« VorigeDoorgaan »
No, no, Mr. Spectator, your wits must not pretend to be rich; and it is poffible the reafon may be, in fome measure, because you defpife, or at least you do not value it enough to let it take up your chief attention; which the trader muft do, or lofe his credit, which is to him what honour, reputation, fame, or glory is to other fort of men.
The thing which gives me this profpect, and fo much offence, is the neglect of the Royal Exchange, I mean the edifice fo called, and the walks appertaining thereunto. The Royal Exchange is a fabric that well deferves to be fo called, as well to exprefs that our monarchs highest glory and advantage confifts in being the patrons of trade, as that it is commodious for bufinefs, and an inftance of the grandeur both of prince and people. But alas! at prefent it hardly feems to be fet apart for any fuch ufe or purpose. Instead of the affembly of honourable merchants, fubftantial tradesmen, and knowing mafters of fhips; the mumpers, the halt, the blind, and the lame; your venders of trash, apples, plums; your ragga-world, and if you treated them with knowmuffins, rakefhames, and wenches, have juft-ledge would be useful to yourself, for it would led the greater number of the former out of make demands for your paper among thofe that place. Thus it is, efpecially on the even- who have no notion of it at prefent. But of ing change: fo that what with the din of fqual-thefe matters more hereafter. If you did this, ⚫lings, oaths, and cries of beggars, men of the as you excel many writers of the present age Z greatest confequence in our city abfent them- ⚫ for politenefs, fo you would outgo the author of the true razor strops for use.
I fhall not fpeak to the point of cash itself, until I fee how you approve of thefe my maxims in general; but, I think a speculation upon many a little makes a mickle; a pen"ny faved is a penny got; penny wife and 66 pound toolifh; it is need that makes the old "wife trot;"would be very useful to the
• I shall conclude this difcourfe with an ex
⚫ felves from the place. This particular, by the
way, is of evil confequence; for if the 'Change be no place for men of the highest credit to frequent, it will not be a difgrace to thofe ⚫ of lefs abilities to abfent. I remember the time when rafcally company were kept out, and the unlucky boys with toys and balls were whipped away by a beadle. I have feen this done indeed of late, but then it has been only to chace the lads from chuck, that the beadle ⚫ might seize their copper.
I must repeat the abomination, that the ⚫ walnut-trade is carried on by old women with in the walks, which makes the place impaffable by reason of fhells and trafh. The benches around are fo filthy, that no one can fit down, ⚫ yet the beadles and officers have the impudence
at Christmas to ask for their box, though they ⚫ deferve the strapade. I do not think it imperfcholars ⚫tinent to have mentioned this, because it speaks " a neglect in the domeftic care of the city, and the domeftic is the trueft picture of a man every where else.
***But I defigned to fpeak on the bufinefs of
planation of a proverb, which by vulgar error is taken and used when a man is reduced to an extremity, whereas the propriety of the maxim' is to use it when you would fay, there is plenty, but you must make fuch a choice, as not to hurt another who is to come after you. 'Mr. Tobias Hobfon, from whom we have the expreffion, was a very honourable man, for I hall ever call the man fo who gets an eftate honeftly. Mr. Tobias Hobfon was a carrier, and being a man of great abilities and invention, and one that faw where there might good profit arife, though the duller men overlooked it; this ingenious man was the first in this ifland who let out hackney-horses. He lived in Cambridge, and obferving that the rid hard, his manner was to keep a large stable of liorfes, with boots, bridles, and whips to furnish the gentlemen at once without going from college to college to borrow, ' as they have done fince the death of this wor'thy man: I fay, Mr. Hobfon kept a stable of ❝ forty good cattle, always ready and fit for travelling; but when a man came for a horfe, he was led into the ftable, where there was great <choice, but he obliged him to take the horse which ftood next to the table-door; so that every cuftomer was alike well ferved according to his chance, and every horse ridden with the fame juftices from whence it became a proverb, when what ought to be your election was forced upon you to fay,'"* Hobfon's "choice." This memorable man stands drawn in fresco at an inn, which he ufed, in Bishopfgate-street, with an hundred pound bag under his arm, with this infcription upon the faid bag: "The fruitful mother of a hundred more." • Whatever tradesman will try the experiment, and begin the day after you publish this my difcourfe to treat his cuftomers all alike, and all reasonably and honestly, I will infure him the fame fuccefs.
