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fent it to you, not only as it reprefents the actions of Nicholas Hart, but as it feems a very natural picture of the life of many an honeft English Gentleman, whofe whole history often confifts of yawning, nodding, ftretching, turning, fleeping, drinking, and the like extraordinary particulars. I do not queftion, Sir, that, if you pleafed, you could put out an advertisement not unlike the above-mentioned, of feveral men of figure; that Mr. John fuch-a-one, Gentleman, or Thomas fuch-a-one, Efquire, who flept in the country laft fummer, intends to fleep in town this winter. The worst of it is, that the drowfy part of our fpecies is chiefly made up of very < honeft Gentlemen, who live quietly among their neighbours without ever disturbing the public " peace: they are drones without ftings. I could heartily with, that feveral turbulent, reftlefs, ambitious fpirits, would for a while change places with thefe good men, and enter themselves into Nicholas Hart's fraternity. Could one but lay afleep a few bufy heads which I could name, from the firft of November next to the firft of May enfuing, I queftion not but it would very much redound to the quiet of particular perfons, as well as to the benefit of the public.
But to return to Nicholas Hart: I believe, Sir, you will think it a very extraordinary circumftance for a man to gain his livelihood by fleeping, and that reft fhould procure a man fuftenance as well as industry; yet fo it is that Nicholas got laft year enough to fupport himself for a twelvemonth. I am likewife informed < that he has this year had a very comfortable nap. The poets value themselves very much for fleep ⚫ing on Parnaffus, but I never heard they got a groat by it: on the contrary, our friend Nicholas gets more by fleeping than he would by working, and may be more properly faid, than ever Homer was, to have had golden dreams. Juvenal in deed mentions a drowsy husband who raised an ef tate by fnoring, but then he is reprefented to have flept what the common people call a Dog's fleep or if his fleep was real his wife was awake, and about her bufinefs. Your pen, which loves to • moralize upon all fubjects, may raise something, methinks, on this circumftance alfo, and point out to us thofe fets of men, who instead of grow. ing rich by an honeft industry, recommend themselves to the favours of the Great, by ⚫ making themselves agreeable companions in the participations of luxury and pleasure.
I must farther acquaint you, Sir, that one of the most eminent pens in Grub-freet is now em ployed in writing the dream of this miraculous ⚫ fleeper, which I hear will be of a more than ordinary length, as it must contain all the particulars that are fuppofed to have paffed in his imagination during long a fleep. He is fail to have gone already through three days and three nights of it, and to have comprised in them the most remarkable paffages of the four firft empires of the world. If he can keep free from party ftrokes, his work may be of ufe; but this I much doubt, having been informed by one of his friends and confidents, that he has fpoken fome things ⚫ of Nimrod with too great freedom.
I am ever, Sir, & i.'
N° 185. TUESDAY, OCTOBER 2.
HERE is nothing in which men more deceive themselves than in what the world
calls zeal. There are fo many paffions which lude themselves under it, and fo many mischiefs arifing from it, that fome have gone fo far as to fay it would have been for the benefit of mankind if it had never been reckoned in the catalogue of virtues. It is certain, where it is once laudable and prudential, it is an hundred times criminal and erroneous; nor can it be otherwife, if we confider that it operates with equal violence in all religions, however oppofite they may be to
one another, and in all the sub-divifions of each
religion in particular.
We are told by fome of the Jewish Rabbins, that the first murder was occafioned by a reli gious controverfy; and if we had the whole hiftory of zeal from the days of Cain to our own
times, we should fee it filled with so many scenes of laughter and bloodshed, as would make a wife man very careful how he fuffers himself to be actuated by fuch a principle, when it only regards matters of opinion and fpeculation.
