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and spends the remaining time in surveying the congregation. Now, Sir, what I would desire is, that you would animadvert a little on this gentle man's practice. In my opinion, this gentleman's devotion, cap in hand, is only a compliance to the custom of the place, and goes no further than a little ecclesiastical good breeding. If you will not pretend to tell us the motives that bring such triflers to solemn assemblies, yet let me desire that you will give this letter a place in your paper, and shall remain,
"Sir, your obliged, humble Servant,
Spectator for Sunday next, when they are to ap
"Your very humble Servant,
No. 381.] SATURDAY, MAY 17, 1712.
Equam memento rebus in arduis
May the 5th.
HOR. 2 Od. iii, 1.
Be calm, my Dellius, and serene,
The settled quiet of thy mind destroy.
"The conversation at a club, of which I am a
Men of austere principles look upon mirth as too wanton and dissolute for a state of probation, and as filled with a certain triumph and insolence of heart that is inconsistent with a life which is every moment obnoxious to the greatest dangers. Writers of this complexion have observed, that the Sacred Person who was the great pattern of perfection was never seen to laugh.
*Perhaps the initials of Swift's name, in whose works there is a sermon on sleeping at church.
Cheerfulness of mind is not liable to any of these exceptions; it is of a serious and composed nature; it does not throw the mind into a condition improper for the present state of humanity, and is very conspicuous in the characters of those who are looked upon as the greatest philosophers among the heathens, as well as among those who have been deservedly esteemed as saints and holy men among Christians.
If we consider cheerfulness in three lights, with regard to ourselves, to those we converse with, and to the great Author of our being, it will not a little recommend itself on each of these accounts. The man who is possessed of this excellent frame of mind, is not only easy in his thoughts, but a perfect master of all the powers and faculties of his soul. His imagination is always clear, and his judgment undisturbed; tion or in solitude. He comes with relish to all his temper is even and unruffled, whether in acthose goods which nature has provided for him, tastes all the pleasures of the creation which are poured about him, and does not feel the full weight of those accidental evils which may befall
If we consider him in relation to the persons whom he converses with, it naturally produces love and good-will toward him. A cheerful mind is not only disposed to be affable and obliging; but raises the same good humor in those who
come within its influence. A man finds himself pleased, he does not know why, with the cheerfulness of his companion. It is like a sudden sunshine that awakens a secret delight in the mind, without her attending to it. The heart rejoices of its own accord, and naturally flows out into friendship and benevolence toward the person who has so kindly an effect upon it.
When I consider this cheerful state of mind in its third relation, I cannot but look upon it as a constant habitual gratitude to the great Author of nature. An inward cheerfulness is an implicit praise and thanksgiving to Providence under all its dispensations. It is a kind of acquiescence in the state wherein we are placed, and a secret approbation of the Divine Will in his conduct toward
There are but two things which, in my opinion, can reasonably deprive us of this cheerfulness of heart. The first of these is the sense of guilt. A man who lives in a state of vice and impenitence, can have no title to that evenness and tranquillity of mind which is the health of the soul, and the natural effect of virtue and innocence. Cheerfulness in an ill man deserves a harder name than language can furnish us with, and is many degrees beyond what we commonly call folly or
Atheism, by which I mean a disbelief of a Supreme Being, and consequently of a future state, under whatsoever titles it shelter itself, may likewise very reasonably deprive a man of this cheerfulness of temper. There is something so particularly gloomy and offensive to human nature in the prospect of non-existence, that I cannot but wonder, with many excellent writers, how it is possible for a man to outlive the expectation of it. For my own part, I think the being of a God is so little to be doubted, that it is almost the only truth we are sure of; and such a truth as we meet with in every object, in every occurrence, and in every thought. If we look into the characters of this tribe of infidels, we generally find they are made up of pride, spleen, and cavil. It is indeed no wonder, that men who are uneasy to themselves should be so to the rest of the world; and how is it possible for a man to be otherwise than uneasy in himself, who is in danger every moment of losing his entire existence, and dropping into nothing?
The vicious man and Atheist have therefore no pretense to cheerfulness, and would act very unreasonably should they endeavor after it. It is impossible for any one to live in good-humor, and enjoy his present existence, who is apprehensive either of torment or of annihilation; of being miserable, or of not being at all.
