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Title: The Young Gentleman and Lady's Monitor, and English Teacher's Assistant

Author: John Hamilton Moore

Release date: October 3, 2004 [eBook #13588]
Most recently updated: December 18, 2020

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Stephen Schulze and the Online Distributed Proofreaders
Team. Scans courtesy of University of Pittsburg.












Eradicate vulgar Prejudices and Rusticity of Manners;
Improve the Understanding; Rectify the Will; Purify the Passions;
Direct the Minds of Youth to the Pursuit of proper Objects;
and to facilitate their Reading, Writing, and Speaking the English language,
with Elegance and Propriety.
Particularly adapted for the use of our eminent Schools and Academies,
as well as private persons, who have not an opportunity of perusing the
Works of those celebrated Authors, from whence this collection is made.








As the design of Learning is to render persons agreeable companions to themselves, and useful members of society; to support solitude with pleasure, and to pass through promiscuous temptations with prudence; 'tis presumed, this compilation will not be unacceptable; being composed of pieces selected from the most celebrated moral writers in the English language, equally calculated to promote the principles of religion, and to render youth vigilant in discharging, the social and relative duties in the several stations of life; by instilling into their minds such maxims of virtue and good-breeding, as tend to eradicate local prejudices and rusticity of manners; and at the same time, habituate them to an elegant manner of expressing themselves either in Writing or Speaking.

And as the first impression made on the minds of youth is the most lasting, great care should be taken to furnish them with such seeds of reason and philosophy as may rectify and sweeten every part of their future lives; by marking out a proper behaviour both with respect to themselves and others, and exhibiting every virtue to their view which claims their attention, and every vice which they ought to avoid. Instead of this, we generally see youth suffered to read romances, which impress on their minds such notions of Fairies, Goblins, &c. that exist only in the imagination, and, being strongly imbibed, take much time to eradicate, and very often baffle all the powers of philosophy. If books abounding with moral instructions, conveyed in a proper manner, were given in their stead, the frequent reading of them would implant in their mind such ideas and sentiments, as would enable them to guard against those prejudices so frequently met with amongst the ignorant.

Nor is it possible that any person can speak or write with elegance and propriety, who has not been taught to read well, and in such books where the sentiments are just and the language pure.

An insipid flatness and languor is almost the universal fault in reading; often uttering their words so faint and feeble, that they appear neither to feel nor understand what they read, nor have any desire it should be understood or felt by others. In order to acquire a forcible manner of pronouncing words, let the pupils inure themselves, while reading, to draw in as much air as their lungs can contain with ease, and to expel it with vehemence in uttering those sounds which require an emphatical pronunciation, and read aloud with all the exertion they can command; let all the consonant sounds be expressed with a full impulse of the breath, and a forcible action of the organs employed in forming them; and all the vowel sounds have a full and bold utterance.

These reasons, and to inspire youth with noble sentiments, just expression, to ease the teacher, and to render a book cheap, and convenient for schools, as well as private persons, who have neither time nor opportunity to peruse the works of those celebrated authors from whence this Collection is made, was the cause of the following compilation.

And as the speeches in both houses of parliament, pleading at the bar, instructions in the pulpit, and commercial correspondance, are delivered and carried on in the English language; the cloathing our thoughts with proper expressions, and conveying our ideas, either in writing or speaking, agreeably, cannot fail of making an impression upon the hearer or reader. For a man's knowledge is of little use to the world, when he is not able to convey it properly to others; which is the case of many who are endowed with excellent parts, but are either afraid or ashamed of writing, or speaking in public, being conscious of their own deficiency of expressing themselves in proper terms.

In order to remedy these defects, and to ease the teacher, I would advise, that several young gentlemen read in a class, each a sentence in this book, (it being divided into small portions for that purpose,) as often as convenient: and let him who reads best, be advanced to the head, or have some pecuniary reward; and every inferior one according to his merit; this will create emulation among them, and facilitate their improvement much more than threats or corrections, which stupifies and intimidates them, and often ends in contempt of their teachers, and learning in general. This will draw forth those latent abilities, which otherwise might lie dormant forever.

It may not be improper for the teacher, or some good reader, to read a sentence or two first, that the learners may gain the proper emphasis, and read without that monotony so painful to a good ear: for they will improve more by imitating a good reader, than any rules that can be laid down to them. When they come to read gracefully, let them stand up in the school and read aloud, in order to take off that bashfulness generally attending those who are called upon either to read or speak in public.

The next thing I would recommend, is the English Grammar (the best I know of is the Buchanan's syntax) the knowledge of which is absolutely necessary, as it is the solid foundation upon which all other science rests. After they have run over the rules of syntax, the teacher may dictate to them one or more sentences in false English, which they may correct by their grammar rules, and also find out the various significations of each word in the dictionary; by which means they will soon acquire a copious vocabulary, and become acquainted not with words only, but with things themselves. Let them get those sentences by heart to speak extempore; which will in some measure, be delivering their own compositions, and may be repeated as often as convenient. This will soon give the young gentlemen an idea of the force, elegance, and beauty of the English language.

The next thing I would gladly recommend, is that of letter-writing, a branch of education, which seems to me of the utmost utility, and in which most of our youth are deficient at their leaving school; being suffered to form their own style by chance: or imitate the first wretched model that falls in their way, before they know what is faulty, or can relish the beauties of a just simplicity.

For their improvement in this particular, the teacher may cause every young gentleman to have a slate or paper before him, on Saturdays, and then dictate a letter to them, either of his own composition, or taken out of some book, and turn it into false English, to exercise them in the grammar rules if he thinks proper, which they shall all write down, and then correct and transcribe it fairly in their books.

After the young gentlemen have been accustomed to this some time, a supposed correspondence may be fixt between every two of them, and write to one another under the inspection of the teacher who may correct and shew their faults when he sees occasion; by such a method he will soon find them improve in epistolary writing. The same may be observed with regard to young ladies, who are very often deficient, not only in orthography, but every other part of grammar.

If something similar to this method be pursued, it will soon reflect honor on the teacher, give the highest satisfaction to judicious parents, and entail upon the scholar a pleasing and lasting advantage.



Pursuit of Knowledge recommended to Youth,
Directions how to spend our Time,
Mispent Time how punished,
The same continued,
Good humour and Nature,
Detraction and Falshood,
The Importance of Punctuality,
Exercise and Temperance the best Preservative of Health,
The Duty of Secrecy,
Of Cheerfulness,
On the Advantages of a Cheerful Temper,
Whisperers and Giglers complained of,
Beauty produced by Sentiments,
Human Nature,
The Advantages of representing Human Nature in its proper Dignity,
Custom a second Nature,
On Cleanliness,
The Advantages of a good Education,
The Disadvantages of a bad Education,
Learning a necessary Accomplishment in a Woman of Quality or Fortune,
On the Absurdity of Omens,
A good Conscience, &c.
On Contentment,
Human Miseries chiefly imaginary,
A Life of Virtue preferable to a Life of Pleasure,
Virtue rewarded,
The History of Amanda,
The Story of Abdallah and Balsora,
Rashness and Cowardice,
Fortitude founded upon the Fear of God,
The Folly of youthful Extravagance,
The Misery of depending upon the Great,
What it is to see the World,
The Story of Melissa,
On the Omniscience and Omnipresence of the Deity, together with the Immensity of his Works,
Motives to Piety and Virtue, drawn from the Omniscience and Omnipresence of the Deity,
Reflections on the third Heaven,
The present Life to be considered only as it may conduce to the Happiness of a future one,
On the Immortality of the Soul,
On the Animal World, and the Scale of Beings,
Providence proved from Animal instinct,
Further Remarks, taken from Lord Chesterfield's Letters to his Son,
Genteel Carriage,
Cleanliness of Person,
Elegance of Expression,
Small Talk,
Absence of Mind,
Knowledge of the World,
Choice of Company,
Sundry little Accomplishments,
Dignity of Manners,
Rules for Conversation,
Further Remarks, taken from Lord Chesterfield's Letters to his Son,
Entrance upon the World,
Advice to a young Man,
The Vision of Mirza, exhibiting a Picture of Human Life,
Riches not productive of Happiness: The Story of Ortogrul of Basra,
Of the Scriptures, as the Rule of Life,
Of Genesis,
Of Exodus,
Of Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy,
Of Joshua,
Of Judges, Samuel, and Kings,
Of Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah; and Esther,
Of Job,
Of the Psalms,
Of the Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Solomon's Song, the Prophecies, and Apocrypha,
Of the New Testament,
Of the Example set by our Saviour, and his Character,
A comparative View of the Blessed and Cursed at the last Day, and the Inference to be drawn from it,
Character of St. Paul,
Of the Epistles,
The Epistle of St. James,
Epistles of St. Peter, and the first of St. John,
Of the Revelations,
True Devotion productive of the truest Pleasure,
A Morning Prayer for a young Student at School, or for the common Use of a School,
An Evening Prayer,

Of Columbus, and the Discovery of America,
Speech of Romulus after founding Rome,
Speech of Quinctius Capitolinus,
Caius Marius to the Romans,
Demosthenes to the Athenians,
The perfect Speaker,
On the Duties of School-Boys, from the pious and judicious Rollin,
Columbia.—A Poem,
The Choice of a Rural Life.—A Poem,
Hymns and Prayers,
Character of Man,
Douglas's Account of himself,
------how he learned the Art of War,
Baucis and Philemon,
On Happiness,
Speech of Adam to Eve,
Soliloquy and Prayer of Edward the Black Prince, before the battle of Poictiers,
Invocation to Paradise Lost,
Morning Hymn,
The Hermit, by Dr. Beatie,
Advantages of Peace,
The Progress of Life,
Speeches in the Roman Senate,
Cato's Soliloquy on the Immortality of the Soul,
Hamlet's Meditation on Death,
Select Passages from Dramatic Writers.
Joy,—Distressed Mother,
Grief,—Distressed Mother,
Pity,—Venice Preserved,
Awe and Fear,—Mourning Bride,
Revenge,—Merchant of Venice,
Admiration,—Merchant of Venice,
Contempt,—Fair Penitent,
Resignation,—Jane Shore,
Remorse and Despair,—Busiris,
Distraction,—Jane Shore,
Gratitude,—Fair Penitent,
Intreaty,—Jane Shore,
Commanding,—Rinaldo and Armida,
Boasting,—Every Man in his Humour,
Perplexity,—Tancred and Sigismunda
Suspicion,—Julius Cæsar,
Wit and Humour,—2d Henry 4, 1st Henry 4,
Ridicule,—Julius Cæsar,

Section I,
Section II.
Section III.

On Reading and Speaking,







Pursuit of Knowledge recommended to Youth.

1. I am very much concerned when I see young gentlemen of fortune and quality so wholly set upon pleasure and diversions, that they neglect all those improvements in wisdom and knowledge which may make them easy to themselves and useful to the world. The greatest part of our British youth lose their figure, and grow out of fashion, by that time they are five and twenty.

2. As soon as the natural gaiety and amiableness of the young man wears off, they have nothing left to recommend them, but lie by the rest of their lives, among the lumber and refuse of the species.

It sometimes happens, indeed, that for want of applying themselves in due time to the pursuits of knowledge, they take up a book in their declining years, and grow very hopeful scholars by that time they are threescore. I must therefore earnestly press my readers who are in the flower of their youth, to labour at these accomplishments which may set off their persons when their bloom is gone, and to lay in timely provisions for manhood and old age. In short, I would advise the youth of fifteen to be dressing up every day the man of fifty; or to consider how to make himself venerable at threescore.

3. Young men, who are naturally ambitious, would do well to observe how the greatest men of antiquity wade it their ambition to excel all their cotemporaries in knowledge. Julius Cæsar and Alexander, the most celebrated instances of human greatness, took a particular care to distinguish themselves by their skill in the arts and sciences. We have still extant, several remains of the former, which justify the character given of him by the learned men of his own age.

4. As for the latter, it is a known saying of his, that he was more obliged to Aristotle, who had instructed him, than to Philip, who had given him life and empire. There is a letter of his recorded by Plutarch and Aulus Gellius, which he wrote to Aristotle, upon hearing that he had published those lectures he had given him in private. This letter was written in the following words, at a time when he was in the height of his Persian conquests.


"You have not done well to publish your books of select knowledge; for what is there now in which I can surpass others, if those things which I have been instructed in are communicated to every body? For my own part I declare to you, I would rather excel others in knowledge than power. Farewell."

6. We see by this letter, that the love of conquest was but the second ambition in Alexander's soul. Knowledge is indeed that, which, next to virtue, truly and essentially raises one man above another. It finishes one half of the human soul. It makes being pleasant to us, fills the mind with entertaining views, and administers to it a perpetual series of gratifications.

It gives ease to solitude, and gracefulness to retirement. It fills a public station with suitable abilities, and adds a lustre to those who are in possession of them.

7. Learning, by which I mean all useful knowledge, whether speculative or practical, is in popular and mixed governments the natural source of wealth and honor. If we look into most of the reigns from the conquest, we shall find, that the favorites of each reign have been those who have raised themselves. The greatest men are generally the growth of that particular age in which they flourish.

8. A superior capacity for business and a more extensive knowledge, are the steps by which a new man often mounts to favor, and outshines the rest of his cotemporaries. But when men are actually born to titles, it is almost impossible that they should fail of receiving an additional greatness, if they take care to accomplish themselves for it.

9. The story of Solomon's choice, does not only instruct us in that point of history, but furnishes out a very fine moral to us, namely, that he who applies his heart to wisdom, does at the same time take the most proper method for gaining long life, riches and reputation, which are very often not only the rewards, but the effects of wisdom.

10. As it is very suitable to my present subject, I shall first of all quote this passage in the words of sacred writ, and afterwards mention an allegory, in which this whole passage is represented by a famous FRENCH Poet; not questioning but it will be very pleasing to such of my readers as have a taste for fine writing.

11. In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, "Ask what I shall give thee." And Solomon said, "Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David, my father, great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee, and thou hast kept from him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, O Lord, my God, thou hast made thy servant King instead of David my father; and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in."

12. "Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?" And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto him, "Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life, neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies, but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; behold, I have done according to thy words, so I have given thee a wise and understanding heart, so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee."

13. "And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches and honor, so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days." And Solomon awoke and behold it was a dream.

14. The French poet has shadowed this story in an allegory, of which he seems to have taken the hint from the fable of the three goddesses appearing to Paris, or rather from the vision of Hercules, recorded by Xenophon, where Pleasure and Virtue are represented as real persons making their court to the hero with all their several charms and allurements.

15. Health, Wealth, Victory and Honor are introduced successively in their proper emblems and characters, each of them spreading her temptations, and recommending herself to the young monarch's choice. Wisdom enters last, and so captivates him with her appearance, that he gives himself up to her. Upon which she informs him, that those who appeared before her were nothing but her equipage, and that since he had placed his heart upon Wisdom, Health, Wealth, Victory and Honor should always wait an her as her handmaids.

Directions how to spend our Time.

1. We all of us complain of the shortness of time, saith Seneca, and yet have much more than we know what to do with. Our lives, says he, are spent either in doing nothing at all, or in doing nothing to the purpose, or in doing nothing that we ought to do; we are always complaining our days are few, and acting as though there would be no end of them. That noble philosopher has described our inconsistency with ourselves in this particular, by all those various turns of expression and thought which are peculiar to his writings.

2. I often consider mankind as wholly inconsistent with itself in a point that bears some affinity to the former. Though we seem grieved at the shortness of life in general, we are wishing every period of it at an end. The minor longs to be at age, then to be a man of business, then to make up an estate, then to arrive at honors, then to retire. Thus, although the whole of life is allowed by every one to be short, the several divisions of it appear to be long and tedious.

3. We are for lengthening our span in general, but would fain contract the parts of which it is composed. The usurer would be very well satisfied to have all the time annihilated that lies between the present moment and next quarter day. The politician would be contented to loose three years of his life, could he place things in the posture which he fancies they will stand in after such a revolution of time.

4. The lover would be glad to strike out of his existence all the moments that are to pass away before the happy meeting. Thus, as far as our time runs, we should be very glad in most parts of our lives, that it ran much faster than it does. Several hours of the day hang upon our hands, nay, we wish away whole years; and travel through time as through a country filled with many wild and empty wastes which we would fain hurry over, that we may arrive at those several little settlements or imaginary points of rest, which are dispersed up and down in it.

5. If we may divide the life of most men into twenty parts, we shall find, that at least nineteen of them are mere gaps and chasms, which are neither filled with pleasure nor business. I do not however include in this calculation the life of those men who are in a perpetual hurry of affairs, but of those only who are not always engaged in scenes of action: and I hope I shall not do an unacceptable piece of service to those persons, if I point out to them certain methods for the filling up their empty spaces of life. The methods I shall propose to them are as follow:

6. The first is the exercise of virtue, in the most general acceptation of the word. That particular scheme which comprehends the social virtues, may give employment to the most industrious temper, and find a man in business more than the most active station of life. To advise the ignorant, relieve the needy, comfort the afflicted, are duties that fall in our way almost every day of our lives.

7. A man has frequent opportunities of mitigating the fierceness of a party; of doing justice to the character of a deserving man; of softening the envious, quieting the angry, and rectifying the prejudiced; which, are all of them employments suited to a reasonable nature, and bring great satisfaction to the person who can busy himself in them with discretion.

8. There is another kind of virtue that may find employment for those retired hours in which we are altogether left to ourselves, and destitute of company and conversation: I mean that intercourse and communication which every reasonable creature ought to maintain with the great Author of his being.

9. The man who lives under an habitual sense of the divine presence, keeps up a perpetual cheerfulness of temper, and enjoys every moment the satisfaction of thinking himself in company with the dearest and best of friends. The time never lies heavy upon him; it is impossible for him to be alone.

10. His thoughts and passions are the most busied at such hours when those of other men are the most inactive; he no sooner steps out of the world, but his heart burns with devotion, swells with hope, and triumphs in the consciousness of that presence which every where surrounds him; or, on the contrary, pours out its fears, its sorrows, its apprehensions, to the great supporter of its existence.

11. I have here only considered the necessity of a man's being virtuous that he may have something to do; but if we consider further, that the exercise of virtue is not only an amusement for the time it lasts, but that its influence extends to those parts of our existence which lie beyond the grave, and that our whole eternity is to take its colour from those hours which we here employ in virtue or in vice, the argument redoubles upon us, for putting in practice this method of passing away our time.

12. When a man has but a little stock to improve, and has opportunities of turning it all to a good account, what shall we think of him if he suffers nineteen parts of it to lie dead, and perhaps employs even the twentieth to his ruin or disadvantage? But because the mind cannot be always in its fervour nor strained up to a pitch of virtue, it is necessary to find out proper employments for it in its relaxations.

13. The next method therefore that I would propose to fill up our time, should be useful and innocent diversion. I must confess I think it is below reasonable creatures to be altogether conversant in such diversions as are merely innocent, and having nothing else to recommend them but that there is no hurt in them.

14. Whether any kind of gaming has even thus much to say for itself, I shall not determine; but I think it is very wonderful to see persons of the best sense, passing away a dozen hours together in shuffling and dividing a pack of cards, with no other conversation but what is made up of a few game phrases, and no other ideas but those of black or red spots ranged together in different figures. Would not a man laugh to hear any one of his species complaining that life is short.

15. The stage might be made a perpetual source of the most noble and useful entertainments, were it under proper regulations.

But the mind never unbends itself so agreeably as in the conversation of a well-chosen friend. There is indeed no blessing of life that is any way comparable to the enjoyment of a discreet and virtuous friend. It eases and unloads the mind, clears and improves the understanding, engenders thoughts and knowledge, animates virtue and good resolution, sooths and allays the passions, and finds employment for most of the vacant hours of life.

16. Next to such an intimacy with a particular person, one would endeavour after a more general conversation with such as are able to entertain and improve those with whom they converse, which are qualifications that seldom go asunder.

There are many other useful amusements of life, which one would endeavour to multiply, that one might on all occasions have recourse to something rather than suffer the mind to lie idle, or ran adrift with any passion that chances to rise in it.

17. A man that has a taste in music, painting, or architecture, is like one that has another sense when compared with such as have no relish for those arts. The florist, the planter, the gardener, the husbandman, when they are only as accomplishments to the man of fortune; are great reliefs to a country life, and many ways useful to those who are possessed of them.


18. I was yesterday busy in comparing together the industry of man with that of other creatures; in which I could not but observe, that notwithstanding we are obliged by duty to keep ourselves in constant employ, after the same manner as inferior animals are prompted to it by instinct, we fell very short of them in this particular.

19. We are the more inexcusable, because there is a greater variety of business to which we may apply ourselves. Reason opens to us a large field of affairs, which other creatures are not capable of. Beasts of prey, and I believe all other kinds, in their natural state of being, divide their time between action and rest. They are always at work or asleep. In short, their awaking hours are wholly taken up in seeking after their food, or in consuming it.

20. The human species only, to the great reproach of our natures, are filled with complaints—That the day hangs heavy on them, that they do not know what to do with themselves, that they are at a loss how to pass away their time, with many of the like shameful murmurs, which we often find in the mouth of those who are styled reasonable beings.

21. How monstrous are such expressions among creatures who have the labours of the mind as well as those of the body to furnish them with proper employments; who, besides the business of their proper callings and professions, can apply themselves to the duties of religion, to meditation, to the reading of useful books, to discourse; in a word, who may exercise themselves in the unbounded pursuits of knowledge and virtue, and every hour of their lives make themselves wiser or better than they were before.

22. After having been taken up for some time in this course of thought, I diverted myself with a book, according to my usual custom, in order to unbend my mind before I went to sleep. The book I made use of on this occasion was Lucian where I amused my thoughts for about an hour among the dialogues of the dead, which in all probability produced the following dream:

23. I was conveyed, methought, into the entrance of the infernal regions, where I saw Rhadamanthus, one of the judges of the dead, seated in his tribunal. On his left hand stood the keeper of Erebus, on his right the keeper of Elysium. I was told he sat upon women that day, there being several of the sex lately arrived, who had not yet their mansions assigned them.

24. I was surprised to hear him ask every one of them the same question, namely, What they had been doing? Upon this question being proposed to the whole assembly they stared upon one another, as not knowing what to answer. He then interrogated each of them separately. Madam, says he to the first of them, you have been upon the earth about fifty years: What have you been doing there all this while? Doing, says she, really I do not know what I have been doing: I desire I may have time given me to recollect.

25. After about half an hour's pause, she told him that she had been playing at crimp: upon which Rhadamanthus beckoned to the keeper on his left hand, to take her into custody. And you, Madam, says the judge, that look with such a soft and languishing air; I think you set out for this place in your nine and twentieth year; what have you been doing all this while? I had a great deal of business on my hands, says she, being taken up the first twelve years of my life, in dressing a jointed baby, and all the remaining part of it in reading plays and romances.

26. Very well, says he, you have employed your time to good purpose. Away with her. The next was a plain country woman: Well, mistress, says Rhadamanthus, and what have you been doing? An't please your worship, says she, I did not live quite forty years; and in that time brought my husband seven daughters, made him nine thousand cheeses, and left my eldest girl with him to look after his house in my absence, and who, I may venture to say, is us pretty a housewife as any in the country.

27. Rhadamanthus smiled at the simplicity of the good woman, and ordered the keeper of Elysium, to take her into his care. And you, fair lady, says he, what have you been doing these five and thirty years? I have been doing no hurt, I assure you sir, said she. That is well, says he, but what good have you been doing? The lady was in great confusion at this question, and not knowing what to answer, the two keepers leaped out to seize her at the same time; the one took her by the hand to convey her to Elysium; the other caught hold of her to carry her away to Erebus.

28. But Rhadamanthus observing an ingenuous modesty in her countenance and behaviour, bid them both let her loose, and set her aside for a re-examination when he was more at leisure. An old woman, of a proud and sour look, presented herself next at the bar, and being asked what she had been doing? Truly, says she, I lived three score and ten years in a very wicked world, and was so angry at the behaviour of a parcel of young flirts, that I past most of my last years in condemning the follies of the times.

29. I was every day blaming the silly conduct of people about me, in order to deter those I conversed with from falling into the like errors and miscarriages. Very well, says Rhadamanthus, but did you keep the same watchful eye over your own actions? Why truly, says she, I was so taken up with publishing the faults of others, that I had no time to consider my own.

30. Madam, says Rhadamanthus, be pleased to file off to the left, and make room for the venerable matron that stands behind you. Old gentlewoman, says he, I think you are fourscore? You have heard the question, what have you been doing so long in the world? Ah! sir, says she, I have been doing what I should not have done, but I had made a firm resolution to have changed my life, if I had not been snatched off by an untimely end.

31. Madam, says he, you will please to follow your leader, and spying another of the same age, interrogated her in the same form. To which the matron replied, I have been the wife of a husband who was as dear to me in his old age as in his youth. I have been a mother, and very happy in my children, whom I endeavoured to bring up in every thing that is good.

32. My eldest son is blest by the poor, and beloved by every one that knows him. I lived within my own family, and left it much more wealthy than I found it. Rhadamanthus, who knew the value of the old lady smiled upon her in such a manner, that the keeper of Elysium, who knew his office, reached out his hand to her. He no sooner touched her but her wrinkles vanished, her eyes sparkled, her cheeks glowed with blushes, and she appeared in full bloom and beauty.

33. A young woman observing that this officer, who conducted the happy to Elysium, was so great a beautifier, longed to be in his hands, so that, pressing through the croud, she was the next that appeared at the bar, and being asked what she had been doing the five and twenty years that she had passed in the world, I have endeavoured, says she, ever since I came to the years of discretion, to make myself lovely, and gain admirers.

34. In order to do it I past my time in bottling up Maydew, inventing white-washes, mixing colours, cutting out patches, consulting my glass, suiting my complexion, tearing off my tucker, sinking my stays—Rhadamanthus, without hearing her out, gave the sign to take her off. Upon the approach of the keeper of Erebus her colour faded, her face was puckered up with wrinkles, and her whole person lost in deformity.

35. I was then surprised with a distant sound of a whole troop of females that came forward laughing, singing, and dancing. I was very desirous to know the reception they would meet with, and withal was very apprehensive that Rhadamanthus would spoil their mirth; but at their nearer approach the noise grew so very great that it awakened me.

36. Employment of time is a subject that, from its importance, deserves your best attention. Most young gentlemen have a great deal of time before them, and one hour well employed, in the early part of life, is more valuable and will be of greater use to you, than perhaps four and twenty, some years to come.

37. What ever time you can steal from company and from the study of the world (I say company, for a knowledge of life is best learned in various companies) employ it in serious reading. Take up some valuable book, and continue the reading of that book till you have got through it; never burden your mind with more than one thing at a time: and in reading this book do not run it over superficially, but read every passage twice over, at least do not pass on to a second till you thoroughly understand the first, nor quit the book till you are master of the subject; for unless you do this, you may read it through, and not remember the contents of it for a week.

38. The books I would particularly recommend, are Cardinal Retz's maxims, Rochefoucault's moral reflections, Bruyere's characters, Fontenelle's plurality of worlds, Sir Josiah Child on trade, Bollinbroke's works; for style, his remarks on the history of England, under the name of Sir John Oldcastle; Puffendorff's Jus Gentium, and Grotius de Jure Belli et Pacis: the last two are well translated by Barbeyrac. For occasional half hours or less, read the best works of invention, wit and humor; but never waste your minutes on trifling authors, either ancient or modern.

39. Any business you may have to transact, should be done the first opportunity, and finished, if possible, without interruption; for by deferring it we may probably finish it too late, or execute it indifferently. Now, business of any kind should never be done by halves, but every part of it should be well attended to: for he that does business ill, had better not do it at all. And in any point which discretion bids you pursue, and which has a manifest utility to recommend it, let not difficulties deter you; rather let them animate your industry. If one method fails, try a second and a third. Be active, persevere, and you will certainly conquer.

40. Never indulge a lazy disposition, there are few things but are attended with some difficulties, and if you are frightened at those difficulties, you will not complete any thing. Indolent minds prefer ignorance to trouble; they look upon most things as impossible, because perhaps they are difficult. Even an hour's attention is too laborious for them, and they would rather content themselves with the first view of things than take the trouble to look any farther into them. Thus, when they come to talk upon subjects to those who have studied them, they betray an unpardonable ignorance, and lay themselves open to answers that confuse them. Be careful then, that you do not get the appellation of indolent, and, if possible, avoid the character of frivolous.

41. For the frivolous mind is busied always upon nothing. It mistakes trifling objects for important ones, and spends that time upon little matters, that should only be bestowed upon great ones. Knick-knacks, butterflies, shells, and such like, engross the attention of the frivolous man, and fill up all his time. He studies the dress and not the characters of men, and his subjects of conversation are no other than the weather, his own domestic affairs, his servants, his method of managing his family, the little anecdotes of the neighborhood, and the fiddle-faddle stories of the day; void of information, void of improvement. These he relates with emphasis, as interesting matters; in short, he is a male gossip. I appeal to your own feelings now, whether such things do not lessen a man in the opinion, of his acquaintance, and instead of attracting esteem, create disgust.


Modesty is the citidel of beauty and virtue. The first of all virtues is innocence; the second is modesty.

1. Modesty is both in its source, and in its consequence, a very great happiness to the fair possessor of it; it arises from a fear of dishonor, and a good conscience, and is followed immediately, upon its first appearance, with the reward of honor and esteem, paid by all those who discover it in any body living.

2. It is indeed a virtue in a woman (that might otherwise be very disagreeable to one) so exquisitely delicate, that it excites in any beholder, of a generous and manly disposition, almost all the passions that he would be apt to conceive for the mistress of his heart, in variety of circumstances.

3. A woman that is modest creates in us an awe in her company, a wish for her welfare, a joy in her being actually happy, a sore and painful sorrow if distress should come upon her, a ready and willing heart to give her consolation, and a compassionate temper towards her, in every little accident of life she undergoes; and to sum up all in one word, it causes such a kind of angelical love, even to a stranger, as good natured brothers and sisters usually bear towards one another.

4. It adds wonderfully to the make of a face, and I have seen a pretty well turned forehead, fine set eyes, and what your poets call, a row of pearl set in coral, shewn by a pretty expansion of two velvet lips that covered them (that would have tempted any sober man living of my own age, to have been a little loose in his thoughts, and to have enjoyed a painful pleasure amidst his impotency) lose all their virtue, all their force and efficacy, by having an ugly cast of boldness very discernibly spread out at large over all those alluring features.

5. At the same time modesty will fill up the wrinkles of old age with glory; make sixty blush itself into sixteen; and help a green sick girl to defeat the satyr of a false waggish lover, who might compare her colour, when she looked like a ghost, to the blowing of the rose-bud, by blushing herself into a bloom of beauty; and might make what he meant a reflection, a real compliment, at any hour of the day, in spite of his teeth. It has a prevailing power with me, whenever I find it in the sex.

6. I who have the common fault of old men, to be very sour and humoursome, when I drink my water-gruel in a morning, fell into a more than ordinary pet with a maid whom I call my nurse, from a constant tenderness, that I have observed her to exercise towards me beyond all my other servants; I perceived her flush and glow in the face, in a manner which I could plainly discern proceeded not from anger or resentment of my correction, but from a good natured regret, upon a fear that she had offended her grave old master.

7. I was so heartily pleased, that I eased her of the honest trouble she underwent inwardly far my sake; and giving her half a crown, I told her it was a forfeit due to her because I was out of humour with her without any reason at all. And as she is so gentle-hearted, I have diligently avoided giving her one harsh word ever since: and I find my own reward in it: for not being so testy as I used, has made me much haler and stronger than I was before.

8. The pretty, and witty, and virtuous Simplicia, was, the other day, visiting with an old aunt of her's, that I verily believe has read the Atalantis; she took a story out there, and dressed up an old honest neighbour in the second hand clothes of scandal. The young creature hid her face with her fan at every burst and peal of laughter, and blushed for her guilty parent; by which she atoned, methought, for every scandal that ran round the beautiful circle.

9. As I was going home to bed that evening, I could not help thinking of her all the way I went. I represented her to myself as shedding holy blood every time she blushed, and as being a martyr in the cause of virtue. And afterwards, when I was putting on my night-cap, I could not drive the thought out of my head, but that I was young enough to be married to her; and that it would be an addition to the reputation I have in the study of wisdom, to marry to so much youth and modesty, even in my old age.

10. I know there have not been wanting many wicked objections against this virtue; one is grown insufferably common. The fellow blushes, he is guilty. I should say rather, He blushes, therefore he is innocent. I believe the same man, that first had that wicked imagination of a blush being the sign of guilt, represented good nature to be folly; and that he himself, was the most inhuman and impudent wretch alive.

11. The author of Cato, who is known to be one of the most modest, and most ingenious persons of the age we now live in, has given this virtue a delicate name in the tragedy of Cato, where the character of Marcia is first opened to us. I would have all ladies who have a mind to be thought well-bred, to think seriously on this virtue, which he so beautifully calls the sanctity of manners.

12. Modesty is a polite accomplishment, and generally an attendant upon merit. It is engaging to the highest degree, and wins the hearts of all our acquaintance. On the contrary, none are more disgustful in company than the impudent and presuming.

The man who is, on all occasions, commending and speaking well of himself, we naturally dislike. On the other hand, he who studies to conceal his own deserts, who does justice to the merit of others, who talks but little of himself, and that with modesty, makes a favourable impression on the persons he is conversing with, captivates their minds, and gains their esteem.

13. Modesty, however, widely differs from an aukward bashfulness; which is as much to be condemned as the other is to be applauded. To appear simple is as ill-bred as to be impudent. A young man ought to be able to come into a room and address the company without the least embarrassment. To be out of countenance when spoken to, and not to have an answer ready, is ridiculous to the last degree.

14. An aukward country fellow, when he comes into company better than himself, is exceedingly disconcerted. He knows not what to do with his hands or his hat, but either puts one of them in his pocket, and dangles the other by his side: or perhaps twirls his hat on his fingers, or perhaps fumbles with the button. If spoken to he is in a much worse situation; he answers with the utmost difficulty, and nearly stammers; whereas a gentleman who is acquainted with life, enters a room with gracefulness and a modest assurance; addresses even persons he does not know, in an easy and natural manner, and without the least embarrassment.

15. This is the characteristic of good-breeding, a very necessary knowledge in our intercourse with men; for one of inferior parts, with the behaviour of a gentleman, is frequently better received than a man of sense, with the address and manners of a clown. Ignorance and vice are the only things we need be ashamed of; steer clear of these, and you may go into any company you will; not that I would have a young man throw off all dread of appearing abroad; as a fear of offending, or being disesteemed, will make him preserve a proper decorum.

16. Some persons, from experiencing the bad effects of false modesty, have run into the other extreme, and acquired the character of impudent. This is as great a fault as the other. A well-bred man keeps himself within the two, and steers the middle way. He is easy and firm in every company; is modest, but not bashful; steady, but not impudent. He copies the manners of the better people, and conforms to their customs with ease and attention.

17. Till we can present ourselves in all companies with coolness and unconcern, we can never present ourselves well; nor will man ever be supposed to have kept good company, or ever be acceptable in such company, if he cannot appear there easy and unembarrassed. A modest assurance in every part of life, is the most advantageous qualification we can possibly acquire.

18. Instead of becoming insolent, a man of sense, under a consciousness of merit, is more modest. He behaves himself indeed with firmness, but without the least presumption. The man who is ignorant of his own merit is no less a fool than he who is constantly displaying it. A man of understanding avails himself of his abilities but never boasts of them; whereas the timid and bashful can never push himself in life, be his merit as great as it will; he will be always kept behind by the forward and the bustling.

19. A man of abilities, and acquainted with life, will stand as firm in defence of his own rights, and pursue his plans as steadily and unmoved as the most impudent man alive; but then he does it with a seeming modesty. Thus, manner is every thing; what is impudence in one is proper assurance only in another: for firmness is commendable, but an overbearing conduct is disgustful.

20. Forwardness being the very reverse of modesty, follow rather than lead the company; that is, join in discourse upon their subjects rather than start one of your own; if you have parts, you will have opportunities enough of shewing them on every topic of conversation; and if you have none, it is better to expose yourself upon a subject of other people's, than on one of your own.

21. But be particularly careful not to speak of yourself if you can help it. An impudent fellow lugs in himself abruptly upon all occasions, and is ever the here of his own story. Others will colour their arrogance with, "It may seem strange indeed, that I should talk in this manner of myself; it is what I by no means like, and should never do, if I had not been cruelly and unjustly accused; but when my character is attacked, it is a justice I owe to myself to defend it." This veil is too thin not to be seen through on the first inspection.

22. Others again, with more art, will modestly boast of all the principal virtues, by calling these virtues weaknesses, and saying, they are so unfortunate as to fall into those weaknesses. "I cannot see persons suffer," says one of his cast, "without relieving them; though my circumstances are very unable to afford it—I cannot avoid speaking truth; though it is often very imprudent;" and so on.

23. This angling for praise is so prevailing a principle, that it frequently stoops to the lowest object. Men will often boast of doing that, which, if true, would be rather a disgrace to them than otherwise. One man affirms that he rode twenty miles within the hour: 'tis probably a lie; but suppose he did, what then? He had a good horse under him, and is a good jockey. Another swears he has often at a sitting, drank five or six bottles to his own share. Out of respect to him, I will believe him a liar; for I would not wish to think him a beast.

24. These and many more are the follies of idle people, which, while they think they procure them esteem, in reality make them despised.

To avoid this contempt, therefore, never speak of yourself at all, unless necessity obliges you; and even then, take care to do it in such a manner, that it may not be construed into fishing for applause. Whatever perfections you may have, be assured, people will find them out; but whether they do or not, nobody will take them upon your own word. The less you say of yourself, the more the world will give you credit for; and the more you say, the less they will believe you.


1. A late conversation which I fell into, gave me an opportunity of observing a great deal of beauty in a very handsome woman, and as much wit in an ingenious man, turned into deformity in the one, and absurdity in the other, by the mere force of affectation. The fair one had something in her person upon which her thoughts were fixed, that she attempted to shew to advantage in every look, word and gesture.

2. The gentleman was as diligent to do justice to his fine parts, as the lady to her beauteous form: you might see his imagination on the stretch to find out something uncommon, and what they call bright, to entertain her: while she writhed herself into as many different postures to engage him. When she laughed, her lips were to sever at a greater distance than ordinary to shew her teeth.

3. Her fan was to point to somewhat at a distance, that in the reach she may discover the roundness of her arm; then she is utterly mistaken in what she saw, falls back, smiles at her own folly, and is so wholly discomposed, that her tucker is to be adjusted, her bosom exposed, and the whole woman put into new airs and graces.

4. While she was doing all this, the gallant had time to think of something very pleasant to say next to her, or make some unkind observation on some other lady to feed her vanity. These unhappy effects of affectation naturally led me to look into that strange state of mind, which so generally discolours the behaviour of most people we meet with.

5. The learned Dr. Burnet, in his Theory of the Earth, takes occasion to observe, that every thought is attended with consciousness and representativeness; the mind has nothing presented to it, but what is immediately followed by a reflection of conscience, which tells you whether that which was so presented is graceful or unbecoming.

6. This act of the mind discovers itself in the gesture, by a proper behaviour in those whose consciousness goes no farther than to direct them in the just progress of their present thought or action; but betrays an interruption in every second thought, when the consciousness is employed in too fondly approving a man's own conceptions; which sort of consciousness is what we call affectation.

7. As the love of praise is implanted in our bosoms as a strong incentive to worthy actions; it is a very difficult task to get above a desire of it for things that should be wholly indifferent. Women, whose hearts are fixed upon the pleasure they have in the consciousness that they are the objects of love and admiration, are ever changing the air of their countenances, and altering the attitude of their bodies, to strike the hearts of their beholders with a new sense of their beauty.

8. The dressing part of our sex, whose minds are the same with the sillier part of the other, are exactly in the like uneasy condition to be regarded for a well tied cravat, an hat cocked with an unusual briskness, a very well chosen coat, or other instances of merit, which they are impatient to see unobserved.

9. But this apparent affectation, arising from an ill governed consciousness, is not so much to be wondered at in such loose and trivial minds as these. But when you see it reign in characters of worth and distinction, it is what you cannot but lament, nor without some indignation. It creeps into the heart of the wise man, as well as that of the coxcomb.

10. When you see a man of sense look about for applause, and discover an itching inclination to be commended; lay traps for a little incense, even from those whose opinion he values in nothing but his own favour; who is safe against this weakness? or who knows whether he is guilty of it or not? The best way to get clear of such a light fondness for applause is, to take all possible care to throw off the love of it upon occasions that are not in themselves laudable; but, as it appears, we hope for no praise from them.

11. Of this nature are all graces in men's persons, dress, and bodily deportment; which will naturally be winning and attractive if we think not of them, but lose their force in proportion to our endeavour to make them such.

When our consciousness turns upon the main design of life, and our thoughts are employed upon the chief purpose either in business or pleasure, we should never betray an affectation, for we cannot be guilty of it, but when we give the passion for praise an unbridled liberty, our pleasure in little perfections robs us of what is due to us for great virtues and worthy qualities.

12. How many excellent speeches and honest actions are lost, for want of being indifferent where we ought! Men are oppressed with regard to their way of speaking and acting, instead of having their thoughts bent upon what they should do or say; and by that means bury a capacity for great things, by their fear of failing in indifferent things. This, perhaps, cannot be called affectation; but it has some tincture of it, at least so far, as that their fear of erring in a thing of no consequence argues they would be too much pleased in performing it.

13. It is only from a thorough disregard to himself in such particulars, that a man can act with a laudable sufficiency; his heart is fixed upon one point in view; and he commits no errors, because he thinks nothing an error but what deviates from that intention.

The wild havock affectation makes in that part of the world which should be most polite, is visible wherever we turn our eyes; it pushes men not only into impertinences in conversation, but also in their premeditated speeches.

14. At the bar it torments the bench, whose business it is to cut off all superfluities in what is spoken before it by the practitioner; as well as several little pieces of injustice which arise from the law itself. I have seen it make a man run from the purpose before a judge, who at the bar himself, so close and logical a pleader, that with all the pomp of eloquence in his power, he never spoke a word too much.

15. It might be borne even here, but it often ascends the pulpit itself; and the declaimer, in that sacred place, is frequently so impertinently witty, speaks of the last day itself with so many quaint phrases, that there is no man who understands raillery, but must resolve to sin no more; nay, you may behold him sometimes in prayer, for a proper delivery of the great truths he is to utter, humble himself with a very well turned phrase, and mention his unworthiness in a way so very becoming, that the air of the pretty gentleman is preserved, under the lowliness of the preacher.

16. I shall end this with a short letter I wrote the other day to a very witty man, over-run with the fault I am now speaking of.


I spent some time with you the other day, and must take the liberty of a friend to tell you of the insufferable affectation you are guilty of in all you say and do.

17. When I gave you a hint of it, you asked me whether a man is to be cold to what his friends think of him? No, but praise is not to be the entertainment of every moment: he that hopes for it must be able to suspend the possession of it till proper periods of life, or death itself. If you would not rather be commended than be praiseworthy, contemn little merits; and allow no man to be so free with you, as to praise you to your face.

18. Your vanity by this means will want its food. At the same time your passion for esteem will be more fully gratified; men will praise you in their actions: where you now receive one compliment you will then receive twenty civilities. Till then you will never have of either, further than,


Your humble servant.'

SPECTATOR, Vol. 1. No. 38.

19. Nature does nothing in vain; the Creator of the Universe has appointed every thing to a certain use and purpose, and determined it to a settled course and sphere of action, from which, if it in the least deviates, it becomes unfit to answer those ends for which it was designed.

20. In like manner it is in the disposition of society: the civil œconomy is formed in a chain as well as the natural; and in either case the breach but of one link puts the whole in some disorder. It is, I think, pretty plain, that most of the absurdity and ridicule we meet with in the world, is generally owing to the impertinent affectation of excelling in characters men are not fit for, and for which nature never designed them.

21. Every man has one or more qualities which may make him useful both to himself and others: Nature never fails of pointing them out, and while the infant continues under her guardianship, she brings him on in his way, and then offers herself for a guide in what remains of the journey; if he proceeds in that course, he can hardly miscarry: Nature makes good her engagements; for as she never promises what she is not able to perform, so she never fails of performing what she promises.

22. But the misfortune is, men despise what they may be masters of, and affect what they are not fit for; they reckon themselves already possessed of what their genius inclines them to, and so bend all their ambition to excel in what is out of their reach; thus they destroy the use of their natural talents, in the same manner as covetous men do their quiet and repose; they can enjoy no satisfaction in what they have, because of the absurd inclination they are possessed with for what they have not.

23. Cleanthes had good sense, a great memory, and a constitution capable of the closest application: in a word, there was no profession in which Cleanthes might not have made a very good figure; but this won't satisfy him; he takes up an unaccountable fondness for the character of a line gentleman; all his thoughts are bent upon this, instead of attending a dissection, frequenting the courts of justice, or studying the Fathers.

24. Cleanthes reads plays, dances, dresses, and spends his time in drawing rooms, instead of being a good lawyer, divine, or physician; Cleanthes is a down-right coxcomb, and will remain to all that knew him a contemptible example of talents misapplied. It is to this affectation the world owes its whole race of coxcombs; Nature in her whole drama never drew such a part; she has sometimes made a fool, but a coxcomb is always of a man's own making, by applying his talents otherwise than nature designed, who ever bears an high resentment for being put out of her course, and never fails of taking revenge on those that do so.

25. Opposing her tendency in the application of a man's parts, has the same success as declining from her course in the production of vegetables; by the assistance of art and an hot bed, we may possibly extort an unwilling plant, or an untimely sallad; but how weak, how tasteless, and insipid! Just as insipid as the poetry of Valerio.

26. Valerio had an universal character, was genteel, had learning, thought justly, spoke correctly; 'twas believed there was nothing in which Valerio did not excel; and 'twas so far true, that there was but one: Valerio had no genius for poetry, yet was resolved to be a poet; he writes verses, and takes great pains to convince the town, that Valerio is not that extraordinary person he was taken for.

27. If men would be content to graft upon nature, and assist her operations, what mighty effects might we expect? Tully would not stand so much alone in oratory, Virgil in poetry, or Cæsar in war. To build upon nature, is laying the foundation upon a rock; every thing disposes itself into order as it were of course, and the whole work is half done as soon as undertaken. Cicero's genius inclined him to oratory, Virgil's to follow the train of the muses; they piously obeyed the admonition, and were rewarded.

28. Had Virgil attended the bar, his modest and ingenuous virtue would surely have made but a very indifferent figure: and Tully's declamatory inclination would have been as useless in poetry. Nature, if left to herself, leads us on in the best course, but will do nothing by compulsion and constraint; and if we are not satisfied to go her way, we are always the greatest sufferers by it.

29. Wherever nature designs a production, she always disposes seeds proper for it, which are as absolutely necessary to the formation of any moral or intellectual existence, as they are to the being and growth of plants; and I know not by what fate and folly it is, that men are taught not to reckon him equally absurd that will write verses in spite of nature, with that gardener that should undertake to raise a jonquil or tulip, without the help of their respective seeds.

30. As there is no good or bad quality that does not affect both sexes, so it is not to be imagined but the fair sex must have suffered by an affectation of this nature, at least as much as the other: the ill effect of it is in none so conspicuous as in the two opposite characters of Cælia and Iras. Cælia has all the charms of person, together with an abundant sweetness of nature, but wants wit, and has a very ill voice: Iras is ugly and ungenteel, but has wit and good sense.

31. If Cælia would be silent, her beholders would adore her; if Iras would talk, her hearers would admire her; but Cælia's tongue runs incessantly, while Iras gives herself silent airs and soft languors; so that 'tis difficult to persuade one's self that Cælia has beauty, and Iras wit: each neglects her own excellence, and is ambitious of the other's character: Iras would be thought to have as much beauty as Cælia, and Cælia as much wit as Iras.

32. The great misfortune of this affectation is, that men not only lose a good quality, but also contract a bad one: they not only are unfit for what they were designed, but they assign themselves to what they are not fit for; and instead of making a very good, figure one way, make a very ridiculous one in another.

33. If Semanthe would have been satisfied with her natural complexion, she might still have been celebrated by the name of the olive beauty; but Semanthe has taken up an affectation to white and red, and is now distinguished by the character of the lady that paints so well.

34. In a word, could the world be reformed to the obedience of that famed dictate, follow nature, which the oracle of Delphos pronounced to Cicero when he consulted what course of studies he should pursue, we should see almost every man as eminent in his proper sphere as Tully was in his, and should in a very short time find impertinence and affectation banished from among the women, and coxcombs and false characters from among the men.

35. For my part I could never consider this preposterous repugnancy to nature any otherwise, than not only as the greatest folly, but also one of the most heinous crimes, since it is a direct opposition to the disposition of providence, and (as Tully expresses it) like the sin of the giants, an actual rebellion against heaven.

SPECTATOR, Vol. VI. No. 404.

Good Humour and Nature.

1. A man advanced in years that thinks fit to look back upon his former life, and calls that only life which was passed with satisfaction and enjoyment, excluding all parts which were not pleasant to him, will find himself very young, if not in his infancy. Sickness, ill-humour, and idleness, will have robbed him of a great share of that space we ordinarily call our life.

2. It is therefore the duty of every man that would be true to himself, to obtain, if possible, a disposition to be pleased, and place himself in a constant aptitude for the satisfaction of his being. Instead of this, you hardly see a man who is not uneasy in proportion to his advancement in the arts of life.

3. An affected delicacy is the common improvement we meet with in these who pretend to be refined above others: they do not aim at true pleasure themselves, but turn their thoughts upon observing the false pleasures of other men. Such people are valetudinarians in society, and they should no more come into company than a sick man should come into the air.

4. If a man is too weak to bear what is a refreshment to men in health, he must still keep his chamber. When any one in Sir Roger's company complains he is out of order, he immediately calls for some posset drink for him; for which reason that sort of people, who are ever bewailing their constitutions in other places, are the cheerfulest imaginable when he is present.

5. It is a wonderful thing that so many, and they not reckoned absurd, shall entertain those with whom they converse, by giving them the history of their pains and aches; and imagine such narrations their quota of the conversation. This is, of all others, the-meanest help to discourse, and a man must not think at all, or think himself very insignificant, when he finds an account of his head ache answered by another asking, what news in the last mail?

6. Mutual good humour is a dress we ought to appear in wherever we meet, and we should make no mention of what concerns ourselves, without it be of matters wherein our friends ought to rejoice: but indeed there are crowds of people who put themselves in no method of pleasing themselves or others; such are those whom we usually call indolent persons.

7. Indolence is, methinks, an intermediate state between pleasure and pain, and very much unbecoming any part of our life after we are out of the nurse's arms. Such an aversion to labour creates a constant weariness, and one would think should make existence itself a burden.

8. The indolent man descends from the dignity of his nature, and makes that being which was rational, merely vegetative; his life consists only in the mere increase and decay of a body, which, with relation to the rest of the world, might as well have been uninformed, as the habitation of a reasonable mind.

9. Of this kind is the life of that extraordinary couple, Harry Tersett and his lady. Harry was, in the days of his celibacy, one of those pert creatures who have much vivacity and little understanding; Mrs. Rebecca Quickly, whom he married, had all that the fire of youth and a lively manner could do towards making an agreeable woman.

10. These two people of seeming merit fell into each other's arms; and passion being sated, and no reason or good sense in either to succeed it, their life is now at a stand; their meals are insipid, and time tedious; their fortune has placed them above care, and their loss of taste reduced them below diversion.

11. When we talk of these as instances of inexistence, we do not mean, that in order to live it is necessary we should always be in jovial crews, or crowned with chaplets of roses, as the merry fellows among the ancients are described; but it is intended by considering these contraries to pleasure, indolence and too much delicacy, to shew that it is prudent to preserve a disposition in ourselves, to receive a certain delight in all we hear and see.

12. This portable quality of good-humour seasons all the parts and occurrences we meet with; in such a manner, that there are no moments lost; but they all pass with so much satisfaction, that the heaviest of loads (when it is a load) that of time, is never felt by us.

13. Varilas has this quality to the highest perfection, and communicates it wherever he appears: the sad, the merry, the severe, the melancholy, shew a new cheerfulness when he comes amongst them. At the same time no one can repeat any thing that Varilas has ever said that deserves repetition; but the man has that innate goodness of temper, that he is welcome to every body, because every man thinks he is so to him.

14. He does not seem to contribute any thing to the mirth of the company; and yet upon reflection you find it all happened by his being there. I thought it was whimsically said of a gentleman, That if Varilas had wit, it would be the best wit in the world. It is certain when a well corrected lively imagination and good-breeding are added to a sweet disposition, they qualify it to be one of the greatest blessings, as well as pleasures of life.

15. Men would come into company with ten times the pleasure they do, if they were sure of bearing nothing which should shock them, as well as expected what would please them. When we know every person that is spoken of is represented by one who has no ill-will, and every thing that is mentioned described by one that is apt to set it in the best light, the entertainment must be delicate, because the cook has nothing bought to his hand, but what is the most excellent in its kind.

16. Beautiful pictures are the entertainments of pure minds, and deformities of the corrupted. It is a degree towards the life of angels, when we enjoy conversation wherein there is nothing present but in its excellence; and a degree towards that of demons, wherein nothing is shewn but in its degeneracy.

SPECTATOR, Vol. II. No. 100.


1. One would think that the larger the company is in which we are engaged, the greater variety of thoughts and subjects would be started in discourse; but instead of this, we find that conversation is never so much straitened and confined as in numerous assemblies.

2. When a multitude meet together upon any subject of discourse, their debates are taken up chiefly with forms; and general positions; nay, if we come into a more contracted assembly of men and women, the talk generally runs upon the weather, fashions, news, and the like public topics.

3. In proportion as conversation gets into clubs and knots of friends, it descends into particulars, and grows more free and communicative; but the most open, instructive, and unreserved discourse, is that which passes between two persons who are familiar and intimate friends.

4. On these occasions, a man gives a loose to every passion, and every thought that is uppermost discovers his most retired opinions of persons and things, tries the beauty and strength of his sentiments, and exposes his whole soul to the examination of his friend.

5. Tully was the first who observed, that friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by the doubling of our joy and dividing of our grief; a thought in which he hath been followed by all the essayers upon friendship, that have written since his time. Sir Francis Bacon has finally described other advantages, or, as he calls them, fruits of friendship; and indeed there is no subject of morality which has been better handled and more exhausted than this.

6. Among the several fine things which have been spoken of, I shall beg leave to quote some out of a very ancient author, whose book would be regarded by our modern wits as one of the most shining tracts of morality that is extant, if it appeared under the name of a Confucius or of any celebrated Grecian philosopher; I mean the little Apocryphal Treatise, entitled the Wisdom of the Son of Sirach.

7. How finely has he described the art of making friends, by an obliging and affable behaviour! And laid down that precept which a late excellent author has delivered as his own, "That we should have many well-wishers, but few friends." Sweet language will multiply friends; and a fair-speaking tongue will increase kind greetings. Be in peace with many, nevertheless have but one counsellor of a thousand.

8. With what prudence does he caution us in the choice of our friends! And with what strokes of nature (I could almost say of humour) has he described the behaviour of a treacherous and self-interested friend—"If thou wouldest get a friend, prove him first, and be not hasty to credit him: for some man is a friend for his own occasion, and will not abide in the day of thy trouble."

9. "And there is a friend, who being turned to enmity and strife, will discover thy reproach." Again, "Some friend is a companion at the table, and will not continue in the day of thy affliction: but in thy prosperity he will be as thyself, and will be bold over thy servants. If thou be brought low, he will be against thee, and hide himself from thy face."

10. What can be more strong and pointed than the following verse? "Separate thyself from thine enemies, and take heed of thy friends." In the next words he particularizes one of those fruits of friendship which is described at length by the two famous authors above mentioned, and falls into a general eulogium of friendship, which is very just as well as very sublime.

11. "A faithful friend is a strong defence; and he that hath found such a one, hath found a treasure. Nothing doth countervail a faithful friend, and his excellence is invaluable. A faithful friend is the medicine of life; and they that fear the Lord, shall find him. Whoso feareth the Lord, shall direct his friendship aright; for as he is, so shall his neighbour (that is, his friend) be also."

12. I do not remember to have met with any saying that has pleased me more than that of a friend's being the medicine of life, to express the efficacy of friendship in healing the pains and anguish which naturally cleave to our existence in this world; and am wonderfully pleased with the turn in the last sentence, That a virtuous man shall, as a blessing, meet with a friend who is as virtuous as himself.

13. There is another saying in the same author, which would have been very much admired in an heathen writer: "Forsake not an old friend, for the new is not comparable to him: a new friend is as new wine; when it is old thou shalt drink it with pleasure."

14. With what strength of allusion, and force of thought, has he described the breaches and violations of friendship! "Whoso casteth a stone at the birds, frayeth them away; and he that upbraideth his friend, breaketh friendship. Though thou drawest a sword at a friend, yet despair not, for there may be a returning to favor; if thou hast opened thy mouth against thy friend, fear not, for there may be a reconciliation; except for upbraiding, or pride, or disclosing of secrets, or a treacherous wound; for, for these things, every friend will depart."

15. We may observe in this and several other precepts in this author, those little familiar instances and illustrations which are so much admired in the moral writings of Horace and Epictetus. There are very beautiful instances of this nature in the following pages, which are likewise written upon the same subject:

16. "Whoso discovereth secrets, loseth his credit, and shall never find a friend to his mind. Love thy friend, and be faithful unto him; but if thou betrayest his secret, follow no more after him; for as a man hath destroyed his enemy, so hast thou lost the love of thy friend; as one that letteth a bird go out of his hand, so hast thou let thy friend go, and shall not get him again: follow after him no more, for he is too far off; he is as a roe escaped out of the snare. As for a wound, it may be bound up, and after reviling, there may be reconciliation; but he that betrayeth secrets, is without hope."

17. Among the several qualifications of a good friend, this wise man has very justly singled out constancy and faithfulness as the principal; to these, others have added virtue, knowledge, discretion, equality in age and fortune, and, as Cicero calls it, morum comitas, a pleasantness of temper.

18. If I were to give my opinion upon such an exhausted subject, I should join to these other qualifications a certain æquibility or evenness of behaviour. A man often contracts a friendship with one whom perhaps he does not find out till after a year's conversation: when, on a sudden, some latent ill-humour breaks out upon him, which he never discovered or suspected at his first entering into an intimacy with him.

19. There are several persons who, in some certain periods of their lives, are inexpressibly agreeable, and in others as odious and detestable. Martial has given us a very pretty picture of one of these species in the following epigram:

Difficilis facilas, jocundus, acerbus, es idem,
Nec tecum possum vivere; nec sine te.
Epig. 47. 1. 12.
In all thy humours, whether grave or mellow,
Thou'rt such a touchy, testy, pleasant fellow;
Hast so much wit and mirth, and spleen about thee,
There is no living with thee nor without thee.

20. It is very unlucky for a man to be entangled in a friendship with one, who by these changes and vicissitudes of humour is sometimes amiable, and sometimes odious: and as most men are at some times in an admirable frame and disposition of mind, it should be one of the greatest tasks of wisdom to keep ourselves well when we are so, and never to go out of that which is the agreeable part of our character.

SPECTATOR, Vol. 1. No. 68.

21. "Friendship is a strong and habitual inclination in two persons to promote the good and happiness of one another." Though the pleasures and advantages of friendship have been largely celebrated by the best moral writers, and are considered by all as great ingredients of human happiness, we very rarely meet with the practice of this virtue an the world.

22. Every man is ready to give a long catalogue of those virtues and good qualities he expects to find in the person of a friend, but very few of us are careful to cultivate them in ourselves.

Love and esteem are the first principles of friendship, which always is imperfect where either of these two is wanting.

23. As on the one hand, we are soon ashamed of loving a man whom we cannot esteem; so on the other, though we are truly sensible of a man's abilities, we can never raise ourselves to the warmths of friendship, without an affectionate good will towards his person.

24. Friendship immediately banishes envy under all its disguises. A man who can once doubt whether he should rejoice in his friend's being happier than himself, may depend upon it, that he is an utter stranger to this virtue.

25. There is something in friendship so very great and noble, that in those fictitious stories which are invented to the honor of any particular person, the authors have thought it as necessary to make their hero a friend as a lover. Achilles has his Patroclus, and Æneas his Achates.

26. In the first of these instances we may observe, for the reputation of the subject I am treating of, that Greece was almost ruined by the hero's love, but was preserved by his friendship.

27. The character of Achates suggests to us an observation we may often make on the intimacies of great men, who frequently choose their companions rather for the qualities of the heart, than those of the head: and prefer fidelity, in an easy, inoffensive, complying temper, to those endowments which make a much greater figure among mankind.

28. I do not remember that Achates, who is represented as the first favourite, either gives his advice, or strikes a blow through the whole Æneid.

A friendship, which makes the least noise, is very often most useful; for which reason I should prefer a prudent friend to a zealous one.

29. Atticus, one of the best men of ancient Rome, was a very remarkable instance of what I am here speaking.—This extraordinary person, amidst the civil wars of his country, when he saw the designs of all parties equally tended to the subvention of liberty, by constantly preserving the esteem and affection of both the competitors, found means to serve his friends on either side: and while he sent money to young Marius, whose father was declared an enemy of the commonwealth, he was himself one of Sylla's chief favourites, and always near that general.

30. During the war between Cæsar and Pompey, he still maintained the same conduct. After the death of Cæsar, he sent money to Brutus, in his troubles, and did a thousand good offices to Anthony's wife and friends, when the party seemed ruined. Lastly, even in that bloody war between Anthony and Augustus, Atticus still kept his place in both their friendships; insomuch, that the first, says Cornelius Nepos, whenever he was absent from Rome, in any part of the empire, writ punctually to him what he was doing, what he read, and whither he intended to go; and the latter gave him constantly an exact account of all his affairs.

31. A likeness of inclinations in every particular is so far from being requisite to form a benevolence in two minds towards each other, as it is generally imagined, that I believe we shall find some of the firmest friendships to have been contracted between persons of different humours; the mind being often pleased with those perfections which are new to it, and which it does not find among its own accomplishments.

32. Besides that a man in some measure supplies his own defects, and fancies himself at second-hand possessed of those good qualities and endowments, which are in the possession of him who in the eye of the world is looked on as his other self.

33. The most difficult province in friendship is the letting a man see his faults and errors, which should, if possible, be so contrived, that he may perceive our advice is given him not so much to please ourselves, as for his own advantage. The reproaches, therefore, of a friend, should always be strictly just, and not too frequent.

34. The violent desire of pleasing in the person reproved may otherwise change into a despair of doing it, while he finds himself censured for faults he is not conscious of. A mind that is softened and humanized by friendship, cannot bear frequent reproaches: either it must quite sink under the oppression, or abate considerably of the value and esteem it had for him who bestows them.

35. The proper business of friendship is to inspire life and courage; and a soul, thus supported, out-does itself; whereas if it be unexpectedly deprived of those succours, it droops and languishes.

36. We are in some measure more inexcusable if we violate our duties to a friend, than to a relation; since the former arise from a voluntary choice, the latter from a necessity, to which we could not give our own consent.

37. As it has been said on one side, that a man ought not to break with a faulty friend, that he may not expose the weakness of his choice; it will doubtless hold much stronger with respect to a worthy one, that he may never be upbraided for having lost so valuable a treasure which was once in his possession.

Detraction and Falsehood

1. I have not seen you lately at any of the places where I visit, so that I am afraid you are wholly unacquainted with what passes among my part of the world, who are, though I say it, without controversy, the most accomplished and best bred in the town.

2. Give me leave to tell you, that I am extremely discomposed when I hear scandal, and am an utter enemy to all manner of detraction, and think it the greatest meanness that people of distinction can be guilty of; however, it is hardly possible to come into company, where you do not find them pulling one another to pieces, and that from no other provocation but that of hearing any one commended.

3. Merit, both as to wit and beauty, is become no other than the possession of a few trifling people's favor, which you cannot possibly arrive at, if you have really any thing in you that is deserving.

4. What they would bring to pass is, to make all good and evil consist in report, and with whisper, calumnies, and impertinence, to have the conduct of those reports.

5. By this means innocents are blasted upon their first appearance in town: and there is nothing more required to make a young woman the object of envy and hatred, than to deserve love and admiration.

6. This abominable endeavour to suppressor lessen every thing that is praise-worthy, is as frequent among the men as women. If I can remember what passed at a visit last night, it will serve as an instance that the sexes are equally inclined to defamation, with equal malice, with equal impotence.

7. Jack Triplett came into my Lady Airy's about eight of the clock. You know the manner we sit at a visit, and I need not describe the circle; but Mr. Triplett came in, introduced by two tapers supported by a spruce servant, whose hair is under a cap till my lady's candles are all lighted up, and the hour of ceremony begins.

8. I say Jack Triplett came in, and singing (for he is really good company) 'Every feature, charming creature,'—he went on. It is a most unreasonable thing that people cannot go peaceably to see their friends, but these murderers are let loose.

9. Such a shape! such an air! what a glance was that as her chariot passed by mine!—My lady herself interrupted him: Pray, who is this fine thing?—I warrant, says another, 'tis the creature I was telling your ladyship of just now.

10. You were telling of? says Jack; I wish I had been so happy as to have come in and heard you, for I have not words to say what she is: but if an agreeable height, a modest air, a virgin shame, and impatience of being beheld, amidst a blaze of ten thousand charms—The whole room flew out—Oh, Mr. Triplett! When Mrs. Lofty, a known prude, said she believed she knew whom the gentleman meant; but she was, indeed, as he civilly represented her, impatient of being beheld. Then turning to the lady next her—The most unbred creature you ever saw.

11. Another pursued the discourse:—As unbred, madam, as you may think her, she is extremely belied if she is the novice she appears; she was last week at a ball till two in the morning: Mr. Triplett knows whether he was the happy man that took care of her home; but—This was followed by some particular exception that each woman in the room made to some peculiar grace or advantage; so that Mr. Triplett was beaten from one limb and feature to another, till he was forced to resign the whole woman.