heart thoroughly, and, I believe, he will often I would have every zealous man examine his find, that what he calls a zeal for his religion, is differs from another in opinion, fets himself above either pride, intereft, or ill-nature. A man, who him in his own judgment, and in feveral particulars pretends to be the wifer perfon. This is a great provocation to the proud man, and gives a very keen edge to what he calls his zeal. And that this is the cafe very often, we may obferve
from the behaviour of fome of the moft zealous
for orthodoxy, who have often great friendships vided they do but agree with them in the fame and intimacies with vicious immoral men, pro
fcheme of belief. The reafon is, because the vicious believer gives the precedency to the virtuous man, and allows the good chriftian to be the worthier perfon, at the fame time that he cannot come up to his perfections. This we find exemplified in that trite paffage which we fee quoted in almost every fyftem of ethics, though. upon another occafion.
to our fpiritual fafety and welfare, as well as to our temporal. A man is glad to gain numbers on his fide, as they ferve to ftrengthen him in his private opinions. Every profelyte is like a new argument for the establishment of his faith. It makes him believe that his principles carry conviction with them, and are the more likely to be true, when he finds they are conformable to the reason of others, as well as to his own. And that this temper of mind deludes a man very often into an opinion of his zeal, may appear from the common behaviour of the Atheift, who maintains and spreads his opinions with as much heat as those who believe they do it only out of a paffion for God's glory.
Ill-nature is another dreadful imitator of zeal. Many a good man may have a natural rancour and malice in his heart, which has been in fome measure quelled and fubdued by religion; but if it finds any pretence of breaking out, which does not seem to him inconfiftent with the duties of a christian, it throws off all restraint, and rages in its full fury. Zeal is therefore a great eafe to a malicious man, by making him believe he does God fervice, whilft he is gratifying the bent of a perverfe revengeful temper. For this reafon we find, that most of the maffacres and devastations, which have been in the world, have taken their rife from a furious pretended zeal.
I love to fee a man zealous in a good matter, and especially when his zeal fhews itfelf for adyancing morality, and promoting the happiness of mankind: but when I find the inftruments he works with are racks and gibbets, gallies and dungeons; when he imprifons mens perfons, confifcates their eftates, ruins their families, and burns the body to fave the foul, I cannot stick to pronounce of fuch one that (whatever he may think of his faith and religion) his faith is vain, and his religion unprofitable.
After having treated of thefe falfe zealots in religion, I cannot forbear mentioning a monftrous fpecies of men, who one would not think had any existence in nature, were they not to be met with in ordinary conversation. I mean the zealots in atheism. One would fancy that these men, though they fall short, in every other refpect, of those who make a profeffion of religion, would at least outshine them in this particular, and be exempt from that fingle fault which feems to grow out of the imprudent fervours of religion: But fo it is, that infidelity is propagated with as much fierceness and contention, wrath and indignation, as if the safety of mankind depended upon it. There is fomething fo ridiculous and perverfe in this kind of zealots, that one does not know how to set them out in their proper colours. They are a fort of gamefters, who are eternally upon the fret, though they play for nothing, They are perpetually teizing their friends to come over to them, though at the fame time they allow that neither of them fhall get any thing by the bargain, In fhort, the zeal of fpreading atheifm is, if poffible, more abfurd than atheism itfelf.
Since I have mentioned this unaccountable zeal which appears in atheifts and infidels, I muft farther obferve that they are likewife in a most particular manner poffeffed with the fpirit of bigotry. They are wedded to opinions full of contradiction and impoffibility, and at the fame time look upon the fmalleft difficulty in an article of faith as a fufficient reafon for rejecting it.
Notions that fall in with the common reafon of mankind, that are conformable to the sense of all ages and all nations, not to mention their tendency for promoting the happiness of societies, or particular perfons, are exploded as errors and prejudices; and fchemes erected in their ftead that are altogether monstrous and irrational, and require the most extravagant credulity to embrace them. I would fain afk one of thefe bigotted infidels, fuppofing all the great points of atheism, as the cafual or eternal formation of the world, the materiality of a thinking substance, the mortality of the foul, the fortuitous organization of the body, the motions and gravitation of matter, with the like particulars, were laid together and formed into a kind of creed, according to the opinions of the most celebrated atheifts; I fay, fuppofing fuch a creed as this were formed, and impofed upon any one people in the world, whether it would not require an infinitely greater measure of faith, than any fet of articles which they fo violently oppofe? Let me therefore advife this generation of wranglers, for their own and for the public good, to act at least fo confistently with themselves, as not to burn with zeal for irreligion, and with bigotry for nonsense. с
No 186. WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3. Coelum ipfum petimus ftultitiâ.
