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of thirty. Lucia is blooming and amorous, and but a little above fifteen. The mother looks very much younger than she is, the girl very much older. If it were possible to fix the girl to her sick bed, and preserve the portion, the use of which the mother partakes, the good widow Flavia would certainly do it. But for fear of Lucia's escape, the mother is forced to be constantly attended with a rival that explains her age, and draws off the eyes of her admirers. The jest is, they can never be toJether in strangers' company, but Lucy is eternally reprimanded for something very particular in her behaviour; for which she has the malice to say, she hopes she shall always obey her parents.' She carried her passion of jealousy to that height the other day, that, coming suddenly into the room, and surprising colonel Lofty speaking rapture on one knee to her mother, she clapped down by him, and asked her blessing.
I do not know whether it is so proper to tell family occurrences of this nature; but we every day see the same thing happen in public conversation of the world. Men cannot be contented with what is laudable, but they must have all that is laudable. This affectation is what decoys the familiar man into pretences to take state upon him, and the contrary character to the folly of aiming at being winning and complaisant. But in these cases men may easily lay aside what they are, but can never arrive at what they are not.
As to the pursuits after affection and esteem, the fair sex are happy in this particular, that with them the one is much more nearly related to the other than in men. The love of a woman is inseparable from some esteem of her; and as she is naturally the object of affection, the woman who has your esteem has also some degree of your love. A man that dotes on a woman for her beauty, will whisper his friend, that creature has a great deal of wit when you are well acquainted with her.' And if you examine the bottom of your esteem for a woman, you will find you have a greater opinion of her beauty than any body else. As to us men, I design to pass most of my time with the facetious Harry Bickerstaff; but William Bickerstaff, the most prudent man of our family, shall be my executor.
age, than seeing young people entertain themselves in such a manner as that we can partake of their enjoyments. On such occasions we flatter ourselves, that we are not quite laid aside in the world; but that we are either used with gratitude for what we were, or honoured for what we are. A well-inclined young man, and whose good-breeding is founded upon the principles of nature and virtue, must needs take delight in being agreeable to his elders, as we are truly delighted when we are not the jest of them. When I say this, I must confess I cannot but think it a very lamentable thing, that there should be a necessity for making that a rule of life, which should be, methinks, a mere instinct of nature. If reflection upon a man in poverty, whom we once knew in riches, is an argument of commiseration with generous minds; sure old age, which is a decay from that vigour which the young possess, and must certainly, if not prevented against their will, arrive at, should be more forcibly the object of that reverence which honest spirits are inclined to, from a sense of being themselves liable to what they observe has already overtaken others.
My three nephews, whom, in June last was twelvemonth, I disposed of according to their several capacities and inclinations; the first to the university, the second to a merchant, and the third to a woman of quality as her page, by my invitation dined with me to-day. It is my custom often, when I have a mind to give myself a more than ordinary cheerfulness, to invite a certain young gentlewoman of our neighbourhood to make one of the company. She did me that favour this day. The presence of a beautiful woman of honour, to minds which are not trivially disposed, displays an alacrity which is not to be communicated by any other object. It was not unpleasant to me, to look into her thoughts of the company she was in. She smiled at the party of pleasure I had thought of for her, which was composed of an old man and three boys. My scholar my citizen, and myself, were very soon neglected; and the young courtier, by the bow he made to her at her entrance, engaged her observation without a rival. I observed the Oxonian not a little discomposed at this preference, while the trader kept his eye upon his uncle. My nephew Will had a thousand secret resolutions to break in upon the discourse of his younger brother, who gave my fair companion a full account of the fashion, and what was reckoned most becoming to this complexion, and what sort of habit appeared best upon the other shape. He proceeded to acquaint her, who of quality was well or sick within the bills of mortality, and named very familiarly all his lady's acquaintance, not forgetting her very words when he spoke of their characters. Besides all this, he had a road of
flattery; and upon her enquiring, what sort of | ing on like a true old fellow to this purpose to woman lady Lovely was in her person, Really, my guests when I received the following epistle: madam,' says the Jackanapes, she is exactly of your height and shape; but as you are fair, she is a brown woman.' There was no enduring that this fop should outshine us all at this anmerciful rate; therefore I thought fit to talk to my young scholar concerning his studies; and because I would throw his learning into present service, I desired him to repeat to me the translation he had made of some tender verses in Theocritus. He did so, with an air of elegance peculiar to the college to which I sent him. I made some exceptions to the turn of the phrases; which he defended with much modesty, as believing in that place the matter was rather to consult the softness of a swain's passion, than the strength of his expressions. It soon appeared, that Will had outstripped his brother in the opinion of our young lady. A little poetry, to one who is bred a cholar, has the same effect that a good carriage of his person has on one who is to live in courts. The favour of women is so natural a passion, that I envied both the boys their success in the approbation of my guest; and I thought the only person invulnerable was my young trader. During the whole meal, I could observe in the children a mutual contempt and scorn of each other, arising from their different way of life and education, aud took that occasion to advertise them of such growing distates; which might mislead them in their future life, and disappoint their friends, No. 208.] Tuesday, August 8, 1710. as well as themselves, of the advantages which might be expected from the diversity of their professions and interests.
