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pliances from an easy temper, whatever consolations from a sincere friendship, you may expect as the due of your generosity. What at present in your ill view you promise yourself from me, will be followed with distaste and satiety: but the transports of a virtuous love are the least part of its happiness. The raptures of innocent passion are but like lightning to the day, they rather interrupt than advance the pleasure of it. How happy, then, is that life to be, where the highest pleasures of sense are but the lowest parts of its felicity?
"Now am I to repeat to you the unnatural request of taking me in direct terms. I know there stands between me and that happiness, the haughty daughter of a man who can give you suitability to your fortune. But if you weigh the attendance and behavior of her who comes to you in partnership of your fortune, and expects an equivalent, with that of her who enters your house as honored and obliged by that permission, whom of the two will you choose? You, perhaps, will think fit to spend a day abroad in the common entertainments of men of sense and fortune; she will think herself ill-used in that absence, and contrive at home an expense proportioned to the appearance which you make in the world. She is in all things to have a regard to the fortune which she brought you, I to the fortune to which you introduce me. The commerce between you two will eternally have the air of a bargain, between us of a friendship; joy will ever enter into the room with you, and kind wishes attend my benefactor when he leaves it. Ask yourself how would you be pleased to enjoy forever the pleasure of having laid an immediate obligation on a grateful mind? Such will be your case with me. In the other marriage you will live in a constant comparison of benefits, and never know the happiness of conferring or receiving any.
"It may be you will, after all, act rather in the prudential way, according to the sense of the ordinary world. I know not what I think or say, when that melancholy reflection comes upon me; but shall only add more, that it is in your power to make me your grateful wife, but never your abandoned mistress."-T.
jects. For example; if sword or pestilence should destroy all the people of this metropolis (God forbid there should be room for such a supposition! but if this should be the case), the queen must needs lose a great part of her revenue, or at least what is charged upon the city must increase the burden upon the rest of her subjects. Perhaps the inhabitants here are not above a tenth part of the whole; yet as they are better fed, and clothed, and lodged, than her other subjects, the customs and excises upon their consumption, the imposts upon their houses, and other taxes, do very probably make a fifth part of the whole revenue of the crown. But this is not all; the consumption of the city takes off a great part of the fruits of the whole island; and as it pays such a proportion of the rent or yearly value of the lands in the country, so it is the cause of paying such a proportion of taxes upon those lands. The loss then of such a people must needs be sensible to the prince, and visible to the whole kingdom.
On the other hand, if it should please God to drop from heaven a new people, equal in number and riches to the city, I should be ready to think their excises, customs, and house rent would raise as great a revenue to the crown as would be lost in the former case. And as the consumption of this new body would be a new market for the fruits of the country, all the lands, especially those most adjacent, would rise in their yearly value, and pay greater yearly taxes to the public. The gain in this case would be as sensible as the former loss.
Whatsoever is assessed upon the general, is levied upon individuals. It were worth the while then to consider what is paid by, or by means of, the meanest subjects, in order to compute the value of every subject to the prince.
For my own part, I should believe that seveneighths of the people are without property in themselves, or the heads of their families, and forced to work for their daily bread; and that of this sort there are seven millions in the whole island of Great Britain: and yet one would imagine that seven-eighths of the whole people should consume at least three-fourths of the whole fruits of the country. If this is the case, the subjects without property pay three-fourths of the rents, and consequently enable the landed men to pay three-fourths of their taxes. Now if so great a part of the land-tax were to be divided by seven millions, it would amount to more than three shillings to every head. And thus as the poor are the THE ambition of princes is many times as hurt-cause, without which the rich could not pay this ful to themselves as to their people. This cannot be doubted of such as prove unfortunate in their wars, but it is often true too of those who are celebrated for their successes. If a severe view were to be taken of their conduct, if the profit and loss by their wars could be justly balanced, it would be rarely found that the conquest is sufficient to repay the cost.
No. 200.] FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19, 1711.
As I was the other day looking over the letters of my correspondents, I took this hint from that of Philarithmus; which has turned my present thoughts upon political arithmetic, an art of greater use than entertainment. My friend has offered an Essay toward proving that Lewis XIV, with all his acquisitions, is not master of more people than at the beginning of his wars; nay, that for every subject he had acquired, he had lost three that were his inheritance. If Philarithmus is not mistaken in his calculations, Lewis must have been impoverished by his ambition.