I am, Sir,
Your loving friend,
No 510. WEDNESDAY, Oc. 15.
-Si fapis, Neque præterquam quas ipfe amor moleftias Habet addas;& illas, quas babet, recte feras. TER. Eun. A&t. 1. Sc. 1. If you are wife, neither add to the troubles, which attend the paffion of love, and bear patiently those which are infeparable from it.
WAS the other day driving in a hack through Gerrard-street, when my eye was immediately catched with the prettiest object imaginable, the face of a very fair girl, between thirteen and fourteen, fixed at the chin to a painted fash and made part of the landskip. It feemed admirà.1 bly done, and upon throwing myself eagerly out of the coach to look at it, it laughed and flung from the widow. This amiable figure dwelt upon me; and I was confidering the vanity of the girl, and her pleafant coquetry in acting a picture until he was taken notice of, and raifing
the admiration of the beholders. This little circumftance made me run into reflection upon the force of beauty, and the wonderful influence the female fex has upon the other part of the fpecies. Our hearts are feized with their inchantments, and there are few of us, but brutal men, who by that hardness lofe the chief pleasure in them, can refift their infinuations, though never fo much against our own interefts and opinion. It is common with women to destroy the good effects a man's following his own way and inclination might have upon his honour and fortune, by interpofing their power over him in matters wherein they cannot influence him, but to his lofs and difparagement. I do not know therefore a task so difficult in human life, as to be proof against the importunities of a woman a man loves. There is certainly no armour against tears, fullen looks, or at best constrained familiarities, in her whom you ufually meet with tranfport and alacrity. Sir Walter Raleigh was quoted in a letter (of a very ingenious correfpondent of mine) on this fubject. That author, who had lived in courts and camps, travelled through many countries, and feen many men under feveral climates, and of as various complexions, fpeaks of our impotence to refift the wiles of women in very fevere terms. His words are as follows:
"What means did the devil find out, or what "inftruments did his own fubtlety prefent him, "as fitteft and apteft to work his mifchief by? " even the unquiet vanity of the woman; fo as "by Adam's hearkening to the voice of his "wife, contrary to the exprefs commandment "of the living God, mankind by that her in "cantation became the fubject of labour, for "row and death; the woman being given to "man for a comforter and companion, but not "for a counsellor. It is alfo to be noted by "whom the woman was tempted; even by the "moft ugly and unworthy of all beafts, into "whom the devil entered and purfuaded. Se "condly, what was the motive of her difobedi "ence? even a defire to know what was most "unfitting her knowledge; an affection which " has ever fince remained in all the pofterity of her fex. Thirdly, what was it that moved "the man to yield to her perfuafions? even the
"fame caufe which hath moved all men fince "to the like confent, namely an unwillingness
to grieve her or make her fad, left she should "pine, and be overcome with forrow. But if "Adam in the state of perfection, and Solomon "the fon of David, Cod's chofen fervant, and "himfelf a man endued with the greatest wif"dom, did both of them disobey their Creator "by the perfuafion and for the love they bare "to a woman, it is not fo wonderful as lamen"table, that other men in fucceeding ages have "been allured to fo many inconvenient and wicked practices by the perfuafion of their wives, or other beloved darlings, who cover over and fhadow many malicious purpofes "with a counterfeit paffion of diffimulate forrow and unquietnefs."
The motions of the minds of lovers are no where fo well described, as in the works of skilful writers for the ftage. The fcene between Fulvia and Curius, in the fecond act of Johnfon's Catiline, is an excellent picture of the power of a lady over her gallant. The wench plays with his affection; and as a man of all places in the world wishes to make a good figure with his mistress, upon her upbraiding him with want of fpirit, he alludes to enterprifes which he cannot reveal but with the hazard of his life. When he is worked thus far, with a little flattery of her opinion of his gallantry, and defired to know more of it out of her overflowing fondness to him, he brags to her until his life is in her difpofal.