12. In the end, I took notice Triplett recorded all this malice in his heart; and saw in his countenance, and a certain waggish shrug, that he designed to repeat the conversation: I therefore let the discourse die, and soon after took an occasion to commend a certain gentleman of my acquaintance for a person of singular modesty, courage, integrity, and withal, as a man of an entertaining conversation, to which advantages he had a shape and manner peculiarly graceful.

13. Mr. Triplett, who is a woman's man, seemed to hear me, with patience enough, commend the qualities of his mind; he never heard, indeed, but that he was a very honest man, and no fool; but for a fine gentleman, he must ask pardon. Upon no other foundation than this, Mr. Triplett took occasion to give the gentleman's pedigree, by what methods some part of the estate was acquired, how much it was beholden to a marriage for the present circumstances of it: after all, he could see nothing but a common man in his person, his breeding or under-Standing.

14. Thus, Mr. Spectator, this impertinent humour of diminishing every one who is produced in conversation to their advantage, runs through the world; and I am, I confess, so fearful of the force of ill tongues, that I have begged of all those who are my well-wishers, never to commend me, for it will but bring my frailties into examination, and I had rather be unobserved, than conspicuous for disputed perfections.

15. I am confident a thousand young people, who would have been ornaments to society, have, from fear of scandal, never dared to exert themselves in the polite arts of life.—Their lives have passed away in an odious rusticity, in spite of great advantages of person, genius and fortune.

16. There is a vicious terror of being blamed in some well-inclined people, and a wicked pleasure in suppressing them in others; both which I recommend to your spectatorial wisdom to animadvert upon: and if you can be successful in it, I need not say how much you will deserve of the town; but new toasts will owe to you their beauty, and new wits their fame.

17. Truth and reality have all the advantages of appearance, and many more. If the show of any thing be good for any thing, I am sure sincerity is better: for why does any man dissemble, or seem to be that which he is not, but because he thinks it good to have such a quality as he pretends to? for to counterfeit and dissemble, is to put on the appearance of some real excellency.

18. Now the best way in the world for a man to seem to be any thing, is really to be what he would seem to be. Besides that, it is many times as troublesome to make good the pretence of a good quality, as to have it; and if a man have it not, it is ten to one but he is discovered to want it, and then all his pains and labour to seem to have it, is lost. There is something unnatural in painting, which a skilful eye will easily discern from native beauty and complexion.

19. It is hard to personate and act a part long; for where truth is not at the bosom; nature will always be endeavouring to return, and will peep out and betray herself one time or other. Therefore, if any man think it convenient to seem good, let him be so indeed, and then his goodness will appear to every body's satisfaction; so that upon all accounts sincerity is true wisdom.

20. Particularly as to the affairs of this world, integrity hath many advantages over all the fine and artificial ways of dissimulation and deceit; it is much the plainer and easier, much the safer and more secure way of dealing in the world; it has less of trouble and difficulty, of entanglement and perplexity, of danger and hazard in it: it is the shortest and nearest way to our end, carrying us thither in a straight line, and will hold out and last longest.

21. The arts of deceit and cunning do continually grow weaker and less effectual and serviceable to them that use them; whereas integrity gains strength by use, and the more and longer any man practiseth it, the greater service it does him, by confirming his reputation, and encouraging those with whom he hath to do, to repose the greatest trust and confidence in him, which is an unspeakable advantage in the business and affairs of life.

22. Truth is always consistent with itself, and needs nothing to help it out; it is always near at hand, and sits upon our lips, and is ready to drop out before we are aware; whereas a lie is troublesome, and sets a man's invention upon the rack, and one trick needs a great many more to make it good.

23. It is like building upon a false foundation, which continually stands in need of props to shoar it up, and proves at last more chargeable, than to have raised a substantial building at first upon a true and solid foundation; for sincerity is firm and substantial, and there is nothing hollow and unsound in it, and because it is plain and open, fears no discovery:

24. Of which the crafty man is always in danger, and when he thinks he walks in the dark, all his pretences are so transparent, that he who runs may read them; he is the last man that finds himself to be found out, and whilst he takes it for granted that he makes fools of others, he renders himself ridiculous.

25. Add to all this, that sincerity is the most compendious wisdom, and an excellent instrument for the speedy dispatch of business; it creates confidence in those we have to deal with, saves the labor of many inquiries, and brings things to an issue in a few words.

26. It is like travelling; in a plain beaten road, which commonly brings a man sooner to his journey's end than by-ways, in which men often lose themselves. In a word, whatsoever convenience may be thought to be in falsehood and dissimulation, it is soon over, but the inconvenience of it is perpetual, because it brings a man under an everlasting jealousy and suspicion, so that he is not believed when he speaks truth, nor trusted when perhaps he means honestly; when a man hath once forfeited the reputation of his integrity, he is set last, and nothing will then serve his turn, neither truth nor falsehood.

27. And I have often thought, that God hath, in his great wisdom, hid from men of false and dishonest minds, the wonderful advantages of truth and integrity to the prosperity even of our worldly affairs; these men are so blinded by their covetousness and ambition, that they cannot look beyond a present advantage, nor forbear to seize upon it, though by ways never so indirect; they cannot see so far, as to the remote consequences of a steady integrity, and the vast benefit and advantages which it will bring a man at last.

28. Were but this sort of men wise and clear sighted enough to discern this, they would be honest out of very knavery; not out of any love to honesty and virtue, but with a crafty design to promote and advance more effectually their own interests; and therefore the justice of the Divine Providence hath hid this truest point of wisdom from their eyes, that bad men might not be upon equal terms with the just and upright, and serve their own wicked designs by honest and lawful means.

29. Indeed if a man were only to deal in the world for a day, and should never have occasion to converse more with mankind, never more need their good opinion or good word, it were then no great matter (speaking as to the concernments of this world) if a man spent his reputation all at once, or ventured it at one throw.

30. But if he be to continue in the world, and would have the advantage of conversation while he is in it, let him make use of truth and sincerity in all his words and actions; for nothing but this will last and hold out to the end; all other arts will fail, but truth and integrity will carry a man through, and bear him out to the last.

31. When Aristotle was once asked, what a man could gain by uttering falsehoods? he replied, "not to be credited when he shall tell the truth."

The character of a lyar is at once so hateful and contemptible, that even of those who have lost their virtue it might be expected, that from the violation of truth they should be restrained by their pride. Almost every other vice that disgraces human nature, may be kept in countenance by applause and association.

32. The corrupter of virgin innocence sees himself envied by the men, and at least not detested by the women: the drunkard may easily unite with beings, devoted like himself to noisy merriment or silent insensibility, who will celebrate his victories over the novices of intemperance, boast themselves the companions of his prowess, and tell with rapture of the multitudes whom unsuccessful emulation has hurried to the grave: even the robber and the cut-throat have their followers, who admire their address and intrepidity, their stratagems of rapine, and their fidelity to the gang.

33. The lyar, and only the lyar, is invariably and universally despised, abandoned and disowned: he has no domestic consolations, which he can oppose to the censure of mankind; he can retire to no fraternity where his crimes may stand in the place of virtues, but is given up to the hisses of the multitude, without friend and without apologist. It is the peculiar condition of falsehood, to be equally detested by the good and bad: "The devils," says Sir Thomas Brown, "do not tell lies to one another; for truth is necessary to all societies; nor can the society of hell subsist without it."

34. It is natural to expect, that a crime thus generally detested, should be generally avoided; at least that none should expose himself to unabated and unpitied infamy, without an adequate temptation; and that to guilt so easily detected, and so severely punished, an adequate temptation would not readily be found.

35. Yet so it is, that in defiance of censure and contempt, truth is frequently violated; and scarcely the most vigilant unremitted circumspection will secure him that mixes with mankind, from being hourly deceived by men of whom it can scarcely be imagined, that they mean an injury to him or profit to themselves; even where the subject of conversation could not have been expected to put the passions in motion, or to have excited either hope or fear, or zeal or malignity, sufficient to induce any man to put his reputation in hazard, however little he might value it, or to overpower the love of truth, however weak might be its influence.

36. The casuists have very diligently distinguished lies into their several classes, according to their various degrees of malignity; but they have, I think, generally omitted that which is most common, and, perhaps, not less mischievous; which, since the moralists have not given it a name, I shall distinguish as the lie of vanity.

To vanity may justly be imputed most of the falsehoods which every man perceives hourly playing upon his ear, and perhaps most of those that are propagated with success.

37. To the lie of commerce, and the lie of malice, the motive is so apparent, that they are seldom negligently or implicitly received: suspicion is always watchful over the practices of interest; and whatever the hope of gain, or desire of mischief, can prompt one man to assert, another is, by reasons equally cogent, incited to refute. But vanity pleases herself with such slight gratifications, and looks forward to pleasure so remotely consequential, that her practices raise no alarm, and her stratagems are not easily discovered.

38. Vanity is, indeed, often suffered to pass unpursued by suspicion; because he that would watch her motions, can never be at rest; fraud and malice are bounded in their influence; some opportunity of time and place is necessary to their agency; but scarce any man is abstracted one moment from his vanity; and he, to whom truth affords no gratifications, is generally inclined to seek them in falsehoods.

39. It is remarked by Sir Kenelm Digby, "that every man has a desire to appear superior to others, though it were only in having seen what they have not seen."

Such an accidental advantage, since it neither implies merit, nor confers dignity, one would think should not be desired so much as to be counterfeited; yet even this vanity, trifling as it is, produces innumerable narratives, all equally false, but more or less credible, in proportion to the skill or confidence of the relater.

40. How many may a man of diffusive conversation count among his acquaintances, whose lives have been signalized by numberless escapes; who never cross the river but in a storm, or take a journey into the country without more adventures than befel the knight-errants of ancient times in pathless forests or enchanted castles! How many must he know, to whom portents and prodigies are of daily occurrence; and for whom nature is hourly working wonders invisible to every other eye, only to supply them with subjects of conversation!

41. Others there are who amuse themselves with the dissemination of falsehood, at greater hazard of detection and disgrace; men marked out by some lucky planet for universal confidence and friendship, who have, been consulted in every difficulty, entrusted with every secret, and summoned to every transaction: it is the supreme felicity of these men, to stun all companies with noisy information; to still doubt, and overbear opposition, with certain knowledge or authentic intelligence.

42. A lyar of this kind, with a strong memory or brisk imagination, is often the oracle of an obscure club, and, till time discovers his impostures, dictates to his hearers with uncontrolled authority: for if a public question be started, he was present at the debate; if a new fashion be mentioned, he was at court the first day of its appearance; if a new performance of literature draws the attention of the public, he has patronized the author, and seen his work in manuscript; if a criminal of eminence be condemned to die, he often predicted his fate, and endeavoured his reformation; and who that lives at a distance from the scene of action, will dare to contradict a man, who reports from his own eyes and ears, and to whom all persons and affairs are thus intimately known?

45. This kind of falsehood is generally successful for a time, because it is practised at first with timidity and caution; but the prosperity of the lyar is of short duration; the reception of one story is always an incitement to the forgery of another less probable; and he goes on to triumph over tacit credulity, till pride or reason rises up against him, and his companions will no longer endure to see him wiser than themselves.

44. It is apparent, that the inventors of all these fictions intend some exaltation of themselves, and are led off by the pursuit of honour from their attendance upon truth: their narratives always imply some consequence in favor of their courage, their sagacity, or their activity, their familiarity with the learned, or their reception among the great; they are always bribed by the present pleasure of seeing themselves superior to those that surround them, and receiving the homage of silent attention and envious admiration.

45. But vanity is sometimes excited to fiction by less visible gratifications: the present age abounds with a race of lyars who are content with the consciousness of falsehood, and whose pride is to deceive others without any gain or glory to themselves. Of this tribe it is the supreme pleasure to remark a lady in the play-house or the park, and to publish, under the character of a man suddenly enamoured, an advertisement in the news of the next day, containing a minute description of her person and her dress.

46. From this artifice, however, no other effect can be expected, than perturbations which the writer can never see, and conjectures of which he can never be informed: some mischief, however, he hopes he has done; and to have done mischief is of some importance. He sets his invention to work again, and produces a narrative of a robbery, or a murder, with all the circumstances of the time and place accurately adjusted. This is a jest of greater effect and longer duration. If he fixes his scene at a proper distance, he may for several days keep a wife in terror for her husband, or a mother for her son; and please himself with reflecting, that by his abilities and address some addition is made to the miseries of life.

47. There is, I think, an ancient law in Scotland, by which Leasing-making was capitally punished. I am, indeed, far from desiring to increase in this kingdom the number of executions; yet I cannot but think, that they who destroy the confidence of society, weaken the credit of intelligence, and interrupt the security of life; harrass the delicate with shame, and perplex the timorous with alarms; might very properly be awakened to a sense of their crimes, by denunciations of a whipping-post or a pillory: since many are so insensible of right and wrong, that they have no standard of action but the law; nor feel guilt, but as they dread punishment.

The Importance of Punctuality.

1. It is observed in the writings of Boyle, that the excellency of manufactures and the facility of labor would be much promoted, if the various expedients and contrivances which lie concealed in private hands, were, by reciprocal communications, made generally known; for there are few operations that are not performed by one or other with some peculiar advantages, which, though singly of little importance, would, by conjunction and concurrence, open new inlets to knowledge, and give new powers to diligence.

2. There are in like manner several moral excellencies distributed among the various classes of mankind, which he that converses in the world should endeavor to assemble in himself. It was said by the learned Cajucius, that he never read more than one book, by which he was not instructed; and he that shall inquire after virtue with ardour and attention, will seldom find a man by whose example or sentiments he may not be improved.

3. Every profession has some essential and appropriate virtue, without which there can be no hope of honor or success, and which, as it is more or less cultivated, confers within its sphere of activity different degrees of merit and reputation. As the astrologers range the subdivisions of mankind under the planets which they suppose to influence their lives, the moralist may distribute them according to the virtues which they necessarily practise, and consider them as distinguished by prudence or fortitude, diligence or patience.

4. So much are the modes of excellence settled by time and place, that man may be heard boasting in one street of that which they would anxiously conceal in another. The grounds of scorn and esteem, the topics of praise and satire, are varied according to the several virtues or vices which the course of our lives has disposed us to admire or abhor; but he who is solicitous for his own improvement, must not suffer his affairs to be limited by local reputation, but select from every tribe of mortals their characteristical virtues, and constellate in himself the scattered graces which shine single in other men.

5. The chief praise to which a trader generally aspires, is that of punctuality, or an exact and rigorous observance of commercial promises and engagements; nor is there any vice of which he so much dreads the imputation, as of negligence and instability. This is a quality which the interest of mankind requires to be diffused through all the ranks of life, but which, however useful and valuable, many seem content to want: it is considered as a vulgar and ignoble virtue, below the ambition of greatness, or attention of wit, scarcely requisite among men of gaiety and spirit, and sold at its highest rate when it is sacrificed to a frolic or a jest.

6. Every man has daily occasion to remark what vexations and inconveniences arise from this privilege of deceiving one another. The active and vivacious have so long disdained the restraints of truth, that promises and appointments have lost their cogency, and both parties neglect their stipulations, because each concludes that they will be broken by the other.

7. Negligence is first admitted in trivial affairs, and strengthened by petty indulgences. He that is not yet hardened by custom, ventures not on the violation of important engagements, but thinks himself bound by his word in cases of property or danger, though he allows himself to forget at what time he is to meet ladies in the park, or at what tavern his friends are expecting him.

8. This laxity of honor would be more tolerable, if it could be restrained to the play-house, the ball-room, or the card table; yet even there it is sufficiently troublesome, and darkens those moments with expectation, suspence, uncertainty and resentment, which are set aside for the softer pleasures of life, and from which we naturally hope for unmingled enjoyment, and total relaxation. But he that suffers the slightest breach in his morality, can seldom tell what shall enter it, or how wide it shall be made; when a passage is opened, the influx of corruption is every moment wearing down opposition, and by slow degrees deluges the heart.

9. Aliger entered into the world a youth of lively imagination, extensive views, and untainted principles. His curiosity incited him to range from place to place, and try all the varieties of conversation; his elegance of address and fertility of ideas gained him friends wherever he appeared; or at least he found the general kindness of reception always shewn to a young man whose birth and fortune gave him a claim to notice, and who has neither by vice or folly destroyed his privileges.

10. Aliger was pleased with this general smile of mankind, and being naturally gentle and flexible, was industrious to preserve it by compliance and officiousness, but did not suffer his desire of pleasing to vitiate his integrity. It was his established maxim, that a promise is never to be broken; nor was it without long reluctance that he once suffered himself to be drawn away from a festal engagement by the importunity of another company.

11. He spent the evening, as is usual in the rudiments of vice, with perturbation and imperfect enjoyment, and met his disappointed friends in the morning with confusion and excuses. His companions, not accustomed to such scrupulous anxiety, laughed at his uneasiness, compounded the offence for a bottle, gave him courage to break his word again, and again levied the penalty.

12. He ventured the same experiment upon another society; and found them equally ready to consider it as a venial fault, always incident to a man of quickness and gaiety; till by degrees he began to think himself at liberty to follow the last invitation, and was no longer shocked at the turpitude of falsehood. He made no difficulty to promise his presence at distant places, and if listlessness happened to creep upon him, would sit at home with great tranquillity, and has often, while he sunk to sleep in a chair, held ten tables in continual expectation of his entrance.

13. He found it so pleasant to live in perpetual vacancy, that he soon dismissed his attention as an useless incumbrance, and resigned himself to carelessness and dissipation, without any regard to the future or the past, or any other motive of action than the impulse of a sudden desire, or the attraction of immediate pleasure. The absent were immediately forgotten, and the hopes or fears of others had no influence upon his conduct. He was in speculation completely just, but never kept his promise to a creditor; he was benevolent, but always deceived those friends whom he undertook to patronize or assist; he was prudent, but suffered his affairs to be embarrassed for want of settling his accounts at stated times.

14. He courted a young lady, and when the settlements were drawn, took a ramble into the country on the day appointed to sign them. He resolved to travel, and sent his chests on ship-board, but delayed to follow them till he lost his passage. He was summoned as an evidence in a cause of great importance, and loitered in the way till the trial was past. It is said, that when he had with great expense formed an interest in a borough, his opponent contrived by some agents, who knew his temper, to lure him away on the day of election.

15. His benevolence draws him into the commission of thousand crimes, which others, less kind or civil, would escape. His courtesy invites application, his promises produce dependence: he has his pockets filled with petitions, which he intends some time to deliver and enforce; and his table covered with letters of request, with which he purposes to comply; but time slips imperceptibly away, while he is either idle or busy: his friends lose their opportunities, and charge upon him their miscarriages and calamities.

This character, however contemptible, is not peculiar to Aliger.

16. They whose activity of imagination is often shifting the scenes of expectation, are frequently subject to such sallies of caprice as to make all their actions fortuitous, destroy the value of their friendship, obstruct the efficacy of their virtues, and set them below the meanest of those that persist in their resolutions, execute what they design, and perform what they have promised.

Exercise & Temperance the best Preservative of Health.

1. Bodily labor is of two kinds, either that which a man submits to for his livelihood, or that which he undergoes for his pleasure. The latter of them generally changes the name of labor for that of exercise, but differs only from ordinary labor as it rises from another motive.

A country life abounds in both these kinds of labor, and for that reason gives a man a greater stock of health, and consequently a more perfect enjoyment of himself, than any other way of life.

2. I consider the body as a system of tubes and glands, or, to use a more rustic phrase, a bundle of pipes and strainers, fitted to one another after so wonderful a manner, as to make a proper engine for the soul to work with. This description does not only comprehend the bowels, bones, tendons, veins, nerves and arteries, but every muscle and every ligature, which is a composition of fibres, that are so many imperceptible tubes or pipes interwoven on all sides with invisible glands or strainers.

3. This general idea of a human body, without considering it in its niceties of anatomy, let us see how absolutely necessary labor is for the right preservation of it. There must be frequent motions and agitations, to mix, digest, and separate the juices contained in it, as well as to clear and disperse the infinitude of pipes and strainers of which it is composed, and to give their solid parts a more firm and lasting tone. Labor or exercise ferments the humors, casts them into their proper channels, throws off redundancies, and helps nature in those secret distributions, without which the body cannot subsist in its vigor, nor the soul act with cheerfulness.

4. I might here mention the effects which this has upon all the faculties of the mind, by keeping the understanding clear, the imagination untroubled, and refining those spirits that are necessary for the proper exertion of our intellectual faculties, during the present laws of union between soul and body. It is to a neglect in this particular that we must ascribe the spleen, which is so frequent in men of studious and sedentary tempers, as well as the vapours to which those of the other sex are so often subject.

5. Had not exercise been absolutely necessary for our well-being, nature would not have made the body so proper for it, by giving such an activity to the limbs, and such a pliancy to every part, as necessarily produce those compressions, extensions, contortions, dilations, and all other kinds of motions that are necessary for the preservation of such a system of tubes and glands as has been before mentioned. And that we might not want inducements to engage us in such an exercise of the body, as is proper for its welfare, it is so ordered, that nothing, valuable can be procured without it. Not to mention riches and honor, even food and raiment are not to be come at without the toil of the hands and sweat of the brows.

6. Providence furnishes materials, but expects that we should work them up ourselves. The earth must be labored before it gives its increase, and when it is forced into its several products, how many hands must they pass through before they are fit for use. Manufactures, trade and agriculture, naturally employ more than nineteen parts of the species in twenty; and as for those who are not obliged to labor, by the condition in which they are born, they are more miserable than the rest of mankind, unless they indulge themselves in that voluntary labor which goes by the name of exercise.

7. My friend Sir Roger hath been an indefatigable man in business of this kind, and has hung several parts of his house with the trophies of his former labors. The walls of his great hall are covered with the horns of several kinds of deer that he has killed in the chase, which he thinks the most valuable furniture of his house, as they afford him frequent topics of discourse, and show that he has not been idle.

8. At the lower end of the hall is a large otter's skin stuffed with hay, which his mother ordered to be hung up in that manner, and the knight looks upon it with great satisfaction, because it seems he was but nine years old when his dog killed it. A little room adjoining to the hall is a kind of arsenal, filled with guns of several sizes and inventions, with which the knight has made great havoc in the woods, and destroyed many thousands of pheasants, partridges and woodcocks. His stable-doors are patched with noses that belonged to foxes of the knight's own hunting down.

9. Sir Roger shewed me one of them that, for distinction sake, has a brass nail stuck through it, which cost him about fifteen hours riding, carried him, through half a dozen counties, killed him a brace of geldings, and lost about half his dogs. This the knight looks upon as one of the greatest exploits of his life.

10. The perverse widow, whom I have given some account of, was the death of several foxes; for Sir Roger has told me, that in the course of his amours he patched the western door of his stable. Whenever the widow was cruel, the foxes were sure to pay for it. In proportion as his passion for the widow abated and old age came on, he left off fox-hunting; but a hare is not yet safe that sits within ten miles of his house.

11. There is no kind of exercise which I would so recommend to my readers of both sexes as that of riding, as there is none which so much conduces to health, and is every way accommodated to the body, according to the idea which I have given of it. Dr. Sydenham is very lavish in its praise; and if the English reader will see the mechanical effects of it described at length, he may find them in a book published not many years since, under the title of Medicina Gymnastica.

12. For my own part, when I am in town, for want of these opportunities, I exercise myself an hour every morning upon a dumb bell that is placed in a corner of my room, and pleases me the more because it does everything I require in the most profound silence. My landlady and her daughters are so well acquainted with my hours of exercise, that they never come into my room to disturb me whilst I am ringing.

13. When I was some years younger than I am at present, I used to employ myself in a more laborious diversion, which I learned from a Latin treatise of exercise, that is written with great erudition: It is there called the Skimachia, or the fighting with a man's own shadow, and consists in the brandishing of two short sticks grasped in each hand, and loaded with plugs of lead at either end. This opens the chest, exercises the limbs, and gives a man all the pleasure of boxing, without the blows.

14. I could wish that several learned men would lay out that time which they employ in controversies, and disputes about nothing, in this method of fighting with their own shadows. It might conduce very much to evaporate the spleen, which makes them uneasy to the public as well as to themselves.

As I am a compound of soul and body, I consider myself as obliged to a double scheme of duties; and think I have not fulfilled the business of the day when I do not thus employ the one in labour and exercise, as well as the other in study and contemplation.

15. There is a story in the Arabian Nights Tales, of a king who had long languished under an ill habit of body, and had taken abundance of remedies to no purpose. At length, says the fable, a physician cured him by the following method: He took an hollow ball of wood, and filled it with several drugs; after which he closed it up so artificially that nothing appeared. He likewise took a mall, and after having hollowed the handle, and that part which strikes the ball, inclosed in them several drugs after the same manner as in the ball itself.

16. He then ordered the sultan who was his patient, to exercise himself early in the morning with these rightly prepared instruments, till such time as he should sweat; when, as the story goes, the virtue of the medicaments perspiring through the wood, had so good an influence on the sultan's constitution, that they cured him of an indisposition which all the compositions he had taken inwardly had not been able to remove.

17. This eastern allegory is finely contrived to shew us how beneficial bodily labour is to health, and that exercise is the most effectual physic. I have described in my hundred and fifteenth paper, from the general structure and mechanism of an human body, how absolutely necessary exercise is for its preservation; I shall in this place recommend another great preservative of health, which in many cases produces the same effects as exercise, and may, in some measure, supply its place, where opportunities of exercise are wanting.

18. The preservative I am speaking of is temperance, which has those particular advantages above all other means of health, that it may be practised by all ranks and conditions, at any season, or in any place. It is a kind of regimen into which every man may put himself, without interruption to business, expense of money, or loss of time. If exercise throws off all superfluities, temperance prevents them: if exercise clears the vessels, temperance neither satiates nor over-strains them; if exercise raises proper ferments in the humours, and promotes the circulation of the blood, temperance gives nature her full play, and enables her to exert herself in all her force and vigour: if exercise dissipates a growing distemper, temperance starves it.

19. Physic, for the most part, is nothing else but the substitute of exercise or temperance. Medicines are indeed absolutely necessary in acute distempers, that cannot wait the slow operations of these two great instruments of health: but did men live in an habitual course of exercise and temperance, there would be but little occasion for them. Accordingly we find that those parts of the world are the most healthy, where they subsist by the chase; and that men lived longest when their lives were employed in hunting, and when they had little food besides what they caught.

20. Blistering, cupping, bleeding, are seldom of use to any but the idle and intemperate; as all those inward applications, which are so much in practice among us, are, for the most part, nothing else but expedients to make luxury consistent with health. The apothecary is perpetually employed in countermining the cook and the vintner. It is said of Diogenes, that meeting a young man who was going to a feast, he took him up in the street, and carried him home to his friends, as one who was running into imminent danger, had he not prevented him.

21. What would that philosopher have said, had he been present at the gluttony of a modern meal? Would not he have thought the master of the family mad, and have begged his servant to tie down his hands, had he seen him devour fowl, fish and flesh; swallow oil and vinegar, wines and spices; throw down sallads of twenty different herbs, sauces of an hundred ingredients, confections and fruits of numberless sweets and flavours? What unnatural motions and counter-ferments must such a medley of intemperance produce in the body? For my part, when I behold a fashionable table set out in all its magnificence, I fancy, that I see gouts and dropsies, fevers and lethargies, with other innumerable distempers, lying in ambuscade among the dishes.

22. Nature delights in the most plain and simple diet. Every animal but man keeps to one dish. Herbs are the food of this species, fish of that, and flesh of a third. Man falls upon every thing that comes in his way; not the smallest fruit or excrescence of the earth, scarce a berry, or a mushroom can escape him.

It is impossible to lay down any determinate rule for temperance, because what is luxury in one may be temperance in another; but there are few that have lived any time in the world, who are not judges of their own constitutions, so far as to know what kinds and what proportions of food do best agree with them.

23. Were I to consider my readers as my patients, and to prescribe such a kind of temperance as is accommodated to all persons, and such as is particularly suitable to our climate and way of living, I would copy the following rules of a very eminent physician. Make your whole repast out of one dish. If you indulge in a second, avoid drinking any thing strong till you have finished your meal: at the same time abstain from all sauces, or at least such as are not the most plain and simple.

24. A man could not be well guilty of gluttony, if he stuck to these few obvious and easy rules. In the first case, there would be no variety of tastes to solicit his palate and occasion excess; nor in the second, any artificial provocatives to relieve satiety, and create a false appetite. Were I to prescribe a rule for drinking, it should be formed on a saying quoted by Sir William Temple:—The first glass for myself, the second for my friends, the third for good humour, and the fourth for my enemies. But because it is impossible for one who lives in the world to diet himself always in so philosophical a manner, I think every man should have his days of abstinence, according as his constitution will permit.

25. These are great reliefs to nature, as they qualify her for struggling with hunger and thirst, whenever any distemper or duty of life may put her upon such difficulties; and at the same time give her an opportunity of extricating herself from her oppressions, and recovering the several tones and springs of her distended vessels. Besides that, abstinence well-timed often kills a sickness in embryo, and destroys the first seeds of an indisposition.

26. It is observed by two or three ancient authors, that Socrates, notwithstanding he lived in Athens during that great plague, which has made so much noise through all ages, and has been celebrated at different times by such eminent hands; I say, notwithstanding that he lived in the time of this devouring pestilence, he never caught the least infection, which those writers unanimously ascribe to that uninterrupted temperance which he always observed.

27. And here I cannot but mention an observation which I have often made, upon reading the lives of the philosophers, and comparing them with any series of kings or great men of the same number. If we consider these ancient sages, a great part of whose philosophy consisted in a temperate and abstemious course of life, one would think the life of a philosopher and the life of a man were of two different dates. For we find that the generality of these wise men were nearer an hundred than sixty years of age at the time of their respective deaths.

28. But the most remarkable instance of the efficacy of temperance towards the procuring of long life, is what we meet with in a little book published by Lewis Cornaro, the Venetian; which I the rather mention, because it is of undoubted credit, as the late Venetian ambassador, who was of the same family, attested more than once in conversation, when he resided in England. Cornaro, who was the author of the little treatise I am mentioning, was of an infirm constitution, till about forty, when, by obstinately persisting in an exact course of temperance, he recovered a perfect state of health; insomuch that at fourscore he published his book, which has been translated into English, under the title of, Sure and certain methods of attaining a long and healthy Life.

29. He lived to give a third or fourth edition of it, and after having passed his hundredth year, died without pain or agony, and like one who falls asleep. The treatise I mention has been taken notice of by several eminent authors, and is written with such a spirit of cheerfulness, religion and good sense, as are the natural concomitants of temperance and sobriety. The mixture of the old man in it is rather a recommendation than a discredit to it.

The Duty of Secrecy.

1. It is related by Quintus Curtius, that the Persians always conceived a lasting and invincible contempt of a man who had violated the laws of secrecy: for they thought that, however he might be deficient in the qualities requisite to actual excellence, the negative virtues at least were always in his power, and though he perhaps could not speak well if he was to try, it was still easy for him not to speak.

2. In this opinion of the easiness of secrecy, they seem to have considered it as opposed, not to treachery, but loquacity, and to have conceived the man, whom they thus censured, not frighted by menaces to reveal, or bribed by promises to betray, but incited by the mere pleasure of talking, or some other motive equally trivial, to lay open his heart with reflection, and to let whatever he knew slip from him, only for want of power to retain it.

3. Whether, by their settled and avowed scorn of thoughtless talkers, the Persians were able to diffuse to any great extent, the virtue of taciturnity, we are hindered by the distress of those times from being able to discover, there being very few memoirs remaining of the court of Persepolis, nor any distinct accounts handed down to us of their office-clerks, their ladies of the bed-chamber, their attornies, their chamber-maids, or the foot-men.

4. In these latter ages, though the old animosity against a prattler is still retained, it appears wholly to have lost its effects upon the conduct of mankind; for secrets are so seldom kept, that it may with some reason be doubted, whether the ancients were not mistaken in their first postulate, whether the quality of retention be so generally bestowed, and whether a secret has not some subtile volatility, by which it escapes almost imperceptibly at the smallest vent; or some power of fermentation, by which it expands itself so as to burst the heart that will not give it way.

5. Those that study either the body or the mind of man, very often find the most specious and pleasing theory falling under the weight of contrary experience: and instead of gratifying their vanity by inferring effects from causes, they are always reduced at last to conjecture causes from effects. That it is easy to be secret, the speculatist can demonstrate in his retreat, and therefore thinks himself justified in placing confidence: the man of the world knows, that, whether difficult or not, it is not uncommon, and therefore finds himself rather inclined to search after the reason of this universal failure in one of the most important duties of society.

6. The vanity of being known to be trusted with a secret is generally one of the chief motives to disclose it; for however absurd it may be thought to boast an honour, by an act that shews that it was conferred without merit, yet most men seem rather inclined to confess the want of virtue than of importance, and more willingly shew their influence and their power, though at the expence of their probity, than glide through life with no other pleasure than the private consciousness of fidelity: which, while it is preserved, must be without praise, except from the single person who tries and knows it.

7. There are many ways of telling a secret, by which a man exempts himself from the reproaches of his conscience, and gratifies his pride without suffering himself to believe that he impairs his virtue. He tells the private affairs of his patron or his friend, only to those from whom he would not conceal his own; he tells them to those who have no temptation to betray their trust, or with the denunciation of a certain forfeiture of his friendship, if he discovers that they become public.

8. Secrets are very frequently told in the first ardour of kindness, or of love, for the sake of proving by so important a sacrifice, the sincerity of professions, or the warmth of tenderness; but with this motive, though it be sometimes strong in itself, vanity generally concurs, since every man naturally desires to be most esteemed by those whom he loves, or whom he converses, with whom he passes his hours of pleasure, and to whom he retires from business and from care.

9. When the discovery of secrets is under consideration, there is always a distinction carefully to be made between our own and those of another, those of which we are fully masters as they affect only our own interest, and those which are deposited with us in trust, and involve the happiness or convenience of such as we have no right to expose to hazard by experiments upon their lives, without their consent. To tell our own secrets is generally folly, but that folly is without guilt; to communicate those with which we are entrusted is always treachery, and treachery for the most part combined with folly.

10. There have, indeed, been some enthusiastic and irrational zealots for friendship, who have maintained; and perhaps believed that one friend has a right to all that is in possession of another; and that therefore it is a violation of kindness to exempt any secret from this boundless confidence; accordingly a late female minister of state has been shameless enough to inform the world, that she used, when she wanted to extract any thing from her sovereign, to remind her of Montaigne's reasoning, who has determined, that to tell a secret to a friend is no breach of fidelity, because the number of persons trusted is not multiplied, a man and his friend being virtually the same.

11. That such fallacy could be imposed upon any human understanding, or that an author could have been imagined to advance a position so remote from truth and reason any otherwise than as a declaimer to shew to what extent he could stretch his imagination, and with what strength he could press his principle, would scarcely have been credible, had not this lady kindly shewed us how far weakness may be deluded, or indolence amused.

12. But since it appears, that even this sophistry has been able, with the help of a strong desire to repose in quiet upon the understanding of another, to mislead honest intentions, and an understanding not contemptible, it may not be superfluous to remark, that those things which are common among friends are only such as either possesses in his own right, and can alienate or destroy without injury to any other person. Without this limitation, confidence must run on without end, the second person may tell the secret to the third upon the same principle as he received it from the first, and the third may hand it forward to a fourth, till at last it is told in the round of friendship to them from whom it was the first intention chiefly to conceal it.

13. The confidence which Caius has of the faithfulness of Titius is nothing more than an opinion which himself cannot know to be true, and which Claudius, who first tells his secret to Caius, may know, at least may suspect to be false; and therefore the trust is transferred by Caius, if he reveal what has been told him, to one from whom the person originally concerned would probably have withheld it; and whatever may be the event, Caius has hazarded the happiness of his friend, without necessity and without permission, and has put that trust in the hand of fortune was given only to virtue.

14. All the arguments upon which a man who is telling the private affairs of another may ground his confidence in security, he must upon reflection know to be uncertain, because he finds them without effect upon himself. When he is imagining that Titius will be cautious from a regard to his interest, his reputation, or his duty, he ought to reflect that he is himself at that instant acting in opposition to all these reasons, and revealing what interest, reputation and duty direct him to conceal.

15. Every one feels that he should consider the man incapable of trust, who believed himself at liberty to tell whatever he knew to the first whom he should conclude deserving of his confidence: therefore Caius, in admitting Titius to the affairs imparted only to himself, violates his faith, since he acts contrary to the intention of Claudius, to whom that faith was given. For promises of friendship are, like all others, useless and vain, unless they are made in some known sense, adjusted and acknowledged by both parties.

16. I am not ignorant that many questions may be started relating to the duty of secrecy, where the affairs are of public concern; where subsequent reasons may arise to alter the appearance and nature of the trust; that the manner in which the secret was told may change the degree of obligation; and that the principles upon which a man is chosen for a confidant may not always equally constrain him.

17. But these scruples, if not too intricate, are of too extensive consideration for my present purpose, nor are they such as generally occur in common life; and though casuistical knowledge be useful in proper hands, yet it ought by no means to be carelessly exposed, since most will use it rather to lull than awaken their own consciences; and the threads of reasoning, on which truth is suspended, are frequently drawn to such subtility, that common eyes cannot perceive, and common sensibility cannot feel them.

18. The whole doctrine as well as practice of secrecy is so perplexing and dangerous, that, next to him who is compelled to trust, I think him unhappy who is chosen to be trusted; for he is often involved in scruples without the liberty of calling in the help of any other understanding; he is frequently drawn into guilt, under the appearance of friendship and honesty; and sometimes subjected to suspicion by the treachery of others, who are engaged without his knowledge in the same schemes; for he that has one confidant has generally more, and when he is at last betrayed, is in doubt on whom he shall fix the crime.

19. The rules therefore that I shall propose concerning secrecy, and from which I think it not safe to deviate, without long and exact deliberation, are—never to solicit the knowledge of a secret. Not willingly nor without any limitations, to accept such confidence when it is offered. When a secret is once admitted, to consider the trust as of a very high nature, important to society, and sacred as truth, and therefore not to be violated for any incidental convenience, or slight appearance of contrary fitness.

Of Cheerfulness.

1. I have always preferred cheerfulness to mirth. The latter I consider as an act, the former as a habit of the mind. Mirth is short and transient, cheerfulness fixed and permanent. Those are often raised into the greatest transports of mirth, who are subject to the greatest depressions of melancholy; on the contrary, cheerfulness, though it does not give the mind such an exquisite gladness, prevents us from falling into any depths of sorrow. Mirth is like a flash of lightning that breaks through a gloom of clouds, and glitters for a moment; cheerfulness keeps up a kind of day-light in the mind, and fills it with a steady and perpetual serenity.

2. Men of austere principles look upon mirth as too wanton and dissolute for a state of probation, and as filled with a certain triumph and insolence of heart that is inconsistent with a life Which is every moment obnoxious to the greatest dangers. Writers of this complexion have observed, that the sacred person who was the great pattern of perfection, was never seen to laugh.

3. Cheerfulness of mind is not liable to any of these exceptions; it is of a serious and composed nature; it does not throw the mind into a condition improper for the present state of humanity, and is very conspicuous in the characters of those who are looked upon as the greatest philosophers among the heathens, as well as among those who have been deservedly esteemed as saints and holy men among christians.

4. If we consider cheerfulness in three lights, with regard to ourselves, to those we converse with, and to the great Author of our being, it will not a little recommend itself on each of these accounts. The man who is in possession of this excellent frame of mind, is not only easy in his thoughts, but a perfect master of all the powers and faculties of the soul: his imagination is always clear, and his judgment undisturbed: his temper is even and unruffled, whether in action or solitude. He comes with a relish to all those goods which nature has provided for him, tastes all the pleasures of the creation which are poured about him, and does not feel the full weight of those accidental evils which may befal him.

5. If we consider him in relation to the persons whom he converses with, it naturally produces love and good will towards him. A cheerful mind is not only disposed to be affable and obliging, but raises the same good humour in those who come within its influence. A man finds himself pleased, he does not know why, with the cheerfulness of his companion: it is like a sudden sun-shine that awakens a secret delight in the mind, without her attending to it. The heart rejoices of its own accord, and naturally flows out into friendship and benevolence towards the person who has so kindly an effect upon it.

6. When I consider this cheerful stale of mind in its third relation, I cannot but look upon it as a constant habitual gratitude to the great Author of Nature. An inward cheerfulness is an implicit praise and thanksgiving to Providence under all its dispensations. It is a kind of acquiescence in the state wherein we are placed, and a secret approbation of the Divine will in his conduct towards man.

7. There are but two things which, in my opinion, can reasonably deprive us of this cheerfulness of heart. The first of these is the sense of guilt. A man who lives in a state of vice and impenitence, can have no title to that evenness and tranquility of mind which is the health of the soul, and the natural effect of virtue and innocence. Cheerfulness in an ill man, deserves a harder name than language can furnish us with, and is many degrees beyond what we commonly call folly or madness.

8. Atheism, by which I mean a disbelief of a Supreme Being, and consequently of a future state, under whatsoever title it shelters itself, may likewise very reasonably deprive a man of this cheerfulness of temper. There is something so particularly gloomy and offensive to human nature in the prospect of non-existence, that I cannot but wonder, with many excellent writers, how it is possible for a man to out-live the expectation of it. For my own part, I think the being of a God is so little to be doubted, that it is almost the only truth we are sure of, and such a truth as we meet with in every object, in every occurrence, and in every thought.

9. If we look into the characters of this tribe of infidels, we generally find they are made up of pride, spleen and cavil: It is indeed no wonder that men, who are uneasy to themselves, should be so to the rest of the world; and how is it possible for a man to be otherwise than uneasy in himself, who is in danger every moment of losing his entire existence, and dropping into nothing?

10. The vicious man and atheist have therefore no pretence to cheerfulness, and would act very unreasonably, should they endeavor after it. It is impossible for any one to live in good humour, and enjoy his present existence, who is apprehensive either of torment or of annihilation; of being miserable, or of not being at all.

After having mentioned these two great principles, which are destructive of cheerfulness in their own nature, as well as in right reason, I cannot think of any other that ought to banish this happy temper from a virtuous mind. Pain and sickness, shame and reproach, poverty and old age, nay, death itself, considering the shortness of their duration, and the advantage we may reap from them, do not deserve the name of evils.

11. A good mind may bear up under them with fortitude, with indolence, and with cheerfulness of heart—the tossing of a tempest does not discompose him, which he is sure will bring him to a joyful harbour.

A man who uses his best endeavours to live according to the dictates of virtue and right reason, has two perpetual sources of cheerfulness, in the consideration of his own nature, and of that Being on whom he has a dependence.

12. If he looks into himself, he cannot but rejoice in that existence, which is so lately bestowed upon him, and which, after millions of ages, will still be new, and still in its beginning; How many self-congratulations naturally arise in the mind, when it reflects on this its entrance into eternity, when it takes a view of those improveable faculties, which in a few years, and even at its first setting out, have made so considerable a progress, and which will be still receiving an increase of perfection, and consequently an increase of happiness?

13. The consciousness of such a being spreads a perpetual diffusion of joy through the soul of a virtuous man, and makes him look upon himself every moment as more happy than he knows how to conceive.

The second source of cheerfulness to a good mind is, its consideration of that Being on whom we have our dependence, and in whom, though we behold him as yet but in the first faint discoveries of his perfections, we see every thing that we can imagine as great, glorious, or amiable. We find ourselves every where upheld by his goodness, and surrounded by an immensity of love and mercy.

14. In short, we depend upon a Being, whose power qualifies him to make us happy by an infinity of means, whose goodness and truth engage him to make those happy who desire it of him, and whose unchangeableness will secure us in this happiness to all eternity.

Such considerations, which every one should perpetually cherish in his thoughts, will banish from us all that secret heaviness of heart which unthinking men are subject to when they lie under no real affliction, all that anguish which we may feel from any evil that actually oppresses us, to which I may likewise add those little cracklings of mirth and folly, that are apter to betray virtue than support it; and establish in us such an even and cheerful temper, as makes us pleasing to ourselves, to those with whom we converse, and to him whom we are made to please.

On the Advantages of a Cheerful Temper.

[SPECTATOR, No. 387.]

1. Cheerfulness is in the first place the best promoter of health. Repining and secret murmurs of heart give imperceptible strokes to those delicate fibres of which the vital parts are composed, and wear out the machine insensibly; not to mention those violent ferments which they stir up in the blood, and those irregular disturbed motions, which they raise in the animal spirits.

2. I scarce remember in my own observation, to have met with many old men, or with such, who (to use our English phrase) were well, that had not at least a certain indolence in their humour, if not a more than ordinary gaiety and cheerfulness of heart. The truth of it is, health and cheerfulness mutually beget each other; with this difference, that we seldom meet with a great degree of health which is not attended with a certain cheerfulness, but very often see cheerfulness where there is no great degree of health.

3. Cheerfulness bears the same friendly regard to the mind as to the body: it banishes all anxious care and discontent, soothes and composes the passions, and keeps the soul in a perpetual calm. But, having already touched on this last consideration, I shall here take notice, that the world in which we are placed is filled with innumerable objects that are proper to raise and keep alive this happy temper of mind.

4. If we consider the world in its subserviency to man, one would think it was made for our use; but if we consider it in its natural beauty and harmony, one would be apt to conclude it was made for our pleasure. The sun, which is as the great soul of the universe, and produces all the necessaries of life, has a particular influence in cheering the mind of man; and making the heart glad.

5. Those several living creatures which are made for our service or sustenance, at the same time either fill the woods with their music, furnish us with game, or raise pleasing ideas in us by the delightfulness of their appearance. Fountains, lakes and rivers, are as refreshing to the imagination as to the soul through which they pass.

6. There are writers of great distinction, who have made it an argument for Providence, that the whole earth is covered with green, rather than with any other colour, as being such a right mixture of light and shade, that it comforts and strengthens the eye instead of weakening or grieving it. For this reason several painters have a green cloth hanging near them, to ease the eye upon after too great an application to their colouring.

7. A famous modern philosopher accounts for it in the following manner:—All colours that are more luminous, overpower and dissipate the animal spirits which are employed insight: on the contrary, those that are more obscure do not give the animal spirits a sufficient exercise; whereas the rays that produce in us the idea of green, fall upon the eye in such a due proportion, that they give the animal spirits their proper play, and by keeping up the struggle in a just balance, excite a very agreeable and pleasing sensation. Let the cause be what it will, the effect is certain; for which reason, the poets ascribe to this particular colour the epithet of cheerful.

8. To consider further this double end in the works of nature; and how they are, at the same time, both useful and entertaining, we find that the most important parts in the vegetable world are those which are the most beautiful. These are the seeds by which the several races of plants are propagated and continued, and which are always lodged in flowers or blossoms. Nature seems to hide her principal design, and to be industrious in making the earth gay and delightful, while she is carrying on her great work, and intent upon her own preservation. The husbandman, after the same manner, is employed in laying out the whole country into a kind of garden or landscape, and making every thing smile about him, whilst, in reality, he thinks of nothing but of the harvest and increase which is to arise from it.

9. We may further observe how Providence has taken care to keep up this cheerfulness in the mind of man, by having formed it after such a manner, as to make it capable of conceiving delight from several objects which seem to have very little use in them; as from the wildness of rocks and deserts, and the like grotesque parts of nature. Those who are versed in philosophy may still carry this consideration higher by observing, that, if matter had appeared to us endowed only with those real qualities which it actually possesses, it would have made but a very joyless and uncomfortable figure; and why has Providence given it a power of producing in us such imaginary qualities, as tastes and colours, sounds and smells, heat and cold, but that man, while he is conversant in the lowest stations of nature, might have his mind cheered and delighted with agreeable sensations? In short, the whole universe is a kind of theatre filled with objects that either raise in us pleasure, amusement, or admiration.

10. The reader's own thoughts may suggest to him the vicissitude of day and night, the change of seasons, with all that variety of scenes which diversify the face of nature, and fill the mind with a perpetual succession of beautiful and pleasing images.

I shall not here mention the several entertainments of art, with the pleasures of friendship, books, conversation, and other accidental diversions of life, because I would only take notice of such incitements to a cheerful temper, as offer themselves to persons of all ranks and Conditions, and which may sufficiently show us, that Providence did not design this world should be filled with murmurs and repinings, or that the heart of man should be involved in gloom and melancholy.

11. I the more inculcate this cheerfulness of temper, as it is a virtue in which our countrymen are observed to be more deficient than any other nation. Melancholy is a kind of dæmon that haunts our island, and often conveys herself to us in an easterly wind. A celebrated French novelist, in opposition to those who begin their romances with a flowery season of the year, enters on his story thus: In the gloomy month of November, when the people of England hang and drown themselves, a disconsolate lover walked out into the fields, &c.

12. Every one ought to fence against the temper of his climate or constitution, and frequently to indulge in himself those considerations which may give him a serenity of mind, and enable him to bear up cheerfully against those little evils and misfortunes which are common to human nature, and which, by a right improvement of them, will produce a satiety of joy, and an uninterrupted happiness.

13. At the same time that I would engage my readers to consider the world in its most agreeable lights, I must own there are many evils which naturally spring up amidst the entertainments that are provided for us, but these, if rightly considered, should be far from overcasting the mind with sorrow, or destroying that cheerfulness of temper which I have been recommending.

14. This interspersion of evil with good, and pain with pleasure, in the works of nature, is very truly ascribed by Mr. Locke in his Essay upon Human Understanding, to a moral reason, in the following words:

Beyond all this, we may find another reason why God hath scattered up and down several degrees of pleasure and pain, in all the things that environ and effect us, and blended them together in almost all that our thoughts and senses have to do with; that we, finding imperfection, dissatisfaction, and want of complete happiness in all the enjoyments which the creature can afford us, might be fed to seek it in the enjoyment of him, with whom there is fulness of joy, and at whose right hand are pleasures for evermore.


1. I have often thought if the minds of men were laid open, we should see but little difference between that of the wise man and that of the fool. There are infinite reveries, numberless extravagancies, and a perpetual train of vanities, which pass through both. The great difference is, that the first knows how to pick and cull his thoughts for conversation, by suppressing some, and communicating others; whereas the other lets them all indifferently fly out in words. This sort of discretion, however, has no place in private conversation between intimate friends. On such occasions the wisest men very often talk like the weakest; for indeed the talking with a friend is nothing else but thinking aloud.

2. Tully has therefore very justly exposed a precept delivered by some ancient writers, that a man should live with his enemy in such a manner, as might leave him room to become his friend; and with his friend in such a manner, that if he became his enemy, it should not be in his power to hurt him. The first part of this rule, which regards our behaviour towards an enemy, is indeed very reasonable, as well as prudential; but the latter part of it, which regards our behaviour towards a friend, favours more of cunning than of discretion, and would cut a man off from the greatest pleasures of life, which are the freedoms of conversation with a bosom friend. Besides, that when a friend is turned into an enemy, and (as the son of Sirach calls him) a betrayer of secrets, the world is just enough to accuse the perfidiousness of the friend, rather than the indiscretion of the person who confided in him.

3. Discretion does not only shew itself in words, but In all the circumstances of action; and is like an under-agent of Providence, to guide and direct us in the ordinary concerns of life.

There are many more shining qualities in the mind of man, but there is none so useful as discretion; it is this indeed which gives a value to all the rest, which sets them at work in their proper times and places, and turns them to the advantage of the person who is possessed of them. Without it, learning is pedantry, and wit impertinence; virtue itself looks like weakness; the best parts only qualify a man to be more sprightly in errors, and active to his own prejudice.

4. Nor does discretion only make a man the master of his own parts, but of other men's. The discreet man finds out the talents of those he converses with, and knows how to apply them to proper uses. Accordingly, if we look into particular communities and divisions of men, we may observe, that it is the discreet man, not the witty, nor the learned, nor the brave, who guides the conversation, and gives measures to the society. A man with great talents, but void of discretion, is like Polyphemus in the fable, strong and blind, endued with an irresistible force, which for want of sight, is of no use to him.

5. Though a man has all other perfections, and wants discretion, he will be of no great consequence in the world; but if he has this single talent in perfection and but a common share of others, he may do what he pleases in his station of life.

At the same time that I think discretion the most useful talent a man can be master of, I look upon cunning to be the accomplishment of little, mean, ungenerous minds. Discretion points out the noblest ends to us, and pursues the most proper and laudable methods of attaining them; cunning has only private selfish aims, and sticks at nothing which may make them succeed.

6. Discretion has large and extended views, and, like a veil formed eye, commands a whole horizon: cunning is a kind of short-sightedness, that discovers the minutest objects which are near at hand, but is not able to discern things at a distance. Discretion, the more it is discovered, gives a greater authority to the person who possesses it; cunning, when it is once detected, loses its force, and makes a man incapable of bringing about even those events which he might have done, had he passed only for a plain man. Discretion is the perfection of reason, and a guide to us in all the duties of life: cunning is a kind of instinct, that only looks out after our immediate interest and welfare.

7. Discretion is only found in men of strong sense and good understandings: cunning is often to be met with in brutes themselves, and in persons who are but the fewest removes from them. In short, cunning is only the mimic of discretion, and may pass upon weak men, in the same manner as vivacity is often mistaken for wit, and gravity for wisdom.

The cast of mind which is natural to a discreet man, makes him look forward into futurity, and consider what will be his condition millions of ages hence, as well as what it is at present.

8. He knows, that the misery or happiness which are reserved for him in another world, lose nothing of their reality by being placed at so great a distance from him. The objects do not appear little to him because they are remote. He considers that those pleasures and pains which lie hid in eternity, approach nearer to him every moment, and will be present with him in their full weight and measure, as much as those pains and pleasures which he feels at this very instant. For this reason he is careful to secure to himself that which is the proper happiness of his nature, and the ultimate design of his being.

9. He carries his thoughts to the end of every action, and considers the most distant as well as the most immediate effects of it. He supercedes every little prospect of gain and advantage which offers itself here, if he does not find it consistent with his views of an hereafter. In a word, his hopes are full of immortality, his schemes are large and glorious, and his conduct suitable to one who knows his true interest, and how to pursue it by proper methods.

10. I have, in this essay upon discretion, considered it both as an accomplishment and as a virtue, and have therefore described it in its full extent; not only as it is conversant about worldly affairs, but as it regards our whole existence; not only as it is the guide of a mortal creature, but as it is in general the director of a reasonable being. It is in this light that discretion is represented by the wise man, who sometimes mentions it under the name of discretion, and sometimes under that of wisdom.

11. It is indeed (as described in the latter part of this paper) the greatest wisdom, but at the same time in the power of every one to attain. Its advantages are infinite, but its acquisition easy; or, to speak of her in the words of the apocryphal writer, "Wisdom is glorious, and never fadeth away, yet she is easily seen of them that love her, and found of such as seek her."

12. "She preventeth them that desire her, in making herself first known unto them. He that seeketh her early, shall have no great travel: for he shall find her sitting at his doors. To think, therefore, upon Her, is perfection of wisdom, and whoso watcheth for her, shall quickly be without care. For she goeth about seeking such as are worthy of her, sheweth herself favourably unto them in the ways, and meeteth them in every thought."


1. There is no passion which steals into the heart more imperceptibly, and covers itself under more disguises, than pride. For my own part, I think, if there is any passion or vice which I am wholly a stranger to, it is this; though at the same time, perhaps this very judgment which I form of myself, proceeds in some measure from this corrupt principle.

2. I have been always wonderfully delighted with that sentence in holy writ, Pride was not made for man. There is not, indeed, any single view of human nature under its present condition, which is not sufficient to extinguish in us all the secret seeds of pride; and, on the contrary, to sink the soul into the lowest slate of humility, and what the school-men call self-annihilation. Pride was not made for man, as he is,

1. A sinful,

2. An ignorant,

3. A miserable being.

There is nothing in his understanding, in his will, or in his present condition, that can tempt any considerate creature to pride or vanity.

3. These three very reasons why he should not be proud, are, notwithstanding, the reasons why he is so. Were not he a sinful creature, he would not be subject to a passion which rises from the depravity of his nature; were he not an ignorant creature, he would see that he has nothing to be proud of; and were not the whole species miserable, he would not have those wretched objects before his eyes, which are the occasions of this passion, and which make one man value himself more than another.

4. A wise man will be contented that his glory be deferred till such time as he shall be truly glorified; when his understanding shall be cleared his will rectified, and his happiness assured; or, in other words, when he shall be neither sinful, nor ignorant, nor miserable.

5. If there be any thing which makes human nature appear ridiculous to beings of superior faculties, it must be pride. They know so well the vanity of those imaginary perfections that swell the heart of man, and of those little supernumerary advantages, whether in birth, fortune, or title, which one man enjoys above another, that it must certainly very much astonish, if it does not very much divert them, when they see a mortal puffed up, and valuing himself above his neighbours on any of these accounts, at the same time that he is obnoxious to all the common calamities of the species.

6. To set this thought in its true light, we will fancy, if you please, that yonder mole-hill is inhabited by reasonable creatures, and that every pismire (his shape and way of life only excepted) is endowed with human passions. How should we smile to hear one give us an account of the pedigrees, distinctions, and titles that reign among them!

7. Observe how the whole swarm divide and make way for the pismire that passes through them! You must understand he is an emmet of quality, and has better blood in his veins than any pismire in the mole-hill.—Don't you see how sensible he is of it, how slow he marches forward, how the whole rabble of ants keep their distance?

8. Here you may observe one placed upon a little eminence, and looking down upon a long row of labourers. He is the richest insect on this side the hillock, he has a walk of half a yard in length, and a quarter of an inch in breadth, he keeps a hundred menial servants, and has at least fifteen barley-corns in his granary. He is now chiding and beslaving the emmet that stands before him, and who, for all that we can discover, is as good an emmet as himself.

9. But here comes an insect of figure! don't you take notice of a little white straw that he carries in his mouth? That straw, you must understand, he would not part with for the longest tract about the mole-hill: did you but know what he has undergone to purchase it! See how the ants of all qualities and conditions swarm about him! Should this straw drop out of his mouth, you would see all this numerous circle of attendants follow the next that took it up, and leave the discarded insect, or run over his back to come at his successor.

10. If now you have a mind to see all the ladies of the mole-hill, observe first the pismire that listens to the emmet on her left hand, at the same time that she seems to turn away her head from him. He tells this poor insect that she is a goddess, that her eyes are brighter than the sun, that life and death are at her disposal. She believes him, and gives herself a thousand little airs upon it.

11. Mark the vanity of the pismire on your left hand. She can scarce crawl with age; but you must know she values herself upon her birth; and if you mind, spurns at every one that comes within her reach. The little nimble coquette that is running along by the side of her, is a wit. She has broke many a pismire's heart. Do but observe what a drove of lovers are running after her.

12. We will here finish this imaginary scene; but first of all, to draw the parallel closer, will suppose, if you please, that death comes down upon the mole-hill in the shape of a cock-sparrow, who picks up without distinction, the pismire of quality and his flatterers, the pismire of substance and his day labourers, the white straw officer and his sycophants, with all the goddesses, wits, and beauties of the mole-hill.

13. May we not imagine that beings of superior natures and perfections regard all the instances of pride and vanity, among our own species, in the same kind of view, when they take a survey of those who inhabit the earth; or, in the language of an ingenious French poet, of those pismires that people this heap of dirt, which human vanity has divided into climates and regions.

GUARDIAN, Vol. II. No. 153.


1. No vices are so incurable as those which men are apt to glory in. One would wonder how drunkenness should have the good luck to be of this number. Anarcharsis, being invited to a match of drinking at Corinth, demanded the prize very humourously, because he was drunk before any of the rest of the company, for, says he, when we run a race, he who arrives at the goal first, is entitled to the reward:

2. On the contrary, in this thirsty generation, the honour falls upon him who carries off the greatest quantity of liquor, and knocks down the rest of the company. I was the other day with honest Will Funnell, the West Saxon, who was reckoning up how much liquor had passed through him in the last twenty years of his life, which, according to his computation, amounted to twenty-three hogsheads of October, four ton of port, half a kilderkin of small-beer, nineteen barrels of cyder, and three glasses of champaigne; besides which he had assisted at four hundred bowls of punch, not to mention sips, drams, and whets without number.

3. I question not but every reader's memory will suggest to him several ambitious young men, who are as vain in this particular as Will Funnell, and can boast of as glorious exploits.

Our modern philosophers observe, that there is a general decay of moisture in the globe of the earth. This they chiefly ascribe to the growth of vegetables, which incorporate into their own substance many fluid bodies that never return again to their former nature:

4. But with submission, they ought to throw into their account, those innumerable rational beings which fetch their nourishment chiefly out of liquids: especially when we consider that men, compared with their fellow-creatures, drink much more than comes to their share.

5. But however highly this tribe of people may think of themselves, a drunken man is a greater monster than any that is to be found among all the creatures which God has made; as indeed there is no character which appears more despicable and deformed, in the eyes of all reasonable persons, than that of a drunkard.

6. Bonosus, one of our own countrymen, who was addicted to this vice, having set up for a share in the Roman empire, and being defeated in a great battle, hanged himself. When he was seen by the army in this melancholy situation, notwithstanding he had behaved himself very bravely, the common jest was, that the thing they saw hanging upon the tree before them, was not a man, but a bottle.

7. This vice has very fatal effects on the mind, the body and fortune of the person who is devoted to it.

In regard to the mind, it first of all discovers every flaw in it. The sober man, by the strength of reason, may keep under and subdue every vice or folly to which he is most inclined; but wine makes every latent seed sprout up in the soul, and shew itself: it gives fury to the passions, and force to those objects which are apt to produce them.

8. When a young fellow complained to an old philosopher that his wife was not handsome; Put less water into your wine, says the philosopher, and you'll quickly make her so. Wine heightens indifference into love, love into jealousy, and jealousy into madness. It often turns the good natured man into an idiot, and the choleric into an assassin. It gives bitterness to resentment, it makes vanity insupportable, and displays every little spot of the soul in its utmost deformity.

9. Nor does this vice only betray the hidden faults of a man, and shew them in most odious colours, but often occasions faults to which he is not naturally subject. There is more of turn than of truth in a saying of Seneca, that drunkenness does not produce, but discover faults. Common experience teaches the contrary.

10. Wine throws a man out of himself, and infuses qualities into the mind, which she is a stranger to in her sober moments. The person you converse with, after the third bottle, is not the same man who at first sat down at the table with you. Upon this maxim is founded one of the prettiest sayings I ever met with, which is inscribed to Publius Syrus, He who jests unto a man that is drunk, injures the absent.

11. Thus does drunkenness act in direct contradiction to reason, whose business it is to clear the mind of every vice which is crept into it, and to guard it against all the approaches of any that endeavour to make its entrance. But besides these ill effects which this vice produces in the person who is actually under its dominion, it has also a bad influence on the mind, even in its sober moments, as it insensibly weakens the understanding, impairs the memory, and makes those faults habitual which are produced by frequent excesses: it wastes the estate, banishes reputation, consumes the body, and renders a man of the brightest parts the common jest of an insignificant clown.

12. A method of spending one's time agreeably is a thing so little studied, that the common amusement of our young gentlemen (especially of such as are at a great distance from those of the first breeding) is drinking. This way of entertainment has custom on its side; but as much as it has prevailed, I believe there have been very few companies that have been guilty of excess this way, where there have not happened more accidents which make against, than for the continuance of it.

13. It is very common that events arise from a debauch which are fatal, and always such as are disagreeable. With all a man's reason and good sense about him, his tongue is apt to utter things out of a mere gaiety of heart, which may displease his best friends. Who then would trust himself to the power of wine, without saying more against it, than, that it raises the imagination and depresses judgment?

14. Were there only this single consideration, that we are less masters of ourselves when we drink in the least proportion above the exigencies of thirst: I say, were this all that could be objected, it were sufficient to make us abhor this vice. But we may go on to say, that as he who drinks but a little is not master of himself, so he who drinks much is a slave to himself.

15. As for my part, I ever esteemed a drunkard of all vicious persons the most vicious: for if our actions are to be weighed and considered according to the intention of them, what can we think of him who puts himself into a circumstance wherein he can have no intention at all, but incapacitates himself for the duties and offices of life, by a suspension of all his faculties.

16. If a man considers that he cannot, under the oppression of drink, be a friend, a gentleman, a master, or a subject; that he has so long banished himself from all that is dear, and given up all that is sacred to him, he would even then think of a debauch with horror; but when he looks still further, and acknowledges that he is not only expelled out of all the relations of life, but also liable to offend against them all, what words can express the terror and detestation he would have of such a condition? And yet he owns all this of himself who says he was drunk last night.

17. As I have all along persisted in it, that all the vicious in general are in a state of death, so I think I may add to the non-existence of drunkards that they died by their own hands. He is certainly as guilty of suicide who perishes by a slow, as he that is dispatched by an immediate poison.

18. In my last lucubration I proposed the general use of water-gruel, and hinted that it might not be amiss at this very season: but as there are some, whose cases, in regard to their families, will not admit of delay, I have used my interest in several wards of the city, that the wholesome restorative above-mentioned may be given in tavern kitchens to all the mornings draught-men within the walls when they call for wine before noon.

19. For a further restraint and mark upon such persons, I have given orders, that in all the officers where policies are drawn upon lives, it shall be added to the article which prohibits that the nominee should cross the sea, the words, Provided also, That the above-mentioned A.B. shall not drink before dinner during the term mentioned in this indenture.

20. I am not without hopes that by this method I shall bring some unsizeable friends of mine into shape and breadth, as well as others who are languid and consumptive into health and vigour. Most of the self-murderers whom I yet hinted at, are such as preserve a certain regularity in taking their poison, and make it mix pretty well with their food:

21. But the most conspicuous of those who destroy themselves, are such as in their youth fall into this sort of debauchery, and contract a certain uneasiness of spirit, which is not to be diverted but by tippling as often as they can fall into company in the day, and conclude with down-right drunkenness at night. These gentlemen never know the satisfaction of youth, but skip the years of manhood, and are decrepid soon after they are of age.

22. I was godfather to one of these old fellows. He is now three and thirty, which is the grand climacteric of a young drunkard. I went to visit the crazy wretch this morning, with no other purpose but to rally him, under the pain and uneasiness of being sober.

