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N° 245. TUESDAY, DECEMBER İİ. Fita voluptatis causâ fint proxima veris. Hor. Ars Poet. ver. 338. Fictions, to pleafe, fhould wear the face of truth. HERE is nothing which one regards fo much with an eye of mirth and pity as innocence, when it has in it a dash of folly. At the fame time that one efteems the virtue, one is tempted to laugh at the fimplicity which ac.companies it. When a man is made up wholly of the dove, without the leaft grain of the ferpent in his compofition, he becomes ridiculous in many circumftances of life, and very often difcredits his best actions. The Cordeliers tell a story of their founder St. Francis, that as he paffed the streets in the dusk of the evening, he difcovered a young fellow with a maid in a corner; upon which the good man, fay they, lifted up his hands to heaven with a fecret thankfgiving, that there was ftill fo much christian charity in the world. The innocence of the faint made him miftake the kifs of a lover for a falute of charity. I am heartily concerned when I fee a virtuous man without a competent knowledge of the world; and if there be any use of thefe my papers, it is this, that without reprefenting vice under any falfe alluring notions, they give my reader an infight into the ways of men, and reprefent human nature in all its changeable colours. The man who has not been engaged in any of the follies of the world, or, as Shakespear expreffes it, "hackneyed in the << ways of men," may here find a picture of its follies and extravagancies. The virtuous and the innocent may know in fpeculation what they could never arrive at by practice, and by this means avoid the fnares of the crafty, the corruptions of the vicious, and the reafonings of the prejudiced. Their minds may be opened without being vitiated.
It is with an eye to my following correfpondent, Mr. Timothy Doodle, who feems a very well-meaning man, that I have written this short preface, to which I fhall fubjoin a letter from the faid Mr. Doodle.
Could heartily wish that you would let us know your opinion upon feveral innocent ⚫ diverfions which are in ufe among us, and which are very proper to pafs away a winter night for thofe who do not care to throw away their time at an opera, or at the play-houfe. I would gladly know in particular, what notion you have of hot-cockles; as alfo whether
ject, I will be fo free as to tell you how my wife and I país away thefe tedious winter ' evenings with a great deal of pleasure. Tho' the be young and handfome, and good-humoured to a miracle, the does not care for 'gadding abroad like others of her fex. There ' is a very friendly man, a colonel in the army, whom I am mightily obliged to for his civilities, that comes to fee me almoft every night; for he is not one of thofe giddy young fellows that cannot live out of a play-houfe. When we are together, we very often make a party at blind-man's buff, which is a fport that I like the better, because there is a good deal of exercise in it. The colonel and I are blinded by turns, and you would laugh your heart out to fee what pains my dear takes to hoodwink us, fo that it is impoffible for us to fee the leaft glimpse of light. The poor colonel fometimes hits his nofe against a poft, and makes us die with laughing. I have generally the good luck not to hurt myself, but am very often above half an hour before I can catch either of them: for you must know we hide ourfelves up and down in corners, that we 6 may have the more fport. I only give you this hint as a fample of fuch innocent diverfions as I would have you recommend; and am, • Most efteemed Sir,
6 your ever loving friend, < Timothy Doodle." The following letter was occafioned by my laft Thursday's paper upon the abfence of lov ers, and the methods therein mentioned of making fuch abfence supportable.
