Imágenes de páginas




tions were generally rejected for want of a charac-ing the same practices in another country ; but

At length I was received at a draper's; but others are only precluded by infamy from reformwhen it was known to my mistress that I had ation, and would gladly be delivered on any only one gown, and that of silk, she was of terms from the necessity of guilt, and the tyranny opinio i that I looked like a thief, and without of chance. No place but a populous city can warning hurried me away. I then tried to sup- afford opportunities for open prostitution, and port myself by my needle; and, by my landlady's where the eye of justice can attend to indivi recomiendation, obtained a little work from a duals, those who cannot be made good may be shop, and for three weeks lived without repining; restrained from mischief. For my part, I should but when my punctuality had gained me so much exult at the privilege of banishment, and think reputation that I was trusted to make up a head myself happy in any region that should restore of some value, one of my fellow lodgers stole the me once again to honesty and peace. lace, and I was obliged to fly from a prosecution.

I am, Sir, &c. Thus driven again into the streets, I lived upon

MISELLA. the least that could support me, and at night accommodated myself under pent-houses as well as I could. At length I became absolutely penni

No. 172.] SATURDAY, Nov, 9, 1751, less, and, having strolled all day without suste

Sæpe rog are soles qualis sim, Prisce, futurus nance, was, at the close of evening, accosted

Si fiam locuples ; sim que repente potens. by an elderly man, with an invitation to a tavern.

Quemqunm posse putas morcs narrare futuros ? I refused him with hesitation; he seized me by Dic mihi, si fias tu leo, qualis eris. the hand, and drew me into a neighbouring house,

Priscus, you've often asked me how I'd live, where when he saw my face pale with hunger, Should fate at once both wealth and honour give, and my eyes swelling with tears, he spurned me What soul his future conduct can foresee? from him, and bade me cant and whine in some

Tell me what sort of lion you would be. other place; he for his part would take care of his pockets.

NOTHING has been longer observed, than that a I'still continued to stand in the way, having change of fortune causes a change of manners; scarcely strength to walk further, when another and that it is difficult to conjecture from the con soon addressed me in the same manner. Whenduct of him whom we see in a low condition, he saw the same tokens of calamity, he consi- | how he would act, if wealth and power were put dered that I might be obtained at a cheap rate, into his hands. But it is generally agreed, that and therefore quickly made overtures, which I few men are made better by affluence or exaltahad no longer firmness to reject. By this man I tion; and that the powers of the mind, when was maintained four months in penurious wick- they are unbound and expanded by the sunshine edness, and then abandoned to my former con- of felicity, more frequently luxuriate into follies dition, from which I was delivered by another than blossom into goodness. keeper.

Many observations have concurred to establish In this abject state, I have now passed four this opinion, and it is not likely soon to become years, the drudge of extortion and the sport of obsolete, for want of new occasions to revive it. drunkenness; sometimes the property of one The greater part of mankind are corrupt in every man, and sometimes the common prey of acci- condition, and differ in high and low stations, dental lewdness; at one time tricked up for sale only as they have more or fewer opportunities by the mistress of a brothel ; at another begging of gratifying their desires, or as they are more or in the streets to be relieved from hunger by less restrained by human censures. Many vitiate wickedness; without any hope in the day but of their principles in the acquisition of riches; and finding some whom folly or excess may expose who can wonder that what is gained by fraud and to my allurements, and without any reflections extortion is enjoyed with tyranny and excess ? at night, but such as guilt and terror impress Yet I am willing to believe that the depravaupon me.

tion of the mind by external advantages, though If those who pass their days in plenty and se- certainly not uncommon, yet approaches not so curity, could visit for an hour the dismal recep- nearly to universality, as some have asserted in tacles to which the prostitute retires from her the bitterness of resentment, or heat of declamanocturnal excursions, and see the wretches that tion ? lie crowded together, mad with intemperance, Whoever rises above those who once pleased ghastly with famine, nauseous with filth, and themselves with equality, will have many male. noisome with disease : it would not be very easy volent gazers at his eminence. To gain sooner for any degree of abhorrence to harden them than others that which all pursue with the same against compassion, or to repress the desire ardour, and to which all imagine themselves enwhich they must immediately feel to rescue such titled, will for ever be a crime. When those numbers of human beings from a state so who started with us in the race of life, leave us dreadful.

