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I am SIR,
St. Bride's, May 15, 1712. T is a great deal of pleasure to me, and I dare fay will be no less fatisfaction to you, that I have an opportunity of informing you, f that the gentlemen and others of the parish of St. Bride's, have raised a charity-school of fifty girls, as before of fifty boys. You were fo kind to recommend the boys to the charitable world, and the other fex hope you will do them the fame favour in Friday's Spectator ⚫ for Sunday next, when they are to appear with their humble airs at the parish church of St. Bride's. Sir, the mention of this may poffibly be ferviceable to the children: and fure no one will omit a good action attended with no ⚫ expence.
Your very humble fervant,
No 381. SATURDAY, MAY 17, Equam memento rebus in arduis Servare mentem, non fecùs in bonis Ab infolenti temperatam Lætitia moriture Deli.
HOR. Od. 3. 1. 2. V. I. Be calm my Delius, and ferene, However fortune change the fcene: In thy moft dejected state, Sink not underneath the weight; Nor yet when happy days begin, And the full tide comes rolling in, Let a fierce, unruly joy
The fettled quiet of thy mind deftroy.
Have always preferred chearfulness to mirth. The latter I confider as an act, the former as an habit of the mind. Mirth is fhort and tranfient, chearfulness fixed and permanent. Those are often raised into the greateft tranfports of mirth, who are fubject to the greatest depreffions of melancholy. On the contrary, chearfulness, though it does not give the mind fuch an exquifite gladness, prevents us from falling into any depths of forrow. Mirth is like a flash of lightning, that breaks through a gloom of cloud, and glitters for a moment; chearfulness keeps up à kind of day-light in the mind, and fills it with a fteady and perpetual ferenity.
Men of auftere principles look upon mirth as too wanton and diffolute for a state of probation, and as filled with a certain triumph and infolence of heart that is inconfiftent with a life which is every moment obnoxious to the greatest dangers. Writers of this complexion have obferved, that the facred person who was the great pattern of perfection was never seen to laugh.
Chearfulness of mind is not liable to any of thefe exceptions: it is of a ferious and compofed nature; it does not throw the mind into a con
dition improper for the prefent flate of humanity, and is very confpicuous in the characters of those who are looked upon as the greatest philofophers among the heathens, as well as among thofe who have been defervedly esteemed as faints and holy men among Christians.
If we confider chearfulness in three lights, with regard to ourselves, to those we converfe with, and to the great Author of our Being, it will not a little recommend itself on each of these accounts. The man who is poffeffed of this excellent frame of mind, is not eafy in his thoughts, but a perfect master of all the powers and faculties of his foul: his imagination is always clear, and his judgment undisturbed; his temper is even and unruffled, whether in action or in folitude. He comes with a relih to all thofe goods which nature has provided for him, taftes all the pleasures of the creation which are poured about him, and does not .feel the full weight of thofe accidental evils which may befal him.
If we confider him in relation to the perfons whom he converfes with, it naturally produces love and good will towards him. A chearful mind is not only disposed to be affable and obliging, but raifes the fame good humour. in thofe who come within its influence. A man finds himself pleafed, he does not know why, with the chearfulness of his companion: It is like a fudden funthine that awakens a fecret delight in the mind, without her attending to it. The heart rejoices of its own accord, and naturally flows cut into friendship and benevolence towards the perfon who has fo kindly an effect upon it.
When I confider this chearful ftate of mind in its third relation, I cannot but look upon it as a conftant habitual gratitude to the great Author of Nature. An inward chearfulness is an implicit praife and thanksgiving to Providence under all its difpenfations. It is a kind of acquiefcence in the ftate wherein we are placed, and a fecret approbation of the Divine Will in his conduct towards man.
There are but two things, which, in my opin ien, can reafonably deprive us of this chearfulnefs of heart. The first of thefe is the fenfe of guilt. A man who lives in a state of vice and impenitence, can have no title to that evenness and tranquility of mind which is the health of the foul, and the natural effect of virtue and innocence. Chearfulness in an ill man deferves a harder name than language can furnish us with, and is many degrees beyond what we commonly call folly or madness.