MONG the feveral ways of confolation which abfent lovers make ufe of while 'their fouls are in that ftate of departure, which C you fay is death in love, there are fome very material ones that have efcaped your notice. Among thefe, the first and most received is a crooked fhilling, which has administered great comfort to our forefathers, and is ftill made ufe of on this occafion with very good effect in moft part of her majefty's dominions. There are fome, I know, who think a crown-piece cut into two equal parts, and preserved by the distant lovers, is of more fovereign virtue than the former. But fince opinions are divided in this particular, why may not the fame perfons make ufe of both? The figure of a heart, whether cut in ftone or caft in metal, whether bleeding upon an altar, ftuck with darts, or held in the hand of a Cupid, has always been looked upon as talifmanic in diftreffes of this nature. I am acquainted with many a brave fellow, who carries his miftrefs in the lid of a fnuff-box, and by that expedient has fupported himself under the abfence of a whole campaign. For my own part, I have tried all thefe remedies, but never found fo much benefit from
< you think that questions and commands, mot" toes, fimiles, and crofs-purposes, have not more mirth and wit in them, than thofe public diverfions which are grown fo very fashionable among us. If you would recommend to our wives and daughters, who read your papers with a great deal of pleafure, fome of thofe fports and paftimes that may be practifed within doors, and by the fire-fide, we who are mafters of families fhould be hugely obliged to you. I need not tell you that I would have thefe fports and paftimes not only merry but innocent, for which reafon I have not mentioned either whift or lanterloo, nor indeed fo much as one-and-thirty. After having communicated to you my request upon this fub...........
any as from a ring, in which my miftrefs's hair is platted together very artificially in a kind of true lover's knot. As I have received great • benefit from this fecret, I think myself obliged to communicate it to the public, for the good of my fellow fubjects. I defire you will add this letter as an appendix to your confolations upon abfence; and am,
Your very humble fervant,
T.B.' I shall
I fhall conclude this paper with a letter from an university gentleman, occafioned by my last Tuefday's paper, wherein 1 gave fome account of the great feuds which happened formerly in thofe learned bodies, between the modern Greeks and Trojans.
HIS will give you to understand, that there is at prefent in the fociety, whereof I am a member, a very confiderable body of Trojans, who, upon a proper occafion, would · not fail to declare ourselves. In the mean 'while we do all we can to annoy our enemies
by ftratagem, and are refolved by the first op< portunity to attack Mr. Joshua Barnes, whom we look upon as the Achilles of the oppofite party. As for myself, I have had the reputation · ever fince I came from fchool, of being a trufty Trojan, and am refolved never to give quarter to the fmalleft particle of Greek, wherever I chance to meet it. It is for this reafon I take ' it very ill of you, that you sometimes hang out Greek colours at the head of your paper, and fometimes give a word of the enemy even in the body of it. When I meet with any thing of this nature, I throw down your fpeculations ' upon the table, with that form of words which we make ufe of when we declare war upon an • author.
Græcum eft, non poteft legi."
I give you this hint, that you may for the fu6 ture abstain from any fuch hoftilities at your ? peril.
N° 246. WEDNESDAY, DEC. 12.
Οὐκ ἄρα σοὶ γε πατὴς ἦν ἱππότα Πηλεὺς,
'innocent, tender, and helplefs infant, and give it up to a woman that is, ten thousand to one, 'neither in health nor good condition, neither 'found in mind nor body, that has neither honour nor reputation, neither love nor pity for the poor babe, but more regard for the money than for the child, and never will take farther " care of it than what by all the encouragement of money and prefents fhe is forced to; like
fop's earth, which would not nurfe the plant of another ground, although never fo much improved, by reafon that plant was not of its own production. And fince another's child is no more natural to a nurfe than a plant to a strange and different ground, how can it be supposed that the child should thrive? and if it thrives, muft it not imbibe the grofs
humours and qualities of the nurfe, like a plant in a different ground, or like a graft up
< on a different ftock? Do not we obferve, that
a lamb fucking a goat changes very much its nature, nay even its fkin and wool into the goat kind? The power of a nurse over a child by infusing into it, with her milk, her qualities and difpofition, is fufficiently and daily ' obferved: hence came that old saying concerning an ill-natured and malicious fellow, that he had imbibed his malice with his nurse's
milk, or that fome brute or other had been his nurfe. Hence Romulus and Remus were faid 'to have been nurfed by a wolf, Telephus the 'fon of Hercules by a 'hind, Pelias the son of Neptune by a mare, and Ægisthus by a goat; not that they had actually fucked fuch creatures, as fome fimpletons have imagined, but that their nurfes had been of fuch a nature and < temper, and infused fuch into them.
