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made it synonymous even with probity. They es- turning them to some more durable indications of teemed those virtues so inseparable, that the known joy, more glorious for him, and more advantageous expression of Vir Frugi signified, at one and the to his people. same tit..e, a sober and managing man, an honest man, and a man of substance.
After such instances of political frugality, can we then continue to blame the Dutch ambassador
The Scriptures, in a thousand places, praise at a certain court, who, receiving at his departure economy; and it is every where distinguished from the portrait of the king, enriched with diamonds, avarice. But in spite of all its sacred dictates, a asked what this fine thing might be worth? Being taste for vain pleasures and foolish expense is the told that it might amount to about two thousand ruling passion of the present times. Passion, did pounds, " And why," cries he, "can not his majesI call it? rather the madness which at once possesses ty keep the picture and give the money?" The the great and the little, the rich and the poor: even simplicity may be ridiculed at first; but when we some are so intent upon acquiring the superfluities come to examine it more closely, men of sense will of life that they sacrifice its necessaries in this fool- at once confess that he had reason in what he said, ish pursuit. and that a purse of two thousand guineas is much more serviceable than a picture.
Should we follow the same method of state frugality in other respects, what numberless savings
To attempt the entire abolition of luxury, as it would be impossible, so it is not my intent. The generality of mankind are too weak, too much slaves to custom and opinion, to resist the torrent might not be the result! How many possibilities of bad example. But if it be impossible to convert of saving in the administration of justice, which the multitude, those who have received a more ex- now burdens the subject, and enriches some memtended education, who are enlightened and judi-bers of society, who are useful only from its cor cious, may find some hints on this subject useful. ruption! They may see some abuses, the suppression of It were to be wished, that they who govern kingwhich would by no means endanger public liberty; doms would imitate artisans. When at London a they may be directed to the abolition of some un-new stuff has been invented, it is immediately necessary expenses, which have no tendency to counterfeited in France. How happy were it for promote happiness or virtue, and which might be society, if a first minister would be equally solicitdirected to better purposes. Our fire-works, ourous to transplant the useful laws of other countries public feasts and entertainments, our entries of am- into his own. We are arrived at a perfect imitabassadors, etc.; what mummery a this! what tion of porcelain; let us endeavour to imitate the childish pageants! what millions are sacrificed in good to society that our neighbours are found to paying tribute to custom! what an unnecessary practise, and let our neighbours also imitate those charge at times when we are pressed with real parts of duty in which we excel. want, which can not be satisfied without burdening the poor!
Were such suppressed entirely, not a single creature in the state would have the least cause to mourn their suppression, and many might be eased of a load they now feel lying heavily upon them. If this were put in practice, it would agree with the advice of a sensible writer of Sweden, who, in the Gazette de France, 1753, thus expressed himself on that subject. "It were sincerely to be wished," says he, “that the custom were established amongst us, that in all events which cause a public joy, we made our exultations conspicuous only by acts useful to society. We should then quickly see many useful monuments of our reason, which would much better perpetuate the memory of things worthy of being transmitted to posterity, and would be much more glorious to humanity, than all those tumultuous preparations of feasts, entertainments, and other rejoicings used upon such occasions."
There are some men, who in their garden attempt to raise those fruits which nature has adapted only to the sultry climates beneath the line. We have at our very doors a thousand laws and customs infinitely useful: these are the fruits we should endeavour to transplant; these the exotics that would speedily become naturalized to the soil. They might grow in every climate, and benefit every possessor.
The best and the most useful laws I have ever seen, are generally practised in Holland. When two men are determined to go to law with each other, they are first obliged to go before the reconciling judges, called the peace-makers. If the parties come attended with an advocate, or a solicitor, they are obliged to retire, as we take fuel from the fire we are desirous of extinguishing.
The peace-makers then begin advising the parties, by assuring them, that it is the height of folly to waste their substance, and make themselves mutually miserable, by having recourse to the tri
The same proposal was long before confirmed by a Uninese emperor, who lived in the last century, bunals of justice; follow but our direction, and we who, upon an occasion of extraordinary joy, forbade will accommodate matters without any expense to his subjec- to make the usual illuminations, either either. If the rage of debate is too strong upon with a design of sparing their substance, or of either party, they are remitted back for another
It is unnecessary to make here long declamations, or calculate what society would save, were this law adopted. I am sensible, that the man who advises any reformation, only serves to make himself ridiculous. What! mankind will be apt to say, adopt the customs of countries that have not so much real liberty as our own! our present customs, what are they to any man? we are very happy under them: this must be a very pleasant fellow, who attempts to make us happier than we already are! Does he not know that abuses are the patrimony of a great part of the nation? Why deprive us of a malady the unreflecting might imagine. The pawnbroker, by which such numbers find their account? This, the attorney, and other pests of society, might, by I must own, is an argrment to which I have no proper management, be turned into serviceable thing to reply. members; and, were their trades abolished, it is possible the same avarice that conducts the one, or the same chicanery that characterizes the other,
day, in order that time may soften their tempers, and excess, and, either in a religious or political and produce a reconciliation. They are thus sent light, it would be our highest interest to have the tor twice or thrice: if their folly happens to be in- greatest part of them suppressed. They should be curable, they are permitted to go to law, and as put under laws of not continuing open beyond a we give up to amputation such members as can certain hour, and harbouring only proper persons. not be cured by art, justice is permitted to take its These rules, it may be said, will diminish the necessary taxes; but this is false reasoning, since what was consumed in debauchery abroad, would, if such a regulation took place, be more justly, and perhaps more equitably for the workman's family, spent at home; and this cheaper to them, and without loss of time. On the other hand, our alehouses being ever open, interrupt business; the workman is never certain who frequents them, nor can the master be sure of having what was begun, finished at the convenient time.