so far behind that we have little hope to overtake It is said that in France they annually evacu- them, we revenge our disappointment by remarks ate their streets, and ship their prostitutes and on the arts of supplantation by which they gained vagabonds to their colonies. If the women that the advantage, or on the folly and arrogance infest this city had the same opportunityof escap- with which they possess it. Of them whose rise ing from their miseries, I believe very little force we could not hinder, we solace ourselves by would be necessary; for who among them can prrgnosticating the fall. dread any change? Many of us indeed are It is impossible for human purity not to betray wholly unqualified for any but most servile em to an eye, thus sharpened by malignity, some ploynients, and those perhaps would require the stains which lay concealed and regarưej. care of a magistrate to hinder them from follow- while none thought it their interest to discover


them; nor can the most circumspect attention, | his opinion be received as decisive and oraculous. or steady rectitude, escape blame from censors His intoxication will give way to time; the mad. who have no inclination to approve. Riches ness of joy will fume imperceptibly away; the therefore, perhaps, do not so often produce sense of his insufficiency will soon return; he crimes as incite accusers.

will remember that the co-operation of others is The common charge against those who rise necessary to his happiness, and learn to conabove their original condition, is that of pride. It ciliate their regard by reciprocal beneficence. is certain that success naturally confirms us in a There is, at least, one consideration which favourable opinion of our own abilities. Scarce ought to alleviate our censures of the powerful any man is willing to allot to accident, friend and rich. To imagine them chargeable with all ship, and a thousand causes, which concur in the guilt and folly of their own actions, is to be every event without human contrivance or inter- very little acquainted with the world. position, the part which they may justly claim in his advancement. We rate ourselves by our

De l'absolu pouroir vous ignorer lydresse,

Et du lache fateur la voit enchanteresse. fortune rather than our virtues, and exorbitant

Thou hast not known the giddy whirls of fate, claims are quickly produced by imaginary merit. Nor servile flatteries which enchant the great. But captiousness and jealousy are likewise easily offended, and to him who studiously looks for an

He that can do much good or harm will not affront, every mode of behaviour will supply it ; find many whom ambition or cowardice will freedom will be rudeness, and reserve sullen- suffer to be sincere. While we live upon the ness; mirth will be negligence, and seriousness level with the rest of mankind, we are reminded formality; when he is received with ceremony, of our duty by the admonitions of friends and redistance and respect are inculcated; if he is proaches of enemies; but men who stand in the treated with familiarity, he concludes himself highest ranks of society, seldom hear of their insulted by condescensions. It must however be confessed, that as all sud- reaches their ears, flattery is always at hand to

faults; if by any accident an opprobrious clamour den changes are dangerous, a quick transition from poverty to abundance can seldom be made pour in her opiates, to quiet conviction, and ob

tund remorse. with safety. He that has long lived within sight of pleasures which he could not reach, will need vice. Virtue can stand without assistance, and

Favour is seldom gained but by conformity in more than common moderation, not to lose his considers herself as very little obliged by counreason in unbounded riot, when they are first put tenance and approbation; but vice, spiritless into his power.

and timorous, seeks the shelter of crowds, and Every possession is endeared by novelty;

The sycophant, thereevery gratification is exaggerated by desire. It support of confederacy: is difficult not to estimate what is lately gained fore, neglects the good qualities of his patron, above its real value ; it is impossible not to annex lies, regales his reigning vanity, or stimulates his

and employs all his art on his weakness and fol. greater happiness to that condition from which we are unwillingly excluded, than nature has prevalent desires. qualified us to obtain. For this reason, the re

Virtue is sufficiently difficult with any circummote inheritor of an unexpected fortune may be stances, but the difficulty is increased when regenerally distinguished from those who are en

proof and advice are frighted away. In common riched in the common course of lineal descent, life, reason and conscience have only the appeby his greater haste to enjoy his wealth, by the tites and passions to encounter; but in higher finery of his dress, the pomp of his equipage, the

stations they must oppose

artifice and adulation. splendour of his furniture, and the luxury of his He, therefore, that yields to such temptations, table.

cannot give those who look upon his miscarriage A thousand things which familiarity discovers much reason for exultation, since few can justly to be of little value, have power for a time to presume that from the same snare they should

have been able to escape. seize the imagination. A Virginian king, when the Europeans had fixed a lock on his door, was so delighted to find his subjects admitted or excluded with such facility, that it was from morn

No. 173.]