After having mentioned these two great principles, which are destructive of cheerfulness in their own nature, as well as in right reason, I cannot think of any other that ought to banish this happy temper from a virtuous mind. Pain and sickness, shame and reproach, poverty and old age, nay death itself, considering the shortness of their duration, and the advantage we may reap from them, do not deserve the name of evils. A good nind may bear up under them with forde, with indolence, and with cheerfulness of
The tossing of a tempest does not dispeop him, which he is sure will bring him to and diatharbor.
of brass,ho uses his best endeavors to live acwork; that dictates of virtue and right reason, and underlaid al sources of cheerfulness, in the his own nature, and of that Being *See Compte de Gabalis,endence. If he looks into 12mo., and Pope's Works, joice in that existence Oper him and which
after millions of ages will be still new and still in its beginning. How many self congratulations naturally arise in the mind, when it reflects on this its entrance into eternity, when it takes a view of those improvable faculties, which in a few years, and even at its first setting out, have made so considerable a progress, and which will still be receiving an increase of perfection, and consequently an increase of happiness! The consciousness of such a being spreads a perpetual dif fusion of joy through the soul of a virtuous man, and makes him look upon himself every moment as more happy than he knows how to conceive.
The second source of cheerfulness to a good mind is the consideration of that Being on whom we have our dependence, and in whom, though we behold him as yet but in the first faint discoveries of his perfections, we see everything that we can imagine, as great, glorious, or amiable. We find ourselves everywhere upheld by his goodness, and surrounded with an immensity of love and mercy. In short, we depend upon a Being, whose power qualifies him to make us happy by an infinity of means, whose goodness and truth engage him to make those happy who desire it of him, and whose unchangeableness will secure us in this happiness to all eternity.
Such considerations, which every one should perpetually cherish in his thoughts, will banish from us all that secret heaviness of heart which unthinking men are subject to when they lie under no real affliction; all that anguish which we may feel from any evil that actually oppresses us, to which I may likewise add those little cracklings of mirth and folly that are apter to betray virtue than support it; and establish in us such an even and cheerful temper, as makes us pleasing to ourselves, to those with whom we converse, and to Him whom we were made to please.-I.
No. 382.] MONDAY, MAY 19, 1712.
Habes confitentem reum.-TULL
I OUGHT not to have neglected a request of one of my correspondents so long as I have, but I dare say I have given him time to add practice to profession. He sent me some time ago a bottle o two of excellent wine to drink the health of gentleman who had by the penny-post advertised him of an egregious error in his conduct. My correspondent received the obligation from an u known hand with the candor which is natural to an ingenuous mind; and promises a contrary be havior in that point for the future. He will offend his monitor with no more errors of that kind, but thanks him for his benevolence. This frank car riage makes me reflect upon the amiable sto ment a man makes in the ingenuous acknowledg ment of a fault. All such miscarriages as flow from inadvertency are more than repaid by it, for reason, though not concerned in the injury, ploys all its force in the atonement. He that says, he did not design to disoblige you in such an action, does as much as if he should tell yo that though the circumstances which displeased was never in his thoughts, he has that respect f you that he is unsatisfied, till it is wholly out of yours. It must be confessed, that when an acknow ledgment of an offense is made out of poor of spirit, and not conviction of heart, the circum stance is quite different. But in the case of my correspondent, where both the notice is tak and then made in private, the affair begins
far from greatness of spirit to persist in the wrong in anything; nor is it a diminution of greatness of spirit to have been in the wrong Perfection is not the attribute of man, therefore he is not de
son offended. A dauphin of France upon a review of the army, and a command of the king to alter the posture of it by a march of one of the wings, gave an improper order to an officer at the head of a brigade, who told his highness, he presumed he had not received the last orders, which were to move a contrary way. The prince, instead of taking the admonition, which was delivered in a manner that accounted for his error with safety to his understanding, shook a cane at the officer, and, with the return of opprobrious language, persisted in his own orders. The whole matter came necessarily before the king, who commanded his son, on foot, to lay his right hand on the gentleman's stirrup as he sat on horseback in sight of the whole army, and ask his pardon. When the prince touched his stirrup, and was going to speak, the officer with an incredible agility, threw himself on the earth, and kissed his feet.
and ends with the highest grace on each side.