A habit of frugality among the lower orders of mankind, is much more beneficial to society than
What numberless savings might there not be made in both arts and commerce, particularly in the liberty of exercising trade, without the neces- might, by proper regulations, be converted into sary prerequisites of freedom! Such useless ob- frugality and commendable prudence. structions have crept into every state, from a spirit But some, who have made the eulogium of luxof monopoly, a narrow selfish spirit of gain, with-ury, have represented it as the natural consequence out the least attention to general society. Such a of every country that is become rich. Did we not clog upon industry frequently drives the poor from employ our extraordinary wealth in superfluities, labour, and reduces them by degrees to a state of say they, what other means would there be to emhopeless indigence. We have already a more than ploy it in? To which it may be answered, if frusufficient repugnance to labour; we should by no gality were established in the state, if our expenses means increase the obstacles, or make excuses in a were laid out rather in the necessaries than the state for idleness. Such faults have ever crept superfluities of life, there might be fewer wants, into a state, under wrong or needy administra- and even fewer pleasures, but infinitely more happiness. The rich and the great would be better able to satisfy their creditors; they would be better able to marry their children, and, instead of one marriage at present, there might be two, if such regulations took place.
Exclusive of the masters, there are numberless faulty expenses among the workmen; clubs, garnishes, freedoms, and such like impositions, which are not too minute even for law to take notice of, and which should be abolished without mercy, The imaginary calls of vanity, which in reality since they are ever the inlets to excess and idle- contribute nothing to our real felicity, would not ness, and are the parent of all those outrages which then be attended to, while the real calls of nature naturally fall upon the more useful part of society. might be always and universally supplied. The In the towns and countries I have seen, I never difference of employment in the subject is what, in saw a city or village yet, whose miseries were not reality, produces the good of society. If the subin proportion to the number of its public-houses. ject be engaged in providing only the luxuries, the In Rotterdam, you may go through eight or ten necessaries must be deficient in proportion. If streets without finding a public-house. In Ant-neglecting the produce of our own country, our werp, almost every second house seems an ale- minds are set upon the productions of another, we house. In the one city, all wears the appearance increase our wants, but not our means; and every of happiness and warm affluence; in the other, the new imported delicacy for our tables, or ornament young fellows walk about the streets in shabby in our equipage, is a tax upon the poor. finery, their fathers sit at the door darning or knitting stockings, while their ports are filled with dunghills.
The true interest of every government is to cul tivate the necessaries, by which is always meant every happiness our own country can produce;
Alehouses are ever an occasion of debauchery and suppress all the luxuries, by which is meant,
on the other hand, every happiness imported from abroad. Commerce has therefore its bounds; and every new import, instead of receiving encouragement, should be first examined whether it be conducive to the interest of society.
Even though our present writers had not equal merit with their predecessors, it would be politic to use them with ceremony. Every compliment paid them would be more agreeable, in proportion as they least deserved it. Tell a lady with a handsome face that she is pretty, she only thinks it he due; it is what she has heard a thousand times before from others, and disregards the compliment. but assure a lady, the cut of whose visage is some thing more plain, that she looks killing to-day, she
Among the many publications with which the press is every day burdened, I have often wondered why we never had, as in other countries, an Economical Journal, which might at once direct to all the useful discoveries in other countries, and spread those of our own. As other journals serve to amuse the learned, or, what is more often the case, to make them quarrel, while they only serve to give us the history of the mischievous world, for so I call our warriors; or the idle world, for so may the learned be called; they never trouble their heads about the most useful part of mankind, our peasants and our artisans ;-were such a work carried into execution, with proper management, and just direction, it might serve as a repository for every useful improvement, and increase that knowledge which learning often serves to confound. Sweden seems the only country where the sci-instantly bridles up, and feels the force of the welltimed flattery the whole day after. Compliments ence of economy seems to have fixed its empire. which we think are deserved, we accept only as In other countries, it is cultivated only by a few admirers, or by societies which have not received debts, with indifference; but those which conscience informs us we do not merit, we receive with sufficient sanction to become completely useful; the same gratitude that we do favours given away but here there is founded a royal academy destined to this purpose only, composed of the most learned and powerful members of the state; an academy which declines every thing which only terminates in amusement, erudition, or curiosity; and admits only of observations tending to illustrate husbandry, agriculture, and every real physical improvement. In this country nothing is left to private rapacity; but every improvement is immediately diffused, and its inventor immediately recompensed by the hangs at present so feebly together; though those friendships which once promoted literary fame seem state. Happy were it so in other countries; by this means, every impostor would be prevented from now to be discontinued; though every writer who ruining or deceiving the public with pretended dis-now draws the quill seems to aim at profit, as well coveries or nostrums, and every real inventor would as applause; many among them are probably laying not, by this means, suffer the inconveniencies of in stores for immortality, and are provided with a sufficient stock of reputation to last the whole suspicion.