When a man is thus liable to be vanquished by the charms of her he loves, the fafeft way is to determine what is proper to be done, but to avoid all expoftulation with her before he executes what he has refolved. Women are ever too hard for us upon a treaty, and one muft confider how fenfelefs a thing it is to argue with one whofe looks and geftures are more prevalent with you, than your reafons and arguments can be with her. It is a most miferable flavery to fubmit to what you disapprove, and give up a truth for no other reason, but that you had not fortitude to fupport you in afferting it. A man has enough to do to conquer his own unreasonable wishes and defires; but he does that in vain, if he has thofe of another to gratify. Let his pride be in his wife and family; let him give them all the conveniencies of life in fuch a manner as if he were proud of them; but let it be his own innocent pride, and not their exorbitant defires, which are indulged by him. In this cafe all the little arts imaginable are used to foften a man's heart, and raile his paffion above his understanding. But in all conceffions of this kind, a man fhould confider whether the, prefent he makes flows from his own love, or the importunity of his beloved: if from the latter, he is her flave; if from the former, her friend. We laugh it off, and do not weigh this fubjection to women with that ferioufnefs which fo important a circumftance deferves. Why was courage given to man, if his wife's fears are to fruftrate it? when this is once indulged, you are no longer her guardian and protector, as you were defigned by nature, but in compliance to her weakneffes, you have difabled yourfelt from avoiding the misfortunes into which they will lead you both, and you are to fee the hour in which you are to be reproached by herself for that very complaisance
to her. It is indeed the most difficult mastery over ourselves we can poffibly attain, to refift the grief of her who charms us; but let the heart ake: be the anguish never fo quick and painful, it is what must be fuffered and paffed through, if you think to live like a gentleman, or be confcious to yourself that you are a man of honefty. The old argument, that "you do not
love me if you deny me this," which firft was ufed to obtain a trifle, by habitual fuccefs will oblige the unhappy man who gives way to it, to refign the caufe even of his country and his honour. T
N° 511. THURSDAY, OCTOBER 16:
-Who could fail to find,
In fuch a croud, a mistress to his mind?.
What I would recommend to thee on this 'occafion is, to eftablish fuch an imaginary fair in Great Britain: thou couldst make it very pleasant, by matching women of quality with coblers and carmen, or defcribing titles, and garters leading off in great ceremony fhopkeeper's and farmers daughters. Though to tell thee the truth, I am confoundedly afraid that as the love of money prevails in our island 'more than it did in Perfia, we should find that fome of our greatest men would choose out the portions, and rival one another for the ' richest piece of deformity; and that on the · contrary, the toafts and belles would be bought
up by extravagant heirs, gamesters and spendthrifts. Thou couldft make very pretty re'filexions upon this occafion in honour of the 'Perfian politics, who took care, by fuch mar 'riages, to beautify the upper part of the species, and to make the greatest perfons in the government the most graceful. But this I shall leave to thy judicious pen.
• Dear Spec.
I have another story to tell thee, which I likewife met with in a book. It feems the
general of the Tartars, after having laid fiege to a strong town in China, and taken it by 'ftorm, would fet to fale all the women that 'were found in it. Accordingly, he put each of them into a fack, and after having thoroughly confidered the value of the woman 'who was inclosed, marked the price that was • demanded for her upon the fack. There were
a great confluence of chapmen, that reforted 'from every part, with a defign to purchase, which they were to do unfight unfeen. The
INDING that my last letter took, I do intend to continue my epiftolary correspondence with thee, on thofe dear confounded creatures, women. Thou knoweft, all the little learning I am mafter of is upon that fubject; I never looked in a book, but for their fakes. I have lately met with two pure ftories for a Spectator, which I am fure wili please mightily, if they pafs through thy hands. The first of them I found by chance in an English book, called Herodotus, that lay in my friend Dapperwit's window, as I vifited him one morn-book mentions a merchant in particular, who ing. It luckily opened in the place where I ' obferving one of the facks to be marked pretty met with the following account. He tells us high, bargained for it, and carried it off with that it was the manner among the Perfians to him to his houfe. As he was refting with it ⚫ have feveral fairs in the kingdom, at which all upon a halfway bridge, he was refolved to the young unmarried women were anually ex- take a furvey of his purchafe: upon opening pofed to fale. The men who wanted wives 'the fack, a little old woman popped her head · came hither to provide themselves; every wo- 'out of it; at which the adventurer was in fo · man was given to the highest bidder, and the · money which the fetched laid afide for the · public ufe, to be employed as thou fhalt hear by and by. By this means the richest people had the choice of the market, and culled out all the most extraordinary beauties. As foon " as the fair was thus picked, the refufe was to be diftributed among the poor, and among thofe who could not go to the price of a beauty. Several of these married the agreeables, without paying a farthing for them, unless fomebody chanced to think it worth his while to bid for them, in which cafe the best bidder was always the purchaser. But now · you must know, Spec, it happened in Perfia as it does in our own country, that there were as many ugly 'women as beauties or agreeables; fo that by confequence, after the magiftratesked had put off a great many, there were ftill a < great many that ftuck upon their hands. In order therefore to clear the market, the money ⚫ which the beauties had sold for, was difpofed
great a rage, that he was going to fhoot her ' out into the river. The old lady, however, 'begged him first of all to hear her ftory, by which he learned that he was fifter to a great 'Mandarin, who would infallibly make the fortune of his brother-in-law as foon as he fhould know to whofe lot the fell. Upon which the merchant again tied her up in his fack, and carried her to his houfe, where the proved an excellent wife, and procured him all the riches from her brother that he had promifed him.