Atheism, by which I mean a difbelief of a Supreme Being, and confequently of a future ftate, under whatfoever titles it fhelters itself, may likewife very reasonably deprive a man of this chearfulnefs of temper. There is fomething fo particularly gloomy and offenfive to human nature in the profpect of non-existence, that I cannot but wonder with many excellent writers, how it is poffible for a man to outlive the expectation of it. For my own part, I think the being of a God is fo little to be doubted, that it is almoft the only truth we are fure of, and fuch a truth as we meet with in every object, in every occurence, and in every thought. If we look into the characters of this tribe of infidels, we generally find they are made up of pride,
pleen, and cavil: It is indeed no wonder, that men, who are uneafy to themselves, fhould be fo to the rest of the world; and how is it poffible for a man to be otherwise than uneafy in himself, who is in danger every moment of lofing his intire exiftence, and dropping into nothing?
The vicious man and atheist have therefore no pretence to chearfulness, and would act very unreasonably, should they endeavour after it. It is impoffible for any one to live in good-humour, and enjoy his prefent existence, who is apprehenfive either of torment or of annihilation; of being miferable, or of not being at all.
After having mentioned thefe two great principles, which are destructive of chearfulness in their own nature, as well as in right reafon, I cannot think of any other that ought to banish this happy temper from a virtuous mind. Pain and fichness, fhame and reproach, poverty and old age, nay death itself, confidering the fhortness of their duration, and the advantage we may reap from them, do not deferve the name of evils. A good mind may bear up under them with fortitude, with indolence, and with chearfulness of heart. The toffing of a tempeft does not difcompofe him, which he is fure will bring him to a joyful harbour.
A man who ufes his beft endeavours to live according to the dictates of virtue and right reafon, has two perpetual fources of chearfulness, in the confideration of his own nature, and of that being on whom he has a dependence. If he looks into himfelf, he cannot but rejoice in that exiftence, which is fo lately bestowed upon him, and which, after millions of ages, will be ftill new, and fill in its beginning. How many felf-congratulations naturally rife in the mind, when it refects on this its entrance into eternity, when it takes a view of those improvable faculties, which in a few years, and even at its first fetting out, have made fo confiderable, a progrefs, and which will be ftill receiving an increate of perfection, and confequently an increase of happinefs? The confcioufnefs of fuch a being fpreads a perpetual diffufion of joy through the foul of a virtuous man, and makes him look upon himfelf every moment as more happy than he knows how to conceive.
The fecond fource of chearfulness to a good mind, is its confideration of that being on whom we have our dependence, and in whom, though we behold him as yet but in the first faint difcoveries of his perfections, we fee every thing that we can imagine as great, glorious, or amiable. We find carfelves every where upheld by his goodnís, and furrounded with an immenfity of love and morey. In fhort, we depend upon a being, whofe power qualifies him to make us happy by an infinity of means, whofe goodness and truth engage him to make thofe happy who defire it of him, and whofe upchangeablenefs will fecure us in this happiness to all eternity.
ing to ourfelves, to thofe with whom we converse, and to him whom we were made to please.
Such confiderations, which every one fhould perpetually cherif in his thoughts, will banish from us all that fecret heaviness of heart which unthinking men are fubject to when they lie under no real affiction; all that anguifh which we may feel from any evil that actually oppreffes us, to which I may likewife add thofe little cracklins of mirth and folly, that are apter to betray virtue than fupport it; and establish in us fuch an even and chearful temper, as makes us pleaf
N° 382. MONDAY, MAY 19.
Habes confitentem reum.
The accufed confeffes his guilt.