The body is very little concerned in the pleasure
As I was sitting in my chamber, and thinking on a subject for my next Spectator, I heard two or three irregular bounces at my landlady's door, and upon the opening of it, a loud cheerful voice inquiring whether the philosopher was at home. The child who went to the door answered very innocently, that he did not lodge there. I immediately recollected that it was my good friend Sir Roger's voice: and that I had promised to go with him on the water to Spring-garden, in case it proved a good evening. The knight put me
When we turn our thoughts from these extraordinary occurrences into common life, we see an ingenuous kind of behavior not only make up for faults committed, but in a manner expiate them in the very commission. Thus many things wherein a man has pressed too far, he implicitly excuses, by owning, "This is a trespass: you'll pardon my confidence: I am sensible I have no pretensions to this favor;" and the like. But commend me to those gay fellows about town who are directly impudent, and make up for it no otherwise than by calling themselves such, and exulting in it. But this sort of carriage which prompts a man against rules to urge what he has a mind to, is pardonable only when you sue for another. When you are confident in preference of yourself to others of equal merit, every in mind of my promise from the bottom of the man that loves virtue and modesty ought, in de-staircase, but told me, that if I was speculating, fense of those qualities, to oppose you.. But, he would stay below until I had done. Upon without considering the morality of the thing, let my coming down, I found all the children of the us at this time behold only the natural conse- family got about my old friend; and my landlady quence of candor when we speak of ourselves. herself, who is a notable prating gossip, engaged The Spectator writes often in an elegant, often in a conference with him: being mightily pleased in an argumentative, and often in a sublime style, with his stroking her little boy on the head, and with equal success; but how would it hurt the bidding him to be a good child and mind his reputed author of that paper to own, that of the book. most beautiful pieces under his title, he is barely the publisher? There is nothing but what a man really performs can be an honor to him; what he takes more than he ought in the eye of the world, he loses in the conviction of his own heart; and a man must lose his consciousness, that is, his very self, before he can rejoice in any falsehood without inward mortification.
Who has not seen a very criminal at the bar, when his counsel and friends have done all that they could for him in vain, prevail on the whole assembly to pity him, and his judge to recommend his case to the mercy of the throne, without offering anything new in his defense, but that he, whom before we wished convicted, became so out of his own mouth, and took upon himself all the shame and sorrow we were just before preparing for him? The great opposition to this kind of candor arises from the unjust idea people ordinarily have of what we call a high spirit. It is
No. 383.] TUESDAY, MAY 20, 1712.
We were no sooner come to the Temple-stairs, but we were surrounded with a crowd of watermen, offering us their respective services. Sir Roger, after having looked about him very attentively, spied one with a wooden leg, and immediately gave him orders to get his boat ready. As we were walking toward it, "You must know," says Sir Roger, "I never make use of anybody to row me, that has not lost either a leg or an arm. I would rather bate him a few strokes of his oar than not employ an honest man that has been wounded in the queen's service. If I was a lord or a bishop, and kept a barge, I would not put a fellow in my livery that had not a wooden leg." My old friend, after having seated himself, and trimmed the boat with his coachman, who, being a very sober man, always serves for ballast on these occasions, we made the best of our way for
*Now known by the name of Vauxhall.
Vauxhall Sir Roger obliged the waterman to give us the history of his right leg: and hearing that he had left it at La Hogue, with many particulars which passed in that glorious action, the knight, in the triumph of his heart, made several reflections on the greatness of the British nation; as, that one Englishman could beat three Frenchmen; that we could never be in danger of popery so long as we took care of our fleet; that the Thames was the noblest river in Europe; that London-bridge was a greater piece of work than any of the seven wonders of the world; with many other honest prejudices which naturally cleave to the heart of a true Englishman.
After some short pause, the old knight, turning about his head twice or thrice to take a survey of this great metropolis, bid me observe how thick the city was set with churches, and that there was scarce a single steeple on this side Temple-bar. "A most heathenish sight!" says Sir Roger: "there is no religion at this end of the town. The fifty new churches will very much mend the prospect; but church-work is slow, church-work is slow."
No. 384.] WEDNESDAY, MAY 21, 1712,
"Hague, May 24, N. 8.
The same republican hands, whe have so often since the Chevalier de St. George's revery killed him in our public prints, have now reduced the young Dauphin of France to that desperate condition of weaknes and death itself, that it is hard to conjecture what method they will take to bring him to life again. Meantime we are assured by a very good hand from Paris, that on the 28th instant this young prince was as well as ever be wal known to be since the day of his birth. As for the other, they are now sending his ghost, we suppose (for they never had the modesty to contradict the assertions of his death), to Commerci in Lorrain, attended only by four gentlemen, and a few domestics of little consideration. The Baron de Bothmar having delivered in his credentials to qualify him as an ambassador to this state (an office to which his greatest enemies will acknowledge him to be equal) is go to Utrecht, whence he will proceed to Hanover, but not stay long at that court, for fear the peace should be made during his lamentable absence."-POST-BOY, May 20,
I do not remember I have anywhere mentioned in Sir Roger's character, his custom of saluting everybody that passes by him with a good-morrow or a good-night. This the old man does out of the overflowings of his humanity; though at the same time, it renders him so popular among all his country neighbors, that it is thought to have gone a good way in making him once or twice knight of the shire. He cannot forbear this exercise of benevolence even in town, when he meets with any one in his morning or evening walk. It broke from him to several boats that passed by us upon the water; but, to the knight's great surprise, as he gave the good-night to two or three young fellows a little before our landing, one of them, instead of returning the civility, asked us what queer old put we had in the boat, and whether he was not ashamed to go a-wench-it found us as to our civil rights. The present en ing at his years? with a great deal of the like tertainment shall consist only of a sentence out Thames-ribaldry. Sir Roger seemed a little of the Post-Boy, and the said preface of the lord shocked at first, but at length, assuming a face of of St. Asaph. I should think it a little odd if the magistracy, told us, that if he were a Middlesex author of the Post-Boy should with impunity ca justice, he would make such vagrants know that men republicans for a gladness on the report of her majesty's subjects were no more to be abused the death of the pretender; and treat Baron Both by water than by land. mar, the minister of Hanover, in such a manner a you see in my motto. I must own, I think every man in England concerned to support the succes sion of that family.
