« AnteriorContinuar »
beyond the usual age of man, if not cut off by case of my old friend, who has often made their
little ode upon Stool-Ball, with many other of
My kindness to the agreeable Mr. d'Urfey before now, bave bad a trout of bis booking. will be imperfect, if after having engaged the After what I have said, and much more that players in his favour, I do not get the town to I might say, on this subject, I question not come into it. I must therefore heartily recom- but the world will think that my old friend mewd te all the young ladies, my disciples, the ought not to pass the remainder of his life in
a cage like a singing bird, but enjoy all that of them, than a name in trust in a settlement pindaric liberty which is suitable to a man of which conveys land and goods, but has no right his genius. He has made the world merry, for its own use. A woman of tbis turo cati no and I hope they will make him easy, so long more make a wife, than an ambitious man as he stays among us. This I will take upon can be a friend ; they both sacrifice all the me to say, they cannot do a kindness to a more true tastes of being, and motives of life, for diverting companion, or a more cheerful, ho- the ostentation, the noise, and the appearance niest, and good-natured man.
of it. Their hearts are turned to unnatural objects, and as the men of design can carry
them on with an exclusion of their daily comNo. 68.) Friday, May 29, 1713.
panions, so women of this kind of gayety, can Inspicere, tanquam in speculnm, in vitas omnium
Live at bed and board with a man, without any Jnbeo, atque ex aliis sumere exemplum sibi,
affection to his person. As to any woman that Ter, Adelph. Act. iii. Sc. 4. you examine hereafter for my sake, if you can My advice to him is, to consult the lives of other men possibly, find a means to converse with her at as he would a looking-glass, and from thence fetch ex
some country seat. If she has no relish for amples for his own imitation.
rural views, but is undelighted with streams, Tue paper of to-day shall consist of a letter fields, and groves, I desire to hear no more of from my friend sir Harry Lizard, which, with her; she has departed from nature, and is my answer, may be worth the perusal of young irrecoverably engaged in vanity. mer of estates, and young women without for. 'I have ever been curious' to observe the tunes. It is absolutely necessary, that in our arrogance of a town lady when she first comes first vigorous years we lay down some law to down to ber husband's seat, and, beholding her ourselves for the conduct of future life, wbich country neighbours, wants somebody to faugh may at least prevent essential misfortunes. with her, at the frightful things, to whom she The cutting cares which attend such an affec- herself is equally ridiculous. The pretty pitty. tion as that against which I forewarn my friend pat step, the playing head, and the fall-back sir Harry, are very well known to all who in the curtesy, she does not imagine, make are called the men of pleasure ; but when her as unconversable, and inaccessible to our they have opposed their satisfactions to their plain people, as the loud voice and ungainly anxieties in an impartial examination, they stride render one of our huntresses to her. In will find their life not only a dream, but a a word, dear Nestor, I beg you to suspend all troubled and vexatious one.
enquiries towards my matrimony until you hear
further from, • DEAR OLD MAN, "I believe you are very much surprised,
Sir, your most obliged,
and most humble servant, that in the several letters I have written to
• HARRY LIZARD. you, since the receipt of that wherein you recommend a young lady for a wife to your bum- indeed with some real exceptions to the tou
A certain loose turn in this letter, mixed ble servant, I have not made the least mention frequent silly choice made by country gentle
: of that matter. It happens at this time that I am not much inclined to marry; there are have sent sir Harry an account of my suspi
men, has given me no small anxiety: and I very many matches in our country, wherein
cions, as follows. the parties live so insipidly, or so vexatiously, that I am afraid to venture from their example.
'To Sir Harry Lizard. Besides, to tell you the truth, good Nestor, I "SIR, am informed your fine young woman is soon 'Your letter I have read over two or three to be disposed of elsewhere. As to the young times, and must be so free with you as to tell ladies of my acquaintance in your great town, you, it has in it something which betrays you I dú not know one whom I could think of as a have lost that simplicity of heart with relation wife, who is not either prepossessed with some to love, which I promised myself would crown inclination for some other man, or affects plea- your days with happiness and honour. The sures and entertainments, which she prefers to alteration of your mind towards marriage is the conversation of any man living. Women not represented as flowing from discretion and of this kind are the most frequently met with wariness in the choice, but a disinclination to of any sort whatsoever ; I mean they are the that state in general; you seem secretly to most frequent among people of condition, that propose to yourself (for i will think no otheris to say, such are easily to be bad as would sit wise of a man of your age and temper
) all its at the head of your estate and table, lie-in by satisfactions out of it, and to avoid the care you for the sake of receiving visits in pomp at and inconveniencies that attend those who the end of the month, and enjoy the like gra- enter into it. I will not urge at this time the tifications from the support of your fortune ; greatest consideration of all
, to wit, regard of but you yourself would signify no more to one innocence; but having, I think, in my eyes
what you aim at, I must, as I am your friend, chantment; but in a case wherein you have acquaint you, that you are going into a wilder- none but yourself to accuse, you will find the ness of cares and distractions, from which you best part of a generous mind torn away with will never be able to extricate yourself, wbile her, whenever you take your leave of an inthe compunctions of honour and pity are yet jured, deserving woman. Come to town, fly alive in you.
