« ZurückWeiter »
will command with us must condescend. It moves one's spleen very agreeably, to fee fellows pretend to be diffemblers without this leffon. They are so reservedly com, plaisant until they have learned to resign their natural passions, that all the steps they make towards gaining thole, whom they would be well with, are but so many marks of what they really are, and not of what they would appear.
The rough Britons, when they pretend to be artful towards one another, are ridiculous enough; but when they set up for vices they have not, and diffemble their good with an affectation of ill, they are insupportable. I know two men in this town who make as good figures as any in it, that manage their credit so well as to be thought atheists, and yet say their prayers morning and evening. Tom Springly, the other day, pretended to go to an assignment with a married woman at Rosamond's Pond, and was feen soon after reading the responses with great gravity at fix-a-clock prayers.
Sheer-lane, August 17. THOUGH the following epistle bears a just accusation of myself, yet in regard it is a more advantageous piece of justice to another, I insert it at large.
6 Mr. BICKERSTAFF;
Garraway's Coffec-house, Augrift 10. · I have lately read your paper, wherein you represent a conversation between a young lady, your three nephews, and yourself; and am not a little offended at the figure you give your young merchant in the presence of a beauty. The topic of love is a subject on which a man is more beholden to nature for his eloquence, than to the instruction of the schools, or my lady's woman. From the latter your scholar and page must have reaped all their advantage above him know by this tin you have pronounced me a trader. I acknowledge it; but cannot bear the exclusion from any pretence of speak
ing agreeably to a fine woman, or from any degree of generosity that way. You have among us citizens many well-wishers ; but it is for the justice of your representations, which we, perhaps, are better judges of than you (by the account you give of your nephew) seem to allow.
To give you an opportunity of making us some reparation, I desire you would tell, your own way, the following instance of heroic love in the city. You are to remember, that somewhere in your writings, for enlarge ing the territories of virtue and honour, you have multiplied the opportunities of attaining to heroic virtue ; and have hinted, that in whatever state of life a man is, if he does things above what is ordinarily performed by men of his rank, he is in those instances an hero.
«Tom Trueman, a young gentleman of eighteen years of age, fell passionately in love with the beauteous Almira, daughter to his master. Her regard for him was no less tender. Trueman was better acquainted with his mafter's affairs, than his daughter ; and secretly lamented, that each day brought him by many miscarriages nearer bankruptcy than the former. This unhappy posture of their affairs, the youth suspected, was owing to the il management of a factor, in whom his master had an entire confidence, Trueman took a proper occasion, when his master was ruminating on his decaying fortune, to addrefs him for leave to spend the remainder of his time with his foreign correspondent. During three years stay in that employment, he became acquainted with all that concerned his master, and by his great address in the management of that knowledge saved him ten thousand pounds. Soon after this accident, Trueman's uncle left him a considera able estate. Upon receiving that advice he retu»ned to England, and demanded Almira of her father. The faa ther, overjoyed at the match, offered him the ten thousand pounds he had saved him, with the further proposal of resigning to him all his business. Trueinan refused both; and retired into the country with his bride, contented with his own fortune, though perfectly skilled in the me thods of improving it.
It is to be noted, that Trueman refused twenty thoufand pounds with another young lady; so that reckoning both his felf-denials, he is to have in your court the merit of having given thirty thousand pounds for the woman he loved. This gentleman I claim your justice to; and hope you will be convinced that some of us have larger views than only Cath Debtor, per contra Creditor.
(N. B. Mr. Thomas Trueman of Lime-ftreet is entered among the heroes of domestic life.
NO. 214: TUESDAY, AUGUST 22, 171e.
Soles & aperta serena
VIRG. Georg. i. ver. 393.
my own Apartment, August 21. In every party there are two forts of men, the rigid and the fupple. The rigid are an intractable race of mortals, who act upon principle, and will not, forsooth, fall into any méatures that are not confiftent with their received notions of honour. These are persons of a stubborn unpliant morality; that sullenly adhere to their
friends, when they are disgraced, and to their principles, though they are exploded. I thall therefore give up this stift-necked generation to their own obstinacy, and turn my thoughts to the advantage of the supple, who pay their homage to places, and not to persons; and, without enHaving themselves to any particular scheme of opinions, are as ready to change their conduct in point of sentiment as of fashion. The well disciplined part of a court are generally so perfect at their exercise, that you may fee a whole assembly, from front to rear, face about at once to a new man of power, though at the same time they turn their backs upon him that brought them thither.' The great hardship these complaisant members of society are under, seems to be the want of warning upon any approaching change or revolution; so that they are obliged in a hurry to tack about with every wind, and stop short in the midst of a full career, to the great surprise and derifion of their beholders.
When a man foresees a decaying ministry, he has leisure to grow a malecontent, reflect upon the present conduct, and by gradual murmurs fall off from his friends into a new party, by just steps and measures. For want of such notices, I have formerly known a very well bred person refuse to return a bow of a man whom he thought in disgrace, that was next day' made fecretary of ftate ; and another, who, after a long neglect of a minister, came to his levee, and made professions of zeal for his service the very day before he was turned out.
This produces also unavoidable confusions and mistakes in the descriptions of great men's parts and merits. That ancient lyric, Mr d'Urfey, some years ago writ a dedication to a certain lord, in which he celebrated him for the greatest poet and critic of that age, upon a misinformation in Dyer's Letter, that his noble patron was made lord chamberlain. In short, innumerable votes, speeches, and sermons, have been thrown away, and turned to no account, merely for want of due and timely intelligence. Nay, it has been known, that a panegyric has been half printed off, when the poet, upon the removal of the minifter, has been forced to alter it into a satire.
For the conduct therefore of such useful persons, as are ready to do their country service upon all occafions, i have an engine in my study, which is a sort of a policical barometer, or, to speak more intelligibly, a state weatherglass, that, by the rising and falling of a certain magical liquor, presages all changes and revolutions in government, as the common glass does those of the weather. The weather-glass is said to have been invented by Cardan, and given by him as a present to his great countryman and contemporary Machiavel; which, by the way, may serve to rectify a received error in chronology, that places one of these some years after the other. How or when it came into my hands, I shall desire to be excused if I keep to myself; but so it is, that I have walked by it for the better part of a century to my safety at least, if not to my advantage ; and have among my papers a register of all the changes that have happened in it from the middle of queen Elizabeth's reign.
In the time of that princess it ftoad long at Settled Fair. At the latter end of king James the firft, it fell to Cloudy. It held several years at Stormy; infomuch that at last despairing of seeing any clear weather at home I followed the royal exile, and some time after, finding my glass rise, returned to my native country, with the rest of the loyalists. I was then in hopes to pass the remainder of my days in Settled Fair: but alas ! during the greatest part of that reign the English nation lay in a dead calm, which, as it is usual, was followed by high winds and tempests, until late years; in which, with unspeakable joy and satisfaction, I have seen our political weather returned to Settled Fair. I muft only observe, that for all this laft fummer my glass has pointed at changeable. Upon the whole, I often apply to fortune Æneas's speech to the Sibyl :
Non ulla laborum
VIRG. Æn. 6. ver. 103.