I SHOULD be thought not able to read, should I overlook some excellent pieces lately come out My lord bishop of St. Asapht has just now published some sermons, the preface to which seems to me to determine a great point. He has, like a good man, and a good Christian, in opposition to all the flattery and base submission of false friends to princes, asserted, that Christianity left us where
The publishing a few sermons, while I live the latest of which was preached about eight year since, and the first above seventeen, will make very natural for people to inquire into the ca sion of doing so; and to such I do very willing. assign these following reasons:
First, from the observations I have been abl to make for these many years last past upon public affairs, and from the natural tendency several principles and practices, that have of been studiously revived, and from what has fo lowed thereupon, I could not help both fear and presaging, that these nations should time or other, if ever we should have an enter prising prince upon the throne, of more ambit than virtue, justice, and true honor, fall into t way of all other nations, and lose their liberty. "Nor could I help foreseeing to whose charge great deal of this dreadful mischief, whenever should happen, would be laid; whether unjustly, was not my business to determine: be
We were now arrived at Spring-garden, which is excellently pleasant at this time of the year. When I considered the fragrancy of the walks and bowers, with the choirs of birds that sung upon the trees, and the loose tribe of people that walked under their shades, I could not but look upon the place as a kind of Mahometan paradise. Sir Roger told me it put him in mind of a little coppice by his house in the country, which his chaplain used to call an aviary of nightingales. "You must understand," says the knight, "there is nothing in the world that pleases a man in love so much as your nightingale. Ah, Mr. Spectator, the many moonlight nights that I have walked by myself, and thought on the widow by the music of the nightingale!" He here fetched a deep sigh, and was falling into a fit of musing, when a mask, who came behind him, gave him a gentle tap upon the shoulder, and asked him if he would drink a bottle of mead with her? But the knight being so startled at so unexpected a familiarity, and displeased to be interrupted in his thoughts of the widow, told her "she was a wanton baggage;" and bid her go about her business.
We concluded our walk with a glass of Burton ale, and a slice of hung beef. When we had done
In the original publication in folio, it' ted Fox-hall.
* Ambassador from Hanover, and afterward agent hero i
the Hanoverian family.
"The fourth sermon was preached upon the queen's accession to the throne, and the first year in which that day was solemnly observed (for by some accident or other it had been overlooked the year before); and every one will see, without the date of it, that it was preached very early in this reign, since I was able only to promise and presage its future glories and successes, from the good appearances of things, and the happy turn our affairs began to take; and could not then count up the victories and triumphs that, for seven years after, made it, in the prophet's language, a name and a praise among all the people of the earth. Never did seven such years together pass over the head of any English monarch, nor cover it with so much honor. The crown and scepter seemed to be the queen's least ornaments; those, other princes wore in common with her, and her great personal virtues were the same before and since; but such was the fame of her administration of affairs at home, such was the reputation of her wisdom and felicity in choosing ministers, and such was then esteemed their faithfulness and zeal, their diligence and great abilities, in executing her commands; to such a height of military glory did her great general and her armies carry the British name abroad; such was the harmony and concord betwixt her and her allies; and such was the blessing of God upon all her counsels and undertakings, that I am as sure as history can make me, no prince of ours ever was so prosperous and successful, so beloved, esteemed, and honored by their subjects and their friends, nor near so formidable to their enemies. We were, as all the world imagined then, just entering on the ways that promised to such a peace as would have answered all the prayers of our religious queen, the care and vigilance of a most able ministry, the payment of a willing and most obedient people, as well as all the glorious toils and hazards of the soldiery; when God, for our sins, permitted the spirit of discord to go forth, and by troubling sore the camp, the city, and the country, (and oh that it had altogether spared the places sacred to his worship!) to spoil, for a time, this beautiful and pleasing prospect, and give us, in its stead, I know not what-Our enemies will tell the rest with pleasure, It will become me better to pray to God to restore us to the power of obtaining such a peace as will be to his glory, the safety, honor, and welfare of the queen and her dominions, and the general saMay 2, 1712." tisfaction of all her high and mighty allies.-T.