« AnteriorContinuar »
to find it employment; the wants of nature are, tomed to refer every thing to themselves, and
to be regulated rather than extinguished ; and
Of those adscititious passions, some, as ava- forgotten. And history will inform us, that this rice and envy, are universally condemned: some, blind and undistinguishing appetite of renown has as friendship and curiosity, generally praised; always been uncertain in its effects, and directed but there are others about which the suffrages of by accident or opportunity, indifferently to the the wise are divided, and of which it is doubted, benefit or devastation of the world. When Thewhether they tend most to promote the happi- mistocles complained that the trophies of Miltianess or increase the miseries of mankind. des hindered him from sleep, he was animated by
Of this ambiguous and disputable kind is the them to perform the same services in the same love of fame, a desire of filling the minds of cause. But Cæsar, when he wept at the sight of others with admiration, and of being celebrated Alexander's picture, having no honest opportuby generations to come with praises which we nities of action, let his ambition break out to the shall not hear. This ardour has been considered ruin of his country. by some, as nothing better than splendid mad If, therefore, the love of fame is so far indulged ness, as a flame kindled by pride, and fanned by by the mind as to become independent and prefolly; for what, say they, can be more remote dominant, it is dangerous and irregular; but it from wisdom, than to direct all our actions by the may be usefully employed as an inferior and sehope of that which is not to exist till we ourselves condary motive, and will serve sometimes to reare in the grave? To pant after that which can vive our activity, when we begin to languish and never he possessed, and of which the value thus lose sight of that more certain, more valuable, and widely put upon it, arises from this particular more durable reward, which ought always to be condition, that, during life, it is not to be obtain our first hope and our last. But it must be ed? To gain the favour, and hear the applauses strongly impressed upon our minds that virtue is of our contemporaries, is indeed equally desira- not to be pursued as one of the means to fame, ble with any other prerogative of superiority, be- but fame to be accepted as the only recompense cause fame may be of use to smooth the paths of which mortals can bestow on virtue; to be aclife, to terrify opposition, and fortify tranquillity; cepted with complacence, but not sought with but to what end shall we be the darlings of man- eagerness. Simply to be remembered is novad-' kind, when we can no longer receive any bene- vantage; it is a privilege which satire as well as fits from their favour? It is more reasonable to panegyric can confer, and is not more enjoyed by wish for reputation, while it may yet be enjoyed, Titus or Constantine, than by Timocreon of as Anacreon calls upon his companions to give Rhodes, of whom we only know from his epitaph, him for present use the wine and garlands which that he had eaten many a meal, drank many a fla Chey purpose to bestow upon his tomb. gon, and uttered many a reproach.
The advocates for the love of fame allege in its | Πολλά φαγών, και πολλά πιών, και πολλά κακ' είπων vindication, that it is a passion natural and uni- 'AvOpúrovs, Krīpai Tepoxpéwv (Pódios. versal; a flame lighted by Heaven, and always burning with greatest vigour in the most en The true satisfaction which is to be drawn from larged and elevated minds. That the desire of the consciousness that we shall share the atten. being praised by posterity implies a resolution to tion of future times, must arise from the hope, deserve their praises, and that the folly charged that with our name, our virtues will be propagat upon it, is only a noble and disinterested gene- ed; and that those whom we cannot benefit in rosity, which is not felt, and therefore not un our lives, may receive instruction from our exderstond, by those who have been always accus- | amples, and incitement from our renown.
No. 50.] SATURDAY, Sept. 8, 1750.
has acquired a right to repine at the distributions
of nature ? Or, why does he imagine that exOredebant hoc grande nefas, et morte piandum, emptions should be granted him from the gene. Si juvenis vetulo non assurreierat; et si Barbato cuicunque puer,
ral condition of man? We find ourselves excited licet ipse videret Plura domi fraga, et majores glandis acervos.
rather to captiousness than pity, and instead of being in haste to soothe his complaints by sym
pathy and tenderness, we inquire, whether the And had not men the hoary head revered, And boys paid reverence when a man appear'd
pain be proportionate to the lamentation; and Both must have died, though richer skins they wore,
whether, supposing the affliction real, it is not the And saw more heaps of acorns in their store.
effect of vice and folly, rather than calamity.