Si dixeris æstuo, sudat.
From my own Apartment, August 7. An old acquaintance, who met me this mornng, seemed overjoyed to see me, and told me I looked as well as he had known me do these forty years: but,' continued he, not quite the man you were, when we visited together at lady Brightly's. Oh! Isaac, those days are over. Do you think there are any such fine creatures now living as we then conversed
The prejudices which are growing up be tween these brothers from the different ways of education, are what create the most fatal misunderstandings in life. But all distinctions of disparagement, merely from our circumstances, are such as will not bear the examination of reason. The courtier, the trader, and the scholar, should all have an equal pretension to the denomination of a gentleman. That tradesman who deals with me in a commodity which I do not understand, with uprightness, has much more right to that cha-with?' He went on with a thousand incoherent racter, than the courtier that gives me false circumstances, which, in his imagination, must hopes, or the scholar who laughs at my igno- needs please me; but they had the quite contrary effect. The flattery with which he began, in telling me how well I wore, was not disagreeable; but his indiscreet mention of a set of acquaintance we had out-lived, recalled ten thousand things to my memory, which made me reflect upon my present condition with regret. Had he indeed been so kind as, after a long absence, to felicitate me upon an indolent and easy old age; and mentioned how much he and I had to thank for, who at our time of day could walk firmly, eat heartily, and converse cheerfully, he had kept up my
The appellation of gentleman is never to be affixed to a man's circumstances, but to his behaviour in them. For this reason I shall ever, as far as I am able, give my nephews such impressions as shall make them value themselves rather as they are useful to others, than as they are conscious of merit in themselves. There are no qualities for which we ought to pretend to the esteem of others, but such as render us serviceable to them: for free men have no superiors but benefactors.' I was go
'I have yours, with notice of a benefit ticket of four hundred pounds per annum, both inclosed by Mr. Elliot, who had my nunibers for that purpose. Your philosophic advice came very seasonably to me with that good fortune: but I must be so sincere with you as to acknowledge, I owe my present moderation more to my own folly than your wisdom. You will think this strange until I inform you, that I had fixed my thoughts upon the thousand pounds a-year, and had, with that expectation, laid down so many agreeable plans for my behaviour towards my new lovers and old friends, that I have received this favour of fortune with an air of disappointment. This is interpreted, by all who know not the springs of my heart, as a wonderful piece of humility. I hope my present state of mind will grow into that; but I confess my conduct to be now owing to another cause. However, I know you will approve my taking hold even of imperfections to find my way towards virtue, which is so feeble in us at the best, that we are often beholden to our faults for the first appearances 'I am, Sir,
'Your most humble servant,
Jue. Sat. iii. 103.
If you complain of heat, They rub th' answeating brow, and swear they sweat. Dryden.
pleasure in myself. But of all mankind, there are none so shocking as these injudicious civil people. They ordinarily begin upon something that they know must be a satisfaction; but then, for fear of the imputation of flattery, they follow it with the last thing in the world of which you would be reminded. It is this that perplexes civil persons. The reason that there is such a general outcry among us against flatterers is, that there are so very few good It is the nicest art in this life, and is a part of eloquence which does not want the preparation that is necessary to all other parts of it, that your audience should be your wellwishers; for praise from an enemy is the most pleasing of all commendations,
implies no more than a person that barely consents; and indeed such a-one, if a man were able to purchase or maintain him, cannot be bought too dear. Such a-one never contradiets you; but gains upon you, not by a fulsome way of commending you in broad terms, but liking whatever you propose or utter; at the same time, is ready to beg your pardon, and gainsay you, if you chance to speak ill of yourself.. An old lady is very seldom without such a companion as this, who can recite the names of ail her lovers, and the matches refused by her in the days when she minded such vanities, as she is pleased to call them, though she so much approves the mention of them. It is to be noted, that a woman's flatterer is
It is generally to be observed, that the per-generally elder thau herself; her years serving at once to recommend her patroness's age, and to add weight to her complaisance in all other particulars.