TUESDAY, Nov. 12, 1751. ing to evening his wholé employment to turn the

-Quo virtus, quo ferat error. key. We, among whom locks and keys have

Now say, where virtue stops, and vice begins ? been longer in use, are inclined to laugh at this American amusement; yet I doubt whether this As any action or posture, long continued, will paper will have a single reader that may not distort and disfigure the limbs; so the mind apply the story to himself, and recollect some likewise is crippled and contracted by perpetual hours of his life in which he has been equally application to the same set of ideas: overpowered by the transitory charms of trifling to guess the trade of an artisan by his knees, his novelty.

fingers, or his shoulders : and there are few Some indulgence is due to him whom a happy among men of the more liberal professions, whose gale of fortune has suddenly transported into minds do not carry the brand of their calling, or new regions, where unaccustomed lustre dazzles whose conversation does not quickly discover to his eyes, and untasted delicacies solicit his appe- what class of the community they belong. tite. Let him not be considered as lost in hope These peculiarities have been of great use, in less degeneracy, though he for a while forgets the general hostility which every part of mankind the regard due to others, to indulge the contem- exercises against the rest, to furnish insults and plation of himself, and in the extravagance of his, sarcasms. Every art has its dialect, uncouth first raptures expects that his eye should regu- and ungrateful to all whom custom has not relate the motions of all that approach him, and I conciled to its sound, and which therefore be.


İt is easy

comes ridiculous by a slight misapplication, or dicted; and devote all his attention to trifles, and unnecessary repetition.

all his eloquence to compliment. The general reproach with which ignorance Students often form their notions of the present revenges the superciliousness of learning, is that generation from the writings of the past, and are of pedantry; a censure which every man incurs, very early informed of those changes which the who has at any time the misfortune to talk to gradual diffusion of knowledge, or the sudden those who cannot understand him, and by which caprice of fashion, produces in the world. Whatthe modest and timorous are sometimes frighted ever might be the state of female literature in the from the display of their acquisitions, and the ex- last century, there is now no longer any danger ertion of their powers.

lest the scholar should want an adequate audience The name of a pedant is so formidable to young at the tea-table; and whoever thinks it necessary men when they first sally from their colleges, to regulate his conversation by antiquated rules, and is so liberally scattered by those who mean will be rather despised for his futility than cato boast their elegance of education, easiness of ressed for his politeness. manners, and knowledge of the world, that it To talk intentionally in a manner above the seems to require particular consideration; since, comprehension of those whom we address, is unperhaps, if it were once understood, many a heart questionable pedantry; but surely complaisance, might be freed from painful apprehensions, and requires, that no man should, without proof, con many a tongue delivered from restraint.

clude his company incapable of following him to Pedantry is the unseasonable ostentation of the highest elevation of his fancy, or the utmost learning: It may be discovered either in the extent of his knowledge. It is always safer to choice of a subject, or in the manner of treating err in favour of others than of ourselves, and it. He is undoubtedly guilty of pedantry, who, therefore we seldom hazard much by endeavourwhen he has made himself master of some ab- | ing to excel. struse and uncultivated part of knowledge, ob It ought at least to be the care of learning, trudes his remarks and discoveries upon those when she quits her exaltation, to descend with whom he believes unable to judge of his profi- dignity. Nothing is more despicable than the ciency, and from whom, as he cannot fear con airiness and jocularity of a man bred to severe scitradiction, he cannot properly expect applause. ence, and solitary meditation. To trifle agreea

