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it accompanies; like the shades in paintings, it raises and rounds every figure, and makes the colours more beautiful, though not so glaring as they would be without it. Modesty is not only an ornament, but also a guard to virtue. It is a kind of quick and delicate feeling in the soul; which makes her shrink and withdraw herself from every thing that...has danger in it. It is such an exquisite sensibility, as warns her to shun the first appearance of everything which is hurtful. I cannot at present recollect either the place or time of what I am going to mention; but I have read somewhere in the history of ancient Greece, that the women of the country were seized with an unaccountable melancholy, which disposed several of them to make away with themselves. The senate, after having tried many expedients to prevent this self-murder, which was so frequent among them, published an edict, that if any woman whatever should lay violent hands upon herself, her corpse should be exposed naked in the street, and dragged about the city in the most public manner. This edict immediately put a stop to the practice which was before so common. We may see in this instance the strength of female modesty, which was able to overcome the violence even of madness and despair. The fear of shame in the fair sex, was in those days more prevalent than that of death. If modesty has so great an influence over our actions, and is in many cases so impregnable a fence to virtue; what can more undermine morality than that politeness which reigns among the unthinking part of mankind, and treats as unfashionable the most ingenuous part of our behaviour; which recommends impudence as good-breeding, and keeps a man, always in countenance, not because he is innocent, but because he is shameless? Seneca thought modesty so great a check to vice, that he prescribes to us the practice of it in secret, and advises us to raise it in ourselves upon imaginary occasions, when such as are real do not offer themselves; for this is the meaning of his precept, That when we are by ourselves, and in our greatest solitudes, we should fancy that Cato stands before us and sees every thing we do. In short, if you banish Modesty out of the world, she carries away with her half the virtue that is in it. After these reflections on modesty, as it is a virtue, I must observe, that there is a vicious modesty which justly deserves to be ridiculed, and which those persons very often discover who value themselves most upon a well-bred confidence. This happens when a man is ashamed to act up to his reason, and would not upon any consideration be surprised at the practice of those duties, for the performance of which he was sent into the world. Many an impudent libertine would blush to be caught in
a serious discourse, and would scarce be able to show his head, after having disclosed a religious thought. Decency of behaviour, all outward show of virtue, and abhorrence of vice, are carefully avoided by this set of shamed-faced people, as what would disparage their gayety of temper, and infallibly bring them to dishonour. This is such a poorness of spirit, such a despicable cowardice, such a degenerate abject state of mind, as one would think human nature incapable of, did we not meet with frequent instances of it in ordinary conversation. There is another kind of vicious modesty which makes a man ashamed of his person, his birth, his profession, his poverty, or the like misfortunes, which it was not his choice to prevent, and is not in his power to rectify. If a man appears ridiculous by any of the afore-mentioned circumstances, he becomes much more so by being out of countenance for them. They should rather give him occasion to exert a noble spirit, and to palliate those imperfections which are not in his power, by those perfections which are; or to use a very witty allusion of an eminent author, he should imitate Caesar, who, because his head was bald, covered that defect with laurels. C.
By bestowing nothing he acquired glory. My wise and good friend, Sir Andrew Freeport, divides himself almost equally between the town and the country. Histime in town is given up to the public, and the management of his private fortune; and after every three or four days spent in this manner, he retires for as many to his seat within a few miles of the town, to the enjoyment of himself, his family, and his friend. Thus business and pleasure, or rather, in Sir Andrew, labour and rest, recommend each other. They take their turns with so quick a vicissitude, that neither becomes a habit, or takes possession of the whole man; nor is it possible he should be surfeited with either. I often see him at our club in good humour, and yet sometimes too with an air of care in his looks: but in his country retreat he is always unbent, and such a com: panion as I could desire; and therefore I seldom fail to make one with him when he is pleased to invite me. he other day, as soon as we were got into his chariot, two or three beggars on each side hung upon the doors, and soli: cited our charity with the usual rhetoric of a sick wife or husband at home, three or four helpless little children all starving with cold and hunger. We were forced to part with some money to get rid of their importunity; and then we proceeded on our journey with the blessings and acclamations of