The querulousness and indignation which is
observed so often to disfigure the last scene of I have always thought it the business of those life, naturally leads us to inquiries like these. who turn their speculations upon the living world, For surely it will be thought at the first view of to commend the virtues as well as to expose the things, that if age be thus contemned and ridifaults of their contemporaries, and to confute a culed, insulted and neglected, the crime must at false as well as to support a just accusation; not least be equal on either part. They who have only because it is peculiarly the business of a mo- had opportunities of establishing their authority nitor to keep his own reputation untainted, lest over minds ductile and unresisting, they who those who can once charge him with partiality, have been the protectors of helplessness, and the should indulge themselves afterwards in disbe- instructors of ignorance, and who yet retain in lieving him at pleasure; but because he may their own hands the power of wealth, and the find real crimes sufficient to give full employ- dignity of command, must defeat their influence ment to caution or repentance, without distracting by their own misconduct, and make use of all the mind by needless scruples and vain solicitudes. these advantages with very little skill, if they
There are certain fixed and stated reproaches cannot secure to themselves an appearance of that one part of mankind has in all ages thrown respect, and ward off open mockery, and declarupon another, which are regularly transmitted ed contempt. through continued successions, and which he The general story of mankind will evince, that that has once suffered them is certain to use with lawful and settled authority is very seldom rethe same undistinguishing vehemence, when he sisted when it is well employed. Gross corruphas changed his station, and gained the prescription, or evident imbecility is necessary to the suptive right of inflicting on others what he had for- pression of that reverence with which the majority merly endured himself.
of mankind look upon their governors; on those To these hereditary imputations, of which no whom they see surrounded by splendour, and forman sees the justice, till it becomes his interest tified by power. For though men are drawn by to see it, very little regard is to be shown; since their passions into forgetfulness of invisible reit does not appear that they are produced by ra- wards and punishments, yet they are easily kept tiocination or inquiry, but received implicitly, or obedient to those who have temporal dominion caught by a kind of instantaneous contagion and in their hands, till their veneration dissipated supported rather by willingness to credit, than by such wickedness and folly as can neither be ability to prove them.
defended nor concealed. It has been always the practice of those who It may, therefore, very reasonably be suspectare desirous to believe themselves made venera-ed that the old draw upon themselves the greatble by length of time, to censure the new comers est part of those insults which they so much into life, for want of respect to gray hairs and lament, and that age is rarely despised but when sage experience, for heady confidence in their it is contemptible. If men imagine that excess own understandings, for hásty conclusions upon of debauchery can be made reverend by time, partial views, for disregard of counsels, which that knowledge is the consequence of long life, their fathers and grandsires are ready to afford however idly and thoughtlessly employed, that them, and a rebellious impatience of that subor- priority of birth will supply the want of steadi dination to which youth is condemned by na ness or honesty, can it raise much wonder that ture, as necessary to its security from evils into their hopes are disappointed, and that they see which it would be otherwise precipitated, by the their posterity rather willing to trust their own rashness of passion, and the blindness of igno- eyes in their progress into life, than enlist them
selves under guides who have lost their way? Every old man complains of the growing de There are, indeed, many truths which time pravity of the world, of the petulance and inso- necessarily and certainly teaches, and which sence of the rising generation. He recounts the might, by those who have learned them from ex decency and regularity of former times, and cele- perience, be communicated to their successors at brates the discipline and sobriety of the age in a cheaper rate; but dictates, though liberally which his youth was passed ; a happy age, which enough þestowed, are generally without effect, is now no more to be expected, since confusion the teacher gains few proselytos by instruction has broken in upon the world and thrown down which his own behaviour contradicts; and young all the boundaries of civility and reverence. men miss the benefit of counsel, because they are
It is not sufficiently considered how much he not very ready to believe that those who fail beassumes who dares to claim the privilege of com-low them in practice, can much excel them in plaining; for as every man has, in his own opinion, theory. Thus the progress of knowledge is rea full share of the miseries of life, he is inclined to tarded, the world is kept long in the same state consider all clamorous uneasiness as a proof of and every new race is to gain the prudence of impatience rather than of affliction, and to ask, their predecessors by committing and redressing What merit has this man to show, by which he the same miscarriages.