⚫ I fancy, if I was difpofed to dream a fecond time, I could make a tolerable vifion upon this plan. I would suppose all the unmarried wo men in London and Westminster brought to market in facks with their respective prices on each fack. The firft fack that is fold is mar with five thousand pounds: upon the opening of it, I find it filled with an admira ble houfe-wife, of an agreeable countenance. The purchaser, upon hearing her good quali ties, pays down her price very chearfully. The fecond I would open, fhould be a five hundred
of among the ugly; fo that a poor man, who
⚫ could not afford to have a beauty for his wife,pound fack: the lady in it, to our furprize,
was forced to take up with a fortune; the greateft portion being always given to the most • deformed. To this the author adds, that every poor man was forced to live kindly with his wife, or in cafe he repented of his bargain, to return her portion with her to the next · public fale.
has the face and perfon of a toaft: as we are wondering how the came to be fet at so low a price, we hear that she would have been valued at ten thousand pounds, but that the public had made thofe abatements for her being a £ fcold, I would afterwards find some beauti: ful
ful, modeft, and difcreet woman, that fhould be the top of the market: and perhaps difcover ⚫ half a dozen romps tied up together in the fame fack, at one hundred pounds an head. The · prude and the coquette fhould be valued at the fame price, though the first should go off the ⚫ better of the two. I fancy thou wouldst like • fuch a vifion, had I time to finish it; becaufe, to talk in thy own way, there is a moral in it. • Whatever thou mayeft think of it, pr'ythee do ⚫ not make any of thy queer apologies for this letter, as thou didft for my laft. The women love a gay lively fellow, and are never angry at ⚫ the railleries of one who is their known admirer. • I am always bitter upon them, but well with Thine, HONEYCOMB.'
that gives her an idea of her own perfections and abilities. This natural pride and ambition of the foul is very much gratified in the reading of a fable: for in writings of this kind, the reader comes in for half of the performance; every thing appears to him like a difcovery of his own; he is bufied all the while in applying characters and circumstances, and is in this respect both a reader and a compofer. It is no wonder therefore, that on fuch occafions, when the mind is thus pleafed with itself, and amufed with its own discoveries, that it is highly delighted with the writing which is the occafion of it. For this reafon the Abfalom and Achitophel was one of the most popular poems that ever appeared in English. The poetry is indeed very fine, but had it been much finer, it would not have fo much pleafed, without a plan which gave the reader an opportunity of exerting his own talents.
This oblique manner of giving advice is fo inoffenfive, that if we look into ancient hiftories, we find the wife men of old very often chose to give counsel to their kings in fables. To omit HOR. Ars Poet. ver. 344. many which will occur to every one's memory, there is a pretty inftance of this nature in a Turkish tale, which I do not like the worfe for that little oriental extravagance which is mixed with it.