But as our faults are double when they effect others besides ourselves, so this vice is still more odious in a married than a single man.

23. He that is the husband of a woman of honour, and comes home overloaded with wine, is still more contemptible, in proportion to the regard we have to the unhappy consort of his bestiality. The imagination cannot shape to itself any thing more monstrous and unnatural, than the familiarities between drunkenness and chastity. The wretched Astræa, who is the perfection of beauty and innocence, has long been thus condemned for life. The romantic tales of virgins devoted to the jaws of monsters, have nothing in them so terrible, as the gift of Astræa to that bacchanal.

24. The reflection of such a match as spotless innocence with abandoned lewdness, is what puts this vice in the worst figure it can bear with regard to others; but when it is looked upon with respect only to the drunkard himself, it has deformities enough to make it disagreeable, which may be summed up in a word, by allowing, that he who resigns his reason, is actually guilty of all that he is liable to from the want of reason.

TATLER, Vol. IV, No. 241.



1. 'As soon as you have set up your unicorn, there is no question but the ladies will make him push very furiously at the men; for which reason, I think it is good to be beforehand with them, and make the lion roar aloud at female irregularities. Among these I wonder how their gaming has so long escaped your notice.

2. 'You who converse with the sober family of the Lizards, are, perhaps, a stranger to these viragoes; but what would you say, should you see the Sparkler shaking her elbow for a whole night together, and thumping the table with a dice-box? Or how would you like to hear good widow lady herself returning to her house at midnight and alarming the whole street with a most enormous rap, after having sat up till that time at crimp or ombre? Sir, I am the husband of one of these female gamesters, and a great loser by it both in rest my and pocket. As my wife reads your papers, one upon this subject might be of use both to her, and;


3. I should ill deserve the name of Guardian, did I not caution all my fair wards against a practice, which, when it runs to excess, is the most shameful but one that the female world can fall into. The ill consequences of it are more than can be contained in this paper. However, that I may proceed in method, I shall consider them, First, as they relate to the mind; Secondly, as they relate to the body.

4. Could we look into the mind of a female gamester, we should see it full of nothing but trumps and mattadores. Her slumbers are haunted with kings, queens, and knaves. The day lies heavy upon her till the play-season returns, when for half a dozen hours together, all her faculties are employed in shuffling, cutting, dealing and sorting out a pack of cards; and no ideas to be discovered in a soul which calls itself rational, excepting little square figures of painted and spotted paper.

5. Was the understanding, that divine part in our composition, given for such an use? Is it thus that we improve the greatest talent human nature is endowed with? What would a superior being think, were he shewn this intellectual faculty in a female gamester, and at the same time told, that it was by this she was distinguished from brutes, and allied to angels?

6. When our women thus fill their imaginations with pips and counters, I cannot wonder at the story I have lately heard of a new-born child that was marked with the five of clubs.

Their passions suffer no less by this practice than their understandings and imaginations. What hope and fear, joy and anger, sorrow and discontent, break out all at once in a fair assembly, upon so noble an occasion as that of turning up a card?

7. Who can consider, without a secret indignation, that all those affections of the mind which should be consecrated to their children, husbands and parents, are thus vilely prostituted and thrown away upon a hand at loo? For my own part, I cannot but be grieved, when I see a fine woman fretting and bleeding inwardly from such trivial motives: when I behold the face of an angel, agitated and discomposed by the heart of a fury.

8. Our minds are of such a make, that they naturally give themselves up to every diversion which they are much accustomed to, and we always find, that play, when followed with assiduity, engrosses the whole woman. She quickly grows uneasy in her own family, takes but little pleasure in all the domestic innocent endearments of life, and grows more fond of Pam than of her husband.

9. My friend Theophrastus, the best of husbands and of fathers, has often complained to me, with tears in his eyes, of the late hours he is forced to keep if he would enjoy his wife's conversation. When she returns to me with joy in her face, it does not arise, says he, from the sight of her husband but from the good luck she has had at cards.

10. On the contrary, says he, if she has been a loser, I am doubly a sufferer by it. She comes home out of humor, is angry with every body, displeased with all I can do or say, and in reality for no other reason but because she has been throwing away my estate. What charming bed fellows and companions for life are men likely to meet with, that chuse their wives out of such women of vogue and fashion? What a race of worthies, what patriots, what heroes must we expect from mothers of this make?

11. I come in the next place to consider the ill consequences which gaming has on the bodies of our female adventurers. It is so ordered, that almost every thing which corrupts the soul decays the body. The beauties of the face and mind are generally destroyed by the same means. This consideration should have a particular weight with the female world, who are designed to please the eye and attract the regards of the other half of the species.

12. Now there is nothing that wears out a fine face like the vigils of the card table, and those cutting passions which naturally attend them. Hollow eyes, haggard looks, and pale complexions, are the natural indications of a female gamester. Her morning sleeps are not able to repair her midnight watchings.

13. I have known a woman carried off half dead from bassette, and have many a time grieved, to see a person of quality gliding by me in her chair at two o'clock in the morning, and looking like a spectre amidst a glare of flambeaux: in short, I never knew a thorough-paced female gamester hold her beauty two winters together.

14. But there is still another case in which the body is more endangered than in the former. All play-debts must be paid in specie, or by an equivalent. The man that plays beyond his income pawns his estate; the woman must find out something else to mortgage when her pin-money is gone. The husband has his lauds to dispose of, the wife her person. Now when the female body is once dipped, if the creditor be very importunate, I leave my reader to consider the consequences.

15. It is needless here to mention the ill consequences attending this passion among the men, who are often bubbled out of their money and estates by sharpers, and to make up their loss, have recourse to means productive of dire events, instances of which frequently occur; for strictly speaking, those who set their minds upon gaming, can hardly be honest; a man's reflections, after losing, render him desperate, so as to commit violence either upon himself or some other person, and therefore gaming should be discouraged in all well regulated communities.



1. As the ladies are naturally become the immediate objects of your care, will you permit a complaint to be inserted in your paper, which is founded upon matter of fact? They will pardon me, if by laying before you a particular instance I was lately witness to of their improper behaviour, I endeavour to expose a reigning evil, which subjects them to many shameful imputations.

2. I received last week a dinner card from a friend, with an intimation that I should meet some very agreeable ladies. At my arrival, I found that the company consisted chiefly of females, who indeed did me the honour to rise, but quite disconcerted me in paying my respects, by their whispering each other, and appearing to stifle a laugh. When I was seated, the ladies grouped themselves up in a corner, and entered into a private cabal, seemingly to discourse upon points of great secrecy and importance, but of equal merriment and diversion.

3. The same conduct of keeping close to their ranks was observed at table, where the ladies seated themselves together. Their conversation was here also confined wholly to themselves, and seemed like the mysteries of the Bonna Deo, in which men were forbidden to have any share. It was a continued laugh and a whisper from the beginning to the end of dinner. A whole sentence was scarce ever spoken aloud.

4. Single words, indeed, now and then broke forth; such as odious, horrid, detestable, shocking, HUMBUG. This last new-coined expression, which is only to be found in the nonsensical vocabulary, sounds absurd and disagreeable, whenever it is pronounced; but from the mouth of a lady it is, "shocking, detestable, horrible and odious."

5. My friend seemed to be in an uneasy situation at his own table; but I was far more miserable. I was mute, and seldom dared to lift up my eyes from my plate, or turn my head to call for small beer, lest by some aukward posture I might draw upon me a whisper or a laugh. Sancho, when he was forbid to eat of a delicious banquet set before him, could scarce appear more melancholy.

6. The rueful length of my face might possibly increase the mirth of my tormentors: at least their joy seemed to rise in exact proportion with my misery. At length, however, the time of my delivery approached. Dinner ended, the ladies made their exit in pairs, and went off hand in hand whispering like the two kings of Brentford.

7. Modest men, Mr. Town, are deeply wounded when they imagine themselves the subjects of ridicule or contempt; and the pain is the greater, when it is given by those whom they admire, and from whom they are ambitious of receiving any marks of countenance and favour. Yet we must allow, that affronts are pardonable from ladies, as they are often prognostics of future kindness.

8. If a lady strikes our cheek, we can very willingly follow the precept of the gospel, and turn the other cheek to be smitten: even a blow from a fair hand conveys pleasure. But this battery of whispers is against all legal rights of war; poisoned arrows and stabs in the dark, are not more repugnant to the general laws of humanity.

9. Modern writers of comedy often introduce a pert titling into their pieces, who is very severe upon the rest of the company; but all his waggery is spoken aside.—These giglers and whisperers seem to be acting the same part in company that this arch rogue does in the play. Every word or motion produces a train of whispers; the dropping of a snuff-box, or spilling the tea, is sure to be accompanied with a titter: and, upon the entrance of any one with something particular in his person, or manner, I have seen a whole room in a buz like a bee hive.

10. This practice of whispering, if it is any where allowable, may perhaps be indulged the fair sex at church, where the conversation can only be carried on by the secret symbols of a curtsy, an ogle, or a nod. A whisper in this place is very often of great use, as it serves to convey the most secret intelligence, which a lady would be ready to burst with, if she could not find vent for it by this kind of auricular confession. A piece of scandal transpires in this manner from one pew to another, then presently whizes along the channel, from whence it crawls up to the galleries, till at last the whole church hums with it.

11. It were also to be wished, that the ladies would be pleased to confine themselves to whispering in their tete-a-tete conferences at an opera or the play-house; which would be a proper deference to the rest of the audience. In France, we are told, it is common for the parterre to join with the performers in any favorite air: but we seem to have carried this custom still further, as the company in our boxes, without concerning themselves in the least with the play, are even louder than the players.

12. The wit and humour of a Vanbrugh, or a Congreve, is frequently interrupted by a brilliant dialogue between two persons of fashion; and a love scene in the side box has often been more attended to, than that on the stage. As to their loud bursts of laughter at the theatre, they may very well be excused, when they are excited by any lively strokes in a comedy: but I have seen our ladies titter at the most distressful scenes in Romeo and Juliet, grin over the anguish of a Monimia, or Belvidera, and fairly laugh king Lear off the stage.

13. Thus the whole behaviour of these ladies is in direct contradiction to good manners. They laugh when they should cry, are loud when they should be silent, and are silent when their conversation is desirable. If a man in a select company was thus to laugh or whisper me out of countenance, I should be apt to construe it as an affront, and demand an explanation.

14. As to the ladies I would desire them to reflect how much they would suffer, if their own weapons were turned against them, and the gentlemen should attack them with the same arts of laughing and whispering. But, however free they may be from our resentment, they are still open to ill-natured suspicions. They do not consider, what strange constructions may be put on these laughs and whispers.

15. It were indeed, of little consequence, if we only imagined, that they were taking the reputation of their acquaintance to pieces, or abusing the company round; but when they indulge themselves in this behaviour, some perhaps may be led to conclude, that they are discoursing upon topics, which they are ashamed to speak of in a less private manner.

16. If the misconduct which I have described, had been only to be found, Mr. Town, at my friend's table, I should not have troubled you with this letter: but the same kind of ill breeding prevails too often, and in too many places. The giglers and the whisperers are innumerable; they beset us wherever we go; and it is observable, that after a short murmur of whispers, out comes the burst of laughter: like a gunpowder serpent, which, after hissing about for some time, goes off in a bounce.

17. Some excuse may perhaps be framed for this ill-timed merriment, in the fair sex. Venus, the goddess of beauty, is frequently called laughter-loving dame; and by laughing, our modern ladies may possibly imagine, that they render themselves like Venus. I have indeed remarked, that the ladies commonly adjust their laugh to their persons, and are merry in proportion as it sets off their particular charms.

18. One lady is never further moved than to a smile or a simper, because nothing else shews her dimples to so much advantage; another who has a fine set of teeth, runs into a broad grin; while a third, who is admired for a well turned neck and graceful chest, calls up all her beauties to view by breaking into violent and repeated peals of laughter.

19. I would not be understood to impose gravity or too great a reserve on the fair sex. Let them laugh at a feather; but let them declare openly, that it is a feather which occasions their mirth. I must confess, that laughter becomes the young, the gay, and the handsome: but a whisper is unbecoming at all ages, and in both sexes: nor ought it ever to be practised, except in the round gallery of St. Paul's, or in the famous whispering place in Gloucester cathedral, where two whisperers hear each other at the distance of five-and-twenty yards.

I am, Sir,

Your humble Servant.


1. Though the danger of disappointment is always in proportion to the height of expectation, yet I this day claim the attention of the ladies, and profess to teach an art by which all may obtain what has hitherto been deemed the prerogative of a few: an art by which their predominant passion may be gratified, and their conquest not only extended, but secured; "The art of being PRETTY."

2. But though my subject may interest the ladies, it may, perhaps, offend those profound moralists who have long since determined, that beauty ought rather to be despised than desired; that, like strength, it is a mere natural excellence, the effect that causes wholly out of our power, and not intended either as the pledge of happiness or the distinction of merit.

3. To these gentlemen I shall remark, that beauty is among those qualities which no effort of human wit could ever bring into contempt: it is therefore to be wished at least, that beauty was in some degree dependent upon sentiment and manners, that so high a privilege might not be possessed by the unworthy, and that human reason might no longer suffer the mortification of those who are compelled to adore an idol, which differs from a stone or log only by the skill of the artificer: and if they cannot themselves behold beauty with indifference, they must, surely, approve an attempt to shew that it merits their regard.

4. I shall, however, principally consider that species of beauty which is expressed in the countenance; for this alone is peculiar to human beings, and is not less complicated than their nature. In the countenance there are but two requisites to perfect beauty, which are wholly produced by external causes, colour and proportion: and it will appear, that even in common estimation these are not the chief; but that though there may be beauty without them, yet there cannot be beauty without something more.

5. The finest features, ranged in the most exact symmetry, and heightened by the most blooming complexion, must be animated before they can strike; and when they are animated, will generally excite the same passions which they express. If they are fixed in the dead calm of insensibility, they will be examined without emotion; and if they do not express kindness, they will be beheld without love.

6. Looks of contempt, disdain, or malevolence, will be reflected, as from a mirror, by every countenance on which they are turned; and if a wanton aspect excites desire; it is but like that of a savage for his prey, which cannot be gratified without the destruction of its object.

7. Among particular graces, the dimple has always been allowed the pre-eminence, and the reason is evident; dimples are produced by a smile, and a smile is an expression of complacency; so the contraction of the brows into a frown, as it is an indication of a contrary temper, has always been deemed a capital defect.

8. The lover is generally at a loss to define the beauty, by which his passion was suddenly and irresistibly determined to a particular object; but this could never happen, if it depended upon any known rule of proportion, upon the shape and disposition of the features, or the colour of the skin: he tells you that it is something which he cannot fully express, something not fixed in any part, but diffused over the whole; he calls it a sweetness, a softness, a placid sensibility, or gives it some other appellation which connects beauty with sentiment, and expresses a charm which is not peculiar to any set of features, but is perhaps possible to all.

9. This beauty, however, does not always consist in smiles, but varies as expressions of meekness and kindness vary with their objects: it is extremely forcible in the silent complaint of patient sufferance, the tender solicitude of friendship, and the glow of filial obedience; and in tears, whether of joy, of pity, or of grief, it is almost irresistible.

10. This is the charm which captivates without the aid of nature, and without which her utmost bounty is ineffectual. But it cannot be assumed as a mask to conceal insensibility or malevolence; it must be the genuine effect of corresponding sentiments, or it will impress upon the countenance a new and more disgusting deformity, affectation: it will produce the grin, the simper, the stare, the languish, the pout, and innumerable other grimaces, that render folly ridiculous, and change pity to contempt.

11. By some, indeed, this species of hypocrisy has been practised with such skill as to deceive superficial observers, though it can deceive even those but for a moment.—Looks which do not correspond with the heart, cannot be assumed without labour, nor continued without pain; the motive to relinquish them must, therefore, soon preponderate, and the aspect and apparel of the visit will be laid by together; the smiles and languishments of art will vanish, and the fierceness of rage, or the gloom of discontent, will either obscure or destroy all the elegance of symmetry and complexion.

12. The artificial aspect is, indeed, as wretched a substitute for the expression of sentiment; as the smear of paint for the blushes of health: it is not only equally transient, and equally liable to dejection; but as paint leaves the countenance yet more withered and ghastly, the passions burst out with move violence after restraint, the features become more distorted and excite more determined aversion.

13. Beauty, therefore, depends principally upon the mind, and, consequently, may be influenced by education. It has been remarked, that the predominant passion may generally be discovered in the countenance; because the muscles by which it is expressed, being almost perpetually contracted, lose their tone, and never totally relax; so that the expression remains when the passion is suspended; thus an angry, a disdainful, a subtle and a suspicious temper, is displayed in characters that are almost universally understood.

14. It is equally true of the pleasing and the softer passions, that they leave their signatures upon the countenance when they cease to act: the prevalence of these passions, therefore, produces a mechanical effect upon the aspect, and gives a turn and cast to the features which makes a more favorable and forcible impression upon the mind of others, than any charm produced by mere external causes.

15. Neither does the beauty which depends upon temper and sentiment, equally endanger the possessor: "It is," to use an eastern metaphor, "like the towers of a city, not only an ornament, but a defence;" if it excites desire, it at once controls and refines it; it represses with awe, it softens with delicacy, and it wins to imitation. The love of reason and virtue is mingled with the love of beauty; because this beauty is little more than the emanation of intellectual excellence, which is not an object of corporeal appetite.

16. As it excites a purer passion, it also more forcibly engages to fidelity: every man finds himself more powerfully restrained from giving pain to goodness than to beauty; and every look of a countenance in which they are blended, in which beauty is the expression of goodness, is a silent reproach of the first irregular wish: and the purpose immediately appears to be disingenious and cruel, by which the tender hope of ineffable affection would be disappointed, the placid confidence of unsuspected simplicity abased, and the peace even of virtue endangered by the most sordid infidelity, and the breach of the strongest obligations.

17. But the hope of the hypocrite must perish. When the fictitious beauty has laid by her smiles, when the lustre of her eyes and the bloom of her cheeks have lost their influence with their novelty; what remains but a tyrant divested of power, who will never be seen without a mixture of indignation and disdain? The only desire which this object could gratify, will be transferred to another, not only without reluctance, but with triumph.

18. As resentment will succeed to disappointment, a desire to mortify will succeed to a desire to please; and the husband may be urged to solicit a mistress, merely by a remembrance of the beauty of his wife, which lasted only till she was known.

Let it therefore be remembered, that none can be disciples of the Graces, but in the school of Virtue; and that those who wish to be lovely, must learn early to be good.

19. A FRIEND of mine has two daughters, whom I will call Lætitia and Daphne. The former is one of the greatest beauties of the age in which she lives; the latter no way remarkable for any charms in her person. Upon this one circumstance of their outward form, the good and ill of their life seem to turn. Lætitia has not from her very childhood heard any thing else but commendations of her features and complexion, by which means she is no other than nature made her, a very beautiful outside.

20. The consciousness of her charms has rendered her insupportably vain and insolent towards all who have to do with her. Daphne, who was almost twenty before one civil thing had ever been said to her, found herself obliged to acquire some accomplishments to make up for the want of those attractions which she saw in her sister.

21. Poor Daphne was seldom submitted to in a debate wherein she was concerned; her discourse had nothing to recommend it but the good sense of it, and she was always under a necessity to have very well considered what she was to say before she uttered it; while Lætitia was listened to with partiality, and approbation sat in the countenances of those she conversed with, before she communicated what she had to say.

22. These causes have produced suitable effects, and Lætitia is as insipid a companion as Daphne is an agreeable one. Lætitia, confident of favour, has studied no arts to please: Daphne, despairing of any inclination towards her person, has depended only on her merit. Lætitia has always something in her air that is sullen, grave and disconsolate.

23. Daphne has a countenance that appears cheerful, open and unconcerned. A young gentleman saw Lætitia this winter at play, and became her captive. His fortune was such, that he wanted very little introduction to speak his sentiments to her father. The lover was admitted with the utmost freedom into the family, where a constrained behaviour, severe looks, and distant civilities were the highest favours he could obtain from Lætitia; while Daphne used him with the good humour, familiarity, and innocence of a sister.

24. Insomuch that he would often say to her, Dear Daphne, wert thou but as handsome as Lætitia!—She received such language with that ingenious and pleasing mirth, which is natural to a woman without design. He still sighed in vain for Lætitia but found certain relief in the agreeable conversation of Daphne. At length, heartily tired with the haughty impertinence of Lætitia, and charmed with repeated instances of good humour he had observed in Daphne, he one day told the latter, that he had something to say to her he hoped she would be pleased with.

25. ——Faith Daphne, continued he, I am in love with thee, and despise thy sister sincerely. The manner of his declaring himself gave his mistress occasion for a very hearty laughter.—Nay, says he, I knew you would laugh at me, but I'll ask your father. He did so; the father received his intelligence with no less joy than surprize, and was very glad he had now no care left but for his beauty, which he thought he would carry to market at his leisure.

26. I do not know any thing that has pleased me so much a great while, as this conquest of my friend Daphne's. All her acquaintance congratulate her upon her chance medley, and laugh at that premeditating murderer, her sister. As it is an argument of a light mind, to think the worse of ourselves for the imperfections of our persons, it is equally below us to value ourselves upon the advantages of them.

27. The female world seems to be almost incorrigibly gone astray in this particular; for which reason, I shall recommend the following extract out of a friend's letter to the profess'd beauties, who are a people almost as insufferable as the profess'd wits.

'Monsier St. Evrement has concluded one of his essays with affirming, that the last sighs of a handsome woman are not so much for the loss of her life, as her beauty.

28. 'Perhaps this raillery is pursued too far, yet it is turned upon a very obvious remark, that woman's strongest passion is for her own beauty, and that she values it as her favourite distinction. From hence it is that all hearts, which intend to improve or preserve it, meet with so general a reception among the sex.

29. To say nothing Of many false helps, and contraband wares of beauty, which are daily vended in this great mart, there is not a maiden gentlewoman, of a good family, in any county of South Britain, who has not heard of the virtues of may-dew, or is unfurnished with some receipt or other in favour of her complexion; and I have known a physician of learning and sense, after eight years study in the university and a course of travels into most countries of Europe, owe the first raising of his fortune to a cosmetic wash.

30. 'This has given me occasion to consider how so universal a disposition in womankind, which springs from a laudable motive, the desire of pleasing, and proceeds upon an opinion, not altogether groundless, that nature may be helped by art, may be turned to their advantage. And, methinks, it would be an acceptable service to take them out of the hands of quacks and pretenders, and to prevent their imposing upon themselves, by discovering to them the true secret and art of improving beauty.

31. 'In order to do this, before I touch upon it directly, it will be necessary to lay down a few preliminary maxims, viz.

That no woman can be handsome by the force of features alone, any more she can be witty only by the help of speech.

That pride destroys all symmetry and grace, and affectation is a more terrible enemy to fine faces than the small-pox.

That no woman is capable of being beautiful, who is not incapable of being false.

And, that what would be odious in a friend, is deformity in a mistress.

32. 'From these few principles thus laid down, it will be easy to prove that the true art of assisting beauty consists in embellishing the whole person by the proper ornaments of virtuous and commendable qualities. By this help alone it is, that those who are the favourite work of nature, or, as Mr. Dryden expresses it, the porcelain clay of human kind, become animated, and are in a capacity of exerting their charms: and those who seem to have been neglected by her, like models wrought in haste, are capable, in a great measure, of finishing what she has left imperfect.

33. 'It is, methinks, a low and degrading idea of that sex, which was created to refine the joys, and soften the cares of humanity, by the most agreeable participation, to consider them merely as objects of sight.—This is abridging them of their natural extent of power to put them upon a level with their pictures at the pantheon. How much nobler is the contemplation of beauty heightened by virtue, and commanding our esteem and love, while it draws our observation?

34. 'How faint and spiritless are the charms of a coquette, when compared with the real loveliness of Sophronia's innocence, piety, good-humour, and truth; virtues which add a new softness to her sex, and even beautify her beauty! That agreeableness, which must otherwise have appeared no longer in the modest virgin, is now preserved in the tender mother, the prudent friend and faithful wife'.

35. 'Colours artfully spread upon canvas may entertain the eye, but not affect the heart; and she, who takes no care to add to the natural graces of her person, any excelling qualities, may be allowed still to amuse as a picture, but not to triumph as a beauty.

'When Adam is introduced by Milton describing Eve in Paradise, and relating to the angel the impressions he felt upon seeing her at her first creation, he does not represent her like a Grecian Venus, by her shape of features, but by the lustre of her mind which shone in them, and gave them their power of charming.


Grace was in all her steps, Heav'n in her eye,
In all her gestures dignity and love:

'Without this irradiating power, the proudest fair-one ought to know, whatever her glass may tell her to the contrary, that her most perfect features are uninformed and dead.

'I cannot better close this moral, than by a short epitaph, written by Ben Johnson with a spirit which nothing could inspire, but such an object as I have been describing.

'Underneath this stone doth lie,
As much virtue as could die;
Which when alive did vigour give
To as much beauty as could live.'

I am, Sir

Your most humble Servant,


SPECTATOR, Vol. I. No.33.


1. Every principle that is a motive to good actions, ought to be encouraged, since men are of so different a make, that the same principle does not work equally upon all minds. What some men are prompted to by conscience, duty, or religion, which are only different names for the same thing, others are prompted to by honour.

2. The sense of honour is of so fine and delicate a nature, that it is only to be met with in minds which are naturally noble, or in such as have been cultivated by great examples, or a refined education. This paper, therefore, is chiefly designed for those who by means of any of these advantages, are, or ought to be, actuated by this glorious principle.

3. 'But as nothing is more pernicious than a principle or action, when it is misunderstood, I shall consider honour with respect to three sorts of men. First of all, with regard to those who have a right notion of it. Secondly, with regard to those who have a mistaken notion of it. And thirdly, with regard to those who treat it as chimerical, and turn it into ridicule.

4. 'In the first place, true honour, though it be a different principle from religion, is that which produces the same effects. The lines of action, though drawn from different parts, terminate in the same point. Religion embraces virtue as it is enjoined by the laws of God: Honour, as it is graceful and ornamental to human nature.

5. 'The religious man fears, the man of honor scorns to do an ill action. The former considers vice as something that is beneath him, the other as something that is offensive to the Divine Being. The one as what is unbecoming, the other as what forbidden. Thus Seneca speaks in the natural and genuine language of a man of honor, when he declares that were there no God to see or punish vice, he would not commit it, because it is of so mean, so base, and so vile a nature.

6. 'I shall conclude this head with the description of honor in the part of young Juba.

Honour's a sacred tie, the law of kings,
The noble mind's distinguishing perfection,
That aids and strengthens virtue where it meets her,
And imitates her actions where she is not.
It ought not to be sported with.— CATO.

7. 'In the second place we are to consider those who have mistaken notions of honor, and these are such as establish any thing to themselves for a point of honor which is contrary either to the laws of God, or of their country; who think it is more honourable to revenge than to forgive an injury; who make no scruple of telling a lie, but would put any man to death that accuses them of it: who are more careful to guard their reputation by their courage than by their virtue.

8. 'True fortitude is indeed so becoming in human nature, that he who wants it scarce deserves the name of a man; but we find several who so much abuse this notion that they place the whole idea of honor in a kind of brutal courage; by which means we have had many among us who have called themselves men of honour, that would have been a disgrace to a gibbet.

9. In a word, the man who sacrifices any duty of a reasonable creature to a prevailing mode of fashion, who looks upon any thing as honourable that is displeasing to his Maker, or destructive to society, who thinks himself obliged by this principle to the practice of some virtues and not of others, is by no means to be reckoned among true men of honor.

10. Timogenes was a lively instance of one actuated by false honor. Timogenes would smile at a man's jest who ridiculed his Maker, and at the same time run a man thro' the body that spoke ill of his friend. Timogenes would have scorned to have betrayed a secret, that was intrusted with him, though the fate of his country depended upon the discovery of it.

11. Timogenes took away the life of a young fellow in a duel, for having spoken ill of Belinda, a lady whom he himself had seduced in his youth, and betrayed into want and ignominy. To close his character, Timogenes, after having ruined several poor tradesmen's families, who had trusted him, sold his estate to satisfy his creditors; but, like a man of honor, disposed of all the money he could make of it, in paying off his play-debts, or, to speak in his own language, his debts of honor.

12. In the third place, we are to consider those persons, who treat this principle as chimerical, and turn it into ridicule. Men who are professedly of no honour, are of a more profligate and abandoned nature, than even those who are actuated by false notions of it, as there is more hope of a heretic than of an atheist. These sons of infamy consider honor with old Syphax, in the play before mentioned, as a fine imaginary notion, that leads astray young unexperienced men, and draws them into real mischief, while they are engaged in the pursuits of a shadow.

13. These are generally persons, who, in Shakspeare's phrase, are worn and hackney'd in the ways of men; whose imaginations are grown callous, and have lost all those delicate sentiments which are natural to minds that are innocent and undepraved. Such old battered miscreants ridicule every thing as romantic, that comes in competition with their present interest, and treat those persons as visionaries who dare stand up in a corrupt age, for what has not its immediate reward joined to it.

14. The talents, interest, or experience of such men, make them very often useful in all parties, and at all times. But whatever wealth and dignities they may arrive at, they ought to consider, that every one stands as a blot in the annals of his country, who arrives at the temple of honor by any other way than through that of virtue.

GUARDIAN, Vol. II. No. 161.

Human Nature.


1. 'I have always been a very great lover of your speculations, as well in regard to the subject, as to your manner of treating it. Human nature I always thought the most useful object of human reason, and to make the consideration of it pleasant and entertaining, I always thought the best employment of human wit: other parts of philosophy may make us wiser, but this not only answers that end, but makes us better too.

2. 'Hence it was that the oracle pronounced Socrates the wisest of all men living, because he judiciously made choice of human nature for the object of his thoughts; an enquiry into which as much exceeds all other learning, as it is of more consequence to adjust the true nature and measures of right and wrong, than to settle the distance of the planets, and compute the times of their circumvolutions.

3. 'One good effect that will immediately arise from a near observation of human nature, is, that we shall cease to wonder at those actions which men are used to reckon wholly unaccountable; for as nothing is produced without a cause, so by observing the nature and course of the passions, we shall be able to trace every action from its first conceptions to its death.

4. 'We shall no more admire at the proceedings of Cataline and Tiberius, when we know the one was actuated by a cruel jealousy; the other by a furious ambition; for the actions of men follow their passions as naturally as light does heat, or as any other effect flows from its cause; reason must be employed in adjusting the passions, but they must ever remain the principles of action.

5. 'The strange and absurd variety that is so apparent in men's actions, shews plainly they can never proceed immediately from reason; so pure a fountain emits no such troubled waters: they must necessarily arise from the passions, which are to the mind as the winds to a ship; they only can move it, and they too often destroy it; if fair and gentle, they guide it into the harbour; if contrary and furious, they overset it in the waves.

6. 'In the same manner is the mind assisted or endangered by the passions; reason must then take the place of pilot, and can never fail of securing her charge if she be not wanting to herself; the strength of the passions will never be accepted as an excuse for complying with them: they were designed for subjection; and if a man suffers them to get the upper hand, he then betrays the liberty of his own soul.

7. 'As nature has framed the several species of beings as it were in a chain, so man seems to be placed as the middle link between angels and brutes; hence he participates both of flesh and spirit by an admirable tye, which in him occasions perpetual war of passions; and as a man inclines to the angelic or brute part of his constitution, he is then denominated good or bad, virtuous or wicked: if love, mercy, and good-nature prevail, they speak him of the angel; if hatred, cruelly, and envy predominate, they declare his kindred to the brute.

8. 'Hence it was that some ancients imagined, that as men in this life incline more to the angel or the brute, so after their death they should transmigrant into the one or the other; and it would be no unpleasant notion to consider the several species of brutes, into which we may imagine that tyrants, misers, the proud, malicious, and ill-natured, might be changed.

9. 'As a consequence of this original, all passions are in all men, but appear not in all: constitution, education, custom of the, country, reason, and the like causes may improve or abate the strength of them, but still the seeds remain, which are ever ready to sprout forth upon the least encouragement.

10. 'I have heard a story of a good religious man, who having been bred with the milk of a goat, was very modest in public, by a careful reflection he made of his actions, but he frequently had an hour in secret, wherein he had his frisks and capers; and, if we had an opportunity of examining the retirement of the strictest philosophers, no doubt but we should find perpetual returns of those passions they so artfully conceal from the public.

11. 'I remember Machiavel observes, that every state should entertain a perpetual jealousy of its neighbours, that so it should never be unprovided when an emergency happens; in like manner should reason be perpetually on its guard against the passions, and never suffer them to carry on any design that may be destructive of its security; yet, at the same time, it must be careful, that it don't so far break their strength as to render them contemptible, and, consequently, itself unguarded.

12. 'The understanding being of itself too slow and lazy to exert itself into action, it is necessary it should be put in motion by the gentle gales of passion, which may preserve it from stagnation and corruption; for they are necessary to the help of the mind, as the circulation of the animal spirits is to the health of the body; they keep it in life, and strength and vigour: nor is it possible for the mind to perform its offices without their assistance; these motions are given us with our being: they are little spirits, that are born and die with us; to some they are mild, easy and gentle; to others wayward and unruly; yet never too strong for the reins of reason, and the guidance of judgment.

13. 'We may generally observe a pretty nice proportion, between the strength of reason and passion; the greatest geniuses have commonly the strongest affections, as on the other hand, the weaker understandings have generally the weaker passions: and 'tis fit the fury of the coursers should not be too great for the strength of the charioteer.

14. 'Young men, whose passions are not a little unruly, give small hopes of their being considerable; the fire of youth will of course abate, and is a fault, if it be a fault, that mends every day; but surely, unless a man has fire in youth, he can hardly have warmth in old age.

15. We must therefore be very cautious, lest while we think to regulate the passions, we should quite extinguish them; which is putting out the light of the soul; for to be without passion, or to be hurried away with it, makes a man equally blind. The extraordinary severity used in most of our schools has this fatal effect; it breaks the spring of the mind, and most certainly destroys more good geniuses than it can possibly improve.

16. 'And surely 'tis a mighty mistake that the passions should be so entirely subdued; for little irregularities are sometimes not only to be borne with, but to be cultivated too, since they are frequently attended with the greatest perfections. All great geniuses have faults mixed with their virtues, and resemble the flaming bush which has thorns amongst lights.

17. 'Since therefore the passions are the principles of human actions, we must endeavour to manage them so as to retain their vigour, yet keep them under strict command; we must govern them rather like free subjects than slaves, lest while we intend to make them obedient, they become abject, and unfit for those great purposes to which they were designed.

18. 'For my part I must confess, I could never have any regard to that sect of philosophers, who so much insisted upon an absolute indifference and vacancy from all passion; for it seems to me a thing very inconsistent for a man to divest himself of humanity, in order to acquire tranquility of mind, and to eradicate the very principles of action, because it is possible they may produce ill effects.

I am, Sir,

Your affectionate admirer

SPECTATOR, Vol. IV. No. 408.

The Advantages of representing Human Nature in its proper Dignity.

TATLER, No. 198.

It is not to be imagined how great an effect well-disposed lights, with proper forms, and orders in assemblies, have upon some tempers, I am sure I feel it in so extraordinary a manner, that I cannot in a day or two get out of my imagination any very beautiful or disagreeable impression which I receive on such occasions. For this reason I frequently look in at the play-house, in order to enlarge my thoughts, and warm my mind with some new ideas, that may be serviceable to me in my lucubrations.

1. In this disposition I entered the theatre the other day, and placed myself in a corner of it, very convenient for seeing, without being myself observed. I found the audience hushed in a very deep attention, and did not question but some noble tragedy was just then in its crisis, or that an incident was to be unravelled which would determine the fate of an hero. While I was in this suspense, expecting every moment to see my old friend Mr. Bitterton appear in all the majesty of distress, to my unspeakable amazement, there came up a monster with a face between his feet; and, as I was looking on, he raised himself on one leg in such a perpendicular posture, that the other grew in a direct line above his head.

2. It afterwards twisted itself into the motions and wreathings of several different animals, and, after great variety of shapes and transformations, went off the stage in the figure of a human creature. The admiration, the applause, the satisfaction of the audience, during this strange entertainment, is not to be expressed. I was very much out of countenance for my dear countrymen, and looked about with some apprehension, for fear any foreigner should be present.

3. Is it possible, thought I, that human nature can rejoice in its disgrace, and take pleasure in seeing its own figure turned into ridicule, and distorted into forms that raise horror and aversion? There is something disingenuous and immoral in the being able to bear such a sight. Men of elegant and noble minds are shocked at the seeing characters of persons who deserve esteem for their virtue, knowledge, or services to their country, placed in wrong lights, and by misrepresentations made the subject of buffoonery.

4. Such a nice abhorrence is not, indeed, to be found among the vulgar; but methinks it is wonderful, that those, who have nothing but the outward figure to distinguish them as men, should delight in seeing it abused, vilified and disgraced.

I must confess there is nothing that more pleases me, in all that I read in books, or see among mankind, than such passages as represent human nature in its proper dignity.

5. As man is a creature made up of different extremes, he has something in him very great and very mean: a skilful artist may draw an excellent picture of him in either of these views. The finest authors of antiquity have taken him on the more advantageous side. They cultivate the natural grandeur of the soul, raise in her a generous ambition, feed her with hopes of immortality and perfection, and do all they can to widen the partition between the virtuous and the vicious, by making the difference betwixt them as great as between gods and brutes.

6. In short, it is impossible to read a page in Plato, Tully, and a thousand other ancient moralists, without being a greater and a better man for it. On the contrary, I could never read any of our modish French authors, or those of our own country who are the imitators and admirers of that trifling nation, without being for some time out of humour with myself, and at every thing about me.

7. Their business is, to depreciate human nature, and consider it under its worst appearances. They give mean interpretations and base motives to the worthiest actions; they resolve virtue and vice into constitution. In short, they endeavour to make no distinction between man and man, or between the species of men and that of brutes. As an instance of this kind of authors, among many others, let any one examine the celebrated Rochefoucault, who is the great philosopher for administering of consolation to the idle, the envious, and worthless parts of mankind.

8. I remember a young gentleman of moderate understanding, but great vivacity, who, by dipping into many authors of this nature, had got a little smattering of knowledge, just enough to make an atheist or a free thinker, but not a philosopher or a man of sense. With these accomplishments, he went to visit his father in the country, who was a plain, rough, honest man, and wise though not learned. The son, who took all opportunities to shew his learning, began to establish a new religion in the family, and to enlarge the narrowness of their country notions; in which he succeeded so well, that he had seduced the butler by his table talk, and staggered his eldest sister.

9. The old gentleman began to be alarmed at the schisms that arose among his children, but did not yet believe his son's doctrine to be so pernicious as it really was, till one day talking of his setting-dog, the son said he did not question but Trey was as immortal as any one of the family; and in the heat of the argument told his father, that for his own part he expected to die like a dog. Upon which the old gentleman, starting up in a very great passion, cried out, Then, sirrah, you shall live like one; and taking his cane in his hand, cudgeled him out of his system. This had so good an effect upon him, that he took up from that day, fell to reading good books, and is now a bencher in the Middle Temple.

10. I do not mention this cudgeling part of the story with a design to engage the secular arm in matters of this nature; but certainly, if it ever exerts itself in affairs of opinion and speculation, it ought to do it on such shallow and despicable pretenders to knowledge, who endeavour to give man dark and uncomfortable prospects of his being, and destroy those principles which are the support, happiness, and glory of all public societies, as well as private persons.

11. I think it is one of Pythagoras's golden sayings, that a man should take care above all things to have a due respect for himself; and it is certain, that this licentious sort of authors, who are for depreciating mankind, endeavour to disappoint and undo what the most refined spirits have been labouring to advance since the beginning of the world. The very design of dress, good-breeding, outward ornaments and ceremonies, were to lift up human nature, and set it of too advantage. Architecture, painting, and statuary, were invented with the same design; as indeed every art and science that contributes to the embellishment of life, and to the wearing off and throwing into shades the mean and low parts of our nature.

12. Poetry carries on this great end more than all the rest, as may be seen in the following passages taken out of Sir Francis Bacon's Advancement of Learning, which gives a true and better account of this art than all the volumes that were ever written upon it.

"Poetry, especially heroical, seems to be raised altogether from a noble foundation, which makes much for the dignity of man's nature. For seeing this sensible world is in dignity inferior to the soul of man, poesy seems to endow human nature with that which history denies; and to give satisfaction to the mind, with at least the shadow of things, where the substance cannot be had."

13. "For if the matter be thoroughly considered, a strong argument may be drawn from poesy, that a more stately greatness of things, a more perfect order, and a more beautiful variety, delights the soul of man than any way can be found in nature since the fall. Wherefore, seeing the acts and events, which are the subjects of true history, are not of that amplitude as to content the mind of man, poesy is ready at hand to feign acts more heroical."

14. "Because true history reports the successes of business not proportionable to the merit of virtues and vices, poesy corrects it, and presents events and fortunes according to desert, and according to the law of Providence: because true history, through the frequent satiety and similitude of things, works a distaste and misprision in the mind of man; poesy cheereth and refresheth the soul, chanting things rare and various, and full of vicissitudes."

15. "So as poesy serveth and conferreth to delectation, magnanimity and morality; and therefore it may seem deservedly to have some participation of divineness, because it doth raise the mind, and exalt the spirit with high raptures, proportioning the shew of things to the desires of the mind, and not submitting the mind to things as reason and history do. And by these allurements and congruities, whereby it cherisheth the soul of man, joined also with concert of music, whereby it may more sweetly insinuate itself; it hath won such access, that it hath been in estimation, even in rude times, among barbarous nations, when our learning stood excluded."

16. But there is nothing which favours and falls in with this natural greatness and dignity of human nature so much as religion, which does not only promise the entire refinement of the mind, but the glorifying of the body, and the immortality of both.

Custom a Second Nature.

1. There is not a common saying which has a better turn of sense in it than what we often hear in the mouths of the vulgar, that Custom is a second Nature. It is indeed able to form the man anew, and give him inclinations and capacities altogether different from those he was born with.

2. Dr. Plot, in his history of Staffordshire, tells of an idiot, that chancing to live within the sound of a clock, and always amusing himself with counting the hour of the day whenever the clock struck: the clock being spoiled by some accident, the idiot continued to strike and count the hour without the help of it, in the same manner as he had done when it was entire.

3. Though I dare not vouch for the truth of this story, it is very certain that custom has a mechanical effect upon the body, at the same time that it has a very extraordinary influence upon the mind.

4. I shall in this paper consider one very remarkable effect which custom has upon human nature; and which, if rightly observed, may lead us into very useful rules of life. What I shall here take notice of in custom, is its wonderful efficacy in making every thing pleasant to us.

5. A person who is addicted to play or gaming, though he took but little delight in it at first, by degrees contracts so strong an inclination towards it, and gives himself up so entirely to it, that it seems the only end of his being. The love of a retired or busy life will grow upon a man insensibly, as he is conversant in the one or the other, till he is utterly unqualified for relishing that to which he has been for some time disused.

6. Nay, a man may smoke or drink, or take snuff, till he is unable to pass away his time without it; not to mention how our delight in any particular study, art, or science, rises and improves in proportion to the application which we bestow upon it. Thus what was at first an exercise, becomes at length an entertainment. Our employments are changed into diversions. The mind grows fond of those actions it is accustomed to, and is drawn with reluctancy from those paths in which it has been used to walk.

7. Not only such actions as were at first indifferent to us, but even such as were painful, will by custom and practice become pleasant.

8. Sir Francis Bacon observes in his natural philosophy, that our taste is never better pleased than with those things which at first create a disgust in it. He gives particular instances of claret, coffee, and other liquors; which the palate seldom approves upon the first taste: but when it has once got a relish of them, generally retains it for life. The mind is constituted after the same manner, and after having habituated itself to any particular exercise or employment, not only loses its first aversion towards it, but conceives a certain fondness and affection for it.

9. I have heard one of the greatest genuises this age has produced, who had been trained up in all the polite studies of antiquity, assure me, upon his being obliged to search into several rolls and records, that notwithstanding such an employment was at first very dry and irksome to him, he at last took an incredible pleasure in it, and preferred it even to the reading of Virgil or Cicero.

10. The reader will observe that I have not here considered custom as it makes things easy, but as it renders them delightful; and though others have often made the same reflection, it is possible they may not have drawn those uses from it, with which I intend to fill the remaining part of this paper.

11. If we consider attentively this property of human nature, it may instruct us in very fine moralities. In the first place, I would have no man discouraged with that kind of life or series of actions, in which the choice of others or his own necessities may have engaged him. It may perhaps be very disagreeable to him at first; but use and application will certainly render it not only less painful, but pleasing and satisfactory.

12. In the second place, I would recommend to every one the admirable precept which Pythagoras is said to have given to his disciples, and which that philosopher must have drawn from the observation I have enlarged upon: Optimum vitæ genus eligito nam consuctudo facict jucundissimum. Pitch upon that course of life which is the most excellent, and custom will render it the most delightful.

13. Men, whose circumstances will permit them to choose their own way of life, are inexcusable if they do not pursue that which their judgment tells them is the most laudable. The voice of reason is more to be regarded than the bent of any present inclination, since by the rule above-mentioned, inclination will at length come over to reason, though we can never force reason to comply with inclination.

14. In the third place, this observation may teach the most sensual and irreligious man to overlook those hardships and difficulties, which are apt to discourage him from the prosecution of a virtuous life. The Gods, said Hesiod, have placed labour before virtue; the way to her is at first rough and difficult, but grows more smooth and easy, the further you advance in it. The man who proceeds in it, with steadiness and resolution, will in a little time find that her ways are ways of pleasantness, and that all her paths are peace.

15. To enforce this consideration, we may further observe, that the practice of religion will not only be attended with that pleasure which naturally accompanies those actions to which we are habituated, but with those supernumerary joys of heart, that rise from the consciousness of such a pleasure, from the satisfaction of acting up to the dictates of reason, and from the prospect of an happy immortality.

16. In the fourth place, we may learn from this observation which we have made on the mind of man, to take particular care, when we are once settled in a regular course of life, how we too frequently indulge ourselves in any of the most innocent diversions and entertainments, since the mind may insensibly fall off from the relish of virtuous actions, and by degrees, exchange that pleasure which it takes in the performance of its duty, for delight of a much more inferior and unprofitable nature.

17. The last use which I shall make of this remarkable property in human nature, of being delighted with those actions to which it is accustomed, is to shew how absolutely necessary it is for us to gain habits of virtue in this life, if we would enjoy the pleasures of the next.

18. The state of bliss we call heaven, will not be capable of affecting those minds, which are not thus qualified for it: we must in this world gain a relish of truth and virtue, if we would be able to taste that knowledge and perfection which are to make us happy in the next. The seeds of those spiritual joys and raptures, which are to rise up and flourish in the soul to all eternity, must be planted in it, during this its present state of probation. In short, heaven is not to be looked upon only as the reward, but as the natural effect of a religious life.

19. On the other hand, those evil spirits, who by long custom, have contracted in the body, habits of lust, sensuality, malice and revenge, an aversion to every thing that is good, just, or laudable, are naturally seasoned and prepared for pain and misery. Their torments have already taken root in them; they cannot be happy when divested of the body, unless we may suppose, that Providence will in a manner create them anew, and work a miracle in the rectification of their faculties.

20. They may, indeed, taste a kind of malignant pleasure in those actions to which they are accustomed whilst in this life; but when they are removed from all those objects which are here apt to gratify them, they will naturally become their own tormentors, and cherish in themselves those painful habits of mind which are called, in scripture phrase, the worm which never dies.

21. This notion of heaven and hell is so very conformable to the light of nature, that it was discovered by several of the most exalted heathens. It has been finely improved by many eminent divines of the last age, as in particular by Archbishop Tillotson and Dr. Sherlock; but there is none who has raised such noble speculations upon it as Dr. Scott, in the first book of his Christian Life, which is one of the finest and most rational schemes of divinity, that is written in our tongue or any other. That excellent author has shewn how every particular custom and habit of virtue will, in its own nature, produce the heaven, or a state of happiness, in him who shall hereafter practise it: as on the contrary, how every custom or habit of vice will be the natural hell of him in whom it subsists.

On Cleanliness.


1. I had occasion to go a few miles out of town, some days since, in a stage-coach, where I had for my fellow travellers, a dirty beau, and a pretty young Quaker woman. Having no inclination to talk much at that time, I placed myself backward, with a design to survey them, and pick a speculation out of my two companions. Their different figures were suificient of themselves to draw my attention.

2. The gentleman was dressed in a suit, the ground whereof had been black, as I perceived from some few spaces that had escaped the powder, which was incorporated with the greatest part of his coat; his periwig, which cost no smull sum, was after so slovenly a manner cast over his shoulders, that it seemed not to have been combed since the year 1712; his linen, which was not much concealed, was daubed with plain Spanish from the chin to the lowest button, and the diamond upon his finger (which naturally dreaded the water) put me in mind how it sparkled amidst the rubbish of the mine where it was first discovered.

3. On the other hand, the pretty Quaker appeared in all the elegance of cleanliness. Not a speck was to be found on her. A clear, clean, oval face, just edged about with little thin plaits of the purest cambrick, received great advantages from the shade of her black hood: as did the whiteness of her arms from that sober-coloured stuff in which she had clothed herself. The plainness of her dress was very well suited to the simplicity of her phrases, all which put together, though they could not give me a great opinion of her religion, they did of her innocence.

4. This adventure occasioned my throwing together a few hints upon cleanliness, which I shall consider as one of the half virtues, as Aristotle calls them, and shall recommend it under the three following heads: As it is a mark of politeness; as it produceth love; and as it bears analogy to purity of mind.

5. First, it is a mark of politeness. It is universally agreed upon, that no one, unadorned with this virtue, can go into company without giving a manifest offence. The easier or higher any one's fortune is, this duty rises proportionably. The different nations of the world are as much distinguished by their cleanliness, as by their arts and sciences. The more any country is civilized, the more they consult this part of politeness. We need but compare our ideas of a female Hottentot with an English beauty, to be; satisfied with the truth of what hath been advanced.

6. In the next place, cleanliness may be said to be the foster-mother of love. Beauty, indeed, most commonly produces that passion in the mind, but cleanliness preserves it. An indifferent face and person, kept in perpetual neatness, hath won many a heart from a pretty slattern. Age itself is not unamiable, while it is preserved clean and unsullied: like a piece of metal constantly kept smooth and bright, we look on it with more pleasure than on a new vessel that is cankered with rust.

7. I might observe further, that as cleanliness renders us agreeable to others, so it makes it easy to ourselves; that it is an excellent preservative of health; and that several vices, destructive both to mind and body, are inconsistent with the habit of it. But these reflections I shall leave to the leisure of my readers, and shall observe in the third place, that it bears a great analogy with purity of mind, and naturally inspires refined sentiments and passions.

8. We find, from experience, that through the prevalence of custom, the most vicious actions lose their horror, by being made familiar to us. On the contrary, those who live in the neighbourhood of good examples, fly from the first appearances of what is shocking. It fares with us much after the same manner as our ideas. Our senses, which are the inlets to all the images conveyed to the mind, can only transmit the impression of such things as usually surround them; so that pure and unsullied thoughts are naturally suggested to the mind, by those objects that perpetually encompass us, when they are beautiful and elegant in their kind.

9. In the East, where the warmth of the climates makes cleanliness more immediately necessary than in colder countries, it is made one part of their religion; the Jewish law (and the Mahometan, which, in somethings, copies after it) is filled with bathings, purifications, and other rites of the like nature. Though there is the above named convenient reason to be assigned for these ceremonies, the chief intention, undoubtedly, was to typify inward purity and cleanliness of heart by those outward washings.

10. We read several injunctions of this kind in the book of Deuteronomy, which confirms this truth, and which are but ill accounted for by saying, as some do, that they were only instituted for convenience in the desert, which otherways could not have been habitable, for so many years.

11. I shall conclude this essay with a story which I have some where read in an account of Mahometan superstition. A dervise of great sanctity one morning had the misfortune, as he took up a crystal cup, which was consecrated to the prophet, to let it fall upon the ground and dash it in pieces. His son coming in some time after, he stretched out his hand to bless him, as his manner was every morning; but the youth going out stumbled over the threshold and broke his arm. As the old man wondered at those events, a caravan passed by in its way from Mecca. The dervise approached it to beg a blessing; but as he stroked one of the holy camels, he received a kick from the beast, that sorely bruised him. His sorrow and amazement increased upon him, till he recollected, that, through hurry and inadvertency, he had that morning come abroad without washing his hands.

The Advantages of a good Education.

1. I consider a human soul without education like marble in the quarry, which shews none of its inherent beauties, until the skill of the polisher fetches out the colours, makes the surface shine, and discovers every ornamental cloud, spot and vein, that runs through the body of it. Education, after the same manner, when it works, upon a noble mind, draws out to view every latent virtue and perfection, which, without such helps, are never able to make their appearance.

2. If my reader will give me leave to change the allusion so soon upon him, I shall make use of the same instance to illustrate the force of education, which Aristotle has brought to explain his doctrine of substantial forms, when he tells us that a statue lies hid in a block of marble; and that the art of the statuary only clears away the superfluous matter, and removes the rubbish. The figure is in the stone, the sculptor only finds it. What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to an human soul.

3. The philosopher, the saint, or the hero, the wise, the good, or the great man, very often lie hid and concealed in a plebeian, which a proper education might have disinterred, and have brought to light. I am therefore much delighted with reading the accounts of savage nations, and with contemplating those virtues which are wild and uncultivated; to see courage exerting itself in fierceness, resolution in obstinacy, wisdom in cunning, patience in sullenness and despair.

4. Men's passions operate variously, and appear in different kinds of actions, according as they are more or less rectified or swayed by reason. When one hears of negroes, who upon the death of their masters, or upon changing their service, hang themselves upon the next tree, as it frequently happens in our American plantations, who can forbear admiring their fidelity, though it expresses itself in so dreadful a manner?

5. What might not that savage greatness of soul which appears in these poor wretches on many occasions, be raised to, were it rightly cultivated? And what colour of excuse can there be for the contempt with which we treat this part of our species? that we should not put them upon the common foot of humanity; that we should only set an insignificant fine upon the man who murders them; nay, that we should, as much as in us lies, cut them off from the prospect of happiness in another world, as well as in this, and deny them that which we look upon as the proper means for attaining it.

6. It is therefore an unspeakable blessing to be born in those parts of the world where wisdom and knowledge flourish, though it must be confessed there are, even in these parts, several poor uninstructed persons, who are but little above the inhabitants of those nations of which I have been here speaking; as those who have had the advantages of a more liberal education, rise above one another by several different degrees of perfection.

7. For, to return to our statue in the block of marble, we see it sometimes only begun to be chipped, sometimes sough hewn, and but just sketched into an human figure; sometimes we see the man appearing distinctly in all his limbs and features, sometimes we find the figure wrought up to a great elegancy, but seldom meet with any to which the hand of Phidias or Prixiteles could not give several nice touches and finishings.

The Disadvantages of a bad Education.


1. I was condemned by some disastrous influence to be an only son, born to the apparent prospect of a large fortune, and allotted to my parents at that time of life when satiety of common diversions allows the mind to indulge parental affection with great intenseness. My birth was celebrated by the tenants with feasts and dances and bagpipes; congratulations were sent from every family within ten miles round; and my parents discovered in my first cries such tokens of future virtue and understanding, that they declared themselves determined to devote the remaining part of life to my happiness and the increase of their estate.

2. The abilities of my father and mother were not perceptibly unequal, and education had given neither much advantage over the other. They had both kept good company, rattled in chariots, glittered in play-houses, and danced at court, and were both expert in the games that were in their times called in as auxiliaries against the intrusion of thought.

3. When there is such a parity between two persons associated for life, the dejection which the husband, if he be not completely stupid, must always suffer for want of superiority, sinks him to submissiveness. My mamma therefore governed the family without control; and except that my father still retained some authority in the stables, and now and then, after a supernumery bottle, broke a looking-glass, or china-dish, to prove his sovereignty, the whole course of the year was regulated by her direction; the servants received from her all their orders, and the tenants were continued or dismissed at her discretion.

4. She therefore thought herself entitled to the superintendance of her son's education; and when my father, at the instigation of the parson, faintly proposed that I should be sent to school, very positively told him, that she would not suffer so fine a child to be ruined: that she never knew any boys at a grammar-school that could come into a room without blushing, or set at the table without some awkward uneasiness; that they were always putting themselves into danger by boisterous plays, or vitiating their behaviour with mean company; and that for her part, she would rather follow me to the grave than see me tear my clothes, and hang down my head, and sneak about with dirty shoes and blotted fingers, my hair unpowdered, and my hat uncocked.

5. My father, who had no other end in his proposal than to appear wise and manly, soon acquiesced, since I was not to live by my learning; for indeed he had known very few students that had not some stiffness in their manner. They therefore agreed that a domestic tutor should be procured, and hired an honest gentleman of mean conversation and narrow sentiments, but who having passed the common forms of literary education, they implicitly concluded qualified to teach all that was to be learned from a scholar. He thought himself sufficiently exalted by being placed at the same table with his pupil, and had no other view than to perpetuate his felicity by the utmost flexibility of submission to all my mother's opinions and caprices. He frequently took away my book, lest I should mope with too much application, charged me never to write without turning up my ruffles, and generally brushed my coat before he dismissed me into the parlour.

6. He had no occasion to complain of too burthensome an employment; for my mother very judiciously considered that I was not likely to grow politer in his company, and suffered me not to pass any more time in his apartment, than my lesson required. When I was summoned to my task, she enjoined me not to get any of my tutor's ways, who was seldom mentioned before me but for practices to be avoided. I was every moment admonished not to lean on my chair, cross my legs, or swing my hands like my tutor; and once my mother very seriously deliberated upon his total dismission, because I began, said she, to learn his manner of sticking on my hat, and had his bend in my shoulders, and his totter in my gait.

7. Such, however, was her care, that I escaped all these depravities, and when I was only twelve years old, had rid myself of every appearance of childish diffidence. I was celebrated round the country for the petulence of my remarks, and the quickness of my replies; and many a scholar five years older than myself, have I dashed into confusion by the steadiness of my countenance, silenced by my readiness of repartee, and tortured with envy by the address with which I picked up a fan, presented a snuff-box, or received an empty tea-cup.

8. At fourteen I was completely skilled in all the niceties of dress, and I could not only enumerate all the variety of silks, and distinguish the product of a French loom, but dart my eye through a numerous company, and observe every deviation from the reigning mode. I was universally skilful in all the changes of expensive finery; but as every one, they say, has something to which he is particularly born, was eminently known in Brussels lace.

9. The next year saw me advanced to the trust and power of adjusting the ceremonial of an assembly. All received their partners from my hand, and to me every stranger applied for introduction. My heart now disdained the instructions of a tutor, who was rewarded with a small annuity for life, and left me qualified, in my own opinion, to govern myself.

10. In a short time I came to London, and as my father was well known among the higher classes of life, soon; obtained admission to the most splendid assemblies, and most crowded card-tables. Here I found myself universally caressed and applauded, the ladies praised the fancy of my clothes, the beauty of my form, and the softness of my voice; endeavoured in every place to force themselves to my notice; and incited, by a thousand oblique solicitations, my attendance at the play-house, and my salutations in the park. I was now happy to the utmost extent of my conception; I passed every morning in dress, every afternoon in visits, and every night in some select assemblies, where neither care nor knowledge were suffered to molest us.

11. After a few years, however, these delights became familiar, and I had leisure to look round me with more attention. I then found that my flatterers had very little power to relieve the languor of satiety, or recreate weariness by varied amusement; and therefore endeavoured to enlarge the sphere of my pleasures, and to try what satisfaction might be found in the society of men. I will not deny the mortification with which I perceived that every man whose name I had heard mentioned with respect, received me with a kind of tenderness nearly bordering on compassion; and that those whose reputation was not well established, thought it necessary to justify their understandings, by treating me with contempt. One of these witlings elevated his crest by asking me in a full coffee-house the price of patches; and another whispered, that he wondered Miss Frisk did not keep me that afternoon to watch her squirrel.

12. When I found myself thus hunted from all masculine conversation by those who were themselves barely admitted, I returned to the ladies, and resolved to dedicate my life to their service and their pleasure. But I find that I have now lost my charms. Of those with whom I entered the gay world, some are married, some have retired, and some have so much changed their opinion, that they scarcely pay any regard to my civilities, if there is any other man in the place. The new flight of beauties to whom I have made my addresses, suffer me to pay the treat, and then titter with boys: So that I now find myself welcome only to a few grave ladies, who, unacquainted with all that gives either use or dignity to life, are content to pass their hours between their bed and their cards, without esteem from the old, or reverence from the young.

13. I cannot but think, Mr. Rambler, that I have reason to complain; for surely the females ought to pay some regard to the age of him whose youth was passed in endeavouring to please them. They that encourage folly in the boy, have no right to punish it in the man. Yet I find, that though they lavish their first fondness upon pertness and gaiety, they soon transfer their regard to other qualities, and ungratefully abandon their adorers to dream out their last years in stupidity and contempt.

I am, &c. Florentulus.


Learning a necessary Accomplishment in a Woman of Quality or Fortune.

GUARDIAN, No. 155.

1. I have often wondered that learning is not thought a proper ingredient in the education of a woman of quality or fortune. Since they have the same improveable minds as the male part of the species, why should they not be cultivated, by the same method? Why should reason be left to itself in one of the sexes, and be disciplined with so much care to the other?

2. There are some reasons why learning seems more adapted to the female world than to the male. As in the first place, because they have more spare time upon their hands, and lead a more sedentary life. Their employments are of a domestic nature, and not like those of the other sex, which are often inconsistent with study and contemplation.

3. The excellent lady, the lady Lizard, in the space of one summer furnished a gallery with chairs and couches of her own and her daughters working; and at the same time heard all Dr. Tillotson's sermons twice over. It is always the custom for one of the young ladies to read, while the others are at work; so that the learning of the family is not at all prejudicial to its manufactures.

4. I was mightily pleased the other day to find them all busy in preserving several fruits of the season, with the Sparkler in the midst of them, reading over "The plurality of Worlds." It was very entertaining to me to see them dividing their speculations between jellies and stars, and making a sudden transition from the sun to an apricot, or from the Copernicum system to the figure of a cheese cake.

5. A second reason why women should apply themselves to useful knowledge rather than men, is because they have that natural gift of speech in greater perfection. Since they have so excellent a talent, such a Copia Verborum, or plenty of words, it is pity they should not put it to some use. If the female tongue will be in motion, why should it not be set to go right? Could they discourse about the spots in the sun, it might divert them from publishing the faults of their neighbours: could they talk of the different aspects and conjunctions of the planets, they need not be at the pains to comment upon oglings and clandestine marriages. In short, were they furnished with matters of fact, out of arts and sciences, it would now and then be of great ease to their invention.

6. There is another reason why those, especially who are women of quality, should apply themselves to letters, namely, because their husbands are generally strangers to them. It is great pity there should by no knowledge in a family. For my own part, I am concerned when I go into a great house, where perhaps there is not a single person that can spell, unless it be by chance the butler, or one of the foot-men. What a figure is the young heir likely to make, who is a dunce both by father and mother's side?

7. If we look into the histories of famous women, we find many eminent philosophers of this sex. Nay, we find that several females have distinguished themselves in those sects of philosophy which seem almost repugnant to their natures. There have been famous female Pythagorians, notwithstanding most of that philosophy consisted in keeping a secret, and that the disciple was to hold her tongue five years together.

8. Learning and knowledge are perfections in us, not as we are men, but as we are reasonable creatures, in which order of beings the female world is upon the same level with the male. We ought to consider in this particular, not what is the sex, but what is the species to which they belong. At least I believe every one will allow me, that a female philosopher is not so absurd a character, and so opposite to the sex, as a female gamester; and that it is more irrational for a woman to pass away half a dozen hours at cards or dice, than in getting up stores of useful learning.

9. This, therefore, is another reason why I would recommend the studies of knowledge to the female world, that they may not be at a loss how to employ those hours that lie heavy upon their hands.

10. I might also add this motive to my fair readers, that several of their sex, who have improved their minds by books and literature, have raised themselves to the highest posts of honour and fortune. A neighbouring nation may at this time furnish us with a very remarkable instance of this kind: but I shall conclude this head with the history of Athenais, which is a very signal example to my present purpose.

11. The Emperor Theodosius being about the age of one-and-twenty, and designing to take a wife, desired his sister Pulcheria and his friend Paulinus to search his whole empire for a woman of the most exquisite beauty and highest accomplishments. In the midst of this search, Athenais, a Grecian virgin, accidentally offered herself. Her father, who was an eminent philosopher of Athens, and had bred her up in all the learning of that place, at his death left her but a very small portion, in which also she suffered great hardships from the injustice of her two brothers.

12. This forced her upon a journey to Constantinople, where she had a relation who represented her case to Pulcheria, in order to obtain some redress from the emperor. By this means that religious princess became acquainted with Athenais; whom she found the most beautiful woman of her age, and educated under a long course of philosophy, in the strictest virtue and most unspotted innocence.

13. Pulcheria was charmed with her conversation, and immediately made her report to the emperor her brother Theodosius. The character she gave made such an impression on him, that he desired his sister to bring her away immediately to the lodgings of his friend Paulinus, where he found her beauty and her conversation beyond the highest idea he had framed of them.

14. His friend Paulinus converted her to christianity, and gave her the name of Eudosia; after which the emperor publicly espoused her, and enjoyed all the happiness in his marriage which he promised himself from such a virtuous and learned bride. She not only forgave the injuries which her two brothers had done her, but raised them to great honours; and by several works of learning, as well as by an exemplary life, made herself so dear to the whole empire, that she had many statues erected to her memory, and is celebrated by the fathers of the church as an ornament of her sex.

On the Absurdity of Omens.