from Olinda, to your * Without naming names, I have long sus
• Obedient humble servant, pected your designs upon a young gentlewoman
• NESTOR JRONSIDE.' in your neigbourhood : but give me leave to tell you with all the earnestness of a faithful friend, .3at to enter into a criminal commerce
No. 69.] Saturday, May 30, 1713. with a woman of merit, whom you find inno- Jupiter est quodcunque vides
Lucun. cent, is of all the follies in this life, the most
Where'er you thin your eyes, 'tis God you see. fruitful of sorrow. You must make your approaches to her with the benevolence and lan- I HAD this morning a ver, valuable and kind guage of a good angel, in order to bring upon present sent me of a translated work of a most her pollution and shame, which is the work of excellent foreign writer, who makes a very a demon. The fashion of the world,'the warmth considerable figure in the learned and Chrisof youth, and the affluence of fortune, may, tian world. It is entitled, A Demonstration perhaps, make you look upon me in this talk, of the Existence, Wisdom, and Omnipotence like a poor well-meaning old man, who is past of God, drawn from the knowledge of nature, those ardencies in which you at present triumph; particularly of man, and fitted to the meanest but believe me, sir, if you succeed in what I capacity, by the archbishop of Cambray, author fear you design, you will find the sacrifice of of Telemachus, and translated from the French beauty and innocence so strong an obligation by the same band that englished that excellent upon you, that your whole life will pass away piece. This great author, in the writings which in the worst condition imaginable, that of doubt be bas before produced, has manifested a heart and irresolution; you will ever be designing to full of virtuous sentiments, great benevolence leave her, and never do it; or else leave ber to mankind, as well as a sincere and fervent for another, with a constant longing after her. piety towards his Creator. His talents and He is a very unbappy man who does not re- parts are a very great good to the world, and serve the most pure and kind affections of his it is a pleasing thing to behold the polite arts beart for his marriage bed, he will otherwise subservient to religion, and recommending it be reduced to this melancholy circumstance, from its natural beauty. Looking over the that he gave his mistress that kind of affection letters of my correspondents, I find one which which was proper for his wife, and has not for celebrates this treatise, and recommends it to his wife either that, or the usual inclination my readers. which men bestow upon their mistresses. After such an affair as this, you are a very lucky
To the Guardian. man if you find a prudential marriage is only
"SIR, insipid, aud not actually miserable ; a woman
I think I have somewbere read, in the of as ancient a family as your own, may come writings of one whom I take to be a friend of into the bouse of the Lizards, murmur in your yours, a saying which struck me very much, bed, growl at your table, rate your servants, and as I remember, it was to this purpose and insult yourself, while you bear all this
“ The existence of a God is so far from being with this unhappy reflection at the bottom of a thing that wants to be proved, that I think your heart, “ This is all for the injured" it is the only thing of which we are certain." The heart is ungovernable enough, without This is a sprightly and just expression ; bowbeing biassed by prepossessions; how empba- ever, I dare say, you will not be displeased that tically unhappy therefore is he, who besides I put you in mind of saying something on the the natural vagrancy of affection, has a passion Demonstration of the bishop of Cambray. A to one particular object, in which he sees no- man of his talents views all things in a light thing but what is lovely, except what proceeds different from that in which ordinary men see from his own guilt against it! I speak to you, them, and the devout disposition of his soul my dear friend, as one who tenderly regards turns all those talents to the improvement of your welfare, and beg of you to avoid this great the pleasures of a good life. His style clothes error, which has rendered so many agreeable philosophy in a dress almost poetic; and big men unhappy before you. When a man is readers enjoy in full perfection the advantage, engaged among the dissolute, gay, and artful while they are reading him, of being what he of the fair sex, a knowledge of their manners is. The pleasing representation of the animal and designs, their favours unendeared by truth, powers in the beginning of his work, and his their feigned sorrows and gross flatteries, must consideration of the nature of man with the in time rescue a reasonable man from the in- | addition of reason in the subsequent discourse, impresses upon the mind a strong satifaction themselves. But alas! the very gifts whicb in itself, and gratitude towards Him who be thou bestowest upon us do 60 employ our stowed that superiority over the brute-world. thoughts, that they binder us from perceiving These thoughts had such an effect upon the the hand which conveys them to us. We live author bimself, that he has ended his discourse by thee, and yet we live without thinking on with a prayer. This adoration has a sublinity thee; but, O Lord, what is life in the ignoin it befitting bis character, and the emotions rance of