We are told that the Sultan Mahmoud, by his perpetual wars abroad, and his tyranny at home, had filled his dominions with ruin and defolation, and half unpeopled the Perfian empire. The Vifier to this great Sultan (whether an humourist or an enthusiast, we are not informed) pretended to have learned of a certain Dervice to understand the language of birds, fo that there was not a bird that could open his mouth, but the Vifier knew what it was he faid. As he was one evening with the Emperor, in their return from hunting, they faw a couple of owls upon a tree that grew near an old wall out of an heap of rubbish. "I would "fain know," fays the Sultan," what those two "owls are faying to one another; liften to their "difcourfe and give me an account of it." The Vifier approached the tree, pretending to be very attentive to the two owls. Upon his return to the Sultan, Sir, fays he, "I have heard part of "their conversation, but dare not tell you what "it is." The Sultan would not be fatisfied with fuch an answer, but forced him to repeat word for word every thing the owls had faid. You must "know then," faid the Vifier, "that one of "these owls has a fon, and the other a daughter,
No 512. FRIDAY, OCOBER 17.
Lectorem delectando, pariterque monendo.
Mixing together profit and delight.
HERE is nothing which we receive with fo much reluctance as advice. We look upon the man who gives it us as offering an affront to our understanding, and treating us like children or idiots. We confider the inftruction as an implicit cenfure, and the zeal which any one fhews for our good on fuch an occafion as a piece of prefumption or impertinence. The truth of it is, the perfon who pretends to advife, does, in that particular, exercife a fuperiority over us, and can have no other reason for it, but that in comparing us with himself, he thinks us defective either in our conduct or our understanding. For thefe reafons, there is nothing fo difficult as the art of making advice agreeable; and indeed all the writers, both ancient and modern, have diftinguished themselves among one another, according to the perfection at which they have arrived in this art. How many devices have been made ufe of, to render this bitter potion palatable? Some convey their inftructions to us in the best chofen words, others in the moft harmonious numbers, fome in points of wit, and others in fhort proverbs,
But among all the different ways of giving counfel, I think the finest, and that which pleases the moft univerfally, is Fable, in whatfoever shape it" appears. If we confider this way of inftructing or giving advice, it excels all others, because it is the leaft fhocking, and the leaft fubject to those exceptions which I have before mentioned,
This will appear to us, if we reflect in the first place, that upon the reading of a fable we are made to believe we advife ourselves. We peruse the author for the fake of the story, and confider the precepts rather as our own conclufions thạn his inftructions. The moral infinuates itself imperceptibly, we are taught by furprize, and become wifer and better unawares. In short, by this method a man is fo far over-reached as to think he is directing himself, while he is following the dictates of another, and confequently is not fenfible of that which is the most unpleafing circumftance in advice.
In the next place, if we look into human nature, we shall find that the mind is never so much pleafed, as when the exerts herself in any action
between whom they are now upon a treaty of "marriage. The father of the fon faid to the "father of the daughter, in my hearing, brother, "I confent to this marriage, provided you will "fettle upon your daughter fifty ruined villages " for her portion. To which the father of the "daughter replied, instead of fifty 1 will give her
five hundred, if you pleafe. God grant a long "life to Sultan Mahmoud; whilst he reigns over us, we shall never want ruined villages."
The story says, the Sultan was fo touched with the fable, that he rebuilt the towns and villages which had been destroyed, and from that time forward confulted the good of his people.
To fill up my paper, I shall add a most ridiculous piece of natural magic, which was taught by no lefs a philofopher than Democritus, namely, that if the blood of certain birds, which he mentioned, were mixed together, it would produce a ferpent of fuch a wonderful virtue, that whoever did eat it should be skilled in the language of birds, and НА understand
understand every thing they faid to one another. Whether the Dervife abovementioned might not have eaten fuch a ferpent, I fhall leave to the determination of the learned.
N° 513. SATURDAY, OCTOBER 18.
-Afflata eft numine quando
DRYDEN. HE following letter comes to me from that excellent man in holy orders, whom I have mentioned more than once as one of that fociety who affifts me in my fpeculations. It is a thought in fickness, and of a very serious nature, for which reason I give it a place in the paper of this day.
