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No terror to my view,
The advantages, which have accrued to those whom I have advised in their affairs, by virtue of this sort of prescience, have been very considerable. A nephew of mine, who has never put his money into the stocks, or taken it out, without my advice, has in a few years raised five hundred pounds to almost so many thousands. As for myself, who look upon riches to consist rather in content than possessions, and measure the greatness of the mind rather by its tranquillity than its ambition, I have seldom, used my glass to make my way in the world, but often to retire from it. This is a by-path to happiness, which was first discovered to me by a most pleafing apothegm of Pythagoras : When the winds,' says he, rise, worlaip the echo.' That great philofopher (whether to make his doctrines the more venerable, or to gild his precepts with the beauty of imagination, or to awaken the curiofity of his disciples, for I will not suppose, what is usually said, that he did it to conceal his wisdom from the vulgar) has couched several admirable precepts in remote allusions, and mysterious sentences. By the wind in this apothegm, are meant ftate hurricanes and popular tumults. When these rise, says he, worihip the echo; that is, withdraw yourself from the multitude into desarts, woods, solitudes, or the like retirements, which are the usual habitations of the echo.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 24, 1710.
From my own Apartment, August 23.
LYSANDER has writ to me out of the country, and tells me, after many other circumstances, that he had pafled a great deal of time with much pleasure and tranquillity; until his happiness was interrupted by an indiscreet Aatterer, who came down into those parts to visit a relation. With the circumstances in which he represents the matter, he had no small provocation to be offended; for he attacked him in fo wrong a season, that he could not have any relish of pleasure in it; though, perhaps, at another time it might have passed upon him without giving him much uneasiness. Lyfander had, after a long satiety of the town, been so happy as to get to a solitude he extremely liked, and recovered a pleasure he had so long discontinued, that of reading. He was got to the bank of a rivulet, covered by a pleasing shade, and fanned by a foft breeze, which threw his mind into that sort of composure and attention, in which a man, though with indolence, enjoys the utmost liveliness of his fpirits, and the greatest Itrength of his mind at the fame time. In this state, Lyfander represents that he was reading Virgil's Georgics, when on a sudden the gentleman above mentioned lurprised him ; and without any manner of preparation falls upon him at once ; . What! I have found you at last, after searching all over the wood ! we wanted you at cards after dinner : but you are much better employed. I have heard indeed that you are an excellent scholar. But at the same time, is it not a little unkind to rob the ladies, who like you so well, of the pleasure of your company? But that is indeed the misfortune of you great scholars ; you are seldom fo fit for the world as those who never trouble themfelves with books. Well, I see you are taken up with your learning there, and I will leave you.' Lysander says,
he made hiin no answer, but took a refolution to complain to me.
It is a substantial affliction, when men govern themselves by the rules of good-breeding, that by the very force of them they are subjected to the insolence of those who either never will, or never can, understand them. The superficial part of mankind form to themselves little measures of behaviour from the outside of things. By the force of these narrow conceptions, they act among themselves with applause; and do not apprehend they are contemptible-to those of higher understanding, who are restrained by decencies above their knowledge from shewing a dislike. Hence it is, that because complaifance is a good quality in conversation, one impertinent takes upon him on all occasions to commend; and because mirth is agreeable, another thinks it fit eternally to jest. I have of late received many packets of letters, complaining of these spreading evils. A lady who is lately arrived at the Bath acquaints me, there were in the itage-coach wherein the went down a common flatterer, and a common jester. These gentlemen were, she tells me, rivals in her favour; and adds, if there ever happened a case wherein of two persons one was not liked more than another, it was in that journey. They differed only in proportion to the degree of disike between the nauseous and the infipid. Both these characters of men are born out of a barrenness of imagination. They are never fools by nature; but become such out of an impotent ambition of being, what she never intended them, men of wit and conversation. I therefore think fit to declare, that, according to the known laws of this land, a man may be a very honeft gentleman, and enjoy himself and his friend, without being a wit; and I abfolve all men from taking pains to be such for the future. As the present case stands, is it not very unhappy that Lysander must be attacked and applauded in a wood, and Corinna jolted and commended in a stage coach; and this for no manner of reason, but because other people have a mind to ihew their parts ? I grant indeed, if these people,
as they have understanding enough for it, would confine their accomplishments to those of their own degree of talents, it were to be tolerated; but when they are so insolent as to interrupt the meditations of the wise, the conversations of the agreeable, and the whole behaviour of the modest, it becomes a grievance naturally in my jurisdiction. Among themselves, I cannot only overlook, but approve it. I was present the other day at a conversation, where a man of this height of breeding and sense told a young woman of the same form, To be sure, madam, every thing must please that comes from a lady. She answered, I know, fir, you are so much a gentleman, that you think so. Why, this was well on both fides; and it is impoffible that such a gentleman and lady should do otherwise than think well of one another. These are but loose hints of the disturbares in human fociety for which there is yet no remedy: but I shall in a little time publish tables of respect and civility, by which persons may be instructed in the proper times and seasons, as well as what degree of intimacy, a man may be allowed to commend or rally his companions; the promiscuous licence of which is, at present, far from being among the small errors in conversation.
P. S. The following letter was left, with a request to be immediately answered, left the artifices used against a lady in distress may come into common practice.
My eldest fifter buried her first husband about fix months ago; and at his funeral, a gentleman of more art than honefty, on the night of his interment, while the was not herself, but in the utinoft agony of her grief, spoke to her of the subject of love. In that weakness and distraction which my lifter was in, as one ready to fall is apt to lean on any body, he obtained her promise of marriage, which was accordingly consummated eleven weeks after. There is no affliction comes alone, but one brings another. My lifter is now ready to lie-in. She humbly alks of you, as you are a friend to the sex, to let her
know, who is the lawful father of this child, or whether she may not be relieved from this second marriage ; confidering it was promised under such circumstances as one may very well suppose she did not what she did voluntarily, but because she was helpless otherwise. She is advised something about engagements made in gaol, which the thinks the same, as to the reason of the thing. But, dear fir, the relies upon your advice, and gives you her service;
Your humble servant,
The cafe is very hard; and I fear the plea she is advised to make, from the fimilitude of a man who is in dureffe, will not prevail. But though I despair of remedy as to the mother, the law gives the child his choice of his father 'where the birth is thus legally ambiguous.
To Isaac BICKERSTAFF, Efquire.
fiding within the liberty of Westminster,
"That there has of late prevailed among the ladies so great an affectation of nakedness, that they have not only left the bosom wholly bare, but lowered their stays some inches below the former mode.
(That, in particular, Mrs. Arabella Overdo has not the least appearance of linen; and our best customers fhew but little above the small of their backs.
That by this means your petitioners are in danger of losing the advantage of covering a ninth part of every woman of quality in Great Britain.
"Your petitioners humbly offer the premises to your Indulgence's consideration, and shall ever, &c.'