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by an old poet,* whose system will not afford Against other evils the heart is often hardened many reasonable motives to content. “It is,” by true or by false notions of dignity and reputasays he, "pleasing to look from shore upon the tion; thus we see dangers of every kind faced tumults of a storm, and to see a ship struggling with willingness, because bravery in a good or with the billows; it is pleasing, not because the bad cause is never without its encomiasts and adpain of another can give us delight, but because mirers. But in the prospect of poverty, there is we have a stronger impression of the happiness nothing but gloom and melancholy; the mind of safety.” Thus, when we look abroad, and and body suffer together; its miseries bring no behold the multitudes that are groaning under alleviations; it is a state in which every virtue is evils heavier than those which we have experi- obscured, and in which no conduct can avoid reenced, we shrink back to our own state, and in- proach; a state in which cheerfulness is insenstead of repining that so much must be felt
, learn sibility, and dejection sullenness, of which the to rejoice that we have not more to feel. hardships are without honour, and the labours
By this observation of the miseries of others, without reward. fortitude is strengthened, and the mind brought to Of these calamities there seems not to be wanta more extensive knowledge of her own powers. ing a general conviction; we hear on every side As the heroes of action catch the flame from one the noise of trade, and see the streets thronged to another, so they, to whom Providence has al- with numberless multitudes, whose faces are lotted the harder task of suffering with calmness clouded with anxiety, and whose steps are hurand dignity, may arimate themselves by the re- ried by precipitation, from no other motive than membrance of those evils which have been laid on the hope of gain; and the whole world is put in others, perhaps naturally as weak as themselves, motion, by the desire of that wealth, which is and bear up with vigour and resolution against chiefly to be valued as it secures us from povertheir own oppressions, when they see it possible ty; for it is more useful for defence than acquisithat more severe afflictions may be borne. tion, and is not so much able to procure good as
There is still another reason why, to many to exclude evil. minds, the relation of other men's infelicity may Yet there are always some whose passions or give a lasting and continual relief. Some, not follies lead them to a conduct opposite to the gewell instructed in the measures by which Provi- neral maxims and practice of mankind; some who dence distributes happiness, are perhaps misled seem to rush upon poverty with the same eagerby divines, who, as Bellarmine makes temporal ness with which others avoid it, who see their prosperity one of the characters of the true church, revenues hourly lessened, and the estates which have represented wealth and ease as the certain they inherit from their ancestors mouldering concomitants of virtue, and the unfailing result of away, without resolution to change their course the Divine approbation. Such sufferers are de- of life ; who persevere against all remonstrances, jected in their misfortunes, not so much for what and go forward with full career, though they see they feel, as for what they dread; not because before them the precipice of destruction. they cannot support the sorrows, or endure the It is not my purpose in this paper, to expostuwants, of their present condition, but because late with such as ruin their fortunes by expensive they consider them as only the beginnings of schemes of buildings and gardens, which they more sharp and more lasting pains. To these carry on with the same vanity that prompted them mourners it is an act of the highest charity to re- to begin, choosing, as it happens in a thousand present the calamities which not only virtue has other cases, the remote evil before the lighter, and suffered, but virtue has incurred; to inform them deferring the shame of repentance till they incur that one evidence of a future state, is the uncer- the miseries of distress. Those for whom I intainty of any present reward for goodness; and tend my present admonitions, are the thoughtto remind them, from the highest authority, of the less, the negligent, and the dissolute, who having, distresses and penury of men of whom the world by the viciousness of their own inclinations, or was not worthy.
the seducements of alluring companions, been engaged in habits of expense, and accustomed to move in a certain round of pleasures dispropor
tioned to their condition, are without power to No. 53.] Tuesday, Sept. 18, 1750.
extricate themselves from the enchantments of
customs, avoid the thought because they know it Φείδεο των κτεανών. .
will be painful, and continue from day to day, Husband thy possessions.
and from month to month, to anticipate their re
venues, and sink every hour deeper into the gulfs There is scarcely among the evils of human life of usury and extortion. any so generally dreaded as poverty. Every This folly has less claim to pity, because it canother species of misery, those, who are not much not be imputed to the vehemence of sudden pasaccustomed to disturb the present moment with sion; nor can the mischief which it produces be reflection, can easily forget, because it is not al- extenuated as the effect of any single act, which ways forced upon their regard; but it is impos- rage, or desire, might execute before there could sible to pass a day or an hour in the confluxes of be time for an appeal to reason. These men are men, without seeing how much indigence is ex- advancing towards misery by soft approaches, posed to contumely, neglect, and insult ; and, in and destroying themselves, not by the violence its lowest state, to hunger and nakedness; to in- of a blow, which when once given, can never be juries against which every passion is in arms, and recalled, but by a slow poison, hourly repeated, to wants which nature cannot sustain.
and obstinately continued.
