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der, and now and then with pity, at the thought-cause it is apparent that they are not only care-
and who can laugh at scurrility and rudeness
Some firmness and resolution is necessary to This ill economy of fame is sometimes the ef- the discharge of duty; but it is a very unhappy fect of stupidity: men whose perceptions are state of life in which the necessity of such struglanguid and sluggish, who lament nothing but gles frequently occurs; for no man is defeated loss of money, and feel nothing but a blow, are without some resentment, which will be continuoften at a difficulty to guess why they are encom- ed with obstinacy while he believes himself in passed with enemies, though they neglect all the right, and exerted with bitterness, if even to Those arts by which men are endeared to one an- his own conviction he is detected in the wrong. other. They comfort themselves that they have Even though no regard be had to the external lived irreproachably; that none can charge them consequences of contrariety and dispute, it must with having endangered his life, or diminished be painful to a worthy mind to put others in pain, his
possessions; and therefore conclude that they and there will be danger lest the kindest nature suffer by some invincible fatality, or impute the may be vitiated by too long a custom of debate malice of their neighbours to ignorance or envy. and contest. They wrap themselves up in their innocence, and I am afraid that I may be taxed with insenenjoy the congratulations of their own hearts, sibility by many of my correspondents, who bewithout knowing or suspecting that they are lieve their contributions unjustly neglected. And, every day deservedly incurring resentments, by indeed, when I sit before a pile of papers, of which withholding from those with whom they con- each is the production of laborious study, and tho verse, that regard, or appearance of regard, to offspring of a fond parent, I, who know the paswhich every one is entitled by the customs of the sions of an author, cannot remember how long world.
they have lain in my boxes unregarded, without There are many injuries which almost every imagining to myself the various changes of sor. man feels, though he does not complain, and row, impatience, and resentment, which the writ. which, upon those whom virtue, elegance, or va ers must have felt in this tedious interval. nity, have made delicate and tender, fix deep and These reflections are still more awakened, lasting impressions; as there are many arts of when, upon perusal, I find some of them calling graciousness and conciliation, which are to be for a place in the next paper, a place which they practised without expense, and by which those have never yet obtained : others writing in a style may be made our friends, who have never receiv- of superiority and haughtiness, as secure of deed from us any real benefit
. Such arts, when ference, and above fear of'criticism; others humthey include neither guilt nor meanness, it is sure bly offering their weak assistance with softness ly reasonable to learn, for who would want that and submission, which they believe impossible to love which is so easily to be gained? And such be resisted; some introducing their compositions injuries are to be avoided; for who would be with a menace of the contempt which he that re hated without profit!
fuses them will incur; others applying privately Some, indeed, there are, for whom the excuse to the booksellers for their interest and solicita. of ignorance or negligence cannot be alleged, be- tion; every one by different ways endeavouring
re not only as
t ther adora
of others 12 hem with a
to secure the bliss of publication. I cannot but Your late paper on frugality was very elegant consider myself as placed in a very incommodi- and pleasing, but in my opinion, not sufficiently ous situation, where I am forced to repress confi- adapted to common readers, who pay little redence, which it is pleasing to indulge, to repay gard to the music of periods, the artifice of concivilities with appearances of neglect, and so fre- nexion, or the arrangement of the flowers of rhe. quently to offend those by whom I never was of- toric; but require a few plain and cogent in fended.
structions, which may sink into the mind by their I know well how rarely an author, fired with own weight. the beauties of his new composition, contains his Frugality is so necessary to the happiness of raptures in his own bosom, and how naturally he the world, so beneficial in its various forms to imparts to his friends his expectation of renown; every rank of men, from the highest of human and as I can easily conceive the eagerness with potentates, to the lowest labourer or artificer; which a new paper is snatched up, by one who and the miseries which the neglect of it produces expects to find it filled with his own production, are so numerous and so grievous, that it ought to and perhaps has called his companions to share be recommended with every variation of address, the pleasure of a second perusal, I grieve for the and adapted to every class of understanding. disappointment which he is to feel at the fatal in Whether those who treat morals as a science spection. His hopes, however, do not yet for- will allow frugality to be numbered among the sake him;
he is certain of giving lustre the next virtues, I have not thought it necessary to inquire. day. The next day comes, and again he pants For I, who draw my opinions from a careful obwith expectation, and having dreamed of laurels servation of the world, am satisfied with knowand Parnassus, casts his eyes upon the barren ing what is abundantly sufficient for practice, page, with which he is doomed never more to be that if it be not a virtue, it is, at least, a quality, delighted.