OUGHT not to have neglected a requeft of one of my correspondents fo long as I have; but I dare fay I have given him time to add practice to profeffion. He fent me fome time ago a bottle or two of excellent wine to drink the health of a gentleman who had by the penny-poft aðvertised him of an egregious error in his condu&. My correfpondent received the obligation from an unknown hand with the candour which is natural to an ingenuous mind; and promises a contrary behaviour in that point for the future: he will offend his monitor with no more errors of that kind, but thanks him for his benevolence, This frank carriage makes me reflect upon thẹ amiable atonement a man makes in an ingenuous acknowledgment of a fault: all fuch mifcarriages as flow from inadvertency are more than repaid by it; for reafon, though not concerned in the injury, employs all its force in the atonement. He that fays, he did not design to disoblige you you in fuch an action, does as much as if he fhould tell you, that though the circumftance which difpleased was never in his thoughts, he has that refpect for you, that he is unfatisfied until it is wholly out of yours. It must be confeffed, that when an acknowledgment of an offence is made out of poornefs of spirit, and not conviction of heart, the circumftance is quite different: but in the cafe of my correfpondent, where both the notice is taken and the return made in private, the affair begins and ends with the highest grace on each fide. To make the acknowledgment of a fault in the highest manner graceful, it is lucky when the circumftances of the offender place him above any ill confequences from the refentment of the perfon offended. A dauphin of France upon a review of the army, and a command of the king to alter the posture of it by a march of one of the wings, gave an im, proper order to an officer at the head of a brigade, who told his highness, he prefumed he had not received the last orders, which were to move a contrary way. The prince, instead of taking the admonition which was delivered in a manner that accounted for his error with fafety to his un. derstanding, fhaked a cane at the officer, and with the return of opprobious language persisted in his own orders. The whole matter came neceffarily before the king, who commanded his fon, on foot, to lay his right hand on the gentleman's stirrup as he fat on horfeback in fight of the whole army, and afk his pardon. When the prince touched his ftirrup, and was going to speak, the officer, with an incredible agility, threw himfelf on the earth, and kiffed his feet.
The body is very little concerned in the pleafure or fufferings of fouls truly great; and the reparation, when an honour was defigned this fidier, appeared as much too great to be borne by his gratitude, as the injury was intolerable to bis refentment, When
When we turn our thoughts from thefe extraordinary occurrences into common life, we fee an ingenuous kind of behaviour not only make up for faults committed, but in a manner expiate them in the very commiffion. Thus many
things wherein a man has preffed too far, he im- No 383. TUESDAY, MAY, 20.
Criminibus debent bortos
Juv. Sat. I. v. 7
up for it no otherwife than by calling themfelves fuch, and exulting in it. But this fort of carriage which prompts a man against rules to urge what he has a mind to, is pardonable only when you fue for another. When you are confident in preference of yourself to others of equal merit, every man that loves virtue and modefty ought, in defence of those qualities, to oppose you: but without confidering the morality of the thing, let us at this time behold only the natural confequence of candour when we speak of ourselves.
The Spectator writes often in an elegant, often in an argumentative, and often in a fublime ftile, with equal fuccefs; but how would it hurt the reputed author of that paper to own, that of the moft beautiful pieces under his title, he is barely the publisher? There is nothing but what a man really performs can be an honour to him; what he takes more than he ought in the eye of the world, he loses in the conviction of his own heart, and a man must lose his consciousness, that is, his very felf, before he can rejoice in any falfhood without inward mortification.
Who has not feen a very criminal at the bar, when his counsel and friends have done all that they could for him in vain, prevail on the whole affembly to pity him, and his judge to recommend his cafe to the mercy of the throne, without offering any thing new in his defence, but that he, whom before we wished convicted, became fo out of his own mouth, and took upon himself all the fhame and forrow we were just before preparing for him? The great oppofition to this kind of candour arifes from the unjust idea people ordinarily have of what we call a high spirit. It is far from greatness of spirit to persist in the wrong in any thing, nor is it a diminution of greatness of spirit to have been in the wrong: perfection is not the attribute of man, therefore he is not degraded by the acknowledgment of an imperfection: but it is the work of little minds to imitate the fortitude of great spirits on worthy occafions, by obstinacy in the wrong. This obftinacy prevails fo far upon them, that they make it extend to the defence of faults in their very fervants. It would fwell this paper to too great a length, fhould I infert all the quarrels and debates which are now on foot in this town; where one party, and in fome cafes both, is fenfible of being on the faulty fide, and have not spirit enough to acknowledge it. Among the ladies the cafe is very common, for there are very few of them who know that it is to maintain a true and high spirit, to throw away from it all which itself disapproves, and to fcorn fo pitiful a fhame, as that which difables the heart from acquiring a liberality of affections and fentinent. The candid mind, by acknowledging and difcarding its faults, has reafon and truth for the foundation of all its paffions and defires, and confequently is happy and fimple; the difingenuous fpirit, by indulgence of one unacknow
ledged error, is entangled with an after-life of guilt, forrow, and perplexity.