1. Going yesterday to dine with an old acquaintance, I had the misfortune to find the whole family very much dejected. Upon asking him the occasion of it, he told me that his wife had dreamed a very strange dream the night before, which they were afraid portended some mischief to themselves or to their children. At her coming into the room, I observed a settled melancholy in her countenance, which I should have been troubled for, had I not heard from whence it proceeded.

2. We were no sooner sat down, but, after having looked upon me a little while, 'My dear,' says she, turning to her husband, 'you may now see the stranger that was in the candle last night.' Soon after this, as they began to talk of family affairs, a little boy at the lower end of the table told her, that he was to go into joining-hand on Thursday—'Thursday!' says she, 'no, child, if it please God, you shall not begin upon Childermas day; tell your writing-master that Friday will be soon enough.'

3. I was reflecting with myself on the oddness of her fancy, and wondering that any body would establish it as a rule to lose a day in every week. In the midst of these my musings, she desired me to reach her a little salt upon the point of my knife, which I did in such a trepidation and hurry of obedience, that I let it drop by the way; at which she immediately startled, and said it fell towards her. Upon which I looked very blank; and, observing the concern of the whole table, began to consider myself, with some confusion, as a person that had brought a disaster upon the family.

4. The lady, however, recovering herself after a little space, said to her husband with a sigh, 'My dear, misfortunes never come single.' My friend, I found, acted but an under-part at his table, and being a man of more good-nature than understanding, thinks himself obliged to fall in with all the passions and humours of his yoke-fellow: 'Do you remember, child,' says she, 'that the pigeon-house fell the very afternoon that our careless wench spilt the salt upon the table?' 'Yes,' says he, 'my dear, and the next post brought us an account of the battle of Almanza.'

5. The reader may guess at the figure I made, after having done all this mischief. I dispatched my dinner as soon as I could, with my usual taciturnity; when, to my utter confusion, the lady seeing me quitting my knife and fork, and laying across one another upon my plate, desired me that I would humour her so far as to take them out of that figure, and place them side by side.

6. What the absurdity was which I had committed I did not know, but I suppose there was some traditionary superstition in it; and therefore, in obedience to the lady of the house, I disposed of my knife and fork in two parallel lines, which is a figure I shall always lay them in for the future, though I do not know any reason for it.

7. It is not difficult to a man to see that a person has conceived an aversion to him. For my own part, I quickly found, by the lady's looks, that she regarded me as a very odd kind of fellow, with an unfortunate aspect; for which reason I took my leave immediately after dinner, and withdrew to my own lodgings.

8. Upon my return home, I fell into a profound contemplation on the evils that attend these superstitious follies of mankind: how they subject us to imaginary afflictions and additional sorrows that do not properly come within our lot. As if the natural calamities of life were not sufficient for it, we turn the most indifferent circumstances into misfortunes, and suffer as much from trifling accidents, as from real evils.

9. I have known the shooting of a star spoil a night's rest; and have seen a man in love grow pale and lose his appetite, upon the plucking of a merry-thought. A screech owl at midnight has alarmed a family more than a band of robbers; nay, the voice of a cricket hath struck more terror than the roaring of a lion.

10. There is nothing so inconsiderable, which may not appear dreadful to an imagination that is filled with omens and prognostics. A rusty nail, or crooked pin, shoot up into prodigies.

11. I remember I was once in a mixt assembly, that was full of noise and mirth, when on a sudden an old woman unluckily observed there were thirteen of us in company. This remark struck a panic terror into several who were present, insomuch that one or two of the ladies were going to leave the room; but a friend of mine taking notice that one of our female companions was big with child, affirmed there were fourteen in the room, and that, instead of portending one of the company should die, it plainly foretold one of them should be born. Had not my friend found out this expedient to break the omen, I question not but half the women in the company would have fallen sick that very night.

12. An old maid, that is troubled with the vapours, produces infinite disturbances of this kind among her friends and neighbours. I know a maiden aunt, of a great family, who is one of these antiquated Sibyls, that forebodes and prophesies from one end of the year to the other. She is always seeing apparitions, and hearing dead-watches; and was the other day almost frightened out of her wits by the great house-dog, that howled in the stable at a time when she lay ill of the tooth-ache.

13. Such an extravagant cast of mind engages multitudes of people not only in impertinent terrors, but in supernumerary duties of life; and arises from that fear and ignorance which are natural to the soul of man.

14. The horror with which we entertain the thoughts of death (or indeed of any future evil) and the uncertainty of its approach, fill a melancholy mind with innumerable apprehensions and suspicions, and consequently dispose it to the observation of such groundless prodigies and predictions. For as it is the chief concern of wise men, to retrench the evils of life by the reasonings of philosophy; it is the employment of fools to multiply them by the sentiments of superstition.

15. For my own part, I should be very much troubled were I endowed with this divining quality, though it should inform me truly of every thing that can befal me. I would not anticipate the relish of any happiness, nor feel the weight of any misery, before it actually arrives.

16. I know but one way of fortifying my soul against these gloomy presages and terrors of mind; and that is, by securing to myself the friendship and protection of that Being, who disposes of events and governs futurity. He sees, at one view, the whole thread of my existence, not only that part of it which I have already passed through, but that which runs forward into all the depths of eternity.

17. When I lay me down to sleep, I recommend myself to his care; when I awake, I give myself up to his direction. Amidst all the evils that threaten me, I will look up to him for help, and question not but he will either avert them, or turn them to my advantage. Though I know neither the time nor the manner of the death I am to die, I am not at all solicitous about it; because I am sure that he knows them both, and that he will not fail to comfort and support me under them.

A good Conscience the best Security against Calumny and Reproach.

GUARDIAN, No. 135.

1. A good conscience is to the soul what health is to the body; it preserves a constant ease and serenity within us, and move than countervails all the calamities and afflictions which can possibly befal us. I know nothing so hard for a generous mind to get over as calumny and reproach, and cannot find any method of quieting the soul under them, besides this single one, of our being conscious to ourselves that we do not deserve them.

2. I have been always mightily pleased with that passage in Don Quixotte, where the fantastical knight is represented as loading a gentleman of good sense with praises and eulogiums. Upon which the gentleman makes this reflection to himself: how grateful is praise to human nature!

3. I cannot forbear being secretly pleased with the commendations I receive, though, I am sensible, it is a madman who bestows them on me. In the same manner, though we are often sure that the censures which are passed upon us, are uttered by those who know nothing of us, and have neither means nor abilities to form a right judgment of us, we cannot forbear being grieved at what they say.

4. In order to heal this infirmity, which is so natural to the best and wisest of men, I have taken a particular pleasure in observing the conduct of the old philosophers, how they bore themselves up against the malice and detraction of their enemies.

5. The way to silence calumny, says Bias, is to be always exercised in such things as are praise-worthy. Socrates, after having received sentence, told his friends that he had always accustomed himself to regard truth and not censure, and that he was not troubled at his condemnation, because he knew himself free from guilt. It was in the same spirit that he heard the accusations of his two great adversaries, who had uttered against him the most virulent reproaches.

6. Anytus and Melitus, says he, may procure sentence against me, but they cannot hurt me. This divine philosopher was so well fortified in his own innocence, that he neglected all the impotence of evil tongues which were engaged in his destruction. This was properly the support of a good conscience, that contradicted the reports which had been raised against him, and cleared him to himself.

7. Others of the philosophers rather chose to retort the injury of a smart reply, than thus to disarm it with respect to themselves. They shew that it stung them, though at the same time they had the address to make their aggressors suffer with them. Of this kind is Aristotle's reply to one who pursued him with long and bitter invectives. You, says he, who are used to suffer reproaches, utter them with delight; I who have not been used to utter them, take no pleasure in hearing them.

8. Diogenes was still more severe on one who spoke ill of him: nobody will believe you when you speak ill of me, any more than they would believe me when I speak well of you.

In these and many other instances I could produce, the bitterness of the answer sufficiently testifies the uneasiness of mind the person was under who made it.

9. I would rather advise my reader, if he has not in this case the secret consolation, that he deserves no such reproaches as are cast upon him, to follow the advice of Epictetus: If any one speaks ill of thee, consider whether he has truth on his side; and if so, reform thyself that his censures may not affect thee.

10. When Anaximander was told that the very boys laughed at his singing: Ay, says he, then I must learn to sing better. But of all the sayings of philosophers which I have gathered together for my own use on this occasion, there are none which carry in them more candour and good sense than the two following ones of Plato.

11. Being told that he had many enemies who spoke ill of him; it is no matter, said he, I will live so that none shall believe them. Hearing at another time, that an intimate friend of his had spoken detractingly of him, I am sure he would not do it, says he, if he had not some reason for it.

12. This is the surest as well as the noblest way of drawing the sting out of a reproach, and a true method of preparing a man for that great and only relief against the pains of calumny, 'a good conscience.'

13. I designed in this essay; to shew, that there is no happiness wanting to him who is possessd of this excellent frame of mind, and that no one can be miserable who is in the enjoyment of it; but I find this subject so well treated in one of Dr. Soulh's sermons, that I shall fill this Saturday's paper with a passage of it, which cannot but make the man's heart burn within him, who reads it with due attention.

14. That admirable author, having shewn the virtue of a good conscience, in supporting a man under the greatest trials and difficulties of life, concludes with representing its force and efficacy in the hour of death.

15. The third and last instance, in which above all others this confidence towards God does most eminently shew and exert itself, is at the time of death; which surely gives the grand opportunity of trying both the strength and worth of every principle.

16. When a man shall be just about to quit the stage of this world, to put off his mortality, and to deliver up his last accounts to God; at which sad time his memory shall serve him for little else, but to terrify him with a frightful review of his past life, and his former extravagancies stripped of all their pleasure, but retaining their guilt; what is it then that can promise him a fair passage into the other world, or a comfortable appearance before his dreadful Judge when he is there?

17. Not all the friends and interests, all the riches and honours under heaven can speak so much as a word for him, or one word of comfort to him in that condition; they may possibly reproach, but they cannot relieve him.

18. No, at this disconsolate time, when the busy temper shall be more than usually apt to vex and trouble him, and the pains of a dying body to hinder and discompose him, and the settlement of worldly affairs to disturb and confound him; and in a word, all things conspire to make his sick-bed grievous and uneasy: nothing can then stand up against all these ruins, and speak life in the midst of death, but a clear conscience.

19. And the testimony of that shall make the comforts of heaven descend upon his weary head, like a refreshing dew, or shower upon a parched ground. It shall give him some lively earnests, and secret anticipations of his approaching joy. It shall bid his, soul to go out of the body undauntedly, and lift up his head with confidence before saints and angels. Surely the comfort, which it conveys at this season, is something bigger than the capacities of mortality, mighty and unspeakable, and not to be understood till it comes to be felt.

20. And now who would not quit all the pleasures, and trash, and trifles, which are apt to captivate the heart of man, and pursue the great rigours of piety, and austerities of a good life, to purchase to himself such a conscience, as at the hour of death, when all the friendship in the world shall bid him adieu, and the whole creation turns its back upon him, shall dismiss the soul and close his eyes with that blessed sentence, 'Well done thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.'

On Contentment.


1. I was once engaged in discourse with a Rosicrucian about the great secret. As this kind of men (I mean those of them who are not professed cheats) are over-run with enthusiasm and philosophy, it was very amusing to hear this religious adept descanting on his pretended discovery. He talked of the secret as of a spirit which lived within an emerald, and converted every thing that was near it to the highest perfection it is capable of.

2. It gives a lustre, says he, to the sun, and water to the diamond. It irradiates every metal, and enriches lead with all the properties of gold. It heightens smoke into flame, flame into light, and light into glory. He further added, that a single ray of it dissipates pain, and care, and melancholy, from the person on whom it falls. In short, says he, its presence naturally changes every place into a kind of heaven.

3. After he had gone on for some time in this unintelligible cant, I found that he jumbled natural and moral ideas together in the same discourse, and that his great secret was nothing else but content.

4. This virtue does indeed produce, in some measure, all those effects which the alchymist usually ascribes to what he calls the philosopher's stone; and if it does not bring riches, it does the same thing, by banishing the desire of them. If it cannot remove the disquietudes arising out of a man's mind, body or fortune, it makes him easy under them. It has indeed a kindly influence on the soul of man, in respect of every thing to whom he stands related. It extinguishes all murmur, repining and ingratitude towards that Being who has allotted him his part to act in this world. It destroys all inordinate ambition, and every tendency to corruption, with regard to the community wherein he is placed. It gives sweetness to his conversation, and a perpetual serenity to all his thoughts.

5. Among the many methods which might be made use of for the acquiring of this virtue, I shall only mention the two following: First of all, a man should always consider how much more unhappy he might be than he really is.

6. First of all, a man should always consider how much more he has than he wants. I am wonderfully pleased with the reply which Aristippus made to one who condoled him upon the loss of a farm: Why, said he, I have three farms still, and you have but one; so that I ought rather to be afflicted for you than you for me. On the contrary, foolish men are more apt to consider what they have lost than what they possess; and to fix their eyes upon those who are richer than themselves, rather than on those who are under greater difficulties.

7. All the real pleasures and conveniences of life lie in a narrow compass; but it is the humour of mankind, to be always looking forward, and straining after one who has got the start of them in wealth and honour. For this reason, as there are none can be properly called rich, who have not more than they want; there are few rich men in any of the politer nations but among the middle sort of people, who keep their wishes within their fortunes, and have more wealth than they know how to enjoy.

8. Persons in a higher rank live in a kind of splendid poverty; and are perpetually wanting, because, instead of acquiescing in the solid pleasures of life, they endeavour to outvie one another in shadows and appearances. Men of sense have at all times beheld with a great deal of mirth this silly game that is playing over their heads, and by contracting their desires enjoy all that secret satisfaction which others are always in quest of.

9. The truth is, this ridiculous chase after imaginary pleasures cannot be sufficiently exposed, as it is the great source of those evils which generally undo a nation. Let a man's estate be what it will, he is a poor man if he does not live within it, and naturally sets himself to sale to any one that can give him his price.

10. When Pitticus, after the death of his brother, who had left him a good estate, was offered a greater sum of money by the king of Lydia, he thanked him for his kindness, but told him he had already more by half than he knew what to do with. In short, content is equivalent to wealth, and luxury to poverty; or, to give the thought a more agreeable turn, 'Content is natural wealth,' says Socrates; to which I shall add, 'Luxury is artificial poverty.'

11. I shall therefore recommend to the consideration of those who are always aiming after superfluous and imaginary enjoyments, and will not be at the trouble of contracting their desires, an excellent saying of Bion the philosopher; namely, 'That no man has so much care as he who endeavours after the most happiness.'

12. In the second place, every one ought to reflect how much more unhappy he might be than he really is. The former consideration took in all those who are sufficiently provided with the means to make themselves easy; this regards such as actually lie under some pressure or misfortune.

13. These may receive a great alleviation from such a comparison as the unhappy person may make between himself and others, or between the misfortunes which he suffers, and greater misfortunes which might have befallen him.

14. I like the story of the honest Dutchman, who upon breaking his leg by a fall from the main-mast, told the standers-by, it was a great mercy that it was not his neck. To which, since I am got into quotations, give me leave to add the saying of an old philosopher, who, after having invited some of his friends to dine with him, was ruffled by his wife that came into the room in a passion and threw down the table that stood before them; 'Every one, says he, has his calamity, and he is a happy man that has no greater than this.'

15. We find an instance to the same purpose in the life of Doctor Hammond, written by Bishop Fell. As this good man was troubled with a complication of distempers, when he had the gout upon him, he used to thank God that it was not the stone; and when he had the stone, that he had not both these distempers on him at the same time.

16. I cannot conclude this essay without observing, that there was never any system besides that of christianity, which could effectually produce in the mind of man the virtue I have been hitherto speaking of. In order to make us content with our present condition, many of the present philosophers tell us, that our discontent only hurts ourselves, without being able to make an alteration in our circumstances; others, that whatever evil befals us, is derived to us by a fatal necessity, to which the gods themselves are subject; while others very gravely tell the man who is miserable, that it is necessary he should be so to keep up the harmony of the universe, and that the scheme of Providence would be troubled and perverted were he otherwise.

17. These, and the like considerations, rather silence than satisfy a man. They may shew him that his discontent is unreasonable; but are by no means sufficient to relieve it. They rather give despair than consolation. In a word, a man might reply to one of these comforters, as Augustus did to his friend who advised him not to grieve for the death of a person whom he loved, because his grief could not fetch him again: 'It is for that very reason, said the emperor, that I grieve.'

18. On the contrary, religion bears a more tender regard to human nature. It prescribes to a very miserable man the means of bettering his condition; nay, it shews him that the bearing of his afflictions as he ought to do, will naturally end in the removal of them: It makes him easy here, because it can make him happy hereafter.

19. Upon the whole, a contented mind is the greatest blessing a man can enjoy in this world; and if in the present life his happiness arises from the subduing his desires, it will arise in the next from the gratification of them.

Human Miseries chiefly imaginary.

1. It is a celebrated thought of Socrates, that if all the misfortunes of mankind were cast into a public stock, in order to be equally distributed among the whole species, those who now think themselves the must unhappy, would prefer the share they are already possessed of, before that which would fall to them by such a division. Horace has carried this thought a great deal further; who says, that the hardships or misfortunes we lie under, are more easy to us than those of any other person would be, in case we should change conditions with him.

2. As I was ruminating-on these two remarks, and seated in my elbow chair, I insensibly fell asleep; when, on a sudden, methought there was a proclamation made by Jupiter, that, every mortal should bring in his griefs and calamities, and throw them together in a heap. There was a large plain appointed for this purpose. I took my stand in the centre of it, and saw, with a great deal of pleasure, the whole human species marching-one after another, and throwing down their several loads, which immediately grew up into a prodigious mountain that seemed to rise above the clouds.

3. There was a certain lady, of a thin airy shape, who was very active in this solemnity. She carried a magnifying glass in one of her hands, and was cloathed in a loose flowing robe, embroidered with several figures of fiends and spectres, that discovered themselves in a thousand chimerical shapes, as her garments hovered in the wind; there was something wild, and districted in her looks.

4. Her name Fancy. She led up every mortal to the appointed place, after having, very officiously assisted him in making up his pack, and laying it upon his shoulders. My heart melted within me to see my fellow-creatures groaning under their respective burthens, and to consider that prodigious bulk of human calamities which lay before me.

5. There were, however, several persons who gave me great diversion upon this occasion. I observed one bringing in a fardel very carefully concealed under an old embroidered cloak, which, upon his throwing it into the heap, I discovered to be poverty. Another, after a great deal of puffing, threw down his luggage, which, upon examining, I found to be his wife.

6. There were multitudes of lovers saddled with very whimsical burthens, composed of darts and flames; but what was very odd, though they sighed as if their hearts would break under these bundles of calamities, they could not persuade themselves to cast them into the heap, when they came up to it; but, after a few faint efforts, shook their heads and marched away, as heavy laden as they came.

7. I saw multitudes of old women throw down their wrinkles, and several young ones who stripped themselves of a tawny skin. There were very great heaps of red noses, large lips, and rusty teeth. The truth of it is, I was surprised to see the greatest part of the mountain made up of bodily deformities. Observing one advancing towards the heap with a larger cargo than ordinary upon his back, I found, upon his near approach, that it was only a natural hump, which he disposed of with great joy of heart, among this collection of human miseries.

8. There were likewise distempers of all sorts, though I could not but observe, that there were many more imaginary than real. One little packet I could not but take notice of, which was a complication of the diseases incident to human nature, and was in the hands of a great many fine people: this was called the spleen. But what most of all surprised me, was a remark I made, that there was not a single vice or folly thrown into the whole heap; at which I was very much astonished, having concluded within myself, that every one would take this opportunity of getting rid of his passions, prejudices and frailties.

9. I took notice in particular of a very profligate fellow, who, I did not question, came laden with his crimes, but, upon searching into his bundle, I found, that instead of throwing his guilt from him, he had only laid down his memory. He was followed by another worthless rogue, who flung away his modesty instead of his ignorance.

10. When the whole race of mankind had thus cast their burthens, the phantom, which had been so busy on this occasion, seeing me an idle spectator of what passed, approached towards me. I grew uneasy at her presence, when, on a sudden, she laid her magnifying glass full before my eyes. I no sooner saw my face in it but was startled at the shortness of it, which now appeared to me in its utmost aggravation.

11. The immoderate breadth of my features made me very much out of humour with my own countenance, upon which I threw it from me like a mask. It happened very luckily, that one who stood by me had just before thrown down his visage, which, it satins, was too long for him. It was, indeed, extended to a most shameful length; I believe the very chin was, modestly speaking, as long as my whole face.

12. We had both of us an opportunity of mending ourselves, and all the contributions being now brought in, every man was at liberty to exchange his misfortune for those of another person. But as there arose many new incidents in the sequel of my vision, I shall pursue this subject further, as the moral which may be drawn from it, is applicable to persons of all degrees and stations in life.

13. I gave my reader a sight of that mountain of miseries, which was made up of those several calamities that afflict the minds of men. I saw with unspeakable pleasure, the whole species thus delivered from its sorrows; though, at the same time, as we stood round the heap, and surveyed the several materials of which it was composed, there was scarce a mortal, in this vast multitude, who did not discover what he thought pleasures and blessings of life; and wondered how the owners of them ever came to look upon them as burthens and grievances.

14. As we were regarding very attentively this confusion of miseries, this chaos of calamity, Jupiter issued out a second proclamation, that every one was now at liberty to exchange his affliction, and to return to his habitation with any such other bundle as should be delivered to him.

15. Upon this, Fancy began again to bestir herself, and parcelling out the whole heap, with incredible activity, recommended to every one his particular packet. The hurry and confusion at this time was not to be expressed. Some observations which I made upon the occasion, I shall communicate to the reader. A venerable grey-headed man, who had laid down his cholic, and who, I found, wanted an heir to his estate, snatched up an undutiful son, that had been thrown into the heap by his angry father.

16. The graceless youth, in less than a quarter of an hour, pulled the old gentleman by the beard, and had like to have knocked his brains out; so that meeting the true father, who came toward him in a fit of the gripes, he begged him to take his son again, and give him back his cholic; but they were incapable either of them to recede from the choice they had made.

17. A poor galley-slave, who had thrown down his chains, took up the gout in their stead, but made such wry faces, that one might easily perceive he was no great gainer by the bargain. It was pleasant enough to see the several exchanges that were made, for sickness against poverty, hunger against want of appetite, and care against pain.

18. The female world were very busy among themselves in bartering for features; one was trucking a lock of grey hairs for a carbuncle, another was making over a short waist for a pair of round shoulders, and a third cheapening a bad face for a lost reputation: but on all these occasions, there was not one of them who did not think the new blemish, as soon as she had got it into her possession, much more disagreeable than the old one.

19. I made the same observation on every other misfortune or calamity, which every one in the assembly brought upon himself, in lieu of what he had parted with; whether it be that all the evils which befall us, are in some measure suited and proportioned to our strength, or that every evil becomes more supportable by our being accustomed to it, I shall not determine.

20. I could not, for my heart, forbear pitying the poor hump-backed gentleman mentioned in the former paper, who went off a very well-shaped person, with a stone in his bladder; nor the fine gentleman who had struck up this bargain with him, that limped through a whole assembly of ladies who used to admire him, with a pair of shoulders peeping over his head.

21. I must not omit my own particular adventure. My friend with the long visage had no sooner taken upon him my short face, but he made such a grotesque figure in it, that, as I looked upon him, I could not forbear laughing at myself, insomuch that I put my own face out of countenance. The poor gentleman was so sensible of the ridicule, that I found he was ashamed of what he had done: on the other side, I found that I myself had no great reason to triumph, for as I went to touch my forehead, I missed the place, and clapped my finger upon my upper lip.

22. Besides, as my nose was exceedingly prominent, I gave it two or three unlucky knocks as I was playing my hand about my face, and aiming at some other part of it. I saw two other gentlemen by me, who were in the same ridiculous circumstances: these had made a foolish swap between a couple of thick bandy legs, and two long trap-sticks that had no calfs to them.

23. One of these looked like a man walking upon stilts, and was so lifted up in the air above his ordinary height, that his head turned round with It, while the other made such awkward circles, as he attempted to walk, that he scarce knew how to move forward upon his new supporters: observing him to be a pleasant kind of fellow, I stuck my cane in the ground, and I told him I would lay him a bottle of wine, that he did not march up to it on the line that I drew for him, in a quarter of an hour.

24. The heap was at last distributed among the two sexes, who made a most piteous sight, as they wandered up and down under the pressure of their several burthens. The whole plain was filled with murmurs and complaints, groans and lamentations. Jupiter, at length, taking compassion on the poor mortals, ordered them a second time to lay down their loads, with a design to give every one his own again.

25. They discharged themselves with a great deal of pleasure, alter which the phantom, who had led them into such gross delusions, was commanded to disappear. There was sent in her stead a goddess of a quite different figure; her motions were steady and composed, and her aspect serious, but cheerful. She every now and then cast her eyes towards heaven, and fixed them upon Jupiter.

25. Her name was Patience. She had no sooner placed herself by the mount of sorrow, but, what I thought very remarkable, the whole heap sunk to such a degree, that it did not appear a third part so big as it was before. She afterwards returned every man his own proper calamity, and teaching him how to bear it in the most commodious manner, he marched off with it contentedly, being very well pleased that he had not been left to his own choice as to the kind of evils which fell to his lot.

27. Besides the several pieces of morality to be drawn out of this vision, I learned from it, never to repine at my own misfortunes, nor to envy the happiness of another, since it is impossible for any man to form a right judgment of his neighbour's sufferings; for which reason also, I have determined never to think too lightly of another's complaints, but to regard the sorrows of my fellow-creatures with sentiments of humanity and compassion.

A Life of Virtue preferable to a Life of Pleasure, exemplified in the Choice of Hercules.

TATLER, No. 97.

1. When Hercules, says the divine Prodicus, was in that part of his youth, in which it was natural for him to consider what course of life he ought to pursue, he one day retired into a desert, where the silence and solitude of the place very much favoured his meditations.

2. As he was musing on his present condition, and very much perplextd in himself on the state of life he should chuse, he saw two women of a larger stature than ordinary approaching towards him. One of them had a very noble air and graceful deportment; her beauty was natural and easy; her person clean and unspotted; her eyes cast towards the ground, with an agreeable reserve; her motion and behaviour full of modesty; and her raiment as white as snow.

3. The other had a great deal of health and florridness in her countenance, which she had helped with an artificial white and red, and endeavoured to appear more graceful than ordinary in her mein, by a mixture of affectation in all her gestures. She had a wonderful confidence and assurance in her looks, and all the variety of colours in her dress that she thought were the most proper to shew her complexion to an advantage. She cast her eyes upon herself, then turned them on those that were present to see how they liked her, and often looked on the figure she made in her own shadow.

4. Upon her nearer approach to Hercules, she stepped before the other lady, who came forward with a regular composed carriage, and running up to him, accosted him after the following manner:

5. My dear Hercules, says she, I find you are very much divided in your own thoughts upon the way of life that you ought to chuse: be my friend and follow me; I will lead you into the possession of pleasure and out of the reach of pain, and remove you from all the noise and disquietude of business. The affairs of either war or peace shall have no power to disturb you. Your whole employment shall be to make your life easy, and to entertain every sense with its proper gratifications. Sumptuous tables, beds of roses, clouds of perfumes, concerts of music, crouds of beauties, are all in readiness to receive you. Come along with me into this region of delights, this world of pleasure, and bid farewell for ever to care, to pain, and to business.

6. Hercules hearing the lady talk after this manner, desired to know her name; to which she answered, my friends, and those who are well acquainted with me, call me Happiness; but my enemies, and those who would injure my reputation, have given me the name of Pleasure.

7. By this time the other lady was come up, who addressed herself to the young hero in a very different manner.

Hercules, says she, I offer myself to you, because I know you are descended from the gods, and give proofs of that descent by your love to virtue, and application to the studies proper to your age. This makes me hope you will gain both for yourself and me an immortal reputation. But before I invite you into my society and friendship, I will be open and sincere with you, and must lay down this as an established truth, that there is nothing truly valuable which can be purchased without pains and labour.

8. The gods have set a price upon every real and noble pleasure. If you would gain the favour of the Deity, you must be at the pains of worshipping him; if the friendship of good men, you must study to oblige them; if you would be honoured by your country, you must take care to serve it. In short, if you would be eminent in war or peace, you must become master of all the qualifications that can make you so. These are the only terms and conditions upon which I can propose happiness. The goddess of pleasure here broke in upon her discourse:

9. You see, said she, Hercules, by her own confession, the way to her pleasure is long and difficult, whereas that which I propose is short and easy. Alas! said the other lady, whose visage glowed with a passion made up of scorn and pity, what are the pleasures you propose? To eat before you are hungry, drink before you are thirsty, sleep before you are tired, to gratify appetites before they are raised, and raise such appetites as nature never planted.

10. You never heard the most delicate music, which is the praise of one's self; nor saw the most beautiful object, which is the work of one's own hands. Your votaries pass away their youth in a dream of mistaken pleasures, while they are hoarding up anguish, torment, and remorse, for old age.

11. As for me, I am a friend of the Gods and of good men, an agreeable companion to the artisan, a household guardian to the fathers of families, a patron and protector of servants, and associate in all true and generous friendships. The banquets of my votaries are never costly, but always delicious; for none eat or drink at them who are not invited by hunger and thirst. Their slumbers are sound, and their wakings cheerful.

12. My young men have the pleasure of hearing themselves praised by those who are in years, and those who are in years, of being honoured by those who are young. In a word, my followers are favoured by the gods, beloved by their acquaintance, esteemed by their country, and after the close of their labours, honoured by posterity.

13. We know by the life of this memorable hero, to which of these two ladies he gave up his heart; and I believe, every one who reads this, will do him the justice to approve his choice.

14. I very much admire the speeches of these ladies, as containing in them the chief arguments for a life of virtue, or a life of pleasure, that could enter into the thoughts of an heathen: but am particularly pleased with the different figures he gives the two goddesses. Our modern authors have represented pleasure or vice with an alluring face, but ending in snakes and monsters: here she appears in all the charms of beauty, though they are all false and borrowed; and by that means compose a vision entirely natural and pleasing.

15. I have translated this allegory for the benefit of the youth in general; and particularly of those who are still in the deplorable state of non-existence, and whom I most earnestly intreat to come into the world. Let my embryos shew the least inclination to any single virtue, and I shall allow it to be a struggling towards birth.

16. I do not expect of them that, like the hero in the foregoing story, they should go about as soon as they are born, with a club in their hands, and a lion's skin on their shoulders, to root out monsters and destroy tyrants; but as the finest author of all antiquity has said upon this very occasion, though a man has not the abilities to distinguish himself in the most shining parts of a great character, he has certainly the capacity of being just, faithful, modest, and temperate.

Virtue rewarded; The History of Amanda.


1. I have more than once had occasion to mention a noble saying of Seneca the philosopher, that a virtuous person struggling with misfortunes, and rising above them, is an object on which the gods themselves may look down with delight. I shall therefore set before my readers a scene of this kind of distress in private life, for the speculation of this day.

2. An eminent citizen, who had lived in good fashion and credit, was by a train of accidents, and by an unavoidable perplexity in his affairs, reduced to a low condition. There is a modesty usually attending faultless poverty, which made him rather chuse to reduce his manner of living to his present circumstances, than solicit his friends, in order to support the shew of an estate, when the substance was gone.

3. His wife, who was a woman of sense and virtue, behaved herself on this occasion with uncommon decency, and never appeared so amiable in his eyes as now. Instead of upbraiding him with the ample fortune she had brought, or the many great offers she had refused for his sake, she redoubled all the instances of her affection, while her husband was continually pouring out his heart to her in complaints, that he had ruined the best woman in the we world.

4. He sometimes came home at a time when she did not expect him, and surprised her in tears, which she endeavoured to conceal, and always put on an air of cheerfulness to receive him. To lessen their expense, their eldest daughter (whom I shall call Amanda) was sent into the country, to the house of an honest farmer, who had married a servant of the family: This young woman was apprehensive of the ruin which was approaching, and had privately engaged a friend in the neighbourhood to give her an account of what passed from time to time in her father's affairs.

5. Amanda was in the bloom of her youth and beauty, when the lord of the manor, who often called in at the farmer's house as he followed his country sports, fell passionately in love with her. He was a man of great generosity, but from a loose education had contracted a hearty aversion to marriage. He therefore entertained a design upon Amanda's virtue, which at present he thought fit to keep private. The innocent creature, who never suspected his intentions, was pleased with his person; and, having observed his growing passion for her, hoped by so advantageous a match she might quickly be in a capacity of supporting her impoverished relations.

6. One day as he called to see her, he found her in tears over a letter she had just received from her friend, which gave an account that her father had been lately stript of every thing by an execution. The lover, who with some difficulty found out the cause of her grief, took this occasion to make her a proposal. It is impossible to express Amanda's confusion when she found his pretentions were not honourable.

7. She was now deserted of all hopes, and had no power to speak; but rushing from him in the utmost disturbance, locked herself up in her chamber. He immediately dispatched a messenger to her father with the following letter.

8. SIR,

'I have heard of your misfortune, and have offered your daughter, if she will live with me, to settle on her four hundred pounds a year, and to lay down the sum for which you are now distressed. I will be so ingenuous as to tell you, that I do not intend marriage; but if you are wise, you will use your authority with her not to be too nice, when she has an opportunity of serving you and your family, and of making herself happy.

'I am, &c.'

9. This letter came to the hands of Amanda's mother: she opened and read it with great surprise and concern. She did not think it proper to explain herself to the messenger; but desiring him to call again the next morning, she wrote to her daughter as follows:

10. Dearest Child,

'Your father and I have just now received a letter from a gentleman who pretends love to you, with a proposal that insults our misfortunes, and would throw us to a lower degree of misery than any thing which is come upon us. How could this barbarous man think that the tenderest of parents would be tempted to supply their wants, by giving up the best of children to infamy and ruin! It is a mean and cruel artifice to make this proposal at a time when he thinks our necessities must compel us to any thing; but we will not eat the bread of shame; and therefore we charge thee not to think of us, but to avoid the snare which is laid for thy virtue. Beware of pitying us: it is not so bad as you have perhaps been told. All things will yet be well, and I shall write my child better news.

'I have been interrupted. I know not how I was moved to say things would mend. As I was going on, I was startled by the noise of one that knocked at the door, and had brought us an unexpected supply of a debt which had long been owing. Oh! I will now tell thee all. It is some days I have lived almost without support, having conveyed what little money I could raise to your poor father. Thou wilt weep to think where he is, yet be assured he will soon be at liberty. That cruel letter would have broke his heart, but I have concealed it from him. I have no companion at present besides little Fanny, who stands watching my looks as I write, and is crying for her sister; she says she is sure you are not well, having discovered that my present trouble is about you. But do not think I would thus repeat my sorrows to grieve thee. No, it is to intreat thee not to make them insupportable, by adding what would be worse than all. Let us bear cheerfully an affliction which we have not brought on ourselves, and remember there is a Power who can better deliver us out of it, than by the loss of thy innocence. Heaven preserve my dear child.

'Thy affectionate mother—.'

11. The messenger, notwithstanding he promised to deliver this letter to Amanda, carried it first to his master, who, he imagined, would be glad to have an opportunity of giving it into her hands himself. His master was impatient to know the success of his proposal, and therefore broke open the letter privately, to see the contents.

12. He was not a little moved at so true a picture of virtue in distress: but, at the same time, was infinitely surprised to find his offers rejected. However, he resolved not to suppress the letter, but carefully sealed it up again, and carried it to Amanda. All his endeavours to see her were in vain, till she was assured he brought a letter from her mother. He would not part with it but upon condition that she should read it without leaving the room.

13. While she was perusing it, he fixed his eyes on her face with the deepest attention; her concern gave a new softness to her beauty, and when she burst into tears, he could no longer refrain from bearing a part in her sorrow, and telling her, that he too had read the letter, and was resolved to make reparation for having been the occasion of it. My reader will not be displeased to see the second epistle which he now wrote to Amanda's mother.


'I am full of shame, and will never forgive myself if I have not your pardon for what I lately wrote. It was far from my intention to add trouble to the afflicted; nor could any thing but my being a stranger to you, have betrayed me into a fault, for which, if I live, I shall endeavour to make you amends as a son. You cannot be unhappy while Amanda is your daughter: nor shall be, if any thing can prevent it, which is in the power of,


Your obedient humble servant—.'

14. This letter he sent by his steward, and soon after went up to town himself to complete the generous act he had now resolved on. By his friendship and assistance, Amanda's father was quickly in a condition of retrieving his perplexed affairs. To conclude, he married Amanda, and enjoyed the double satisfaction of having restored a worthy family to their former prosperity, and of making himself happy by an alliance to their virtues.

The Story of Abdallah and Balsora.

GUARDIAN, No. 167.

1. The following story is lately translated out of an Arabian manuscript, which I think has very much the turn of an oriental tale: and as it has never before been printed, I question not but it will be highly acceptable to my reader.

2. The name of Helim is still famous through all the eastern parts of the world. He is called among the Persians, even to this day, Helim the great physician. He was acquainted with all the powers of simples, understood all the influence of the stars, and knew the secrets that were engraved on the seal of Solomon the son of David. Helim was also governor of the black palace, and chief of the physicians to Alnareschin the great king of Persia.

3. Alnareschin was the most dreadful tyrant that ever reigned in this country. He was of a fearful, suspicious and cruel nature, having put to death, upon very slight jealousies; and surmises, five-and-thirty of his queens, and above twenty sons whom he suspected to have conspired against his life. Being at length wearied with the exercise of so many cruelties in his own family, and fearing lest the whole race of Caliphs should be entirely lost, he one day sent for Helim, and spoke to him after this manner.

4. 'Helim,' said he, 'I have long admired thy great wisdom, and retired way of living. I shall now shew thee the entire confidence which I place in thee. I have only two sons remaining, who are as yet but infants. It is my design that thou take them home with thee, and educate them as thy own. Train them up in the humble unambitious pursuits of knowledge. By this means shall the line of Caliphs be preserved, and my children succeed after me, without aspiring to my throne whilst I am yet alive.'

5. The words of my lord the king shall be obeyed, said Helim. After which he bowed, and went out of the king's presence. He then received the children into his own house, and from that time bred them up with him in the studies of knowledge and virtue. The young princes loved and respected Helim as their father, and made such improvements under him, that by the age of one-and-twenty they were instructed in all the learning of the East.

6. The name of the eldest was Ibrahim, and of the youngest Abdallah. They lived together in such a perfect friendship, that to this day it is said of intimate friends, that they live together like Ibrahim and Abdallah. Helim had an only child, who was a girl of a fine soul, and a most beautiful person. Her father omitted nothing in her education, that might make her the most accomplished woman of her age.

7. As the young princes were in a manner excluded from the rest of the world, they frequently conversed with this lovely virgin, who had been brought up by her father in the same course of knowledge and of virtue.

8. Abdallah, whose mind was of a softer turn than tint of his brother, grew by degrees so enamoured of her conversation, that he did not think he lived, when he was not in company with his beloved Balsora, for that was the name of the maid. The fame of her beauty was so great, that at length it came to the ears of the king, who, pretending to visit the young princes his sons, demanded of Helim the sight of Balsora his fair daughter.

9. The king was so enflamed with her beauty and behaviour, that he sent for Helim the next morning, and told him it was now his design to recompence him for all his faithful services; and that in order to it, he intended to make his daughter queen of Persia.

10. Helim, who knew very well the fate of all those unhappy women who had been thus advanced, and could not but be privy to the secret love which Abdallah bore his daughter; 'Far be it,' says he, 'from the king of Persia to contaminate the blood of the Caliphs, and join himself in marriage with the daughter of his physcian.'

11. The king, however, was so impatient for such a bride, that without hearing any excuses, he immediately ordered Balsora to be sent for into his presence, keeping the father with him in order to make her sensible of the honour which he designed. Balsora, who was too modest and humble to think her beauty had made such an impression on the king, was a few moments after brought into his presence as he had commanded.

12. She appeared in the king's eye as one of the virgins of paradise. But upon hearing the honour which he intended her, she fainted away, and fell down as dead at his feet. Helim wept, and after having recovered her out of the trance into which she was fallen, represented to the king that so unexpected an honour was too great to have been communicated to her all at once; but that, if he pleased, he would himself prepare her for it. The king bid him take his own away and dismissed him.

13. Balsora was conveyed again to her father's house, where the thoughts of Abdallah renewed her affliction every moment; insomuch that at length she fell into a raging fever. The king was informed of her condition by those who saw her. Helim finding no other means of extricating her from the difficulties she was in, after having composed her mind, and made her acquainted with his intentions, gave her a certain potion, which he knew would lay her asleep for many hours; and afterwards in all the seeming distress of a disconsolate father informed the king she was dead.

14. The king, who never let any sentiments of humanity come too near his heart, did not much trouble himself about the matter; however, for his own reputation, he told the father, that since it was known through the empire that Balsora died at a time when he designed her for his bride, it was his intention that she should be honoured as such after her death, that her body should be laid in the black palace, among those of his deceased queens.

15. In the meantime Abdallah, who had heard of the king's design, was not less afflicted than his beloved Balsora. As for the several circumstances of his distress, as also how the king was informed of an irrecoverable distemper into which he was fallen, they are to be found at length in the history of Helim.

16. It shall suffice to acquaint the reader, that Helim, some days after the supposed death of his daughter, gave the prince a potion of the same nature with which he had laid asleep Balsora.

17. It is the custom among the Persians, to convey in a private manner the bodies of all the royal family a little after their death, into the black palace; which is the repository of all who are descended from the Caliphs, or any way allied to them. The chief physician is always governor of the black palace; it being his office to embalm and preserve the holy family after they are dead, as well as to take care of them while they are yet living.

18. The black palace is so called from the colour of the building, which is all of the finest polished black marble. There are always burning in it five thousand everlasting lamps. It has also an hundred folding doors of ebony, which are each of them watched day and night by an hundred negroes, who are to take care that nobody enters besides the governor.

19. Helim, after having conveyed the body of his daughter into this repository, and at the appointed time received her out of the sleep into which she was fallen, took care some time after to bring that of Abdallah into the same place. Balsora, watched over him till such time as the dose he had taken lost its effect. Abdallah was not acquainted with Helim's design when he gave him this sleepy potion.

20. It is impossible to describe the surprise, the joy, the transport he was in at his first awaking. He fancied himself in the retirement of the blest, and that the spirit of his dear Balsora, who he thought was just gone before him, was the first who came to congratulate his arrival. She soon informed him of the place he was in, which notwithstanding all its horrors, appeared to him more sweet than the bower of Mahomet, in the company of his Balsora.

21. Helim, who was supposed to be taken up in the embalming of the bodies, visited the place very frequently. His greatest perplexity was how to get the lovers out of it, the gates being watched in such a manner as I have before related. This consideration did not a little disturb the two interred lovers.

22. At length Helim bethought himself, that the first day of the full moon of the month Tizpa was near at hand. Now it is a received tradition among the Persians, that the souls of those of the royal family, who are in a state of bliss, do, on the first full moon after their decease, pass through the eastern gate of the black palace, which is therefore called the Gate of Paradise, in order to take their flight for that happy place.

23. Helim, therefore, having made due preparation for this night, dressed each of the lovers in a robe of azure silk, wrought in the finest looms of Persia, with a long train of linen whiter than snow, that flowed on the ground behind them. Upon Abdallah's head he fixed a wreath of the greenest myrtle, and on Balsora's a garland of the freshest roses. Their garments were scented with the richest perfumes of Arabia.

24. Having thus prepared every thing, the full moon was no sooner up, and shining in all its brightness, but he privately opened the Gate of Paradise, and shut it after the same manner, as soon as they had passed through it.

25. The band of negroes who were posted at a little distance from the gate, seeing two such beautiful apparitions, that shewed themselves to'aclvantage by the light of the full moon, and being ravished with the odour that flowed from their garments, immediately concluded them to be the ghosts of the two persons lately deceased.

26. They fell upon their faces as they passed through the midst of them, and continued prostrate on the earth until such time as they were out of sight. They reported the next day what they had seen, but this was looked upon by the king himself and most others, as the compliment that was usually paid to any of the deceased of his family.

27. Helim had placed two of his own mules about a mile's distance from the black temple, on the spot which they had agreed upon for their rendezvous. Here he met them, and conducted them to one of his own houses, which was situated on mount Khacan.

28. The air of this mountain was so very healthful, that Helim had formerly transported the king thither, in order to recover him out of a long fit of sickness, which succeeded so well, that the king made him a present of the whole mountain, with a beautiful house and garden that were on the top of it.

29. In this retirement lived Abdallah and Balsora. They were both so fraught with all kinds of knowledge, and possessed with so constant and mutual a passion for each other, that their solitude never lay heavy on them.

30. Abdallah applied himself to those arts Which were agreeable to his manner of living, and the situation of the place; insomuch that in a few years he converted the whole mountain into a kind of garden, and covered every part of it with plantations or spots of flowers.

Helim was too good a father to let him want any thing that might conduce to make his retirement pleasant.

31. In about ten years after their abode in this place, the old king died, and was succeeded by his son Ibrahim, who upon the supposed death of his brother, had been called to court, and entertained there as heir to the Persian empire. Though he was some years inconsolable for the death of his brother, Helim durst not trust him with the secret, which he knew would have fatal consequences, should it by any means come to the knowledge of the old king.

32. Ibrahim was no sooner mounted to the throne, but Helim sought after a proper opportunity of making a discovery to him, which he knew would be very agreeable to so good natured and generous a prince. It so happened, that before Helim found such an opportunity as he desired, the new king Ibrahim, having been separated from his company in a chase, and almost fainting with heat and thirst, saw himself at the foot of mount Khacan. He immediately ascended the hill, and coming to Helim's house, demanded some refreshments.

33. Helim was very luckily there at that time; and after having set before the king the choicest of wines and fruits, finding him wonderfully pleased with so seasonable a treat, told him that the best part of his entertainment was to come. Upon which he opened to him the whole history of what had passed. The king was at once astonished and transported at so strange a relation, and seeing his brother enter the room with Balsora in his hand, he leaped off from the sofa on which he sat, and cried out, 'It is he! it is my Abdallah!' Having said this, he fell upon his neck, and wept.

34. The whole company for some time remained silent, and shedding tears of joy. The king at length having kindly reproached Helim for depriving him so long from such a brother, embraced Balsora with the greatest tenderness, and told her that she should now be a queen indeed, for that he would immediately make his brother king of all the conquered nations on the other side the Tigris.

35. He easily discovered in the eyes of our two lovers, that instead of being transported with the offer, they preferred their present retirement to empire. At their request, therefore, he changed his intentions, and made them a present of all the open country as far as they could sec from the top of mount Khacan.

36. Abdallah continuing to extend his former improvements, beautified this whole prospect with groves and fountains, gardens and seats of pleasure, until it became the most delicious spot of ground within the empire, and is therefore called the garden of Persia.

37. This Caliph, Ibrahim, after a long and happy reign, died without children, and was succeeded by Abdallah, a son of Abdallah and Balsora. This was that king Abdallah, who afterwards fixed the imperial residence upon mount Khacan, which continues at this time to be the favourite palace of the Persian empire.

On Rashness and Cowardice.

RAMBLER, No. 25.

1. There are some vices and errors which, though often fatal to those in whom they are found, have yet, by the universal consent of mankind, been considered as entitled to some degree of respect, or have at least been exempted from contemptuous infamy, and condemned by the severest moralists with pity rather than detestation.

2. A constant and invariable example of this general partiality will be found in the different regard which has always been shewn to rashness and cowardice; two vices, of which, though they maybe conceived equally distant from the middle point, where true fortitude is placed, and may equally injure any public or private interest, yet the one is never mentioned without some kind of veneration, and the other always considered as a topic of unlimited and licentious censure, on which all the virulence of reproach may he lawfully exerted.

3. The same distinction is made, by the common suffrage, between profusion and avarice, and perhaps between many other opposite vices; and, as I have found reason to pay great regard to the voice of the people, in cases where knowledge has been forced upon them by experience, without long deductions or deep researches, I am inclined to believe that this distribution of respect is not without some agreement with the nature of things; and that in the faults, which are thus invested with extraordinary privileges, there are generally some latent principles of merit, some possibilities of future virtue, which may, by decrees, break from obstruction, and by time and opportunity be brought into act.

4. It may be laid down as an axiom, that it is more easy to take away superfluities than to supply defects; and therefore, he that is culpable, because he has passed the middle point of virtue, is always accounted a fairer object of hope, than he who fails by falling short. The one has all that perfection requires, and more, but the excess may be easily retrenched; the other wants the qualities requisite to excellence, and who can tell how he shall obtain them?

5. We are certain that the horse may be taught to keep pace with his fellows, whose fault it is that he leaves them behind. We know that a few strokes of the axe will lop a cedar; but what arts of cultivation can elevate a shrub?

6. To walk with circumspection and steadiness in the right path, at an equal distance between the extremes of error, ought to be the constant endeavour of every reasonable being; nor can I think those teachers of moral wisdom much to be honoured as benefactors to mankind, who are always enlarging upon the difficulty of our duties, and providing rather excuses for vice, than incentives to virtue.

7. But, since to most it will happen often, and to all sometimes, that there will be a deviation towards one side or the other, we ought always to employ our vigilance with most attention, on that enemy from which there is the greatest danger, and to stray, if we must stray, towards those parts from whence we may quickly and easily return.

8. Among other opposite qualities of the mind, which may become dangerous, though in different degrees, I have often had occasion to consider the contrary effects of presumption and despondency; of steady confidence, which promises a victory without contest, and heartless pusilanimity, which shrinks back from the thought of great undertakings, confounds difficulty with impossibility, and considers all advancement towards any new attainment, as irreversibly prohibited.

9. Presumption will be easily corrected. Every experiment will teach caution, and miscarriages will hourly shew, that attempts are not always rewarded with success. The most precipitate ardour will, in time, be taught the necessity of methodical gradation, and preparatory measures; and the most daring confidence be convinced, that neither merit nor abilities can command events.

10. It is the advantage of vehemence and activity, that they are always hastening to their own reformation; because they incite us to try whether our expectations are well grounded; and therefore detect the deceits which they are apt to occasion. But timidity is a disease of the mind more obstinate and fatal; for a man once persuaded, that any impediment is insuperable, has given it, with respect to himself, that strength and weight which it had not before.

11. He can scarcely strive with vigour and perseverance, when he has no hope of gaining the victory; and since he will never try his strength, can never discover the unreasonableness of his fears.

12. There is often to be found in men devoted to literature, a kind of intellectual cowardice, which whoever converses much among them, may observe frequently to depress the alacrity of enterprise, and by consequence to retard the improvement of science.

13. They have annexed to every species of knowledge, some chimerical character of terror and inhibition, which they transmit, without much reflection, from one to another; they first fright themselves, and then propagate the panic to their scholars and acquaintances.

14. One study is inconsistent with a lively imagination, another with a solid judgment; one is improper in the early parts of life, another requires so much time, that it is not to be attempted at an advanced age; one is dry and contracts the sentiments, another is diffuse and over-burdens the memory; one is insufferable to taste and delicacy, and another wears out life in the study of words, and is useless to a wise man, who desires only the knowledge of things.

15. But of all the bugbears by which the infantes barbati, boys both young and old, have been hitherto frighted from digressing into new tracts of learning, none has been more mischievously efficacious than an opinion that every kind of knowledge requires a peculiar genius, or mental constitution, framed for the reception of some ideas and the exclusion of others; and that to him whose genius is not adapted to the study which he prosecutes, all labour shall be vain and fruitless; vain as an endeavour to mingle oil and water, or, in the language of chemistry, to amalgamate bodies of heterogeneous principles.

16. This opinion we may reasonably suspect to have been propogated, by vanity, beyond the truth. It is natural for those who have raised a reputation by any science, to exalt themselves as endowed by heaven with peculiar powers, or marked out by an extraordinary designation for their profession: and to fright competitors away by representing the difficulties with which they must contend, and the necessity of qualities which are supposed to be not generally conferred, and which no man can know, but by experience, whether he enjoys.

17. To this discouragement it may possibly be answered, that since a genius, whatever it may be, is like fire in the flint, only to be produced by collision with a proper subject, it is the business of every man to try whether his faculties may not happily co-operate with his desires; and since they whose proficiency he admires, knew their own force only by the event, he needs but engage in the same undertaking, with equal spirit, and may reasonably hope for equal success.

18. There is another species of false intelligence, given by those who profess to shew the way to the summit of knowledge, of equal tendency to depress the mind with false distrust of itself, and weaken it by needless solicitude and dejection. When a scholar whom they desire to animate, consults them at his entrance on some new study, it is common to make flattering representations of its pleasantness and facility.

19. Thus they generally attain one of the two ends almost equally desirable; they either incite his industry by elevating his hopes, or produce a high opinion of their own abilities, since they are supposed to relate only what they have found, and to have proceeded with no less ease than they have promised to their followers.

20. The student, enflamed by this encouragement, sets forward in the new path, and proceeds a few steps with great alacrity; but he soon finds asperities and intricacies of which he has not been forewarned, and imagining that none ever were so entangled or fatigued before him, sinks suddenly into despair, and desists as from an expedition in which fate opposes him. Thus his terrors are multiplied by his hopes, and he is defeated without resistance, because he had no expectation of an enemy.

21. Of these treacherous instructors, the one destroys industry, by declaring that industry is vain, the other by representing it as needless: the one cuts away the root of hope, the other raises it only to be blasted. The one confines his pupil to the shore, by telling him that his wreck is certain; the other sends him to sea without preparing him for tempests.

22. False hopes and false terrors, are equally to be avoided. Every man who proposes to grow eminent by learning, should carry in his mind, at once, the difficulty of excellence, and the force of industry; and remember that fame is not conferred but as the recommence of labour, and that labour, vigorously continued, has not often failed of its reward.

Fortitude founded upon the fear of God.

GUARDIAN, No. 167.

1. Looking over the late edition of Monsieur Boileau's works, I was very much pleased with the article which he has added to his notes on the translation of Longinus. He there tells us, that the sublime in writing rises either from the nobleness of the thought, the magnificence of the words, or the harmonious and lively turn of the phrase, and that the perfect sublime rises from all these three in conjunction together. He produces an instance of this perfect sublime in four verses from the Athalia of Monsieur Racine.

2. When Abner, one of the chief officers of the court, represents to Joad the high priest, that the queen was incensed against him, the high priest, not in the least terrified at the news, returns this answer:

Celui que met un frein à la fureur des flots,
Scait aussi des méchans arréter les complots;
Soumis avecs respect à sa volutté sainte,
Je crains Dieu, cher Abner, & n'ai point d'autre crainte.

3. 'He who ruleth the raging of the sea, knows also how to check the designs of the ungodly. I submit myself with reverence to his holy will. O Abner! I fear my God, and I fear none but him.' Such a thought gives no less a solemnity to human nature, than it does to good writing.

4. This religious fear, when it is produced by just apprehensions of a divine power, naturally overlooks all human greatness that stands in competition with it, and extinguishes every other terror that can settle itself in the heart of a man: it lessens and contracts the figure of the most exalted person: it disarms the tyrant and executioner, and represents to our minds the most enraged and the most powerful as altogether harmless and impotent.

5. There is no true fortitude which is not founded upon this fear, as there is no other principle of so settled and fixed a nature. Courage that grows from constitution, very often forsakes a man when he has occasion for it; and when it is only a kind of instinct in the soul, breaks out on all occasions without judgment or discretion. That courage which proceeds from a sense of our duty, and from a fear of offending him that made us, acts always in an uniform manner, and according to the dictates of right reason.

6. What can a man fear who takes care in all his actions to please a Being that is omnipotent; a Being who is able to crush all his adversaries; a Being that can divert any misfortune from befalling him, or turn any such misfortune to his advantage? The person who lives with this constant and habitual regard to the great superintendant of the world, is indeed sure that no real evil can come into his lot.

7. Blessings may appear under the shape of pains, losses and disappointments, but let him have patience, and he will see them in their proper figures. Dangers may threaten him, but he may rest satisfied that they will either not reach him, or that if they do, they will be the instruments of good to him. In short, he may lock upon all crosses and accidents, sufferings and afflictions, as means which are made use of to bring him to happiness.

8. This is even the worst of that man's condition whose mind is possessed with the habitual fear of which I am now speaking. But it very often happens, that those which appear evils in our own eyes, appear also as such to him who has human nature under his care, in which case they are certainly averted from the person who has made himself, by this virtue, an object of divine favour.

9. Histories are full of instances of this nature, where men of virtue have had extraordinary escapes out of such dangers as have enclosed them, and which have seemed inevitable.

10. There is no example of this kind in Pagan history which more pleases me than that which is recorded in the life of Timoleon. This extraordinary man was famous for referring all his successes to Providence. Cornelius Nepos acquaints us that he had in his house a private chapel in which he used to pay his devotions to the goddess who represented Providence among the heathens. I think no man was ever more distinguished by the Deity, whom he blindly worshipped, than the great person I am speaking of, in several occurrences of his life, but particularly in the following one, which I shall relate out of Plutarch.

11. Three persons had entered into a conspiracy to assassinate Timoleon as he was offering up his devotions in a certain temple. In order to it they took their several stands in the most convenient places for their purpose. As they were waiting for an opportunity to put their design in execution, a stranger having observed one of the conspirators, fell upon him and slew him. Upon which the other two, thinking their plot had been discovered, threw themselves at Timoleon's feet, and confessed the whole matter.

12. This stranger, upon examination, was found to have understood nothing of the intended assassination, but having several years before had a brother killed by the conspirator, whom he here put to death, and having till now sought in vain for an opportunity of revenge, he chanced to meet the murderer in the temple, who had planted himself there for the above-mentioned purpose.

13. Plutarch cannot forbear on this occasion, speaking with a kind of rapture on the schemes of Providence, which, in this particular, had so contrived it that the stranger should, for so great a space of time, be debarred the means of doing justice to his brother, till by the same blow that revenged the death of one innocent man, he preserved the life of another.

14. For my own part, I cannot wonder that a man of Timoleon's religion should have this intrepidity and firmness of mind, or that he should be distinguished by such a deliverance as I have here related.

The folly of youthful Extravagance.

RAMBLER, No. 26.

1. It is usual for men, engaged in the same pursuits, to be inquisitive after the conduct and fortune of each other; and therefore, I suppose it will not be unpleasing to you to read an account of the various changes which have appeared in part of a life devoted to literature. My narrative will not exhibit any great variety of events, or extraordinary revolutions; but may perhaps be not less useful, because I shall relate nothing which is not likely to happen to a thousand others.

2. I was born heir to a very small fortune, and left by my father, whom I cannot remember, to the care of an uncle. He having no children, always treated me as his son, and finding in me those qualities which old men easily discover in sprightly children when they happen to love them, declared that a genius like mine should never be lost for want of cultivation.

3. He therefore placed me for the usual time at a great school, and then sent me to the university, with a larger allowance than my own patrimony would have afforded, that I might not keep mean company, but learn to become my dignity when I should be made Lord Chancellor, which he often lamented that the increase of his infirmities was very likely to preclude him from seeing.

4. This exuberance of money displayed itself in gaiety of appearance, and wantonness of expence, and introduced me to the acquaintance of those whom the same superfluity of fortune had betrayed to the same licence and ostentation: young heirs who pleased themselves with a remark very frequently in their mouths, that though they were sent by their fathers to the university, they were not under the necessity of living by their learning.

5. Among men of this class I easily obtained the reputation of a great genius, and was persuaded that, with such liveliness of imagination, and delicacy of sentiment, I should never be able to submit to the drudgery of the law.

6. I therefore gave myself wholly to the more airy and elegant parts of learning, and was often so much elated with my superiority to the youths with whom I conversed, that I began to listen with great attention, to those who recommended to me a wider and more conspicuous theatre; and was particularly touched with an observation made by one of my friends, that it was not by lingering in the university that Prior became ambassador, or Addison a secretary of state.

7. This desire was hourly increased by the solicitation of my companions, who removing one by one to London, as the caprice of their relations allowed them, or the legal dismission from the hands of their guardian put it in their power, never failed to send an account of the beauty and felicity of the new world, and to remonstrate how much was lost by every hour's continuance in a place of retirement and restraint.

8. My uncle, in the mean time, frequently harrassed me with monitory letters, which I sometimes neglected to open for a week after I received them, and generally read in a tavern, with such comments as I might show how much I was superior to instruction or advice. I could not but wonder, how a man confined to the country and unacquainted with the present system of things, should imagine himself qualified to instruct a rising genius, born to give laws to the age, refine its state, and multiply its pleasures.

9. The postman, however, still continued to bring me new remonstrances; for my uncle was very little depressed by the ridicule and reproach which he never heard. But men of parts have quick resentments; it was impossible to bear his usurpations for ever; and I resolved, once for all, to make him an example to those who imagine themselves wise because they are old, and to teach young men, who are too tame under representation, in what manner grey-bearded insolence ought to be treated.

10. I therefore one evening took my pen in hand, and after having animated myself with a catch, wrote a general answer to all his precepts, with such vivacity of turn, such elegance of irony, and such asperity of sarcasm, that I convulsed a large company with universal laughter, disturbing the neighbourhood with vociferations of applause, and five days afterwards was answered, that I must be content to live upon my own estate.

11. This contraction of my income gave me no disturbance, for a genius like mine was out of the reach of want. I had friends that would be proud to open their purses at my call, and prospects of such advancement as would soon reconcile my uncle, whom, upon mature deliberation, I resolved to receive into favour, without insisting on any acknowledgment of his offence, when the splendor of my condition should induce him to wish for my countenance.

12. I therefore went up to London before I had shewn the alteration of my condition, by any abatement of my way of living, and was received by all my academical acquaintance with triumph and congratulation. I was immediately introduced among the wits and men of spirit; and, in a short time, had divested myself of all my scholar's gravity, and obtained the reputation of a pretty fellow.

13. You will easily believe that I had no great knowledge of the world; yet I have been hindered by the general disinclination every man feels to confess poverty, from telling to any one the resolution of my uncle, and some time subsisted upon the stock of money which I had brought with me, and contributed my share as before to all our entertainments. But my pocket was soon emptied, and I was obliged to ask my friends for a small sum.

14. This was a favour which we had often reciprocally received from one another, they supposed my wants only accidental, and therefore willingly supplied them. In a short time, I found a necessity of asking again, and was again treated with the same civility, but the third time they began to wonder what that old rogue my uncle could mean by sending a gentleman to town without money; and when they gave me what I asked for, advised me to stipulate for more regular remittances.

15. This somewhat disturbed my dream of constant affluence, but I was three days after completely awaked; for entering the tavern, where we met every evening, I found the waiters remitted their complaisance, and instead of contending to light me up stairs, suffered me to wait for some minutes by the bar.

16. When I came to my company I found them unusually grave and formal, and one of them took a hint to turn the conversation upon the misconduct of young men, and enlarged upon the folly of frequenting the company of men of fortune, without being able to support the expence; an observation which the rest contributed either to enforce by repetition, or to illustrate by examples. Only one of them tried to divert the discourse, and endeavoured to direct my attention to remote questions, and common topics.

17. A man guilty of poverty easily believes himself suspected. I went, however, next morning to breakfast with him, who appeared ignorant of the drift of the conversation, and by a series of enquiries, drawing still nearer to the point, prevailed on him, not, perhaps, much against his will, to inform me, that Mr. Dash, whose father was a wealthy attorney near my native place, had the morning before received an account of my uncle's resentment, and communicated his intelligence with the utmost industry of groveling insolence.

18. It was no longer practicable to consort with my former friends, unless I would be content to be used as an inferior guest, who was to pay for his wine by mirth and flattery; a character which, if I could not escape it, I resolved to endure only among those who had never known me in the pride of plenty.

19. I changed my lodgings, and frequented the coffee houses in a different region of the town; where I was very quickly distinguished by several young gentlemen of high birth, and large estates, and began again to amuse my imagination with hopes of preferment, though not quite so confidently as when I had less experience.

20. The first great conquest which this new scene enabled me to gain over myself was, when I submitted to confess to a party, who invited me to an expensive diversion, that my revenues were not equal to such golden pleasures; they would not suffer me, however, to stay behind, and with great reluctance I yielded to be treated. I took that opportunity of recommending myself to some office or employment, which they unanimously promised to procure me by their joint interest.

21. I had now entered into a state of dependence, and had hopes, or fears, from almost every man I saw. If it be unhappy to have one patron, what is his misery who has so many? I was obliged to comply with a thousand caprices, to concur in a thousand follies, and to countenance a thousand errors. I endured innumerable mortifications, if not from cruelty, at least from negligence, which will creep in upon the kindest and most delicate minds, when they converse without the mutual awe of equal condition.

22. I found the spirit and vigour of liberty every moment sinking in me, and a servile fear of displeasing, stealing by degrees upon all my behaviour, till no word, or look, or action, was my own. As the solicitude to please increased, the power of pleasing grew less, and I was always clouded with diffidence where it was most my interest and wish to shine.

23. My patrons, considering me as belonging to the community, and, therefore, not the charge of any particular person, made no scruple of neglecting any opportunity of promoting me, which every one thought more properly the business of another. An account of my expectations and disappointments, and the succeeding vicissitudes of my life, I shall give you in my following letter, which will be, I hope, of use to shew how ill he forms his schemes, who expects happiness without freedom.

I am, &c.

The Misery of depending upon the Great.


1. As it is natural for every man to think himself of importance, your knowledge of the world will incline you to forgive me, if I imagine your curiosity so much excited by the former part of my narration, as to make you desire that I should proceed without any unnecessary arts of connection. I shall, therefore, not keep you longer in such suspence, as perhaps my performance may not compensate.

2. In the gay company with which I was now united, I found those allurements and delights, which the friendship of young men always affords; there was that openness which naturally produced confidence, and that ardour of profession which excited hope.

3. When our hearts were dilated with merriment, promises were poured out with unlimited profusion, and life and fortune were but a scanty sacrifice to friendship; but when the hour came, at which any effort was to be made, I had generally the vexation to find, that my interest weighed nothing against the slightest amusement, and that every petty avocation was found a sufficient plea for continuing me in uncertainty and want.