"into the next: for while our fouls are con"fined to these bodies, and can look only through
thefe material cafements, nothing but what "is material can affect us; nay, nothing but
what is fo grofs, that it can reflect light and "convey the shapes and colours of things with "it to the eye: fo that though within this vifible "world, there be a more glorious fcene of things
than what appears to us, we perceive nothing "at all of it; for this veil of flesh parts the
vifible and invifible world; but when we put "off these bodies, there are new and furprifing "wonders prefent themselves to our views: when
thefe material fpectacles are taken off, the foul, "with its own naked eyes, fees what was in"vifible before and then we are in the other
world, when we can fee it, and converfe with it: thus St. Paul tells us, that when we are "at home in the body, we are abfent from the "Lord, but when we are abfent from the body, we
are prefent with the Lord, 2 Cor. v. 6, 8. And "methinks this is enough to cure us of our fond
nefs for thefe bodies, unless we think it more de"firable to be confined to a prifon, and to look through a grate all our lives, which gives us but
a very narrow profpect, and that none of the best neither, than to be set at liberty to view all the glories of the world. What would we give now "for the leaft glimpse of that invifible world, which the first step we take out of thefe bodies will prefent us with? There are fuch things as eye "hath not feen, nor ear heard, neither hath it "entered into the heart of man to conceive: « Death opens our eyes, enlarges our profpect, "prefents us with a new and more glorious world,
HE indifpofition which has long.hung upon me, is at last grown to fuch a head, that it muft quickly make an end of me, or of itfelf. You may imagine, that whilft I am in this bad state of health, there are none of your works which I read with greater pleasure than your Saturdays papers. I fhould be very glad if I could furnish you with any hints for that day's entertainment. Were I able to drefs up feveral thoughts of a serious nature, which have made great impreffions on my mind during a long fit of fickness, they might not be improper • entertainment for that occafion.
Among all the reflexions which usually rife in the mind of a fick man, who has time and inclination to confider his approaching end, there is none more natural than that of his going to appear naked and unbodied before him who made him. When a man confiders, that as foon as the vital union is diffolved, he fhall fee that Supreme Being, whom he now contemplates at a distance, and only in his works; or, to speak more philofophically, when by fome faculty in the foul he fhall apprehend the Divine Being, and be more fenfible of his prefence, than we are now of the prefence of any object which the eye beholds, a man must be loft in careleffnefs and ftupidity, who not alarmed at fuch a thought. Dr. Sherlock, in his excellent Treatife upon Death, has represented, in very strong and lively colours, the ftate of the foul in its firft feparation from the body, with regard to that invifible world which every where furrounds us, though we are not able to difcover it through this groffer world of matter, which is accommodated to our fenfes in this life. His words are as follow:
"That death, which is our leaving this world, "is nothing elfe but our putting off thefe bodies, teaches us, that it is only our union to thefe bodies, which intercepts the fight of the other world: the other world is not at fuch a distance from from us as we may imagine; the throne of God "indeed is at a great remove from this earth, "above the third heavens, where he difplays his
glory to thofe blefed fpirits which encompass his throne; but as foon as we step our of these bodies, we ftep into the other world, which is not fo properly another world, (for there is *the fame heaven and earth ftill) as a new state ❝ of life! To live in thefe bodies is to live in this world; to live out of them is to remove
which we never can fee while we are fhut up in flesh; which should make us as willing to part with this veil, as to take the film off of our eyes, which hinders our fight."
As a thinking man cannot but be very much affected with the idea of his appearing in the prefence of that Being "whom none can fee and "live;" he must be much more affected when he confiders that this Being whom he appears before, will examine all the actions of his paft life, and reward or punish him accordingly. I must confefs that I think there is no fcheme of religion, befides that of Christianity, which can poffibly fupport the most virtuous perfon under this thought. Let a man's innocence be what it will, let his virtues rife to the highest pitch of perfection attainable in this life, there will be ftill in him fo many fecret fins, fo many human frailties, fo many offences of ignorance, paffion and prejudice, fo many unguarded words and thoughts, and in fhort, fo many defects in his best actions, that, without the advantages of fuch an expiation and atonement as Chriftianity has revealed to us, it is impoffible that he should be cleared before his favereign judge, or that be fhould be able to ftand in his fight." Our holy religion fuggests to us the only means whereby our guilt may be taken away, and our imperfect • obedience accepted.
It is this feries of thought that I have endeavoured to exprefs in the following hymn, which I have compofed during this my fickness.