Many inftances may be produced from good authorities and daily experience, that children actually fuck in the feveral paffions and de'praved inclinations of their nurses, as anger, 'malice, fear, melancholy, fadnefs, defire, and • averfion. This Diodorus, lib. 2. witnesses, when he speaks, saying, That Nero the empe'ror's nurfe had been very much addicted to drinking; which habit Nero received from his nurfe, and was fo very particular in this, that the people took fo much notice of it, as inftead of Tiberius Nero, they called him Biberius Mero. The fame Diodorus alfo relates of Caligula, predeceffor to Nero, that his nurse used to moisten the nipples of her breast frequently with blood, to make Caligula take the better hold of them; which, fays Diodorus, was the 'cause that made him fo blood-thirsty and cruel
• Mr. Spe&ator,
S your paper is part of the equipage of the tea-table, I conjure you to print what I now write to you; for I have no other way to communicate what I have to fay to the fair fex on the most important circumftance of life, even the care of children. I do not • understand that you profefs your paper is always to confift of matters which are only to < entertain the learned and polite, but that it may agree with your defign to publish fomether which may tend to the information of mankind in general; and when it does fo, you do more than writing wit and humour, Give me leave then to tell you, that of all the abufes that ever you have as yet endeavoured to reform, < certainly not one wanted fo much your affiftance as the abufe in nurfing children. It is unmerciful to fee, that a woman endowed with all the perfections and blessings of nature, can, as foon as the is delivered, turn off her
all his life-time after, that he not only com'mitted frequent murder by his own hand, but likewife wished that all human kind wore but
one neck, that he might have the pleasure to cut it off. Such like degeneracies aftonish the parents, who not knowing after whom the child can take, fee one incline to stealing, anoto drinking, cruelty, ftupidity; yet all thefe are not minded. Nay, it is eafy to de 'monftrate, that a child, although it be born 'from the best of parents, may be corrupted by an 1-tempered nurfe. How many children do we fee daily brought into fits, confumpttons, rickets, &c. merely by fucking sheir nurses when in a paflion or fury? But indeed almoft any diforder of the nurfe is a diforder to the child, and few nurses can be found in this town but what labour under some diftem
· per or other. The first question that is generally
afked a young woman that wants to be a nurse, No 247. THURSDAY, DECEMBER 13. Why the fhould be a nurfe to other people's children; is answered, by her having an ill • husband, and that she must make shift to live. "I think now this very answer is enough to give any body a fhock, if duly confidered; for an ill husband may, or ten to one if he does not, bring home to his wife an ill diftemper, or at leaft vexation and disturbance. Befides, as the takes the child out of mere neceffity, her food ⚫ will be accordingly, or else very coarfe at beft; whence proceeds an ill-concocted and coarfe food for the child; for as the blood, fo is the milk; and hence I am very well affured pro⚫ceeds the fcurvy, the evil, and many other diftempers. I beg of you, for the fake of the many poor infants that may and will be faved by weighing this cafe seriously, to exhort the people with the utmost vehemence to let the children fuck their own mothers, both for the benefit of mother and child. For the general argument, that a mother is weakened by giving fuck to her children, is vain and fimple; I will ⚫ maintain that the mother grows ftronger by it, and will have her health better than fhe would have otherwife: She will find it the greatest cure and preservative for the vapours and fuC ture mifcarriages, much beyond any other remedy whatsoever. Her children will be like giants, whereas otherwife they are but living ⚫ mhadows and like unripe fruit; and certainly if a woman is ftrong enough to bring forth a child, the is beyond all doubt ftrong enough to nurse it afterwards. It grieves me to obferve ⚫ and confider how many poor children are daily ruined by careless nurses; and yet how tender ought they to be of a poor infant, fince the leaft hurt or blow, especially upon the head, may make it fenfelefs, ftupid, or otherwife mi ferable for ever?