thee! A dead unactive piece of matof his heart flow from wisdom and knowledge. ter; a flower that withers; a river that glides I thought it would be proper for a Saturday's away; a palace that hastens to its ruin; a paper, and have translated it to make you a picture made up of fading colours ; a mass of present of it. I have not, as the translator shining ore : strike our imaginations and make was obliged to do, confined myself to an exact us sensible of their existence. We regard them version from the original, but have endeavoured as objects capable of giving us pleasure, not to express the spirit of it, by taking the liberty considering that thou conveyest, through them, to render his thoughts in such a way as I should all the pleasure which we imagine they give us. have uttered them if they had been my own. Such vain empty objects that are only the sbaIt has been observed, that the private letters dows of being, are proportioned to our low and of great men are the best pictures of their groveling thoughts. That beauty which thou souls; but certainly their private devotions bast poured out on thy creation, is as a veil would be still more instructive, and I know which hides thee from our eyes. As thou art not why they should not be as curious and en- a being too pure and exalted to pass through tertaining
our senses, thou art not regarded by men, who • If you insert this prayer, I know not but I have debased their nature, and have made may send you, for another occasion, one used themselves like the beasts that perish. So inby a very great wit of the last age, which has fatuated are they, that notwithstanding they allusions to the errors of a very wild life; and, know what is wisdom and virtue, wbich bave I believe you will think is written with an neitber sound, nor colour, nor smell, nor taste, uncommon spirit. The person whom I mean nor figure, nor any other sensible quality, ibey was an excellent writer, and the publication of can doubt of thy existence, because thou art this prayer of his may be, perhaps, some kind not apprehended by the grosser organs of sense. of antidote against the infection in his other Wretches that we are are! we consider shadows writings. But this supplication of the bishop as realities, and truth as a phantom. Tbat has in it a more happy and untroubled spirit; which is nothing, is all to us; and that which it is (if that is not saying something too fond) is all, appears to us nothing. What do we see the worship of an angel concerned for those in all nature but thee, O my God! Thou and who had fallen, but himself still in the state of only thou, appearest in every thing. When I glory and innocence. The book ends with an consider thee, O Lord, I am swallowed up, act of devotion, to this effect.
and lost in contemplation of thee. Every thing ‘O my God, if the greater number of man- besides thee, even my own existence, vanisbes kind do not discover thee in that glorious show and disappears in the cootemplation of thee. of nature wbich thou hast placed before our I am lost to myself, and fall into nothing, whea eyes, it is not because thou art far from every I think on thee. The man who does not see one of us. Thou art present to us more than thee, has beheld nothing; he who does not any object which we touch with our hands; taste thee, has a relish of nothing; his being but our senses, and the passions which they is vain, and his life but a dream. Set up thyproduce in us, turn our attention from thee. self, O Lord, set up thyself, that we may beThy light shines in the midst of darkness, but bold thee. As wax consumes before the fire, the darkness comprehends it not. Thou, and as the smoke is driven away, so let tbine Lord, dost every way display thyself. Thou enemies vanish out of thy presence. How un. shinest in all thy works, but art not regarded happy is that soul who, without the sense of by heedless and unthinking man. The whole thee, has no God, no hope, no comfort to creation talks aloud of thee, and ecbos with support him! But how happy the man who the repetitions of thy holy name. But such is searches, sighs, and thirsts after thee! But he our insensibility, that we are deaf to the great only is fully bappy, on whom thou liftest up and universal voice of nature. Thou art every the light of thy countenance, whose tears thou where about us, and within us; but we wander hast wiped away, and who enjoys in thy loving from ourselves, become strangers to our own kindness the completion of all his desires. How souls, and do not apprehend thy presence. long, bow long, O Lord, shall I wait for that O thou, who art the eternal fountain of light day when I shall possess, in thy presence, fulland beauty, who art the ancient of days, with. ness of joy and pleasures for evermore? O my out beginning and without end ; O) thou, who God, in this pleasing hope, my bones rejoice art the life of all that truly live, those can never and cry out, Who is like unto tbee! My heart fail to find thee, who seek for thee within | melts away, and my soul faints within me when
I look up to Thee, who art the God of my life, to pass, that pbilosophers judge of most things and my portion to all eternity.'
very differently from the vulgar. Some in. stances of this may be seen in the Theatetus
of Plato, where Socrates makes the following No. 70.] Monday, June 1, 1713.
remarks, among others of the like nature. -mentisque capacius allæ. Ovid. Met. Lib. i. 76.