resumed the discourse. “It may seem,” says he, “a paradox, that the price of labour should be reduced without an abatement of wages, or that wages can be abated without any inconvenience to the labourer, and yet nothing is more certain than that both these things may happen. The wages of the labourers make the greatest part of the price of everything that is useful; and if in proportion with the wages the price of all other things should be abated, every labourer with less wages would still be able to purchase as many necessaries of life; where then would be the inconvenience? But the price of labour may be reduced by the addition of more hands to a manufacture, and yet the wages of persons remain as high as ever. The admirable Sir William Petty has given examples of this in some of his writings: one of them, as I remember, is that of a watch, which I shall endeavour to explain so as shall suit my present purpose. It is certain that a single watch could not be made so cheap in proportion by only one man, as a hundred watches by a hundred; for as there is a vast variety in the work, no one person could equally suit himself to all the parts of it: the manufacture would be tedious, and at last but clumsily performed. But if a hundred watches were to be made by a hundred men, the cases may be assigned to one, the dials to another, the wheels to another, the springs to another, and every other part to a proper artist. As there would be no need of perplexing any one person with too much variety, every one would be able to perform his single o with greater skill and expedition; and the hundred watches would be finished in one-fourth part of the time of the first one, and every one of them at onefourth part of the cost, though the wages of every man were equal. The reduction of the price of the manufacture would increase the demand of it, all the same hands would be still o and as well paid. The same rule will hold in the clothing, the shipping, and all other trades whatsoever. And thus an addition of hands to our manufactures will only reduce the price of them; the labourer will still have as much wages, and will consequently beenabled to purchase more conveniences of life, so that every interest in the nation would receive a benefit from the increase of our working people. * Besides I see no occasion for this charity to common beggars, since every beggar is an inhabitant of a parish, and every parish is taxed to the maintenance of their own poor. For my own part I cannot be mightily pleased with the laws which have done this, which have provided better to feed than employ the poor. We have a tradition from our forefathers, that after the first of those laws was made, they were insulted with that famous song:
maintain them without work, they can do no less in return than sing us “The merry Boo. *What then? Am I against all acts of charity? God forbid! I know of no virtue in the gospel that is in more pathetic expressions recommended to our practice. “I was hungry and ye gave me no meat, thirsty and ye gave me no drink, naked and ye clothed me not, a stranger and ye took me not in, sick and in prison and ye visited me not.” Our blessed Saviour treats the exercise or neglect of charity towards a poor man, as the performance or breach of this duty towards himself. I shall endeavour to obey the will of my lord and master: and therefore if an industrious man shall submit to the hardest labour and coarsest
secution or oppression, this is the stranger,
and I ought to take him in. If any countryman of our own is fallen into the hands of infidels, and lives in a state of miserable captivity, this is the man in prison, and I should contribute to his ransom. I ought to give to an hospital of invalids, to recover as many useful subjects as I can: but I shall bestow none of my bounties upon an almshouse of idle people; and for the same reason I should not think it a reproach to me if I had withheld my charity from those common beggars. But we prescribe better rules than we are able to practise; we are ashamed not to give into the mistaken manners of our country: but at the same time, I cannot but think it a reproach worse than that of common swearing, that the idle and the abandoned are suffered in the name of heaven and all that is sacred to extort from christian and tender minds a supply to a profligate way of life, that is always %be
supported, but never relieved.”
No. 233.] Tuesday, Movember 27, 1711.
—Tanquam hapc sint nostri medicina furoris
As if by these, my sufferings I could ease;
Or by my pains the god of love appease.—Dryden.
I shall in this paper discharge myself of the promise I ho. to the public, by obliging them with a translation of the little Greek manuscript, which is said to have been a piece of those records that were preserved in the temple of Apollo, upon the promontory of Leucate. It is a short history of the Lover's Leap, and is inscribed, ‘An account of persons, male and female, who offered up their vows in the temple of the Pythian Apollo in the forty-sixth o and leaped from the promontory of Leucate into the Ionian Sea, in order to cure themselves of the passion of love.”