To secure to the old that influence which they | account of my entertainment in this sober seasor are willing to claim, and which might so much of universal 'retreat, and to describe to you the contribute to the improvement of the arts of life, employments of those who look with contempt it is absolutely necessary that they give them on the pleasures and diversions of polite life, and selves up to the duties of declining years; and employ all their powers of censure and invective contentedly resign to youth its levity, its plea- upon the uselessness, vanity, and folly, of dress, sures, its frolics, and its fopperies. It is a hope- visits, and conversation. less endeavour to unite the contrarieties of spring When a tiresome and vexatious journey of and winter; it is unjust to claim the privileges of four days had brought me to the house, where age, and retain the playthings of childhood. The invitation, regularly sent for seven years togeyoung always form magnificent ideas of the wis- ther, had at last induced me to pass the summer, dom and gravity of men, whom they consider as I was surprised, after the civilities of my first replaced at a distance from them in the ranks of ex- ception, to find, instead of the leisure and tranistence, and naturally look on those whom they quillity, which a rural life always promises, and, find trifling with long beards with contempt and it well conducted, might always afford, a confusindignation, like that which women feel at the ed wildness of care, and a tumultuous hurry of effeminacy of men. If dotards will contend with diligence, by which every face was clouded, and boys in those performances in which boys must every motion agitated. The old lady, who was always excel them; if they will dress crippled my father's relation, was, indeed, very full of the limbs in embroidery, endeavour at gayety with happiness which she received from my visit, and faltering voices, and darken assemblies of plea- according to the forms of obsolete breeding, in sure with the ghastliness of disease, they may sisted that I should recompense the long delay well expect those who find their diversions ob- of my company with a promise not to leave her till structed will hoot them away; and that if they winter. But, amidst all her kindness and caressdescend to competition, with youth, they must es, she very frequently turned her head aside, and hear the insolence of successful rivals.
whispered, with anxious earnestness, some order
to her daughters, which never failed to send them Lusisti satis, edisti satis, atque bibisti :
out with unpolite precipitation. Sometimes her Tempus abire tibi est.
impatience would not suffer her to stay behind, You've had your share of mirth, of meat and drink;
she begged my pardon, she must leave me for a 'Tis time to quit the scene--'tis time to think. moment; she went, and returned and sat down
again, but was again disturbed by some new
care, dismissed her daughters with the same tre Another vice of age, by which the rising gene- pidation, and followed them with the same coun ration may be alienated from it, is severity and tenance of business and solicitude. censoriousness, that gives no allowance to the However I was alarmed at this show of eager failings of early life, that expects artfulness from ness and disturbance, and however my curiosity childhood and constancy from youth, that is pe- was excited by such busy preparations as naturemptory in every command, and inexorable to rally promised some great event, I was yet tog every failure. There are many who live merely much a stranger to gratify myself with inquiries; to hinder happiness, and whose descendants can but finding none of the family in mourning, only tell of long life, that it produces suspicion, pleased myself with imagining that I should malignity, peevishness, and persecution : and rather see a wedding than a funeral. yet even these tyrants can talk of the ingratitude At last we sat down to supper, when I was inof the age, curse their heirs for impatience, and formed that one of the young ladies, after whom wonder that young men cannot take pleasure in I thought myself obliged to inquire, was under a their father's company.
