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shall single out some characters of maids, wives, and widows, which deserve the imitation of the sex. She who shall lead this small illustrious number of heroines shall be the amiable Fidelia.
not in relation to assignations, that exposed a man to a very uneasy adventure. Will Trap and Jack Stint were chamber-fellows in the Inner Temple about twenty-five years ago. They one night sat in the pit together at a comedy, where they both observed and liked the same young woman in the boxes. Their kindness for her entered both hearts deeper than they imagined. Stint had a good faculty at writing letters of love, and made his address privately that way; while Trap proceeded in the ordinary course, by money and her waiting-maid. The lady gave them both encouragement, receiving Trap into the utmost favour, and answering at the same time Stint's letters, and giving him appointments at third places. Trap began to suspect the epistolary correspondence of his friend, and discovered also that Stint opened all his letters which came to their common lodgings, in order to form his own assignations. After much anxiety and restlessness, Trap 'came to a resolution, which he thought would break off their commerce with one another without any hazardous explanation. He therefore writ a letter in a feigned hand to Mr. Trap at his chambers in the Temple. Stint, according to custom, seized and opened it, and was not a little surprised to find the inside directed to himself, when with great pertur-tain it is, that there is no kind of affection so pure bation of spirit he read as follows:
"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 inconstant mistress. I rejoice in this expedient I have thought of to break my mind to you, and tell you you are a base fellow, by a means which does not expose you to the affront except you deserve it. I know, Sir, as criminal as you are, you have still shame enough to avenge yourself against the hardiness of any one blicly tell you of it. I, therefore, who have received so many secret hurts from you, shall take satisfaction with safety to myself. I call you base, and you must bear it, or acknowledge it; I triumph over you that you cannot come at me; nor do I think it dishonourable to come in armour to assault him, who was in ambuscade when he wounded me.
"What need more be said to convince you of being guilty of the basest practice imaginable, than that it is such as has made you liable to be treated after this manner, while you yourself cannot in your own conscience but allow the justice of the upbraidings of Your injured Friend, "RALPH TRAP.”
No. 449.] TUESDAY, AUGUST 5, 1712.
Before I enter upon the particular parts of her character, it is necessary to preface, that she is the only child of a decrepit father, whose life is bound up in hers. This gentleman has used Fidelia from her cradle with all the tenderness imaginable, and has viewed her growing perfections with the partiality of a parent, that soon thought her accomplished above the children of all other men, but never thought she was come to the utmost improvement of which she herself was capable. This fondness has had very happy effects upon his own happiness; for she reads, she dances, she sings, uses her spinet and lute to the utmost perfection; and the lady's use of all these excellences is to divert the old man in his easy chair, when he is out of the pangs of a chronical distemper. Fidelia is now in the twenty-third year of her age; but the application of many lovers, her vigorous time of life, her quick sense of all that is truly gallant and elegant in the enjoyment of a plentiful fortune, are not able to draw her from the side of her good old father. Cer
and angelic as that of a father to a daughter. He beholds her both with and without regard to her sex. In love to our wives there is desire, to our sons there is ambition; but in that to our daughters there is something which there are no words to express. Her life is designed wholly domestic, and she is so ready a friend and companion, that every thing that passes about a man is accompanied with the idea of her presence. Her sex also is naturally so much exposed to hazard, both as to fortune and innocence, that there is perhaps a new cause of fondness arising from that consideration also. None but fathers can have a true sense of these sort of pleasures and sensations; but my familiarity with the father of Fidelia makes me let drop the words which I have heard him speak, and observe upon his tenderness towards her.