But I cannot well leave this fubject as yet; ⚫ for it seems to me very unnatural, that a wo⚫ man that has fed a child as part of herself for nine months, fhould have no defire to nurse it farther, when brought to light and before her ⚫ eyes, and when by its cry it implores her affift· ance and the office of a mother. Do not the ⚫ very cruelleft of brutes tend their young ones with all the care and delight imaginable? For how can the be called a mother that will not nurfe her young ones? The earth is called, the ⚫ mother of all things, not becaufe fhe produces, but, because she maintains and nurfes what the produces. The generation of the infant is the • effect of defire, but the care of it argues virtue and choice. I am not ignorant but that there ⚫ are some cases of neceffity where a mother ⚫ cannot give fuck, and then out of two evils the • least must be chofen; but there are fo very few, ⚫ that I am fure in a thousand there is hardly • one real instance; for if a woman does but ⚫ know that her husband can spare about three or fix fhillings a week extraordinary, although this is but feldom confidered, the certainly, with the affiftance of her goffips, will foon perfuade the good man to fend the child to nurse, and easily impose upon him by pretend ⚫ ed indifpofition. Thus cruelty is fupported by fashion, and nature gives place to custom. SIR,
your humble fervant,'
- Τῶν δ ̓ ἀκάμαλος ξέει αὐδή 'Ex souátur ndera.
Their untir'd lips a wordy torrent pour.
E are told by fome ancient authors, that Socrates was inftructed in eloquence by a woman, whofe name, if I am not mistaken, was Afpafia. I have indeed very often looked upon that art as the moft proper for the female fex, and I think the universities would do well to confider whether they should not fill the rhetoric chairs with the profeffors.
It has been faid in the praise of fome men, that they could talk whole hours together upon any thing; but it must be owned to the honour of the other fex, that there are many among them who can talk whole hours together upon nothing. I have known a woman branch out into a long extempore differtation upon the edging of a petticoat, and chide her fervant for breaking a china cup, in all the figures of rhetoric.
Were women admitted to plead in courts of judicature, I am perfuaded they would carry the eloquence of the bar to greater heights than it has yet arrived at. If any one doubts this, let him but be prefent at thofe debates which frequently arife among the ladies of the British fishery.
The firft kind therefore of female orators which I fhall take notice of, are thofe who are employed in ftirring up the paffions, a part of rhetoric in which Socrates his wife had perhaps made a greater proficiency than his above-mentioned teacher.
The fecond kind of female orators are thofe who deal in invectives, and who are commonly known by the name of the cenforious. The imagination and elocution of this fet of rhetori cians is wonderful. With what a fluency of invention, and copiousness of expreffion, will they enlarge upon every little flip in the behaviour of another? With how many different circumstan ces, and with what variety of phrafes, will they tell over the fame ftory? I have known an old lady make an unhappy marriage the fubject of a month's converfation. She blamed the bride in one place; pitied her in another : laughed at her in a third; wondered at her in a fourth; was angry with her in a fifth; and in fhort, wore out a pair of coach-horfes in expreffing her concern for her. At length, after having quite exhausted the fubject on this fide, she made a vinit to the new-married pair, praifed the wife for the pru dent choice she had made, told her the unreasonable reflexions which fome malicious people had caft upon her, and desired that they might be bet ter acquainted. The cenfure and approbation of this kind of women are therefore only to be con fidered as helps to difcourfe.
A third kind of female orators may be comprehended under the word goffips. Mrs. Fiddle Faddle is perfectly accomplished in this fort of eloquence; the launches out into descriptions of christenings, runs divifions upon an head-dress, knows every difh of meat that is ferved up in her neighbouroood, and entertains her company a whole afternoon together with the wit of her little boy, before he is able to speak.
The coquette may be looked upon as a fourth kind of female orators To give herfelf the larger feid for difcourfe, the hates and loves in the fame breath, talks to her lap-dog or parrot, is uneafy in all kinds of weather, and in every part of the room: the has falfe quarrels and feigned obligations to all the men of her acquaintance; fighs, when she is not fad, and laughs when he is not merry. The coquette is in particular a great miftrefs of that part of oratory which is called action, and indeed feems to fpeak for no other purpose, but as it gives her an opportunity of ftirring a limb, or varying a feature, of glancing her eyes, or playing with her fan.
As for news-mongers, politicians, mimics, ftory-tellers, with other characters of that nature, which give birth to loquacity, they are as commonly found among the men as the women; for which reafon I shall pass them over in filence.