This conduct is so absurd when it is examined
by the unprejudiced eye of rational judgment, Lucretius.-C.
that nothing but experience could evince its pos.
sibility; yet absurd as it is, the sudden fall of some excesses, wantoned in greater abundance, and
may be generally remarked of those who squanIt is the fate of almost every passion, when it der what they know their fortune not sufficient nas passed the bounds which nature prescribes, to allow, that in their most jovial expense, there to counteract its own purpose. Too much rage always breaks out some proof of discontent and hinders the warrior from circumspection, too much impatience; they either scatter with a kind of wild eagerness of profit hurts the credit of the trader, desperation, and affected lavishness, as criminals too much ardour takes away from the lover that brave the gallows when they cannot escape it, easiness of address with which ladies are delight or pay their money with a peevish anxiety, and ed. Thus extravagance, though dictated by va- endeavour at once to spend idly, and to save nity, and incited by voluptuousness, seldom pro- meanly: having neither firmness to deny their cures ultimately either applause or pleasure. passions, nor courage to gratify them, they mur
If praise be justly estimated by the character mur at their own enjoyments, and poison the
misery and regret. In a short time the creditor
Locas sub ipsum funus ; et sepulchri Such is the praise that is purchased by prodi
Immemor, struis domos. gality. Even when it is yet not discovered to be
Day presses on the heels of day, false, it is the praise only of those whom it is re And moons increase to their decay ; proachful to please, and whose sincerity is cor But you, with thoughtless pride elate, rupted by their interest; men who live by the
Unconscious of impending fate, riots which they encourage, and who know that
Command the pillar'd dome to rise,
When lo! thy tomb forgotten lies.-FRANCIS whenever their
pupil grows wise, they shall lose their power. Yet with such flatteries, if they
TO THE RAMBLER could last, might the cravings of vanity, which is seldom very delicate, be satisfied; but the time is Sir, always hastening forward when this triumph, I have lately been called, from a mingled life poor as it is, shall vanish, and when those who of business and amusement, to attend the last now surround him with obsequiousness and com- hours of an old friend; an office which has filled pliments, fawn among his equipage, and animate me, if not with melancholy, at least with serious his riots, shall turn upon him with insolence, and reflections, and turned my thoughts towards the reproach him with the vices promoted by them- contemplation of those subjects, which though of selves.
the utmost importance, and of indubitable cerAnd as little pretensions has the man who tainty, are generally secluded from our regard, by squanders his estate, hy vain or vicious expenses the jollity of health, the hurry of employment, and to greater degrees of pleasure than are obtained even by the calmer diversions of study and speculaby others. To make any happiness sincere, it is tion; or if they become accidental topics of connecessary that we believe it to be lasting; since versation and argument, yet rarely sink deep into whatever we suppose ourselves in danger of the heart, but give occasion only to some subtillosing, must be enjoyed with solicitude and un- ties of reasoning, or elegances of declamation, easiness, and the more value we set upon it, the which are heard, applauded, and forgotten. more must the present possession be embittered. It is, indeed, not hard to conceive how a man How can he then be envied for his felicity, who accustomed to extend his views through a long knows that its continuance cannot be expected, concatenation of causes and effects, to trace and who is conscious that a very short time will things from their origin to their period, and com give him up to the gripe of poverty, which will be pare means with ends, may discover the weakharder to be borne, as he has given way to more ness of human schemes; detery, the fallacies by
Tu secanda marmora
which mortals are deluded; show the insufficien- upon another, authority which shall this night cy of wealth, honours, and power, to real happi- expire for ever, and praise which, however meritness; and please himself
, and his auditors, with ed, or however sincere, shall, after a few molearned lectures on the vanity of life.