Fidelia, on her part, as I was going to say, as accomplished as she is, with all her beauty, wit, air, and mien, employs her whole time in care and attendance upon her father. How have I been charmed to see one of the most beauteous women the age has produced, on her knees, helping on an old man's slipper! Her filial regard to him is what she makes her diversion, her business, and her glory, When she was asked by a freind of her deceased mother, to admit of the courtship of her son, she answered, that she had a great respect and gratitude to her for the overture in behalf of one so near to her, but that during her father's life she would admit into her heart no value for any thing that should interfere with her endeavour to make his remains of WHEN I reflect upon my labours for the public, life as happy and easy as could be expected in his I cannot but observe, that part of the species, of circumstances. The lady admonished her of the which I profess myself a friend and guardian, is prime of life with a smile; which Fidelia answered sometimes treated with severity; that is, there are with a frankness that always attends unfeigned vir in my writings many descriptions given of ill per- tue: "It is true, Madam, there are to be sure very sons, and not yet any direct encomium made on great satisfactions to be expected in the commerce those who are good. When I was convinced of this of a man of honour, whom one tenderly loves; but error, I could not but immediately call to mind se- I find so much satisfaction in the reflection how veral of the fair sex of my acquaintance, whose much I mitigate a good man's pains, whose welfare characters deserve to be transmitted to posterity in depends upon my assiduity about him, that I wilwritings which will long outlive mine. But I do lingly exclude the loose gratifications of passion for not think that a reason why I should not give them the solid reflections of duty. I know not whether their place in my diurnal as long as it will last. any man's wife would be allowed, and (what I still For the service therefore of my female readers, Imore fear) I know not whether I, a wife, should be
Quærenda pecunia primum, Virtus post nuinmos.-- HOR. 1 Ep. i. 53.
willing to be as officious as I am at present about my No. 450.] WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 6, 1712. 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.
When the general crowd of female youth are consulting their glasses, preparing for balls, assemblies, or plays; for a young lady who could be regarded among the foremost in those places, either for her person, wit, fortune, or conversation, and yet contemn all these entertainments, to sweeten the heavy hours of a decrepit parent, is a resignation truly heroic. Fidelia performs the duty of a nurse with all the beauty of a bride; nor does she neglect her person, because of her attendance on him, when he is too ill to receive company, to whom she may make an appearance.
Fidelia, who gives him up her youth, does not think it any great sacrifice to add to it the spoiling of her dress. Her care and exactness in her habit convince her father of the alacrity of her mind; and she has of all women the best foundation for affecting the praise of a seeming negligence. What adds to the entertainment of the good old man is, that Fidelia, where merit and fortune cannot be overlooked by epistolary lovers, reads over the accounts of her conquests, plays on her spinet the gayest airs (and, while she is doing so, you would think her formed only for gallantry) to intimate to him the pleasures she despises for his sake.
Those who think themselves the patterns of goodBreeding and gallantry would be astonished to hear that, in those intervals when the old gentleman is at ease, and can bear company, there are at his house, in the most regular order, assemblies of people of the highest merit; where there is conver. sation without mention of the faults of the absent, benevolence between men and women without passion, and the highest subjects of morality treated of as natural and accidental discourse; all which is owing to the genius of Fidelia, who at once makes her father's way to another world easy, and herself capable of being an honour to his name in this.
"I was the other day at the Bear-garden, in hopes to have seen your short face; but not being so fortunate, I must tell you by way of letter, that there is a mystery among the gladiators which has escaped your spectatorial penetration. For, being in a box at an alehouse near that renowned seat of honour above mentioned, I overheard two masters of the science agreeing to quarrel on the next opportunity. This was to happen in the company of a set of the fraternity of basket-hilts, who were to meet that evening. When this was settled, one asked the other, Will you give cuts or receive?' The other answered, Receive.' It was replied, Are you a passionate man? No, provided you cut no more, nor no deeper than we agree.' I thought it my duty to acquaint you with this, that the people may not pay their money for fighting, and be cheated.
"Your humble Servant,
Get money, money still,
And then let virtue follow, if she will.-POPE.