which can seldom exist without some virtues, and For such cruelty what atonement can be made without which few virtues can exist. Frugality For such calamities what alleviation can be found? may be termed the daughter of Prudence, the I am afraid that the mischief already done must sister of Temperance, and the parent of Liberty. be without reparation, and all that deserves my He that is extravagant will quickly become poor, care is prevention for the future. Let therefore and poverty will enforce dependance, and invite the next friendiy contributor, whoever he be, ob-corruption; it will almost always produce a passerve the cautions of Swift, and write secretly in sive compliance with the wickedness of others; his own chamber, without communicating his de- and there are few who do not learn by degrees to sign to his nearest friend, for the nearest friend practise those crimes which they cease to cenwill be pleased with an opportunity of laughing. sure. Let him carry it to the post himself
, and wait in If there are any who do not dread poverty as silence for the event. If it is published and prais- dangerous to virtue, yet mankind seem unanied, he may then declare himself the author; if it mous enough in abhorring it as destructive to be suppressed, he may wonder in private without happiness; and all to whom want is terrible upon much vexation ; and if it be censured, he may whatever principle, ought to think themselves join in the cry, and lament the dulness of the obliged to learn the sage maxims of our parsimowriting generation.
nious ancestors, and attain the salutary arts of
To most other acts of virtue or exertions of
wisdom, a concurrence of many circumstances
is necessary, some revious know ge must be Non intelligunt homines quam magnum vectigal sit par- attained, some uncommon gifts of nature pos
sessed, or some opportunity produced by an exThe world has not yet learned the riches of frugality, traordinary combination of things; but the mere
of saving what is already in our hands, TO THE RAMBLER.
must be easy of acquisition to every mind; and Sir,
as the example of Bacon may show, that the I am always pleased when I see literature made highest intellect cannot safely neglect it, a thouuseful, and scholars descending from that eleva- sand instances will every day prove, that the tion, which, as it raises them above common life, meanest may practise it with success. must likewise hinder them from beholding the Riches cannot be within the reach of great ways of men otherwise than in a cloud of bus- numbers, because to be rich, is to possess more tle and confusion. Having lived a life of busi- than is commonly placed in a single hand; and, ness, and remarked how seldom any occurrences if many could obtain the sum which now makes emerge for which great qualities are required, I a man wealthy, the name of wealth must then be have learned the necessity of regarding little transferred to still greater accumulations. But things; and though I do not pretend to give laws I am not certain that it is equally impossible to to the legislators of mankind, or to limit the range exempt the lower classes of mankind from poof those powerful minds that carry light and heat verty; because, though whatever be the wealth through all the regions of knowledge, yet I have of the community, some will always have least, long thought, that the greatest part of those who and he that has less than any other is comparalose themselves in studies by which I have not tively poor; yet I do not see any coactive necesfound that they grow much wiser, might, with sity that many should be without the indispensamore advantage both to the public and themselves ble conveniences of life; but am sometimes inapply their understandings to domestic arts, and clined to imagine, that, casual calamities excepted, store their minds with axioms of humble pru- there might, by universal prudence, be procured denre and private economy.
a universal exemption from want; and that he N
Dan is defeated
will be conting lives himsel Tuess, if eres i ed in the mic I to the extent dispute
, il eta it others met -kindest are
istom of des
pre awakema of them calitate ice which they riting in a great
secure of r; others has
with sofinei impossthet
compositing ch he that i ving private
and solicit endeavourite
who should happen to have least, might notwith-, be, perhaps, imagined easy to comply; yet if standing have enough.
those whom profusion has buried in prisons, or But without entering too far into speculations driven into banishment, were examined, it would which I do not remember that any political cal- be found that very few were ruined by their own culator has attempted, and in which the most choice, or purchased pleasure with the loss of perspicacious reasoner may be easily bewildered, their estates; but that they suffered themselves it is evident that they to whom Providence has to be borne away by the violence of those with allotted no other care but of their own fortune and whom they conversed, and yielded reluctantly to their own virtue, which make far the greater part a thousand prodigalities, either from a trivial of mankind, have sufficient incitements to per- emulation of wealth and spirit, or a mean fear of sonal frugality, since, whatever might be its gene- contempt and ridicule; an emulation for the ral effect upon provinces or nations, by which it prize of folly, or the dread of the laugh of fools. is never likely to be tried, we know with certain
I am, Sir, ty, that there is scarcely any individual entering
Your humble servant, the world, who, by prudent parsimony, may not
SOPHRON. reasonably promise himself a cheerful competence in the decline of life.