The prince, for the public good, has a sovereign property in every private person's estate; and consequently his riches must increase or decrease in proportion to the number and riches of his sub
tax, even the poorest subject is, upon this account, worth three shillings yearly to the prince.
Again: one would imagine the consumption of seven-eighths of the whole people should pay two-thirds of all the customs and excises. And if this sum too should be divided by seven millions, viz: the number of poor people, it would amount to more than seven shillings to every head: and therefore with this and the former sum, every poor subject, without property, except of his limbs or labor, is worth at least ten shillings yearly to the sovereign. So much then the queen loses with every one of her old, and gains with every one of her new subjects.
When I was got into this way of thinking, I presently grew conceited of the argument, and was just preparing to write a letter of advice to a member of parliament, for opening the freedom of our towns and trades, for taking away all manner of distinctions between the natives and foreigners, for repealing our laws of parish settlements, and removing every other obstacle to the increase of the people. But as soon as I had recollected with what inimitable eloquence my fellow-labor
ers had exaggerated the mischiefs of selling the birth-right of Britons for a shilling, of spoiling the pure British blood with foreign mixtures, of introducing a confusion of languages and religions, and of letting in strangers to eat the bread out of the mouths of our own people, I became so humble as to let my project fall to the ground, and leave my country to increase by the ordinary way of generation.
As I have always at heart the public good, so I am ever contriving schemes to promote it: and I think I may without vanity pretend to have con trived some as wise as any of the castle-builders. I had no sooner given up my former project, but my head was presently full of draining fens and marshes, banking out the sea, and joining new lands to my country; for since it is thought impracticable to increase the people to the land, I fell immediately to consider how much would be gained to the prince by increasing the land to the people.
If the same omnipotent power which made the world, should at this time raise out of the ocean, and join to Great Britain, an equal extent of land, with equal buildings, corn, cattle, and other conveniences and necessaries of life, but no men, women, nor children, I should hardly believe this would add either to the riches of the people, or revenue of the prince; for since the present buildings are sufficient for all the inhabitants, if any of them should forsake the old to inhabit the new part of the island, the increase of house-rent in this would be attended with an equal decrease of it in the other. Beside, we have such a sufficiency of corn and cattle, that we give bounties to our neighbors to take what exceeds of the former off our hands, and we will not suffer any of the latter to be imported upon us by our fellow-subjects; and for the remaining product of the country, it is already equal to all our markets. But if all these things should be doubled to the same buyers, the owners must be glad with half their present prices, the landlord with half their present rents; and thus, by so great an enlargement of the country, the rents in the whole would not increase, nor the taxes to the public.
On the contrary, I should believe they would be very much diminished; for as the land is only valuable for its fruits, and these are all perishable, and for the most part must either be used within the year, or perish without use, the owners will get rid of them at any rate, rather than they should waste in their possession: so that it is probable the annual production of those perishable things, even of the tenth part of them, beyond all possibility of use, will reduce one half of their value. It seems to be for this reason that our neighbor merchants, who engross all the spices, and know how great a quantity is equal to the demand, destroy all that exceeds it. It were natural, then, to think that the annual production of twice as much as can be used, must reduce all to an eighth part of their present prices; and thus this extended island would not exceed one-fourth part of its present value, or pay more than onefourth part of the present tax.
It is generally observed, that in countries of the greatest plenty there is the poorest living; like the schoolman's ass in one of my speculations, the people almost starve between two meals. The truth is, the poor, which are the bulk of a nation, work only that they may live; and if with two days'
This is an ironical allusion to some of the popular arguments that had been urged in the year 1708, when a bill was brought in for the naturalization of foreign protestants; which, on account of the odium raised against it, did not pass into a law.
labor they can get a wretched subsistence week, they will hardly be brought to wo other four. But then with the wages of tw they can neither pay such prices for their sions, nor such excises to the government.