"ALL men, through different paths, make at the same common thing, money; and it is to her we owe the politician, the merchant, and the lawyer; nay, to be free with you, I believe to that also we are beholden for our Spectator. I am apt to think, that could we look into our own hearts, we should see money engraved in them in more lively and moving characters than self-preservation; for who can reflect upon the merchant hoisting sail in a doubtful pursuit of her, and all mankind sacrificing their quiet to her, but must perceive that the characters of self-preservation (which were, doubtless, originally the brightest) are sullied, if not wholly defaced; and that those of money (which at first was only valuable as a mean to security) are of late so brightened, that the characters of self-preservation, like a less light set by a greater, are become almost imperceptible? Thus has money got the upper hand of what all mankind formerly thought most dear, viz. security; and I wish I could say she had here put a stop to her victories: but, alas! common honesty fell a sacrifice to her. This is the way scholastic men talk of the greatest good in the world; but I, a tradesman, shall give you another account of this matter in the plain narrative of my own life. I think it proper, in the first place, to acquaint my readers, that since my setting out in the world, which was in the year 1660, I never wanted money: having begun with an indifferent good stock in the tobacco-trade, to which I was bred; and by the continual successes it has pleased Providence to bless my endeavours with, am at last arrived at what they call a plum. To uphold my discourse in the manner of your wits or philoso phers, by speaking fine things, or drawing inferences as they pretend, from the nature of the subject, I account it vain; having never found any thing in the writings of such men, that did not savour more of the invention of the brain, or what is styled speculation, than of sound judgment or profitable observation. I will readily grant, indeed, that there is what the wits call natural in their talk; which is the utmost those curious authors can assume to themselves, and is, indeed, all they endeavour at, for they are but lamentable teachers. And what, I pray, is natural? That which is pleasing and easy. And what are pleasing and easy? Forsooth a new, thought, or conceit, dressed up in smooth quaint language, to make you smile and wag your head, as being what you never imagined before, and yet wonder why you had not; mere frothy amusements, fit only for boys or silly women to be caught with!
"It is not my present intention to instruct my readers in the methods of acquiring riches; that may be the work of another essay; but to exhibit the real and solid advantages I have found by thent in my long and manifold experience; nor yet all the advantages of so worthy and valuable a blessing, (for who does not know or imagine the comforts of being warm or living at ease, and that power and pre-eminence are their inseparable attendants?) but only to instance the great supports they afford us under the severest calamities and misfortunes;
A cant word used by commercial people, to signify 100,OGOT,
to show that the love of them is a special antidote against immorality and vice; and that the same. does likewise naturally dispose men to actions of piety and devotion. All which I can make out by my own experience, who think myself no ways particular from the rest of mankind, nor better nor worse by nature than generally other men are.
"In the year 1665, when the sickness was, I lost by it my wife and two children, which were all my stock. Probably I might have had more, considering I was married between four and five years; but finding her to be a teeming woman, I was careful, as having then little above a brace of thousand pounds to carry on my trade and maintain a family with. I loved them as usually men do their wives and children, and therefore could not resist the first impulses of nature on so wounding a loss; but I quickly roused myself, and found means to alleviate, and at last conquer, my affliction, by reflecting how that she and her children had been no great expense to me, the best part of her fortune was still left; that my charge being reduced to myself, a journeyman, and a maid, I might live far cheaper than before; and that being now a childless widower, I might perhaps, marry a no less deserving woman, and with a much better fortune than she brought, which was but 8001. And to convince my readers that such considerations as these were proper and apt to produce such an effect, I remember it was the constant observation at that deplorable time when so many hundreds were swept away daily, that the rich ever bore the loss of their families and relations far better than the poor: the latter, having little or nothing beforehand, and living from hand to mouth, placed the whole comfort and satisfaction of their lives in their wives and children, and were
me) of a wealthy spark of the court-end of the town; of whom I recovered 15,000, which made me amends for what she had idly squandered, and put a silence to all my neighbours, taking off my reproach by the gain they saw I had by it. The last died about two years after I married her, in labour of three children. I conjecture they were be gotten by a country kinsman of hers, whom, at her recommendation, I took into my family, and gave wages to as a journeyman. What this creature expended in delicacies and high diet for her kinsman (as well as I could compute by the poulterer's, fishmonger's, and grocer's bills), amounted in the said two years to one hundred eighty-six pounds four shillings and five-pence halfpenny. The fine apparel, bracelets, lockets, and treats, &c. of the other, according to the best calculation, came, in three years and about three quarters, to seven hundred forty-four pounds seven shillings and ninepence. After this I resolved never to marry more, and found I had been a gainer by my marriages, and the damage granted me for the abuses of my bed (all charges deducted), eight thousand three hundred pounds within a trifle.