This account is very dry in many parts, as only mentioning the name of the lover who leaped, the person he leaped for, and relating in short, that he was either cured, or killed, or maimed by the fall. It indeed gives the names of so many who died by it, that it would have looked like a bill of mortality, had I translated it at full length; I have therefore made an abridgment of it, and only extracted such particular passages as have something extraordinary, either in the case or in the cure, or in the fate of the person who is mentioned in it. After this short preface take the account as follows: Battus, the son of Menalcas the Sicilian, leaped for Bombyca the musician: got rid of his passion with the loss of his right leg and arm, which were broken in the fall. Melissa, in love with Daphnis, very much bruised, but escaped with life. Cynisca, the wife of Æschines, being in love with Lycus; and Æschines her husband being in love with Eurilla; (which had made this married couple very uneasy to one another for several years) both the husband and the wife took the leap by consent; they both of them escaped, and have lived very happily together ever since. Larissa, a virgin of Thessaly, deserted by Plexippus, after a courtship of three years; she stood upon the brow of the montory for some time, and after having thrown down a ring, a bracelet, and a little picture, with other presents which she had received from Plexippus, she threw herself into the sea, and was taken up alive. N. B. Larissa before she leaped made an offering of a silver Cupid in the temple of Apollo. Simactha, in love with Daphnis the Myndian; perished in the fall. Charixus, the brother of o in love with Rhodope the courtesan, aving spent his whole estate upon her, was advised by his sister to leap in the beginning of his amour, but would not hearken to her until he was reduced to his last talent; being forsaken by Rhodope, at length resolved to take the leap. Perished in it. Aridaeus, a beautiful youth of #. in love with Praxinoe, the wife of Thespis; escaped without damage, saving, only that two of his fore-teeth were struck out and his nose a little flatted. Cleora, a widow of Ephesus, being inconsolable for the death of her husband, was resolved to take this leap in order to get rid of her passion for his memory; but being arrived at the promontory, she there met with Dimachus the Milesian, and after a short conversation with him, laid aside the thoughts of her leap, and married him in the temple of Apollo. N. B. }. widow’s weeds are still seen hanging up in the western corner of the temple. Öis, the fisherman, having received a box on the ear from Thestylis the day be
fore, and being determined to have no more # do with her, leaped, and escaped with ite. Atalanta, an old maid, whose cruelty had several years before driven two or three despairing lovers to this leap; being now in the fifty-fifth year of her age, in love with an officer of Sparta, broke her neck in the fall. Hipparchus, being passionately fond of his own wife, who was enamoured of Bathyllus, leaped, and died of his fall; upon which his wife married her gallant. Tettyx, the dancing-master, in love with §. an Athenian matron, threw himself from the rock with great agility, but was crippled in the fall. Diagoras, the usurer, in love with his cook-maid; he peeped several times over the precipice: but his heart misgiving him, he went back and married her that evening. Cinaedus, after having entered his own name in the Pythian records, being asked the name of the person whom he leaped for, and being ashamed to discover it, he was set aside, and not suffered to leap. Eunicia, a maid of Paphos, aged nineteen, in love with Eurybates. Hurt in the fall but recovered. N. B. This was the second time of her leaping. esperus, a young man of Tarentum, in love with his master's daughter. Drowned, the boats not coming in soon enough to his relief. Sappho the Lesbian, in love with Phaon, arrived at the temple of Apollohabited like a bride in garments as white as snow. She wore a garland of myrtle on her head, and carried in her hand the little musical instrument of her own invention. After having sung an hymn to Apollo, she hung up her ...i. on one side of his altar, and her harp on the other. She then tucked up her vestments like a Spartan virgin, and amidst thousands of spectators, who were anxious for her safety, and offered up vows for her deliverance, marched directly forwards to the utmost summit of the promontory, where after having repeated a stanza of her own verses, which we could not hear, she threw herself off the rock with such an intrepidity as was never before observed in any who had attempted that dangerous leap. Many who were present related, that they saw her fall into the sea, from whence she never rose again; though there were others who affirmed that she never came to the bottom of her leap, but that she was changed into a swan as she fell, and that they saw her hovering in the air under that shape. But whether or no the whiteness and fluttering of her garments might not deceive those who looked upon her, or whether she might not really be metamorhosed into that musical and melancholy ird, is still a doubt among the Lesbians. Alcaeus, the famous lyric poet, who had for some time been passionately in love with
Sappho, arrived at the promontory of Leucate that very evening, in order to take the leap upon her account: but hearing that Sappho had been there before him, and that her body could be no where found, he very generously lamented her fall, and is said to have written his hundred and twenty-fifth ode upon that occasion.
Leafted in this Olympiad.
Males 124 Females . 126 250
Cured. Males . . . 51 Females . 69 C. 120
No. 234.] Wednesday, Movember 28, 1711.