That paradox, therefore, in old Hesio "half is more than the whole," is very app to the present case; since nothing is more political arithmetic, than that the same with half a country is more valuable than w whole. I begin to think there was nothing in Sir. W. Petty, when he fancied that if highlands of Scotland and the whole king Ireland were sunk in the ocean, so that the were all saved and brought into the lowla Great Britain; nay, though they were to b bursed the value of their estates by the b the people, yet both the sovereign and the in general would be enriched by the
If the people only make the riches, the f ten children is a greater benefactor to his than he who has added to it 10,000 acres and no people. It is certain Lewis has join tracts of land to his dominions: but if Phila says true, that he is not now master of s subjects as before; we may then account not being able to bring such mighty arm the field, and for their being neither so well clothed, nor paid as formerly. The reason i Lewis must needs have been impoverish only by his loss of subjects, but by his acq of lands.-T.
No. 201] SATURDAY, OCTOBER 20, Religentem esse oportet, religiosum nefas. INCERTI AUTORIS apud Au
A man should be religious, not superstitious. Iris of the last importance to season the p of a child with devotion, which seldom d mind that has received an early tinctur Though it may seem extinguished for a w the cares of the world, the heats of youth allurements of vice, it generally breaks discovers itself again as soon as discreti sideration, age, or misfortunes, have brou man to himself. The fire may be cove overlaid, but cannot be entirely quench smothered.
A state of temperance, sobriety, and without devotion, is a cold, lifeless, insip dition of virtue; and is rather to be style sophy than religion. Devotion opens the great conceptions, and fills it with more ideas than any that are to be met with in t exalted science; and at the same time war agitates the soul more than sensual pleasu
It has been observed by some writers, th is more distinguished from the animal worl votion than by reason, as several brute c discover in their actions something like glimmering of reason, though they betra single circumstance of their behavior a that bears the least affinity to devotion. I tain, the propensity of the mind to religio ship, the natural tendency of the soul t some superior being for succor in dangers, tresses, the gratitude to an invisible superin which arises in us upon receiving any ex nary and unexpected good fortune, the acts and admiration with which the thoughts are so wonderfully transported in meditati the divine perfections, and the universal rence of all the nations under heaven in the ticle of adoration, plainly show that devoti ligious worship must be the effect of traditi
some first founder of mankind, or that it is conformable to the natural light of reason, or that it proceeds from an instinct implanted in the soul itself. For my own part, I look upon all these to be the concurrent causes: but whichever of them shall be assigned as the principle of divine worship, it manifestly points to a Supreme Being as the first author of it.
I may take some other opportunity of consider ing those particular forms and methods of devotion which are taught us by Christianity; but shall here observe into what errors even this divine principle may sometimes lead us, when it is not moderated by that right reason which was given us as the guide of all our actions.
The two great errors into which a mistaken devotion may betray us, are enthusiasm and super
There is not a more melancholy object than a man who has his head turned with religious enthusiasm. A person that is crazed, though with pride or malice, is a sight very mortifying to human nature; but when the distemper arises from any indiscreet fervors of devotion, or too intense an application of the mind to its mistaken duties, it deserves our compassion in a more particular manner. We may however learn this lesson from it, that since devotion itself (which one would be apt to think could not be too warm) may disorder the mind, unless its heats are tempered with caution and prudence, we should be particularly careful to keep our reason as cool as possible, and to guard ourselves in all parts of life against the infuence of passion, imagination, and constitution.
Devotion, when it does not lie under the check of reason, is very apt to degenerate into enthusiasm. When the mind finds herself very much inflamed with her devotions, she is too much inclined to think they are not of her own kindling, but blown up by something divine within her. If she indulges this thought too far, and humors the growing passion, she at last flings herself into imaginary raptures and ecstasies; and when once she fancies herself under the influence of a divine impulse, it is no wonder if she slights human ordinances, and refuses to comply with any established form of religion, as thinking herself directed by a much superior guide.
As enthusiasm is a kind of excess in devotion, superstition is the excess, not only of devotion, but of religion in general, according to an old heathen saying, quoted by Aulus Gellius,* "Religentem esse oportet, religiosum nefas;" "A man should be religious, not superstitious." For, as the author tells us, Nigidius observed upon this passage, that the Latin words which terminate in osus, generally imply vicious characters, and the having of any quality to an excess.
An enthusiast in religion is like an obstinate clown, a superstitious man like an insipid courtier. Enthusiasm has something in it of madness, superstition of folly. Most of the sects that fall short of the church of England have in them strong tinctures of enthusiasm, as the Roman-catholic religion is one huge overgrown body of childish and idle superstitions.