SI was fitting in my chamber and thinking on a fubject for my next Spectator, I heard two or three irregular bounces at my landlady's door, and upon the opening of it, a loud chearful voice inquiring whether the philofopher was at home. The child who went to the door anfwered very innocently, that he did not lodge there. I immediately recollected that it was my good friend Sir Roger's voice; and that I had promised to go with him on the water to Spring-garden, in cafe it proved a good evening. The knight put me in mind of my promife from the bottom of the ftair-cafe, but told me that if I was speculating he would ftay below until I had done. Upon my coming down, I found all the children of the family got about my old friend, and my landlady herfelf, who is a notable prating goffip, engaged in a conference with him; being mightily pleafed with his ftroking her little boy upon the head, and bidding him be a good child, and mind his book.
We were no fooner come to the Temple-stairs, but we were furrounded with a croud of watermen, offering us their refpective fervices. Sir Roger, after having looked about him very attentively, fpied one with a wooden-leg, and immediately gave him orders to get his boat ready. As we were walking towards it, You must know,” fays Sir Roger, I never make ufe of any body to row me, that has not either loft a leg or an I would rather bate him a few strokes of his oar, than not employ an honeft man that has been wounded in the queen's fervice. If I ' was a lord or a bishop, and kept a barge, I would not put a fellow in my livery that had not a wooden leg.'
My old friend after having feated himself, and trimmed the boat with his coachman, who being a very fober man, always ferves for ballaft on thefe occafions, we made the best of our way to Vaux-hall. Sir Roger obliged the waterman to give us the hiftory of his right leg, and hearing that he had left it at La Hogue, with many particulars which paffed in that glorious action, the knight in the triumph of his heart made several reflexions on the greatnefs of the British nation; as, that one Englishman could beat three Frenchmen; that we could never be in danger of popery fo long as we took care of our fleet; that the Thames was the nobleft river in Europe; that London bridge was a greater piece of work, than any of the feven wonders of the world; with many other honeft prejudices which naturally cleave to the heart of a true Englishman.
After fome fhort paufe, the old knight turning about his head twice or thrice, to take a furvey of this great metropolis, bid me obferve how thick the city was fet with churches, and that there was scarce a fingle fteeple on this fide Temple-bar. A moft heathenifh fight!' fays Sir Regers
Roger: there is no religion at this end of the town. The fifty new churches will very much mend the profpect; but church-work is flow, church-work is flow!
I do not remember I have any where mention ed. in Sir Roger's character, his cuftom of faluting every body that paffes by him with a good-morrow, or a good-night. This the old man does out of the overflowings of his humanity, though at the fame time it renders him fo popular among all his country neighbours, that it is thought to have gone a good way in making him once or twice knight of the fhire. He cannot forbear this exercife of benevolence even in town, when he meets with any one in his morning or evening walk. It broke from him to feveral boats that paffed by us upon the water; but to the knight's great furprise, as he gave the good-night to two or three young fellows a little before our landing, one of them, instead of returning the civility, afked us, what queer old Put we had in the beat, and whether he was not afhamed to go a wenching at his years; with a great deal of the like Thames-ribaldry. Sir Roger feemed a little fhocked at first, but at length affitming a face of magiftracy, told us, that if he were a Middlesex juftice, he would make fuch vagrants know that her majefty's fubjects were no more to be abused by water than by land.'
We were now arrived at Spring-garden, which is exquifitely pleafant at this time of the year. When I confidered the fragrancy of the walks and bowers, with the choirs of birds that fung upon the trees, and the loofe tribe of people that walked under their fhades, I could not but lock upon the place as a kind of Mahometan paradife. Sir Roger told me it put him in mind of a little coppice by his houfe in the country, which his chaplain ufed to call an aviary of nightingales. You muft understand,' fays the knight, there is nothing in the world that pleafes a man in love fo much as your nightingale. Ah, Mr. Spectator! the moon-light nights that I have walked by myself, and thought on the widow by the mufic of the nightingale! He here fetched a deep figh, and was falling into a fit of mufing, when a maik, who came behind him, gave him a gentle tap upon the shoulder, and asked him if he would drink a bottle of mead with her? But the knight being startled at fo an unexpected a familiarity, and difpleafed to be interrupted in his thoughts of the widow, told her, he was a wanton baggage.' and bid her go about her business.