ments, be heard no more. But though the speculatist may see and show In those hours of seriousness and wisdom, nothe folly of terrestrial hopes, fears, and desires, thing appeared to raise his spirits, or gladden his every hour will give proofs that he never felt it
. heart, but the recollection of acts of goodness; Trace him through the day or year, and you will nor to excite his attention, but some opportunity find him acting upon principles which he has in for the exercise of the duties of religion. Every common with the illiterate and unenlightened, thing that terminated on this side of the grave angry and pleased, like the lowest of the vulgar, was received with coldness and indifference, and pursuing with the same ardour, the same de regarded rather in consequence of the habit of signs, grasping, with all the eagerness of trans- valuing it, than from any opinion that it deserved port, those riches which he knows he cannot value; it had little more prevalence over his keep, and swelling with the applause which he mind than a bubble that was now broken, a has gained by proving that applause is of no value. dream from which he was awake. His whole
The only conviction that rushes upon the soul, powers were engrossed by the consideration of and takes away from our appetites and passions another state, and all conversation was tedious, the power of resistance, is to be found, where I that had not some tendency to disengage him have received it, at the bed of a dying friend. from human affairs, and open his prospects into To enter this school of wisdom is not the peculiar futurity. privilege of geometricians; the most sublime and
It is now past; we have closed his
and important precepts require no uncommon oppor- heard him breathe the groan of expiration. At tunities, nor laborious preparations; they are en- the sight of this last conflict, I felt a sensation forced without the aid of eloquence, and under- never known to me before; a confusion of passtood without skill in analytic science. Every sions, an awful stillness of sorrow, a gloomy tertongue can utter them, and every understanding ror without a name. The thoughts that entered can conceive them. He that wishes in earnest my soul were too strong to be diverted, and too to obtain just sentiments concerning his condi- piercing to be endured; but such violence cantion, and would be intimately acquainted with not be lasting, the storm subsided in a short time, the world, may find instructions on every side. I wept, retired, and grew calm. He that desires to enter behind the scene, which I have from that time frequently revolved in every art has been employed to decorate, and my mind the effects which the observation of every passion labours to illuminate, and wishes death produces, in those who are not wholly to see life stripped of those ornaments which without the power and use of reflection ; for by make it glitter on the stage, and exposed in its far the greater part it is wholly unregarded. natural meanness, impotence, and nakedness, Their friends and their enemies sink into the may find all the delusion laid open in the cham- grave without raising any uncommon emotion, ber of disease: he will there find vanity divested or reminding them that they are themselves on of her robes, power deprived of her sceptre, and the edge of the precipice, and that they must hypocrisy without her mask.
soon plunge into the gulf of eternity. The friend whom I have lost was a man emi It seems to me remarkable that death increases nent for genius, and, like others of the same our veneration for the good, and extenuates our class, sufficiently pleased with acceptance and ap- hatred of the bad. Those virtues which once we plause. Being caressed by those who have pre- envied, as Horace observes, because they eclipsed ferments and riches in their disposal, he consider our own, can now no longer obstruct our reputaed himself as in the direct road of advancement, tion, and we have therefore no interest to sup and had caught the flame of ambition by ap- press their praise. That wickedness, which we proaches to its object. But in the midst of his feared for its malignity, is now become impohopes, his projects, and his gayeties, he was tent, and the man whose name filled us with seized by a lingering disease, which, from its first alarm, and rage, and indignation, can at last be stage, he knew to be incurable. Here was an considered only with pity or contempt. end of all his visions of greatness and happi
When a friend is carried to his grave, we al ness; from the first hour that his health declined, once find excuses for every weakness, and palli all his former pleasures grew tasteless. His ations of every fault; we recollect a thousand en friends expected to please him by those accounts dearments, which before glided off our minds of the growth of his reputation, which were for- without impression, a thousand favours unremerly certain of being well received ; but they paid, a thousand duties unperformed, and wislı, soon found how litde he was now affected by vainly wish, for his return, not so much that we compliments, and how yainly they attempted, by may receive, as that we may bestow, happiness, flattery, to exhilarate the languor of weakness, and recompense that kindness which before we and relieve the solicitude of approaching death. never understood. Whoever would know how much piety and vir There is not, perhaps, to a niind well instructtue surpass all external goods, might here have ed, a more painful occurrence than the death of seen them weighed against each other, where all one whom we have injured without reparation. that gives motion to the active, and elevation to Our crime seems now irretrievable, it is indelibly the eminent, all that sparkles in the eye of hope, recorded, and the stamp of fate is fixed upon
it. and pants in the bosom of suspicion, at once be- We consider, with the most affictive anguish, came dust in the balance, without weight and the pain which we have given, and now cannot without regard. Riches, authority, and praise, alleviate, and the losses which we have causea, lose all their influence when they are considered and now cannot repair. as riches which to-morrow shall be bestowed Of the same kind are the enotions which the
death of an emulator or competitor produces. I expect, at least that you will divest yourself of
time, all the sorrow which nature calls forth, upon
the final separation of persons dear to one anoTune etiam morieris ? Ah! quid me linquis, Erasme, ther; and as her grief was exhausted by its own Ante meus quam sit conciliatus amor?