Yet, notwithstanding the republic of letters
SCARCELY a day passes in which we do not hear compliments paid to Dryden, Pope, and other writers of the last age, while not a mouth comes forward that is not loaded with invectives against the writers of this. Strange, that our critics should be fond of giving their favours to those who are insensible of the obligation, and their dislike to those, who, of all mankind, are most apt to retaliate the injury.
Our gentlemen, however, who preside at the distribution of literary fame, seem resolved to part with praise neither from motives of justice nor generosity: one would think, when they take pen in hand, that it was only to blot reputations, and to put their seals to the packet which consigns every newborn effort to oblivion.
gination, and formed the following Reverie, too wild for allegory and too regular for a dream.
In short, the economy equally unknown to the journey. As I was indulging these reflections, in order to prodigal and avaricious, seems to be a just mean between both extremes; and to a transgression of eke out the present page, I could not avoid purthis at present decried virtue it is that we are to at-suing the metaphor of going a journey in my imatribute a great part of the evils which infest society. A taste for superfluity, amusement, and pleasure, bring effeminacy, idleness, and expense in their train. But a thirst of riches is always proportioned to our debauchery, and the greatest prodigal is too frequently found to be the greatest miser; so that the vices which seem the most opposite, are frequently found to produce each other; and to avoid both, it is only necessary to be frugal.
I fancied myself placed in the yard of a large inn, in which there were an infinite number of wagons and stage-coaches, attended by fellows who either invited the company to take their places, or were busied in packing their baggage. Each vehicle had its inscription, showing the place of its destination. On one I could read, The pleasure stagecoach; on another, The wagon of industry; on a Virtus est medium vitiorum et utrinque reductum.-Hor. third, The vanity whim; and on a fourth, The
landau of riches. I had some inclination to step] by your bulk you seem loaded for a West India in o each of these, one after another; but I know voyage. You are big enough with all your papers not by what means, I passed them by, and at last to crack twenty stage-coaches. Excuse me, infixed my eye upon a small carriage, Berlin fashion, deed, sir, for you must not enter." Our figure now which seemed the most convenient vehicle at a dis- began to expostulate: he assured the coachman, tance in the world; and upon my nearer approach that though his baggage seemed so bulky, it was found it to be The fame machine. perfectly light, and that he would be contented I instantly made up to the coachman, whom I with the smallest corner of room. But Jehu was found to be an affable and seemingly good-natured inflexible, and the carrier of the Inspectors was fellow. He informed me, that he had but a few sent to dance back again with all his papers flutdays ago returned from the Temple of Fame, to tering in the wind. We expected to have no more which he had been carrying Addison, Swift, Pope, trouble from this quarter, when in a few minutes Steele, Congreve, and Colley Cibber. That they the same figure changed his appearance, like harmade but indifferent company by the way, that he lequin upon the stage, and with the same confionce or twice was going to empty his berlin of the dence again made his approaches, dressed in lace, whole cargo: however, says he, I got them all and carrying nothing but a nosegay. Upon comsafe home, with no other damage than a black eye, ing nearer, he thrust the nosegay to the coachwhich Colley gave Mr. Pope, and am now return-man's nose, grasped the brass, and seemed now reed for another coachful. "If that be all, friend," solved to enter by violence. I found the struggle said I, "and if you are in want of company, I'll soon begin to grow hot, and the coachman, who make one with all my heart. Open the door; I was a little old, unable to continue the contest ; so, hope the machine rides easy." "Oh, for that, sir, in order to ingratiate myself, I stepped in to his extremely easy." But still keeping the door shut, assistance, and our united efforts sent our literary and measuring me with his eye, " Pray, sir, have Proteus, though worsted, unconquered still, clear you no luggage? You seem to be a good-natured off, dancing a rigadoon, and smelling to his own sort of a gentleman; but I don't find you have got nosegay. any luggage, and I never permit any to travel with me but such as have something valuable to pay for coach-hire." Examining my pockets, I own I was not a little disconcerted at this unexpected rebuff; but considering that I carried a number of the BEE under my arm, I was resolved to open it in his eyes, and dazzle him with the splendour of the page. He read the title and contents, however, without any emotion, and assured me he had never heard of it before. "In short, friend," said he, now losing all his former respect, "you must not come in: I expect better passengers; but as you seem a harmless creature, perhaps, if there be roon left, I may let you ride a while for charity."
