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after those qualifications both in ourselves and others, which are indispensably necessary towards this happy union, and which are in the power of every one to acquire, or at least to cultivate and improve. These, in my opinion, are cheerfulness and constancy. A cheerful temper, joined with innocence, will make beauty attractive, knowledge delightful, and wit good-natured. It will lighten fickness, poverty, and affliction; convert ignorance into an amiable fimplicity; and render deformity itself agreeable.
Constancy is natural to persons of even tempers and uniform diípositions; and may be acquired by those of the greatest fickleness, violence, and passion, who conlider seriously the terms of union on which they come together, the mutual interest in which they are engaged, with all the motives that ought to incite their tenderness and compassion towards those who have their dependence upon them, and are embarked with them for life in the fame state of happiness or misery. Constancy, when it grows in the mind upon confiderations of this nature, becomes a moral virtue, and a kind of good-nature, that is not subject to any change of health, age, fortune, or any of those accidents which are apt to unfettle the best difpofitions that are founded rather in constitution than in reafon. Where such a constancy as this is wanting, the most inflamed paffion may fall away into coldnels and indifference, and the most melting tenderness degenerate into hatred and aversion, I shall conclude this paper with a story, that is very well known in the north of England.
About thirty years ago, a packet-boat, that had several passengers on board, was cast away upon a rock, and in for great danger of linking, that all who were in it ena deavoured to save themselves as well as they could: though only those who could swim well had a bare poffibility of doing it. Among the passengers there were two women of fathion, who, feeing themfelves in such a disconfolate condition, begged for their husbands not to : leave them. One of them chose rather to die with his Wife, than to forsake ber; the other, though he was:
moved with the utmost compaffion for his wife, told her, that, for the good of their children, it was better one of them should live, than both perilh. By a great piece of good luck, next to a miracle, when one of our good men had taken the last and long farewell in order to save himself, and the other held in his arms the person that was dearer to him than life, the ship was preserved. It is with a secret forrow and vexation of mind that I must tell the fequel of the story, and let my reader know, that this faithful pair, who were ready to have died in each other's arms, about three years after their escape, upon some trilling difguft grew to a coldness at first, and at length fell out to such a degree, that they left one another, and parted for ever. The other couple lived together in an uninterrupted friendship and felicity; and, what was remarkable, the husband, whom the shipwreck had like to have separated from his wife, died a few months after her, not being able to survive the loss of her.
'I must confess, there is something in the changeableness and inconftancy of human nature, that very often both dejects and terrifies me. Whatever I am at present, I tremble to think what I may be. While I find this principle in me, how can I assure myself that I shall be always true to my God, my friend, or myself? In short, without constancy there is neither love, friendship, nor virtue, in the world.
NO. 193. TUESDAY, JULY 4, 1710.
Qui didicit patriæ quid debeat, et quid amicis ;
Hor. Ars Poet. ver. 3.126
Will's Coffee-house, July 3.
I HAVE of late received many epifles, wherein the writers treat me as a mercenary perfon, for some litile hints concerning matters which, they think, I should not have touched upon but for fordid considerations. It is apparent, that
inotive could not be of that kind for when a man declares himself openly on one side, that party will take no more notice of him, becaufe he is fure; and the set of men whom he declares against, for the fame reason, are violent against him. Thus it is fully in a plain dealer to expect, that either his friends will reward him, or his enemies forgive him. For which reason, I thought it was the shortest way to impartiality, to put myself beyond further hopes or fears, by declaring myself at a time when the difpute is not about perfons and parties, but things and causes. To relieve myself from the vexation which naturally attends such reflections, I came hither this evening to give my thoughts quite a new turn, and converse with men of pleasure and wit, rather than those of business and intrigue. I had hardly entered the room when I was
accosted by Mr. Thomas Dogget, who desired my favour in retation to the play which was to be acted for his benefit on Thursday. He pleased me in faying it was The Old Bachelor, in which comedy there is a necessary circumstance observed by the author, which most other poets either overlook or do not understand, that is to fay, the distinction of characters. It is very ordinary with writers to indulge a certain modefty of believing all men as witty as themselves, and making all the pero fons of the play speak the sentiments of the author, without any manner of respect to the age, fortune, or, quality, of him that is on the stage. Ladies talk like rakes, and footmen make fimiles: but this writer knows mén, which makes his plays reafopable entertainments, while che scenes of most others are like the tunes be. tween the acts. They are perhaps agreeable sounds ; but they have no ideas affixed to them. Dogget thanked me for my visiç to him in the winter; and, after his comic manner, fpoke bis request with so arch a leer, that I promised the droll I would speak to all my acquaintance to be at this play.
Whatever the world may think of the actors, whether it be that their parts have an effect on their lives, or whatever it is, you see a wonderful benevolence among
them towards the interests and neceffities of each other. Dogget, therefore, would not let me go, without delivering me a letter from poor old Downs, the prompte er, wherein that retainer to the theaire difires my ada vice and aftistance in a matter of concern to him. I have sent him my private opinion for his conduct, but the stage and state affairs being so much canvalled by parties and factions, I thall, for some time hereafter, take leave of subjects which relate to either of them, and employ my cares in the consideration of matters which regard that part of mankind who live without interesting themselves with the troubles or pleafures of either. However, for a mere notion of the present pofture of the Hage, I shall give you the letter at large, as follows:
« HONOURED SIR,
July 1, 1710. FINDING, by divers of your late papers, that you are a friend to the profession of which I was many years an unworthy member, I the rather make bold to crave your advice touching a proposal that has been lately made me of coming again into bufiness, and the fub. administration of stage affairs. 'I have, from my youth, been bred up behind the curtain, and been a prompter from the time of the Restoration. I have seen many changes, as well of scenes as of actors; and have known men, within my remembrance, arrive to the highest dignities of the theatre, who made their entrance in the quality of mutes, joint-stools, flower-pots, and tapestry hangings. It cannot be unknown to the nobility and gentry, that a gentleman of the inns of court, and a deep intriguer, had : some time since worked himself into the fole management and direction of the theatre. Nor is it less notorious, that his restless ambition, and subtle machinations, did manifestly tend to the extirpation of the good old. British actors, and the introduction of foreign pretenders; fuch as harlequins, French dancers, and Roman fingers ; who, though they impoverished the proprietors, and imposed on the audience, were for some time tolerated, by reason of his dexterous insinuations, which prevailed upon a few deluded women, especially the vizard masks, to believe that the stage was in danger. But his schemes were soon exposed; and the great ones that supported him withdrawing their favour, he made his exit, and remained for a season in obscurity. During this retreat the Machiavelian was not idle; but secretly fomented divisions, and wrought over to his side some of the inferior actors, reserving a trap-door to himself, to which he only had a key. This entrance secured, this cunning person, to complete his company, bethought himself of calling in the most eminent strollers from all parts of the kingdom. I have seen them all ranged together behind the scenes; but they are, many of them, persons that never trod the stage before, and so very awkward and ungainly, that it is impoffible to believe the audience will bear them, He was