son most agreeable to a man for a constancy is he that has no shining qualities, but is a certain degree above great imperfections; whom he can live with as his inferior, and who will either overlook, or not observe his little defects. Such an easy companion as this either now and then throws out a little flattery, or lets a man silently flatter himself in his superiority to him. If you take notice, there is hardly a rich man in the world, who has not such a led friend of small consideration, who is a darling for his insignificancy. It is a great ease to have one in our own shape a species below us, and who, without being listed in our service, is by nature of our retinue. These dependants are of excellent use on a rainy day, or when a man has not a mind to dress; or to exclude solitude, when one has neither a mind to that or to company. There are of this good-natured order, who are so kind as to divide themselves, and do these good offices to many. Five or six of them visit a whole quarter of the town, and exclude the spleen, without fees, from the families they frequent. If they do not prescribe physic, they can be company when you take it. Very great benefactors to the rich, or those whom they call people at their ease, are your persons of no consequence. I have known some of them, by the help of a little cunning, make delicious flatterers. They know the course of the town, and the general characters of persons; by this means they will sometimes tell the most agreeable falsehoods imaginable. They will acquaint you, that such a-one of a quite contrary party said, That though you were engaged in different interests, yet he had the greatest respect for your good sense and address.' When one of these has a little cunning, he passes his time in the utmost satisfaction to himself and his friends; for his position is never to report or speak a displeasing thing to his friend. As for letting him go on in an error, he knows, ad. vice against them is the office of persons of greater talents and less discretion.
The Latin word for a flatterer, assentator,
We gentlemen of small fortunes are extremely necessitous in this particular. I have indeed one who smokes with me often; but his parts are so low, that all the incense he does me is to fill his pipe with me, and to be out at just as many whiffs as I take. This is all the praise or assent that he is capable of; yet there are more hours when I would rather be in his company than in that of the brightest man I know. It would be a hard matter to give an account of this inclination to be flattered; but if we go to the bottom of it, we shall find, that the pleasure in it is something like that of receiving money which we lay out. Every man thinks he has an estate of reputation, and is glad to see one that will bring any of it home to him. It is no matter how dirty a bag it is conveyed to him in, or by how clownish a messenger, so the money be good. All that we want, to be pleased with flattery, is to believe that the man is sincere who gives it us. It is by this one accident, that absurd creatures often outrun the most skilful in this Their want of ability is here an advantage; and their bluntness, as it is the seeming effect of sincerity, is the best cover to artifice.
Terence introduces a flatterer talking to a coxcomb, whom he cheats out of a livelihood; and a third person on the stage makes on him this pleasant remark, This fellow has an art of making fools madmen.' The love of flattery is, indeed, sometimes the weakness of a great mind; but you see it also in persons, who otherwise discover no manner of relish of any thing above mere sensuality. These latter it sometimes improves; but always debases the former. A fool is in himself the object of pity, until he is flattered. By the force of that, his stupidity is raised into affectation, and he becomes of dignity enough to be ridiculous. I remember a droll, that upon one's saying, 'The times are so ticklish, that there must great care be taken what one says in conversation; answered
with an air of surliness and honesty, If people will be free, let them be so in the manner that I am, who never abuse a man but to bis face.' He had no reputation for saying dangerous truths; therefore when it was repeated, You abuse a man but to his face?' 'Yes,' says he 'I flatter bim.'
It is indeed the greatest of injuries to flatter any but the unhappy, or such as are displeased with themselves for some infirmity. In this latter case we have a member of our club, who, when sir Jeffery falls asleep, wakens him with snoring. This makes sir Jeffery hold up for some moments the longer, to see there are men younger than himself among us, who are more lethargic than he is.
When flattery is practised upon any other consideration, it is the most abject thing in nature; nay, I cannot think of any character below the flatterer, except he that envies him. You meet with fellows prepared to be as mean as possible in their condescensions and expressions; but they want persons and talents to rise up to such a baseness. As a coxcomb is a fool of parts, so is a flatterer a knave of parts.
But Philippus, the most esteemed and most
At the appointed hour, Philippus enters with the potion. One cannot but form to one's self on this occasion the encounter of their eyes, the resolution in those of the patient, and the benevolence in the countenance of the physician. The hero raised himself in his bed, and, The best of this order, that I know, is one holding the letter in one hand, and the potion who disguises it under a spirit of contradiction in the other, drank the medicine. It will exor reproof. He told an arrant driveller the ercise my friend's pencil and brain to place other day, that he did not care for being in this action in its proper beauty. A prince obcompany with him, because he heard he turned serving the features of a suspected traitor, after his absent friends into ridicule. And upon having drunk the poison he offered him, is a lady Autumn's disputing with him about some. circumstance so full of passion, that it will thing that happened at the Revolution, he re-require the highest strength of his imagination
plied with a very angry tone, Pray, madam. give me leave to know more of a thing in which I was actually concerned, than you who were then in your nurse's arms.'
to conceive it, much more to express it. But
No. 209.] Saturday, August 10, 1710.
From my own Apartment, August 9.
