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N° 168. WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 1711.,
---Pectus præceptis format amicis.
HOR. Ep. i. 1. 2. ver. 128.
It would be arrogance to veglect the application of my correspondents so far, as not sometimes to insert their animadversions upon my paper; that of this day shall be therefore wholly composed of the lints which they have sent me.
“MR. SPECTATOR, ' I SEND you this to congratulate your late choice of a subject, for treating on which you deserve public thanks; I mean that on those licensed tyrants the school-masters. If you can disarm them of their rods, you will certainly have your old age reverenced by all the young gentlemen of Great Britain who are now between seven and seventeen years. You may boast that the incomparably wise Quintilian and
you are of one mind in this particular. cui est (says he) mens tam illiberalis ut objurgatione non corrigatur, is etiam ad plagas, ut pessima queque mancipia durabitur ;" i. e. “ If any child be of so disingenuons a nature, as not to stand corrected by reproof, he, like the very worst of slaves, will be hardened even against blows themselves.” And afterwards “ Puudet slicere in qua probra nefandi homines. isto cædendi jure abutantur;" i. e. “I blush to say how shamefully those wicked men abuse the power of correction."
I was bred myself, Sir, in a very great school, of which the master was a Welshman, but certainly descended from a Spanish family, as plainly appeared from his temper as well as his name* I leave you to judge what sort of a school master a Welshman ingrafted on a Spaniard would make. So very
* Dr. Charles Roderick, provost of Cton-school,
dreadful had he made himself to me, that although it is above twenty years since I felt his heavy hand, yet still once a month at least I dream of him, so strong an impression did he make on my mind. It is a sign he has fully terrified me waking, who still continues to haunt me sļeeping.
* And yet I may say without vanity, that the business of the school was what I did without great difficulty; and I was not remarkably unlucky; and
; yet such was the master's severity, that once a month, or oftener, I suffered as much as would have satisfied the law of the land for a petty larceny.
Many a white and tender hand, which the fond inother had passionately kissed a thousand and a thousand times, have I seen whipped till it was covered with blood; perhaps for smiling, or for
go. ing a yard and a half out of a gate, or for writing an o for an A, or an A for an o. These were our great faults! Many a brave and noble spirit has been there broken; others have run from thence, and were never heard of afterwards. It is a worthy attempt to undertake the cause of distressed youth ; and it is a noble piece of knight-errantry 'to enter the lists against so many armed pedagogues. It is pity but we had a set of men, polite in their behaviour and method of teaching, who should be put into a condition of being above flattering or fearing the parents of those they instruct. We might then possibly see learning become a pleasure, and children delighting themselves in that which now they abhor for coming upon such hard terms to them. What would be still a greater happiness arising from the care of such instructors, would be, that we should have no more pedants, nor any bred to learning who had not genius for it.
I am, with the utmost sincerity,
"Your most affectionate humble servant."
Richmond Sept. 5, 1711. "I Am a boy of fourteen years of age, and have for this last
been under the tuition of a doctor of divinity, who has taken the school of this place under his care* From the gentleman's great tenderness to me and friendship to my father, I am very happy in learning my book with pleasure.
We never leave off our diversions any farther than to salute him at hours of play when he pleases to look on. It is impossible for any of us to love our own parents better than we do him. He never gives any of us a harsh word, and we think it the greatest punishment in the world when he will not speak
My brorher and I are both together inditing this letter. He is a year older than I am, but is now ready to break his heart that the doctor has not taken any notice of him these three days. If you please to print this he will see it, and, we hope, taking it for my brother's earnest desire to be restored to his favour, he will again smile upon him. Your most obedient servant,
of us. to any
MR. SPECTATOR, You have represented several sorts of impertinents singly, I wish you would now proceed, and describe some of them in sets. It often happens in public assemblies, that a party who came thither together, or whose impertinencies are of an equal pitch, act in concert, and are so full of themselves as to give disturbance to all that are about them. Sometimes you have a set of whisperers, who lay their heads togetherin order to sacrifice every body within their observation; sometimes a set of laughers, that keep up an insipid mirth in their own corner, and by their noise and gestures shew they have no respect for the rest of the company. You frequently meet with these sets at the opera, the play, the water
* Dr. Nicholas Brady, co-adjutor with Tate in the new version of
works, and other public meetings, where their whole business is to draw off the attention of the spectators from the entertainment, and to fix it upon themselves; and it is to be observed, that the impertinence is ever loudest, when the set happens to be made up of three or four females who have got what you
call a woman's man among them. "I am at a loss to know from whoin people of fortune should learn this behaviour, unless it be from the footmen who keep their places at a new play, and are often seen passing away their time in sets at all-fours in the face of a full house, and with a perfect disregard to the people of quality sitting on each side of them.
For preserving therefore the decency of public assemblies, methinks it would be but reasonable that those who disturb others should pay at least a double price for their places ; or rather women of birth and distinction should be informed, that a levity of behaviour in the eyes of people of understanding degrades them below their meanest attendants; and gentlemen should know that a fine coat is a livery, when the person who wears it discovers no higher sense than that of a footman.
I am, SIR, "Your most humble servant.'
• MR. SPECTATOR,
Bedfordshire, Sept. 1, 1711. I am one of those whom every body calls a poacher, and sometimes go out to course with a brace of grey-hounds, a mastiff, and a spaniel or two; and when I am weary with coursing, and have killed liares enough, go to an alehouse to refresh myself. I beg the favour of you (as you set up for a reforiner) to send us word how many dogs you will allow us to go with, how many full pots of ale to drink, and how many hares to kill in a day, and you will do a great piece of service to all the sportsmen. Be quick, then, for the time of coursing is come on.
Yours in haste,
! ISAAC HEDGEDITCH.' STEELĘ
NO 169, THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 1711.
Sic vita erut : facilè omnes perferre ac pati:
TER. Andr. act. i. sc. 1.
humours; to comply with the inclinations and pur-
citing envy. MAN
AN is subject to innumerable pains and sorrows by the very condition of humanity, and yet, as if natúre had not sown evils enough in life, we are continually adding grief to grief, and aggravating the common calamity by our cruel treatment of one another. Every man's natural weight of afflictions is still made more heavy by the envy, malice, treachery, or injustice of his neighbour. At the same time that the storm beats upon the whole species, we are falling foul upon one another.
Half the misery of bụman life might be extinguished, would men alleviate the general curse they lie under, by mutual offices of compassion, benevoJence, and humanity. There is nothing therefore which we ought more to encourage in ourselves and others, than that disposition of mind which in our language goes under the title of Good-nature, and which I shall choose for the subject of this day's speculation.
Good-nature is more agreeable in conversation than wit, and gives a certain air to the countenance which is more amiable than beauty. It shews virtue in the fairest light, takes off in some measure from the deformity of vice, and makes even folly and impertinence supportable.