"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 over-reached 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 the ruin of all correspondence, I never after trans gressed. Can your courtiers, who take bribes, or your lawyers or physicians in their practice, or even "The following year happened the fire; at which the divines who intermeddle in worldly affairs, time, by good providence, it was my fortune to have boast of making but one slip in their lives, and of converted the greatest part of my effects into ready such a thorough and lasting reformation? Since money, on the prospect of an extraordinary advan- my coming into the world I do not remember I was tage which I was preparing to lay hold on. This ever overtaken in drink, save nine times, once at calamity was very terrible and astonishing, the fury the christening of my first child, thrice at our city of the flames being such, that whole streets, at seve-feasts, and five times at driving of bargains. My ral distant places, were destroyed, at one and the reformation I can attribute to nothing so much as same time, so that (as it is well known) almost all the love and esteem of money, for I found myself to our citizens were burnt out of what they had. But be extravagant in my drink, and apt to turn prewhat did I then do? I did not stand gazing on the jector, and make rash bargains. As for women, I ruins of our noble metropolis; I did not shake my never knew any except my wives: for my reader head, wring my hands, sigh, and shed tears; I conmust know, and it is what we may confide in as an sidered with myself what could this avail? I fell a excellent recipe, that the love of business and plodding what advantages might be made of the money is the greatest mortifier of inordinate deready cash I had; and immediately bethought my sires imaginable, as employing the mind continually self that wonderful pennyworths might be bought of in the careful oversight of what one has, in the the goods that were saved out of the fire. In short, eager quest after more, in looking after the negitwith about 2000l. and a little credit, I bought as gences and deceits of servants, in the due entering much tobacco as raised my estate to the value of and stating of accounts, in hunting after chaps, and 10,000l. I then looked on the ashes of our city, in the exact knowledge of the state of markets; and the misery of its late inhabitants, as an effect which things whoever thoroughly attends to, will of the just wrath and indignation of heaven towards find enough and enough to employ his thoughts on a sinful and perverse people." every moment of the day; so that I cannot call to "After this I married again: and that wife dying mind, that in all the time I was a husband, which, I took another but both proved to be idle bag-off and on, was about twelve years, I ever once gages: the first gave me a great deal of plague and thought of my wives but in bed. And, lastly, for vexation by her extravagances, and I became one religion, I have ever been a constant churchmes, of the by-words of the city. I knew it would be to both forenoons and afternoons on Sundays, never no manner of purpose to go about to curb the fan-forgetting to be thankful for any gain or advantage cies and inclinations of women, which fly out the I had had that day; and on Saturday nights, upon more for being restrained; but what I could I did; I watched her narrowly, and by good luck found her in the embraces (for which I had two witnesses with
* The plague.
casting up my accounts, I always was grateful for the sum of my week's profits, and at Christmas for that of the whole year. It is true, perhaps, that my devotion has not been the most fervent; which, I
think, ought to be imputed to the evenness and se-, famous methods. I have never yet heard of a mi dateness of my temper, which never would admit of nistry who have inflicted an exemplary punishment any impetuosities of any sort: and I can remember on an author that has supported their cause with that in my youth and prime of manhood, when my falsehood and scandal, and treated in a most cruel blood ran brisker, I took greater pleasure in reli- manner the names of those who have been looked gious exercises than at present, or many years past, upon as their rivals and antagonists. Would a goand that my devotion sensibly declined as age, which vernment set an everlasting mark of their displeais dull and unwieldy, came upon me. sure upon one of those infamous writers, who 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.