A NOBLE painter, who has an ambition to draw a history piece, has desired me to give bim a subject, on which he may show the utmost force of his art and genius. For this purpose, I have pitched upon that remarkable mcident between Alexander the Great and his physician. This prince, in the midst of his conquests in Persia, was seized by a violent fever; and, according to the account we have | of his vast mind, his thoughts were more employed about his recovery, as it regarded the war, than as it concerned his own life. He professed, a slow method was worse than death to him; because it was, what he more dreaded, an interruption of his glory. He desired a dangerous, so it might be a speedy remedy. During this impatience of the king, it is well known that Darius had offered an immense sum to any one who should take away his life.
manifested the faitn I have in you, than a case which so nearly concerns me: and in gratitude I now assure you, I am anxious for the effect of your medicine, more for your sake than my
drawn in red, or in armour, who never dreamed to destroy any thing above a fox, is a common and ordinary offence of this kind. But I shall give an account of our whole gallery on another occasion.
My painter is employed by a man of sense and wealth to furnish him a gallery; and I
shall join with my friend in the designing part. No. 210.] Saturday, August 12, 1710.
is the great use pictures, to raise in our minds either agreeable ideas of our absent friends, or high images of eminent personages. But the latter design is, methinks, carried on in a very improper way; for to fill a room full of battle-pieces, pompous histories of sieges, and a tall hero alone in a crowd of insignificant figures about him, is of no consequence to private men. But to place before our eyes great and illustrious men in those parts and circumstances of life, wherein their behaviour may have an effect upon our minds; as being such as we partake with them merely as they were men; such as these, I say, may be just and useful ornaments of an elegant apartment. In this collection therefore that we are making, we will not have the battles, but the sentiments of Alexander. The affair we were just now speaking of has circumstances of the highest nature; and yet their grandeur has little to do with his fortune. If, by observing such a piece, as that of his taking a bowl of poison with so much magnanimity, a man, the next time he has a fit of the spleen, is less froward to his friend or his servants; thus far is some improvement.
I have frequently thought, that if we had many draughts which were historical of certain passions, and had the true figure of the great men we see transported by them, it would be of the most solid advantage imaginable. To consider this mighty man on one occasion, administering to the wants of a poor, soldier benumbed with cold, with the greatest humanity; at another barbarously stabbing a faithful officer; at one time, so generously chaste and virtuous as to give his captive Statira her liberty; at another, burning a town at the instigation of Thais. These changes in the same person are what would be more beneficial lessons of morality, than the several revolutions in a great man's fortune. There are but one or two in an age, to whom the pompous incidents of his life can be exemplary; but I, or any man, may be as sick, as good-natured, as compassionate, and as angry, as Alexander the Great. My purpose in all this chat is, that so excellent a furniture may not for the future have so romantic a turn, but allude to incidents which come within the fortunes of the ordinary race of men. I do not know but it is by the force of this senseless custom, that people are drawn in postures they would not for half they are worth be surprised in. The unparalleled fierceness of some rural esquires
Sheer-lane, August 10.
I DID myself the honour this day to make a visit to a lady of quality, who is one of those that are ever railing at the vices of the age, but mean only one vice, because it is the only vice they are not guilty of. She went so far as to fall foul on a young woman, who has had imputations; but whether they were just or not, no one knows but herself. However that is, she is in her present behaviour modest, humble, pious, and discreet. I thought it became me to bring this censorious lady to reason, and let her see, she was a much more vicious woman than the person she spoke of.
'Madam,' said I, 'you are very severe to this poor young woman, for a trespass which I believe Heaven has forgiven her, and for which, you see, she is for ever out of countenance.' Nay, Mr. Bickerstaff,' she interrupted, ‘if you at this time of day contradict people of virtue, and stand up for ill women'--'No, no, madam,' said I, not so fast; she is reclaimed, and I fear you never will be. Nay, nay, madam, do not be in a passion; but let me tell you what you are. You are indeed as good as your neighbours; but that is being very bad. You are a woman at the head of a family, and lead a perfect town-lady's life. You go on your own way, and consult nothing but your glass. What imperfections indeed you see there, you immediately mend as fast as you can. You may do the same by the faults I tell you of; for they are much more in your power to correct.
'You are to know, then, that you visiting ladies that carry your virtue from house to house with so much prattle in each other's applause, and triumph over other people's faults, I grant you, have but the speculation of vice in your own conversations; but promote the practice of it in all others you have to do with.
As for you, madam, your time passes away in dressing, eating, sleeping, and praying. When you rise in a morning, I grant you an hour spent very well; but you come out to dress in so froward a humour, that the poor girl who attends you, curses her very being in that she is your servant, for the peevish things you say to her. When this poor creature is put into a way, that good or evil are regarded but as they relieve her from the hours she has and must pass with you; the next you have to do with is your coachman and footmen. They