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misfortunes, make it as infamous for a man to boast of favours, or expose our sex, as it is to take the lie or a box on the ear, and not resent it. Your constant reader and admirer,
"P.S. I am the more impatient under this misfortune, having received fresh provocation, last Wednesday, in the Abbey.'
I entirely agree with the amiable and unfortu. nate Lesbia, that an insult upon a woman in her cir. cuinstances is as infamous in a man, as a tame bcha. viour when the lie or buffet is given : which truth I shall beg leave of her to illustrate by the following observation.
It is a mark of cowardice passively to forbear re. senting an affront, the resenting of which would lead a man into danger : it is no less a sign of cow. ardice to affront a creature that hath not power to avenge itself. Whatever name therefore this ungenerous man may bestow on the helpless lady he hath injured, I shall not scruple to give him, in return for it, the appellation of coward.
A man that can so far descend from his dignity as to strike a lady, can never recover his reputation with either sex, because no provocation is thought strong enough to justify such treatment from the powerful towards the weak. In the cir. cumstances in which poor Lesbia is situated, she can appeal to no man whatsoever to avenge an in. sult more grievous than a blow. If she could open her mouth, the base man knows that a husband, a brother a generous friend, would die to see her righted.
A generous mind, however enraged against an enemy, feels its resentments sink and vanish away when the object of its wrath falls into its power. An estranged friend; filled with jealousy and dis.content towards a bosom acquaintance, is apt to overflow with tenderness and remorse, when a creature that was once dear to him undergoes any misfortune. What name then shall we give to his in, gratitude, who (forgetting the favours he solicited with eargerness, and received with rapture) can in. sult the miseries that he himself caused, and make sport with the pain to which he owes his greatest pleasure? There is but one being in the creation whose province it is to practise upon the imbecilities of frail creatures, and triumph in the woes which his own artifices brought about; and we well know those who follow his example will receive his re. ward.
Leaving my fair correspondent to the direction of her own wisdom and modesty ; and her enemy, and his mcan accomplices, to the compunction of their own hearts; Į shall conclude this paper with a me, morable instance of revenge, taken by a Spanish lady npon a guilty lover, which may serve to show what violent effects are wrought by the most tender passion, when sowered into hatred ; and may deter the
young and unwary from unlawful love. The story, however romantic it may appear, I have heard affirmed for truth.
Not many years ago an English gentleman, who, in a rencounter by night in the streets of Madrid, had the misfortune to kill his man, fled into a church-porch for sanctuary. Leaning against the door he was surprised to find it open, and a glim. mering light in the church. He had the courage to advance towards the light; but was terribly startled at the sight of a woman in white, who as. çended from a grave with a bloody koife in her hand. The phantom marched up to him, and
asked him what he did there. He told her the truth without reserve, believing that he had met a ghost; upon which she spoke to him in the following manner : • Stranger, thou art in my power: I am a murderer as thou art. Know then that I am a nun of a noble family. A base perjured man undid me, and boasted of it. I soon had him dispatched ;, but not content with the murder, I have bribed the sexton to let me enter his grave, and have now plucked out his false heart from his body; and thus I use a traitor's heart.' At these words she tore it in pieces and trampled, it under her feet.
N 612. WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 27, 1714,
Murranum bic atavos et avorum antique sonantem
VIRG, Æn. sii. 529.
It is highly laudable to pay respect to men who are descended from worthy ancestors, not only out of gratitude to those who have done good to mankind, but as it is an encouragement to others to follow their example. But this is an honour to be received, not demanded, by the descendants of great men ;
and they who are apt to remind us of their ances. tors only put us upon making comparisons to their own disadvantage. There is some pretence for boasting of wit, beauty, strength, or wealth, because the communication of them may give pleasure or profit to others; but we can have no merit, nor ought we to claim any respect, because our fathers acted well whether we would or no.
The following letter ridicules the folly I have mentioned, in a new, and, I think, not disagreeable bight.
"Were the genealogy of every family preserved, there would probably be no'man valued or despised on account of his birth. There is scarce a beggar in the streets, who would not find himself lineally descended from some great man; nor any one of the highest title, who would not discover several base and indigent persons among his ances. tors. It would be a pleasant entertainment to sce one pedigree of men appear together, under the same characters they bore when they acted their respective parts among the living. Suppose there. fore a gentleman, full of his illustrious family, should in the same manner Virgil makes Æneas look over his descendants, see the whole line of his progenitors pass in review before his eyes—with how many varying passions would he behold shepherds and soldiers, statesmen and artificers, princes and beggars walk in the procession of five thousand years ! How would his heart sink or flutter at the several sports of fortune, in a scene so diversified with rags and purple, handicraft tools and sceptres, ensigns of dignity, and emblems of disgrace! And how would his fears and apprehensions, his transports and mortifications, succeed one another, a
the line of his genealogy appeared bright or obscore !
• In most of the pedigrees hung up in old man. sion-houses, you are sure to find the first in the ca. talogne a great statesman, or a soldier with an honourable commission. The honest artificer that be. gut him, and all his frugal ancestors before him, are torn off from the top of the register; and you are not left to imagine that the noble founder of the family ever had a father. Were we to trace many boasted lines further backwards, we should lose them in a mob of tradesmen, or a crowd of rustics, without hope of seeing them emerge again : not unlike the old Appian way, which, after having run many miles in length, loses itself in a bog.
I lately made a visit to an old country gentleman, who is very far gone in this sort of family madness. I found him in his study perusing an old register of his family, which he had just then discovcred as it was branched out in the form of a tree, upon a skin of parchment. Having the ho. nour to have some of his blood in my veins, he per. mitted me to cast my eye over the boughs of this venerable plant; and asked my advice in the re. forming of some of the superfluous branches.
We passed slightly over three or four of our im. mediate forefathers, whom we knew by tradition, but were soon stopped by an alderman of London, who I perceived made my kinsman's heart go pit-apat.' His confusion increased when he found the alderman's father to be a grazier; but he recovered his fright upon seeing justice of the quornm at the end of his titles. Things went on pretty well as we threw our eyes occasionally over the tree, when un. fortunately he perceived a merchant-tailor perch. ed on a bongh, who was said greatly to have in.