violence, it subsided into tenderness for me and Art thou too fallen ? ere anger could subside
my brother, and the year of mourning was spent And love return, has great Ercsmus died ?
in caresses, consolations, and instruction, in cele
bration of my father's virtues, in professions of Such are the sentiments with which we finally perpetual regard to his memory, and hourly inreview the effects of passion, but which wesome-stances of such fondness as gratitude will not times delay till we can no longer rectify our er- easily suffer me to forget. cors. Let us therefore make haste to do what But when the term of this mournful felicity was we shall certainly at last wish to have done; let expired, and my mother appeared again without as return the caresses of our friends, and endea- the ensigns of sorrow, the ladies of her acquaintvour by mutual endearments to heighten that ance began to tell her, upon whatever motives, tenderness which is the balm of life. Let us be that it was time to live like the rest of the world; quick to repent of injuries while repentance may a powerful argument, which is seldom used to a not be a barren anguish, and let us open our eyes woman without effect. Lady Giddy was incesto every rival excellence, and pay early and will-santly relating the occurrences of the town, and ingly those honours which justice will compel us Mrs. Gravely told her privately, with great ten to pay at last.
derness, that it began to be publicly observed how
her acquaintance suspected her hope of procur-
that appearance of tenderness and piety.
All the officiousness of kindness and foll
busied to change her conduct. She was at one Maturo propior desine funeri Inter ludere virgines,
time alarmed with censure, and at another fired Et stellis nebulam spargere candidis :
with praise. She was told of balls, where others Non siquid Pholoen satis
shone only because she was absent; of new Et te, Chlori, decet.
comedies, to which all the town was crowding;
and of many ingenious ironies, by which domesNow near to death that comes but slow, Now thou art stepping down below;
tic diligence was made contemptible, Sport not amongst the blooming maids,
It is difficult for virtue to stand alone against But think on ghosts and empty shades:
fear on one side, and pleasure on the other; What suits with Pholoe in her bloom,
especially when no actual crime is proposed, and Gray Chloris, will not thee become; A bed is different from a tomb.
prudence itself can suggest many reasons for re
laxation and indulgence. My mamma was at TO THE RAMBLER.
last persuaded to accompany Miss Giddy to a
play. She was received with a boundless proSIR,
fusion of compliments, and attended home by a I have been but a little time conversant in the very fine gentleman. Next day she was with less worid, yet I have already had frequent oppor- difficulty prevailed on to play at Mrs. Gravely's, tunities of observing the little eficacy of remon- and came home gay and lively; for the distincstrance and complaint, which, however extorted tions that had been paid her awakened her vaniby oppression, or supported by reason, are de- ty, and good luck had kept her principles of frutested by one part of the world as rebellion, cen- gality from giving her disturbance. She now sured by another as peevishness, by some heard made her second entrance into the world, and with an appearance of compassion, only to be her friends were sufficiently industrious to pretray any of those sallies of vehemence and re- vent any return to her former life; every morning sentment, which are apt to break out upon en- brought messages of invitation, and every evencouragement, and by others passed over with in- ing was passed in places of diversion, from which difference and neglect, as matters in which they she for some time complained that she had rather have no concern, and which, if they should endea- be absent. In a short time she began to feel the vour to examine or regulate, they might draw happiness of acting without control, of being unmischief upon themselves.
accountable for her hours, her expenses, and her Yet since it is no less natural for those who company; and learned by degrees to drop an think themselves injured to complain, than for expression of contempt, or pity, at the mention others to neglect their complaints, I shall venture of ladies whose husbands were suspected of re. to lay my case before you, in hopes that you will straining their pleasures, or their play, and conenforce my opinion, if you think it just, or endea- fessed that she loved to go and come as she pleased vour to rectify my sentiments, if I am mistaken. I was still favoured with some incidental pre
cepts and transient endearments, and was now | picion, you will readily believe that it is difficult and then fondly kissed for smiling like my papa: to please. Every word and look is an offence. but most part of her morning was spent in com- I never speak, but I pretend to some qualities paring the opinion of her maid and milliner, con- and excellences, which it is criminal to possess; triving some variation in her dress, visiting shops, if I am gay, she thinks it early enough to coand sending compliments; and the rest of the quette ; if I am grave, she hates a prude in bibs; day was too short for visits, cards, plays, and if I venture into company, I am in haste for a concerts.