4. Their kindness was indeed sincere, when they promised they had no intention to deceive; but the same juvenile warmth which kindled their benevolence, gave force in the same proportion to every other passion, and I was forgotten as soon as any new pleasure seized on their attention.

5. Vagrio told me one evening, that all my perplexities should soon be at an end, and desired me, from that instant, to throw upon him all care of my fortune, for a post of considerable value was that day become vacant, and he knew his interest sufficient to procure it in the morning. He desired me to call on him early, that he might be dressed soon enough to wait upon the minister before any other application should be made.

6. I came as he appointed, with all the flame of gratitude, and was told by his servant, that having found at his lodgings, when he came home, an acquaintance who was going to travel, he had been persuaded to accompany him to Dover, and that they had taken post-horses two hours before day.

7. I was once very near to preferment by the kindness of Charinus; who, at my request, went to beg a place, which he thought me likely to fill with great reputation, and in which I should have many opportunities of promoting his interest in return; and he pleased himself with imagining the mutual benefits that we should confer, and the advances that we should make by our united strength.

8. Away, therefore, he went, equally warm with friendship and ambition, and left me to prepare acknowledgements against his return. At length he came back, and told me that he had met in his way a party going to breakfast in the country, that the ladies importuned him too much to be refused, and that having passed the morning with them, he was come back to dress himself for a ball, to which he was invited for the evening.

9. I have suffered several disappointments from taylors and perriwig-makers, who, by neglecting to perform their work, withheld my patrons from court, and once failed of an establishment for life by the delay of a servant, sent to a neighbouring shop to replenish a snuff-box.

10. At last I thought my solicitude at an end, for an office fell into the gift of Hippodamus's father, who being then in the country, could not very speedily fill it, and whose fondness would not have suffered him to refuse his son a less reasonable request. Hippodamus therefore set forward with great expedition, and I expected every hour an account of his success.

11. A long time I waited without any intelligence, but at last received a letter from Newmarket, by which I was informed, that the races were begun, and I knew the vehemence of his passion too well to imagine that he could refuse himself his favourite amusement.

12. You will not wonder that I was at last weary of the patronage of young men, especially as I found them not generally to promise much greater fidelity as they advanced in life; for I observed that what they gained in steadiness, they lost in benevolence, and grew colder to my interest as they became more diligent to promote their own.

13. I was convinced that their liberality was only profuseness, that, as chance directed, they were equally generous to vice and virtue, that they were warm, but because they were thoughtless, and counted the support of a friend only amongst other gratifications of passion.

14. My resolution was now to ingratiate myself with men whose reputation was established, whose high stations enabled them to prefer me, and whose age exempted them from sudden changes of inclination; I was considered as a man of parts, and therefore easily found admission to the table of Hilarius, the celebrated orator, renowned equally for the extent of his knowledge, the elegance of his diction, and the acuteness of his wit.

15. Hilarius received me with an appearance of great satisfaction, produced to me all his friends, and directed to me that part of his discourse in which he most endeavoured to display his imagination. I had now learned my own interest enough to supply him with opportunities for smart remarks and gay sallies, which I never failed to echo and applaud.

16. Thus I was gaining every hour on his affections, till, unfortunately, when the assembly was more splendid than usual, his desire of admiration prompted him to turn raillery upon me. I bore it for some time with great submission, and success encouraged him to redouble his attacks; at last my vanity prevailed over my prudence; I retorted his irony with such spirit, that Hilarius, unaccustomed to resistance, was disconcerted, and soon found means of convincing me, that his purpose was not to encourage a rival, but to foster a parasite.

17. I was then taken into the familiarity of Argurio, a nobleman eminent for judgment and criticism. He had contributed to my reputation, by the praises which he had often bestowed upon my writings, in which he owned that there were proofs of a genius that might rise high to degrees of excellence, when time, or information, had reduced its exuberance.

18. He therefore required me to consult him before the publication of any new performance, and commonly proposed innumerable alterations, without, sufficient attention to the general design, or regard to my form of style, and mode of imagination.

19. But these corrections he never failed to press as indispensably necessary, and thought the least delay of compliance an act of rebellion. The pride of an author made this treatment insufferable, and I thought any tyranny easier to be borne than that which took from me the use of my understanding.

20. My next patron was Eutyches the statesman, who was wholly engaged in public affairs, and seemed to have no ambition but to be powerful and rich. I found his favour more permanent than that of the others, for there was a certain price at which it might be bought; he allowed nothing to humour or affection, but was always ready to pay liberally for the service he required.

21. His demands were, indeed, very often such as virtue could not easily consent to gratify; but virtue is not to be consulted when men are to raise their fortunes by favour of the great. His measures were censured; I wrote in his defence, and was recompensed with a place, of which the profits were never received by me without the pangs of remembering that they were the reward of wickedness; a reward which nothing but that necessity, which the consumption of my little estate in these wild pursuits had brought upon me, hindered me from throwing back in the face of my corruptor.

22. At this time my uncle died without a will, and I became heir to a small fortune. I had resolution to throw off the splendor which reproached me to myself, and retire to an humbler state, in which I am now endeavouring to recover the dignity of virtue, and hope to make some reparation for my crimes and follies, by informing others who may be led after the same pageants, that they are about to engage in a course of life, in which they are to purchase, by a thousand miseries, the privilege of repentance.

I am, &c.


What it is to see the World; the Story of Melissa.

RAMBLER, No. 75.

1. The diligence with which you endeavour to cultivate the knowledge of nature, manners, and life, will perhaps incline you to pay some regard to the observations of one who has been taught to know mankind by unwelcome information, and whose opinions are the result, not of solitary conjectures, but of practice and experience.

2. I was born to a large fortune, and bred to the knowledge of those arts which are supposed to accomplish the mind, and adorn the person of a woman. To these attainments, which custom and education almost forced upon me, I added some voluntary acquisitions by the use of books and the conversation of that species of men whom the ladies generally mention with terror and aversion under the name of scholars, but whom I have found a harmless and inoffensive order of beings, not no much wiser than ourselves, but that they may receive as well as communicate knowledge, and more inclined to degrade their own character by cowardly submission, than to overbear or oppress us with their learning or their wit.

3. From these men, however, if they are by kind treatment encouraged to talk, something may be gained, which, embelished with elegancy, and softened by modesty, will always add dignity and value to female conversation; and from my acquaintance with the bookish part of the world, I derived many principles of judgment and maxims of prudence, by which I was enabled to draw upon myself the general regard in every place of concourse or pleasure.

4. My opinion was the great rule of approbation, my remarks were remembered by those who desired the second degree of fame, my mein was studied, my dress imitated, my letters were handed from one family to another, and read by those who copied them as sent to themselves; my visits were solicited as honours, and multitudes boasted of an intimacy with Melissa, who had only seen me by accident, whose familiarity had never proceeded beyond the exchange of a compliment, or return of a courtesy.

5. I shall make no scruple of confessing that I was pleased with this universal veneration, because I always considered it as paid to my intrinsic qualities and inseparable merit, and very easily persuaded myself, that fortune had no part in my superiority.

6. When I looked upon my glass, I saw youth and beauty, with health that might give me reason to hope their continuance: when I examined my mind, I found some strength of judgment and fertility of fancy, and was told that every action was grace, and that every accent was persuasion.

7. In this manner my life passed like a continual triumph amidst acclamations, and envy, and courtship, and caresses: to please Melissa was the general ambition, and every stratagem of artful flattery was practised upon me. To be flattered is grateful, even when we know that our praises are not believed by those who pronounce them: for they prove at least our power, and shew that our favour is valued, since it is purchased by the meanness of falsehood.

8. But perhaps the flatterer is not often detected, for an honest mind is not apt to suspect, and no one exerts the power of discernment with much vigour when self-love favours the deceit.

9. The number of adorers, and the perpetual distraction of my thoughts by new schemes of pleasures, prevented me from listening to any of those who crowd in multitudes to give girls advice, and kept me unmarried and unengaged to my twenty-seventh year, when, as I was towering in all the pride of uncontested excellency, with a face yet little impaired, and a mind hourly improving, the failure of a fund, in which my money was placed, reduced me to a frugal competency, which allowed a little beyond neatness and independence.

10. I bore the diminution of my riches without any outrages of sorrow, or pusillanimity of dejection. Indeed I did not know how much I had lost, for having always heard and thought more of my wit and beauty, than of my fortune, it did not suddenly enter my imagination, that Melissa could sink beneath her established rank, while her form and her mind continued the same; that she should cease to raise admiration, but by ceasing to deserve it, or feel any stroke but from the hand of time.

11. It was in my power to have concealed the loss, and to have married, by continuing the same appearance, with all the credit of my original fortune; but I was not so far sunk in my esteem, as to submit to the baseness of fraud, or to desire any other recommendation than sense and virtue.

12. I therefore dismissed my equipage, sold those ornaments which were become unsuitable to my new condition, and appeared among those with whom I used to converse with less glitter, but with equal spirit.

13. I found myself received at every visit with sorrow beyond what is naturally felt for calamities in which we have no part, and was entertained with condolence and consolation so frequently repeated, that my friends plainly consulted rather their own gratification, than my relief.

14. Some from that time refused my acquaintance, and forebore without any provocation, to repay my visits; some visited me, but after a longer interval than usual, and every return was still with more delay; nor did any of my female acquaintances fail to introduce the mention of my misfortunes, to compare my present and former condition, to tell me how much it must trouble me to want that splendor which I became so well; to look at pleasures, which I had formerly enjoyed, and to sink to a level with those by whom I had been considered as moving in a higher sphere, and who had hitherto approached me with reverence and submission, which I was now no longer to expect.

15. Observations like these are commonly nothing better than covert insults, which serve to give vent to the flatulence of pride, but they are now and then imprudently uttered by honesty and benevolence, and inflict pain where kindness is intended; I will, therefore, so far maintain my antiquated claim to politeness, as to venture the establishment of this rule, that no one ought to remind another of misfortunes of which the sufferer does not complain, and which there are no means proposed of alleviating.

16. You have no right to excite thoughts which necessarily give pain whenever they return, and which, perhaps, might not have revived but by absurd and unseasonable compassion.

17. My endless train of lovers immediately withdrew without raising any emotions. The greater part had indeed always professed to court, as it is termed upon the square, had enquired my fortune, and offered settlements; these undoubtedly had a right to retire without censure, since they had openly treated for money, as necessary to their happiness, and who can tell how little they wanted any other portion?

18. I have always thought the clamours of women unreasonable, who imagine themselves injured, because the men who followed them upon the supposition of a greater fortune, reject them when they are discovered to have less. I have never known any lady, who did not think wealth a title to some stipulations in her favour; and surely what is claimed by the possession of money, is justly forfeited by its loss.

19. She that has once demanded a settlement, has allowed the importance of fortune; and when she cannot shew pecuniary merit, why should she think her cheapner obliged to purchase?

20. My lovers were not all contented with silent desertion. Some of them revenged the neglect which they had formerly endured by wanton and superfluous insults, and endeavoured to mortify me, by paying in my presence those civilities to other ladies, which were once devoted only to me.

21. But as it had been my rule to treat men according to the rank of their intellect, I had never suffered any one to waste his life in suspense who could have employed it to better purpose, and had therefore no enemies but coxcombs, whose resentment and respect were equally below my consideration.

22. The only pain which I have felt from degradation, is the loss of that influence which I have always exerted on the side of virtue, in the defence of innocence and the assertion of truth. I now find my opinions slighted, my sentiments criticised, and my arguments opposed by those that used to listen to me without reply, and struggle to be first in expressing their conviction.

23. The female disputants have wholly thrown off my authority, and if I endeavour to enforce my reasons by an appeal to the scholars that happen to be present, the wretches are certain to pay their court by sacrificing me and my system to a finer gown; and I am every hour insulted with contradiction by cowards, who could never find till lately, that Melissa was liable to error.

24. There are two persons only whom I cannot charge with having changed their conduct with my change of fortune. One is an old curate, that has passed his life in the duties of his profession, with great reputation for his knowledge and piety; the other is a lieutenant of dragoons. The parson made no difficulty in the height of my elevation, to check me when I was pert, and instruct me when I blundered; and if there is any alteration, he is now more timorous lest his freedom should be thought rudeness.

25. The soldier never paid me any particular addresses, but very rigidly observed all the rules of politeness, which he is now so far from relaxing, that whenever he serves the tea, he obstinately carries me the first dish, in defiance of the frowns and whispers of the table.

26. This, Mr. Rambler, is to see the world. It is impossible for those that have only known affluence and prosperity, to judge rightly of themselves or others. The rich and the powerful live in a perpetual masquerade, in which all about them wear borrowed characters; and we only discover in what estimation we are held, when we can no longer give hopes or fears.

I am, &c. MELISSA.

On the Omniscience and Omnipresence of the Deity, together with the Immensity of his Works.

1. I was yesterday about sun-set walking in the open fields, till the night insensibly fell upon me. I at first amused myself with all the richness and variety of colours, which appeared in the western parts of heaven; in proportion as they faded away and went out, several stars and planets appeared one after another, till the whole firmament was in a glow. The blueness of the æther was exceedingly heightened and enlivened by the season of the year, and by the rays of all those luminaries that passed through it.

2. The Galaxy appeared in its most beautiful white. To complete the scene, the full moon rose at length in that clouded majesty, which Milton takes notice of, and opened to the eye a new picture of nature, which was more finely shaded, and disposed among softer lights, than that which the sun had before discovered to us.

3. As I was surveying the moon, walking in her brightness, and taking her progress among the constellations, a thought rose in me which I believe very often perplexes and disturbs men of serious and contemplative natures. David himself fell into it in that reflection, When I consider the heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and stars which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man, that thou regardest him!

4. In the same manner, when I consider that infinite host of stars, or, to speak more philosophically, of suns, who were then shining upon me, with those innumerable sets of planets or worlds, which were moving round their respective suns; when I still enlarged the idea, and supposed another heaven of suns and worlds rising still above this which he had discovered, and these still enlightened by a superior firmament of luminaries, which are planted at so great a distance, that they may appear to the inhabitants of the former as the stars do to us; in short, while I pursued this thought, I could not but reflect on that little insignificant figure which I myself bore amidst the immensity of God's works.

5. Were the sun, which enlightens this part of the creation, with all the host of planetary worlds that move about him, utterly extinguished and annihilated, they would not be missed, more than a grain of sand upon the sea-shore. The space they possess is so exceedingly little in comparison of the whole, that it would scarce make a blank in the creation. The chasm would be imperceptible to an eye that could take in the whole compass of nature, and pass from one end of the creation to the other; as it is possible there may be such a sense in ourselves hereafter, or in creatures which are at present more exalted than ourselves.

6. We see many stars by the help of glasses, which we do not discover with our naked eyes; and the finer our telescopes are, the more still are our discoveries. Huygenius carries his thought so far, that he does not think it impossible there may be stars whose light is not yet travelled down to us, since their first creation. There is no question but the universe has certain bounds set to it; but when we consider that it is the work of infinite power, prompted by infinite goodness, with an infinite space to exert itself in, how can our imagination set any bounds to it!

7. To return, therefore, to my first thought, I could not but look upon myself with secret horror, as a being that was not worth the smallest regard of one who had so great a work under his care and superintendency. I was afraid of being overlooked amidst the immensity of nature, and lost among that infinite variety of creatures, which in all probability swarm through all these immeasurable regions of matter.

In order to recover myself from this mortifying thought, I consider that it took its rise from those narrow conceptions which we are apt to maintain of the divine nature. We ourselves cannot attend to many different objects at the same time. If we are careful to inspect some things, we must of course neglect others.

8. This imperfection which we observe in ourselves, is an imperfection that cleaves in some degree to creatures of the highest capacities, as they are creatures, that is, beings of finite and limited natures. The presence of every created being is confined to a certain measure of space, and consequently his observation is stinted to a certain number of objects. The sphere in which we move, and act, and understand, is of a wider circumference to one creature than another, according as we rise one above another in the scale of existence.

9. But the widest of these our spheres has its circumference. When, therefore, we reflect on the divine nature, we are so used and accustomed to this imperfection in ourselves, that we cannot forbear in some measure ascribing it to him in whom there is no shadow of imperfection. Our reason indeed ascribes that his attributes are infinite, but the poorness of our conceptions is such, that it cannot forbear setting bounds to every thing it contemplates, till our reason comes again to our succour, and throws down all those little prejudices which rise in us unawares, and are natural to the mind of man.

10. We shall therefore utterly extinguish this melancholy thought, of our being overlooked by our Maker in the multiplicity of his works, and the infinity of those objects among which he seems to be incessantly employed, if we consider, in the first place, that he is omnipresent, and in the second, that he is omniscient.

If we consider him in his omnipresence; his being passes through, actuates and supports the whole frame of nature. His creation, and every part of it, is full of him.

11. There is nothing he has made, that is either so distant, so little, or so inconsiderable, which he does not essentially inhabit. His substance is within the substance of every being, whether material or immaterial, and is intimately present to it, as that being is to itself. It would be an imperfection in him, were he able to remove out of one place into another, or to withdraw himself from any thing he has created, or from any part of that space which is diffused and spread abroad to infinity. In short, to speak of him in the language of the old philosophers, He is a being whose centre is every where, and his circumference no where.

12. In the second place, he is omniscient as well as omnipresent. His omniscience, indeed, necessarily and naturally flows from his omnipresence. He cannot but be conscious of every motion that arises in the whole material world, which he thus essentially pervades; and of every thought that is stirring in the intellectual world, to every part of which he is thus intimately united. Several moralists have considered the creation as the temple of God, which he has built with his own hands, and which is filled with his presence.

13. Others have considered infinite space as the receptacle, or rather the habitation of the Almighty; but the noblest, and most exalted way of considering this infinite space, is that of Sir Isaac Newton, who calls it the sensorium of the Godhead. Brutes and men have their sensoria, or little sensoriums, by which they apprehend the presence and perceive the actions of a few objects that lie contiguous to them. Their knowledge and apprehension turn within a very narrow circle. But as God Almighty cannot but perceive and know every thing in which he resides, infinite space gives room to infinite knowledge, and is, as it were, an organ to omniscience.

14. Were the soul separate from the body, and with one glance of thought should start beyond the bounds of the creation; should it for millions of years continue its progress through infinite space with the same activity, it would still find itself within the embraces of its Creator, and encompassed round with the immensity of the Godhead. While we are in the body, he is hot less present with us because he is concealed from us. Oh that I knew where I might find him! says Job. Behold I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him; on the left hand, where he does work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him. In short, reason as well as revelation assures us, that he cannot be absent from us, notwithstanding he is undiscovered by us.

15. In this consideration of God Almighty's omnipresence and omniscience, every uncomfortable thought vanishes. He cannot but regard every thing that has beings especially such of his creatures who fear they are not regarded by him. He is privy to all their thoughts, and to that anxiety of heart in particular, which is apt to trouble them on this occasion; for, as it is impossible he should overlook any of his creatures, so we may be confident that he regards, with an eye of mercy, those who endeavour to recommend themselves to his notice, and in unfeigned humility of heart think themselves unworthy that he should be mindful of them.

Motives to Piety and Virtue, drawn from the Omniscience and Omnipresence of the Deity.


1. In your paper of Friday the 9th instant, you had occasion to consider the ubiquity of the Godhead; and at the same time to shew, that as he is presented every thing, he cannot but be attentive to every thing, and privy to all the modes and parts of its existence; or, in other words, that his omniscience and omnipresence are co-existent, and run together through the whole infinitude of space.

2. This consideration might furnish us with many incentives to devotion, and motives to morality; but as this subject has been handled by several excellent writers, I shall consider it in a light wherein I have not seen it placed by others.

First, How disconsolate is the condition of an intellectual being who is thus present with his Maker, but at the same time receives no extraordinary benefit or advantage from this his presence!

3. Secondly, How deplorable is the condition of an intellectual being, who feels no other effects from this his presence, but such as proceed from divine wrath and indignation!

Thirdly, How happy is the condition of that intellectual being, who is sensible of his Maker's presence from the secret effects of his mercy and loving kindness!

4. first, How disconsolate is the condition of an intellectual being who is thus present with his Maker, but at the same time receives no extraordinary benefit or advantage from this his presence! Every particle of matter is actuated by this Almighty Being which passes through it. The heavens and the earth, the stars and planets, move, and gravitate by virtue of this great principle within them. All the dead parts of nature are invigorated by the presence of their Creator, and made capable of exerting their respective qualities.

5. The several instincts in the brute creation do likewise operate and work towards the several ends which, are agreeable to them, by this divine energy. Man only, who does not co-operate with his holy spirit, and is unattentive to his presence, receives none of these advantages from it, which are perfective of his nature, and necessary to his well-being. The divinity is with him, and in him, and every where about him, but of no advantage to him.

6. It is the same thing to a man without religion, as if there were no God in the world. It is indeed impossible for an infinite Being to remove, himself from any of his creatures; but though he cannot withdraw his essence from us, which would argue an imperfection in him, he can withdraw from us all the joys and consolations of it. His presence may, perhaps, be necessary to support us in our existence; but he may leave this our existence to itself, with regard to our happiness or misery.

7. For, in this sense, he may cast us away from his presence, and take his holy spirit from us. This single consideration one would think sufficient to make us open our hearts to all those infusions of joy and gladness which are so near at hand, and ready to be poured in upon us; especially when we consider, secondly, the deplorable condition of an intellectual being who feels no other effects from his Maker's presence, but such as proceed from divine wrath and indignation!

8. We may assure ourselves, that the great Author of Nature, will not always be as one who is indifferent to any of his creatures. Those who will not feel him in his love, will be sure at length to feel him in his displeasure. And how dreadful is the condition of that creature who is only sensible of the being of his Creator by what he suffers from him! He is as essentially present in hell as in heaven; but the inhabitants of those accursed places behold him only in his wrath, and shrink within the flames to conceal themselves from him. It is not in the power of imagination to conceive the fearful effects of Omnipotence incensed.

9. But I shall only consider the wretchedness of an intellectual being, who, in this life, lies under the displeasure of him, that at all times, and in all places, is intimately united with him. He is able to disquiet the soul, and vex it in all its faculties, He can hinder any of the greatest comforts of life from refreshing us, and give an edge to every one of its slightest calamities.

10. Who then can bear the thought of being an outcast from his presence, that is, from the comforts of it, or of feeling it only in its terrors? how pathetic is that expostulation of Job, when for the real trial of his patience, he was made to look upon himself in this deplorable condition! Why hast thou set me as a mark against thee so that I am become a burden to myself? But thirdly, how happy is the condition of that intellectual being, who is sensible of his Maker's presence from the secret effects of his mercy and loving kindness!

11. The blessed in heaven behold him face to face, that is, are as sensible of his presence as we are of the presence of any person whom we look upon with our eyes. There is doubtless a faculty in spirits, by which they apprehend one another, as our senses do material objects; and there is no question but our souls, when they are disembodied, or placed in glorified bodies, will by this faculty, in whatever space they reside, be always sensible of the divine presence.

12. We who have this veil of flesh standing between us and the world of spirits, must be content to know the spirit of God is present with us, by the effects which he produceth in us. Our outward senses are too gross to apprehend him; we may however taste and see how gracious he is, by his influence upon our minds, by those virtuous thoughts which he awakens in us, by those secret comforts and refreshments which he conveys into our souls, and by those ravishing joys and inward satisfactions which are perpetually springing up, and diffusing themselves among all the thoughts of good men.

13. He is lodged in our very essence, and is as a soul within the soul to irradiate its understanding, rectify its will, purify its passions, and enliven all the powers of man. How happy therefore is an intellectual being, who by prayer and meditation, by virtue and good works, opens this communication between God and his own soul! Though the whole creation frowns upon him, and all nature looks black about him, he has his light and support within him, that are able to cheer his mind, and bear him up in the midst of all those horrors which encompass him.

14. He knows that his helper is at hand, and is always nearer to him than any thing else can be, which is capable of annoying or terrifying him. In the midst of calumny or contempt, he attends to that Being who whispers better things within his soul, and whom he looks upon as his defender, his glory and the lifter up of his head. In his deepest solitude and retirement, he knows that he is in company with the greatest of beings: and perceives within himself such real sensations of his presence, as are more delightful than any thing that can be met with in the conversations of his creatures.

15. Even in the hour of death, he considers the pains of his dissolution to be nothing else but the breaking down of that partition, which stands betwixt his soul and the sight of that Being who is always present with him, and is about to manifest itself to him in fulness of Joy.

16. If we would be thus happy and thus sensible of our Maker's presence, from the secret effects of his mercy and goodness, we must keep such a watch over all our thoughts, that, in the language of the scripture, His soul may have pleasure in us. We must take care not to grieve his holy spirit, and endeavour to make the meditations of our hearts always acceptable in his sight, that he may delight thus to reside and dwell in us.

17. The light of nature could direct Seneca to this doctrine in a very remarkable passage among his epistles; Sacer inest in nobis spiritus, bonorum malorumque custos et observator; et quemadmodum nos illum tractamus, ita et ille nos. 'There is a holy spirit residing in us, who watches and observes both good and evil men, and will treat us after the same manner that we treat him.' But I shall conclude this discourse with those more emphatical words in divine revelation: If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

Reflections on the third Heaven.


1. I considered in my two last letters, that awful and tremendous subject, the ubiquity or Omnipresence of the Divine Being. I have shewn that he is equally present in all places throughout the whole extent of infinite space. This doctrine is so agreeable to reason, that we meet with it in the writings of the enlightened heathens, as I might shew at large, were it not already done by other hands. But though the Deity be thus essentially present through all the immensity of space, there is one part of it in which he discovers himself in a most transcendant and visible glory.

2. This is that place which is marked out in scripture under the different appellations of Paradise, the third Heaven, the throne of God, and the habitation of his glory. It is here where the glorified body of our Saviour resides, and where all the celestial hierarchies, and innumerable hosts of angels, are represented as perpetually surrounding the seat of God with hallelujahs and hymns of praise. This is that presence of God which some of the divines call his glorious, and others his majestic presence.

3. He is indeed as essentially present in all other places as in this; but it is here where he resides in a sensible magnificence, and in the midst of all these splendors which can affect the imagination of created beings.

It is very remarkable that this opinion of God Almighty's presence in heaven, whether discovered by the light of nature, or by a general tradition from our first parents, prevails among all the nations of the world, whatsoever different notions they entertain of the Godhead.

4. If you look into Homer, that is, the most ancient of the Greek writers, you see the Supreme power seated in the heavens, and encompassed with inferior deities, among whom the muses are represented as singing incessantly about his throne. Who does not here see the main strokes and outlines of this great truth we are speaking of?

5. The same doctrine is shadowed out in many other heathen authors, though at the same time, like several other revealed truths, dashed and adulterated with a mixture of fables and human inventions. But to pass over the notions of the Greeks and Romans, those more enlightened parts of the pagan world, we find there is scarce a people among the late discovered nations who are not trained up in an opinion that heaven is the habitation of the divinity whom they worship.

6. As in Solomon's temple there was the Sanctum Sanctorum, in which a visible glory appeared among the figures of the cherubims, and into which none but the high-priest himself was permitted to enter, after having made an atonement for the sins of the people; so, if we consider this whole creation as one great temple, there is in it the Holy of Holies, into which the high-priest of our salvation entered, and took his place among angels and archangels, after having made a propitiation for the sins of mankind.

7. With how much skill must the throne of God be erected? With what glorious designs is that habitation beautified, which is contrived and built by him who inspired Hiram with wisdom? How great must be the majesty of that place, where the whole art of creation has been employed, and where God has chosen to shew himself in the most magnificent manner? What must be the architecture of infinite power under the direction of divine wisdom? A spirit cannot but be transported after an ineffable manner with the sight of those objects, which were made to affect him by that being who knows the inward frame of a soul, and how to please and ravish it in all its most secret powers and faculties.

8. It is to this majestic presence of God we may apply those beautiful expressions in holy writ: Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight. The light of the sun, and all the glories of the world in which we live, are but as weak and sickly glimmerings, or rather darkness itself, in comparison of those splendors which encompass the throne of God.

9. As the glory of this place is transcendent beyond imagination, so probably is the extent of it. There is light behind light, and glory within glory. How far that space may reach, in which God thus appears in perfect majesty, we cannot possibly conceive. Though it is not infinite, it may be indefinite; and though not immeasurable in itself, it may be so with regard to any created eye or imagination. If he has made these lower regions of matter so inconceivably wide and magnificent for the habitation of mortal and perishable beings, how great may we suppose the courts of his house to be, where he makes his residence in a more especial manner, and displays himself in the fulness of his glory, among an innumerable company of angels, and spirits of just men made perfect!

10. This is certain, that our imaginations cannot be raised too high, when we think on a place where omnipotence and omniscience have so signally exerted themselves, because that they are able to produce a scene infinitely more great and glorious than what we are able to imagine.

11. It is not impossible but at the consummation of all things, these outward apartments of nature, which are now suited to those beings who inhabit them, may be taken in and added to that glorious place of which I am here speaking; and by that means made a proper habitation for beings who are exempt from mortality, and cleared of their imperfections: for so the scripture seems to intimate, when it speaks of new heavens and of a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

12. I have only considered this glorious place with regard to the sight and imagination, though it is highly probable, that our other senses may here likewise enjoy then highest gratifications. There is nothing which more ravishes and transports the soul, than harmony; and we have great reason to believe, from the description of this place in Holy scripture, that this is one of the entertainments of it.

13. And if the soul of man can be so wonderfully affected with those strains of music, which human art is capable of producing, how much more will it be raised and elevated by those, in which is exerted the whole power of harmony! The senses are faculties of the human soul, though they cannot be employed, during this our vital union, without proper instruments in the body.

14. Why therefore should we exclude the satisfaction of these faculties, which we find by experience are inlets of great pleasure to the soul, from among these entertainments which are to make our happiness hereafter? Why should we suppose that our hearing and seeing will not be gratified by those objects which are most agreeable to them, and which they cannot meet with in those lower regions of nature; objects, which neither eye hath seen, nor ear heard, nor can it enter into the heart of man to conceive!

15. I knew a man in Christ (says St. Paul, speaking of himself) above fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth) such a one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man (whether in the body or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth) how that he was caught up into Paradise, and heard unspeakable words which it is not possible for a man to utter.

16. By this is meant that what he heard was so infinitely different from any thing which he had heard in this world, that it was impossible to express it in such words as might convey a notion of it to his hearers.

It is very natural for us to take delight in inquiries concerning any foreign country, where we are some time or other to make our abode; and as we all hope to be admitted into this glorious place, it is both a laudable and useful curiosity, to get what information we can of it, while we make use of revelation for our guide.

17. When these everlasting doors shall be opened to us, we may be sure that the pleasures and beauties of this place will infinitely transcend our present hopes and expectations, and that the glorious appearance of the throne of God will rise infinitely beyond whatever we are able to conceive of it. We might here entertain ourselves with many other speculations on this subject from those several hints which we find of it in the holy scriptures: as whether there may not be different mansions and apartments of glory, to beings of different natures; whether, as they: excel one another in perfection, they are not admitted nearer to the throne of the Almighty, and enjoy greater manifestations of his presence.

18. Whether there are not solemn times and occasions, when all the multitude of heaven celebrate the presence of their Maker, in more extraordinary forms of praise and adoration; as Adam, though he had continued in a state of innocence, would, in the opinion of our divines, have kept holy the Sabbath day, in a more particular manner than any other of the seven. These, and the like speculations, we may very innocently indulge, so long as we make use of them to inspire us with a desire of becoming inhabitants of this delightful place.

19. I have in this, and in two foregoing letters, treated on the most serious subject that can employ the mind of man, the omnipresence of the Deity; a subject which, if possible, should never depart from our meditations. We have considered the Divine Being, as he inhabits infinitude, as he dwells among his works, as he is present to the mind of man, and as he discovers himself in a more glorious manner among the regions of the blest. Such a consideration should be kept awake in us at all times, and in all places, and possess our minds with a perpetual awe and reverence.

20. It should be interwoven with all our thoughts and perceptions, and become one with the consciousness of our own being. It is not to be reflected on in the coldness of philosophy, but ought to sink us into the lowest prostration before him, who is so astonishingly, great, wonderful, and holy.

The present Life to be considered only as it may conduce to the Happiness of a future one.


1. A lewd young fellow seeing an aged hermit go by him barefoot, Father, says he, you are in a very miserable condition, if there is not another world. True son, said the hermit; but what is thy condition if there is? Man is a creature designed for two different states of being, or rather, for two different lives. His first life is short and transient; his second permanent and lasting.

2. The question we are all concerned in is this, in which of these two lives is our chief interest to make ourselves happy? or in other words, whether we should endeavour to secure to ourselves the pleasure and gratification of a life which is uncertain and precarious, and at its utmost length of a very inconsiderable duration; or to secure to ourselves the pleasure of a life that is fixed and settled, and will never end? Every man, upon the first hearing of this question, knows very well which side of it he ought to close with.

3. But however right we are in theory, it is plain that in practice we adhere to the wrong side of the question. We make provisions for this life as though it were never to have an end, and for the other life as though it were never to have a beginning.

Should a spirit of superior rank, who is a stranger to human nature, accidentally alight upon the earth, and take a survey of its inhabitants, what would his notions of us be?

4. Would not he think that we were a species of beings made for quite different ends and purposes than what we really are? Must not he imagine that we were placed in this world to get riches and honours? Would he not think that it was our duty to toil after wealth, and station, and title? Nay, would not he believe we were forbidden poverty by threats of eternal punishment, and enjoined to pursue our pleasures under pain of damnation? He would certainly imagine that we were influenced by a scheme of duties quite opposite to those which are indeed prescribed to us.

5. And truly, according to such an imagination, be must conclude that we are a species of the most obedient creatures in the universe; that we are constant to our duty; and that we keep a steady eye on the end for which we were sent hither.

But how great would be his astonishment, when he learnt that we were beings not designed to exist in this world above threescore and ten years; and that the greatest part of this busy species fall short even of that age?

6. How would he be lost in horror and admiration, when he should know that this set of creatures, who lay out all their endeavours for this life, which scarce deserves the name of existence, when, I say, he should know that this set of creatures are to exist to all eternity in another life, for winch they make no preparations?

7. Nothing can be a greater disgrace to reason than that men, who are persuaded of these two different states of being, should be perpetually employed in providing for a life of threescore and ten years, and neglecting to make provision for that which, after many myriads of years, will be still new, and still beginning; especially when we consider that our endeavours for making ourselves great, or rich, or honourable, or whatever else we place our happiness in, may, after all, prove unsuccessful; whereas if we constantly and sincerely endeavour to make ourselves happy in the other life, we are sure that our endeavours will succeed, and that we shall not be disappointed of our hope.

8. The following question is started by one of the school-men: Supposing the whole body of the earth were a great ball or mass of the finest sand, and that a single grain or particle of this sand should be annihilated every thousand years. Supposing then that you had it in your choice to be happy all the while this prodigious mass of sand was consuming by this slow method till there was not a grain, of it left, on condition you were to be miserable for ever after; or supposing that you might be happy for ever after, on condition you would be miserable till the whole mass of sand were thus annihilated at the rate of one sand in a thousand years: which of these two cases would you make your choice?

9. It must be confessed in this case, so many thousands of years are to the imagination as a kind of eternity, though in reality they do not bear so great a proportion to that duration which is to follow them, as an unit does to the greatest number which you can put together in figures, or as one of those sands to the supposed heap. Reason therefore tells us, without any manner of hesitation, which would be the better part in this choice.

10. However, as I have before intimated, our reason might in such a case be so overset by the imagination, as to dispose some persons to sink under the consideration of the great length of the first part of this duration, and of the great distance of that second duration, which is to succeed it. The mind, I say, might give itself up to that happiness which is at hand, considering that it is so very near, and that it would last so very long.

11. But when the choice we actually have before us, is this, whether we will chuse to be happy for the space of only threescore and ten, nay, perhaps of only twenty or ten years, I might say of only a day or an hour, and miserable to all eternity; or, on the contrary, miserable for this short term of years, and happy for a whole eternity; what words are sufficient to express that folly and want of consideration which in such a case makes a wrong choice?

12. I here put the case even at the worst, by supposing (what seldom happens) that a course of virtue makes us miserable in this life: but if we suppose (as it generally happens) that virtue will make us more happy even in this life than a contrary course of vice; how can we sufficiently admire the stupidity or madness of those persons who are capable of making so absurd a choice?

13. Every wise man, therefore, will consider this life only as it may conduce to the happiness of the other, and cheerfully sacrifice the pleasures of a few years to those of an eternity.

On the Immortality of the Soul.


1. I was yesterday walking alone in one of my friend's woods, and lost myself in it very agreeably, as I was running over in my mind the several arguments that establish this great point, which is the basis of morality, and the source of all the pleasing hopes and secret joys that can arise in the heart of a reasonable creature.

2. I considered those several proofs drawn: First, From the nature of the soul itself, and particualrly its immateriality; which, though not absolutely necessary to the eternity of its duration, has, I think, been evinced to almost a demonstration.

Secondly, From its passions and sentiments, as particularly from, its love of existence; its horror of annihilation, and its hopes of immortality, with that secret satisfaction which it finds in the practice of virtue, and that uneasiness which follows in it upon the commission of vice.

3. Thirdly, From the nature of the Supreme Being, whose justice, goodness, wisdom and veraveracity, are all concerned in this point.

But among these and other excellent arguments for the immortality of the soul, there is one drawn from the perpetual progress of the soul to its perfection, without a possibility of ever arriving at it; which is a hint that I do not remember to have seen opened and improved by others who have written on this subject, though it seeras to me to carry a very great weight with it.

4. How can it enter into the thoughts of man, that the soul which is capable of such immense perfection, and of receiving new improvements to all eternity, shall fall away into nothing almost as soon as it is created? are such abilities made for no purpose? A brute arrives at a point of perfection that he can never pass: in a few years he has all the endowments he is capable of; and were he to live ten thousand more, would be the same thing he is at present.

5. Were a human soul thus at a stand in her accomplishments, were her faculties to be full blown, and incapable of further enlargements, I could imagine it might fall away insensibly; and drop at once into a state of annihilation.

6. But can we believe a thinking being; that is in a perpetual progress of improvements, and travelling on from perfection to perfection, after having just looked abroad into the works of its Creator, and made a few discoveries of his infinite goodness, wisdom and power, must perish at her first setting out, and in the very beginning of her enquiries?

A man considered in his present state, seems only sent into the world to propagate his kind. He provides himself with a successor, and immediately quits his post to make room for him.

Hæredem alterius velut unda supervenit undam.

HOR. Ep. 2. 1. 2. v. 175

——Heir crowds heir, as in a rolling flood
Wave urges wave.

7. He does net seem born to enjoy life, but to deliver it down to others. This is not surprising to consider in animals, which are formed for our use, and can finish their business in a short life. The silk-worm, after having spun her task, lays her eggs and dies. But a man can never have taken in his full measure of knowledge, has not time to subdue his passions, establish his soul in virtue, and come up to the perfection of his nature, before he is hurried off the stage.

8. Would an infinitely wise Being make such glorious creatures for so mean a purpose? Can he delight in the production of such abortive intelligences, such short-lived reasonable beings? Would he give us talents that are not to be exerted? capacities that are never to be gratified? How can we find that wisdom which shines through all his works, in the formation of man, without looking on this world as only a nursery for the next, and believing that the several generations of rational creatures, which rise up and disappear in such quick successions, are only to receive the first rudiments of existence here, and afterwards to be transplanted into a more friendly climate, where they may spread and flourish to all eternity.

9. There is not, in my opinion, a more pleasing and triumphant consideration in religion than this of the perpetual progress which the soul makes towards the perfection of its nature, without ever arriving at a period in it. To look upon the soul as going on from strength to strength, to consider that she is to shine for ever with new accessions of glory, and brighten to all eternity; that she will be still adding virtue to virtue, and knowledge to knowledge; carries in it something wonderfully agreeable to that ambition which is natural to the mind of man. Nay, it must be a prospect pleasing to God himself, to see his creation of ever beautifying his eyes, and drawing nearer to him, by greater degrees of resemblance.

10. Methinks this single consideration, of the progress of a finite spirit to perfection, will be sufficient to extinguish all envy in inferior natures, and all contempt in superior That cherubim, which now appears as a God to a human soul, knows very well that the period will come about in eternity when the human soul shall be as perfect as he himself now is: nay, when she shall look down upon that degree of perfection as much as she now falls short of it. It is true, the higher nature still advances, and by that means preserves his distance and superiority in the scale of being; but he knows that, how high soever the station is of which he stands possessed at present, the inferior nature will at length mount up to it, and shine forth in the same degree of glory.

11. With what astonishment and veneration may we look into our own soul, where there are such hidden stores of virtue and knowledge, such inexhausted sources of perfection! We know not yet what we shall be, nor will it ever enter into the heart of man to conceive the glory that will be always in reserve for him. The soul considered with its Creator, is like one of those mathematical lines that may draw nearer to another for all eternity, without a possibility of touching it: and can there be a thought so transporting, as to consider ourselves in these perpetual approaches to him, who is not only the standard of perfection, but of happiness!

On the Animal World, and the Scale of Beings.


1. Though there is a great deal of pleasure in contemplating the material world, by which I mean that system of bodies into which nature has so curiously wrought the mass of dead matter, with the several relations which, those bodies bear to one another; there is still, methinks, something more wonderful and surprising in contemplations on the world of life, by which I mean all those animals with which every part of the universe is furnished.

The material world, is only the shell of the universe: the world of life are its inhabitants.

2. If we consider those parts of the material world which lie the nearest to us, and are therefore subject to our observations and inquiries, it is amazing to consider the infinity of animals with which it is stocked. Every part of matter is peopled: every green leaf swarms with inhabitants. There is scarce a single humour of the body of a man, or of any other animal, in which our glasses do not discover myriads of living creatures.

3. The surface of animals, is also covered with other animals, which are in the same manner the basis of other animals that live upon it: nay, we find in the most solid bodies, as in marble itself, innumerable cells and cavities, that are crowded with such imperceptible inhabitants, as are too little for the naked eye to discover. On the other hand, if we look into the more bulky parts of nature, we see the seas, lakes, and rivers teeming with numberless kinds of living creatures; we find every mountain and marsh, wilderness and wood plentifully stocked with birds and beasts, and every part of matter affording proper necessaries and conveniences for the livelihood of multitudes which, inhabit it.

4. The author of the Plurality of Worlds draws a very good argument from this consideration, for the peopling of every planet: as indeed it seems very probable, from the analogy of reason, that if no part of matter, which we are acquainted with, lies waste and useless, those great bodies; which are at such a distance from us, should not be desert and unpeopled, but rather that they should be furnished with beings adapted to their respective situations.

5. Existence is a blessing to those beings only which are endowed with perception, and is in a manner thrown away upon dead matter, any further than it is subservient to beings which are conscious of their existence. Accordingly we find, from the bodies which lie under our observation, that matter is only made as the basis and support of animals, and that there is no more of the one, than what is necessary for the existence of the other.

6. Infinite goodness is of so communicative a nature, that it seems to delight in the conferring of existence upon every degree of perceptive being. As this is a speculation, which I have often pursued with great pleasure to myself, I shall enlarge further upon it, by considering that part of the scale of beings which comes within our knowledge.

7. There are some living creatures which are raised but just above dead matter. To mention only that species of shell-fish, which are formed in the fashion of a cone, that grow to the surface of several rocks and immediately die upon their being severed from the place where they grow: there are many other creatures but one remove from these, which have no other sense besides that of feeling and taste. Others have still an additional one of hearing; others of smell; and others of sight.

3. It is wonderful, to observe, by what a gradual progress the world of life advances through a prodigious variety of species, before a creature is formed that is complete in all its senses: and even among these there is such a different degree of perfection in the sense which one animal enjoys beyond what appears in another, though the sense in different animals is distinguished by the same common denomination; it seems almost of a different nature.

10. The exuberant and overflowing; goodness of the Supreme Being, whose mercy extends to all his works, is plainly seen, as I have before hinted; from his having made so very little matter, at least what fall within our knowledge, that does not swarm with life: nor is his goodness less seen in the diversity, than in the multitude of living creatures. Had he only made one species animals, none of the rest could have enjoyed the happiness of existence; he has therefore specified in his creation every degree of life, every capacity of being.

11. The whole chasm of nature, from a plant to a man, is filled up with divers kinds of creatures, rising one over another, by such a gentle and easy ascent, that the little transitions and deviations from one species to another, are almost insensible. This intermediate space is so well husbanded and managed, that there is scarce a degree of perception which does not appear in some one part of the world of life. Is the goodness, or wisdom, of the Divine Being, more manifested in this his proceeding?

12. There is a consequence, besides those I have already mentioned, which seems very naturally deducible from the foregoing considerations. If the scale of being rises by such a regular progress, so high as man, we may by a parity of reason suppose that it still proceeds gradually through those beings which are of a superior nature to him; since there is an infinitely greater space and room for different degrees of perfection between the Supreme Being and man, than between man and the most despicable insect.

13. The consequence of so great a variety of beings which are superior to us, from that variety which is inferior to us is made by Mr. Locke, in a passage which I shall here set down, after having premised that notwithstanding there is still infinite room between man and his Maker for the creative power to exert itself in, it is impossible that it should ever be filled up, since there will be still an infinite gap or distance between the highest created being, and the power which produced him.

14. That there should be more species of intelligent creatures above us, than there are of sensible and material below us, is probable to me from hence; that in all the visible corporeal world, we see no chasms or no gaps. All quite down from us, the descent is by easy steps, and a continued series of things that in each remove, differ very little one from the other. There are fishes that have wings, and are not strangers to the airy region; and there are some birds, that are inhabitants of the water, whose blood is as cold as fishes, and their flesh so like in taste, that the scrupulous, are allowed them on fish-days.

15. There are animals so near of kin both to birds and beasts, that they are in the middle between both; amphibious animals, link the terrestrial and aquatic together: seals live on land and at sea, and porpoises have the warm blood and entrails of a hog. Not to mention what is confidently reported of mermaids or sea-men, them are same brutes, that seem to have as much knowledge and reason, as some that are called men; and the animal and vegetable kingdoms are so nearly joined, that if you will take the lowest of one, and the highest of the other, there will scarce be perceived any great difference between them; and so on till we come to the lowest and the most most inorganical parts of matter, we shall find every where that the several species are linked together, and differ but, in almost insensible degrees.

16. And when we consider the infinite power and wisdom of the Maker, we have reason to think that it is suitable to the magnificent harmony of the universe, that the great design and infinite goodness of the architect, that the species of creatures should also, by gentle degrees, ascend upwards from us toward his infinite perfection as we see they gradually descend from us downward: which if it be probable, we have reason then to be persuaded; that there are far more species of creatures above us than there are beneath; we being in degrees of perfection much more remote from the infinite Being of God, than we are from the lowest state of being, and that which approaches nearest to nothing. And yet of all those distinct species, we have no clear distinct ideas.

17. In this system of being, there is no creature so wonderful in its nature, and which so much deserves our particular attention, as man, who fills up the middle space between the animal and intellectual nature, the visible and invisible world, and is that link in the chain of being, which has been often termed the Nexus utriusque mundi. So that he who in one respect is associated with angels and archangels, may look upon a Being of infinite perfection as his father, and the highest order of spirits as his brethren; may in another respect say to corruption, Thou art my father, and to the worm, thou art my mother and my sister.

Providence proved from Animal Instinct.


1. I must confess I am infinitely delighted with those speculations of nature which are to be made in a country-life; and as my reading has very much lain among books of natural history, I cannot forbear recollecting, upon this occasion, the several remarks which I have met with in authors, and comparing them with what falls under my own observation; the arguments for Providence drawn from the natural history of animals, being, in my opinion, demonstrative.

2. The make of every kind of animal is different from that of every other kind; and there is not the least turn in the muscles or twist in the fibres of any one, which does not render them more proper for that particular animal's way of life, than any other cast or texture of them would have been.

The most violent appetites in all creatures are lust and hunger; the first is a perpetual call upon them to propagate their kind; the latter to preserve themselves.

3. It is astonishing to consider the different degrees of care that descend from the parent to the young, so far as is absolutely necessary for the leaving a posterity. Some creatures cast their eggs as chance directs them, and think of them no further, as insects, and several kinds of fish; others, of a nicer frame, find out proper beds to deposit them in, and there leave them, as the serpent, the crocodile, and ostrich; others hatch their eggs and tend the birth till it is able to shift for itself.

4. What can we call the principle which directs every different kind of bird to observe a particular plan in the structure of the nest, and directs all of the same species to work after the same model! It cannot be imitation; for though you hatch a crow under a hen, and never let it see any of the works of its own kind, the nest it makes shall be the same to the laying of a stick, with all the other nests of the same species. It cannot be reason; for were animals endued with it to as great a degree as man, their buildings would be as different as ours, according to the different conveniences that they would propose to themselves.

5. Is it not remarkable, that the same temper of weather, which raises this general warmth in animals, should cover the trees with leaves, and the fields with grass, for their security and concealment, and produce such infinite swarms of insects for the support and sustenance of their respective broods?

Is it not wonderful that the love of the parent should be so violent while it lasts, and that it should last no longer than is necessary for the preservation of the young?

6. With what caution does the hen provide herself a nest in places unfrequented, and free from noise and disturbances? When she has laid her eggs in such a manner that she can cover them, what care does she take in turning them frequently, that all parts may partake of the vital warmth? When she leaves them, to provide for her necessary sustenance, how punctually does she return before they have time to cool, and become incapable of producing an animal? In the summer, you see her giving herself greater freedoms, and quitting her care for above two hours together; but, in winter, when the rigour of the season would chill the principles of life, and destroy the young one, she grows more assiduous in her attendance, and stays away but half the time.

7. When the birth approaches, with how much nicety and attention does she help the chick to break its prison? Not to take notice of her covering it from the injuries of the weather, providing it proper nourishment, and teaching it to help itself; nor to mention her forsaking the nest, if after the usual time of reckoning the young one does not make its appearance. A chymical operation could not be followed with greater art or diligence, than is seen in the hatching of a chick; though there are many more birds that show an infinitely greater sagacity in all the fore mentioned particulars.

8. But at the same time the hen, that has all this seeming ingenuity (which is indeed absolutely necessary for the propagation of the species) considered in other respects, is without the least glimmerings of thought or common sense. She mistakes a piece of chalk for an egg, and sits upon it in the same manner: she is insensible of any increase or diminution in the number of those she lays: she does not distinguish between her own and those off another species; and when the birth appears of ever so different a bird, will cherish it for her own. In all these circumstances, which do not carry an immediate regard to the subsistence of herself or her species, she is a very idiot.

9. There is not, in my opinion, any thing more mysterious in nature than this instinct in animals, which thus, rises above reason, and falls infinitely short of it. It cannot be accounted for by any properties of matter, and at the same time works after so odd a manner, that one cannot think it the faculty of an intellectual being. For my own part, I look upon it as upon the principle of gravitation in bodies, which is not to be explained by any known qualities inherent in the bodies themselves, nor from any laws in mechanism; but, according to the best notions of the greatest philosophers, is an immediate impression from the first mover, and the divine energy acting in the creature.


1. Complaisance renders a superior amiable, an equal agreeable, and an inferior acceptable. It smoothes distinction, sweetens conversation, and makes every one in the company pleased with himself. It produces good nature and mutual benevolence, encourages the timorous, soothes the turbulent; humanizes the fierce, and distinguishes a society of civilized persons from a confusion of savages. In a word, complaisance is a virtue that blends all orders of men together in a friendly intercourse of words and actions, and is suited to that equality in human nature which every one ought to consider, so far as is consistent with the order and economy of the world.

2. If we could look into the secret anguish and affliction of every man's heart, we should often find, that more of it arises from little imaginary distresses, such as checks, frowns, contradictions, expressions of contempt, and (what Shakspeare reckons among other evils under the sun)

"—The poor man's contumely, The insolence of office, and the spurns That patient merit of the unworthy takes,"

than from the more real pains and calamities of life. The only method to remove these imaginary distresses as much as possible out of human life, would be the universal practice of such an ingenious complaisance as I have been here describing, which, as it is a virtue, may be defined to be a "constant endeavour to please those whom we converse with, so far as we may do it innocently."

3. Good-breeding necessarily implies civility; but civility does not reciprocally imply good-breeding. The former has its intrinsic weight and value, which the latter always adorns, and often doubles by its workmanship.

To sacrifice one's own self-love to other people's, is a short, but, I believe, a true definition of civility: to do it with ease, propriety and grace, is good-breeding. The one is the result of good-nature; the other of good-sense, joined to experience, observation and attention.

4. A ploughman will be civil, if he is good-natured, but cannot be well bred. A courtier will be well bred though perhaps without good-nature, if he has but good sense. Flattery is the disgrace of good-breeding, as brutality often is of truth and sincerity. Good-breeding is the middle point between those two odious extremes.

Ceremony is the superstition of good-breeding, as well as of religion: but yet, being an out-work to both, should not be absolutely demolished. It is always, to a certain degree, to be complied with, though despised by those who think, because admired and respected by those who do not.

5. The most perfect degree of good-breeding, as I have already hinted, is only to be acquired by great knowledge of the world, and keeping the best company. It is not the object of mere speculation, and cannot be exactly defined, as it consists in a fitness, a propriety of words, actions, and even looks, adapted to the infinite variety and combinations of persons, places, and things. It is a mode, not a substance; for what is good-breeding at St. James's, would pass for foppery or banter in a remote village; and the homespun civility of that village would be considered as brutality at court.

6. A cloistered pedant may form true notions of civility; but if amidst the cobwebs of his cell he pretends to spin a speculative system of good-breeding, he will not be less absurd than his predecessor, who judiciously undertook to instruct Hannibal, in the art of war. The most ridiculous and most aukward of men are, therefore, the speculatively well bred monks of all religions and all professions.

7. Good-breeding, like charity, not only covers a multitude of faults, but, to a certain degree, supplies the want of some virtues. In the common intercourse of life, it nets good-nature, and often does what good-nature will not always do; it keeps both wits and fools within those bounds of decency, which the former are too apt to transgress, and which the latter never know. Courts are unquestionably the seats of good-breeding and must necessarily be so; otherwise they would be the seats of violence and desolation. There all the passions are in their highest state of fermentation.

8. All pursue what but few can obtain, and many seek what but one can enjoy. Good-breeding alone restrains their excesses. There, if enemies did not embrace they would stab. There, smiles are often put on to conceal tears. There, mutual services are professed, while mutual injuries are intended; and there, the guile of the serpent stimulates the gentleness of the dove: all this, it is true, at the expense of sincerity; but upon the whole, to the advantage of social intercourse in general.

9. I would not be misapprehended, and supposed to recommend good-breeding, thus prophaned and prostituted to the purposes of guilt and perfidy; but I think I may justly infer from it, to what a degree the accomplishment of good-breeding must adorn and enforce virtue and truth, when it can thus soften the outrages and deformity of vice and falsehood. I am sorry to be obliged to confess, that my native country is not perhaps the seat of the most perfect good-breeding, though I really believe, that it yields to none in hearty and sincere civility, as far as civility is (and to a certain degree it is) an inferior moral duty of doing as one would be done by.

10. If France exceeds us in that particular, the incomparable author of L'Esprit des Loix accounts for it very impartially, and I believe very truly. "If my countrymen," says he, "are the best bred people in the world, it is only because they are the vainest." It is certain that their good-breeding and attention, by flattering the vanity and self-love of others, repay their own with interest. It is a general commerce, usefully carried on by a barter of attentions, and often without one grain of solid merit, by way of medium, to make up the balance.

11. It were to be wished that good-breeding were in general thought a more essential part in the education of our youth, especially of distinction, than at present it seems to be. It might even be substituted in the room of some academical studies, that take up a great deal of time to very little purpose; or, at least, it might usefully share some of those many hours, that are so frequently employed upon a coach-box, or in stables. Surely those, who by their rank and fortune are called to adorn courts, ought at least not to disgrace, them by their manners.

12. But I observe with concern, that it is the fashion for our youth of both sexes to brand good-breeding with the name of ceremony and formality. As such they ridicule and explode it, and adopt in its stead, an offensive carelessness and inattention, to the diminution, I will venture to say, even of their own pleasures, if they know what true pleasures are. Love and friendship necessarily produce, and justly authorize familiarity; but then good-breeding must mark out its bounds, and say, thus far shalt thou go, and no farther; for I have known many a passion and many a friendship, degraded, weakened, and at last (if I may use the expression) wholly flattened away, by an unguarded and illiberal familiarity.

13. Nor is good-breeding less the ornament and cement of common social life: it connects, it endears, and at the same time that it indulges the just liberty, restrains that indecent licentiousness of conversation, which alienates and provokes. Great talents make a man famous, great merit makes him respected, and great learning makes him esteemed; but good breeding alone can make him beloved.

14. I recommend it in a more particular manner to my countrywomen, as the greatest ornament to such of them as have beauty, and the safest refuge for those who have not. It facilitates the victories, decorates the triumphs, and secures the conquests of beauty; or in some degree atones for the want of it. It almost deifies a fine woman, and procures respect at least to those who have not charms enough to be admired. Upon the whole, though good-breeding cannot, strictly speaking, be called a virtue, yet it is productive of so many good effects, that, in my opinion, it may be justly reckoned more than a mere accomplishment.

WORLD, No. 143.

Further Remarks, taken from Lord Chesterfield's Letters to his Son.

15. Good-Breeding has been very justly defined to be "the result of much good-sense, some good nature and a little self-denial for the sake of others, and with a view to obtain the same indulgence from them."

Good-breeding alone can prepossess people in our favour at first sight; more time being necessary to discover greater talents. Good-breeding, however, does not consist in low bows, and formal ceremony; but in an easy civil, and respectful behaviour.

16. Indeed, good-sense, in many cases, must determine good-breeding; for what would be civil at one time, and to one person, would be rude at another time, and to another person: there are, however, some general rules of good-breeding. As for example; to answer only yes, or no, to any person, without adding sir, my lord, or madam, (as it may happen) is always extremely rude; and it is equally so not to give proper attention and a civil answer, when spoken to: such behaviour convinces the person who is speaking to us, that we despise him, and do not think him worthy of our attention or answer.

17. A well-bred person will take care to answer with complaisance when he is spoken to; will place himself at the lower end of the table, unless bid to go higher; will first drink to the lady of the house, and then to the master; he will not eat aukwardly or dirtily, nor sit when others stand; and he will do all this with an air of complaisance, and not with a grave ill-natured look, as if he did it all unwillingly.

18. There is nothing more difficult to attain, or so necessary to possess, as perfect good-breeding; which is equally inconsistent with a stiff formality, an impertinent forwardness, and an aukward bashfulness. A little ceremony is sometimes necessary; a certain degree of firmness is absolutely so; and an outward modesty is extremely becoming.

19. Virtue and learning, like gold, have their intrinsic value; but, if they are not polished, they certainly lose a great deal of their lustre: and even polished brass will pass upon more people than rough gold. What a number of sins does the cheerful, easy, good-breeding of the French frequently cover!

My Lord Bacon says, that "a pleasing figure is a perpetual letter of recommendation." It is certainly an agreeable fore-runner of merit and smooths the way for it.

20. A man of good-breeding should be acquainted with the forms and particular customs of courts. At Vienna men always make courtesies, instead of bows, to the emperor; in France nobody bows to the king, or kisses his hand; but in Spain and England bows are made and hands are kissed. Thus every court has some peculiarity, which those who visit them ought previously to inform themselves of, to avoid blunders and aukwardness.

21. Very few, scarce any, are wanting in the respect which they should shew to those whom they acknowledge to be infinitely their superiors. The man of fashion, and of the world, expresses it in its fullest extent; but naturally, easily, and without concern: whereas a man, who is not used to keep good company, expresses it aukwardly; one sees that he is not used to it, and that it costs him a great deal: but I never saw the worst bred man living, guilty of lolling, whistling, scratching his head, and such-like indecencies, in company that he respected. In such companies, therefore, the only point to be attended to is, to shew that respect, which every body means to shew, in an easy, unembarrassed and graceful manner.

22. In mixed companies, whoever is admitted to make part of them, is, for the time at least, supposed to be upon a footing of equality with the rest; and consequently, every one claims, and very justly, every mark of civility and good-breeding. Ease is allowed, but carelessness and negligence are strictly forbidden. If a man accosts you, and talks to you ever so dully or frivolously, it is worse than rudeness, it is brutality, to shew him, by a manifest inattention to what he says, that you think him a fool or a blockhead, and not worth hearing.

23. It is much more so with regard to women; who, of whatever rank they are, are entitled, in consideration of their sex, not only to an attentive, but an officious good-breeding from men. Their little wants, likings, dislikes, preferences, antipathies, fancies, whims, and even impertinences, must be officiously attended to, flattered, and, if possible, guessed at and anticipated, by a well-bred man. You must never usurp to yourself those conveniences and agrémens which are of common right; such as the best places, the best dishes, &c. but, on the contrary, always decline themself yourself, and offer them to others; who, in their turns, will offer them to you: so that, upon the whole, you will, in your turn, enjoy your share of common right.

24. The third sort of good-breeding is local; and is variously modified, in not only different countries, but in different towns in the same country. But it must be founded upon the two former sorts: they are the matter; to which, in this case, fashion and custom only give the different shapes and impressions. Whoever has the two first sorts, will easily acquire this third sort of good-breeding, which depends singly upon attention and observation. It is properly the polish, the lustre, the last finishing strokes of good-breeding. A man of sense, therefore, carefully attends to the local manners of the respective places where he is, and takes for his models those persons, whom he observes to be at the head of the fashion and good-breeding.

25. He watches how they address themselves to their superiors, how they accost their equals, and how they treat their inferiors: and lets none of those little niceties escape him; which are to good-breeding, what the last delicate and masterly touches are to a good picture, and which the vulgar have no notion of, but by which good judges distinguish the master. He attends even to their airs, dress, and motions, and imitates them liberally, and not servilely; he copies, but does not mimic. These personal graces are of very great consequence. They anticipate the sentiments, before merit can engage the understanding: they captivate the heart, and give rise, I believe, to the extravagant notions of charms and philtres. Their effects were so surprising, that they were reckoned supernatural.

26. In short, as it is necessary to possess learning, honor and virtue, to gain the esteem and admiration of mankind, so politeness and good-breeding are equally necessary to render us agreeable in conversation and common life. Great talents are above the generality of the world; who neither possess them themselves, nor are competent judges of them in others; but all are judges of the lesser talents, such, as civility, affability, and an agreeable address and manner; because they feel the good effects of them, as making society easy and agreeable.

To conclude: be assured that the profoundest learning, without good-breeding, is unwelcome and tiresome pedantry; that a man who is not perfectly well-bred, is unfit for company, and unwelcome in it; and that a man, who is not well-bred, is full as unfit for business as for company.

Make, then, good-breeding the great object of your thoughts and actions. Observe carefully the behaviour and manners of those who are distinguished by their good-breeding; imitate, nay, endeavour to excel, that you may at least reach them; and be convinced that good-breeding is to all worldly qualifications, what charity is to all christian virtues. Observe how it adorns merit, and how often it covers the want of it.

Genteel Carriage.

1. Next to good-breeding is a genteel manner and carriage, wholly free from those ill habits and aukward actions, which many very worthy persons are addicted to.

2. A genteel manner of behaviour, how trifling soever it may seem, is of the utmost consequence in private life. Men of very inferior parts have been esteemed, merely for their genteel carriage and good-breeding, while sensible men have given disgust for want of it. There is something or other that prepossesses us at first sight in favor of a well-bred man, and makes us wish to like him.

3. When an aukward fellow first comes into a room, he attempts to bow, and his sword, if he wears one, gets between his legs, and nearly throws him down. Confused, and ashamed, he stumbles to the upper end of the room and seats himself in the very chair he should not. He there begins playing with his hat, which he presently drops; and recovering his hat, he lets fall his cane; and in picking up his cane, down goes his hat again: thus 'tis a considerable time before he is adjusted.

4. When his tea or coffee is handed to him, he spreads his handkerchief upon his knee, scalds his mouth, drops either the cup or the saucer, and spills the tea or coffee in his lap. At dinner he is more uncommonly aukward: there he tucks his napkin through a button-hole, which tickles his chin, and occasions him to make a variety of wry faces; he seats himself on the edge of the chair, at so great a distance from the table, that he frequently drops his meat between his plate and his mouth; he holds his knife, fork and spoon different from other people; eats with his knife, to the manifest danger of his mouth; picks his teeth with his fork, rakes his mouth with his finger, and puts his spoon, which has been in his throat a dozen times, into the dish again.

5. If he is to carve he cannot hit the joint, but in labouring to cut through the bone, splashes the sauce over every body's clothes. He generally daubs himself all over, his elbows are in the next person's plate, and he is up to the knuckles in soup and grease. If he drinks, it is with his mouth full, interrupting the whole company with, "to your good health, Sir," and "my service to you;" perhaps coughs in his glass, and besprinkles the whole table. Further, he has perhaps a number of disagreeable tricks; he snuffs up his nose, picks it with his fingers, blows it; and looks in his handkerchief, crams his hands first in his bosom, and next in his breeches.

6. In short, he neither dresses nor acts like any other but is particularly aukward in every thing he does. All this, I own, has nothing in it criminal; but it is such an offence to good manners and good-breeding that it is universally despised; it makes a man ridiculous in every company, and, of course, ought carefully to be avoided by every one who would wish to please.

7. From this picture of the ill-bred man, you will easily discover that of the well-bred; for you may readily judge what you ought to do, when you are told what you ought not to do; a little attention to the manners of those who have seen the world, will make a proper behaviour habitual and familiar to you.

8. Actions, that would otherwise be pleasing, frequently become ridiculous by your manner of doing-them. If a lady drops her fan in company, the worst bred man would immediately pick it up, and give it to her; the best bred man can do no more; but then he does it in a graceful manner, which is sure to please; whereas the other would do it so aukwardly as to be laughed at.