I have often been puzzled to affign a caufe why women fhould have this talent of a ready utterance in fo much greater perfection than men. I have fometimes fancied that they have not a retentive power, or the faculty of fuppreffing their thoughts, as men have, but that they are neceffitated to fpeak every thing they think, and if fo, it would perhaps furnish a very ftrong argument to the Cartefians, for the fupporting of their doctrine, that the foul always thinks. But as feveral are of opinion that the fair fex are not altogether strangers to the art of diffembling and concealing their thoughts, I have been forced to relinquish that opinion, and have therefore endeavoured to feek after fome better reason. In order to it, a friend of mine who is an excellent anatomist, has promifed me by the first opportunity to diffect a woman's tongue, and to examine whether there may not be in it certain juices which render it fo wonderfully voluble or flippant, or whether the fibres of it may not be made up of a finer or more pliant thread, or whether there are not in it fome particular mufcles which dart it up and down by fuch fudden glances and vibrations; or whether in the last place, there may not be fome certain undiscovered channels running from the head and the heart, to this little inftrument of loquacity, and conveying into it a perpetual affiuence of animal fpirits. Nor muft I omit the reafon which Hudibras has give en, why those who can talk on trifles fpeak with the greatest fluency; namely, that the tongue is like a race-horse, which runs the fafter the leffer weight it carries.
Which of these reafons foever may be looked upon as the most probable, I think the I-ifhman's thought was very natural, who after fome hours converfation with a female orator, told her, that he believed her tongue was very glad when the was afleep, for that it had not a moment's reft all the while he was awake.
That excellent old ballad of the wanton wife of Bath, has the following remarkable lines:
Ipfa jacet, terræque tremens immurmurat atræ : · Utque falire folet mutilata cauda colubræ « Palpitat"-Met. lib. 6. ver. 556, "The blade had cut
« Her tongue theer of, clofe to the trembling root:" « Murmuring with a faint imperfect found; "The mangi'd part ftill quiver'd on the ground, "And, as a ferpent wreaths his wounded train, « Uneafy, panting, and poffefs'd with pain." CROXAL.
If a tongue would be talking without a mouth, what could it have done when it had all its or gans of fpeech, and accomplices of found about it? I might here mention the ftory of the pippin woman, had I not some reason to look upon it as fabulous.
I must confefs I am fo wonderfully charmed with the mufic of this little inftrument, that I would by no means difcourage it. All that I aim at by this differtation is, to cure it of feveral difagreeable notes, and in particular of those lit tle jarrings and diffonances which arife from anger, cenforicufnefs, goffiping, and coquetry. In fhort, I would always have it tuned by goodnature, truth, difcretion, and fincerity.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14. Hoe maximè officii eft, ut quifque maximè opis indigeat, ita ei potiffimum opitulari.