HOR. Od. 3. l. 1. ver. 38, -Scarce the Gods and heav'nly climes, Are fafe from our audacious crimes.
PON my return to my lodgings last night I found a letter from my worthy friend the clergyman, whom I have given fome account of in my former papers. He tells me in it that he was particularly pleafed with the latter part of my yefterdays fpeculation; and at the fame time inclofed the following effay, which he defires me to publish as the fequel of that difcourfe. It confifts partly of uncommon reflections, and partly of fuch as have been already used, but now fet in a stronger light.
A believer may be excufed by the most hard ened atheift for endeavouring to make him a 'convert, because he does it with an eye to both their interests. The atheift is inexcufable who 'tries to gain over a believer, because he does 'not propofe the doing himself or the believer any good by fuch a converfion.
The profpect of a future ftate is the fecret comfort and refreshment of my foul; it is that which makes nature look gay about me; it doubles all my pleasures, and fupports me under all my afflictions. I can look at difappoint ments and misfortunes, pain and fickness, death itself, and, what is worfe than death, the lofs of those that are dearest to me with in difference, fo long as I keep in view the plea fures of eternity, and the ftate of being in which there will be no fears nor apprehenfions, 'pains nor forrows, fickness nor feparation. Why will any man be fo impertinently officious as to tell me all this is only fancy and delusion? Is there any merit in being the meffenger of ill news? If it is a dream, let me enjoy it, fince it makes me both the happier and better man.
I must confefs I do not know how to truft a . man who believes neither heaven nor hell, or, in other words, a future ftate of rewards and punishments. Not only natural felf-love, but reafon directs us to promote our own intereft above all things. It can never be for the in< tereft of a believer to do me a mischief, because he is fure upon the balance of accounts to find < himself a lofer by it. On the contrary, if he confiders his own welfare in his behaviour towards me, it will lead him to do me all the good he can, and at the fame time reftrain him from doing me an injury. An unbeliever does not act like a reafonable creature, if he favours me < contrary to his prefent intereft, or does not diftrefs me when it turns to his prefent advantage. Honour and good-nature may indeed tie up his hands; but as thefe would be very much ftrengthened by reafon and principle, fo without them they are only instincts, or wavering unfettled notions, which rest on no foundation.
Infidelity has been attacked with fo good fuccefs of late years, that it is driven out of all its out-works. The atheift has not found his poft tenable, and is therefore retired into Deif, and a difbelief of revealed religion only. But the truth of it is, the greatest number of this fet of men, are thofe who, for want of a virtuous education, or examining the grounds of religion, know fo very little of the matter in queftion, that their infidelity is but another term for their ignorance,
If our modern infidels confidered these matters with that candour and ferioufnefs which they deferve, we should not fee them act with fuch a fpirit of bitterness, arrogance, and malice: they would not be raifing fuch infignificant cavils, doubts, and fcruples, as may be ftarted against every thing that is not capable of mathematical demonstration, in order to unfettle the minds of the ignorant, difturb the 'public peace, fubvert morality, and throw all < things into confufion and diforder. If none of thefe reflexions can have any influence on them, there is one that perhaps may, because it is adapted to their vanity, by which they seem to be guided much more than their reafon, would therefore have them confider, that the wifeft and beft of men, in all ages of the world, have been thofe who lived up to the religion of their country, and to the beft lights they had of the, divine nature. Pythagoras's firft rule 'directs us to worship the Gods "as it is ordained by law," for that is the most natural interpretation of the precept. Socrates, who 'was the most renowned among the heathens both for wisdom and virtue, in his last moments defires his friends to offer a cock to Æfcula'pius; doubtlefs out of a fubmiffive deference
As folly and inconfideratenefs are the foundations of infidelity, the great pillars and fupports of it are either a vanity of appearing wiser than the reft of mankind, or an oftentation of courage in defpifing the terrors of another world, which have fo great an influence on what they call weaker minds; or an averfion to a belief that must cut them off from many of thofe plea-mountains to the Perfian Jupiter, and the fun, fures they propose to themselves, and fill them with remorfe for many of thofe they have already tafted.