"I have, I hope, here proved, that the love of money prevents all immorality and vice; which, if you will not allow, you must, that the pursuit of it obliges men to the same kind of life as they would follow if they were really virtuous; which is all I have to say at present, only recommending to you, that you would think of it, and turn ready wit into ready money as fast as you can. I conclude, Your Servant,
No. 451.] THURSDAY, AUGUST 7, 1712.
-Jam savus apertam
In rabiem verti coepit jocus, et per honestas
HOR. 2 Ep. i. 148.
I cannot think that any one will be so unjust as to imagine what I have here said is spoken with respect to any party or faction. Every one who has in him the sentiments either of a Christian or geutleman, cannot but be highly offended at this wicked and ungenerous practice, which is so much in use among us at present, that it is become a kind of national crime, and distinguishes us from all the governments that lie about us. I cannot but look upon the finest strokes of satire which are aimed at particular persons, and which are supported even with the appearances of truth, to be the marks of an evil mind, and highly criminal in themselves. Infamy, like other punishments, is under the direction and distribution of the magistrate, and not of any private person. Accordingly we learn, from a fragment of Cicero, that though there were very few capital punishments in the twelve tables, a libel or lampoon, which took away the good name of another, was to be punished by death. But this is far from being our case. Our satire is nothing but ribaldry, and Billingsgate. Scurrility passes for wit; and he who can call names in the greatest variety of phrases, is looked upon to have the shrewdest pen. By this means, the honour of families is ruined, the highest posts and greatest titles are rendered cheap and vile in the sight of the people, the noblest virtues and most exalted parts exposed to the contempt of the vicious and the ignorant. Should a foreigner, who knows nothing of our private factions, or one who is to act his part in the world This indeed would have effectually suppressed all when our present heats and animosities are forgot, printed scandal, which generally appears under bor--should, I say, such a one form to himself a notion rowed names, or under none at all. But it is to be feared that such an expedient would not only destroy scandal, but learning. It would operate proriscuously, and root up the corn and tares together. Not to mention some of the most celebrated works of piety, which have proceeded from anonymous authors, who have made it their merit to convey to us so great a charity in secret; there are few works of genius that come out at first with the author's name. The writer generally makes a trial of them in the world before he owns them; and, I believe, very few, who are capable of writing, would set pen to paper, if they knew beforehand that they must ant publish their productions but on such conditions. For my own part, I must declare, the papers I present the public are like fairy favours, which shall last no longer than while the author is concealed. That which makes it particularly difficult to restrain these sons of calumny and defamation is, that all sides are equally guilty of it, and that every dirty scribbler is countenanced by great names, whose interests he propagates by such vile and in
It has been proposed, to oblige every person that writes a book, or a paper, to swear himself the author of it, and enter down in a public register his name and place of abode.
of the greatest men of all sides in the British nation, who are now living, from 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!
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 honour of their religion at heart. I would therefore 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 secrecy and impunity.
As for persons who take pleasure in the reading and dispersing of such detestable libels, I am afraid
they fall very little short of the guilt of the first composers. By a law of the Emperors Valentinian and Valens, it was made death for any person not only to write a libel, but, if he met with one by chance, not to tear or burn it. But because I would not be thought singular in my opinion of this matter, I shall conclude my paper with the words of Monsieur Bayle, who was a man of great freedom of thought as well, as of exquisite learning and judg
often in the same words; but their way of cooking it is so different, that there is no citizen, who has an eye to the public good, that can leave the coffeehouse with peace of mind, before he has given every one of them a reading. These several dishes of news are so very agreeable to the palate of my countrymen, that they are not only pleased with them when they are served up hot, but when they are again set cold before them, by those penetrating politicians who oblige the public with their reflections and observations upon every piece of intelligence that is sent us from abroad. The text is given us by one set of writers, and the comment by another.