We concluded our walk with a glafs of Burtonale, and a flice of hung-beef. When we had done eating ourfelves, the knight called a waiter to him, and bid him carry the remainder to the waterman that had but one leg. I perceived the fellow ftared upon him at the oddnefs of thre meffage, and was going to be faucy; upon which I ratified the knight's commands with a peremp tory look.
N° 384. WEDNESDAY. MAY. 21.
As we were going out of the garden, my old friend thinking himself obliged, as a member of the quorum, to animadvert upon the morals of the place, told the miftrefs of the house, who fat at the bar, that he should be a better cuftomer to her garden, if there were more nightingales, and fewer ftrumpets.
Hague, May 24, N. S. The fame republican
hands, who have so often fince the chevalier de St. George's recovery killed him in our public prints, have now reduced the C young dauphin of France to that defperate condition of weakness, and death itfelf, that it is hard to conjecture what method they will take to bring him to life again. Mean time we are affured by a very good hand from Paris, that on the 20th inftant, this young prince was as well as · ever he was known to be fince the day of his birth. As for the other, they are now fending is ghoft, we fuppofe, (for they never had the modefty to contradict the ⚫ affertions of his death) to Commerci in Lorrain, attended only by four gentlemen, and a few domeftics of little confideration. The baron de Bothmar having delivered in his credentials to qualify him as an ambaffador to this ftate, (an office to which his greatest enemies will acknowledge him to be equal) is gone to Utrecht, whence he will proceed to Hanover, but not stay long at that court, for fear the peace fhould be made during his lamented abfence.'
Poft-boy, May 20.
SHOULD be thought not able to read should I overlook fome excellent pieces lately come out. My lord bishop of St. Afaph has just which feems to me to determine a great point: now published fome fermons, the preface to He has, like a good man and a good christian, in oppofition to all the flattery and base fubmiffion of falfe friends to princes, afferted, that christianity left us where it found us as to our civil rights. The prefent entertainment fhall confift only of a fentence out of the Poft-boy, and the faid preface of the lord St. Afaph. I fhould think it a little odd if the author of the Poft-boy fhould with impunity call men republicans for a gladnefs on the report of the death of the Pretender; and great baron Bothmar, the minifter of Hanover, in fuch a manner as you fee in my motto. I must own, I think every man in England concerned to fupport the fucceffion of that family.
HE publishing a few fermonis, whilft I
of which was preached a
'bout eight years fince, and the first above seventeen, will make it very natural for people to enquire into the occafion of doing fo; and to 'fuch I do very willingly affign the following • reafons.
Firft, from the observations I have been able to make for thefe many years laft paft, upon our public affairs, and from the natural tendency of feveral principles and practices, that have of late been studiously revived, and from what has followed there-upon, I could not help both fearing and prefaging, that these nations would fome time or other, if ever we ⚫fhould have an enterprising prince upon the 'throne, of more ambition than virtue, juftice ' and true honour, fall into the way of all other nations, and lose their liberty.
Nor could I help iorefeeing to whofe charge a great deal of this dreadful mifchief, whenever
it fhould happen, would be laid, whether juftly or unjustly, was not my bufinefs to determine; but I refolved for my own particular, part, to deliver myfelf, as well as I could, from the reproaches and the curfes of pofterity, by publicly declaring to all the world, that, although, in the conftant courfe of my ministry, I have never failed on proper occafions to recommend, urge, and infist upon the loving, honouring, and reverencing the prince's perfon, and holding it, according to the laws, inviolable and facred; and paying all chedience and fubmiffion to the laws, though never fo hard and inconver nient to private people: yet did I never think myself at liberty, or author fed to tell the people, that either Chrift, St. Peter, cr St. Paul, or any other holy writer, had by any doctrine delivered by them, fubverted the laws and conftitutions of the country in which they lived, or put them in a worfe condition, with respect to their civil liberties, than they would have been, * had they not been chriftians. I ever thought it a most impious blafphemy against that holy religion, to father any thing upon it that might encourage tyranny, oppreffion, or injuftice in á prince, or that easily tended to make a free and happy people flaves and miferable., No: people may make themfelves as wretched as they will, but let not God be called into that wicked party, When force and violence, and hard ne. < ceffity have brought the yoke of fervitude upon
a people's neck, religion will fupply them, with a patient and fubmiffive spirit under it until they can innocently hake it off; but certainly religion never puts it on. This always was, and this at prefent is, my judgment of thefe matters and I would be tranfinitted to pofterity (for the little fhare of time fuch names as mine can live) under the character of one who loved his country, and would he thought a good Englishman, as well as a good ⚫ clergyman.