The Roman catholic church seems indeed irrecoverably lost in this particular. If an absurd dress or behavior be introduced into the world, it will soon be found out and discarded. On the contrary, a habit or ceremony, though never so ridiculous, which has taken sanctuary in the church, sticks in it forever. A Gothic bishop, perhaps, thought it proper to repeat such a form in such particular shoes or slippers; another fancied it
*Noctes Attica, lib. iv, cap. 9.
would be very decent if such a part of public devotions was performed with a miter on his head, and a crosier in his hand. To this a brother Vandal, as wise as the others, adds an antic dress, which he conceived would allude very aptly to such and such mysteries, till by degrees the whole office has degenerated into an empty show.
Their successors see the vanity and inconvenience of the ceremonies; but instead of reforming, perhaps add others, which they think more significant, and which take possession in the same manner, and are never to be driven out after they have been once admitted. I have seen the Pope officiate at St. Peter's, where, for two hours together, he was busied in putting on or off his different accouterments, according to the different parts he was to act in them.
Nothing is so glorious in the eyes of mankind and ornamental to human nature, setting aside the infinite advantages which arise from it, as a strong, steady, masculine piety; but enthusiasm and superstition are the weaknesses of human reason, that expose us to the scorn and derision of infidels, and sink us even below the beasts that perish.
Idolatry may be looked upon as another error arising from mistaken devotion; but because reflections on that subject would be of no use to an English reader, I shall not enlarge upon it.-L.
No. 202.] MONDAY, OCTOBER 22, 1711.
HOR. 1 Ep. xviii, 25. Tho' ten times worse themselves, you'll frequent view Those who with keenest rage will censure you.-P. THE other day, as I passed along the street, I saw a sturdy 'prentice-boy disputing with a hackney-coachman; and in an instant, upon some word of provocation, throw off his hat and periwig, clench his fist, and strike the fellow a slap on the face; at the same time calling him rascal, and telling him he was a gentleman's son. The young gentleman was, it seems, bound to a blacksmith; and the debate arose about payment for some work done about a coach, near which they fought. His master, during the combat, was full of his boy's praises; and as he called to him to play with his hand and foot, and throw in his head, he made all us who stood around him of his party, by declaring the boy had very good friends, and he could trust him with untold gold. As I am generally in the theory of mankind, I could not but make my reflections upon the sudden popularity which was raised about the lad; and perhaps with my friend Tacitus, fell into observations upon it, which were too great for the occasion; or ascribed this general favor to causes which had nothing to do toward it. But the young blacksmith's being a gentleman, was, methought, what created him goodwill from his present equality with the mob about him. Add to this, that he was so much a gentleman, as not, at the same time that he called himself such, to use as rough methods for his defense as his antagonist. The advantage of his having good friends, as his master expressed it, was not lazily urged; but he showed himself superior to the coachman in the personal qualities of courage and activity, to confirm that of his being well allied, before his birth was of any service to him.
If one might moralize from this silly story, a man would say, that whatever advantages of fortune, birth, or any other good, people possess above the rest of the world, they should show collateral eminences beside those distinctions; or those distinctions will avail only to keep up
common decencies and ceremonies, and not to preserve a real place of favor or esteem in the opinion and common sense of their fellow
would reform; and I who have been a Spe of a gentleman at dinner for many years seen that indiscretion does ten times more chief than ill-nature. But you will represer better than
"Your abused humble servant, 66 THOMAS SMO "TO THE SPECTATOR.
Butler, Harry Cook, and Abigail Chamb behalf of themselves and their relations b ing to and dispersed in the several servi most of the great families within the cit London and Westminster:
"That in many of the families in which petitioners live and are employed, the heads of them are wholly unacquainted wit is business, and are very little judges whe are well or ill used by us your said petition "That for want of such skill in their fairs, and by indulgence of their own lazine pride, they continually keep about them mischievous animals called spies.