But notwithstanding we have the same tale told us in so many different papers, and, if occasion requires, in so many articles of the same paper; notwithstanding, in a scarcity of foreign posts, we hear the same story repeated by different advices from Paris, Brussels, the Hague, and from every great town in Europe; notwithstanding the multitude of annotations, explanations, reflections, and various readings, which it passes through, our time les heavy on our hands fill the arrival of a fresh mail; we long to receive further particulars, to hear what will be the next step, or what will be the consequences of that which has been already taken. A westerly wind keeps the whole town in suspense, and puts a stop to conversation.
"I cannot imagine, that a man who disperses a libel is less desirous of doing mischief than the author himself. But what shall we say of the pleasure which a man takes in the reading of a defamatory libel? Is it not a heinous sin in the sight of God? We must distinguish in this point. This pleasure is either an agreeable sensation we are affected with, when we meet with a witty thought which is well expressed, or it is a joy which we conceive from the dishonour of the person who is defamed. I will say nothing to the first of these cases; for perhaps some would think that my morality is not severe enough, if I should affirm that a man is not master of those agreeable sensations, any more than of those occasioned by sugar or honey, when they touch his tongue, but as to the second, every one will own that pleasure to be a heinous sin. The pleasure in the first case is of no continuance; it prevents our reason and reflection, and may be immediately followed by a secret grief, to see our neigh- This general curiosity has been raised and inbour's honour blasted. If it does not cease imme- flamed by our late wars, and, if rightly directed, diately, it is a sign that we are not displeased with might be of good use to a peson who has such a the ill-nature of the satirist, but are glad to see him thirst awakened in him. Why should not a man, defame his enemy by all kinds of stories; and then who takes delight in reading every thing that is we deserve the punishment to which the writer of new, apply himself to history, travels, and other the libel is subject. I shall here add the words of a writings of the same kind, where he will find permodern author. St. Gregory, upon excommuni-petual fuel for his curiosity, and meet with much cating those writers who had dishonoured Castorius, does not except those who read their works; because, says he, if calumnies have always been the delight of the hearers, and a gratification of those persons who have no other advantage over the honest man, is not he who takes pleasure in reading them as guilty as he who composed them? It is an uncontested maxim, that they who approve an action, would certainly do it if they could; that is, if some reason of self-love did not hinder them. There is no difference, says Cicero, between advising a crime, and approving it when committed. The Roman law confirmed this maxim, having subjected the approvers and authors of this evil to the same penalty. We may 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."
The author produces other authorities to confirm his judgment in this particular.-C.
No. 452.] FRIDAY, AUGUST 8, 1712.
THERE is no bumour in my countrymen which I am more inclined to wonder at than their general thirst after news. There are about half-a-dozen ingenious men, who live very plentifully upon this curiosity of their fellow-subjects. They all of them receive the same advices from abroad, and very
more pleasure and improvement than in these papers of the week? An honest tradesman, who languishes a whole summer in expectation of a battle, and perhaps is baulked at last, may here meet with half-a-dozen in a day. He may read the news of a whole campaign in less time than he now bestows upon the products of any single post. Fights, conquests, and revolutions, lie thick toge ther. The reader's curiosity is raised and satisfied every moment, and his passions disappointed or gratified, without being detained in a state of uncertainty from day to day, or lying at the mercy of the sea and wind; in short, the mind is not here kept in perpetual gape after knowledge, nor punished with that eternal thirst which is the portion of all our modern newsmongers and coffee-house politicians.
All matters of fact, which a man did not know before, are news to him; and I do not see how any haberdasher in Cheapside is more concerned in the present quarrel of the Cantons, than he was in that of the League. At least, I believe, every one will allow me it is of more importance to an Englishman to know the history of his ancestors than that of his contemporaries who live upon the banks of the Da nube or the Borysthenes. As for those who are of another mind, I shall recommend to them the following letter from a projector who is willing to turn a penny by this remarkable curiosity of his countrymen.
"You must have observed, that men who frequent coffee-houses, and delight in news, are pleased with every thing that is matter of fact, so it be what they