The prospect of penury in age is so gloomy and terrifying, that every man who looks before No. 58.] SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6, 1750. him must resolve to avoid it; and it must be avoided generally by the science of sparing. For,
Crescunt divitia, tamen though in every age there are some, who by bold
Curta nescio quid semper abest rei. adventures, or by favourable accidents, rise suddenly to riches, yet it is dangerous to indulge But, while in heaps, his wicked wealth ascends,
He is not of his wish possess'd; hopes of such rare events : and the bulk of man
There's something wanting still to make him bless'd. kind must owe their affluence to small and gradual profits, below which their expense must be resolutely reduced.
As the love of money has been, in all ages, one You must not therefore think me sinking be- of the passions that have given great disturbance low the dignity of a practical philosopher, when to the tranquillity of the world, there is no topic I recommend to the consideration of your read more copiously treated by the ancient moralists ers, from the statesman to the apprentice, a posi- than the folly of devoting the heart to the accution replete with mercantile wisdom, A penny mulation of riches. They who are acquainted saved is two-pence got; which may, I think, be ac- with these authors need not be told how riches commodated to all conditions, by observing not excite pity, contempt, or reproach, whenever only that they who pursue any lucrative employ- they are mentioned; with what numbers of exment will save time when they forbear expense, amples the dangers of large possessions is illus, and that the time may be employed to the in- trated ; and how all the powers of reason and crease of profit; but that they who are above eloquence have been exhausted in endeavours to such minute considerations will find, by every eradicate a desire, which seems to have envictory over appetite or passion, new strength trenched itself too strongly in the mind to be added to the mind, will gain the power of refus-driven out, and which, perhaps, had not lost its ing those solicitations by which the young and power, even over those who declaimed against vivacious are hourly assaulted, and in time set it
, but would have broken out in the poet or the themselves above the reach of extravagance and sage, if it had been excited by opportunity, and folly.
invigorated by the approximation of its proper It may, perhaps, be inquired by those who are object. willing rather io cavil than to learn, what is the Their arguments have been, indeed, so unsucjust measure of frugality ? and when expense, cessful, that I know not whether it can be shown, not absolutely necessary, degenerates into profu- that by all the wit and reason which this favoursion ? To such questions no general answer can ite cause has called forth, a single convert was be returned; since the liberty of spending, or ever made; that even one man has refused to be necessity of parsimony, may be varied without rich, when to be rich was in his power, from the end, by different circumstances. It may, howe- conviction of the greater happiness of a narrow ver, be laid down as a rule never to be broken, fortune; or disburdened himself of wealth when that a man's voluntary expense should not exceed he had tried its inquietudes, merely to enjoy the his revenue. A maxim so obvious and incontro peace and leisure and security of a mean and unvertible, that the civil law ranks the prodigal with envied state. the madman, and debars them equally from the It is true, indeed, that many have neglected conduct of their own affairs. Another precept opportunities of raising themselves to honours arising from the former, and indeed included in and to wealth, and rejected the kindest offers of it, is yet necessary to be distinctly impressed fortune; but however their moderation may be upon the warm, the fanciful, and the brave; Let boasted by themselves, or admired by such as no man anticipate uncertain profits. Let no man only view them at a distance, it will be, perhaps, presume to spend upon hopes, to trust his own seldom found that they value riches less, but that abilities for means of deliverance from penury, to they dread labour or danger more than others; give a loose to his present desires, and leave the they are unable to rouse themselves to action, tó reckoning to fortune or to virtue.
strain the race of competition, or to stand the To these cautions, which I suppose are, at shock of contest; but though they, therefore, least among the graver part of mankind, undis- decline the toil of climbing, they neverthe ess puted, I will add another, Let no man squander wish themselves aloft, and would willingly enjov against his inclination. With this precept it may what they dare not seize.
Others have retired from high stations, and vo- | life, by hindering that fraud and violence, rapine luntarily condemned themselves to privacy and and circumvention, which must have been proobscurity. But even these will not afford many duced by an unbounded eagerness of wealth, occasions of triumph to the philosopher; for they arising from an unshaken conviction that to be have commonly either quitted that only which they rich is to be happy. thought themselves unable to hold, and prevented Whoever finds himself incited, by some vio . disgrace by resignation; or they have been in- lent impulse of passion, to pursue riches as the duced to try new measures by general incon- chief end of being, must surely be so much alarm stancy, which always dreams of happiness ined by the successive admonitions of those whose novelty, or by a gloomy disposition, which is dis-) experience and sagacity have recommended them gusted in the same degree with every state, and as the guides of mankind, as to stop and consider wishes every scene of life to change as soon as whether he is about to engage in an undertaking it is beheld. Such men found high and low that will reward his toil, and to examine, before stations equally unable to satisfy the wishes of a he rushes to wealth, through right and wrong, distempered mind, and were unable to shelter what it will confer when he has acquired it; and themselves in the closest retreat from disappoint- his examination will seldom fail to repress his ment, solicitude, and misery.