necessity of attending some affair that could not He that would pass the latter part of life with be neglected: soon afterward my relation began honour and decency, must, when he is young, to talk of the regularity of her family, and the consider that he shall one day be old; and re-inconvenience of London hours; and at last let member, when he is old, that he has once been me know that they had purposed that night to young. In youth he must lay up knowledge for go to bed sooner than was usual, because they his support
, when his powers of acting shall for- were to rise early in the morning to make cheesesake him; and in age forbear to animadvertcakes. This hint sent me to my chamber, to with rigour on faults which experience only can which I was accompanied by all the ladies, who correct.
begged me to excuse some large sieves of leaves
for they intended to distil them when they were No. 51.] TUESDAY, Sept. 11, 1750.
dry, and they had no other room that so conveni
ently received the rising sun. -Stultus labor est eneptiarum.
The scent of the plants hindered me from rest, and therefore I rose early in the morni
with a Ilow foolish is the toil of trifling cares !
resolution to explore my new habitation. I stole
unperceived by my busy cousins into the garden, TO THE RAMBLER.
where I found nothing either more great or elem
gant, than in the same number of acres cultivated Sir,
for the market. Of the gardener I soon learned As
you have allowed a place in your paper to that his lady was the greatest manager in that Euphelia's letters from the country, and appear part of the country, and that I was come hither to think no form of human life unworthy of your at the time in which I might learn to make more attention, I have resolved, after many struggles pickles and conserves, than could be seen at any with idleness and diffidence, to give you some l other house a hundred miles round.
It was not long before her ladyship gave me yet persuaded herself to discover, but seems re sufficient opportunities of knowing her character, solved that secret shall perish with her, as some for she was too much pleased with her own ac- alchymists have obstinately suppressed the art of complishments to conceal them, and took occa- transmuting metals. sion, from some sweetmeats which she set next I once ventured to lay my fingers on her book day upon the table, to discourse for two long of receipts, which she left upon the table, having hours upon robs and gellies ; laid down the best intelligence that a vessel of gooseberry wine had methods of conserving, reserving, and preserving burst the hoops. But though the importance of all sorts of fruit; told us with great contempt of the event sufficiently engrossed her care, to prethe London lady in the neighbourhood, by whom vent any recollection of the danger to which her these terms were very often confounded; and secrets were exposed, I was not able to make use hinted how much she should be ashamed to set of the golden moments; for this treasure of herebefore company, at her own house, sweetmeats ditary knowledge was so well concealed by the of so dark a colour as she had often seen at Mis- manner of spelling used by her grandmother, ber tress Sprightly's.
mother, and herself, that I was totally unable to It is, indeed, the great business of her life, to understand it, and lost the opportunity of con watch the skillet on the fire, to see it simmer with sulting the oracle, for want of knowing the lan the due degree of heat, and to snatch it off at guage in which its answers were returned. the moment of projection; and the employments It is, indeed, necessary, if I have any regard to to which she has bred her daughters, are to turn her ladyship’s esteem, that I should apply myselt rose-leaves in the shade, to pick out the seeds of to some of these economical accomplishments currants with a quill, to gather fruit without bruis- for I overheard her two days ago, warning her ing it, and to extract beau-flower water for the daughters, by my mournful example, against neskin. Such are the tasks with which every day, gligence of pastry, and ignorance in carving; for since I came hither, has begun and ended, to you saw, said she, that, with all her pretensions which the early hours of life are sacrificed, and to knowledge, she turned the partridge the wrong in which that time is passing away which never way when she attempted to cut it, and, I believe shall return.
scarcely knows the difference between paste rais But to reason or expostulate are hopeless at- ed, and paste in a dish. tempts. The lady has settled her opinions, and The reason, Mr. Rambler, why I have laid maintains the dignity of her own performances Lady Bustle's character before you, is a desire to with all the firinness of stupidity accustomed to be informed whether, in your opinion, it is wor be flattered. Her daughters having never seen thy of imitation, and whether I shall throw away any house but their own, believe their mother's the books which I have hitherto thought it my excellence on her own word. Her husband is a duty to read, for the lady's closet opened, the commere sportsman, who is pleased to see his table plete servant maid, and the court cook, and resign well furnished, and thinks the day sufficiently all curiosity after right and wrong, for the art of successful, in which he brings home a leash of scalding damascenes, without bursting them, and hares to be potted by his wife.