The folly of people's procedure, in imagining that nothing more is necessary than property and superior circumstances to support them in distinction, appears in no way so much as in the domes. tic part of life. It is ordinary to feed their humors into unnatural excrescences, if I may so speak, "The humble petition of John Steward, 1 and make their whole being a wayward and uneasy condition, for want of the obvious reflection that every part of human life is a commerce. not only paying wages, and giving commands, that constitutes a master of a family; but prudence, equal behavior, with readiness to protect and cherish them, is what entitles a man to that character in their very hearts and sentiments. It is pleasant enough to observe, that men expect from their dependents, from their sole motive of fear, all the good effects which a liberal education, and affluent fortune, and every other advantage, cannot produce in themselves. A man will have his servant just, diligent, sober, and chaste, for no other reason but the terror of losing his master's favor; when all the laws, divine and human, cannot keep him whom he serves within bounds, with relation to any one of those virtues. But both in great and ordinary affairs, all superiority, which is not founded on merit and virtue, is supported only by artifice and stratagem. Thus you see flatterers are the agents in families of humorists, and those who govern themselves by anything but reason. Make-bates, distant relations, poor kinsmen, and indigent followers, are the fry which support the economy of a humorsome rich man. He is eternally whispered with intelligence of who are true or false to him in matters of no consequence, and he maintains twenty friends to defend him against the insinuations of one who would perhaps cheat him of an old coat.
I shall not enter into further speculation upon this subject at present, but think the following letters and petition are made up of proper sentiments on this occasion.
"I am a servant to an old lady who is governed by one she calls her friend, who is so familiar a one, that she takes upon her to advise her without being called to it, and makes her uneasy with all about her. Pray, Sir, be pleased to give us some remarks upon voluntary counselors; and let these people know, that to give anybody advice, is to say to that person, I am your betters.' Pray, Sir, as near as you can, describe that eternal flirt and disturber of families, Mrs. Taperty, who is always visiting, and putting people in a way, as they call it. If you can make her stay at home one evening, you will be a general benefactor of all the ladies' women in town, and particularly to, "Your loving friend, SUSAN CIVIL."
"That whenever a spy is entertained, th of that house is from that moment banishe "That spies never give an account of g vices, but represent our mirth and freedom words, wantonness and disorder.
That in all families where there are there is a general jealousy and misundersta That the masters and mistresses o houses live in continual suspicion of their ous and true servants, and are given up management of those who are false and per
That such masters and mistresses who tain spies, are no longer more than cip their own families; and that we your peti are with great disdain obliged to pay respects, and expect all our maintenanc such spies.
Your petitioners therefore most humbl that you would represent the premise persons of condition; and your petitio in duty bound, shall forever pray," etc.
No. 203.] TUESDAY, OCTOBER 23,
Phoebe pater, si das hujus mihi nominis usur
THERE is a loose tribe of men whom I 1
yet taken notice of, that ramble into all ners of this great city, in order to sedu unfortunate females as fall into their These abandoned profligates raise up every quarter of the town, and very oft valuable consideration, father it upon the warden. By this means there are several
rishes of London and Westminster, and bachelors who are undone by a charge of
"I am a footman, and live with one of those men, each of whom is said to be one of the besthumored men in the world, but that he is pas-men who have a little family in most of sionate. Pray be pleased to inform them, that he who is passionate, and takes no care to command his hastiness, does more injury to his friends and servants in one half hour, than whole years can atone for. This master of mine, who is the best man alive in common fame, disobliges somebody every day he lives; and strikes me for the next thing I do, because he is out of humor at it. If these gentlemen knew that they do all the mischief that is ever done in conversation, they
When a man once gives himself this li preying at large, and living upon the com finds so much game in a populous city, t surprising to consider the numbers w sometimes propagates. We see many fellow who is scarce of age, that could claim to the jus trium liberorum, or the p which were granted by the Roman laws to
as were fathers of three children. Nay, I have rect methods, and to give their spurious children heard a rake, who was not quite five-and-twenty, such an education as may render them more virdeclare himself the father of a seventh son, and tuous than their parents. This is the best atonevery prudently determine to breed him up a phy- ment they can make for their own crimes, and insician. In short, the town is full of these young deed the only method that is left for them to patriarchs, not to mention several battered beaux, repair their past miscarriages. who like heedless spendthrifts that squander away their estates before they are master of them, have raised up their whole stock of children before marriage.
I must not here omit the particular whim of an impudent libertine, that had a little smattering of heraldry; and, observing how the genealogies of great families were often drawn up in the shape of trees, had taken a fancy to dispose of his own illegitimate issue in a figure of the same kind:
-Nec longum tempus et ingens
VIRG., Georg. ii, 80.