Another reafon of my publishing these fermon's at this time is, that I have a mind to do myfelf fome honour by doing what honour I could to the memory of two most excellent princes, and who have very highly deserved at the hands of all the people of thefe dominions, who have any true value for the proteßant religion, and the conftitution of the English goC vernment, of which they were the great deliverers and defenders. I have lived to fee their illuftrious names very rudely handled, and the great benefits they did this nation treated flight. ly and contemptuously. I have lived to fee eur deliverance from arbitrary power and popery, traduced and vilified by fome who formerly, thought it was their greatest merit, and made
This character I thought would be tranfmitted by the following fermons, which were made for, and preached in a private audience, when I could think of nothing elfe but doing my duty on the occafions that were then offered by God's Providence, without any manner of defign of making them public and for that reafon I give them now as they were then delivered; by which I hope to fatisfy thofe people who have objected a change of principles to me, as if I were not now the fame man I formerly was. I never had but one opinion of thefe matters; and that I think is foreafonable and well grounded, that I believe I can never have any other.
it part of their boast and glory, to have had a little hand and fhare in bringing it about; and others, who, without it, muft have lived in exile, poverty, and mifery, meanly difclaiming it, and using ill the glorious inftruments thereof. Who could expect fuch a requital of fuch merit? I have, I own it, an ambition of exempting myfelf from the number of unthankful people; and as I loved and honoured thole great princes living, and lamented over them when dead, fo I would gladly raise them up a monument of praife as lafting as any thing of mine can be; and I choofe to do it at this time, when it is fo unfashionable a thing to fpeak 'honourably of them.
The fermon that was preached upon the duke of Gloucefter's death was printed quickly after, and is now, because the fubject was fo fuitable, joined to the others. The lofs of that moft promifing and hopeful prince was, at that time, I faw, unfpeakably great; and many atcidents fince have convinced us, that it could not have been overvalued. That precious life, haditpleafed God to have prolonged it the ufual fpace, had faved us many fears and jealoufies, and dark diftrufts, and prevented many alarms, that have long kept us, and will keep us ftill waking and unealy. Nothing remained to ' comfort and support us under this heavy stroke, but the neceffity it brought the king and nation under of fettling the fucceffion in the house of HANOVER, and giving it an hereditary right, by act of parliament, as long as it continues proteftant. So much good did God, in his merciful providence, produce from a misforture, which we could never otherwife have fufficiently deplored!
The fourth fermon was preached upon the queen's acceffion to the throne, and the first year in which that day was folemnly obferved, (for, by fome accident or other, it had been overlooked the year before ;) and every one will fee without the date of it, that it was I preached very early in this reign, fince I was able only to promife and prefage its future glories and fucceffes, from the good appearances of things, and the happy turn our affairs began to take; and could not then count up the vice. 'tories and triumphs that, for seven years after, 'made it, in the prophet's language," a name "and à praife among all the people of the "earth." Never did feven fuch years together pafs over the head of any English monarch, nor cover it with fo much honour: the crown and fcepter feemed to be queen's least ornaments; thiofe other princes wore in common with her, and her great perfonal virtues were the fame before and fince; but fuch was the fame of her administration of affairs at home, fuch was the reputation of her wifdom and felicity in choofing minifters, and fuch was then esteemed their faithfulness and zcal, their diligence and great abilities in executing her commands; to fuch a height of military glory did her great general and her armies carry the British name abroad; fuch was the harmony and concord betwixt her and her allies, and fuch was the bleffing of God upon all her counfels and undertakings, that I am as fure as hiftory can 'make me, no prince of ours ever was fo prof6 perous and fuccefsful, fo beloved, efteemed, and honoured by their fubjects and their friends, nor near fo formidable to their enemies. We