9. You may also know a well-bred person by his manner of sitting. Ashamed and confused, the aukward man sits in his chair stiff and bolt upright, whereas the man of fashion is easy in every position; instead of lolling or lounging as he sits, he leans with elegance, and by varying his attitudes, shews that he has been used to good company. Let it be one part of your study, then, to learn to set genteely in different companies, to loll gracefully, where you are authorised to take that liberty, and to set up respectfully, where that freedom is not allowable.

10. In short, you cannot conceive how advantageous a graceful carriage and a pleasing address are, upon all occasions; they ensnare the affections, steal a prepossession in our favour, and play about the heart till they engage it.

Now to acquire a graceful air, you must attend to your dancing; no one can either sit, stand, or walk well unless he dances well. And in learning to dance be particularly attentive to the motion of your arms, for a stiffness in the wrist will make any man look aukward. If a man walks well, presents himself well in company, wears his hat well, moves his head properly and his arms gracefully, it is almost all that is necessary.

11. There is also an aukwardness in speech, that naturally falls under this head, and ought to, and may be guarded against; such as forgetting names and mistaking one name for another; to speak of Mr. What-d'ye-call him, or, You-know-who, Mrs. Thingum, What's-her-name, or, How-d'ye-call her, is exceedingly aukward and vulgar. 'Tis the same to address people by improper titles, as sir for my lord; to begin a story without being able to finish it, and break off in the middle, with "I have forgot the rest."

12. Our voice and manner of speaking, too, should likewise be attended to. Some will mumble over their words, so as not to be intelligible, and others will speak so fast as not to be understood, and in doing this, will sputter and spit in your face; some will bawl as if they were speaking to the deaf: others will speak so low as scarcely to be heard; and many will put their faces so close to your's as to offend you with their breath.

13. All these habits are horrid and disgustful, but may easily be got the better of with care. They are the vulgar characteristics of a low-bred man, or are proofs that very little pains have been bestowed in his education. In short, an attention to these little matters is of greater importance than you are aware of; many a sensible man having lost ground for want of these little graces, and many a one possessed of these perfections alone, having made his way through life, that otherwise would not have been noticed.

Cleanliness of Person.

14. But as no one can please in company, however graceful his air, unless he be clean and neat in his person, this qualification comes next to be considered.

15. Negligence of one's person not only implies an unsufferable indolence, but an indifference whether we please or not. In others, it betrays an insolence and affectation, arising from a presumption that they are sure of pleasing, without having recourse to those means by which many are obliged to use.

16. He who is not thoroughly clean in his person, will be offensive to all he converses with. A particular regard to the cleanness of your mouth, teeth, hands and nails, is but common decency. A foul mouth and unclean hands are certain marks of vulgarity; the first is the cause of an offensive breath, which nobody can bear, and the last is declaratory of dirty work; one may always know a gentleman by the state of his hands and nails. The flesh at the roots should be kept back, so as to shew the semicircles at the bottom of the nails; the edges of the nails should never be cut down below the ends of the fingers; nor should they be suffered to grow longer than the fingers.

17. When the nails are cut down to the quick, it is a shrewd sign that the man is a mechanic, to whom long nails would be troublesome, or that he gets his bread by fiddling; and if they are longer than his fingers ends, and encircled with a black rim, it foretells he has been laboriously and meanly employed, and too fatigued to clean himself: a good apology for want of cleanliness in a mechanic, but the greatest disgrace that can attend a gentleman.

18. These things may appear too significant to be mentioned; but when it is considered that a thousand little nameless things, which every one feels but no one can describe, conspire to form that whole of pleasing, I hope you will not call them trifling. Besides a clean shirt and a clean person are as necessary to health, as not to offend other people. It is a maxim with me, which I have lived to see verified, that he who is negligent at twenty years of age, will be a sloven at forty, and intolerable at fifty.


19. Neatness of person I observed was as necessary as cleanliness; of course some attention must be paid to your dress.

Such is the absurdity of the times, that to pass well with the world, we must adopt some of its customs, be they ridiculous or not.

20. In the first place, to neglect one's dress is to affront all the female part of our acquaintance. The women in particular pay an attention to their dress; to neglect, therefore, your's, will displease them, as it would be tacitly taxing them with vanity, and declaring that you thought them not worth the respect which every body else does. And, as I have mentioned before, as it is the women who stamp a young man's credit in the fashionable world, if you do not make yourself agreeable to the women, you will assuredly lose ground among the men.

21. Dress, as trifling as it may appear to a man of understanding, prepossesses on the first appearance, which is frequently decisive; and indeed we may form some opinion of a man's sense and character from his dress. Any exceeding of the fashion, or any affectation in dress whatever, argues a weakness of understanding, and nine times out of ten it will be found so.

22. There are few young fellows but what display some character or other in this shape. Some would be thought fearless and brave: these wear a black cravat, a short coat and waistcoat, an uncommon long sword hanging to their knees, a large hat fiercely cocked, and are flash all over. Others affect to be country squires; these will go about in buckskin breeches, brawn frocks, and great oaken cudgels in their hands, slouched hats, with their hair undressed and tucked up behind them to an enormous size, and imitate grooms and country boobies so well externally, that there is not the least doubt of their resembling them as well internally.

23. Others, again, paint and powder themselves so much, and dress so finically, as leads us to suppose they are only women in boy's clothes. Now a sensible man carefully avoids all this, or any other affectation. He dresses as fashionable and well as persons of the best families and best sense; if he exceeds them, he is a coxcomb; if he dresses worse, he is unpardonable.

24. Dress yourself fine, then, if possible, or plain, agreeable to the company you are in; that is, conform to the dress of others, and avoid the appearance of being tumbled. Imitate those reasonable people of your own age, whose dress is neither remarked as too neglected or too much studied. Take care to have your clothes well made, in the fashion, and to fit you, or you will, after all, appear aukward. When once dressed, think no more of it; shew no fear of discomposing your dress, but let all your motions be as easy and unembarrassed, as if you was at home in your dishabille.

Elegance of Expression.

25. Having mentioned elegance of person, I will proceed to elegance of expression.

It is not one or two qualifications alone that will complete the gentleman; it must be an union of many; and graceful speaking is as essential as gracefulness of person. Every man cannot be an harmonious speaker; a roughness or coarseness of voice may prevent it; but if there are no natural imperfections, if a man does not stammer or lisp, or has not lost his teeth, he may speak gracefully; nor will all these defects, if he has a mind to it, prevent him from speaking correctly.

26. Nobody can attend with pleasure to a bad speaker. One who tells his story ill, be it ever so important, will tire even the most patient. If you have been present at the performance of a good tragedy, you have doubtless been sensible of the good effects of a speech well delivered; how much it has interested and affected you; and on the contrary, how much an ill-spoken one has disgusted you.

37. 'Tis the same in common conversation; he who speaks deliberately, distinctly and correctly; he who makes use of the best words to express himself, and varies his voice according to the nature of the subject, will always please, while the thick or hasty speaker, he who mumbles out a set of ill-chosen words, utters them ungrammatically, or with a dull monotony, will tire and disgust. Be assured then, the air, the gesture, the looks of a speaker, a proper accent, a just emphasis, and tuneful cadence, are full as necessary, to please and to be attended to, as the subject matter itself.

28. People may talk what they will of solid reasoning and sound sense; without the graces and ornaments of language, they will neither please nor persuade. In common discourse, even trifles elegantly expressed, will be better received, than the best of arguments homespun and unadorned.

29. A good way to acquire a graceful utterance, is to read aloud to some friend every day, and beg of him to set you right, in case you read too fast, do not observe the proper stops, lay wrong emphasis, or utter your words indistinctly. You may even read aloud to yourself where such a friend is not at hand, and you will find your own ear a good corrector. Take care to open your teeth when you read or speak, and articulate every word distinctly; which last cannot be done but by sounding the final letter. But above all, endeavour to vary your voice according to the matter, and avoid a monotony. By a daily attention to this, it will in a little time become easy and habitual to you.

30. Pay an attention also to your looks and your gesture, when talking even on the most trifling subjects: things appear very different according as they are expressed, looked and delivered.

Now, if it is necessary to attend so particularly to our manner of speaking, it is much more so with regard to the matter. Fine turns of expression, a genteel and correct style, are ornaments as requisite to common sense, as polite behaviour and an elegant address are to common good manners; they are great assistants in the point of pleasing. A gentleman, 'tis true, may be known in the meanest garb, but it admits not of a doubt, that he would be better received into good company genteely and fashionably dressed, than was he to appear in dirt and tatters.

31. Be careful, then, of your style upon all occasions; whether you write or speak, study for the best words and best expressions, even in common conversation and the most familiar letters. This will prevent your speaking in a hurry, than which nothing is more vulgar; though you may be a little embarrassed at first, time and use will render it easy. It is no such difficult thing to express ourselves well on subjects we are thoroughly acquainted with, if we think before we speak; and no one should presume to do otherwise.

32. When you have said a thing, if you did not reflect before, be sure to do it after wards: consider with yourself whether you could not have expressed yourself better; and if you are in doubt of the propriety or elegancy of any word, search for it in some dictionary, or some good author, while you remember it; never be sparing of your trouble while you wish to improve, and my word for it, a very little time will make this matter habitual.

33. In order to speak grammatically, and to express yourself pleasingly, I would recommend it to you to translate often, any language you are acquainted with, into English, and to correct such translation till the words, their order, and the periods, are agreeable to your own ear.

Vulgarism in language is another distinguishing mark of bad company and education. Expressions may be correct in themselves and yet be vulgar, owing to their not being fashionable; for language as manners are both established for the usage of people of fashion.

34. The conversation of a low-bred man is filled up with proverbs and hackneyed sayings; instead of observing that tastes are different, and that most men have one peculiar to themselves, he will give you—"What is one man's meat is another man's poison;" or, "Every one to their liking, as the old woman said, when she kissed her cow." He has ever some favourite word, which he lugs in upon all occasions, right or wrong; such as vastly angry, vastly kind; devilish ugly, devilish handsome; immensely great, immensely little.

35. Even his pronunciation carries the mark of vulgarity along with it; he calls the earth yearth; finan' ces, fin' ances, he goes to wards, and not towards such a place. He affects to use hard words, to give him the appearance of a man of learning, but frequently mistakes their meaning, and seldom, if ever, pronounces them properly.

All this must be avoided, if you would not be supposed to have kept company with foot-men and house-maids. Never have recourse to proverbial or vulgar sayings; use neither favourite nor hard words, but seek for the most elegant; be careful in the management of them, and depend on it your labour will not be lost; for nothing is more engaging than a fashionable and polite address.


36. In all good company we meet with a certain manner, phraseology and general conversation, that distinguishes the man of fashion. This can only be acquired by frequenting good company, and being particularly attentive to all that passes there.

37. When invited to dine or sup at the house of any well-bred man, observe how he does the honours of his table, and mark his manner of treating his company.

Attend to the compliments of congratulation or condolence that he pays; and take notice of his address to his superiors, his equals, and his inferiors; nay, his very looks and tone of voice are worth your attention, for we cannot please without an union of them all.

38. There is a certain distinguishing diction that marks the man of fashion, a certain language of conversation that every gentleman should be master of. Saying to a man just married, "I wish you joy," or to one who has lost his wife, "I am sorry for your loss," and both perhaps with an unmeaning countenance, may be civil, but it is nevertheless vulgar. A man of fashion will express the same thing more elegantly, and with a look of sincerity, that shall attract the esteem of the person he speaks to. He will advance to the one, with warmth and cheerfulness, and perhaps squeezing him by the hand, will say, "Believe me, my dear sir, I have scarce words to express the joy I feel, upon your happy alliance with such or such a family, &c." To the other in affliction he will advance slowly, and with a peculiar composure of voice and countenance, begin his compliments of condolence with, "I hope, sir, you will do me the justice to be persuaded, that I am not insensible of your unhappiness, that I take part in your distress, and shall ever be affected where you are so."

39. Your first address to, and indeed all your conversation with your superiors, should be open, cheerful, and respectful; with your equals, warm, and animated; with your inferiors, hearty, free, and unreserved.

40. There is a fashionable kind of small-talk, which, however trifling it may be thought, has its use in mixed companies; of course you should endeavour to acquire it. By small-talk, I mean a good deal to say on unimportant matters: for example, foods, the flavour and growth of wines, and the chit-chat of the day. Such conversation will serve to keep off serious subjects, that might some time create disputes. This chit-chat is chiefly to be learned by frequenting the company of the ladies.


1. As the art of pleasing is to be learnt only by frequenting the best companies, we must endeavour to pick it up in such companies, by observation; for, it is not sense and knowledge alone that will acquire esteem; these certainly are the first and necessary foundations for pleasing, but they will by no means do, unless attended with manners and attention.

There have been people who have frequented the first companies till their life-time, and yet have never got rid of their natural stiffness and aukwardness; but have continued as vulgar as if they were never out of a servant's hall: this has been owing to carelessness, and a want of attention to the manners and behaviour of others.

2. There are a great many people likewise who busy themselves the whole day, and who in fact do nothing. They have possibly taken up a book for two or three hours, but from a certain inattention that grows upon them the more it is indulged, know no more of the contents than if they had not looked into it; nay, it is impossible for any one to retain what he reads, unless he reflects and reasons upon it as he goes on. When they have thus lounged away an hour or two, they will saunter into company, without attending to any thing that passes there; but, if they think at all, are thinking of some trifling matter that ought not to occupy their attention; thence perhaps they go to the play, where they stare at the company and the lights, without attending to the piece, the very thing they went to see.

3. In this manner they wear away their hours, that might otherwise he employed to their improvement and advantage. This silly suspension of thought they would have pass absence of mind—Ridiculous!—Wherever you are, let me recommend it to you to pay attention to all that passes; observe the characters of the persons you are with, and the subjects of their conversation; listen to every thing that is said, see every thing that is done, and (according to the vulgar saying) have your eyes and your ears about you.

4. A continual inattention to matters that occur, is the characteristic of a weak mind; the man who gives way to it, is little else than a trifler, a blank in society, which every sensible person overlooks; surely what is worth doing is worth doing well, and nothing can be done well if not properly attended to. When I hear a man say, on being asked about any thing that was said or done in his presence, "that truly he did not mind it," I am ready to knock the fool down. Why did he not mind it?—What had he else to do?—A man of sense and fashion never makes use of this paltry plea; he never complains of a treacherous memory, but attends to and remembers every thing that is said or done.

5. Whenever, then, you go into good company, that is, the company of people of fashion, observe carefully their behaviour, their address, and their manner; imitate it as far as in your power. Your attention, if possible, should be so ready as to observe every person in the room at once, their motions, their looks, and their turns of expression, and that without staring or seeming to be an observer. This kind of observation may be acquired by care and practice, and will be found of the utmost advantage to you, in the course of life.

Absence of Mind.

1. Having mentioned absence of mind, let me be more particular concerning it.

What the world calls an absent man is generally either a very affected one or a very weak one; but whether weak or affected, he is, in company, a very disagreeable man. Lost in thought, or possibly in no thought at all, he is a stranger to every one present, and to every thing that passes; he knows not his best friends, is deficient in every act of good manners, unobservant of the actions of the company, and insensible to his own.

2. His answers are quite the reverse of what they ought to be; talk to him of one thing, he replies, as of another. He forgets what he said last, leaves his hat in one room, his cane in another, and his sword in a third; nay, if it was not for his buckles, he would even leave his shoes behind him. Neither his arms nor his legs seem to be a part of his body, and his head is never in a right position. He joins not in the general conversation, except it be by fits and starts, as if awaking from a dream; I attribute this either to weakness or affectation.

3. His shallow mind is possibly not able to attend to more than one thing at a time, or he would be supposed wrapt up in the investigation of some very important matter. Such men as Sir Isaac Newton or Mr. Locke, might occasionally have some excuse for absence of mind; it might proceed from that intenseness of thought that was necessary at all times for the scientific subjects they were studying; but, for a young man, and a man of the world, who has no such plea to make, absence of mind is a rudeness to the company, and deserves the severest censure.

4. However insignificant a company may be; however trifling their conversation; while you are with them, do not shew them by any inattention that you think them trifling; that can never be the way to please; but rather fall in with their weakness than otherwise, for to mortify, or shew the least contempt to those we are in company with, is the greatest rudeness we can be guilty of; and what few can forgive.

5. I never yet found a man inattentive to the person he feared, or the woman he loved; which convinces me that absence of mind is to be got the better of, if we think proper to make the trial; and believe me, it is always worth the attempt.

Absence of mind is a tacit declaration, that those we are in company with are not worth attending to; and what can be a greater affront?—Besides, can an absent man improve by what is said or done in his presence?—No; he may frequent the best companies for years together, and all to no purpose. In short, a man is neither fit for business nor conversation, unless he can attend to the object before him, be that object what it will.

Knowledge of the World.

1. A knowledge of the world, by our own experience and observation, is so necessary, that without it we shall act very absurdly, and frequently give offence when we do not mean it. All the learning and parts in the world will not secure us from it. Without an acquaintance with life, a man may say very good things, but time them so ill, and address them so improperly, that he had much better be silent. Full of himself and his own business, and inattentive to the circumstances and situations of those he converses with, he vents it without the least discretion, says things that he ought not to say, confutes some, shocks others, and puts the whole company in pain, lest what he utters next should prove worse than the last. The best direction I can give you in this matter, is, rather to fall in with the conversation of others, than start a subject of your own: rather strive to put them more in conceit with themselves, than to draw their attention to you.

2. A novice in life, he who knows little of mankind, but what he collects from books, lays it down as a maxim, that most men love flattery; in order therefore to please, he will flatter: but, how? Without regard either to circumstances or occasions. Instead of those delicate touches, those soft tints, that serve to heighten the piece, he lays on his colours with a heavy hand, and daubs where he means to adorn: in other words, he will flatter so unseasonably, and, at the same time, so grossly, that while he wishes to please he puts out of countenance and is sure to offend. On the contrary, a man of the world, one who has made life his study, knows the power of flattery as well as he; but then he knows how to apply it; he watches the opportunity, and does it indirectly, by inference, comparison and hint.

3. Man is made up of such a variety of matter, that, to search him thoroughly, requires time and attention; for, though we are all made of the same materials, and have all the same passions, yet, from a difference in their proportion and combination, we vary in our dispositions; what is agreeable to one is disagreeable to another, and what one shall approve, another shall condemn. Reason is given us to controul these passions, but seldom does it. Application therefore to the reason of any man will frequently prove ineffectual, unless we endeavour at the same time to gain his heart.

4. Wherever then you are, search into the characters of men; find out, if possible, their foible, their governing; passion, or their particular merit; take them on their weak side, and you will generally succeed: their prevailing vanity you may readily discover, by observing; their favourite topic of conversation, for every one talks most of what he would be thought most to excel in.

5. The time should also be judiciously made choice of. Every man has his particular times when he may be applied to with success, the mollia tempora fandi: but these times are not all the day long; they must be found out, watched, and taken advantage of. You could not hope for success in applying to a man about one business, when he was taken up with another, or when his mind was affected with excess of grief, anger, or the like.

6. You cannot judge of other men's minds better than by studying your own; for, though some men have one foible, and another has another, yet men, in general, are very much alike. Whatever pleases or offends you, will in similar circumstances, please or offend others; if you find yourself hurt when another, makes you feel his superiority, you will certainly, upon the common rule of right, do as you would be done by, take care not to let another feel your superiority, if you have it, especially if you wish to gain his interest or esteem.

7. If disagreeable insinuations, open contradictions, or oblique sneers vex and anger you, would you use them where you wished to please? certainly not. Observe then with care the operations of your own mind; and you may in a great measure read all mankind.

I will allow that one bred up in a cloister or college, may reason well on the structure of the human mind; he may investigate the nature of man, and give a tolerable account of his head, his heart, his passions; and his sentiments: but at the same time he may know nothing of him; he has not lived with him, and of course can know but little how those sentiments or those passions will work; he must be ignorant of the various prejudices, propensities and antipathies, that always bias him and frequently determine him.

8. His knowledge is acquired only from theory, which differs widely from practice; and if, he forms his judgment from that alone, he must be often deceived; whereas a man of the world, one who collects his knowledge from his own experience and observation, is seldom wrong; he is well acquainted with the operations of the human mind, prys into the heart of man, reads his-words before they are utttered, sees his actions before they are performed, knows what will please, and what will displease; and foresees the event of most things.

9. Labour then to require this intuitive knowledge; attend carefully to the address, the arts and manners of those acquainted with life, and endeavour to imitate them. Observe the means they take to gain the favour, and conciliate the affections of those they associate with; pursue those means, and you will soon gain the esteem of all that know you.

How often have we seen men governed by persons very much their inferiors in point of understanding, and even without their knowing it? A proof that some men have more worldly dexterity than others; they find out the weak and unguarded part, make their attack there, and the man surrenders.

10. Now from a knowledge of mankind we shall learn the advantage of two things, the command of our temper and our countenance: a trifling, disagreeable incident shall perhaps anger one unacquainted withlife, or confound him with same; shall make him rave like a madman, or look like a fool: but a man of the world will never understand what he cannot or ought not to resent. If he should chance to make a slip himself, he will stifle his confusion, and turn it off with a jest; recovering it with coolness.

11. Many people have sense enough to keep their own secrets; but from being unused to a variety of company, have unfortunately such a tell-tale countenance, as involuntarily declares what they would wish to conceal. This is a great unhappiness; and should as soon as possible be got the better of.

That coolness of mind and evenness of countenance, which prevents a discovery of our sentiments, by our words, our actions, or our looks, is too necessary to pass unnoticed.

12. A man who cannot hear displeasing things, without visible marks of anger or uneasiness; or pleasing ones, without a sudden burst of joy, a cheerful eye, or an expanded face, is at the mercy of every knave: for either they will designedly please or provoke you themselves, to catch your unguarded looks; or they will seize the opportunity thus to read your very heart, when any other shall do it. You may possibly tell me, that this coolness must be natural, for if not, you can never acquire it.

13. I will admit the force of constitution, but people are very apt to blame that for many things they might readily avoid. Care, with a little reflection, will soon give you this mastery of your temper and your countenance. If you find yourself subject to sudden starts of passion, determine with yourself not to utter a single word till your reason has recovered itself; and resolve to keep your countenance as unmoved as possible.

14. As a man who at a card-table can preserve a serenity in his looks, under good or bad luck, has considerably the advantage of one who appears elated with success, or cast down with ill fortune, from our being able to read his cards in his face; so the man of the world, having to deal with one of these babbling countenances, will take care to profit by the circumstance, let the consequence, to him with whom he deals, be as injurious as it may.

15. In the course of life, we shall find it necessary very often to put on a pleasing countenance when, we are exceedingly displeased; we must frequently seem friendly when we are quite otherwise. I am sensible it is difficult to accost a man with smiles whom we know to be our enemy: but what is to be done? On receiving an affront if you cannot be justified in knocking the offender down, you must not notice the offence; for in the eye of the world, taking an affront calmly is considered as cowardice.

16. If fools should at any time attempt to be witty upon you, the best way is not to know their witticisms are levelled at you, but to conceal any uneasiness it may give you: but, should they be so plain that you cannot be thought ignorant of their meaning, I would recommend, rather than quarrel with the company, joining even in the laugh against yourself: allow the jest to be a good one, and take it in seeming good humour. Never attempt to retaliate the same way, as that would imply you were hurt. Should what is said wound your honour or your moral character, there is but one proper reply, which I hope you will never be obliged to have recourse to.

17. Remember there are but two alternatives for a gentleman; extreme politeness, or the sword. If a man openly and designedly affronts you, call him oat; but if it does not amount to an open insult, be outwardly civil; if this does not make him ashamed of his behaviour, it will prejudice every by-stander in your favour, and instead of being disgraced, you will come off with honour. Politeness to those we do not respect, is no more a breach of faith than your humble servant at the bottom of a challenge; they are universally understood to be things of course.

18. Wrangling and quarreling are characteristics of a weak mind: leave that to the women, be you always above it. Enter into no sharp contest, and pride yourself in shewing, if possible, more civility to your antagonist than to any other in the company; this will infallibly bring over all the laughter to your side, and the person you are contending with will be very likely to confess you have behaved very handsomely throughout the whole affair.

19. Experience will teach us that though all men consist principally of the same materials, as I before took notice, yet from a difference in their proportion, no two men are uniformly the same: we differ from one another, and we often differ from ourselves, that is, we sometimes do things utterly inconsistent with the general tenor of our characters. The wisest man will occasionally do a weak thing: the most honest man, a wrong thing; the proudest man, a mean thing; and the worst of men will sometimes do a good thing.

20. On this account, our study of mankind should not be general; we should take a frequent view of individuals, and though we may upon the whole form a judgment of the man from his prevailing passion or his general character, yet it will be prudent not to determine, till we have waited to see the operation of his subordinate appetites and humours.

21. For example; a man's general character maybe that of strictly honest; I would not dispute it, because I would not be thought envious or malevolent; but I would not rely upon this general character, so as to entrust him with my fortune or my life. Should this honest man, as is not common, be my rival in power, interest, or love, he may possibly do things that in other circumstances he would abhor; and power, interest, and love, let me tell you, will often put honesty to the severest trial, and frequently overpower it. I would then ransack this honest man to the bottom, if I wished to trust him, and as I found him, would place my confidence accordingly.

22. One of the great compositions in our nature is vanity, to which, all men, more or less, give way. Women have an intolerable share of it. So flattery, no adulation is too gross for them; those who flatter them most please them best, and they are most in love with him who pretends to be most in love with them; and the least slight or contempt of them is never forgotten. It is in some measure the same with men; they will sooner pardon an injury than an insult, and are more hurt by contempt than by ill-usage. Though all men do not boast of superior talents, though they pretend not to the abilities of a Pope, a Newton, or a Bollingbroke, every one pretends to have common sense, and to discharge his office in life with common decency; to arraign therefore, in any shape, his abilities or integrity in the department he holds, is an insult he will not readily forgive.

23. As I would not have you trust too implicitly to a man, because the world gives him a good character; so I must particularly caution you against those who speak well of themselves. In general, suspect those who boast of or affect to have any one virtue above all others, for they are commonly impostors. There are exceptions, however, to this rule, for we hear of prudes that have been made chaste, bullies that have been brave, and saints that have been religious. Confide only where your own observation shall direct you; observe not only what is said, but how it is said, and if you have penetration, you may find out the truth better by your eyes than your ears; in short, never take a character upon common report, but enquire into it yourself; for common report, though it is right in general, may be wrong in particulars.

24. Beware of those who, on a slight acquaintance, make a tender of their friendship, and seem to place a confidence in you; 'tis ten to one but they deceive and betray you: however, do not rudely reject them upon such a supposition; you may be civil to them, though you do not entrust them. Silly men are apt to solicit your friendship, and unbosom themselves upon the first acquaintance: such friends cannot be worth hearing, their friendship being as slender as their understanding; and if they proffer their friendship with a design to make a property of you, they are dangerous acquaintance indeed.

25. Not but the little friendships of the weak may be of some use to you, if you do not return the compliment; and it may not be amiss to seem to accept those of designing men, keeping them, as it were, in play, that they may not be openly your enemies; for their enmity is the next dangerous thing to their friendship. We may certainly hold their vices in abhorrence, without being marked out as their personal enemy. The general rule is to have a real reserve with almost every one, and a seeming reserve with almost no one; for it is very disgusting to seem reserved, and very dangerous not to be so. Few observe the true medium. Many are ridiculously misterious upon trifles and many indiscreetly communicative of all they know.

26. There is a kind of short-lived friendship that takes place among young men, from a connection in their pleasures only; a friendship too often attended with bad consequences. This companion of your pleasures, young and unexperienced, will probably, in the heat of convivial mirth, vow a perpetual friendship, and unfold himself to you without the least reserve; but new associations, change of fortune, or change of place, may soon break this ill-timed connection, and an improper use may be made of it.

27. Be one, if you will, in young companies, and bear your part like others in the social festivity of youth; nay, trust them with your innocent frolics, but keep your serious matters to yourself; and if you must at any time make them known, let it be to some tried friend of great experience; and that nothing may tempt him to become your rival, let that friend be in a different walk of life from yourself.

Were I to hear a man making strong protestations, and swearing to the truth of a thing, that is in itself probable, and very likely to be, I shall doubt his veracity; for when he takes such pains to make me believe it, it cannot be with a good design.

28. There is a certain easiness or false modesty in most young people, that either makes them unwilling, or ashamed to refuse any thing that is asked of them. There is also an unguarded openness about them, that makes them the ready prey of the artful and designing. They are easily led away by the feigned friendships of a knave or a fool, and too rashly place a confidence in them, that terminates in their loss, and frequently in their ruin. Beware, therefore, as I said before, of these proffered friendships; repay them with compliments, but not with confidence. Never let your vanity make you suppose that people become your friends upon a slight acquaintance: for good offices must be shewn on both sides to create a friendship; it will not thrive, unless its love be mutual; and it requires time to ripen it.

29. There is still among young people another kind of friendship merely nominal, warm indeed for the time, but fortunately of no long continuance. This friendship takes its rise from their pursuing the same course of riot and debauchery; their purses are open to each other, they tell one another all they know, they embark in the same quarrels, and stand by each other on all occasions. I should rather call this a confederacy against good morals and good manners, and think it deserves the severest lash of the law; but they have the impudence to call it friendship. However, it is often as suddenly dissolved as it is hastily contracted; some accident disperses them, and they presently forget each other, except it is to betray and laugh at their own egregious folly.

In short, the sum of the whole is, to make a wide difference between companions and friend; for a very agreeable companion has often proved a very dangerous friend.

Choice of Company.

1. The next thing to the choice of friends is the choice of your company.

Endeavour as much as you can to keep good company, and the company of your superiors: for you will be held in estimation according to the company you keep. By superiors I do not mean so much with regard to birth, as merit and the light in which they are considered by the world.

2. There are two sorts of good company; the one consists of persons of birth, rank, and fashion; the other of those who are distinguished by some peculiar merit, in any liberal art or science; as men of letters, &c. and a mixture of these is what I would have understood by good company; for it is not what particular sets of people shall call themselves, but what the people in general acknowledge to be so, and are the accredited good company of the place.

3. Now and then, persons without either birth, rank, or character, will creep into good company, under the protection of some considerable personage; but, in general, none are admitted of mean degree, or infamous moral character.

In this fashionable good company alone, can you learn the best manners and the best language, for, as there is no legal standard to form them by, 'tis here they are established.

It may possibly be questioned whether a man has it always in his power to get into good company: undoubtedly, by deserving it, he has; provided he is in circumstances which enable him to live and appear in the style of a gentleman. Knowledge, modesty, and good-breeding, will endear him to all that see him; for without politeness, the scholar is no better than a pedant, the philosopher than a cynic, the soldier than a brute, nor any man than a clown.

4. Though the company of men of learning and genius is highly to be valued, and occasionally coveted, I would by no means have you always found in such company. As they do not live in the world, they cannot have that easy manner and address which I would wish you to acquire. If you can bear a part in such company, it is certainly adviseable to be in it sometimes, and you will be the more esteemed in other company by being so; but let it not engross you, lest you be considered as one of the literati, which, however respectable in name, is not the way to rise or shine in the fashionable world.

5. But the company, which, of all others, you should carefully avoid, is that, which, in every sense of the word, may be called low; low in birth, low in rank, low in parts, and low in manners; that company, who, insignificant and contemptible in themselves, think it an honour to be seen with you, and who will flatter your follies, nay, your very vices, to keep you with them.

6. Though you may think such a caution unnecessary, I do not; for many a young gentleman of sense and rank has been led by his vanity to keep such company, till he has been degraded, villified and undone.

The vanity I mean, is that of being the first of the company. This pride, though too common, is idle to the last degree. Nothing in the world lets a man down so much. For the sake of dictating, being applauded and admired by this low company, he is disgraced and disqualified for better. Depend upon it, in the estimation of mankind you will sink or rise to the level of the company you keep.

7. Be it then your ambition to get into the best company; and, when there, imitate their virtues, but not their vices. You have no doubt, often heard of genteel and fashionable vices. These are whoring, drinking, and gaming. It has happened that some men even with these vices, have been admired and esteemed. Understand this matter rightly; it is not their vices for which they are admired; but for some accomplishments they at the same time possess; for their parts, their learning, or their good-breeding. Be assured, were they free from their vices, they would be much more esteemed. In these mixed characters, the bad part is overlooked, for the sake of the good.

8. Should you be unfortunate enough to have any vices of your own, add not to their number by adopting the vices of others. Vices of adoption are of all others the most unpardonable, for they have not inadvertency to plead. If people had no vices but their own, few would have so many as they have.

Imitate, then, only the perfections you meet with; copy the politeness, the address, the easy manners of well-bred people; and remember, let them shine ever so bright, if they have any vices, they are so many blemishes, which it would be as ridiculous to imitate, as it would to make an artificial wart on one's face, because some very handsome man had the misfortune to have a natural one upon his.


1. Let us now descend to minuter matters, which, tho' not so important as those we have mentioned, are still far from inconsiderable. Of these laughter is one.

Frequent and loud laughter is a sure sign of a weak mind, and no less characteristic of a low education. It is the manner in which low-bred men express their silly joy, at silly things, and they call it being merry.

2. I do not recommend upon all occasions a solemn countenance. A man may smile; but if he would be thought a gentleman and a man of sense, he would by no means laugh. True wit never yet made a man of fashion laugh; he is above it. It may create a smile; but as loud laughter shews that a man has not the command of himself, every one who would with to appear sensible, must abhor it.

A man's going to set down, on a supposition that he has a chair behind him, and falling for want of one, occasions a general laugh, when the best piece of wit would not do it: a sufficient proof how low and unbecoming laughter is.

3. Besides, could the immoderate laugher hear his own noise, or see the face he makes, he would despise himself for his folly. Laughter being generally supposed to be the effect of gaity, its absurdity is not properly attended to; but a little reflection will easily restrain it, and when you are told it is a mark of low-breeding, I persuade myself you will endeavour to avoid it.

4. Some people have a silly trick of laughing whenever they speak, so that they are always on the grin, and their faces are ever distorted. This and a thousand other tricks, such as scratching their heads, twirling their hats, fumbling with their button, playing with their fingers, &c. are acquired from a false modesty at their first out-set in life. Being shame-faced in company, they try a variety of ways to keep themselves in countenance; thus, they fall into those awkward habits I have mentioned, which grow upon them, and in time become habitual.

Nothing is more repugnant likewise to good-breeding than horse-play of any sort, romping, throwing things at one another's heads, and so on. They may pass well enough with the mob; but they lessen and degrade the gentleman.

Sundry little Accomplishments.

1. I have had reason to observe before, that various little matters, apparently trifling in themselves, conspire to form the whole of pleasing, as in a well-finished portrait, a variety of colours combine to complete the piece. It not being necessary to dwell much upon them, I shall content myself with just mentioning them as they occur.

2. To do the honours of a table gracefully, is one of the outlines of a well-bred man; and to carve well, is an article, little as it may seem, that is useful twice every day, and the doing of which ill is not only troublesome to one's self, but renders us disagreeable and ridiculous to others. We are always in pain for a man who, instead of cutting up a fowl genteelly, is hacking for half an hour across the bone, greasing himself, and bespattering the company with the sauce. Use, with a little attention, is all that is requisite to acquit yourself well in this particular.

3. To be well received, you must also pay some attention to your behaviour at table, where it is exceedingly rude to scratch any part of your body; to spit, or blow your nose, if you can possibly avoid it, to eat greedily, to lean your elbows on the table, to pick your teeth before the dishes are removed, or to leave the table before grace is said.

4. Drinking of healths is now growing out of fashion, and is very unpolite in good company. Custom once had made it universal, but the improved manners of the age now render it vulgar. What can be more rude or ridiculous, than to interrupt persons at their meals with an unnecessary compliment? Abstain then from this silly custom, where you find it out of use; and use it only at those tables where it continues general.

5. A polite manner of refusing to comply with the solicitations of a company, is also very necessary to be learnt, for a young man who seems to have no will of his own, but does every thing that is asked of him, may be a very good-natured fellow, but he is a very silly one. If you are invited to drink at any man's house, more than you think is wholesome, you may say, "you wish you could, but that so little makes you both drunk and sick, that you shall only be bad company by doing it: of course beg to be excused."

6. If desired to play at cards deeper than you would, refuse it ludicrously; tell them, "If you were sure to lose, you might possibly sit down; but that as fortune may be favourable, you dread the thought of having too much money, ever since you found what an incumbrance it was to poor Harlequin, and therefore you are resolved never to put yourself in the way of winning more than such and such a sum a day." This light way of declining invitations to vice and folly, is more becoming a young man, than philosophical or sententious refusals, which would only be laughed at.

7. Now I am on the subject of cards, I must not omit mentioning the necessity of playing them well and genteelly, if you would be thought to have kept good company. I would by no means recommend playing at cards as a part of your study, lest you should grow too fond of it, and the consequences prove bad. It were better not to know a diamond from a club, than to become a gambler; but, as custom has introduced innocent card playing at most friendly meetings, it marks the gentleman to handle them genteelly, and play them well; and as I hope you will play only for small sums, should you lose your money pray lose it with temper: or win, receive your winnings without either elation or greediness.

8. To write well and correct, and in a pleasing style, is another part of polite education. Every man who has the use of his eyes and his right hand, can write whatever hand he pleases. Nothing is so illiberal as a school-boy's scrawl. I would not have you learn a stiff formal hand-writing, like that of a school-master, but a genteel, legible, and liberal hand, and to be able to write quick. As to the correctness and elegancy of your writing, attention to grammar does the one, and to the best authors, the other. Epistolary correspondence should not be carried on in a studied or affected style, but the language should flow from the pen, as naturally and as easily as it would from the mouth. In short, a letter should be penned in the same style as you would talk to your friend, if he was present.

9. If writing well shews the gentleman, much more so does spelling well. It is so essentially necessary for a gentleman, or a man of letters, that one false spelling may fix a ridicule on him for the remainder of his life. Words in books are generally well spelled, according to the orthography of the age; reading, therefore, with attention, will teach every one to spell right. It sometimes happens, that words shall be spelled differently by different authors; but, if you spell them upon the authority of one in estimation of the public, you will escape ridicule. Where there is but one way of spelling a word, by your spelling it wrong, you will be sure to be laughed at. For a woman of a tolerable education would laugh at and despise her lover, if he wrote to her, and the words were ill-spelled. Be particularly attentive, then, to your spelling.

10. There is nothing that a man at his first appearance in life ought more to dread than having any ridicule fixed on him. In the estimation even of the most rational men, it will not only lessen him, but ruin him with all the rest. Many a man has been undone by a ridiculous nick-name. The causes of nick-names among well-bred men, are generally the little defects in manner, air, or address. To have the appellation of ill-bred, aukward, muttering, left-legged, or any other tacked always to your name, would injure you more than you are aware of; avoid then these little defects (and they are easily avoided) and you need never fear a nick-name.

11. Some young men are apt to think, that they cannot be complete gentlemen, without becoming men of pleasure. A rake is made up of the meanest and most disgraceful vices. They all combine to degrade his character, and ruin his health, and fortune. A man of pleasure will refine upon the enjoyments of the age, attend them with decency, and partake of them becomingly.

12. Indeed he is too often less scrupulous than he should be, and frequently has cause to repent it. A man of pleasure, at best, is but a dissipated being, and what the rational part of mankind most abhor; I mention it, however, lest, in taking, up the man of pleasure, you should fall into the rake; for, of two evils, always chuse the least. A dissolute flagitious footman may make as good a rake as a man of the first quality. Few man can be men of pleasure; every man may be a rake.

13. There is a certain dignity that should be preserved in all our pleasures; in love, a man may lose his heart, without losing his nose; at table a man may have a distinguished palate, without being a glutton; he may love wine without being a drunkard; he may game without being a gambler, and so on.

14. Every virtue has its kindred vice, and every pleasure its neighbouring disgrace. Temperance and moderation mark the gentleman, but excess the blackguard. Attend carefully, then, to the line that divides them; and remember, stop rather a yard short, than step an inch beyond it. Weigh the present enjoyment of your pleasures against the necessary consequences of them, and I will leave you to your own determination.

15. A gentleman has ever some regard also to the choice of his amusements. If at cards, he will not be seen at cribbage, all-fours, or putt; or, in sports of exercise, at skittles, foot-ball, leap-frog, cricket, driving of coaches, &c. but will preserve a propriety in every part of his conduct; knowing, that any imitation of the manners of the mob, will unavoidably stamp him with vulgarity. There is another amusement too, which I cannot help calling illiberal, that is, playing upon any musical instrument.

16. Music is commonly reckoned one of the liberal arts, and undoubtedly is so; but to be piping or fiddling at a concert, is degrading to a man of fashion. If you love music, hear it; pay fiddlers to play to you, but never fiddle yourself. It makes a gentleman appear frivolous and contemptible, leads him frequently into bad company, and wastes that time which might otherwise be well employed.

17. Secrecy is another characteristic of good-breeding. Be careful not to tell in one company, what you see or hear in another; much less to divert the present company at the expense of the last. Things apparently indifferent may, when often repeated and told abroad, have much more serious consequences than imagined. In conversation there is generally a tacit reliance, that what is said will not be repeated; and a man, though not enjoined to secrecy, will be excluded company, if found to be a tattler; besides, he will draw himself into a thousand scrapes, and every one will be afraid to speak before him.

18. Pulling out your watch in company unasked, either at home or abroad, is a mark of ill-breeding; if at home, it appears as if you were tired of your company, and wished them to be gone; if abroad, as if the hours drag heavily, and you wished to be gone yourself. If you want to know the time, withdraw; besides, as the taking what is called a French leave was introduced, that on one person's leaving the company the rest might not be disturbed, looking at your watch does what that piece of politeness was designed to prevent: it is a kind of dictating to all present, and telling them it is time, or almost time, to break up.

19. Among other things, let me caution you against ever being in a hurry; a man of sense may be in haste, but he is never in a hurry; convinced, that hurry is the surest way to make him do what he undertakes ill. To be in a hurry, is a proof that the business we embark in is too great for us; of course, it is the mark of little minds, that are puzzled and perplexed when they should be cool and deliberate; they wish to do every thing at once, and are thus able to do nothing. Be steady, then, in all your engagements; look round you before you begin; and remember, that you had better do half of them well, and leave the rest undone, than to do the whole indifferently.

20. From a kind of false modesty, most young men are apt to consider familiarity as unbecoming. Forwardness I allow is so; but there is a decent familiarity that is necessary in the course of life. Mere formal visits, upon formal invitations, are not the thing; they create no connection, nor will they prove of service to you; it is the careless and easy ingress and egress, at all hours, that secures an acquaintance to our interest, and this is acquired by a respectful familiarity entered into, without forfeiting your consequence.

21. In acquiring new acquaintance, be careful not to neglect your old, for a slight of this kind is seldom forgiven. If you cannot be with your former acquaintance so often as you used to be, while you had no others, take care not to give them cause to think you neglect them; call upon them frequently though you cannot stay long with them; tell them you are sorry to leave them so soon, and nothing should take you away but certain engagements which good manners obliged you to attend to; for it will be your interest to make all the friends you can, and as few enemies as possible.

22. By friends, I would not be understood to mean confidential ones; but persons who speak of you respectfully, and who, consistent with their own interest, would wish to be of service to you, and would rather do you good than harm.

Another thing I must recommend to you, as characteristic of a polite education, and of having kept good company, is a graceful manner of conferring favours. The most obliging things may be done so aukwardly as to offend, while the most disagreeable things may be done so agreeable as to please.

23. A few more articles of general advice, and I have done; the first is on the subject of vanity. It is the common failing of youth, and as such ought to be carefully guarded against. The vanity I mean, is that which, if given way to, stamps a man a coxcomb, a character he will find a difficulty to get rid of, perhaps as long as he lives. Now this vanity shews itself in a variety of shapes; one man shall pride himself in taking the lead in all conversations, and peremptorily deciding upon every subject; another, desirous of appearing successful among the women, shall insinuate the encouragement he has met with, the conquests he makes, and perhaps boasts of favours he never received; if he speaks the truth, he is ungenerous; if false, he is a villain; but whether true or false, he defeats his own purposes, overthrows the reputation he wishes to erect, and draws upon himself contempt in the room of respect.

24. Some men are vain enough to think they acquire consequence by alliance, or by an acquaintance with persons of distinguished character or abilities: hence they are eternally taking of their grand-father, Lord such-a-one; their kinsman, Sir William such-a-one; or their intimate friend, Dr. such-a-one, with whom, perhaps, they are scarce acquainted. If they are ever found out (and that they are sure to be one time or other) they become ridiculous and contemptible; but even admitting what they say to be true, what then? A man's intrinsic merit does not arise from an ennobled alliance, or a reputable acquaintance.

25. A rich man never borrows. When angling for praise, modesty is the surest bait. If we would wish to shine in any particular character, we must never affect that character. An affectation of courage will make a man pass for a bully; an affectation of wit, for a coxcomb; and an affectation of sense, for a fool. Not that I would recommend bashfulness or timidity; no: I would have every one know his own value, yet not discover that he knows it, but leave his merit to be found out by others.

26. Another thing worth your attention is, if in company with an inferior, not to let him feel his inferiority; if he discovers it himself without your endeavours, the fault is not yours, and he will not blame you; but if you take pains to mortify him, or to make him feel himself inferior to you in abilities, fortune, or rank, it is an insult that will not readily be forgiven. In point of abilities, it would be unjust, as they are out of his power; in point of rank or fortune, it is ill-natured and ill-bred.

27. This rule is never more necessary than at table, where there cannot be a greater insult than to help an inferior to a part he dislikes, or a part that may be worse than ordinary, and to take the best to yourself. If you at any time invite an inferior to your table, you put him during the time he is there upon an equality with you, and it is an act of the highest rudeness to treat him in any respect slightingly. I would rather double my attention to such a person, and treat him with additional respect, lest he should even suppose himself neglected.

28. There cannot be a greater savageness or cruelty, or any thing more degrading to a man of fashion, than to put upon, or take unbecoming liberties with him, whose modesty, humility, or respect, will not suffer him to retaliate. True politeness consists in making every body happy about you; and as to mortify is to render unhappy, it can be nothing but the worst of breeding. Make it a rule, rather to flatter a person's vanity than otherwise; make him, if possible, more in love with himself, and you will be certain to gain his esteem; never tell him any thing he may not like to hear, nor say things that will put him out of countenance, but let it be your study on all occasions to please: this will be making friends instead of enemies; and be a means of serving yourself in the end.

29. Never be witty at the expense of any one present, to gratify that idle inclination which is too strong in most young men, I mean, laughing at, or ridiculing the weaknesses or infirmities of others, by way of diverting the company, or displaying your own superiority. Most people have their weaknesses, their peculiar likings and aversions. Some cannot bear the sight of a cat; others the smell of cheese, and so on; was you to laugh at those men for their antipathies, or by design or inattention to bring them in their way, you could not insult them more.

30. You may possibly thus gain the laugh on your side for the present, but it will make the person, perhaps, at whose expense you are merry, your enemy for ever after; and even those who laugh with you, will, on a little reflection, fear you, and probably despise you: whereas to procure what one likes, and to remove what the other hates, would shew them that they were objects of your attention, and possibly make them more your friends than much greater services would have done.

31. If you have wit, use it to please, but not to hurt. You may shine, but take care not to scorch. In short, never seem to see the faults of others. Though among the mass of men there are, doubtless, numbers of fools and knaves, yet were we to tell every one of these we meet with that we knew them to be so, we should be in perpetual war. I would detest the knave and pity the fool, wherever I found him, but I would let neither of them know unnecessarily that I did so; as I would not be industrious to make myself enemies. As one must please others then, in order to be pleased one's self, consider what is agreeable to you must be agreeable to them, and conduct yourself accordingly.

32. Whispering in company is another act of ill-breeding; it seems to insinuate either that the persons whom we would not wish should hear, are unworthy of our confidence, or it may lead them to suppose we are speaking improperly of them; on both accounts, therefore, abstain from it.

So pulling out one letter after another, and reading them in company, or cutting or pairing one's nails, is unpolite and rude. It seems to say, we are weary of the conversation, and are in want of some amusement to pass away the time.

33. Humming a tune to ourselves, drumming with our fingers on the table, making a noise with our feet, and such like, are all breaches of good manners, and indications of our contempt for the persons present; therefore they should hot be indulged.

Walking fast in the streets is a mark of vulgarity, implying hurry of business; it may appear well in a mechanic or tradesman, but suits ill with the character of a gentleman or a man of fashion.

Staring any person you meet, full in the face, is an act also of ill-breeding; it looks as if you saw something wonderful in his appearance, and is, therefore, a tacit reprehension.

34. Eating quick, or very slow, at meals, is characteristic of the vulgar; the first infers poverty, that you have not had a good meal for some time; the last, if abroad, that you dislike your entertainment; if at home, that you are rude enough to set before your friends, what you cannot eat yourself. So again, eating your soups with your nose in the plate, is vulgar; it has the appearance of being used to hard work; and of course an unsteady hand.

Dignity of Manners.

1. A certain dignity of manners is absolutely necessary, to make even the most-valuable character either respected or respectable in the world.

Horse-play, romping, frequent and loud fits of laughter, jokes, waggery, and indiscriminate familiarity, will sink both merit and knowledge into a degree of contempt. They compose at most a merry fellow, and a merry fellow was never yet a respectable man. Indiscriminate familiarity either offends your superiors, or else dubs you their dependent and led captain. It gives your inferiors just, but troublesome and improper claims to equality. A joker is near a-kin to a buffoon; and neither of them is the least related to wit.

2. Mimicry, the favorite amusement of little minds, has been ever the contempt of great ones. Never give way to it yourself, nor ever encourage it in others; it is the most illiberal of all buffoonery; it is an insult on the person you mimic; and insults, I have often told you, are seldom forgiven.

As to a mimic or a wag, he is little else than a buffoon, who will distort his mouth and his eyes to make people laugh. Be assured, no one person ever demeaned himself to please the rest, unless he wished to be thought the Merry-Andrew of the company, and whether this character is respectable, I will leave you to judge.

3. If a man's company is coveted on any other account than his knowledge, his good sense, or his manners, he is seldom respected by those who invite him, but made use of only to entertain—"Let's have such a one, for he sings a good song, for he is always joking or laughing;" or, "let's send for such a one, for he is a good bottle companion;" these are degrading distinctions, that preclude all respect and esteem. Whoever is had (as the phrase is) for the sake of any qualification, singly, is merely that thing he is had for, is never considered in any other light, and, of course, never properly respected, let his intrinsic merits be what they will.

4. You may possibly suppose this dignity of manners to border upon pride; but it differs as much from pride, as true courage from blustering.

To flatter a person right or wrong, is abject flattery, and to consent readily to every thing proposed by a company, be it silly or criminal, is full as degrading, as to dispute warmly upon every subject, and to contradict, upon all occasions. To preserve dignity, we should modestly assert our own sentiments, though we politely acquiesce in those of others.

So again, to support dignity of character, we should neither be frivolously curious about trifles, nor be laboriously intent on little objects that deserve not a moment's attention; for this implies an incapacity in matters of greater importance.

A great deal likewise depends upon our air, address, and expressions; an aukward address and vulgar expressions, infer either a low turn of mind, or a low education.

5. Insolent contempt, or low envy, is incompatible also with dignity of manners. Low-bred persons, fortunately lifted in the world, in fine clothes and fine equipages, will insolently look down on all those who cannot afford to make as good an appearance; and they openly envy those who perhaps make a better. They also dread the being slighted; of course are suspicious and captious; are uneasy themselves, and make every body else so about them.

6. A certain degree of outward seriousness in looks and actions, gives dignity, while a constant smirk upon the face (with that insipid silly smile fools have when they would be civil) and whiffling motions, are strong marks of futility.

But above all, a dignity of character is to be acquired best by a certain firmness in all our actions. A mean, timid, and passive complaisance, lets a man down more than he is aware of: but still his firmness or resolution should not extend to brutality, but be accompanied with a peculiar and engaging softness, or mildness.

7. If you discover any hastiness in your temper, and find it apt to break out into rough and unguarded expressions, watch it narrowly, and endeavour to curb it; but let no complaisance, no weak desire of pleasing, no weedling, urge you to do that which discretion forbids; but persist and persevere in all that is right. In your connections and friendships, you will find this rule of use to you. Invite and preserve attachments by your firmness; but labour to keep clear of enemies by a mildness of behaviour. Disarm those enemies you may unfortunately have (and few are without them) by a gentleness of manner, but make them feel the steadiness of your just resentment; for there is a wide difference between bearing malice and a determined self-defence; the one is imperious, but the other is prudent and justifiable.

8. In directing your servants, or any person you have a right to command, if you deliver your orders mildly and in that engaging manner which every gentleman should study to do, you will be cheerfully, and, consequently, well obeyed: but if tyrannically, you would be very unwillingly served, if served at all. A cool, steady determination should shew that you will be obeyed, but a gentleness in the manner of enforcing that obedience should make service a cheerful one. Thus will you be loved without being despised, and feared without being hated.

9. I hope I need not mention vices. A man who has patiently been kicked out of company, may have as good a pretence to courage, as one rendered infamous by his vices, may to dignity of any kind; however, of such consequence are appearances, that an outward decency, and an affected dignity of manners, will even keep such a man the longer from sinking. If, therefore, you should unfortunately have no intrinsic merit of your own, keep up, if possible, the appearance of it; and the world will possibly give you credit for the rest. A versatility of manner is as necessary in social life, as a versatility of parts in political. This is no way blameable, if not used with an ill design. We must, like the cameleon, then, put on the hue of the persons we wish to be well with; and it surely can never be blameable, to endeavour to gain the good will or affection of any one, if, when obtained, we do not mean to abuse it.

Rules for Conversation.

1. Jack Lizard was about fifteen when he was first entered in the university, and being a youth of a great deal of fire, and a more than ordinary application to his studies; it gave his conversation a very particular turn. He had too much spirit to hold his tongue in company; but at the same time so little acquaintance with the world, that he did not know how to talk like other people.

2. After a year and a half's stay at the university, he came down among us to pass away a month or two in the country. The first night after his arrival, as we were at supper, we were all of us very much improved by Jack's table-talk. He told us, upon the appearance of a dish of wild-fowl, that according to the opinion of some natural philosophers, they might be lately come from the moon.

3. Upon which the Sparkler bursting out into a laugh, he insulted her with several questions, relating to the bigness and distance of the moon and stars; and after every interrogatory would be winking upon me, and smiling at his sister's ignorance. Jack gained his point; for the mother was pleased, and all the servants stared at the learning of their young master. Jack was so encouraged at this success, that for the first week he dealt wholly in paradoxes. It was a common jest with him to pinch one of his sister's lap-dogs, and afterwards prove he could not feel it.

4. When the girls were sorting a set of knots, he would demonstrate to them that all the ribbons were of the same colour; or rather, says Jack, of no colour at all. My Lady Lizard herself, though she was not a little pleased with her son's improvements, was one day almost angry with him; for, having accidentally burnt her fingers as she was lighting her lamp for her tea-pot, in the midst of her anguish, Jack laid hold of the opportunity to instruct her that there was no such thing as heat in fire. In short, no day passed over our heads, in which Jack did not imagine he made the whole family wiser than they were before.

5. That part of his conversation which gave me the most pain, was what passed among those country gentlemen that came to visit us. On such occasions Jack usually took upon him to be the mouth of the company; and thinking himself obliged to be very merry, would entertain us with a great many odd sayings and absurdities of their college cook. I found this fellow had made a very strong impression upon Jack's imagination, which he never considered was not the case of the rest of the company, till after many repeated trials he found that his stories seldom any body laugh but himself.

6. I all this while looked upon Jack as a young tree shooting out into blossoms before its time; the redundancy of which, though it was a little unseasonably, seemed to foretell an uncommon fruitfulness.

In order to wear out the vein of pedantry, which ran through his conversation, I took him out with me one evening, and first of all insinuated to him this rule, which I had myself learned from a very great author, "To think with the wise, but talk with the vulgar," Jack's, good sense soon made him reflect that he had exposed himself to the laughter of the ignorant by a contrary behaviour; upon which he told me, that he would take care for the future to keep his notions to himself, and converse in the common received sentiments of mankind.

7. He at the same time desired me to give him any other rules of conversation, which I thought might he for his improvement. I told him I would think of it; and accordingly, as I have a particular affection for the young man, I gave him the next morning the following rules in writing, which may, perhaps, have contributed to make him the agreeable man he now is.

8. The faculty of interchanging our thoughts with one another, or what we express by the word conversation, has always been represented by moral writers, as one of the noblest privileges of reason, and which more particularly sets mankind above the brute part of the creation.

Though nothing so much gains upon the affections as this extempore eloquence, which we have constantly occasion for, and are obliged to practice every day, we very rarely meet with any who excel in it.

9. The conversation of most men is disagreeable, not so much for want of wit and learning, as of good-breeding and discretion.

It is not in every man's power, perhaps, to have fine parts, say witty things, or tell a story agreeably; but every man may be polite if he pleases, at least to a certain degree. Politeness has infinitely more power to make us esteemed, and our company sought after, than the most extraordinary parts or attainments we can be master of. These seldom fail to create envy, and envy has always some ill will in it.

10. If you resolve to please never speak to gratify any particular vanity or passion of your own, but always with a design either to divert or inform the company. A man who only aims at one of these, is always easy in his discourse. He is never out of humour at being interrupted, because he considers that those who hear him are the best judges whether what he was saying would either divert or inform him.

A modest person seldom fails to gain the good will of those he converses with, because nobody envies a man who does not appear to be pleased with himself.

11. We should talk extremely little of ourselves. Indeed what can we say? It would be as imprudent to discover faults, as ridiculous to count over our fancied virtues. Our private and domestic affairs are no less improper to be introduced in conversation. What does it concern the company how many horses you keep in your stables? or whether your servant is most knave or fool?

12. A man may equally affront the company he is in, by engrossing all the talk, or observing a contemptuous silence.

Conform yourself to the taste, character, and present humours of the persons you converse with; not but a person must follow his talent in conversation. Do not force nature; no one ever did it with success.

If you have not a talent for humour, or raillery, or story-telling, never attempt them.

13. Contain yourself also within the bounds of what you know; and never talk of things you are ignorant of, unless it be with a view to inform yourself. A person cannot fail in the observance of this rule, without making himself ridiculous; and yet how often do we see it transgressed! Some, who on war or politics could talk very well, will be perpetually haranguing on works of genius and the belles letters; others who are capable of reasoning, and would make a figure in grave discourse, will yet constantly aim at humour and pleasantry, though with the worst grace imaginable. Hence it is, that we see a man of merit sometimes appear like a coxcomb, and hear a man of genius talk like a fool.

14. Before you tell a story, it may be generally not amiss to draw a short character, and give the company a true idea of the principal persons concerned in it; the beauty of most things consisting not so much in their being said or done, as in their being said or done by such a particular person; or on such a particular occasion.

15. Notwithstanding all the advantages of youth, few young people please in conversation: the reason is, that want of experience makes them positive, and what they say, is rather with a design to please themselves, than any one else.

It is certain that age itself shall make many things pass well enough, which would have been laughed at in the mouth of one much younger.

16. Nothing, however, is more insupportable to men of sense, than an empty formal man who speaks in proverbs, and decides all controversies with a short sentence. This piece of stupidity is the more insufferable, as it puts on the air of wisdom.

Great talents for conversation requires to be accompanied with great politeness. He who eclipses others, owes them great civilities; and whatever a mistaken vanity may tell us, it is better to please in conversation, than to shine in it.

17. A prudent man will avoid talking much of any particular science, for which he is remarkably famous. There is not, methinks, an handsomer thing said of Mr. Cowley in his whole life, than, that none but his intimate friends ever discovered he was a great poet by his discourse. Besides the decency of this rule, it is certainly founded in good policy. A man who talks of any thing he is already famous for, has little to get, but a great deal to lose.

18. I might add, that he who is sometimes silent on a subject, where everyone is satisfied he would speak well, will often be thought no less knowing in any other matters where, perhaps, he is wholly ignorant.

Women are frightened at the name of argument, and are sooner convinced by an happy turn, or, witty expression, than by demonstration.

19. Whenever you commend, add your reasons for so doing; it is this which distinguishes the approbation of a man of sense, from the flattery of sycophants, and admiration of fools.

Raillery is no longer agreeable, than while the whole company is pleased with it. I would least of all be understood to except the person raillied.

20. Though good-humour, sense, and discretion, can seldom fail to make a man agreeable, it may be no ill policy sometimes to prepare yourself in a particular manner for conversation, by looking a little farther than your neighbours into whatever is become a reigning subject. If our armies are besieging a place of importance abroad, or our House of Commons debating a bill of consequence at home, you can hardly fail of being heard with pleasure, if you have nicely informed yourself of the strength, situation and history of the first, or of the reasons for and against the latter.

21. It will have the same effect if, when any single person begins to make a noise in the world, you can learn some of the smallest accidents in his life or conversation, which, though they are too fine for the observation of the vulgar, give more satisfaction to men of sense, (as they are the best openings to a real character) than the recital of his most glaring actions. I know but one ill consequence to be feared from this method, namely, that coming full charged into company, you should resolve to unload, whether an handsome opportunity offers itself or no.

22. The liberal arts, though they may possibly have less effect on our external mein and behaviour, make so deep an impression on the mind, as is very apt to bend it wholly one way.

The mathematician will take little less than demonstration in the most common discourse; and the schoolman is as great a friend to definitions and syllogisms. The physician and divine are often heard to dictate in private companies with the same authority which they exercise over their patients and disciples; while the lawyer is putting cases, and raising matter for disputation, out of every thing that occurs.

23. Though the asking of questions may plead for itself the spacious name of modesty, and a desire of information, it affords little pleasure to the rest of the company, who are not troubled with the same doubts; besides which, he who asks a question would do well to consider that he lies wholly at the mercy of another before he receives an answer.

24. Nothing is more silly than the pleasure some people take in what they call speaking their minds. A man of this make will say a rude thing for the mere pleasure of saying, it, when an opposite behaviour, full as, innocent, might have preserved his friend, or made his fortune.

It is not impossible for a man to form to himself as exquisite a pleasure in complying with the humour and sentiments of others, as of bringing others over to his own; since 'tis the certain sign of a superior genius, that can take and become whatever dress it pleases.

25. Avoid disputes as much as possible, in order to appear easy and well-bred, in conversation. You may assure yourself, that it requires more wit, as well as more good-humour, to improve than to contradict the notions of another; but if you are at any time obliged to enter on an argument, give your reasons with the inmost coolness and modesty, two things which scarce ever fail of making an impression on the hearers. Besides, if you are neither dogmatical, nor shew either by your actions or words, that you are full of yourself, all will the more heartily rejoice at your victory; nay, should, you be pinched in your argument, you may make your retreat with a very good graces you were never positive, and are now glad to be better informed.

26. This hath made some approve the socratical way of reasoning, where, while you scarce affirm any thing, you can hardly be caught in an absurdity; and though possibly you are endeavouring to bring over another to your opinion, which is firmly fixed, you seem only to desire information from him.

27. In order to keep that temper, which is so difficult and yet so necessary to preserve, you may please to consider, that nothing can be more unjust or ridiculous, than to be angry with another because he is not of your opinion. The interests, education, and means, by which men attain their knowledge, are so very different, that it is impossible they should all think alike; and he has at least us much reason to be angry with you, as you with him.

28. Sometimes to keep yourself cool, it may be of service to ask yourself fairly, what might have been your opinion, had you all the biases of education and interest your adversary may possibly have? But if you contend for the honour of victory alone, you may lay down this as an infallible maxim, That you cannot make a more false step, or give your antagonists a greater advantage over you, than by falling into a passion.

29. When an argument is over, how many weighty reasons does a man recollect, which his heat and violence made him utterly forget?

It is yet more absurd to be angry with a man, because he does not apprehend the force of your reasons, or give weak ones of his own. If you argue for reputation, this makes your victory the easier; he is certainly in all respects an object of your pity, rather than anger; and if he cannot comprehend what you do, you ought to thank nature for her favours, who has given you so much the clearer understanding.

30. You may please to add this consideration, that among your equals no one values your anger, which only preys upon its master; and perhaps you may find it not very consistent, either with prudence or your ease, to punish yourself whenever you meet with a fool or a knave.

31. Lastly, if you propose to yourself the true end of argument, which is information, it may be a seasonable check to your passion; for if you search purely after truth, it will be almost indifferent to you where you find it. I cannot in this place omit an observation which I have often made, namely, that nothing procures a man more esteem and less envy from the whole company, than if he chooses the part of moderator, without engaging directly on either side in a dispute.

32. This gives him the character of impartial, furnishes him an opportunity of sifting things to the bottom, shewing his judgment, and of sometimes making handsome compliments to each of the contending parties.

When you have gained a victory, do not push it too far; it is sufficient to let the company and your adversary see it is in your power, but that you are too generous to make use of it.

33. I shall only add, that besides what I have here said, there is something which can never be learnt but in the company of the polite. The virtues of men are catching as well as their vices, and your own observations added to these, will soon discover what it is that commands attention in one man, and makes you tired and displeased with the discourse of another.

Further Remarks taken from Lord Chesterfield's Letters to his Son.

34. Having now given you full and sufficient instructions for making you well received in the best of companies; nothing remains but that I lay before you some few rules for your conduct in such company. Many things on this subject I have mentioned before; but some few matters remain to be mentioned now.

Talk, then, frequently, but not long together, lest you tire the persons you are speaking to; for few persons talk so well upon a subject, as to keep up the attention of their hearers for any length of time.

35. Avoid telling stories in company, unless they are very short indeed, and very applicable to the subject you are upon; in this case relate them in as few words as possible, without the least digression, and with some apology; as, that you hate the telling of stories, but the shortness of it induced you. And if your story has any wit in it, be particularly careful not to laugh at it yourself. Nothing is more tiresome and disagreeable than a long tedious narrative; it betrays a gossiping disposition, and great want of imagination; and nothing is more ridiculous than to express an approbation of your own story by a laugh.