to the established worship of his country. Xenophon tells us, that his Prince (whom he fets forth as a pattern of perfection) when he found his death approaching, offered facrifices on the
The great received articles of the Chriftian < Religion have been fo clearly proved, from the <authority of that divine revelation in which
"according to the cuftom of the Perfians;" for thofe are the words of the hiftorian. Nay, the Epicureans and atomical philofophers fhewed a very remarkable modesty in this particular; for though the Being of a God was entirely repugnant to their fchemes of natural philosophy, they contented themfelves with the denial of " a providence, afferting at the fame time the 'existence of gods in general; because they would not fhock the common belief of mankind, and the religion of their country.'
they are delivered, that it is impoffible for thofe who have ears to hear, and eyes to fee, not to be convinced of them. But were it poffible for any thing in the Chriftian Faith to be erroneous, I can find no ill confequences in adhering to it. The great points of the incarnation and fufferings of our Saviour produce naturally fuch habits of virtue in the mind of man, that I fay, fuppofing it were poffible for us to
be mistaken in them, the infidel himself muft at leaft allow that no other fyftem of religion could fo effectually contribute to the heightening of morality. They give us great ideas of the dignity of human nature, and of the love which the Supreme Eeing bears to his creatures, and confequently engage us in the highest acts
of duty towards our Creator, our neighbour, and ourselves. How many noble arguments has Saint Paul raifed from the chief articles of our religion, for the advancing of morality in its three great branches? To give a fingle, example in cach kind: What can be a ftronger motive to a firm ti uft and reliance on the mercies of our Maker, than the giving his Son to fuffer for us? What can make us love and efteem even the most inconfiderable of mankind more than the thought that Chrift died for him?
Or what difpofe us to fet a ftricter guard upon the purity of our own hearts, than our being ⚫ members of Chrift, and a part of the fociety of which that immaculate perfon is the head? But thefe are only a fpecimen of thofe admirable inforcements of morality, which the Apostle has drawn from the hiftory of our bleffed Sa•viour.
N° 187. THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4.
HOR. Od. 5. 1. 1. v. 12. Ah, wretched thofe who love, yet ne'er did try The fmiling treachery of thy eye!
is to important and ufeful, in order to avoid HE intelligence given by this correfpondent the perfons he speaks of, that I fhall infert his letter at length.
• Mr. Spectator,
Do not know that you have ever touched upon a certain fpecies of women, whom we ordinarily call jilts. You cannot poffibly go upon a more ufeful work than the confideration of thefe dangerous animals. The coquette is
indeed one degree towards the jilt; but the
of fuccefs, the jilt fhall meet him with a fudden < indifference, and admiration in her face at his < being furprised that he is received like a ftran
turn of fondnefs, fhe would immediately fnatch ' off my periwig, try it upon herself in the glafs, < clap her arms a-kimbow, draw my fword, and 'make paffes on the wall, take off my cravat, and feize it to make fome other ufe of the lace, or run into fome other unaccountable rompishnefs, till the time I had appointed to pafs away with her was over. I went from her full of pleasure at the reflexion that I had the keeping of fo much beauty in a woman, who, as the was too heedlefs to please me, was alfo too unattentive to form a defign to wrong me. Long did I 'divert every hour that hung heavy upon me in the company of this creature, whom I looked < upon as neither guilty nor innocent, but could laugh at myself for my unaccountable pleasure in an expence upon her, until in the end it ap'peared my pretty infenfible was with child by my footman.
finds at prefent all the attempts that way unregarded; and is obliged to indulge the jilt in her conftitution, by laying artificial plots, writing perplexing letters from unknown hands, and making all the young fellows in love with her, until they find out who fhe is. Thus, as ⚫ before she gave torment by disguifing her incli'nation, the now is obliged to do it by hiding ⚫ her perfon.