It is a principal point of duty, to afft another moft, when he stands most in need of affif
HERE are none who deserve fuperiority do not make it their endeavour to be beneficial over others in the esteem of mankind, who to fociety; and who upon all occafions which their circumftances of life can adminifter, do not take a certain unfeigned pleasure in conferring benefits of one kind or other. Thofe whose great talents and high birth have placed them in confpicuous ftations of life, are indifpenfibly obliged to exert fome noble inclinations for the fervice of the world, or elfe fuch advantages become misfortunes, and fhade and privacy are à inclinations are given to the fame perfon, we more eligible portion. Where opportunities and fometimes fee fublime inftances of virtue which fcorn on all which in lower fcenes of life we may fo dazzle our imaginations, that we look with ourfelves be able to practife. But this is a vicious way of thinking; and it bears fome spice of romantic madness, for a man to imagine that he muft grow ambitious, or feck adventures, to be able to do great actions. It is in every man's power in the world who is above mere poverty, not only to do things worthy but heroic. The great foundation of civil virtue is felf-denial; and there is no one above the neceffities of life, but has opportunities of exercifing that noble quality, and doing as much as his circumftances will bear for the eafe and convenience of other men; and he who does more than ordinary men
practife upon fuch occafions as occur in his life, deferves the value of his friends as if he had the highest glory. Men of public spirit differ done enterprifes which are ufually attended with rather in their circumftances than their virtue; and the man who does all he can in a low ftation, is more a hero than he who omits any worthy
worthy action he is able to accomplish in a great one. It is not many years ago fince Lapirius, in wrong of his elder brother, came to a great eftate by gift of his father, by reafon of the diffolute behaviour of the firft-born. Shame and contrition reformed the life of the difinherited youth, and he became as remarkable for his good qualities as formerly for his errors. Lapirius, who obferved his brother's amendment, fent him on a new-year's day in the morning the following letter:
Inclofe to you the deeds whereby my father I gave me this houfe and land: had he lived until now, he would not have beftowed it in that manner; he took it from the man you were, and I reftore it to the man you are. Sir, Your affectionate brother, and humble fervant, P. T.' As great and exalted fpirits undertake the pursuit of hazardous actions for the good of others, at the fame time gratifying their paf fion for glory; fo do worthy minds in the domeftic way of life deny themfelves many advantages, to fatisfy a generous benevolence which they bear to their friends oppreffed with diftreffes and calamities. Such natures one may call ftores of Providence, which are actuated by a fecret celeftial influence to undervalue the ordinary T gratifications of wealth, to give comfort to an heart loaded with affliction, to fave a falling fa
mily, to preserve a branch of trade in their neighbourhood, and give work to the induf
trious, preferve the portion of the helpleis in
fant, and raife the head of the mourning father. People whofe hearts are wholly bent toward pleasure, or intent upon gain, never hear of the noble occurrences among men of industry and humanity. It would look like a city romance to tell them of the generous merchant, who the other day fent this billet to an eminent trader under difficulties to fupport himself, in whofe fall many hundred befides himself had perifhed; but because I think there is more fpirit and true gallantry in it than in any letter I have ever read from Strephon to Phillis, I fhall infert it even in the mercantile honeft ftile in which it was fent.
HAVE heard of the cafualties which have involved you in extreme diftrefs at this time; and knowing you to be a man of great good nature, induftry, and probity, have refolved to ftand by you. Be of good chear, the bearer brings with him five thousand pounds, and has my order to anfwer your drawing as much more on my account. I did this in hafte, for fear I fhould come too late for your relief; but you may value yourself with me to the sum of fifty thousand pounds; for I can very chearfully run the hazard of being fo much less rich than I am now, to fave
⚫an honeft man whom I love,
• Your friend and servant, 'W. P. I think there is fomewhere in Montaigne mention made of a family book, wherein all the occurrences that happened from one generation
of that houfe to another were recorded. Were
N° 249. SATURDAY, Dec. 15.
Frag. Vet. Poet,"
Mirth out of feafon is a grievous ill.
HEN I make choice of a fubject that has not been treated on by others, I throw together my reflexions on it without any order or method, fo that they may appear rather in the loofenefs and freedom of an effay, than in the regularity of a fet difcourfe. It is after this manner that I fhall confider laughter and ridicule in my prefent paper.
Man is the merrieft fpecies of the creation, all above and below him are ferious. He fees things. in a different light from other beings, and finds his mirth arifing from objects that perhaps caufe fomething like pity or difpleafure in higher natures. Laughter is indeed a very good counterpoife to the spleen; and it feems but reasonable that we fhould be capable of receiving joy from what is no real good to us, fince we can receive grief from what is no real evil.
I have in my forty-feventh paper raised a fpeculation on the notion of a modern philofopher, who defcribes the first motive of laughter to be a fecret comparison which we make between ourselves, and the perfons we laugh at; or, in other words, that fatisfaction which we receive from the opinion of fome pre-eminence in ourfelves, when we fee the abfurdities of another, or when we reflect on any past abfurdities of our own. This feems to hold in most cafes, and we may obferve that the vaineft part of mankind are the most addicted to this paffion.
I have read a fermen of a conventual in the church of Rome, on those words of the wife man," I faid of laughter, it is mad; and of