36. In relating any thing, keep clear of repetitions, or very hackneyed expressions, such as, says he, or says she. Some people will use these so often, as to take off the hearers' attention from the story; as in an organ out of tune, one pipe shall perhaps sound the whole time we are playing, and confuse the piece so as not to be understood.

37. Digressions, likewise, should be guarded against. A story is always more agreeable without them. Of this kind are, "the gentleman I am telling you of, is the son of Sir Thomas ——, who lives in Harley-street;—you must know him—his brother had a horse that won the sweepstakes at the last Newmarket meeting.—Zounds! if you don't know him you know nothing." Or, "He was an upright tall old gentleman, who wore his own long hair; don't you recollect him?"—All this is unnecessary, is very tiresome and provoking, and would he an excuse for a man's behaviour, if he was to leave us in the midst of our narrative.

38. Some people have a trick of holding the persons they are speaking to by the button, or the hands in order to be heard out; conscious, I suppose, that their tale is tiresome. Pray, never do this; if the person you speak to is not as willing to hear your story as you are to tell it, you had much better break off in the middle: for if you tire them once, they will be afraid to listen to you a second time.

39. Others have a way of punching the person they are talking to in the side, and at the end of every sentence, asking him some questions as the following—"Wasn't I right in that?"—"You know, I told you so."—"What's your opinion?" and the like; or, perhaps, they will be thrusting him, or jogging him with their elbow. For mercy's sake, never give way to this: it will make your company dreaded.

40. Long talkers are frequently apt to single out some unfortunate man present; generally the most silent one of the company, or probably him who sits next them. To this man, in a kind of half whisper, they will run on for half an hour together. Nothing can be more ill-bred. But, if one of these unmerciful talkers should attack you, if you wish to oblige him, I would recommend the hearing with patience: seem to do so at least, for you could not hurt him more than to leave him in the middle of his story, or discover any impatience in the course of it.

41. Incessant talkers are very disagreeable companions. Nothing can be more rude than to engross the conversation to yourself, or to take the words, as it were, out of another man's mouth. Every man in company has an equal claim to bear his part in the conversation, and to deprive him of it, is not only unjust, but a tacit declaration that he cannot speak so well upon the subject as yourself: you will therefore take it up. And, what can be more rude? I would as soon forgive a man that should stop my mouth when I was gaping, as take my words as it were, me while I was speaking them. Now, if this be unpardonable.

42. It cannot be less so to help out or forestall the slow speaker, as if you alone were rich in expressions, and he were poor. You may take it for granted, every one is vain enough to think he can talk well, though he may modestly deny it; helping a person out, therefore, in his expressions, is a correction that will stamp the corrector with impudence and ill-manners.

43. Those who contradict others upon all occasions, and make every assertion a matter of dispute, betray by this behaviour an unacquaintance with good-breeding. He, therefore, who wishes to appear amiable, with those he converses with, will be cautious of such expressions as these, "That can't be true, sir." "The affair is as I say." "That must be false, sir." "If what you say is true, &c." You may as well tell a man he lies at once, as thus indirectly impeach his veracity. It is equally as rude to be proving every trifling assertion with a bet or a wager—"I'll bet you fifty of it," and so on. Make it then a constant rule, in matters of no great importance, complaisantly to submit your opinion to that of others; for a victory of this kind often costs a man the loss of a friend.

44. Giving advice unasked, is another piece of rudeness: it is, in effect, declaring ourselves wiser than those to whom we give it; reproaching them with ignorance and inexperience. It is a freedom that ought not to be taken with any common acquaintance, and yet there are these who will be offended, if their advice is not taken. "Such-a-one," say they, "is above being advised. He scorns to listen to my advice;" as if it were not a mark of greater arrogance to expect every one to submit to their opinion, than for a man sometimes to follow his own.

45. There is nothing so unpardonably rude, as a seeming inattention to the person who is speaking to you; tho' you may meet with it in others, by all means avoid it yourself. Some ill-bred people, while others are speaking to them, will, instead of looking at or attending to them, perhaps fix their eyes on the ceiling, or some picture in the room, look out of the window, play with a dog, their watch-chain, or their cane, or probably pick their nails or their noses. Nothing betrays a more trifling mind than this; nor can any thing be a greater affront to the person speaking; it being a tacit declaration, that what he is saying is not worth your attention. Consider with yourself how you would like such treatment, and, I am persuaded, you will never shew it to others.

46. Surliness or moroseness is incompatible also with politeness. Such as, should any one say "he was desired to present Mr. such-a-one's respects to you," to reply, "What the devil have I to do with his respects?"—"My Lord enquired after you lately, and asked how you did," to answer, "if he wishes to know, let him come and feel my pulse," and the like. A good deal of this often is affected; but whether affected or natural, it is always offensive. A man of this stamp will occasionally be laughed at as an oddity; but in the end will be despised.

47. I should suppose it unnecessary to advise you to adapt your conversation to the company you are in. You would not surely start the same subject, and discourse of it in the same manner, with the old and with the young, with an officer, a clergyman, a philosopher, and a woman? no; your good sense will undoubtedly teach you to be serious with the serious, gay with the gay, and to trifle with the triflers.

48. There are certain expressions which are exceedingly rude, and yet there are people of liberal education that sometimes use them; as, "You don't understand me, sir." "Is it not so?" "You mistake." "You know nothing of the matter," &c. Is it not better to say, "I believe I do not express myself so as to be understood." "Let us consider it again, whether we take it right or not." It is much more polite and amiable to make some excuse for another, even in cases where he might justly be blamed, and to represent the mistake as common to both, rather than charge him with insensibility or incomprehension.

49. If any one should have promised you any thing, and not have fulfilled that promise, it would be very impolite to tell him he has forfeited his word; or if the same person should have disappointed you, upon any occasion, would it not be better to say, "You were probably so much engaged, that you forgot my affair;" or, "perhaps it slipped your memory;" rather than, "you thought no more about it:" or, "you pay very little regard to your word." For expressions of this kind leave a sting behind them—They are a kind of provocation and affront, and very often bring on lasting quarrels.

50. Be careful not to appear dark and mysterious, lest you should be thought suspicious; than which, there cannot be a more unamiable character. If you appear mysterious and reserved, others will be truly so with you: and in this case, there is an end to improvement, for you will gather no information. Be reserved, but never seem so.

51. There is a fault extremely common with some people, which I would have you avoid. When their opinion is asked upon any subject, they will give it with so apparent a diffidence and timidity, that one cannot, without the utmost pain, listen to them; especially if they are known to be men of universal knowledge. "Your Lordship will pardon me," says one of this stamp, "if I should not be able to speak to the case in hand, so well as it might be wished."—"I'll venture to speak of this matter to the best of my poor abilities and dullness of apprehension."—"I fear I shall expose myself, but in obedience to your Lordship's commands,"—and while they are making these apologies, they interrupt the business and tire the company.

52. Always look people in the face when you speak to them, otherwise you will be thought conscious of some guilt; besides, you lose the opportunity of reading their countenances; from which you will much better learn the impression your discourse makes upon them, than you can possibly do from their words; for words are at the will of every one, but the countenance is frequently involuntary.

53. If, in speaking to a person, you are not heard, and should be desired to repeat what you said, do not raise your voice in the repetition, lest you should be thought angry, on being obliged to repeat what you had said before; it was probably owing to the hearer's inattention.

54. One word only, as to swearing. Those who addict themselves to it, and interlard their discourse with oaths, can never be considered as gentlemen; they are generally people of low education, and are unwelcome in what is called good company. It is a vice that has no temptation to plead, but is, in every respect, as vulgar as it is wicked.

55. Never accustom yourself to scandal, nor listen to it; for though it may gratify the malevolence of some people, nine times out of ten it is attended with great disadvantages. The very person you tell it to, will, on reflection, entertain a mean opinion of you, and it will often bring you into a very disagreeable situation. And as there would be no evil-speakers, if there were no evil-hearers; it is in scandal as in robbery; the receiver is as bad as the thief. Besides, it will lead people to shun your company, supposing that you would speak ill of them to the next acquaintance you meet.

56. Carefully avoid talking either of your own or other people's domestic concerns. By doing the one you will be thought vain; by entering into the other, you will be considered as officious. Talking of yourself is an impertinence to the company; your affairs are nothing to them; besides, they cannot be kept too secret. And as to the affairs of others, what are they to you? In talking of matters that no way concern you, you are liable to commit blunders, and, should you touch any one in a sore part, you may possibly lose his esteem. Let your conversation, then, in mixed companies, always be general.

57. Jokes, bon-mots, or the little pleasantries of one company, will not often bear to be told in another; they are frequently local, and take their rise from certain circumstances; a second company may not be acquainted with these circumstances, and of course your story may not be understood, or want explaining; and if, after you have prefaced it with, "I will tell you a good thing," the sting should not be immediately perceived, you will appear exceedingly ridiculous, and wish you had not told it. Never, then, repeat in one place what you hear in another.

58. In most debates, take up the favourable side of the question; however, let me caution you against being clamorous; that is, never maintain an argument with heat though you know yourself right; but offer your sentiments modestly and coolly; and, if this does not prevail, give it up, and try to change the subject, by saying something to this effect, "I find we shall hardly convince one another, neither is there any necessity to attempt it; so let us talk of something else."

59. Not that I would have you give up your opinion always; no, assert your own sentiments, and oppose those of others when wrong, but let your manner and voice be gentle and engaging, and yet no ways affected. If you contradict, do it with, I may be wrong, but—I won't be positive, but I really think—I should rather suppose—If I may be permitted to say—and close your dispute with good humour, to shew you are neither displeased yourself, nor meant to displease the person you dispute with.

60. Acquaint yourself with the character and situation of the company you go into, before you give a loose to your tongue; for should you enlarge on some virtue, which anyone present may notoriously want: or should you condemn some vices which any of the company may be particularly addicted to, they will he apt to think your reflections pointed and personal, and you will be sure to give offence. This consideration will naturally lead you, not to suppose things said in general to be levelled at you.

61. Low-bred people, when they happen occasionally to be in good company, imagine themselves to be the subject of every separate conversation. If any part of the company whispers, it is about them; if they laugh, it is at them; and if any thing is said, which they do not comprehend, they immediately suppose it is meant of them.—This mistake is admirably ridiculed in one of our celebrated comedies, "I am sure, says Scrub, they were talking of me, for they laughed consumedly."

62. Now, a well-bred person never thinks himself disesteemed by the company, or laughed at, unless their reflections are so gross, that he cannot be supposed to mistake them, and his honour obliges him to resent it in a proper manner; however, be assured, gentlemen never laugh at or ridicule one another, unless they are in joke, or on a footing of the greatest intimacy. If such a thing should happen once in an age, from some pert coxcomb, or some flippant woman, it is better not to seem to know it, than to make the least reply.

63. It is a piece of politeness not to interrupt a person in a story, whether you have heard it before or not. Nay, if a well-bred man is asked whether he has heard it, he will answer no, and let the person go on, though he knows it already. Some are fond of telling a story, because they think they tell it well; others pride themselves in being the first teller of it, and others are pleased at being thought entrusted with it. Now, all these persons you would disappoint by answering yes; and, as I have told you before, as the greatest proof of politeness is to make every body happy about you, I would never deprive a person of any secret satisfaction of this sort, when I could gratify by a minute's attention.

64. Be not ashamed of asking questions, if such questions lead to information: always accompany them with some excuse, and you will never be reckoned impertinent. But, abrupt questions, without some apology, by all means avoid, as they imply design. There is a way of fishing for facts, which, if done judiciously, will answer every purpose, such as taking things you wish to know for granted: this will, perhaps, lead some officious person to set you right. So again, by saying, you have heard so and so, and sometimes seeming to know more than you do, you will often get an information, which you would lose by direct questions, as these would put people upon their guard, and frequently defeat the very end you aim at.

65. Make it a rule never to reflect on any body of people, for by this means you will create a number of enemies. There are good and bad of all professions, lawyers, soldiers, parsons or citizens. They are all men, subject to the same passions, differing only in their manner according to the way they have been bred up in. For this reason, it is unjust, as well as indiscreet, to attack them as a corps collectively. Many a young man has thought himself extremely clever in abusing the clergy. What are the clergy more than other men? Can you suppose a black gown can make any alteration in his nature? Fie, fie, think seriously, and I am convinced you will never do it.

66. But above all, let no example, no fashion, no witticism, no foolish desire of rising above what knaves call prejudices, tempt you to excuse, extenuate or ridicule the least breach of morality, but upon every occasion shew the greatest abhorrence of such proceedings, and hold virtue and religion in the highest veneration.

It is a great piece of ill-manners to interrupt any one while speaking, by speaking yourself, or calling off the attention of the company to any foreign matter. But this every child knows.

67. The last thing I shall mention, is that of concealing your learning, except on particular occasions. Reserve this for learned men, and let them rather extort it from you, than you be too willing to display it. Hence you will be thought modest, and to have more knowledge than you really have. Never seem more wise or learned than the company you are in. He who affects to shew his learning, will be frequently questioned; and if found superficial, will be sneered at; if otherwise, he will be deemed a pedant. Real merit will always shew itself, and nothing can lessen it in the opinion of the world, but a man's exhibiting it himself.

For God's sake, revolve all these things seriously in your mind, before you go abroad into life. Recollect the observations you have yourself occasionally made upon men and things; compare them with my instructions, and act wisely and consequentially, as they shall teach you.

Entrance upon the World.

1. Curino was a young man brought up to a reputable trade; the term of his apprenticeship was almost expired, and he was contriving how he might venture into the world with safety, and pursue business with innocence and success.

2. Among his near kindred, Serenus was one, a gentleman of considerable character in the sacred profession; and after he had consulted with his father, who was a merchant of great esteem and experience, he also thought fit to seek a word of advice from the divine.

3. Serenus had such a respect for his young kinsman, that he set his thought at work on this subject, and with some tender expressions, which melted the youth into tears, he put into his hand a paper of his best counsels. Curino entered upon business, pursued his employment with uncommon advantage, and, under the blessing of Heaven, advanced himself to a considerable estate.

4. He lived with honour in the world, and gave a lustre to the religion which he professed; and after a long life of piety and usefulness, he died with a sacred composure of soul, under the influences of the Christian hope.

5. Some of his neighbours wondered at his felicity in this world, joined with so much innocence, and such severe virtue; but after his death this paper was found in his closet, which was drawn up by his kinsman in holy orders, and was supposed to have a large share in procuring his happiness.

Advice to a young Man.

1. I presume you desire to be happy here and hereafter; you know there are a thousand difficulties which attend this pursuit; some of them perhaps you foresee, but there are multitudes which you could never think of. Never trust therefore to your own understanding in the things of this world, where you can have the advice of a wise and faithful friend; nor dare venture the more important concerns of your soul, and your eternal interests in the world to come, upon the mere light of nature, and the dictates of your own reason; since the word of God, and the advice of Heaven, lies in your hands. Vain and thoughtless indeed are those children of pride, who chuse to turn heathens in America; who live upon the mere religion of nature and their own stock, when they have been trained up among all these superior advantages of Christianity, and the blessings of divine revelation and grace!

2. Whatsoever your circumstances may be in this world, still value your bible as your best treasure; and whatsoever be your employment here, still look upon religion as your best business. Your bible contains eternal life in it, and all the riches of the upper world; and religion is the only way to become the possessor of them.

3. To direct your carriage towards God, converse particularly with the book of Psalms; David was a man of sincere and eminent devotion. To behave aright among men, acquaint yourself with the whole book of Proverbs: Solomon was a man of large experience and wisdom. And to perfect your directions in both these, read the Gospels and Epistles; you will find the best of rules and the best of examples there, and those more immediately suited to the Christian life.

4. As a man, maintain strict temperance and sobriety, by a wise government of your appetites and passions; as a neighbour, influence and engage all around you to be your friends, by a temper and carriage made up of prudence and goodness; and let the poor have a certain share in all your yearly profits; as a trader, keep that golden sentence of our Saviour's ever before you. Whatsoever you "would that men should do unto you, do you also unto them."

5. While you make the precepts of scripture the constant rule of your duty, you may with courage rest upon the promises of scripture as the springs of your encouragement; all divine assistances and divine recompenses are contained in them. The spirit of light and grace is promised to assist them that ask it. Heaven and glory are promised to reward the faithful and the obedient.

6. In every affair of life, begin with God; consult him in every thing that concerns you; view him as the author of all your blessings, and all your hopes, as your best friend, and your eternal portion. Meditate on him in this view, with a continual renewal of your trust in him, and a daily surrender of yourself to him, till you feel that you love him most entirely, that you serve him with sincere delight, and that you cannot live a day without God in the world.

7. You know yourself to be a man, an indigent creature and a sinner, and you profess to be a Christian, a disciple of the blessed Jesus, but never think you know Christ or yourself as you ought till you find a daily need of him for righteousness and strength, for pardon and sanctification; and let him be your constant introducer to the great God, though he sits upon a throne of grace. Remember his own words, John xiv 6. "No man cometh to the father but by me."

8. Make prayer a pleasure, and not a task, and then you will not forget nor omit it. If ever you have lived in a praying family, never let it be your fault if you do not live in one always. Believe that day, that hour, or those minutes to be wasted and lost, which any worldly pretences would tempt you to save out of the public worship of the church, the certain and constant duties of the closet, or any necessary services for God and godliness; beware lest a blast attend it, and not a blessing. If God had not reserved one day in seven to himself, I fear religion would have been lost out of the world; and every day of the week is exposed to a curse which has no morning religion.

9. See that you watch and labour, as well as pray; diligence and dependence must he united in the practice of every Christian. It is the same wise man acquaints us, that the hand of the diligent, and the blessing of the Lord, join together to make us rich, Prov. x. 4. 22. Rich in the treasures of body or mind, of time or eternity.

It is your duty indeed, under a sense of your own weakness, to pray daily against sin; but if you would effectually avoid it, you must also avoid temptation, and every dangerous opportunity. Set a double guard wheresoever you feel or suspect an enemy at hand. The world without, and the heart within, have so much flattery and deceit in them, that we must keep a sharp eye upon both, lest we are trapt into mischief between them.

10. Honour, profit, and pleasure, have been sometimes called the world's Trinity; they are its three chief idols; each of them is sufficient to draw a soul off from God, and ruin it for ever. Beware of them, therefore, and of all their subtle insinuations, if you would be innocent or happy.

Remember that the honour which comes from God, the approbation of Heaven, and your own conscience, are infinitely more valuable than all the esteem or applause of men. Dare not venture one step out of the road of Heaven, for fear of being laughed at for walking strictly in it, it is a poor religion that cannot stand against a jest.

Sell not your hopes of heavenly treasures, nor any thing that belongs to your eternal interest, for any of the advantages of the present life; "What shall it profit a man to gain the world and lose his own soul."

Remember also the words of the wise man, "He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man;" he that indulges himself in "wine and oil," that is, in drinking, in feasting, and in sensual gratifications, "shall not be rich." It is one of St. Paul's characters of a most degenerate age, when "men become lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God." And that "fleshly lusts war against the soul," is St. Peter's caveat to the Christians of his time.

11. Preserve your conscience always soft and sensible; if but one sin force its way into that tender part of the soul, and dwell easy there, the road is paved for a thousand; iniquities.

And take heed that under any scruple, doubt, or temptation whatsoever, you never let any reasonings satisfy your conscience, which will not be a sufficient answer of apology to the great Judge at the last day.

12. Keep this thought ever in your mind. It is a world of vanity and vexation in which you live; the flatteries and promises of it are vain and deceitful; prepare, therefore, to meet disappointments. Many of its occurrences are teazing and vexatious. In every ruffling storm without, possess your spirit in patience, and let all be calm and serene within. Clouds and tempests are only found in the lower skies; the heavens above are ever bright and clear. Let your heart and hope dwell much in these serene regions; live as a stranger here on earth, but as a citizen of heaven, if you will maintain a soul at ease.

13. Since in many things we offend all, and there is not a day passes which is perfectly free from sin, let "repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ," be your daily work. A frequent renewal of these exercises which make a Christian at first, will be a constant evidence of your sincere Christianity, and give you peace in life, and hope in death.

14. Ever carry about with you such a sense of the uncertainty of every thing in this life, and of life itself, as to put nothing off till to-morrow, which you can conveniently do to-day. Dilatory persons are frequently exposed to surprise and hurry in every thing that belongs to them; the time is come, and they are unprepared. Let the concerns of your soul and your shop, your trade and your religion, lie always in such order, as far as possible, that death, at a short warning, may be no occasion of a disquieting tumult in your spirit, and that you may escape the anguish of a bitter repentance in a dying hour. Farewel.

Phronimus, a considerable East-land merchant, happened upon a copy of these advices, about the time when he permitted his son to commence a partnership with him in his trade; he transcribed them with his own hand, and made a present of them to the youth, together with the articles of partnership. Here, young man, said he, is a paper of more worth than these articles. Read it over once a month, till it is wrought in your very soul and temper. Walk by these rules, and I can trust my estate in your hands. Copy out these counsels in your life, and you will make me and yourself easy and happy.

The Vision of Mirza, exhibiting a Picture of Human Life.

1. On the fifth day of the moon, which, according to the custom of my forefathers, I always keep holy, after having washed myself, and offered up my morning devotions, I ascended the high hills of Bagdat, in order to pass the rest of the day in meditation and prayer. As I was here airing myself on the tops of the mountains, I fell into a profound contemplation on the vanity of human life; and passing from one thought to another, surely, said I, man is but a shadow, and life a dream.

2. Whilst I was thus musing, I cast my eyes towards the summit of a rock that was not far from me, where I discovered one in the habit of a shepherd, with a little musical instrument in his hand. As I looked upon him, he applied it to his lips, and began to play upon it. The sound of it was exceeding sweet, and wrought into a variety of tunes that were inexpressibly melodious, and altogether different from any thing I had ever heard: they put me in mind of those heavenly airs that are played to the departed souls of good men upon their first arrival in Paradise, to wear out the impressions of the last agonies, and qualify them for the pleasures of that happy place. My heart melted away in secret raptures.

3. I had often been told that the rock before me was the haunt of a genius; and that several had been entertained with that music, who had passed by it, but never heard that the musician had before made himself visible. When he had raised my thoughts by those transporting airs which he played, to taste the pleasures of his conversation, as I looked upon him like one astonished, he beckoned to me, and, by the waving of his hand, directed me to approach the place where he sat.

4. I drew near with that reverence which is due to a superior nature; and as my heart was entirely subdued by the captivating strains I had heard, I fell down at his feet and wept. The genius smiled on me with a look of compassion and affability, that familiarized him to my imagination, and at once dispelled all the fears and apprehensions with which I approached him. He lifted me from the ground, and taking me by the hand, Mirza, said he, I have heard thee in thy soliloquies: follow me.

5. He then led me to the highest pinnacle of the rock, and placing me on the top of it, cast thy eyes eastward, said he, and tell me what thou seest. I see, said I, a huge valley, and a prodigious tide of water rolling through it.

The valley that then seest, said, he, is the vale of misery and the tide of water that thou seest, is part of the great tide of eternity.

6. What is the reason, said I, that the tide I see rises out of a thick mist at one end, and again loses itself in a thick mist at the other? What thou seest, said he, is that portion of eternity which is called time, measured out by the sun, and reaching from the beginning of the world to its consummation. Examine now, said he, this sea that is bounded with darkness at both ends, and tell me what thou discoverest in it. I see a bridge, said I; standing in the midst of the tide. The bridge thou seest said he, is human life; consider it attentively.

7. Upon a more leisurely survey of it, I found that it consisted of threescore and ten entire arches, with several broken arches, which, added to those that were entire, made up the number of about an hundred. As I was counting the arches, the genius told me that this bridge consisted at the first of a thousand arches; but that a great flood swept away the rest, and left the bridge in the ruinous condition I now beheld it; but tell me further, said he, what thou discoverest on it. I see multitudes of people passing over it, said I, and a black cloud hanging on each end of it.

8. As I looked more attentively, I saw several of the passengers dropping through the bridge, into the great, tide that flowed underneath it; and upon further examination, perceived there were innumerable trap-doors that lay concealed in the bridge, which the passengers no sooner trod upon, but they fell through them into the tide, and immediately disappeared. These hidden pitfalls were set very thick at the entrance of the bridge, so that throngs of people no sooner broke through the cloud, but many of them fell into them. They grew thinner, towards the middle, but multiplied and lay closer together towards the end of the arches that were entire.

9. There were indeed some persons, but their number was very small, that continued a kind of hobbling march on the broken arches, but fell through one after another, being quite tired and spent with so long a walk.

10. I passed some time in the contemplation of this wonderful structure; and the great variety of objects which it presented. My heart was filled with a deep melancholy, to see several dropping unexpectedly in the midst of mirth and jollity, and catching at every thing that stood by them to save themselves. Some were looking up towards the heavens in a thoughtful posture, and in the midst of a speculation, stumbled and fell out of sight. Multitudes were very busy in the pursuit of bubbles, that glittered in their eyes and danced before them; but often, when they thought themselves within the reach of them, their footing failed, and down they sunk.

11. In this confusion of objects, I observed some with scymitars in their hands, and others with urinals, who ran to and fro upon the bridge, thrusting several persons on trap-doors, which did not seem to lie in their way, and which they might have escaped, had they not been thus forced upon them.

12. The genius, seeing me indulge myself in this melancholy prospect, told me I had dwelt long enough upon it: take thine eyes off the bridge, says he, and tell me if thou seest any thing thou dost not comprehend. Upon looking up, what mean, said I, those great flights of birds that are perpetually hovering about the bridge, and settling upon it from time to time? I see vultures, harpies, ravens, cormorants, and, among many other feathered creatures, several little winged boys, that perch in great numbers upon the middle arches. These, said the genius, are envy, avarice, superstition, despair, love, with the like cares and passions that infest human life.

13. I here fetched a deep sigh: Alas, said I, man was made in vain! how is he given away to misery and mortality! tortured in life, and swallowed up in death! The genius, being moved with compassion towards me, bid me quit so uncomfortable a prospect. Look no more, said he, on man in the first stage of his existence, in his setting out for eternity; but cast thine eye on that thick mist into which the tide bears the several generations of mortals that fall into it.

14. I directed my sight as I was ordered, and (whether or no the good genius strengthened it with any supernatural force, or dissipated part of the mist that was before too thick for the eye to penetrate) I saw the valley opening; at the farther end, and spreading forth into an immense ocean, that had a huge rock of adamant running through the midst of it, and dividing it into two equal parts. The clouds still rested on one half of it, insomuch that I could discover nothing in it; but the other appeared to me a vast ocean, planted with innumerable islands, that were covered with fruits and flowers; and interwoven with a thousand little shining seas that ran among them.

15. I could see persons dressed in glorious habits, with garlands upon their heads, passing among the trees, lying down by the sides of fountains, or resting on beds of flowers; and could hear a confused harmony of singing birds, falling waters, human voices, and musical instruments. Gladness grew in me at the discovery of so delightful a scene. I wished for the wings of an eagle, that I might fly away to those happy seats; but the genius told me there was no passage to them, except through the gates of death that I saw opening every moment upon the bridge.

16. The islands, said he, that are so fresh and green before thee, and with which the whole face of the ocean appears spotted as far as thou canst see, are more in number than the sand on the sea-shore; there are myriads of islands behind those which thou here discoverest, reaching further than thine eye, or even thine imagination can extend itself. These are the mansions of good men after death, who, according to the degree and kinds of virtue in which they excelled, are distributed among these several islands, which abound with pleasures of different kinds and degrees, suitable to the relishes and perfections of those who are settled in them; every island is a paradise, accommodated to its respective inhabitants.

17. Are not these, O Mirza, habitations worth contending for? Does life appear miserable, that gives thee opportunities of earning such a reward? Is death to be feared, that will convey thee to so happy an existence? Think not man was made in vain, who has such an eternity reserved for him. I gazed, with inexpressible pleasure, on these happy islands. At length, said I, shew me now, I beseech thee, the secrets that lie hid under those dark clouds, which cover the ocean on the other side of the rock of adamant.

18. The genius making me no answer, I turned about to address myself to him a second time, but I found that he had left me; I then turned again to the vision which I had been so long contemplating: but instead of the rolling tide, the arched bridge, and the happy islands, I saw nothing but the long, hollow valley of Bagdat, with oxen, sheep, and camels grazing upon the sides of it.

Riches not productive of Happiness: The Story of Ortogrul of Basra.

IDLER, No. 99.

1. As Ortogrul of Basra was one day wandering along the streets of Bagdat, musing on the varieties of merchandize which the shops altered to his view, and observing the different occupations which busied the multitude on every side, he was awakened from the tranquillity of meditation by a crowd that obstructed his passage. He raised his eyes, and saw the Chief Vizier, who, having returned from the Divan, was entering his palace.

2. Ortogrul mingled with the attendants, and being supposed to have some petiton for the Vizier, was permitted to enter. He surveyed the spaciousness of the apartments, admired the walls hung with golden tapestry, and the floors covered with silken carpets, and despised the simple neatness of his own little habitation.

3. Surely, said he to himself, this palace is the seat of happiness, where pleasure succeeds to pleasure, and discontent and sorrow can have no admission. Whatever nature has provided for the delight of sense, is here spread forth to be enjoyed. What can mortals hope or imagine, which the master of this palace has not obtained? The dishes of luxury cover his table, the voice of harmony lulls him in his bowers; he breathes the fragrance of the groves of Java, and sleeps upon the down of the cygnets of Ganges. He speaks, and his mandate is obeyed; he wishes, and his wish is gratified! all whom he sees obey him, and all whom he hears flatter him.

4. How different, Ortogrul, is thy condition, who art doomed to the perpetual torments of unsatisfied desire, and who hast no amusement in thy power that can withhold thee from thy own reflections! They tell thee that thou art wise, but what does wisdom avail with poverty? None will flatter the poor, and the wise have very little power of flattering themselves. That man is surely the most wretched of the sons of wretchedness, who lives with his own faults and follies always before him, and who has none to reconcile him to himself by praise and veneration. I have long sought content, and have not found it; I will from this moment endeavour to be rich.

5. Full of his new resolution, he shut himself in his chamber for six months, to deliberate how he should grow rich; he sometimes proposed to offer himself as a counsellor to one of the kings of India, and sometimes resolved to dig for diamonds in the mines of Golconda. One day, after some hours passed in violent fluctuation of opinion, sleep insensibly seized him in his chair; he dreamed that he was ranging a desert country in search of some one that might teach him to grow rich; and as he stood on the top of a hill shaded with cypress, in doubt whither to direct his steps, his father appeared on a sudden, standing before him.

6. Ortogrul, said the old man, I know thy perplexity; listen to thy father; turn thine eye on the opposite mountain. Ortogrul looked, and saw a torrent tumbling down the rocks, roaring with the noise of thunder, and scattering, its foam on the impending woods. Now, said his father, behold the valley that lies between the hills.

7. Ortogrul looked, and espied a little well, out of which issued a small rivulet. Tell me now, said his father, dost thou wish for sudden affluence, that may pour upon thee like the mountain torrent, or for a slow and gradual increase, resembling the rill gliding from the well? Let me be quickly rich, said Ortogrul; let the golden stream be quick and violent.

8. Look round thee, said his father, once again. Ortogrul looked, and perceived the channel of the torrent dry and dusty; but following the rivulet from the well, he traced it to a wide lake, which the supply, slow and constant, kept always full. He waked, and determined to grow rich by silent profit, and persevering industry.

9. Having sold his patrimony, he engaged in merchandise, and in twenty years purchased lands, on which he raised a house equal in sumptuousness to that of the Vizier, to which he invited all the ministers of pleasure, expecting to enjoy all the felicity which he had imagined riches able to afford. Leisure soon made him weary of himself, and he longed to be persuaded that he was great and happy. He was courteous and liberal; he gave all that approached him hopes of pleasing him, and all who should please him, hopes of being rewarded. Every art of praise was tried, and every source of adulatory fiction was exhausted.

10, Ortogrul heard his flatterers without delight, because he found himself unable to believe them. His own heart told him its frailties. His own understanding reproached him with his faults. How long, said he, with a deep sigh, have I been labouring in vain to amass wealth, which at last is useless? Let no man hereafter wish to be rich, who is already too wise to be flattered.

Of the Scriptures, as the Rule of Life.

1. As you advance in years and under standing, I hope you, will be able to examine for yourself the evidence of the Christian religion, and that you will be convinced, on rational grounds, of its divine authority. At present, such enquiries would demand more study, and greater powers of reasoning, than your age admits of. It is your part, therefore, till you are capable of understanding the proofs, to believe your parents and teachers, that the holy scriptures are writings inspired by God, containing a true history of facts, in which we are deeply concerned—a true recital of the laws given by God to Moses, and of the precepts of our blessed Lord and Saviour, delivered from his own mouth to his disciples, and repeated and enlarged upon in the edifying epistles of his Apostles; who were men chosen from amongst those who had the advantage of conversing with our Lord, to bear witness of his miracles and resurrection—and who, after his ascension, were assisted and inspired by the Holy Ghost.

2. This sacred volume must be the rule of your life. In it you will find all truths necessary to be believed; and plain and easy directions for the practice of every duty. Your bible, then, must be your chief study and delight; but, as it contains many various kinds of writing—some parts obscure and difficult of interpretation, others plain and intelligible to the meanest capacity—I would chiefly recommend to your frequent perusal, such parts of the sacred writings as are most adapted to your understanding, and most necessary for your instruction.

3. Our Saviour's precepts were spoken to the common people amongst the Jews; and were therefore given in a manner easy to be understood, and equally striking and instructive to the learned and unlearned; for the most ignorant may comprehend them, whilst the wisest must be charmed and awed by the beautiful and majestic simplicity with, which they are expressed. Of the same kind are the Ten Commandments, delivered by God to Moses; which, as they were designed for universal laws, are worded in the most concise and simple manner, yet with a majesty which commands our utmost reverence.

4. I think you will receive great pleasure, as well as improvement, from the historical books of the Old Testament; provided you read them as an history in a regular course, and keep the thread of it in your mind as you go on. I know of none, true or fictitious, that is equally wonderful, interesting, or affecting; or that is told in so short and simple a manner as this, which is of all histories the most, authentic.

5. I shall give you some brief directions, concerning the method and course I wish you to pursue, in reading the Holy Scriptures. May you be enabled to make the best use of this most precious gift of God—this sacred treasure of knowledge!—May you read the bible, not as a task, nor as the dull employment of that day only in which you are forbidden more lively entertainments—but, with a sincere and ardent desire of instruction; with that love and delight in God's word, which the holy Psalmist so pathetically felt and described, and which is the natural consequence of loving God and virtue.

6. Though I speak this of the bible in general, I would not be understood to mean, that every part of the volume is equally interesting. I have already said, that it consists of various matter, and various kinds of books, which must be read with different views and sentiments.

7. The having some general notion of what you are to expect from each book, may possibly help you to understand them. I shall treat you as if you were perfectly new to the whole; for so I wish you to consider yourself; because the time and manner in which children usually read the bible, are very ill-calculated to make them really acquainted with it; and too many people who have read it thus, without understanding it in their youth, satisfy themselves that they know enough of it, and never afterwards study it with attention when they come to a mature age.

8. If the feelings of your heart, whilst you read, correspond with those of mine whilst I write, I shall not be without the advantage of your partial affection, to give weight to my advice; for, believe me, my heart and eyes overflow with tenderness, when I tell you how warm and earnest my prayers are for your happiness here and hereafter.

Of Genesis.

9. I now proceed to give you some short sketches of the matter contained in the different books of the Bible, and of the course in which they ought to be read.

10. The first book, Genesis, contains the most grand, and, to us, the most interesting events, that ever happened in the universe: The creation of the world, and of man; the deplorable fall of man, from his first state of excellence and bliss, to the distressed condition in which we see all his descendants continue: The sentence of death pronounced on Adam and on all his race; with the reviving promise of that deliverance, which has since been wrought for us by our blessed Saviour: The account of the early state of the world; of the universal deluge: The division of mankind into different nations and languages: The story of Abraham, the founder of the Jewish people, whose unshaken faith and obedience, under the severest trial human nature could sustain, obtained such favour in the sight of God, that he vouchsafed to stile him his friend, and promised to make of his posterity a great nation; and that in his seed—that is, in one of his descendants—all the kingdoms of the earth should be blessed. This, you will easily see, refers to the Messiah, who was to be the blessing and deliverance of all nations.

11. It is amazing that the Jews, possessing this prophecy among many others, should have been so blinded by prejudice, as to have expected from, this great personage, only a temporal deliverance of their own nation from the subjection to which they were reduced under the Romans: It is equally amazing, that some Christians should, even now, confine the blessed effects of his appearance upon earth, to this or that particular sect or profession, when he is so clearly and emphatically described as the Saviour of the whole world.

12. The story of Abraham's proceeding to sacrifice his only son, at the command of God, is affecting in the highest degree, and sets forth a pattern of unlimited resignation, that every one ought to imitate in those trials of obedience under temptation, or of acquiescence under afflicting dispensations, which fall to their lot: of this we may be assured, that our trials will be always proportioned to the powers afforded us. If we have not Abraham's strength of mind, neither shall we be called upon to lift the bloody knife against the bosom of an only child; but, if the almighty arm should be lifted up against him, we must be ready to resign him, and all we hold dear, to the divine will.

13. This action of Abraham has been censured by some who do not attend to the distinction between obedience to a specified command, and the detestably cruel sacrifices of the heathens, who sometimes voluntarily, and without any divine injunctions, offered up their own children, under the notion of appeasing the anger of their gods. An absolute command from God himself—as in the case of Abraham—entirely alters the moral nature of the action; since he, and he only, has a perfect sight over the lives of his creatures, and may appoint whom he will, either angel or man, to be his instrument of destruction.

14. That it was really the voice of God which pronounced the command, and not a delusion, might be made certain to Abraham's mind, by means we do not comprehend, but which we know to be within the power of him who made our souls as well as bodies, and who can control and direct every faculty of the human mind: and we may be assured, that if he was pleased to reveal himself so miraculously, he would not leave a possibility of doubting whether it was a real or an imaginary revelation: thus the sacrifice of Abraham appears to be clear of all superstition, and, remains the noblest instance of religious faith and submission, that was ever given by a mere man: we cannot wonder that the blessings bestowed on him for it, should have been extended to his posterity.

15. This book proceeds with the history of Isaac, which becomes very interesting to us, from the touching scene I have mentioned—and, still more so, if we consider him as the type of our Saviour: it recounts his marriage with Rebecca—the birth and history of his two sons, Jacob,—the father of the twelve tribes, and Esau, the father of the Edomites or Idumeans—the exquisitively affecting story of Joseph and his brethren—and of his transplanting the Israelites into Egypt, who there multiplied to a great nation.

Of Exodus.

16. In Exodus, you read of a series of wonders, wrought by the Almighty to rescue the oppressed Israelites from the cruel tyranny of the Egyptians, who having first received them as guests, by degrees reduced them to a state of slavery. By the most peculiar mercies and exertion in their favour, God prepared his chosen people to receive, with reverent and obedient hearts, the solemn restitution of those primitive laws, which probably he had revealed to Adam and his immediate descendants; or which, at least, he had made known by the dictates of conscience, but which time, and the degeneracy of mankind, had much obscured.

17. This important revelation was made to them in the wilderness of Sinai; there, assembled before the burning mountain, surrounded with "blackness, and darkness, and tempest," they heard the awful voice of God pronounce the eternal law, impressing it on their hearts with circumstances of terror, but without those encouragements and those excellent promises, which were afterwards offered to mankind by Jesus Christ. Thus were the great laws of morality restored to the Jews, and through them transmitted to other nations; and by that means a great restraint was opposed to the torrent of vice and impiety which began to prevail over the world.

18. To these moral precepts; which are of perpetual and universal obligation, were superadded, by the ministration of Moses, many peculiar institutions, wisely adapted to different ends—either to fix the memory of those past deliverances, which were figurative of a future and far greater salvation—to place inviolable barriers between the Jews and the idolatrous nations, by whom they were surrounded—or, to be the civil law by which the community was to be governed.

19. To conduct this series of events, and to establish these laws with his people, God raised up that great prophet Moses, whose faith and piety enabled him to undertake and execute the most arduous enterprizes, and to pursue, with unabated zeal, the welfare of his countrymen; even in the hour of death, this generous ardour still prevailed; his last moments were employed in fervent prayers for their prosperity, and, in rapturous gratitude, for the glimpse vouchsafed him of a Saviour, far greater than himself, whom God would one day raise up to his people.

20. Thus did Moses, by the excellency of his faith, obtain a glorious pre-eminence among the saints and prophets in heaven; while on earth he will be for ever revered as the first of those benefactors to mankind, whose labours for the public good have endeared their memory to all ages.

Of Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

21. The next book is Leviticus, which contains little besides the laws for the peculiar ritual observance of the Jews, and therefore affords no great instruction to us now; you may pass it over entirely; and for the same reason you may omit the first eight chapters of Numbers. The rest of Numbers is chiefly a continuation of the history, with some ritual laws.

22. In Deuteronomy, Moses makes a recapitulation of the foregoing history, with zealous exhortations to the people, faithfully to worship and obey that God who had worked such amazing wonders for them: he promises them the noblest temporal blessings, if they prove obedient, and adds the most awful and striking denunciations against them, if they rebel, or forsake the true God.

23. I have before observed, that the sanctions of the Mosaic law, were temporal rewards and punishments; those of the New Testament are eternal. These last, as they are so infinitely more forcible than the first, were reserved for the last, best gift to mankind—and were revealed by the Messiah, in the fullest and clearest manner. Moses, in this book, directs the method in which the Israelites were to deal with the seven nations, whom they were appointed to punish for their profligacy and idolatry; and whose land they were to possess, when they had driven out the old inhabitants. He gives them excellent laws, civil as well as religious, which were after the standing municipal laws of that people. This book concludes with Moses' song and death.

Of Joshua.

24. The book of Joshua contains the conquests of the Israelites over the seven nations, and their establishment in the promised land. Their treatment of these conquered nations must appear to you very cruel and unjust, if you consider it as their own act, unauthorised by a positive command; but they had the most absolute injunctions not to spare these corrupt people—"to make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy to them, but utterly to destroy them:"—and the reason is given, "lest they should turn away the Israelites from following the Lord, that they might serve other gods." The children of Israel are to be considered as instruments in the hand of the Lord, to punish those whose idolatry and wickedness had deservedly brought destruction on them: this example, therefore, cannot be pleaded in behalf of cruelty, or bring any imputation on the character of the Jews.

25. With regard to other cities, which did not belong to these seven nations, they were directed to deal with them, according to the common law of arms at that time. If the city submitted, it became tributary, and the people were spared; if it resisted, the men were to be slain, but the women and children saved.

26. Yet, though the crime of cruelty cannot be justly laid to their charge on this occasion, you will observe in the course of their history, many things recorded of them very different from what you would expect from the chosen people of God, if you supposed them selected on account of their own merit; their national character was by no means amiable; and we are repeatedly told, that they were not chosen for their superior righteousness—"for they were a stiff-necked people, and provoked the Lord with their rebellions from the day they left Egypt."—"You have been rebellious against the Lord (says Moses) from the day that I knew you." And he vehemently exhorts them, not to flatter themselves that their success was, in any degree, owing to their own merits.

27. They were appointed to be the scourge of other nations, whose crimes rendered them fit objects of divine chastisement. For the sake of righteous Abraham, their founder, and perhaps for many other wise reasons, undiscovered to us, they were selected from a world over-run with idolatry, to preserve upon earth the pure worship of the one only God, and to be honoured with the birth of the Messiah amongst them. For this end, they were precluded, by divine command, from mixing with any other people, and defended, by a great number of peculiar rites and observances, from falling into the corrupt worship practised by their neighbours.

Of Judges, Samuel, and Kings.

28. The book of Judges, in which you will find the affecting stories of Sampson and Jeptha, carries on the history from the death of Joshua, about two hundred and fifty years; but, the facts are not told in the times in which they happened, which makes some confusion; and it will be necessary to consult the marginal dates and notes, as well as the index, in order to get any clear idea of the succession of events during that period.

29. The history then proceeds regularly through the two books of Samuel, and those of Kings: nothing can be more interesting and entertaining than the reigns of Saul, David, and Solomon: but, after the death of Solomon, when ten tribes revolted from his son Rehoboam, and became a separate kingdom, you will find some difficulty in understanding distinctly the histories of the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah, which are blended together, and by the likeness of the names, and other particulars, will be apt to confound your mind, without great attention to the different threads thus carried on together: The index here will be of great use to you. The second book of Kings concludes with the Babylonish captivity, 588 years before Christ—'till which time the kingdom of Judah had descended uninterruptedly in the line of David.

Of Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther.

30. The first book of Chronicles begins with a genealogy from Adam, through all the tribes of Israel and Judah; and the remainder is the same history which is contained in the books of Kings, with little or no variation, till the separation of the ten tribes: From that period it proceeds with the history of the kingdom of Judah alone, and gives, therefore, a more regular and clear account of the affairs of Judah, than the book of Kings. You may pass over the first book of Chronicles, and the nine first chapters of the second book: but, by all means, read the remaining chapters, as they will give you more clear and distinct ideas of the history of Judah, than that you read in the second book of Kings. The second of Chronicles ends, like the second of Kings, with the Babylonish captivity.

31. You must pursue the history in the book of Ezra, which gives the account of the return of some of the Jews on the edict of Cyrus, and of the re-building the Lord's temple.

32. Nehemiah carries on the history for about twelve years, when he himself was governor of Jerusalem, with authority to re-build the walls, &c.

33. The story of Esther is prior in time to that of Ezra and Nehemiah; us you will see by the marginal dates; however, as it happened during the seventy years captivity, and is a kind of episode, it may be read in its own place.

34. This is the last of the canonical books that is properly historical; and I would therefore advise, that you pass over what follows, till you have continued the history through the Apocryphal Books.

Of Job.

35. The history of Job is probably very ancient, though that is a point upon which learned men have differed: It is dated, however, 1520 years before Christ: I believe it is uncertain by whom it was written: many parts of it are obscure, but it is well worth studying, for the extreme beauty of the poetry, and for the noble and sublime devotion it contains.

36. The subject of the dispute between Job and his pretended friends, seems to be, whether the Providence of God distributes the rewards and punishments of this life; in exact proportion to the merit or demerit of each individual. His antagonists suppose that it does; and therefore infer from Job's uncommon calamities, that, notwithstanding his apparent righteousness, he was in reality a grievous sinner: They aggravate his supposed guilt, by the imputation of hypocrisy, and call upon him to confess it, and to acknowledge the justice of his punishment.

37. Job asserts his own innocence and virtue in the most pathetic manner, yet does not presume to accuse the Supreme Being of injustice. Elihu attempts to arbitrate the matter, by alledging the impossibility that so frail and ignorant a creature as man should comprehend the ways of the Almighty, and therefore condemns the unjust and cruel inference the three friends had drawn from the sufferings of Job. He also blames Job for the presumption of acquitting himself of all iniquity, since the best of men are not pure in the sight of God—but all have something to repent of; and he advises him to make this use of his afflictions.

38. At last, by a bold figure of poetry, the Supreme Being himself is introduced, speaking from the whirlwind, and silencing them all by the most sublime display of his own power, magnificence, and wisdom, and of the comparative littleness and ignorance of men.—This, indeed, is the only conclusion of the argument, which could be drawn at a time when life and immortality were not yet brought to light: a future retribution is the only satisfactory solution of the difficulty arising from the sufferings of good people in this life.

Of the Psalms.

39. Next follow the Psalms, with which you cannot be too conversant. If you have any taste, either for poetry or devotion, they will be your delight, and will afford you a continual feast. The Bible translation is far better than that used in the common prayer-book, and will often give you the sense, when the other is obscure. In this, as well as in all other parts of the scripture, you must be careful always to consult the margin, which gives you the corrections made since the last translation, and it is generally preferable to the words of the text.

40. I would wish you to select some of the Psalms that please you best, and get them by heart; or, at least, make yourself master of the sentiments contained in them: Dr. Delaney's life of David, will shew you the occasions on which several of them were composed, which add much to their beauty and propriety; and by comparing them with the events of David's life, you will greatly enhance your pleasure in them.

41. Never did the spirit of true piety breathe more strongly than in these divine songs; which being added to a rich vein of poetry, makes them more captivating to my heart and imagination, than any thing I ever read. You will consider how great disadvantages any poem must sustain from being rendered literally into prose, and then imagine how beautiful these must be in the original.—May you be enabled by reading them frequently, to transfuse into your own breast that holy flame which inspired the writer!—To delight in the Lord, and in his laws, like the Psalmist—to rejoice in him always, and to think "one day in his courts better than a thousand!"—But may you escape the heart-piercing sorrow of such repentance as that of David—by avoiding sin, which humbled this unhappy king to the dust—and which cost him such bitter anguish, as it is impossible to read of without being moved.

42. Not all the pleasures of the most prosperous sinners, could counterbalance the hundredth part of those sensations described in his penitential psalms—and which must be the portion of every man, who has fallen from a religious state into such crimes, when once he recovers a sense of religion and virtue, and is brought to a real hatred of sin. However, available such repentance may be to the safety and happiness of the soul after death, it is a state of such exquisite suffering here, that one cannot be enough surprised at the folly of those who indulge sin, with the hope of living to make their peace with God by repentance.

43. Happy are they who preserve their innocence unsullied by any great or wilful crimes, and who have only the common failings of humanity to repent of, these are suffiently mortifying to a heart deeply smitten with the love of virtue, and with the desire of perfection.

44. There are many very striking prophecies of the Messiah in these divine songs, particularly in psalm xxii. Such may be found scattered up and down almost throughout the Old Testament. To bear testimony to him, is the great and ultimate end for which the spirit of prophecy was bestowed on the sacred writers;—but, this will appear more plainly to you when you enter on the study of prophecy, which you are now much too young to undertake.

Of the Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Solomon's Song, the Prophecies, and Apocrypha.

45. The Proverbs and Ecclesiastes are rich stores of wisdom; from which I wish you to adopt such maxims as may be of infinite use, both to your temporal and eternal interest. But, detached sentences are a kind of reading not proper to be continued long at a time; a few of them, well chosen and digested, will do you much more service, than to read half a dozen chapters together: in this respect, they are directly opposite to the historical books, which, if not read in continuation, can hardly be understood, or retained to any purpose.

46. The Song of Solomon is a fine poem—but its mystical reference to religion lies too deep for a common understanding: if you read it, therefore, it will be rather as matter of curiosity than of edification.

47. Next follow the Prophecies; which, though highly deserving the greatest attention and study, I think you had better omit for some years, and then read them with a good Exposition, as they are much too difficult for you to understand without assistance. Dr. Newton on the prophecies, will help you much, whenever you undertake this study; which you should by all means do when your understanding is ripe enough; because one of the main proofs of our religion rests on the testimony of the prophecies; and they are very frequently quoted, and referred to, in the New Testament: besides, the sublimity of the language and sentiments, through all the disadvantages of a antiquity and translation, must, in very many passages, strike every person of taste; and the excellent moral and religious precepts found in them, must be useful to all.

48. Though I have spoken of these books in the order in which they stand, I repeat, that they are not to be read in that order—but that the thread of the history is to be pursued, from Nehemiah to the first book of the Maccabees, in the Apocrypha; taking care to observe the chronology regularly, by referring to the index, which supplies the deficiencies of this history from Josephus's Antiquities of the Jews. The first of Maccabees carries on the story till within 195 years of our Lord's circumcision: the second book is the same narrative, written by a different hand, and does not bring the history so forward as the first; so that it may be entirely omitted, unless you have the curiosity to read some particulars of the heroic constancy of the Jews, under the tortures inflicted by their heathen conquerors, with a few other things not mentioned in the first book.

49. You must then connect the history by the help of the index, which will give you brief heads of the changes that happened in the state of the Jews, from this time till the birth of the Messiah.

50. The other books of the Apocrypha, though not admitted as of sacred authority, have many things well worth your attention; particularly the admirable book called Ecclesiasticus, and the book of Wisdom. But, in the course of reading which I advise, these must be omitted till after you have gone through the Gospels and Acts, that you may not lose the historical thread.

Of the New Testament, which is constantly to be referred to as the Rule and Direction of our moral Conduct.

51. We come now to that part of scripture, which is the most important of all, and which you must make your constant study, not only till you are thoroughly acquainted with but all your life long; because, how often soever repeated, it is impossible to read the life and death of our blessed Saviour, without renewing and increasing in our hearts that love and reverence, and gratitude towards him, which is so justly due for all he did and suffered for us! Every word that fell from his lips is more precious than all the treasures of the earth; for his "are the words of eternal life!" They must therefore be laid up in your heart, and constantly referred to on all occasions, as the rule and directions of all your actions; particularly those very comprehensive moral precepts he has graciously left with us, which can never fail to direct us aright, if fairly and honestly applied: such as, "whatsoever you would that men should do unto you, even so do unto them." There is no occasion, great or small, on which you may not safely apply this rule for the direction of your conduct; and, whilst your heart honestly adheres to it, you can never be guilty of any sort of injustice or unkindness.

52. The two great commandments, which contain the summary of our duty to God and man, are no less easily retained, and made a standard by which to judge our own hearts—"To love the Lord our God, with all our own hearts, with all our minds, with all our strength; and our neighbour (or fellow-creature) as ourselves."—"Love worketh no ill to his neighbour." Therefore, if you have true benevolence, you will never do any thing injurious to individuals, or to society.

53. Now, all crimes whatever, are (in their remoter consequences at least, if not immediately and apparently) injurious to the society in which we live. It is impossible to love God without desiring to please him, and, as far as we are able, to resemble him: therefore the love of God must lead to every virtue in the highest degree; and, we may be sure we do not truly love him, if we content ourselves with avoiding flagrant sins, and do not strive, in good earnest, to reach the greatest degree of perfection we are capable of. Thus do these few words direct as to the highest Christian virtue. Indeed; the whole tenor of the Gospel, is to offer us every help, direction, and motive, that can enable us to attain that degree of perfection on which depends our eternal good.

Of the Example set by our Saviour, and his Character.

54. What an example is set before us in our blessed master! How is his whole life, from earliest youth, dedicated to the pursuits of true wisdom, and to the practice of the most exalted virtue! When you see him, at twelve years of age, in the temple amongst the doctors, hearing them, and asking them questions on the subject of religion, and astonishing them all with his understanding and answers—you will say, perhaps, "Well might the Son of God, even at those years, be far wiser than the aged; but, can a mortal child emulate such heavenly wisdom! Can such a pattern be proposed to my imitation?"—Yes, certainly;—remember that he has bequeathed to you his heavenly wisdom, as far as concerns your own good. He has left you such declarations of his will, and of the consequences of your actions, as you are, even now, fully able to understand, if you will but attend to them. If, then, you will imitate his zeal for knowledge, if you will delight in gaining information and improvement, you may even now become "wise unto salvation."

55. Unmoved by the praise he acquired amongst these learned men, you see him meekly return to the subjection of a child, under those who appeared to be his parents, though he was in reality their Lord; you see him return to live with them, to work for them, and to be the joy and solace of their lives; till the time came, when he was to enter on that scene of public action, for which his heavenly Father had sent him from his own right hand, to take upon him the form of a poor carpenter's son.

56. What a lesson of humility is this, and of obedience to parents!—When, having received the glorious testimony from heaven, of his being the beloved Son of the most High, he enters on his public ministry, what an example does he give us, of the most extensive and constant benevolence!—how are all his hours spent in doing good to the souls and bodies of men!—not the meanest sinner is below his notice:—To reclaim and save them, he condescends to converse familiarly with the most corrupt as well as the most abject. All his miracles are wrought to benefit mankind; not one to punish and afflict them. Instead of using the almighty power which accompanied him, to the purpose of exalting himself, and treading down his enemies, he makes no other use of it than to heal and to save.

57. When you come to read of his sufferings and death, the ignominy and reproach, the sorrow of mind, and torment of body, which he submitted to—when you consider, that it was all for our sakes—"that by his stripes we are healed,"—and by his death we are raised from destruction to everlasting life—what can I say that can add any thing to the sensations you must then feel? No power of language can make the scene more touching than it appears in the plain and simple narrations of the Evangelists. The heart that is unmoved by it, can be scarcely human; but the emotions of tenderness and compunction; which almost every one feels in reading this account, will be of no avail, unless applied to the true end—unless it inspires you with a sincere and warm affection towards your blessed Lord—with a firm resolution to obey his commands—to be his faithful disciple—and ever renounce and abhor those sins, which brought mankind under divine condemnation, and from which we have been redeemed at so clear a rate.

58. Remember that the title of Christian, or follower of Christ, implies a more than ordinary degree of holiness and goodness. As our motives to virtue are stronger than those which are afforded to the rest of mankind, our guilt will be proportionally greater if we depart from it.

59. Our Saviour appears to have had three great purposes in descending from his glory, and dwelling amongst men. The first, to teach them true virtue, both by his example and precepts: the second, to give them the most forcible motives to the practice of it, by "bringing life and immortality to light;" by shewing them the certainty of a resurrection and judgment, and the absolute necessity of obedience to God's laws. The third, to sacrifice himself for us, to obtain by his death the remission of our sins, upon our repentance and reformation, and the power of bestowing on his sincere followers, the inestimable gift of immortal happiness.

A Comparative View of the Blessed and Cursed at the Last Day, and the Inference to be drawn from it.

60. What a tremendous scene of the last day does the gospel place before our eyes!—of that day, when you and every one of us shall awake from the grave, and behold the Son of God, on his glorious tribunal, attended by millions of celestial beings, of whose superior excellence we can now form no adequate idea—When, in presence of all mankind, of those holy angels, and of the great Judge himself, you must give an account of your past life, and hear your final doom, from which there can be no appeal, and which must determine your fate to all eternity: then think—if for a moment you can hear the thought—what will be the desolation, shame, and anguish of those wretched souls, who shall hear these dreadful words—"Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."—Oh!—I cannot support even the idea of your becoming one of those undone, lost creatures! I trust in God's mercy, that you will make a better use of that knowledge of his will, which he has vouchsafed you, and of those amiable dispositions he has given you.

61. Let us, therefore, turn from this horrid, this insupportable view—and rather endeavour to imagine, as far as is possible, what will be the sensations of your soul, if you shall hear our heavenly Judge address you in these transporting words—"Come thou blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."—Think, what it must be, to become an object of the esteem and applause—not only of all mankind assembled together—but of all the host of heaven, of our blessed Lord himself—nay, of his and our Almighty Father:—to find your frail flesh changed in a moment into a glorious celestial body, endowed with perfect beauty, health, and agility;—to find your soul cleansed from all its faults and infirmities; exalted to the purest and noblest affections; overflowing with divine love and rapturous gratitude!—to have your understanding enlightened and refined; your heart enlarged and purified; and every power, and disposition of mind and body, adapted to the highest relish of virtue and happiness!—Thus accomplished, to be admitted into the society of amiable and happy beings, all united in the most perfect peace and friendship, all breathing nothing but love to God, and to each other;—with them to dwell in scenes more delightful than the richest imagination can paint—free from every pain and care, and from all possibility of change or satiety:—but, above all, to enjoy the more immediate presence of God himself—to be able to comprehend and admire his adorable perfections in a high degree, though still far short of their infinity—to be conscious, of his love and favour, and to rejoice in the light of his countenance!

62. But here all imagination fails:—we can form no idea of that bliss which may be communicated to us by such a near approach to the source of all beauty and all good:—we must content ourselves with believing, "that it is what mortal eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive." The crown of all our joys will be, to know that we are secure of possessing them for ever—what a transporting idea!

63. Can you reflect on all these things, and not feel the most earnest longings after immortality? Do not all other views and desires seem mean and trifling, when compared with this?—And does not your inmost heart resolve, that this shall be the chief and constant object of its wishes and pursuit, through the whole course of your life?

64. If you are not insensible to that desire of happiness which seems woven into our nature, you cannot surely be unmoved by the prospect of such a transcendant degree of it; and that—continued to all eternity—perhaps continually increasing. You cannot but dread the forfeiture of such an inheritance as the most insupportable evil!—Remember then—remember the conditions on which alone it can be obtained. God will not give to vice, to carelessness, or sloth, the prize he has proposed to virtue. You have every help that can animate your endeavours: You have written laws to direct you—the example of Christ and his disciples to encourage you—the most awakening motives to engage you—and you have, besides, the comfortable promise of constant assistance from the Holy Spirit, if you diligently and sincerely pray for it. O! let not all this mercy be lost upon you—but give your attention to this your only important concern, and accept, with profound gratitude, the inestimable advantages that are thus affectionately offered you.

65. Though the four Gospels are each of them a narration of the life, sayings, and death of Christ; yet as they are not exactly alike, but some circumstances and sayings omitted in one, are recorded in another, you must make yourself perfectly master of them all.

66. The Acts of the Holy Apostles, endowed with the Holy Ghost, and authorised by their Divine Master, come next in order to be read. Nothing can be more interesting and edifying, than the history of their actions—of the piety, zeal, and courage, with which they preached the glad tidings of salvation, and of the various exertions of the wonderful powers conferred on them by the Holy Spirit for the confirmation of their mission.

Character of St. Paul.

67. The character of St. Paul, and his miraculous conversion, demand your particular attention: most of the Apostles were men of low birth and education; but St. Paul was a Roman citizen; that is, he possessed the privileges annexed to the freedom of the city of Rome, which was considered as a high distinction in those countries that had been conquered by the Romans. He was educated amongst the most learned sect of the Jews, and by one of their principal doctors. He was a man of extraordinary eloquence, as appears not only in his writings, but in several speeches in his own defence, pronounced before governors and courts of justice, when he was called to account for the doctrines he taught.

68. He seems to have been of an uncommonly warm temper, and zealous in whatever religion he professed: his zeal, before his conversion, shewed itself in the most unjustifiable actions, by furiously persecuting the innocent Christians: but, though his actions were bad, we may be sure his intentions were good; otherwise we should not have seen a miracle employed to convince him of his mistake, and to bring him into the right way.

69. This example may assure us of the mercy of God towards mistaken consciences, and ought to inspire us with the most enlarged charity and good will towards those whose erroneous principles mislead their conduct: instead of resentment and hatred against their persons, we ought only to feel an active wish of assisting them to find the truth, since we know not whether, if convinced, they might not prove, like St. Paul, chosen vessels to promote the honour of God, and of true religion.

70. It is not now my intention to enter with you into any of the arguments for the truth of Christianity, otherwise it would be impossible wholly to pass over that which arises from this remarkable conversion, and which has been so admirably illustrated by a nobler writer, whose tract on this subject is in everybody's hands.

Of the Epistles.

71. Next follow the Epistles, which make a very important part of the New Testament; and you cannot be too much employed in reading them. They contain the most excellent precepts and admonitions; and are of particular use in explaining more at large several doctrines of Christianity, which we could not so fully comprehend without them.

72. There are indeed, in the Epistles of St. Paul, many passages hard to be understood: such in particular are the first eleven chapters to the Romans; the greater part of his Epistles to the Corinthians and Galatians; and several chapters of that to the Hebrews. Instead of perplexing yourself with these more obscure passages of scripture, I would wish you to employ your attention chiefly on those that are plain; and to judge of the doctrines taught in the other parts, by comparing them with what you find in these. It is through the neglect of this rule, that many have been led to draw the most absurd doctrines from the Holy Scriptures.

73. Let me particularly recommend to your careful perusal, the xii, xiii, xiv, and xv chapters of the Epistle to the Romans. In the xiv chapter, St. Paul has in view the difference between the Jewish and Gentile (or Heathen) converts at that time; the former were disposed to look with horror on the latter, for their impiety in not paying the same regard to the distinctions of days and meats that they did; and the latter, on the contrary, were inclined to look with contempt on the former, for their weakness and superstition.

74. Excellent is the advice which the Apostle gives to both parties: he exhorts the Jewish converts not to judge and the Gentiles not to despise; remembering that the kingdom of Heaven is not meat and drink, but righteousness and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

75. Endeavour to conform yourself to this advice; to acquire a temper of universal candour and benevolence; and learn neither to despise nor condemn any persons on account of their particular modes of faith and worship: remembering always, that goodness is confined to no party, that there are wise and worthy men among all the sects of Christians, and that to his own master every one must stand or fall.

76. I will enter no farther into the several points discussed by St. Paul in his various epistles; most of them are too intricate for your understanding at present, and many of them beyond my abilities to state clearly. I will only again recommend to you, to read those passages frequently, which, with, so much fervor and energy, excite you to the practice of the most exalted piety and benevolence. If the effusions of a heart, warmed with the tenderest affection for the whole human race; if precept, warning, encouragement, example, urged by an eloquence which such affection only could inspire, are capable of influencing your mind; you cannot fail to find, in such parts of his epistles as are adapted to your understanding, the strongest persuasives to every virtue that can adorn and improve your nature.

The Epistle of St. James.

77. The Epistle of St. James is entirely practical, and exceedingly fine; you cannot study it too much. It seems particularly designed to guard Christians against misunderstanding some things in St. Paul's writings, which have been fatally perverted to the encouragement of a dependence on faith alone, without good works. But, the more rational commentators will tell you, that by the works of the law, which the Apostle asserts to be incapable of justifying us, he means not the works of moral righteousness, but the ceremonial works of the Mosaic law; on which the Jews laid the greatest stress as necessary to salvation. But, St. James tells us, "that if any man among us seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, that man's religion is vain;"—and that "pure religion, and undefiled before God and the Father, is this, to visit the fatherless and widow in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." Faith in Christ, if it produce not these effects, he declareth is dead, or of no power.

Epistles of St. Peter, and the first of St. John.

78. The Epistles of St. Peter are also full of the best instructions and admonitions, concerning the relative duties of life; amongst which are set forth the duties of women in general, and of wives in particular. Some part of his second Epistle is prophetical; warning the church of false teachers and false doctrines, which undermine morality, and disgrace the cause of Christianity.

79. The first of St. John is written in a highly figurative stile, which makes it in some parts hard to be understood: but the spirit of divine love which it so fervently expresses, renders it highly edifying and delightful.—That love of God and of Man, which this beloved apostle so pathetically recommends, is in truth the essence of religion as our Saviour himself informs us.