As for my own part, Mr. Spectator, it has been my unhappy fate to be jilted from, my youth upward; and as my tafte has been very much towards intrigue, and having intelligence ⚫ with women of wit, my whole life has paffed away in a series of impofitions. I fhall, for the benefit of the prefent race of young men, give fome account of my loves. I know not whether you have ever heard of the famous girl about town called Kitty: This creature (for I must take fhame upon myself) was my mistress in the days when keeping was in fashion. Kitty, under the appearance of being wild, thoughtless, and irregular in all her words and actions, concealed the most accomplished jilt of ⚫ her time. Her negligence had to me a charm in it like that of chastity, and want of defires feemed as great a merit as the conqueft of them. The air fhe gave herself was that of a romping ( girl, and whenever I talked to her with any
This accident roused me into a disdain against all libertine women, under what appearance foever they hid their infincerity, and I refolved after that time to converfe with none but thofe who lived within the rules of decency and hoTo this end I formed myfelf into a more regular turn of behaviour, and began to make 'vifits, frequent affemblies, and lead out ladies from the theatres, with all the other infignificant duties which the profeffed fervants of the fair place themselves in conftant readiness to perform. In a very little time, (having a plentiful fortune) fathers and mothers began to regard me as a good match, and I found easy admittance into the beft families in town to obferve their daughters; but I, who was born to follow the fair to no purpose, have by the force of my ill ftars made my application to three fucceffively.
Hyæna is one of those who form themfelves into a melancholy and indolent air, and endea< vour to gain admirers from their inattention to all around them. Hyæna can loll in her coach, with fomething fo fixed in her countenance, that it is impoffible to conceive her meditation is employed only on her drefs and her charms in that posture. If it were not too coarse a fi'mile, I should fay, Hyæna, in the figure the ef
fects to appear in, is a spider in the midst of a cobweb, that is fure to deftroy every fly that ' approaches it. The net Hyæna throws is fo 'fine, that you are taken in it before you can ob
ferve any part of her work. I attempted her 'for a long and weary feason, but I found her 'paffion went no farther than to be admired;
and fhe is of that unreasonable temper, as not to value the inconftancy of her lovers, pro'vided the can boaft the once had their addreffes.
Biblis was the fecond I aimed at, and her vanity lay in purchafing the adorers of others, and 'not in rejoicing in their love itself. Biblis is no
man's miftrefs, but every woman's rival. As 'foon as I found this, I fell in love with Chloe,
who is my prefent pleasure and torment. I have writ to her, danced with her, and fought for her, and have been her man in the fight and expectation of the whole town thefe three years, and thought myself near the end of my wishes; when the other day the called me into her clofet and told me, with a very grave face, that the
was a woman of honour, and fcorned to deceive a man who loved her with fo much fincerity as the faw I did, and therefore the muft inform
me that she was by nature the most inconftant creature breathing, and begged of me not to marry her; if I infifted upon it, I fhould; but that the was lately fallen in love with another. What to do or fay I know not, but defire you to inform me, and you will infinitely oblige,
Your moft humble fervant,
"Mr. Sly, Haberdasher of hats, at the corner of "Devereux-Court in the Strand, gives notice, that *be has prepared very neat bats, rubbers, and brufbes for the ufe of young tradesmen in the last year of "their apprenticeship, at reasonable rates.
No 188. FRIDAY, OCTOBER 5.
Latus fum laudari à te laudato viro. TULL. It gives me pleasure to be praised by you, whom all men praife.