To this error the student is sometimes betrayed bly is a secret which schools cannot impart ; that by the natural recurrence of the mind to its com- gay negligence and vivacious levity, which charm mon employment, by the pleasure which every down resistance wherever they appear, are never man receives from the recollection of pleasing attainable by him who, having spent his first images, and the desire of dwelling upon topics years among the dust of libraries, enters late into on which he knows himself able to speak with the gay world with an unpliant attention and justness. But because we are seldom so far pre

established habits. judiced in favour of each other, as to search out It is observed in the panegyric on Fabricius for palliations, this failure of politeness is imputed the mechanist, that, though forced by public emalways to vanity; and the harmless collegiate, ployments into mingled conversation, he never who, perhaps, intended entertainment and in- lost the modesty and seriousness of the convent, struction, or at worst only spoke without suffi- nor drew ridicule upon himself by affected imitacient reflection upon the character of his hear- tion of fashionable life. To the same praise ers, is censured as arrogant or overbearing, and every man devoted to learning ought to aspire. eager to extend his renown, in contempt of the If he attempts the softer arts of pleasing, and enconvenience of society, and the laws of conver- deavours to learn the grateful bow and the fasation.

miliar embrace, the insinuating accent and the All discourse of which others cannot partake, general smile, he will lose the respect due to the is not only an irksome usurpation of the time de- character of learning, without arriving at the envoted to pleasure and entertainment, but, what vied honour of doing nothing with elegance and never fails to excite very keen resentment, an in- facility. solent assertion of superiority, and a triumph Theophrastus was discovered not to be a naover less enlightened understandings. The pe- tive of Athens, by so strict an adherence to the dant is, therefore, not only heard with weariness, Attic dialect, as showed that he had learned it but malignity; and those who conceive them- not by custom, but by rule. A man not early selves insulted by his knowledge, never fail to formed to habitual elegance, betrays in like mantell with acrimony how injudiciously it was ex ner the effects of his education, by an unneceserted.

sary anxiety of behaviour. It is as possible to To avoid this dangerous imputation, scholars become pedantic by fear of pedantry, as to be sometimes divest themselves with too much haste troublesome by ill-timed civility. There is no of their academical formality, and, in their endea- kind of impertinence more justly censurable, vours to accommodate their notions and their than his who is always labouring to level thoughts style to common conceptions, talk rather of any to intellects higher than his own; who apolothing than of that which they understand, and gizes for every word which his own narrowness sink into insipidity of sentiment and meanness of converse inclines him to think unusual; keeps sider argument or criticism as perpetually inter- the exuberance of his faculties under visible reof expression.

straint; is solicitous to anticipate inquiries by There prevails among men of letters an opinion, needless explanations; and endeavours to shade that all appearance of science is particularly hate- his own abilities, lest weak eyes should be daz ful to women; and that therefore, whoever de- ! zled with their lustre. sires to be well received in female assemblies, must qualify himself by a total rejection of all that is serious, rational or important; must con


Yonder he drives-avoid that furious beast:


No. 174.) SATURDAY, Nov. 15, 1751. I betrayed by confidence, whatever lapse was suf

fered by neglect, all was drawn together for the Fænum habet in cornu ; longe fuge; dummodo risum

diversion of my wild companions, who when they Ercutiat sibi, non hic cuiquam parcet amico.

had been taught the art of ridicule, never failed

to signalize themselves by a zealous imitation, If he may have his jest, he never cares

and filled the town on the ensuing day with scanAt whose expense ; nor friend nor patron spares.

dal and vexation, with merriment and shame.

I can scarcely believe, when I recollect my TO THE RAMBLER.

own practice, that. I could have been so far deMR. RAMBLER,

luded with petty praise, as to divulge the secrets The laws of social benevolence require, that of trust, and to expose the levities of frankness; every man should endeavour to assist others by to waylay the walks of the cautious, and surprise his experience. He that has at last escaped into the security of the thoughtless. Yet it is certain, port from the fluctuations of chance, and the that for many years I heard nothing but with degusts of opposition, ought to make some im- sign to tell it, and saw nothing with any other provements in the chart of life, by marking the curiosity than after some failure that might furrocks on which he has been dashed, and the nish out a jest. shallows where he has been stranded.

My heart, indeed, acquits me of deliberate maThe error into which I was betrayed, when lignity, or interested insidiousness. I had no custom first gave me up to my own direction, other purpose than to heighten the pleasure of is very frequently incident to the quick, the laughter by communication, nor ever raised any sprightly, the fearless, and the gay; to all whose pecuniary advantage from the calamities of ardour hurries them into precipitate execution of others. I led weakness and negligence into dit their designs, and imprudent declaration of their ficulties, only that I might divert myself with opinions; who seldom count the cost of plea- their perplexities and distresses; and violated sure, or examine the distant consequences of every law of friendship, with no other hope than any practice that flatters them with immediate that of gaining the reputation of smartness and gratification.

