fall very little short of the guilt of the first ingenious men, who live very plentifully upon composers. By a law of the emperors Valentinian curiosity of their fellow subjects. They all of and Valens, it was made death for any person not them receive the same advices from abroad, and only to write a libel, but, if he met with one by very often in the same words; but their way chance, not to tear or burn it. But because I cooking it is so different, that there is no citizen, would not be thought singular in my opinion of who has an eye to the public good, that can leave this matter, I shall conclude my paper with the the coffee-house with peace of mind before he has words of Monsieur Bayle, who was a man of great given every one of them a reading. These severs freedom of thought, as well as of exquisite learn-dishes of news are so very agreeable to the palate ing and judgment? I cannot imagine, that a man who disperses a with them when they are served up hot, but when of my countrymen, that they are not only pleased libel, is less desirous of doing mischief than the they are again set cold before them, by those p author himself. But what shall we say of the plea-netrating politicians who oblige the public with sure which a man takes in the reading of a defa- their reflections and observations upon every piece matory libel? Is it not an heinous sin in the sight of intelligence that is sent us from abroad. The