husband; if I retire to my chamber, such matronShe now began to discover that it was impos-like ladies are lovers of contemplation. I am on sible to educate children properly at home. Pa- one pretence or other generally excluded from rents could not have them always in their sight; her assemblies, nor am I ever suffered to visit at the society of servants was contagious; company the same place with my mamma. Every one produced boldness and spirit; emulation excited wonders why she does not bring Miss more into industry; and a large school was naturally the the world, and when she comes home in vapours, first step into the open world. A thousand other I am certain that she has heard either of my reasons she alleged, some of little force in them- beauty or my wit, and expect nothing for the enselves, but so well seconded by pleasure, vanity, suing week but taunts and menaces, contradicand idleness, that they soon overcame all the re- tion and reproaches. maining principles of kindness and piety, and Thus I live in a state of continual persecution, both I and my brother were despatched to board-only because I was born ten years too soon, and ing schools.
cannot stop the course of nature or of time, but How my mamma spent her time when she was am unhappily a woman before my mother can thus disburdened I am not able to inform you, willingly cease to be a girl. I believe you
would but I have reason to believe that trifles and amuse-contribute to the happiness of many families, it, ments took still faster hold of her heart. At by any arguments or persuasions, you could first, she visited me at school, and afterwards make mothers ashamed of rivalling their children; wrote to me; but, in a short time, both her visits if you could show them, that though they may reand her letters were at an end, and no other no- fuse to grow wise, they must inevitably grow old; tice was taken of me than to remit money for my and that the proper solaces of age are not music support.
and compliments, but wisdom and devotion; When I came home at the vacation, I found that those who are so unwilling to quit the world myself coldly received, with an observation, “ that will soon be driven from it; and that it is therethis girl will presently be a woman.” I was, fore their interest to retire while there yet remain after the usual stay, sent to school again, and a few hours for nobler employments. overheard my mother say, as I was a-going,
I am, &c. "Well, now I shall recover."
In six months more I came again, and with
Valeat res ludicra, si me
Palma negata macrum, donata reducit opimum. other girls spread at that rate, and she hated to have children to look like women before their
Farewell the stage; for humbly I disclaim
Such fond pursuits of pleasure, or of fame, time. I was disconcerted, and retired without
If I must sink in shame, or swell with pride, hearing any thing more than, “Nay, if you are As the gay palm is granted or denied. angry, Madam Steeple, you may walk off.”
When once the forms of civility are violated, Nothing is more unpleasing than to find that there remains little hope of return to kindness or offence has been received when none was intend decency. My mamma made this appearance of ed, and that pain has been given to those who resentment a reason for continuing her maligni- were not guilty of any provocation. As the great ty; and poor Miss Maypole, for that was my ap- end of society is mutual beneficence, a good man pellation, was never mentioned or spoken to but is always uneasy when he finds himself acting in with some expression of anger or dislike. opposition to the purposes of life; because, though
She had yet the pleasure of dressing me like a his conscience may easily acquit him of malice child, and I know not when I should have been prepense, of settled hatred or contrivances of misthought fit to change my habit, had I not been chief, yet he seldom can be certain, that he has rescued by a maiden sister of my father, who not failed by negligence or indolence; that he could not bear to see women in hanging sleeves, has not been hindered from consulting the comand therefore presented me with brocade for a mon interest by too much regard to his own ease, gown, for which I should have thought myself or too much indifference to the happiness of under great obligations, had she not accompa
others. nied her favour with some hints that my mamma
Nor is it necessary, that, to feel this uneasiness, might now consider her age, and give me her the mind should be extended to any great difear-rings, which she had shown long enough in fusion of generosity, or melted by uncommon public places.
warmth of benevolence; for that prudence which I now left the school, and came to live with my the world teaches, and a quick sensibility of primamma, who considered me as a usurper that vate interest, will direct us to shun needless enhad seized the rights of a woman before they mities; since there is no man whose kindness we were due, and was pushing down the precipice may not some time want, or by whose malice we of age, that I might reign without a superior. may not some time suffer. While I am thus beheld with jealousy and sus I have therefore frequently looked with won
re on the other
e is proposent
ny reasons that
mamia 7238 Miss Gidder 11 a bounder a ended home 671 she was with Mrs Graner ; for the disties akened herres principles of is ance. She man
the world, as ustrious to pe ; every moment and every eta Fion, from what t she had math
gan to feel
ol, of being
nenses, and Pes to drop is at the menu zuspected oi ri plar, and mo?
as she pleased Encidental ne