Wággery, I came forth into the crowded world with the I would not be understood to charge myself usual juvenile ambition, and desired nothing be- with any crimes of the atrocious or destructive yond the title of a wit. Money I considered as kind. I never betrayed an heir to gamesters, or below my care; for I saw such multitudes grow a girl to debauchees; never intercepted the kindrich without understanding, that I could not for- ness of a patron, or sported away the reputation bear to look on wealth as an acquisition easy to of innocence. My delight was only in petty mis. industry directed by genius, and therefore threw it chief and momentary vexations, and my acuteaside as a secondary convenience, to be procured ness was employed not upon fraud and oppreswhen my principal wish should be satisfied, and sion, which it had been meritorious to detect, my claim to intellectual excellence universally but upon harmless ignorance or absurdity, preacknowledged.

judice or mistake. With this view I regulated my behaviour in This inquiry I pursued with so much diligence public, and exercised my meditations in solitude. and sagacity, that I was able to relate, of every My life was divided between the care of provid- man whom I knew, some blunder or miscaring topics for the entertainment of my company, riage; to betray the most circumspect of my and that of collecting company worthy to be en- friends into follies, hy a judicious flattery of his tertained; for I soon found, that wit, like every predominant passion; or expose him to conother power, has its boundaries; that its success tempt, by placing him in circumstances which depends upon the aptitude of others to receive put his prejudices into action, brought to view impressions; and that as some bodies, indisso- his natural defects, or drew the attention of the luble by heat, can set the furnace and crucible at company on his airs of affectation. defiance, there are minds upon which the rays of The power had been possessed in vain if it fancy may be pointed without effect, and which had never been exerted; and it was not my cusno fire of sentiment can agitate or exalt. tom to let any arts of jocularity remain unem

It was, however, not long, before I fitted my- ployed. My. impatience of applause brought me self with a set of companions who knew how to always early to the place of entertainment; and laugh, and to whom no other recommendation I seldom failed to lay a scheme with the small was necessary than the power of striking out a knot that first gathered round me, by which jest. Among those I fixed my residence, and some of those whom we expected might be made for a time enjoyed the felicity of disturbing the subservient to our sport. Every man has some neighbours every night with the obstreperous ap- favourite topic of conversation, on which, by a plause which my sallies forced from the audience. feigned seriousness of attention, he may be drawn The reputation of our club every day increased, to expatiate without end. Every man has some and as my flights and remarks were circulated habitual contortion of body, or established mode by my admirers, every day brought new solicita- of expression, which never fails to raise mirth if tions for admission into our society.

it be pointed out to notice. By premonitions of To support this perpetual fund of merriment, these particularities I secured our pleasantry. I frequented every place of concourse, cultivated Our companion entered with his usual gayety, the acquaintance of all the fashionable race, and and began to partake of our noisy cheerfulness, passed the day in a continual succession of visits, when the conversation was imperceptibly diin which I collected a treasure of pleasantry for verted to a subject which pressed upon his tender the expenses of the evening. Whatever error of part, and extorted the expected shrug, the cusconduct I could discover, whatever peculiarity of tomary exclamation, or the predicted remark. manner I could observe, whatever weakness was [ A general clamour of joy then burst from all

that were admitted to the stratagem. Our mirth The depravity of mankind is so easily diswas often increased by the triumph of him that coverable that nothing but the desert or the cell occasioned it; for, as we do not hastily form | can exclude it from notice. The knowledge of conclusions against ourselves, seldom any one crimes intrudes uncalled and undesired. They suspected that he had exhilarated us otherwise whom their abstraction from common occur. than by his wit