preserving the whiteness of pickled mushrooms. After a few days I pretended to want hooks, Lady Bustle has, indeed, by this incessant ap out my lady soon told me that none of her books plication to fruits and flowers, contracted her would suit my taste; for her part she never loved cares into a narrow space, and set herself free to see young women give their minds to such fol- from many perplexities with which other minds lies, by which they would only learn to use hard are disturbed. She has no curiosity after the words; she bred up her daughters to understand events of a war, or the fate of heroes in distress; a house, and whoever should marry them, if they she can hear, without the least emotion, the raknew any thing of good cookery, would never vage of a fire, or devastations of a storm; her repent it.
neighbours grow rich or poor, come into the world There are, however, some things in the culi- or go out of it, without regard, while she is pressnary science too sublime for youthful intellects, ing the jelly-bag, or airing the store-room; but I mysteries into which they must not be initiated cannot perceive that she is more free from distill the years of serious maturity, and which are quiets than those whose understandings take a referred to the day of marriage, as the supreme wider range. Her marigolds, when they are qualification for connubial life. She makes an almost cured, are often scattered by the wind, orange pudding, which is the envy of all the and the rain sometimes falls upon fruit when it neighbourhood, and which she has hitherto found ought to be gathered dry. While her artificial means of mixing and baking with such secrecy, wines are fermenting, her whole life is restlessthat the ingredient to which it owes its flavour ness and anxiety. Her sweetreats are not has never been discovered. She indeed, con- | always bright, and the maid sometimes forgets ducts this great affair with all the caution that the just proportions of salt and pepper, when venihuman policy can suggest. It is never known son is to be baked. Her conserves mould, her beforehand when this pudding will be produced; | wines sour, and pickles mother; and, like all the she takes the ingredients privately into her own rest of mankind, she is every day mortified with closet, employs her maids and daughters in dif- the defeat of her schemes, and the disappointferent parts of the house, orders the oven to be ment of her hopes. heated for a pie, and places the pudding in it With regard to vice and virtue she seems a with her own hands, the mouth of the oven is kind of neutral being. She has no crime but luxuthen stopped, and all inquiries are vain. ry, nor any virtue but chastity; she has no desire
The composition of the pudding she has, how to be praised but for her cookery; nor wishes any ever, promised Clarinda, that if she pleases her ill to the rest of mankind, but that whenever they in marriage, she shall be told without reserve. aspire to a feast, their custards may be wheyitl., But the art of making English capers she has not and their pie-crusts tough.
I am now very impatient to know whether I | It is, perhaps, not immediately obvious, how it am to look on these ladies as the great patterns can lull the memory of misfortune, or appease of our sex, and to consider conserves and pickles the throbbings of anguish, to hear that others are as the business of my life; whether the censures more miserable; others, perhaps, unknown or which I now suffer be just, and whether the brew- wholly indifferent, whose prosperity raises no ers of wines, and the distillers of washes, have a envy, and whose fall can gratify no resentment right to look with insolence on the weakness of Some topics of comfort arising, like that which
CORNELIA. gave hope and spirit to the captive of Sesostris,
from the perpetual vicissitudes of life, and muta
bility of human affairs, mayas properly raise the No, 52.] SATURDAY, Sept. 15, 1750.
dejected as depress the proud, and have an im
mediate tendency to exhilarate and revive. But -Quoties flenti Theseius heros
how can it avail the man who languishes in the Siste modum, dirit neque enim fortuna querendu gloom of sorrow without prospect of emerging Sola tua est, similes aliorum respice casus,
into the sunshine of cheerfulness, to hear that Mitius ista feres.
others are sunk yet deeper in the dungeon of How oft in vain the son of Theseus said,
misery, shackled with heavier chains, and surThe stormy 'sorrows be with patience laid;
rounded with darker desperation? Nor are thy fortunes to be wept alone;
The solace arising from this consideration, Weigh other's woes, and learn to bear thy own.