You very often hear people, after a story has been told with some entertaining circumstances, tell it over again with particulars that destroy the jest, but give light into the truth of the narration. This sort of veracity, though it is impertinent, has something amiable in it, because it proceeds from the love of truth even in frivolous occasions. If such honest amendments do not promise an agreeable companion, they do a sincere friend; for which reason one should allow them so much of our time, if we fall into their company, as to set us right in matters that can do us no manner of harm, whether the facts be one way or the other. Lies which are told out of arrogance and ostentation, a man should detect in his own defence, because he should not be triumphed over. Lies which are told out of malice he should expose, both for his own sake and that of the rest of mankind, because every man should rise against a common enemy; but the officious liar, many have argued, is to be excused, because it does some man good, and no man hurt. The man who made more than ordinary speed from a fight in which the Athenians were beaten, and told them they had obtained a complete victory, and put the whole city into the utmost joy and exultation, was checked by the magistrates for this falsehood; but excused himself by saying, “O Athenians! am I your enemy because I gave you two happy days?” This fellow did to a whole people what an acquaintance of mine does every day he lives, in some eminent degree, to particular persons. He is ever lying Fo into good humour, and as Plato said it was allowable in physicians to lie to their patients to keep up their spirits, I am half doubtful whether my friend’s behaviour is not as excusable; His manner is to express himself surprised at the cheerful countenance of a man whom he observes diffident of himself; and generally by that means make his lie a truth. He will, as if he did not know any thing of the circumstance, ask one whom he knows at variance with another, what is the meaning that Mr. Such-a-one, naming his adversary, does not applaud him with that heartiness which formerly he has heard him? “He said, indeed,” continues he, “I would rather have that man for my friend than any man in England; but for an enemy!—” This melts the person he talks to, who expected nothing but downwright raillery from that side. Taccording as he sees his practice succeed, he goes to the opposite party, and tells him, he cannot imagine how it happens, that some people know one another so little; ‘You spoke with so much coldness of a gentleman who said more good of you, than, let me tell you, any man living deserves.” The success of one of these incidents was, that the next time one of the adversaries spied the other, he hems after him in the public street, and they must crack a bottle at the next tavern, that used to turn out of the other's way to avoid, one another's eyeshot. He will tell one beauty she was commended by another, nay, he will say she gave the woman he speaks to, the preferrence in a particular for which she herself is admired. The pleasantest confusion imaginable is made through the whole town by my friend’s indirect offices. You shall have a visit returned after half a year's absence, and mutual railing at each other every day of that time.—They meet with a thousand lamentations for so long a separation, each party naming herself for the greatest delinquent, if the other can possibly be so good as to forgive her, which she has no reason in the world, but from the knowledge of her goodness, to hope for. Very often a whole train of railers of each side tire their horses in setting matters right which they have said during the war between the parties; and a whole circle of acquaintances are put into a thousand pleasing passions and sentiments, instead of the pangs of anger, envy, detraction, and malice. The worst evil I ever observed this man’s falsehood occasion, has been, that he turned detraction into flattery. He is well skilled in the manners of the world, and by overlooking what men really are, he grounds his artifices upon what they have a mind to be. Upon this foundation, if two distant friends are brought together and the cement seems to be weak, he never rests until he finds new appearances to take off all remains of ill-will, and that by new misunderstandings they are thoroughly reconciled. “To the Shectator. ‘Devonshire, Nov. 14, 1711.
*SIR,-There arrived in this neighbour
hood two daysagooneof your gay gentlemen of the town, who being attended at his entry with a servant of his own, besides a countryman he had taken up for a guide, excited the curiosity of the village to learn.” whence and what he might be. The countryman (to whom they applied as most easy of access) knew little more than that the gentleman came from London to travel and see fashions, and was, as he heard say, a free-thinker. What religion that might be, he could not tell: and for his own part, if they had not told him the man was a free-thinker, he should have guessed, by his way of talking, he was little better than a heathen; excepting only that he had been a good gentleman to him, and made him drunk twice in one day, over and above what they had bargained for. ‘I do not look upon the simplicity of this, and several odd inquiries with which I shall not trouble you, to be wondered at, much less can I think that our youths of fine wit, and enlarged understandings, have any reason to laugh. There is no necessity that every 'squire in Great Britain should know what the word free-thinker stands for; but it were much to be wished, that they who value themselves upon that conceited title, were a little better instructed in what it ought to stand for; and that they would not persuade themselves a man is really and truly a free-thinker, in any tolerable sense, merely by virtue of his being an atheist, or an infidel of any other, distinction. It may be doubted with good reason, whether there ever was in nature a more abject, slavish, and bigoted generation than the tribe of beaux-esprits, at present so prevailing in this island. Their pretension to be free-thinkers, is no other than rakes have to be free-livers, and savages to be free-men; that is, they can think whatever they have a mind to, and give themselves op to whatever conceit the extravaganc of their inclination, or their fancy, sh suggest; they can think as wildly as they talk and act, and will not endure that their wit should be controlled by such formal things as decency and common sense. Deduction, coherence, consistency, and all the rules of reason they accordingly disdain, as too precise and mechanical for men of a liberal education. “This as far as I could ever learn from their writings, or my own observation, is a true account of the British free-thinker. Our visitant here, who gave occasion to this paper, has brought with him a new system of common sense, the particulars of which I am not yet acquainted with, but will lose no opportunity of informing myself whether it contains any thing worth Mr. Spectator's notice. In the mean time, sir, I cannot but think it would be for the good of marskind, if you would take this subject into your consideration, and convince the hopeful youth of our nation, that licentiousness is not freedom; or, if such a