rences hinders from seeing iniquity, will quickly You will hear, I believe, with very little sur- have their attention awakened by feeling it. prise that by this conduct I had in a short time Even he who ventures not into the world, may united mankind against me, and that every learn its corruption in his closet. For what are tongue was diligent in prevention or revenge. I treatises of morality, but persuasives to the pracsoon perceived myself regarded with malevo- tice of duties, for which no arguments would be lence or distrust, but wondered what had been necessary, but that we are continually tempted discovered in me either terrible or hateful. Ito violate or neglect them? What are all the had invaded no man's property ; I had rivalled records of history, but narratives of successive no man's claims; nor had ever engaged in any villanies, of treasons and usurpations, massacres, of those attempts which provoke the jealousy of and wars ? ambition, or the rage of faction. I had lived but But, perhaps, the excellence of aphorisms conto laugh, and make others laugh; and believed sists not so much in the expression of some rare that I was loved by all who caressed, and fa- or abstruse sentiment, as in the comprehension voured by all who applauded me. I never of some obvious and useful truth in a few words. imagined that he who, in the mirth of a nocturnal We frequently fall into error and folly, not berevel, concurred in ridiculing his friend, would cause the true principles of action are not known, consider in a cooler hour, that the same trick but because for a time they are not remembered; might be played against himself; or that, even and he may therefore be justly numbered among where there is no sense of danger, the natural the benefactors of mankind, who contracts the pride of human nature rises against him, who, great rules of life into short sentences, that may by general censures, lays claim to general supe- be easily impressed on the memory, and taught riority.

by frequent recollection to recur habitually to the I was convinced, by a total desertion, of the mind. impropriety of my conduct; every man avoided, However those who have passed through half and cautioned others to avoid me. Wherever I the life of man, may now wonder that any

should came, I found silence and dejection, coldness require to be cautioned against corruption, they and terror. No one would venture to speak, lest will find, that they have themselves purchased he should lay himself open to unfavourable re- their conviction by many disappointments and presentations; the company, however numerous vexations which an earlier knowledge would dropped off at my entrance, upon various pre- have spared them; and may see on every side tences; and, if I retired to avoid the shame of some entangling themselves in perplexities, and being left, I heard confidence and mirth revive some sinking into ruin, by ignorance or neglect at my departure.

of the maxim of Bias. If those whom I had thus offended could have Every day sends out, in quest of pleasure and contented themselves with repaying one insult distinction, some heir fondled in ignorance, and for another, and kept up the war only by a reci- flattered into pride. He comes forth with all the procation of sarcasms, they might have perhaps confidence of a spirit unacquainted with supevexed, but would never much have hurt me; for riors, and all the benevolence of a mind not yet no man heartily hates him at whom he can irritated by opposition, alarmed by fraud, or emlaugh. But these wounds which they give me bittered by cruelty. He loves all, because he as they fly, are without cure ; this alarm which imagines himself the universal favourite. Every they spread by their solicitude to escape me, ex- exchange of salutation produce new acquaintcludes me from all friendship and from all plea- ance, and every acquaintance kindles into sure. I am condemned to pass a long interval friendship. of my life in solitude, as a man suspected of in Every season brings a new flight of beauties fection is refused admission into cities; and must into the world, who have hitherto heard only of linger in obscurity, till my conduct shall con- their own charms, and imagine that the heart vince the world, that I may be approached with feels no passion but that of love. They are seen out hazard.

surrounded by admirers whom they credit, beDICACULUS. cause they tell them only what is heard with de

light. Whoever gazes upon them is a lover;

and whoever forces a sigh, is pining in despair. Tuesday, Nov. 19, 1751.

He surely is a useful monitor, who inculcates

to these thoughtless strangers, that the majority Rari quippe boni, numero vit sunt totidem quot

are wicked ; who informs them, that the train Thebarum porta, vel divitis ostia Nili.

which wealth and beauty draw after them is Good men are scarce, the just are thinly sown;

lured only by the scent of prey; and that, perThey thrive but ill, nor can they last when grown, haps, among all those who crowd about them And should we count them, and our store compile, with professions and flatteries, there is not one Yet Thebes more gates could show, more mouths the Nile. who does not hope for some opportunity to de

vour or betray them, to glut himself by their None of the axioms of wisdom which recom-destruction, or to share their spoils with a mend the ancient sages to veneration, seems to stronger savage. have required less extent of knowledge or per Virtue, presented singly to the imagination or spicacity of penetration, than the remark of Bias, the reason, is so well recommended by its own that ol Théoves kako, the majority are wicked. graces, and so strongly supported by arguments.

I am, &c.

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No. 175.]


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