seems indeed the weakest of all others, and is
perhaps never properly applied, but in cases Among the various methods of consolation, to where there is no place for reflections of more which the miseries inseparable from our present speedy and pleasing efficacy. But even from such state have given occasion, it has been, as I have calamities life is by no means free; a thousand already remarked, recommended by some writers ills incurable, a thousand losses irreparable, a to put the sufferer in mind of heavier pressures, thousand difficulties insurmountable, are known, and more excruciating calamities, than those of or will be known, by all the sons of men. Native which he has himself reason to complain. deformity cannot be rectified, a dead friend can.
This has, in all ages, been directed and prac- not return, and the hours of youth trified away tised; and, in conformity to this custom, Lipsius, in folly, or lost in sickness, cannot be restored. the great modern master of the Stoic philosophy, Under the oppression of such melancholy, it has, in his celebrated treatise on steadiness of has been found useful to take a survey of the mind, endeavoured to fortify the breast against world, to contemplate the various scenes of distoo much sensibility of misfortune, by enumerat- tress in which mankind are struggling round us, ing the evils which have in former ages fallen and acquaint ourselves with the terribiles visu forupon the world, the devastation of wide-extended mæ, the various shapes of misery, which make regions, the sack of cities, and massacre of na- havoc of terrestrial happiness, range all corners tions. And the common voice of the multitude almost without restraint, trample down our hopes uninstructed by precept, and unprejudiced by au- at the hour of harvest, and, when we have built thority, which, in questions that relate to the our schemes to the top, ruin their foundations. heart of man, is, in my opinion, more decisive The first effect of this meditation is, that it than the learning of Lipsius, seems to justify the furnishes a new employment for the mind, and efficacy of this procedure; for one of the first engages the passions on remoter objects; as kings comforts which one neighbour administers to ano- have sometimes freed themselves from a subject ther, is a relation of the like infelicity, combined too haughty to be governed, and too powerful to with circumstances of greater bitterness. be crushed, by posting him in a distant province,
But this medicine of the mind is like many re- till his popularity has subsided or his pride been medies applied to the body, of which, though we repressed. The attention is dissipated by variesee the effects, we are unacquainted with the ty, and acts more weakly upon any single part, manner of operation, and of which, therefore, as that torrent may be drawn off to different chansome, who are unwilling to suppose any thing nels, which, pouring down in one collected body, out of the reach of their own sagacity, have been cannot be resisted. This species of comfort is, inclined to doubt whether they have really those therefore, unavailing, in severe paroxysms of corvirtues for which they are celebrated, and whether poreal pain, when the mind is every instant calltheir reputation is not the mere gift of fancy, pre-ed back to misery, and in the first shoek of any judice, and credulity.
sudden evil; but will certainly be of use against Consolation, or comfort
, are words which, in encroaching melancholy, and a settled habit of their proper acceptation, signify some alleviation gloomy thoughts. of that pain to which it is not in our power to af It is further advantageous, as it supplies us ford the proper and adequate remedy; they im- with opportunities of making comparisons in our ply rather an augmentation of the power of bear- own favour. We know that very little of the ing than a diminution of the burden. A prison- pain, or pleasure, which does not begin and end er is relieved by him that sets him at liberty, but in our senses, is otherwise than relative; we are receives comfort from such as suggest considera- rich or poor, great or little, in proportion to the tions by which he is made patient under the in- number that excel us, or fall beneath us, in any convenience of confinement. To that grief which of these respects; and, therefore, a man, whose arises from a great loss, he only brings the true uneasiness arises from reflection on any misforremedy who makes his friend's condition the tune that throws him below those with whom he same as before ; but he may be properly termed was once equal, is comforted by finding that he a comforter, who by persuasion extenuates the is not yet the lowest. pain of poverty, and shows in the style of Hesiod, There is another kind of comparison, less tendthat half is more than the whole.
ing towards the vice of envy, very well illustrated