'When a pbilosopher hears ten thousand
acres mentioned as a great estate, he looks Of thoughts enlarg'd, and more exalted mind.
upon it as an inconsiderable spot, having been As I was the other day taking a solitary walk used to contemplate the wbole globe of earth. in St. Paul's, 1 indulged my thoughts in the Or when he bebolds a man elated with the nopursuit of a certain analogy between that fabric bility of his race, because he can reckon a series and the Christian church in the largest sense. of seven rich ancestors; the philosopher thinks The divine order and economy of the one bim a stupid ignorant fellow, whose mind canseemed to be emblematically set forth by the not reach to a general view of human nature, iust, plain, and majestic architecture of the which would show him that we have all innuother. And as the one consists of a great va
merable ancestors, among whom are crowds of riety of parts united in the same regular design, rich and poor, kings and slaves, Greeks and according to the truest art, and most exact barbarians.' Thus far Socrates, who was acproportion ; so the other contains a decent sub- counted wiser than the rest of the heathens, ordination of members, various sacred institu- for notions which approach the nearest tó tions, sublime doctrines, and solid precepts of Christianity. morality digested into the same design, and
As all parts and branches of philosophy, or with an admirable concurrence tending to one speculative knowledge, are useful in that review, the happiness and exaltation of human spect, astronomy is peculiarly adapted to re
medy a little and narrow spirit. In that science In the midst of my contemplation, I beheld there are good reasons assigned to prove the a fly upon one of the pillars; and it straight-sud a hundred thousand times bigger than our way came into my head, that this same fly was earth, and the distance of the stars so prodigious, a free-thinker. For it required some compre- that a cannon-bullet continuing in its ordinary bension in the eye of the spectator, to take in rapid motion, would not arrive from hence at at one view the various parts of the building, the nearest of them in the space of a hundred in order to observe their symmetry and design. and fifty thousand years. These ideas wonderBut to the fly, whose prospect was confined to fully dilate and expand the mind. There is a little part of one of the stones of a single something in the immensity of this distance pillar, the joint beauty of the whole, or the that shocks and overwhelms the imagination; distinct use of its parts, were inconspicuous, it is too big for the grasp of a buman intellect: and nothing could appear but small inequalities estates, provinces, and kingdoms, vanish at its in the surface of the hewn stone, which in the presence. It were to be wished a certain view of that insect seemed so many deformed prince, * who hath encouraged the study of it rocks and precipices.
in his subjects, had been himself a proficient The thoughts of a free-thinker are employed in astronomy. This might have showed him on certain minute particularities of religion, how mean an ambition that was, wbich terthe difficulty of a single text, or the unaccount minated in a small part of what is itself but a ableness of some step of Providence or point point, in respect to that part of the universe of doctrine to his narrow faculties, without wbich lies within our view. comprehending the scope and design of Chris
But the Christian religion ennobleth aud entianity, the perfection to which it raiseth hu- largeth the mind beyond any other profession man nature, the light it hath shed abroad in or science whatsoever. Upon that scheme, while the world, and the close connexion it hath as
the earth, and the transient enjoyments of this well with the good of public societies, as with life, shrink into the narrowest dimensions, and that of particular persons.
are accounted as 'the dust of a balance, the This raised in me some reflections on that drop of a bucket, yea, less than nothing, the fiame or disposition which is called 'largeness intellectual world opens wider to our view. of mind,' its necessity towards furming a true The perfections of the Deity, the nature and judgment of things, and where the soul is not excellence of virtue, the dignity of the buman incurably stinted by nature, what are the like. soul, are displayed in the largest characters. Jiest methods to give it enlargement.
The mind of man seems to adapt itself to the It is evident that philosophy doth open and different nature of its objects ; it is contracted enlarge the miod, by the general views to which and debased by being conversant in little and men are babituated in that study, and by the low things, and feels a proportionable enlargecontemplation of more pumerous and distant ment arising from the contemplation of these objects, than fall within the sphere of mankind great and sublime ideas. iu the ordinary pursuits of life. Hence it comes
• Lewis XIV