ardour, and retard his violence. Yet though these admonitions have been thus Wealth is nothing in itself, it is not useful but neglected by those, who either enjoyed riches, or when it departs from us; its value is found only were able to procure them, it is not rashly to be in that which it can purchase, which, if we supdetermined that they are altogether without use; pose it put to its best use by those that possess for since far the greatest part of mankind must be it, seems not much to deserve the desire or envy confined to conditions comparatively mean, and of a wise man. It is certain that, with regard to placed in situations from which they naturally corporeal enjoyment, money can neither open look
up with envy to the eminences before them, new avenues to pleasure, nor block up the pasthose writers cannot be thought ill employed that sages of anguish. have administered remedies to discontent almost Disease and infirmity still continue to torture universal, by showing, that what we cannot reach and enfeeble, perhaps exasperated by luxury, or may very well be forborne, that the inequality of promoted by softness. With respect to the mind, distribution, at which we murmur, is for the most it has rarely been observed, that wealth contripart less than it seems, and that the greatness, butes much to quicken the discernment, enlarge which we admire at a distance, has much fewer the capacity, or elevate the imagination; but may, advantages, and much less splendour, when we by hiring flattery, or laying diligence asleep, conare suffered to approach it.
firm error and harden stupidity. It is the business of moralists to detect the Wealth cannot confer greatness, for nothing frauds of fortune, and to show that she imposes can make that great, which the decree of nature upon the careless eye, by a quick succession of has ordained to be little. The bramble may be shadows, which will shrink to nothing in the placed in a hot-bed, but can never become an oak. gripe: that she disguises life in extrinsic orna- Even royalty itself is not able to give that dignity ments, which serve only for show, and are laid which it happens not to find, but oppresses feeble aside in the hours of solitude, and of pleasure; minds, though it may elevate the strong. The and that when greatness aspires either to felicity world has been governed in the name of kings, or to wisdom, it shakes off those distinctions whose existence has scarcely been perceived by which dazzle the gazer, and awe the supplicant. any real effects beyond their own palaces.
It may be remarked, that they whose condition When therefore the desire of wealth is taking has not afforded them the light of moral or reli- hold of the heart, let us look round and see how gious instruction, and who collect all their ideas it operates upon those whose industry or fortune by their own eyes, and digest them by their own has obtained it. When we find them oppressed understandings, seem to consider those who are with their own abundance, luxurious, without placed in ranks of remote superiority, as almost pleasure, idle without ease, impatient and queruanother and higher species of beings. As them- lous in themselves, and despised or hated by the selves have known little other misery than the rest of mankind, we shall soon be convinced, that consequences of want, they are with difficulty per- if the real wants of our condition are satisfied, suaded that where there is wealth there can be there remains little to be sought with solicitude, sorrow, or that those who glitter in dignity, and or desired with eagerness. glide along in affluence, can be acquainted with pains and cares like those which lie heavy upon the rest of mankind.
This prejudice is, indeed, confined to the low- No. 59.] Tuesday, October 9, 1750.
Est aliquid, fatale malum per verba ledare:
Vuce fatigaret Lennia saxa sua.
Strangulat inclusus dolor, atque exæstuat intus : erful preservatives.
Cogitur et vires niultiplicare suas. The doctrine of the contempt of wealth, though it has not been able to extinguish avarice Complaining oft gives respite to our grief; or ambition, or suppress that reluctance with From hence the wretched Progne sought relief;
Hence the Pæantian chief his fate deplores, which a man passes his days in a state of inferi
And vents his sorrow to the Lemnian shores : ority, must, at least, have made the lower condi
In vain by secrecy he would assuage tions less grating and wearisome, and has conse Our cares ; conceal'd they gather tenfold rage. quentlv contributed to the general security of
T is comnion to distinguish men by the names | tern commissions. For a genius in the drrch, of animals which they are supposed to resemble. he is always provided with a curacy for life. The Thus a hero is frequently termed a lion, and a lawyer he informs of many men of great parts statesman a fox, an extortioner gains the appella- and deep study, who have never had an opportution of vulture, and a fop the title of monkey: nity to speak in the courts: and meeting SereThere is also among the various anomalies of nus the physician,“ Ah, doctor,” says he, “what, character, which a survey of the world exhibits, a-foot still, when so many blockheads are rata species of beings in human form, which may tling in their chariots ? I told you seven years be properly marked out as the screech-owls of ago that you would never meet with encouragemankind.