And in short space the laden boughs arise, With happy fruit advancing to the skies: The mother plant admires the leaves unknown Of alien trees, and apples not her own.-DRYDEN. The trunk of the tree was marked with his own name, Will Maple. Out of the side of it grew a large barren branch, inscribed Mary Maple, the name of his unhappy wife. The head was adorned with five huge boughs. On the bottom of the first was written in capital characters, Kate Cole, who branched out into three sprigs, viz: William, Richard, and Rebecca. Sal Twiford gave birth to another bough that shot up into Sarah, Tom, Will, and Frank. The third arm of the tree had only a single infant on it, with a space left for a second, the parent from whom it sprung being near her time when the author took this ingenious device into his head. The other great boughs were very plentifully loaded with fruit of the same kind: beside which there were many ornamental branches that did not bear. In short, a more flourishing tree never came out of the herald's
I would likewise desire them to consider, whether they are not bound in common humanity, as well as by all the obligations of religion and nature, to make some provision for those whom they have not only given life to, but entailed upon them, though very unreasonably, a degree of shame and disgrace. And here I cannot but take notice of those depraved notions which prevail among us, and which must have taken rise from our natural inclination to favor a vice to which we are so very prone, namely, that bastardy and cuckoldom should be looked upon as reproaches; and that the ignominy which is only due to lewdness and falsehood, should fall in so unreasonable a manner upon the persons who are innocent.
I have been insensibly drawn into this discourse by the following letter, which is drawn up with such a spirit of sincerity, that I question not but the writer of it has represented his case in a true and genuine light.
"I am one of those people who by the general opinion of the world are counted both infamous and unhappy.
"My father is a very eminent man in this kingdom, and one who bears considerable offices in it. I am his son, but my misfortune is, that I dare not call him father, nor he without shame own me as his issue, I being illegitimate, and therefore deprived of that endearing tenderness and unparalfeled satisfaction which a good man finds in the love and conversation of a parent. Neither have I the opportunities to render him the duties of a son, he having always carried himself at so vast a distance, and with such superiority toward me, that by long use I have contracted a timorousness when before him, which hinders me from declaring my own necessities, and giving him to understand the inconveniences I undergo.
What makes this generation of vermin so very prolific, is the indefatigable diligence with which they apply themselves to their business. A man does not undergo more watchings and fatigues in "It is my misfortune to have been neither bred a campaign, than in the course of a vicious amour. a scholar, a soldier, nor to any kind of business, As it is said of some men, that they make their which renders me entirely incapable of making business their pleasure, these sons of darkness provision for myself without his assistance; and may be said to make their pleasure their business. this creates a continual uneasiness in my mind, They might conquer their corrupt inclinations fearing I shall in time want bread; my father, if with half the pains they are at in gratifying them. I may so call him, giving me but very faint assuNor is the invention of these men less to be ad-rances of doing anything for me. mired than their industry and vigilance. There "I have hitherto lived somewhat like a gentleis a fragment of Apollodorus the comic poet (who was cotemporary with Menander) which is full of humor, as follows: "Thou mayest shut up thy doors," says he, "with bars and bolts. It will be impossible for the blacksmith to make them so fast, but a cat and a whore-master will find a way through them." In a word, there is no head so full of stratagems as that of a libidinous man.
Were I to propose a punishment for this infamous race of propagators, it should be to send them, after the second or third offense, into our American colonies, in order to people those parts of her majesty's dominions where there is a want of inhabitants, and in the phrase of Diogenes, "to plant men." Some countries punish this crime with death; but I think such a punishment would be sufficient, and might turn this generative faculty to the advantage of the public.
In the meantime, until these gentlemen may be thus disposed of, I would earnestly exhort them to take care of those unfortunate creatures whom they have brought into the world by these indi
man, and it would be very hard for me to labor for my living. I am in continual anxiety for my future fortune, and under a great unhappiness in losing the sweet conversation and friendly advice of my parents; so that I cannot look upon myself otherwise than as a monster, strangely sprung up in nature, which every one is ashamed to own.
"I am thought to be a man of some natural parts, and by the continual reading what you have offered the world, become an admirer thereof, which has drawn me to make this confession; at the same time, hoping, if anything herein shall touch you with a sense of pity, you would then allow me the favor of your opinion thereupon; as also what part I, being unlawfully born, may claim of the man's affection who begot me, and how far in your opinion I am to be thought his son, or he acknowledged as my father. Your sentiments and advice herein will be a great consolation and satisfaction to,
"Sir, your admirer, etc. W. B."