The person who after him appeared as candidate for a place in the stage, came up with an air not quite so confident, but somewhat however theatrical; and, instead of entering, made the coachman a very low bow, which the other returned and desired to see his baggage; upon which he instantly produced some farces, a tragedy, and other miscellany productions. The coachman, casting his eye upon the cargo, assured him at present he could not possibly have a place, but hoped in time he might aspire to one, as he seemed to have read in the book of nature, without a careful perusal of which, none ever found entrace at the Temple of Fame. "What!" replied the disappointed poet, "shall my tragedy, in which I have vindicated the cause of liberty and virtue-"-"Follow nature," returned the other, "and never expect to find lasting fame by topics which only please from their popu larity. Had you been first in the cause of freedom
I now took my stand by the coachman at the door; and since I could not command a seat, was resolved to be as useful as possible, and earn by my assiduity what I could not by my merit.
The next that presented for a place was a most whimsical figure indeed. He was hung round or praised in virtue more than an empty name, it with papers of his own composing, not unlike those is possible you might have gained admittance; who sing ballads in the streets, and came dancing but at present I beg sir, you will stand aside for up to the door with all the confidence of instant another gentleman whom I see approaching." admittance. The volubility of his motion and ad- This was a very grave personage, whom at some dress prevented my being able to read more of his distance I took for one of the most reserved, and cargo than the word Inspector, which was written even disagreeable figures I had seen; but as he in great letters at the top of some of the papers. He approached, his appearance improved, and when I opened the coach-door himself without any cere- could distinguish him thoroughly, I perceived that, Inony, and was just slipping in, when the coach-in spite of the severity of his brow, he had one of man, with as little ceremony, pulled him back. Our the most good-natured countenances that could be figure seemed perfectly angry at this repulse, and imagined. Upon coming to open the stage door, demanded gentleman's satisfaction. "Lord, sir!" he lifted a parcel of folios into the seat before him, replied the coachman, "instead of proper luggage, but our inquisitorial coachman at once shoved thera
out again. "What! not take in my Dictionary?" might be the conversation that passed upon this exexclaimed the other in a rage. "Be patient, sir," traordinary occasion; when, instead of agreeable replied the coachman, "I have drove a coach, man or entertaining dialogue, I found them grumbling and boy, these two thousand years; but I do not at each other, and each seemed discontented with remember to have carried above one dictionary his companions. Strange! thought I to myself, during the whole time. That little book which I that they who are thus born to enlighten the world, perceive peeping from one of your pockets, may should still preserve the narrow prejudices of child. I presume to ask what it contains?" "A mere hood, and, by disagreeing, make even the highest trifle," replied the author; "it is called The Ram-merit ridiculous. Were the learned and the wise bler." "The Rambler!" says the coachman, "Ito unite against the dunces of society, instead of beg, sir, you will take your place; I have heard our sometimes siding into opposite parties with them, ladies in the court of Apollo frequently mention they might throw a lustre upon each other's repuit with rapture and Clio, who happens to be a tation, and teach every rank of subordination me little grave, has been heard to prefer it to the Spec-rit, if not to admire, at least not to avow dislike. tator; though others have observed, that the re- In the midst of these reflections, I perceived the flections, by being refined, sometimes become mi- coachman, unmindful of me, had now mounted the box. Several were approaching to be taken in, whose pretensions, I was sensible, were very just;
This grave gentleman was scarcely seated, when another, whose appearance was something more I therefore desired him to stop, and take in more modern, seemed willing to enter, yet afraid to ask. passengers; but he replied, as he had now mount. He carried in his hand a bundle of essays, of ed the box, it would be improper to come down; which the coachman was curious enough to inquire but that he should take them all, one after the the contents. "These," replied the gentleman, other, when he should return. So he drove "are rhapsodies against the religion of my coun- away; and for myself, as I could not get in, I try." And how can you expect to come into my mounted behind, in order to hear the conversation coach, after thus choosing the wrong side of the on the way.
(To be continued.)
question?" 'Ay, but I am right," replied the
other; "and if you give me leave I shall in a few
FARCE, CALLED "HIGH LIFE BE-
minutes state the argument." "Right or wrong," A WORD OR TWO ON THE LATE