E is a very unhappy man who fets his heart upon being admired by the multitude, or affects a general and undiftinguishing applaufe among men. What pious men call the teftimony of a good confcience, fhould be the measure of our ambition in this kind; that is to fay, a man of fpirit fhould contemn the praife of the ignorant, and like being applauded for nothing but what he knows in his own heart he deferves. Befides
which the character of the perfon who commends you is to be confidered, before you fet a value upon his esteem. The praife of an ignorant man is only good-will, and you should receive his kindness as he is a good neighbour in fociety, and not as a good judge of your actions in point of fame and reputation. The fatirift faid very well of popular praife and acclamations, "Give the tinkers and coblers their prefents again, and learn to live of yourself." It is an argument of a loose and ungoverned mind to be affected with the promiscuous approbation of the generality of mankind; and a man of virtue should be too delicate for fo coarse an appetite of fame. Men of honour should endeavour only to pleafe the worthy, and the man of merit fhould defire to be tried only by his peers. I thought it a noble fentiment which I heard yesterday uttered in conversation; "I know, faid a gentle"man, a way to be greater than any man: if "he has worth in him, I can rejoice in his fu"periority to me; and that fatisfaction is a K greater act of the foul in me, than any in him " which can poffibly appear to me.' This thought could not proceed but from a candid and generous fpirit; and the approbation of fuch minds is what may be efteemed true praife: for with the common rate of men there is nothing commendable but what they themselves may hope to be partakers of, and arrive at: but the motive truly glorious is, when the mind is fet rather to do things laudable than to purchase reputation. Where there is that fincerity as the foundation of a good name, the kind opinion of virtuous men will be an unfought, but a neceffary confequence. The Lacedæmonians, though a plain people, and no pretenders to politenefs, had a certain delicacy in their fenfe of glory, and facrificed to the mufes when they entered
upon any great enterprife. They would have the commemoration of their actions be tranfmitted by the pureft and moft untainted memorialifts. The din which attends victories and public triumphs is by far lefs eligible, than the recital of the actions of great men by honeft and wife hiftorians. It is a frivolous pleasure to be the admiration of gaping crowds; but to have the approbation of a good man in the cool reflexions of his clofet, is a gratification worthy an heroic fpirit. The applaufe of the crowd makes the head giddy, but the atteftation of a reasonable man makes the heart glad.
What makes the love of popular or general praife ftill more ridiculous, is, that it is ufually given for circumftances which are foreign to the perfons admired. Thus they are the ordinary attendants on power and riches, which may be taken out of one man's hands, and put into ano❤ ther's. The application only, and not the poffeffion, makes thofe outward things honourable, The vulgar and men of fenfe agree in admiring men for what they themselves would rather be poffeffed of; the wife man applauds him whom he thinks moft virtuous, the reft of the world him who is most wealthy.
When a man is in this way of thinking, I do not know what can occur to one more monftrous, than to fee perfons of ingenuity addrefs their fervices and performances to men no way addicted to liberal arts. In these cafes, the praise on one hand, and the patronage on the other, are equally the objects of ridicule. Dedications to ignorant men are as abfurd as any of the fpeeches of Bulfinch in the droll: fuch an address one is apt to tranflate into other words: and when the different parties are thoroughly confi- ▾ dered, the panegyric generally implies no more than if the author fhould fay to the patron; My very good Lord, you and I can never understand one another, therefore I humbly defire we may be intimate friends for the future.
The rich may as well ask to borrow of the poor, as the man of virtue or merit hope for addition to his character from any but fuch as himfelf. He that commends another, engages fo much of his own reputation as he gives to that perfon commended; and he that has nothing laudable in himself, is not of ability to be fuch a furety. The wife Phocion was fo fenfible how dangerous it was to be touched with what the multitude approved, that upon a general accla mation made when he was making an oration, he turned to an intelligent friend who stood near him, and afked in a furprised manner, What flip
have I made?
I fhall conclude this paper with a billet which has fallen into my hands, and was written to a lady from a gentleman whom he had highly commended. The author of it had formerly been her lover. When all poffibility of commerce between them on the fubject of love was cut off, fhe spoke fo handsomely of him, as tọ give occafion for this letter.
Should be infenfible to a stupidity, if I could forbear making you my acknow'ledgements for your late mention of me with fo much applaufe. It is, I think, your fate to give me new fentiments; as you formerly 'inspired me with the true fenfe of love, fo do " you now with the true fenfe of glory. As de