ment, and I hope you will now take more notice, These screech-owls seem to be settled in an when I tell you that your Greek, and your diliopinion that the great business of life is to com- gence, and your honesty, will never enable you plain, and that they were born for no other pur- to live like yonder apothecary, who prescribes to
than to disturb the happiness of others, to his own shop, and laughs at the physician.” lessen the little comforts, and shorten the short Suspirius has, in his time, intercepted fifteen pleasures of our condition, by painful remem- authors in their way to the stage; persuaded nine brances of the past, or melancholy prognostics of and thirty merchants to retire from a prosperous the future; their only care is to crush the rising trade for fear of bankruptcy, broke off a hundred hope, to damp the kindling transport, and allay and thirteen matches by prognostications of unthe geiden hours of gayety with the hateful dross happiness, and enabled the small pox to kill of grief and suspicion.
nineteen ladies, by perpetual alarms of the loss To those whose weakness of spirits, or timidity of beauty. of temper, subjects them to impressions from Whenever
my evil stars bring us together, he others, and who are apt to suffer by fascination, never fails to represent to me the folly of my purand catch the contagion of misery, it is extremely suits, and informs me that we are much older unhappy to live within the compass of a screech- than when we begun our acquaintance, that the owl's voice; for it will often fill their ears in the infirmities of decrepitude are coming fast upon hour of dejection, terrify them with apprehensions me, that whatever I now get, I shall enjoy but a which their own thoughts would never have pro- little time, that fame is to a man tottering on the duced, and sadden, by intruded sorrows, the day edge of the grave of very little importance, and which might have been passed in amusements or that the time is at hand when I ought to look for in business; it will burden the heart with unne no other pleasures than a good dinner and an cessary discontents, and weaken for a time that easy chair. love of life which is necessary to the vigorous Thus he goes on in his unharmonious strain, prosecution of any undertaking:
displaying present miseries, and foreboding more, Though I have, like the rest of mankind, many VUKTIKópaž ácì Iavathpopos, every syllable is loaded failinççs and weaknesses, I have not yet, by either with misfortune, and death is always brought friends or enemies, been charged with supersti- nearer to the view. Yet, what always raises my tion; I never count the company which I enter, resentment and indignation, I do not perceive and I look at the new moon indifferently over that his mournful meditations have much effect either shoulder. I have, like most other philoso- upon himself. He talks and has long talked of phers, often heard the cuckoo without money in calamities, without discovering otherwise than my pocket, and have been sometimes reproached by the tone of his voice that he feels any of the as fool-hardy for not turning down my eyes when evils which he bewails or threatens, but has the a raven flew over my head. I never go home ab- same habit of uttering lamentations, as others of ruptly because a snake crosses my way, nor have telling stories, and falls into expressions of conany particular dread of a climacterical year: yet I dolence for past, or apprehension of future misconfess that, with all my scorn of old women, and chiefs, as all men studious of their ease have retheir tales, I consider it as an unhappy day when course to those subjects upon which they can I happen to be greeted, in the morning, by Sus- most fluently or copiously discourse. pirius the screech-owl.
It is reported of the Sybarites, that they deI have now known Suspirius fifty-eight years stroyed all their cocks, that they might dream and four months, and have never yet passed an out their morning dreams without disturbance. hour with him in which he has not made some Though I would not so far promote effeminacy attack upon my quiet. When we were first ac as to propose the Sybarites for an example, yet quainted, his great topic was the misery of youth since there is no man so corrupt or foolish, but without riches; and whenever we walked out something useful may be learned from him, I together he solaced me with a long enumeration could wish that, in imitation of a people not ofof pleasures, which, as they were beyond the ten to be copied, sorne regulations might be made reach of my fortune, were without the verge of to exclude screech-owls from all company, as my desires, and which I should never have con- the enemies of mankind, and confine them to sidered as the objects of a wish, had not his un some proper receptacle, where they may mingle seascnable representations placed them in my sighs at leisure, and thicken the gloom of one siglit.
another. Another of his topics is the neglect of merit, Thou prophet of evil, says Homer's Agamemwith which he never fails to amuse every man non, thou never fortellest me good, but the joy of thy whom he sees not eminently fortunate. If he heart is to predict misfortunes. Whoever is of the meets with a young officer, he always informs same temper, might there find the means of inhim of gentlemen whose personal courage is un- dulging his thoughts, and improving his vein of questioned, and whose military, skill qualifies denunciation, and the flock of screech-owls
, them to command armies, that have, notwith- might hoot together without injury to the rest of stand ng all their merit, grown old with subal- I the world. Yet, though I have so little kindness