Of the Revelations.

80. The book of Revelations contains a prophetical account of most of the greater events relating to the Christian church, which were to happen from the time of the writer, St. John, to the end of the world. Many learned men have taken a great deal of pains to explain it; and they have done this in many instances very successfully; but, I think, it is yet too soon for you to study this part of scripture: some years hence, perhaps, there may be no objection to your attempting it, and taking into your hands the best Expositions to assist you in reading such of the most difficult parts of the New Testament as you cannot now be supposed to understand.—May heaven direct you in studying this sacred volume, and render it the means of making you wise unto salvation!—-May you love and reverence, as it deserves, this blessed and valuable book, which contains the best rule of life, the clearest declaration of the will and laws of the Deity, the reviving assurance of favour to true penitants, and the unspeakable joyful tidings of eternal life and happiness to all the truly virtuous, through Jesus Christ, the Saviour and Deliverer of the world.

True Devotion productive of the truest Pleasure.

1. You see that true devotion is not a melancholy sentiment, that depresses the spirits and excludes the ideas, of pleasure, which youth is so fond of: on the contrary, there is nothing so friendly to joy, so productive of true pleasure, so peculiarly suited to the warmth and innocence of a youthful heart. Do not, therefore, think it too soon to turn your mind to God; but offer him, the first fruits of your understanding and affections: and, be assured, that the more you increase in love to him, and delight in his laws, the more you will increase in happiness, in excellence, and honour:—that, in proportion as you improve in true piety, you will become dear and amiable to your fellow creatures; contented and peaceable in yourself, and qualified to enjoy the best blessings of this life, as well as to inherit the glorious promise of immortality.

2. Thus far I have spoken of the first principles of all religion: namely, belief in God, worthy notions of his attributes, and suitable affections towards him—which will naturally excite a sincere desire of obedience. But, before you can obey his will, you must know what that will is; you must enquire in what manner he has declared it, and where you may find those laws, which must be the rule of your actions.

3. The great laws of morality are indeed written in our hearts, and may be discovered by reason; but our reason is of slow growth, very unequally dispensed to different persons; liable to error, and confined within very narrow limits in all. If, therefore, God has vouchsafed to grant a particular revelation of his will—if he has been so unspeakably gracious as to send his Son into the world, to reclaim mankind from error and wickedness—to die for our sins—and to teach us the way to eternal life—surely it becomes us to receive his precepts with the deepest reverence; to love and prize them above all things; and to study them constantly, with an earnest desire to conform our thoughts, our words and actions, to them.

A Morning Prayer for a young Student at School, or for the common Use of a School.

Father of all! we return thee most humble and hearty thanks for thy protection of us in the night season, and for the refreshment of our souls and bodies, in the sweet repose of sleep. Accept also our unfeigned gratitude for all thy mercies during the helpless age of infancy.

Continue, we beseech thee, to guard us under the shadow of thy wing. Our age is tender, and our nature frail, and without the influence of thy grace, we shall surely fall.

Let that influence descend into our hearts, and teach us to love thee and truth above all things. O guard our hearts from the temptations to deceit, and grant, that we may abhor a lie as a sin and as a disgrace.

Inspire us also with an abhorrence of the loathsomeness of vice, and the pollutions of sensual pleasure. Grant at the same time, that we may early feel the delight of conscious purity, and wash our hands in innocency, from the united motives of inclination and of duty.

Give us, O thou Parent of all knowledge, a love of learning, and a taste for the pure and sublime pleasures of the understanding. Improve our memory, quicken our apprehension, and grant that we may lay up such a store of learning, as may fit us for the station to which it shall please thee to call us, and enable us to make great advances in virtue and religion, and shine as lights in the world, by the influence of a good example.

Give us grace to be diligent in our studies, and that whatever we read we may strongly mark, and inwardly digest it.

Bless our parents, guardians, and instructors; and grant that we may make them the best return in our power, for giving us opportunities of improvement, and for all their care and attention to our welfare. They ask no return, but that we should make use of those opportunities, and co-operate with their endeavours—O grant that we may never disappoint their anxious expectations.

Assist us mercifully, O Lord, that we may immediately engage in the studies and duties of the day, and go through them cheerfully, diligently and successfully.

Accept our endeavours, and pardon our defects through the merits of our blessed Saviour, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

An Evening Prayer.

O almighty God! again we approach thy mercy-seat, to offer unto thee our thanks and praises for the blessings and protection afforded us this day; and humbly to implore thy pardon for our manifold transgressions.

Grant that the words of various instruction which we have heard or read this day, may be so inwardly grafted in our hearts and memories, as to bring forth the fruits of learning and virtue.

Grant that as we recline on our pillows, we may call to mind the transactions of the day, condemn those things of which our conscience accuses us, and make and keep resolutions of amendment.

Grant that thy holy angels may watch over us this night, and guard us from temptation, excluding all improper thoughts, and filling our breasts with the purest sentiments of piety. Like as the heart panteth for the water-brook, so let our souls thirst for thee, O Lord, and for whatever is excellent and beautiful in learning and behaviour.

Correct, by the sweet influence of Christian charity, the irregularities of our temper, and restrain every tendency to ingratitude; and to ill usage of our parents, teachers, pastors, and masters. Teach us to know the value of a good education, and to be thankful to those who labour in the improvement of our minds and morals. Give us grace to be reverent to our superiors, gentle to our equals or inferiors, and benevolent to all mankind. Elevate and enlarge our sentiments, and let all our conduct be regulated by right reason, by Christian charity, and attended with that peculiar generosity of mind, which becomes a liberal scholar and a sincere Christian.

O Lord, bestow upon us whatever may be good for us, even though we should omit to pray for it; and avert whatever is hurtful, though in the blindness of our hearts we should wish for it.

Into thy hands, then, we resign ourselves, as we retire to rest, hoping by thy mercy to rise again with renewed spirits, to go through the business of the morrow, and to prepare ourselves for this life, and for a blessed immortality; which we ardently hope to attain, through the merits and intercession of thy Son our Saviour, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Of Columbus, and the Discovery of America.

1. It is to the discoveries of the Portuguese in the old world, that we are indebted for the new, if we may call the conquest of America an obligation, which proved so fatal to its inhabitants, and at times to the conquerors themselves.

2. This was doubtless the most important event that ever happened on our globe, one half of which had been hitherto strangers to the other. Whatever had been esteemed most great or noble before, seemed absorbed in this kind of new creation. We still mention, with respectful admiration, the names of the Argonauts, who did not perform the hundredth part of what was done by the sailors under Gama and Albuquerque. How many altars would have been raised by the ancients to a Greek who had discovered America! and yet Bartholomew and Christopher Columbus were not thus rewarded.

3. Columbus, struck with the wonderful expeditions of the Portuguese, imagined that something greater might be done; and from a bare inspection of the map of our world, concluded that there must be another which might be found by sailing always west. He had courage equal to his genius, or indeed superior, seeing he had to struggle with the prejudices of his cotemporaries, and the repulses of several princes to whom he had tendered his services.

4. Genoa, which was his native country, treated his schemes as visionary, and by that means lost the only opportunity that could have offered of aggrandizing her power. Henry VII. king of England, who was too greedy of money, to hazard any on this noble attempt, would not listen to the proposals made by Columbus's brother; and Columbus himself was rejected by John II. of Portugal, whose attention was wholly employed upon the coast of Africa. He had no prospect of success in applying to the French, whose marine lay totally neglected, and their affairs more confused than ever, daring the Minority of Charles VIII. The emperor Maximilian, had neither ports for shipping, money to fit out a fleet, nor sufficient courage to engage in a scheme of this nature. The Venetians, indeed, might have undertaken it; but whether the natural aversion of the Genoese to these people, would not suffer Columbus to apply to the rivals of his country, or that the Venetians had no idea of any thing more important than the trade they carried on from Alexandria and in the Levant, Columbus at length fixed all his hopes on the court of Spain.

5. Ferdinand, king of Arragon, and Isabella, queen of Castile, had by their marriage united all Spain under one dominion, excepting only the kingdom of Granada, which was still in the possession of the Moors; but which Ferdinand soon after took from them. The union of these two princes had prepared the way for the greatness of Spain, which was afterwards begun by Columbus; he was however obliged to undergo eight years of incessant application, before Isabella's court would consent to accept of the inestimable benefit this great man offered it. The bane of all great objects is the want of money. The Spanish court was poor; and the prior, Perez, and two merchants, named Pinzono, were obliged to advance seventeen thousand ducats towards fitting out the armament. Columbus procured a patent from the court, and at length set sail from the port of Palos, in Andalusia, with three ships, on August 23, in the year 1492.

6. It was not above a month after his departure from the Canary Islands, where he had come to an anchor to get refreshment, when Columbus discovered the first island in America; and during this short run, he suffered more from the murmurings and discontent of the people of his fleet, than he had done even from the refusals of the princes he had applied to. This island, which he discovered and named St. Salvador, lies about a thousand leagues from the Canaries. Presently after he likewise discovered the Lucayan islands, together with those of Cuba and Hispaniola, now called St. Domingo.

7. Ferdinand and Isabella were in the utmost surprise to see him return at the end of nine months, with some of the American natives of Hispaniola, several rarities from that country, and a quantity of gold, with which he presented their majesties.

8. The king and queen made him sit down in their presence, covered like a grandee of Spain, and created him high admiral and viceroy of the new world. Columbus was now every where looked upon as an extraordinary person sent from heaven. Everyone was vying who should be foremost in assisting him in his undertakings, and embarking under his command. He soon set sail again, with a fleet of seventeen ships. He now made the discovery of several other new islands, particularly the Caribees and Jamaica. Doubt had been changed into admiration on his first voyage; in this, admiration was turned into envy.

9. He was admiral and viceroy, and to these titles might have been added that of the benefactor of Ferdinand and Isabella. Nevertheless, he was brought home prisoner to Spain, by judges who had been purposely sent out on board to observe his conduct. As soon as it was known that Columbus was arrived, the people ran in shoals to meet him, as the guardian genius of Spain. Columbus was brought from the ship, and appeared on shore chained hands and feet.

10. He had been thus treated by the orders of Fonseca, Bishop of Burgos, the intendant of the expedition, whose ingratitude was as great as the other's services. Isabella was ashamed of what she saw, and did all in her power to make Columbus amends for the injuries done to him: however he was not suffered to depart for four years, either because they feared that he would seize upon what he had discovered for himself, or that they were willing to have time to observe his behaviour. At length he was sent on another voyage to the new world; and now it was that he discovered the continent, at six degrees distance from the equator, and saw that part of the coast on which Carthagena has been since built.

11. At the time that Columbus first promised a new hemisphere, it was insisted upon that no such hemisphere could exist; and after he had made the actual discovery of it, it was pretended that it had been known long before.

12. I shall not mention one Martin Behem, of Nuremberg, who, it is said, went from that city to the Straits of Magellan, in 1460, with a patent from the Duchess of Burgundy, who, as she was not alive at that time, could not issue patents. Nor shall I take notice of the pretended charts of this Martin Behem, which are still shewn; nor of the evident contradictions which discredit this story: but, in short, it was not pretended that Martin Behem had peopled America; the honour was given to the Carthaginians, and a book of Aristotle was quoted on the occasion, which he never wrote. Some found out a conformity between some words in the Caribee and Hebrew languages, and did not fail to follow so fine an opening. Others were positive that the children of Noah, after settling in Siberia, passed from thence over to Canada on the ice, and that their descendants, afterwards born in Canada, had gone and peopled Peru. According to others again, the Chinese and Japanese sent colonies into America, and carried over lions with them for their diversion, though there are no lions either in China or Japan.

13. In this manner have many learned men argued upon the discoveries made by men of genius. If it should be asked, how men first came upon the continent of America? Is it not easily answered, that they were placed there by the same power who causes trees and grass to grow?

14. The reply which Columbus made to some of those who envied him the high reputation he had gained, is still famous. These people pretended that nothing could be more easy than the discoveries he had made; upon which he proposed to them to set an egg upright on one of its ends; but when they had tried in vain to do it, he broke one end of the egg, and set it upright with ease. They told him any one could do that: How comes it then, replied Columbus, that not one among you thought of it? This story is related of Brunelleschi, who improved architecture at Florence many years before Columbus was born. Most bon-mots are only the repetition of things that have been said before.

15. The ashes of Columbus cannot be affected by the reputation he gained while living, in having doubled for us the works of the creation. But mankind delight to do justice to the illustrious dead, either from a vain hope that they enhance thereby the merit of the living, or that they are naturally fond of truth.

16. Americo Vespucci, whom we call Americus Vespusius, a merchant of Florence, had the honour of giving his name to this new half of the globe, in which he did not possess one acre of land, and pretended to be the first who discovered the continent. But supposing it true, that he was the first discoverer, the glory was certainly due to him who had the penetration and courage to undertake and perform the first voyage: Honour, as Newton says in his dispute with Leibnitz, is due only to the first inventor; and those that follow after are only his scholars.

17. Columbus had made three voyages as admiral and viceroy, five years before Americas Vespusius had made one as a geographer, under the command of admiral Ojeda; but the latter, writing to his friends at Florence, that he had discovered a new world, they believed him on his word, and the citizens of Florence decreed, that a grand illumination should be made before the door of his house every three years, on the feast of All Saints. And yet, could this man be said to deserve any honours, for happening to be on board a fleet that, in 1489; sailed along the coast of Brazil, when Columbus had, five years before, pointed out the way to the rest of the world?

18. There has lately appeared at Florence, a life of this Americus Vespusius, which seems to be written with very little regard to truth, and without any conclusive reasoning. Several French authors are there complained of, who have done justice to Columbus's merit; but the writer should not have fallen upon the French authors, but on the Spanish, who were the first that did this justice. This writer says, "that he will confound the vanity of the French nation, who have always attacked with impunity the honour and success of the Italian nation."

19. What vanity can there be in saying, that it was a Genoese that first discovered America? or how is the honour of the Italian nation injured in owning, that it was to an Italian born in Genoa, that we are indebted for the new world? I purposely remark this want of equity, good breeding, and good sense, as we have too many examples of it; and I must say, that the good French writers have in general been the least guilty of this insufferable fault; and one great reason of their being so universally read throughout Europe, is their doing justice to all nations.

20. The inhabitants of these islands, and of the continent, were a new race of men. They were all without beards, and were as much astonished at the faces of the Spaniards, as they were at their ships and artillery: they at first looked upon these new visitors as monsters or gods, who had come out of the sky or the sea.

21. These voyages, and those of the Portuguese, had now taught us how inconsiderable a spot of the globe our Europe was, and what an astonishing variety reigns in the world. Indostan was known to be inhabited by a race of men whose complexions were yellow. In Africa and Asia, at some distance from the equator, there had been found several kinds of black men; and after travellers had penetrated into America, as far as the line, they met with a race of people who were tolerably white. The natives of Brazil are of the colour of bronze. The Chinese still appear to differ entirely from the rest of mankind, in the make of their eyes and noses. But what is still to be remarked is, that into whatsoever regions these various races are transplanted, their complexions never change, unless they mingle with the natives of the country. The mucous membrane of the negroes, which is known to be of a black colour, is a manifest proof, that there is a differential principle in each species of men, as well as plants.

22. Dependent upon this principle, nature has formed the different degrees of genius, and the characters of nations, which are seldom known to change. Hence the negroes are slaves to other men, and are purchased on the coast of Africa like beasts, for a sum of money; and the vast multitudes of negroes transplanted into our American colonies, serve as slaves under a very inconsiderable number of Europeans. Experience has likewise taught us how great a superiority the Europeans have over the Americans, who are every where easily overcome, and have not dared to attempt a revolution, though a thousand to one superior in numbers.

23. This part of America was also remarkable on account of its animals and plants, which are not to be found in the other three parts of the world, and which are of so great use to us. Horses, corn of all kinds, and iron, were not wanting in Mexico and Peru, and among the many valuable commodities unknown to the old world, cochineal was the principal, and was brought us from this country. Its use in dying has now made us forget the scarlet, which for time immemorial had been the only thing known for giving a fine red colour.

24. The importation of cochineal was soon succeeded by that of indigo, cocoa, vanille, and those woods which serve for ornament and medicinal purposes, particularly the quinquina, or Jesuit's bark, which is the only specific against intermitting fevers. Nature has placed this remedy in the mountains of Peru, whilst she had dispersed the disease it cured through all the rest of the world. This new continent likewise furnished pearls; coloured stones, and diamonds.

25. It is certain, that America at present furnishes the meanest citizen of Europe with his conveniences and pleasures. The gold and silver mines, at their first discovery, were of service only to the kings of Spain and the merchants; the rest of the world was impoverished by them; for the great multitudes who did not follow business, found themselves possessed of a very small quantity of specie, in comparison with the immense sums accumulated by those who had the advantage of the first discoveries. But, by degrees, the great quantity of gold and silver which was sent from America, was dispersed throughout all Europe, and by passing into a number of hands, the distribution is become more equal. The price of commodities is likewise increased in Europe, in proportion to the increase of specie.

26. To comprehend how the treasures of America passed from the possession of the Spaniards into that of other nations, it will be sufficient to consider these two things: The use which Charles V. and Philip II. made of their money; and the manner in which other nations acquired a share in the mines of Peru.

37. The emperor Charles V. who was always travelling, and always at war, necessarily dispersed a great quantity of that specie which he received from Mexico and Peru, through Germany and Italy. When he sent his son Philip over to England, to marry queen Mary, and take upon bun the title of king of England, that prince deposited in the tower of London, twenty-seven large chests of silver, in bars, and an hundred horse-loads of gold and silver coin. The troubles in Flanders, and the intrigues of the league in France, cost this Philip, according to his own confession, above three thousand millions of livres of our money.

28. The manner in which the gold and silver of Peru is distributed amongst all the people of Europe, and from thence is sent to the East-Indies, is a surprising, though well-known circumstance. By a strict law enacted by Ferdinand and Isabella, and afterwards confirmed by Charles V. and all the kings of Spain, all other nations were not only excluded the entrance into any of the ports in Spanish America, but likewise from having the least share, directly or indirectly, in the trade of that part of the world. One would have imagined, that this law would have enabled the Spaniards to subdue all Europe; and yet Spain subsists only by the continual violation of this very law. It can hardly furnish exports for America to the value of four millions; whereas the rest of Europe sometimes send over merchandize to the amount of near fifty millions.

29. This prodigious trade of the nations at enmity, or at alliance with Spain, is carried on by the Spaniards themselves, who are always faithful in their dealings with individuals, and always cheating their king. The Spaniards gave no security to foreign merchants for the performance of their contracts; a mutual credit, without which there never could have been any commerce, supplies the place of other obligations.

30. The manner in which the Spaniards for a long time consigned the gold and silver to foreigners, which was brought home by their galleons, was still more surprising. The Spaniard, who at Cadiz is properly factor for the foreigner, delivered the bullion he received to the care of certain bravoes, called Meteors: these, armed with pistols at their belt, and a long sword, carried the bullion in parcels, properly marked, to the ramparts, and flung them over to other meteors, who waited below, and carried them to the boats which were to receive them, and these boats carried them on board the ships in the road. These meteors and the factors, together with the commissaries and the guards; who never disturbed them, had each a stated fee, and the foreign merchant was never cheated. The king, who received a duty upon this money at the arrival of the galleons, was likewise a gainer; so that properly speaking, the law only was cheated; a law which would be absolutely useless if not eluded, and which, nevertheless, cannot yet be abrogated, because old prejudices are always the most difficult to be overcome amongst men.

31. The greatest instance of the violation of this law, and of the fidelity of the Spaniards, was in the year 1684, when war was declared between France and Spain. His Catholic majesty endeavoured to seize upon the effects of all the French in his kingdom; but he in vain issued edicts and admonitions, enquiries and excommunications, not a single Spanish factor would betray his French correspondent. This fidelity, which does so much honour to the Spanish nation, plainly shews, that men only willingly obey those laws which they themselves have made for this good of society, and that those which are the mere effects of a sovereign's will, always meet with opposition.

32. As the discovery of America was at first the source of much good to the Spaniards, it afterwards occasioned them many and considerable evils. One has been, the depriving that kingdom of its subjects, by the great numbers necessarily required to people the colonies: another was, the infecting the world with a disease, which was before unknown only in the new world and particularly in the island of Hispaniola. Several of the companions of Christopher Columbus returned home infected with this contagion, which afterwards spread over Europe. It is certain that this poison, which taints the springs of life, was peculiar to America, as the plague and small-pox, were diseases originally endemial to the southern parts of Numidia.

33. We are not to believe, that the eating of human flesh, practised by some of the American savages, occasions this disorder. There were no cannibals on the island of Hispaniola, where it was most frequent and inveterate; neither are we to suppose, with some, that it proceeded from too great an excess of sensual pleasures. Nature had never punished excesses of this kind with such disorders in the world; and even to this day, we find that a momentary indulgence, which has been passed for eight or ten years, may bring this cruel and shameful scourge upon the chastest union.

34. The great Columbus, after having built several houses on these islands, and discovered the continent, returned to Spain, where he enjoyed a reputation unsullied by rapine or cruelty, and died at Validolid in 1506. But the Governors of Cuba and Hispaniola, who succeeded him, being persuaded that these provinces furnished gold, resolved to make the discovery at the price of the lives of the inhabitants. In short, whether they thought the natives had conceived an implacable hatred to them, or that they were apprehensive of their superior numbers; or that the rage of slaughter when once begun, knows no bounds, they in the space of a few years entirely depopulated Hispaniola and Cuba, the former of which contained three millions of inhabitants, and the latter above six hundred thousand.

35. Bartholomew de la Cases, bishop of Chiapa, who was an eye-witness to these desolations, relates that they hunted down the natives with dogs. These wretched savages, almost naked and without arms, were pursued like wild beasts in the forest, devoured alive by dogs, shot to death, or surprised and burnt in their habitations.

36. He further declares, from occular testimony, that they frequently caused a number of these miserable wretches to be summoned by a priest to come in, and submit to the Christian religion, and to the king of Spain; and that after this ceremony, which was only an additional act of injustice, they put them to death without the least remorse.—I believe that De la Cases has exaggerated in many parts of his relation; but, allowing him to have said ten times more than is truth, there remains enough to make us shudder with horror.

37. It may seem surprizing, that this massacre of a whole race of men, could have been carried on in the sight, and under the administration of several religieuse of the order of St. Jerome; for we know that cardinal Ximenes, who was prime minister at Castile before the time of Charles V. sent over four monks of this order, in quality of presidents of the royal council of the island. Doubtless they were not able to resist the torrent, and the hatred of the natives to their new masters being with just reason become implacable, rendered their destruction unhappily necessary.

Romulus the founder of Rome, after building the city, resolved to submit the form of its government to the choice of the people; and therefore, calling the citizens together, he harangued them thus:

If all the strength of cities lay in the height of their ramparts, or the depth of their ditches, we should have great reason to be in fear for that which we have now built. Are there in reality any walls too high to be scaled by a valiant enemy? And of what use are ramparts in intestine divisions? They may serve for a defence against sudden incursions from abroad; but it is by courage and prudence chiefly, that the invasions of foreign enemies are repelled; and by unanimity, sobriety, and justice, that domestic seditions are prevented. Cities fortified by the strongest bulwarks, have been often seen to yield to force from without, or to tumults from within. An exact military discipline, and a steady observance of civil polity, are the surest barriers against these evils. But there is still another point of great importance to be considered. The prosperity of some rising colonies, and the speedy ruin of others, have in a great measure been owing to the form of government. Was there but one manner of ruling states and cities that could make you happy, the choice would not be difficult; but I have learnt, that of the various forms of government among the Greeks and Barbarians, there are three which are highly extolled by those who have experienced them; and yet, that no one in those is in all respects perfect; but each of them has some innate and incurable defect. Chuse you then in what manner this city shall be governed. Shall it be by one man? Shall it be by a select number of the wisest among us? or shall the legislative power be in the people? As for me, I shall submit to whatever form of administration you shall please to establish. As I think myself not unworthy to command, so neither am I unwilling to obey. Your having chosen me to be the leader of this colony, and your calling the city after my name, are honours sufficient to content me; honours of which, I or dead, I can never be deprived.

While Quinctius Capitolinus and Agrippa Furius were Consuls at Rome, the differences betwixt the Senate and people ran so high, that the Æqui and Volsci, taking advantage of their intestine disorders ravaged the country to the very gates of Rome, and the Tribunes of the people forbad the necessary levies of troops to oppose them. Quinctius, a Senator, of great reputation, well beloved, and now in his fourth consulate, got the better of this opposition, by the following speech.

Though I am not conscious, O Romans, of any crime by me committed, it is yet with the utmost shame and confusion that I appear in your assembly. You have seen it—posterity will know it. In the fourth consulship of Titus Quinctius, the Æqui and Volsci, (scarce a match for the Hernici alone) came in arms to the very gates of Rome, and went away unchastised! The course of our manners, indeed, and the state of our affairs, have long been such, that I had no reason to presage much good: But could I have imagined that so great an ignominy would have befallen me this year, I would by death; or banishment (if all other means had failed) have avoided the station I am now in. What! might Rome then have been taken, if those men who were at our gates had not wanted courage for the attempt!—Rome taken while I was consul—Of honours I had sufficient,—of life enough—more than enough.—I should have died in my third consulate. But who are they that our dastardly enemies thus despise? The consuls, or you Romans? If we are in the fault, depose us, or punish us yet more severely. If you are to blame, may neither God nor man punish your faults! only may you repent. No, Romans, the confidence of our enemies is not owing to their courage, or to the belief of your cowardice. They have been too often vanquished, not to know both themselves and you. Discord, discord is the ruin of this city. The eternal disputes between the senate and the people, are the sole cause of our misfortunes. While we set no bounds to our dominion, nor you to your liberty: While you patiently endure Patrician magistrates, and we Plebeian, our enemies take heart, grow elated and presumptuous. In the name of the immortal gods, what is it, Romans, you would have? You desired tribunes; for the sake of peace we granted them. You were eager to have decemvirs; we consented to their creation. You grew weary of these decemvirs; we obliged them to abdicate. Your hatred pursued them when reduced to private men; and we suffered you to put to death, or banish, Patricians of the first rank in the republic. You insisted upon the restoration of the tribuneship; we yielded; we quietly saw consuls of your faction elected. You have the protection of your tribunes, and the privilege of appeal: the Patricians are subjected to the decrees of the commons. Under pretence of equal and impartial laws, you have invaded our rights, and we have suffered it, and we still suffer it. When shall we see an end of discord? When shall we have one interest and one common country? Victorious and triumphant, you shew less temper than we under defeat. When you are to contend with us, you seize the Aventine hill, you can possess yourselves of the Mons Sacer.

The enemy is at our gates, the Æsquiline is near being taken, and nobody stirs to hinder it. But against us you are valiant, against us you can arm with diligence. Come on, then, besiege the senate house, make a camp of the forum, fill the jails with our nobles, and when you have achieved these glorious exploits, then at last sally out at the Æsquiline gate, with the same fierce spirits against the enemy. Does your resolution fail you for this? Go, then, and behold from your walls, your lands ravaged, your houses plundered and in flames, the whole country laid waste with fire and sword. Have you any thing here to repair these damages? Will the tribunes make up your losses to you? They'll give you as many words as you please: Bring impeachments in abundance against the prime men of the state: Heap laws upon laws; assemblies you shall have without end. But will any of you return the richer from these assemblies? Extinguish, O Romans, those fatal divisions; generously break this cursed enchantment, which keeps you buried in a scandalous inaction. Open your eyes, and consider the management of these ambitious men, who, to make themselves powerful in their party, study nothing but how they may foment divisions in the commonwealth.

If you can but summon up your former courage; if you will now march out of Rome with your consuls, there is no punishment you can inflict, which I will not submit to, if I do not in a few days drive these pillagers out of our territory. This terror of war (with which you seem so grievously struck) shall quickly be removed from Rome to their own cities.


It is but too common, my countrymen, to observe a material difference between the behaviour of those who stand candidates, for places of power and trust, before and after their obtaining them. They solicit them in one manner, and execute them in another. They set out with a great appearance of activity, humility, and moderation; and they quickly fall into sloth, pride, and avarice.—It is undoubtedly, no easy matter to discharge, to the general satisfaction, the duty of a supreme commander in troublesome times. I am, I hope, duly sensible of the importance of the office I propose to take upon me, for the service of my country. To carry on, with effect, an expensive war, and yet be frugal of the public money; to oblige those to serve, whom it may be delicate to offend; to conduct, at the same time, a complicated variety of operations; to concert measures at home, answerable to the state of things abroad; and to gain every valuable end, in spite of opposition from the envious, the factious, and the disaffected; to do all this, my countrymen, is more difficult than is generally thought.

But, besides the disadvantages which are common to me, with all others in eminent stations, my case is, in this respect, peculiarly hard; that whereas a commander of Patrician rank, if he is guilty of a neglect, or breach of duty, has his great connection, the antiquity of his family, the important services of his ancestors, and the multitudes he has, by power, engaged in his interest, to screen him from condign punishment; my whole safety depends upon myself; which renders it the more indispensibly necessary for me, to take care that my conduct be clear and unexceptionable. Besides, I am well aware, my country men, that the eye of the public is upon me; and that, though the impartial, who prefer the real advantage of the commonwealth to all other considerations, favour my pretensions, the Patricians want nothing so much as an occasion against me. It is, therefore, my fixed resolution, to use my best endeavours, that you may not be disappointed in me, and that their indirect designs against me may be defeated.

I have, from my youth, been familiar with toils, and with dangers. I was faithful to your interests, my countrymen, when I served you for no reward, but that of honour. It is not my design to betray you, now that you have conferred upon me a place of profit. You have committed to my conduct, the war against Jugurtha. The Patricians are offended at this. But, where would be the wisdom of giving such a command to one of their honourable body? a person of illustrious birth, of ancient family, of innumerable statues, but—of no experience! What service would his long line of dead ancestors, or his multitude of motionless statues, do his country in the day of battle? What could such a general do, but, in his trepidation and inexperience, have recourse to some inferior commander, for direction in difficulties to which he was not himself equal? Thus, your Patrician general would, in fact have a general over him; so that the acting commander would still be a Plebeian. So true is this, my countrymen, that I have myself known those, who have been chosen consuls, begin then to read the history of their own country, of which, till that time, they were totally ignorant: that is, they first obtained the employment, and then bethought themselves of the qualifications necessary for the proper discharge of it.

I submit to your judgment, Romans, on which side the advantage lies, when a comparison is made between Patrician haughtiness and Plebeian experience. The very actions, which they have only read, I have partly seen, and partly myself achieved. What they know by reading, I know by action. They are pleased to slight my mean birth. I despise their mean characters. Want of birth and fortune is the objection against me: want of personal merit against them. But are not all men of the same species? What can make a difference between one man and another but the endowments of the mind? For my part, I shall always look upon the bravest man as the noblest man. Suppose it were enquired of the fathers of such Patricians as Albinus and Bessia, whether, if they had their choice, they would desire sons of their character, or of mine: what would they answer, but that they should wish the worthiest to be their sons. If the Patricians have reason to despise me, let them likewise despise their ancestors, whose nobility was the fruit of their virtue. Do they envy the honours bestowed upon me? let them envy, likewise, my labours, my abstinence, and the dangers I have undergone for my country, by which I have acquired them. But those worthless men lend such a life of inactivity, as if they despised any honours you can bestow; whilst they aspire to honours, as if they had deserved them by the most industrious virtue. They lay claim to the rewards of activity, for their having enjoyed the pleasures of luxury. Yet none can be more lavish than they are in praise of their ancestors: and they imagine they honour themselves by celebrating their forefathers. Whereas, they do the very contrary: for, as much as their ancestors were distinguished for their virtues, so much are they disgraced by their vices.

Observe now, my countrymen, the injustice of the Patricians. They arrogate to themselves honours, on account of the exploits done by their forefathers; whilst they will not allow me the due praise, for performing the very same sort of actions in my own person. He has no statues, they cry, of his family. He can trace no venerable line of ancestors. What then! Is it matter of more praise to disgrace one's illustrious ancestors, than to become illustrious by one's own good behaviour? What if I can shew no statues of my family: I can shew the standards, the armour, and the trappings, which I have taken myself from the vanquished: I can shew the scars of those wounds which I have received by facing the enemies of my country. These are my statues; these are the honours I boast of. Not left me by inheritance as theirs; but earned by toil, by abstinence, by valour; amidst clouds of dust, and seas of blood: scenes of action, where those effeminate Patricians, who endeavour, by indirect means, to depreciate me in your esteem, have never dared to shew their faces.


When I compare, Athenians, the speeches of some amongst us, with their actions, I am at a loss to reconcile what I see, with what I hear. Their protestations are full of zeal against the public enemy; but their measures are so inconsistent that all their professions become suspected. By confounding you with a variety of projects, they perplex your resolutions, and lead you from executing what is in your power, by engaging you in schemes not reducible to practice.

'Tis true, there was a time, when we were powerful enough, not only to defend our own borders, and protect our allies, but even to invade Philip in his own dominions. Yes, Athenians, there was such a juncture; I remember it well. But, by neglect of proper opportunities, we are no longer in a situation to be invaders: it will be well for us, if we can procure for our own defence, and our allies. Never did any conjuncture require so much prudence as this. However, I should not despair of seasonable remedies, had I the art to prevail with you to be unanimous in right measures. The opportunities, which have so often escaped us have not been lost; through ignorance, or want of judgment; but through negligence or treachery.—If I assume, at this time, more than ordinary liberty of speech, I conjure you to suffer, patiently, those truths, which have no other end, but your own good. You have too many reasons to be sensible how much you have suffered, by hearkening to sycophants. I shall, therefore, be plain, in laying before you the grounds of past miscarriages, in order to correct you in your future conducts.

You may remember, it is not above three or four years since we had the news of Philip's laying siege to the fortress of Juno, in Thrace. It was, as I think, in October we received this intelligence. We voted an immediate supply of threescore talents; forty men of war were ordered to sea: and so zealous we were, that preferring the necessities of state to our very laws, our citizens above the age of five and forty years, were commanded to serve. What followed?—A whole year was spent idly, without any thing done; and it was but the third month of the following year, a little after the celebration of the feast of Ceres, that Charedemus set sail, furnished with no more than five talents, and ten galleys, not half manned.

A rumour was spread that Philip was sick. That rumour was followed by another, that Philip was dead. And, then, as if all danger died with him, you dropped your preparations: whereas then, then was your time to push, and be active; then was your time to secure yourselves, and confound him at once. Had your resolutions, taken with so much heat, been as warmly seconded by action, you had then been as terrible to Philip, as Philip, recovered, is now to you. "To what purpose, at this time, these reflections! What is done cannot be undone." But, by your leave, Athenians; though past moments are not to be recalled, past errors may be repeated. Have we not now, a fresh provocation to war? Let the memory of oversights, by which you have suffered so much, instruct you to be more vigilant in the present danger. If the Olynthians are not instantly succoured, and with your utmost efforts, you become assistants to Philip, and serve him more effectually than he can help himself.

It is not, surely, necessary to warn you, that votes alone can be of no consequence. Had your resolutions, of themselves, the virtue to compass what you intend, we should not see them multiply every day, as they do, and upon every occasion, with so little effect: nor would Philip be in a condition to brave and affront us in this manner.—Proceed, then, Athenians, to support your deliberations with vigour. You have heads capable of advising what is best; you have judgment and experience, to discern what is right; and you have power and opportunity to execute what you determine. What time so proper for action! What occasion so happy? And when can you hope for such another, if this be neglected? Has not Philip, contrary to all treaties, insulted you in Thrace? Does he not, at this instant, straiten and invade your confederates, whom you have solemnly sworn to protect? Is he not an implacable enemy? a faithless ally? the usurper of provinces, to which he has no title nor pretence? a stranger, a barbarian, a tyrant? and indeed, what is he not?

Observe, I beseech you, men of Athens, how different your conduct appears from the practices of your ancestors. They were friends to truth and plain dealing, and detested flattery and servile compliance. By unanimous consent they continued arbiters of all Greece for the space of forty-five years, without interruption; a public fund, of no less than ten thousand talents, were ready for any emergency: they exercised over the kings of Macedon that authority which is due to Barbarians; obtained, both by sea and land, in their own persons frequent and signal victories and by their noble exploits, transmitted to posterity an immortal memory of their virtue, superior to the reach of malice and detraction. It is to them we owe that great number of public edifices, by which the city of Athens exceeds all the rest of the world, in beauty and magnificence. It is to them we owe so many stately temples, so richly embellished; but, above all, adorned with the spoils of vanquished enemies—But, visit their own private habitations; visit the houses of Aristides, Militiades, or any other of those patriots of antiquity; you will find nothing, not the least mark of ornament, to distinguish them from their neighbours. They took part in the government, not to enrich themselves, but the public; they had no schemes or ambition, but for the public nor knew any interest, but the public. It was by a close and steady application to the general good of their country; by an exemplary piety toward the immortal gods; by a strict faith, and religious honesty, betwixt man and man; and a moderation, always uniform, and of apiece; they established that reputation, which remains to this day, and will last to utmost posterity.

Such, O men of Athens! were your ancestors; so glorious in the eye of the world; so bountiful and munificent to their country; so sparing, so modest, so self-denying to themselves. What resemblance can we find in the present generation, of these great men? At a time, when your ancient competitors have left you a clear stage; when the Lacedemonians are disabled; the Thebans employed in troubles of their own; when no other state whatever is in a condition to rival or molest you: in short, when you are at full liberty; when you have the opportunity and the power to become once more the sole arbiters of Greece; you permit, patiently, whole provinces to be arrested from you; you lavish the public money to scandalous and obscure uses; you suffer your allies to perish in time of peace, whom you preserved in time of war; and, to sum up all, you yourselves, by your mercenary court, and servile resignation to the will and pleasure of designing, insidious leaders, abet, encourage, and strengthen the most dangerous and formidable of your enemies. Yes, Athenians, I repeat it, you yourselves are the contrivers of your own ruin. Lives there a man who has confidence enough to deny it? let him arise, and assign, if he can, any other cause of the success and prosperity of Philip. "But," you reply, "what Athens may have lost in reputation abroad, she has gained in splendor at home. Was there ever a greater appearance of prosperity! a greater face of plenty? Is not the city enlarged? Are not the streets better paved? houses repaired and beautified?"—Away with such trifles! Shall I be paid with counters? An old square new vamped up! a fountain! an aqueduct! Are these acquisitions to brag of? Cast your eye upon the magistrate, under whose ministry you boast these precious improvements. Behold the despicable creature, raised, all at once, from dirt to opulence; from the lowest obscurity to the highest honours. Have not some of these upstarts built private houses and seats, vying with the most sumptuous of our public palaces? And how have their fortunes and their power increased, but as the commonwealth has been ruined and impoverished!

To what are we to impute these disorders? and to what cause assign the decay of a state, so powerful and flourishing in past time?—The reason is plain. The servant is now become the master. The magistrate was then subservient to the people: punishments and rewards were properties of the people: all honours, dignities, and preferments were disposed by the voice and favour of the people. But the magistrate, now, has usurped the right of the people, and exercises an arbitrary authority over his ancient and natural lord. You miserable people! the mean while, without money, without friends; from being the ruler, are become the servant; from being the master, the dependant: happy that these governors, into whose hands you have thus resigned your own power, are so good, and so gracious, as to continue your poor allowance to see plays.

Believe me, Athenians, if recovering from this lethargy, you would assume the ancient freedom and spirit of your fathers; if you would be your own soldiers, and your own commanders, confiding no longer your affairs in foreign or mercenary hands; if you would charge yourselves with your own defence, employing abroad, for the public, what you waste in unprofitable pleasures at home, the world might, once more, behold you making a figure worthy of Athenians. "You would have us then (you say) do service in our armies, in our own persons; and for so doing, you would have the pensions we receive in time of peace, accepted as pay in time of war. Is it thus we are to understand you?"—Yes, Athenians, 'tis my plain meaning. I would make it a standing rule, that no person, great or little, should be the better for the public money, who should grudge to employ it for the public service. Are we in peace? the public is charged with your subsistence. Are we in war, or under a necessity, as at this time, to enter into a war? let your gratitude oblige you to accept, as pay, in defence of your benefactors, what you receive, in peace, as mere bounty.—Thus, without any innovation, without altering or abolishing any thing, but pernicious novelties, introduced for the encouragement of sloth and idleness; by converting only for the future the same funds for the use of the serviceable, which are spent, at present, upon the unprofitable; you may be well served in your armies; your troops regularly paid; justice duly administered; the public revenues reformed and increased; and every member of the commonwealth rendered useful to his country, according to his age and ability, without any further burden to the state.

This, O men of Athens! is what my duty prompted me to represent to you upon this occasion.—May the gods inspire you to determine upon such measures as may be most expedient for the particular and general good of our country!


Imagine to yourselves a Demosthenes addressing the most illustrious assembly in the world, upon a point whereon the fate of the most illustrious of nations depended.—How awful such a meeting! How vast the subject! Is man possessed of talents adequate to the great occasion? Adequate—yes, superior. By the power of his eloquence; the augustness of the assembly is lost in the dignity of the orator; and the importance of the subject for a while superceded by the admiration of his talents. With what strength of argument, with what powers of the fancy, with what emotions of the heart, does he assault and subjugate the whole man, and, at once, captivate his reason, his imagination, and his passions!—To effect this, must be the utmost effort of the most improved state of human nature. Not a faculty that he possesses, is here unemployed: not a faculty that he possesses, but is here exerted to its highest pitch. All his internal powers are at work: all his external testify their energies. Within, the memory, the fancy, the judgment, the passions are all busy: without, every muscle, every nerve is exerted; not a feature, not a limb, but speaks. The organs of the body attuned to the exertions of the mind, through the kindred organs of the hearers, instantaneously, and, as it were, with an electrical spirit, vibrate those energies from soul to soul. Notwithstanding the diversity of minds in such a multitude, by the lightning of eloquence, they are melted into one mass—the whole assembly actuated in one and the same way, become, as it were, but one man, and have but one voice. The universal cry is—LET US MARCH AGAINST PHILIP—LET US FIGHT FOR OUR LIBERTIES—LET US CONQUER—OR DIE!

On the duties of School-Boys, from the pious and judicious


Quintillian says, that he has included almost all the duty of scholars in this one piece of advice which he gives them, to love those who teach them, as they love the science which they learn of them; and to look upon them as fathers, from whom they derive not the life of the body, but that instruction which is in a manner the life of the soul. Indeed this sentiment of affection, and respect suffices to make them apt to learn during the time of their studies, and full of gratitude all the rest of their lives. It seems to me to include a great part of what is to be expected from them.

Docility, which consists in submitting to directions, in readily receiving the instructions of their masters; and reducing them to practice, is properly the virtue of scholars, as that of masters is to teach well. The one can do nothing without the other; and as it is not sufficient for a labourer to sow the seed, unless the earth, after having opened its bosom to receive it, in a manner hatches, warms, and moistens it; so likewise the whole fruit of instruction depends upon a good correspondence between the masters and the scholars.

Gratitude for those who have laboured in our education, is the character of an honest man, and the mark of a good heart. Who is there among us, says Cicero, that has been instructed with any care, that is not highly delighted with the sight, or even the bare remembrance of his preceptors, masters, and the place where he was taught and brought up? Seneca exhorts young men to preserve always a great respect for their masters, to whose care they are indebted for the amendment of their faults, and for having imbibed sentiments of honour and probity. Their exactness and severity displease sometimes, at an age when we are not in a condition to judge of the obligations we owe to them; but when years have ripened our understanding and judgment, we then discern that what made us dislike them, I mean admonitions, reprimands, and a severe exactness in restraining the passions of an imprudent and inconsiderate age, is expressly the very thing which should make us esteem and love them. Thus we see that Marcus Aurelius, one of the wisest and most illustrious emperors that Rome ever had, thanked the gods for two things especially—for his having had excellent tutors himself, and that he had found the like for his children.

Quintillian, after having noted the different characters of the mind in children, draws, in a few words, the image of what he judged to be a perfect scholar; and certainly it is a very amiable one: "For my part," says he, "I like a child who is encouraged by commendation, is animated by a sense of glory, and weeps when he is outdone. A noble emulation will always keep him in exercise, a reprimand will touch him to the quick, and honour will serve instead of a spur. We need not fear that such a scholar will ever give himself up to sullenness." Mihi ille detur puer, quem laus excitet, quem gloria juvet, qui virtus fleut. Hic erit alendus ambitu: hunc mordebit objurgetio; hunc honor excitabit; in hoc desidium nunquam verebor.

How great a value soever Quintillian sets upon the talents of the mind, he esteems those of the heart far beyond them, and looks upon the others as of no value without them. In the same chapter from whence I took the preceding words, he declares, he should never have a good opinion of a child, who placed his study in occasioning laughter, by mimicking the behaviour, mien, and faults of others; and he presently gives an admirable reason for it: "A child," says he, "cannot be truly ingenuous, in my opinion, unless he be good and virtuous; otherwise, I should rather choose to have him dull and heavy, than of a bad disposition." Non dubit spem bonoe indolis, qui hoc initandi studio petit, ut rideatur. Nam probus quoque imprimus erit ille vere ingeniosus: alioquinon pejus duxerim tardi esse ingenii, quam mali.

He displays to us all these talents in the eldest of his two children, whose character he draws, and whose death he laments in so eloquent and pathetic a strain, in the beautiful preface to his sixth book. I shall beg leave to insert here a small extract of it, which will not be useless to the boys, as they will find it a model which suits well with their age and condition.

Alter having mentioned his younger son, who died at five years old, and described the graces and beauties of his countenance, the prettiness of his expression, the vivacity of his understanding, which began to shine through the veil of childhood: "I had still left me," says he, "my son Quintillian, in whom I placed all my pleasure and all my hopes, and comfort enough I might have found in him; for, having now entered into his tenth year, he did not produce only blossoms like his younger brother, but fruits already formed, and beyond the power of disappointment.—I have much experience; but I never saw in any child, I do not say only so many excellent dispositions for the sciences, nor so much taste, as his masters know, but so much probity, sweetness, good nature, gentleness, and inclination to please and oblige, as I discerned in him."

"Besides this, he had all the advantages of nature, a charming voice, a pleasing countenance, and a surprising facility in pronouncing well the two languages, as if he had been equally born for both of them.

"But all this was no more than hopes. I set a greater value upon his admirable virtues, his equality of temper, his resolution, the courage with which he bore up against fear and pain; for, how were his physicians astonished at his patience under a distemper of eight months continuance, when at the point of death he comforted me himself, and bade me not to weep for him! and delirious as he sometimes was at his last moments, his tongue ran on nothing else but learning and the sciences: O vain and deceitful hopes!" &c.

Are there many boys amongst us, of whom we can truly say so much to their advantage, as Quintillian says here of his son? What a shame would it be for them, if born and brought up in a Christian country, they had not even the virtues of Pagan children! I make no scruple to repeat them here again—docility, obedience, respect for their masters, or rather a degree of affection, and the source of an eternal gratitude; zeal for study, and a wonderful thirst after the sciences, joined to an abhorrence of vice and irregularity; an admirable fund of probity, goodness, gentleness, civility, and liberality; as also patience, courage, and greatness of soul in the course of a long sickness.—What then was wanting to all these virtues?—That which alone could render them truly worthy the name, and must be in a manner the soul of them, and constitute their whole value, the precious gift of faith and piety; the saving knowledge of a Mediator; a sincere desire of pleasing God, and referring all our actions to him.



Columbia, Columbia, to glory arise,
The queen of the world, and child of the skies!
Thy genius commands thee; with rapture behold,
While ages on ages thy splendors unfold.
Thy reign is the last, and the noblest of time,
Most fruitful thy soil, most inviting thy clime;
Let the crimes of the east ne'er encrimson thy name,
Be Freedom, and Science, and Virtue, thy fame.
To conquest, and slaughter, let Europe aspire;
Whelm nations in blood, and wrap cities in fire;
Thy heroes the rights of mankind shall defend,
And triumph pursue them, and glory attend.
A world is thy realm: for a world be thy laws,
Enlarg'd as thine empire, and just as thy cause;
On Freedom's broad basis, that empire shall rise;
Extend with the main and dissolve with the skies.
Fair Science her gates to thy sons shall unbar,
And the east see thy morn hide the beams of her star,
New bards, and new sages, unrival'd shall soar
To fame, unextinguish'd, when time is no more;
To thee, the last refuge of virtue design'd,
Shall fly from all nations, the best of mankind;
Here, grateful to Heaven, with transports shall bring
Their incense, more fragrant than odours of spring.
Nor less, shall thy fair ones to glory ascend,
And Genius and Beauty in harmony blend;
The graces of form shall awake pure desire,
And the charms of the soul ever cherish the fire;
Their sweetness unmingled, their manners refin'd,
And virtue's bright image, instamp'd on the mind,
With peace, and soft rapture, shall teach life to glow,
And light up a smile in the aspect of woe.
Thy fleets to all regions thy pow'r shall display,
The nations admire, and the ocean obey;
Each shore to thy glory its tribute unfold,
And the east and the south yield their spices and gold.
As the day-spring unbounded, thy splendor shall flow,
And earth's little kingdoms before thee shall bow;
While the ensigns of union, in triumph unfurl'd,
Hush the tumult of war, and give peace to the world.
Thus, as down a lone valley, with cedars o'erspread,
From war's dread confusion, I pensively stray'd—
The gloom from the face of fair heav'n retir'd;
The winds ceas'd to murmur; the thunders expir'd;
Perfumes, as of Eden, flow'd sweetly along,
And a voice, as of angels, enchantingly sung:
"Columbia, Columbia, to glory arise,
The queen of the world, and the child of the skies"



Written by W.L. Esq. Gov. of N.J.


The subject proposed. Situation of the author's house. His frugality in his furniture. The beauties of the country. His love of retirement, and choice of his friends. A description of the morning. Hymn to the sun. Contemplation of the Heavens. The existence of God inferred from a view of the beauty and harmony of the creation. Morning and evening devotion. The vanity of riches and grandeur. The choice of his books. Praise of the marriage state. A knot of modern ladies described. The author's exit.


Let ardent heroes seek renown in arms,
Pant after fame, and rush to war's alarms;
To shining palaces let fools resort,
And dunces cringe to be esteem'd at court:
Mine be the pleasure of a rural life,
From noise remote, and ignorant of strife;
Far from the painted belle, and white-glov'd beau,
The lawless masquerade and midnight show;
From ladies, lap-dogs, courtiers, garters, stars,
Fops, fiddlers, tyrants, emperors, and czars.
Full in the centre of some shady grove,
By nature form'd for solitude and love;
On banks array'd with ever-blooming flow'rs,
Near beaut'ous landscapes, or by roseate bow'rs,
My neat, but simple mansion I would raise,
Unlike the sumptuous domes of modern days;
Devoid of pomp, with rural plainness form'd,
With savage game, and glossy shells adorn'd.
No costly furniture should grace my hall;
But curling vines ascend against the wall,
Whose pliant branches shou'd luxuriant twine,
While purple clusters swell'd with future wine
To slake my thirst a liquid lapse distill,
From craggy rocks, and spread a limpid rill.
Along my mansion spiry firs should grow,
And gloomy yews extend the shady row;
The cedars flourish, and the poplars rise
Sublimely tall, and shoot into the skies:
Among the leaves refreshing zephyrs play,
And crouding trees exclude the noon-tide ray;
Whereon the birds their downy nests should form,
Securely shelter'd from the batt'ring storm;
And to melodious notes their choir apply,
Soon as Aurora blush'd along the sky:
While all around the enchanting music rings,
And every vocal grove reponsive sings.
Me to sequester'd scenes, ye muses guide,
Where nature wanton's in her virgin pride,
To mossy banks, edg'd round with op'ning flow'rs,
Elysian fields and amaranthian bow'rs;
T' ambrosial founts, and sleep-inspiring rills,
To herbag'd vales, gay lawns, and funny hills.
Welcome ye shades! all hail, ye vernal blooms
Ye bow'ry thickets, and prophetic glooms!
Ye forests hail! ye solitary woods!
Love-whispering groves and silver-streaming floods!
Ye meads, that aromatic sweets exhale!
Ye birds, and all ye sylvan beauties hail!
Oh how I long with you to spend my days,
Invoke the muse, and try the rural lays!
No trumpets there with martial clangor found,
No prostrate heroes strew the crimson'd ground;
No groves of lances glitter in the air,
Nor thund'ring drums provoke the sanguine war;
but white-rob'd peace, and universal love
Smile in the field, and brighten, ev'ry grove,
There all the beauties of the circling year,
In native ornamental pride appear;
Gay rosy-bosom'd SPRING, and April show'rs;
Wake from the womb of earth the rising flow'rs:
In deeper verdure SUMMER clothes the plain,
And AUTUMN bends beneath the golden grain;
The trees weep amber, and the whispering gales
Breeze o'er the lawn, or murmur through the vales:
The flow'ry tribes in gay confusion bloom,
Profuse of sweets, and fragrant with perfume;
On blossoms blossoms, fruits on fruits arise.
And varied prospects glad the wand'ring eyes.
In these fair seats I'd pass the joyous day,
Where meadows flourish and where fields look gay;
From bliss to bliss with endless pleasure rove,
Seek crystal streams, or haunt the vernal grove,
Woods, fountains, lakes, the fertile fields, or shades
Aerial mountains, or subjacent glades.
There from the polish'd fetters of the great,
Triumphal piles, and gilded rooms of state;
Prime ministers, and sycophantic knaves;
Illustrious villains, and illustrious slaves;
From all the vain formality of fools,
An odious task of arbitrary rules;
The ruffling cares which the vex'd soul annoy,
The wealth the rich possess, but not enjoy,
The visionary bliss the world can lend,
The insidious foe, and false designing friend,
The seven-fold fury of Xantippe's soul,
And S——'s rage that burns without controul;
I'd live retir'd, contented, and serene,
Forgot, unknown, unenvied and unseen.
Yet not a real hermitage I'd chuse,
Nor wish to live from all the world recluse;
But with a friend sometimes unbend the soul,
In social converse, o'er the sprightly bowl.
With cheerful W——, serene and wisely gay,
I'd often pass the dancing hours away;
He skill'd alike to profit and to please,
Politely talks with unaffected ease;
Sage in debate, and faithful to his trust,
Mature in science, and severely just;
Of soul diffusive, vast and unconfin'd,
Breathing benevolence to all mankind;
Cautious to censure, ready to commend,
A firm, unshaken, uncorrupted friend:
In early youth fair wisdom's paths he trod,
In early youth a minister of God:
Each pupil lov'd him when at Yale he shone,
And ev'ry bleeding bosom weeps him gone.
Dear A——, too, should grace my rural seat,
Forever welcome to the green retreat:
Heav'n for the cause of righteousness design'd
His florid genius, and capacious mind:
Oft have I heard, amidst th' adoring throng,
Celestial truths devolving from his tongue;
High o'er the list'ning audience seen him stand,
Divinely speak, and graceful stretch his hand:
With such becoming grace and pompous sound,
With long-rob'd senators encircled round,
Before the Roman bar, while Rome was free,
Nor bow'd to Cæsar's throne the servile knee;
Immortal Tully pleads the patriot cause,
While ev'ry tongue resounded his applause.
Next round my board should candid S—— appear,
Of manners gentle, and a friend sincere,
Averse to discord party-rage and strife,
He sails serenely down the stream of life.
With these three friends beneath a spreading shade,
Where silver fountains murmur thro' the glade;
Or in cool grots, perfum'd with native flow'rs,
In harmless mirth I'd spend the circling hours;
Or gravely talk, or innocently sing,
Or, in harmonious concert, strike the trembling string.
Amid sequester'd bow'rs near gliding streams,
Druids and Bards enjoy'd serenest dreams.
Such was the seat where courtly Horace sung:
And his bold harp immortal Maro strung:
Where tuneful Orpheus' unresisted lay,
Made rapid tygers bear their rage away;
While groves attentive to th' extatic sound
Burst from their roots, and raptur'd, danc'd around.
Such feats the venerable Seers of old
(When blissful years in golden circles roll'd)
Chose and admir'd: e'en Goddesses and Gods
(As poets feign) were fond of such abodes:
Th' imperial consort of fictitious Jove,
For fount full Ida forsook the realms above.
Oft to Idalia on a golden cloud,
Veil'd in a mist of fragrance, Venus rode;
The num'rous altars to the queen were rear'd,
And love-sick youths there am'rous-vows prefer'd,
While fair-hair'd damsels (a lascivious train)
With wanton rites ador'd her gentle reign.
The silver-shafted Huntress of the woods,
Sought pendant shades, and bath'd in cooling floods.
In palmy Delos, by Scamander's side,
Or when Cajister roll'd his silver tide,
Melodious Ph$oelig;bus sang; the Muses round
Alternate warb'ling to the heav'nly sound.
E'en the feign'd MONARCH of heav'n's bright abode,
High thron'd in gold, of ROLLIN.Gods the sov'reign God,
Oft time prefer'd the shade of Ida's grove
To all th'ambrosial feast's, and nectar'd cups above.
Behold, the rosy-finger'd morning dawn,
In saffron rob'd, and blushing o'er the lawn!
Reflected from the clouds, a radiant stream,
Tips with etherial dew the mountain's brim.
Th' unfolding roses, and the op'ning flow'rs
Imbibe the dew, and strew the varied bow'rs,
Diffuse nectarious sweets around, and glow
With all the colours of the show'ry bow
The industrious bees their balmy toil renew,
Buzz o'er the field, and sip the rosy dew.
But yonder comes th'illustrious God of day,
Invests the east, and gilds the etherial way;
The groves rejoice, the feather'd nations sing,
Echo the mountains and the vallies ring.
Hail Orb! array'd with majesty and fire,
That bids each sable shade of night retire!
Fountain of light! with burning glory crown'd,
Darting a deluge of effulgence round!
Wak'd by thy genial and praline ray,
Nature resumes her verdure, and looks gay;
Fresh blooms the rose, the dropping plants revive,
The groves reflourish, and forests live.
Deep in the teeming earth, the rip'ning ore
Confesses thy consolidating pow'r:
Hence labour draws her tools, and artists mould
The fusile silver and the ductile gold:
Hence war is furnish'd, and the regal shield
Like lightning flashes o'er th' illumin'd field.
If thou so fair with delegated light,
That all heav'n's splendors vanish at thy sight;
With what effulgence must the ocean glow!
From which thy borrow'd beams incessant flow!
Th' exhaustless force whose single smiles supplies,
Th' unnumber'd orbs that gild the spangled skies!
Oft would I view, in admiration lost,
Heav'n's sumptuous canopy, and starry host;
With level'd tube and astronomic eye,
Pursue the planets whirling thro' the sky:
Immeasurable vaults! where thunders roll,
And forked lightnings flash from pole to pole.
Say, railing infidel! canst thou survey
Yon globe of fire, that gives the golden day,
Th' harmonious structure of this vast machine,
And not confess its Architect divine?
Then go, vain wretch; tho' deathless be thy soul,
Go, swell the riot, and exhaust the bowl;
Plunge into vice, humanity resign,
Go, fill the stie, and bristle into swine?
None but a pow'r omnipotent and wise
Could frame this earth, or spread the boundless skies
He made the whole; at his omnific call,             }
From formless chaos rose this spacious ball,     }
And one ALMIGHTY GOD is seen in all.        }
By him our cup is crown'd, our table spread
With luscious wine, and life-sustaining bread.
What countless wonders doth the earth contain!
What countless wonders the unfathom'd main!
Bedrop'd with gold, their scaly nations shine,
Haunt coral groves, or lash the foaming brine.
JEHOVAH's glories blaze all nature round.
In heaven, on earth, and in the deeps profound;
Ambitious of his name, the warblers sing,
And praise their Maker while they hail the spring:
The zephyrs breathe it, and the thunders roar,
While surge to surge, and shore resounds to shore.
But MAN, endu'd with an immortal mind,
His Maker's Image, and for heaven design'd;
To loftier notes his raptur'd voice should raise,
And chaunt sublimer hymns to his Creator's praise.
When rising Phœbus ushers in the morn,
And golden beams th' impurpled skies adorn:
Wak'd by the gentle murmur of the floods,
Or the soft music of the waving woods;
Rising from sleep with the melodious quire,
To solemn sounds I'd tune the hallow'd lyre.
Thy name, O GOD! should tremble on my tongue,
Till ev'ry grove prov'd vocal to my song:
(Delightful task! with dawning light to sing,
Triumphant hymns to heav'n's eternal king.)
Some courteous angel should my breast inspire,
Attune my lips, and guide the warbled wire,
While sportive echoes catch the sacred sound,
Swell ev'ry note, and bear the music round;
While mazy streams meand'ring to the main
Hang in suspence to hear the heav'nly strain;
And hush'd to silence, all the feather'd throng,
Attentive listen to the tuneful song.
Father of Light! exhaustless source of good!
Supreme, eternal, self-existent God!
Before the beamy sun dispens'd a ray,
Flam'd in the azure vault, and gave the day;
Before the glimm'ring Moon with borrow'd light,
Shone queen amid the silver host of night;
High in the Heav'ns, thou reign'dst superior Lord,
By suppliant angels worship'd and ador'd.
With the celestial choir then let me join,
In cheerful praises to the pow'r Divine.
To sing thy praise, do thou, O GOD! inspire,
A mortal breast with more than mortal fire;
In dreadful majesty thou sit'st enthron'd,
With light encircled, and with glory crown'd;
Thro' all infinitude extends thy reign,
For thee, nor heav'n, nor heav'n of heav'ns contain;
But tho' thy throne is fix'd above the sky,
Thy Omnipresence fills immensity.
Saints rob'd in white, to thee their anthems bring,
And radient Martyrs hallelujahs sing:
Heav'n's universal host their voices raise,
In one eternal chorus, to thy praise;
And round thy awful throne, with one accord,
Sing, Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord.
At thy creative voice, from ancient night,
Sprang smiling beauty, and yon' worlds of light:
Thou spak'st—the planetary Chorus roll'd
And all th' expanse was starr'd with beamy gold;
Let there be light, said GOD—Light instant shone,
And from the orient, burst the golden Sun;
Heav'n's gazing hierarchies, with glad surprise,
Saw the first morn invest the skies,
And straight th' exulting troops thy throne surround,
With thousand thousand harps of heav'nly sound:
Thrones, powers, dominions, (ever shining trains!)
Shouted thy praises in triumphant strains:
Great are thy works, they sing, and, all around,
Great are thy works, the echoing heav'n's resound.
The effulgent sun, insufferably bright,
Is but a beam of thy o'erflowing light;
The tempest is thy breath; the thunder hurl'd,
Tremendous roars thy vengeance o'er the world;
Thou bow'st the heav'ns the smoaking mountains nod;
Rocks fall to dust, and nature owns her God;
Pale tyrants shrink, the atheist stands aghast,
And impious kings in horror breath their last.
To this great God alternately I'd pay,
The evening anthem, and the morning lay.
For sov'reign Gold I never would repine,
Nor wish the glitt'ring dust of monarchs mine.
What tho' high columns heave into the skies,
Gay ceilings shine, and vaulted arches rise;
Tho' fretted gold the sculptur'd roof adorn,
The rubies redden, and the jaspers burn!
Or what, alas! avails the gay attire,
To wretched man, who breathes but to expire!
Oft on the vilest, riches are bestow'd,
To shew their meanness in the sight of God.
High from a dung-hill, see a Dives rise,
And, Titan-like, insult th' avenging skies:
The crowd, in adulation, calls him Lord,
By thousands courted, flatter'd, and ador'd:
In riot plung'd, and drunk with earthly joys,
No higher thought his grov'ling foul employs:
The poor he scourges with an iron rod,
And from his bosom banishes his God.
But oft in height of wealth, and beauty's bloom,
Deluded man is fated to the tomb!
For, lo! he sickens, swift his colour flies,
And rising mists obscure his swimming eyes:
Around his bed his weeping friends bemoan,
Extort th' unwilling tear, and wish him gone;
His sorrowing heir augments the tender show'r,
Deplores his death—yet hails the dying hour.
Ah bitter comfort! Sad relief, to die!
Tho' sunk in down, beneath the canopy!
His eyes no more shall see the cheerful light,
Weigh'd down by death in everlasting night:
"And when with age thy head is silver'd o'er,
"And cold in death thy bosom beats no more,
"Thy foul exulting shall desert its clay,
"And mount, triumphant, to eternal day."
But to improve the intellectual mind,
Reading should be to contemplation join'd.
First I'd collect from the Parnassian spring,
What muses dictate, and what poets sing.—
Virgil, as Prince, shou'd wear the laurel'd crown,
And other bards pay homage to his throne;
The blood of heroes now effus'd so long,
Will run forever purple thro' his song.
See! how he mounts toward the blest abodes,
On planets rides, and talks with demi-gods!
How do our ravish'd spirits melt away,
When in his song Sicilian shepherds play!
But what a splendor strikes the dazzled eye,
When Dido shines in awful majesty!
Embroider'd purple clad the Tyrian queen,
Her motion graceful, and august her mein;
A golden zone her royal limbs embrac'd,
A golden quiver rattled by her waist.
See her proud steed majestically prance,
Contemn the trumpet, and deride the lance!
In crimson trappings, glorious to behold,
Confus'dly gay with interwoven gold!
He champs the bitt, and throws the foam around,
Impatient paws, and tears the solid ground.
How stern Æneas thunders thro' the field!
With tow'ring helmet, and refulgent shield!
Coursers o'erturn'd, and mighty warriors slain,
Deform'd with gore, lie welt'ring on the plain.
Struck thro' with wounds, ill-fated chieftains lie,
Frown e'en in death, and threaten as they die.
Thro' the thick squadrons see the Hero bound,
(His helmet flashes, and his arms resound!)
All grim with rage, he frowns o'er Turnus' head,
(Re-kindled ire! for blooming Pallas dead)
Then, in his bosom plung'd the shining blade—
The soul indignant sought the Stygian shade!
The far-fam'd bards that grac'd Britannia's isle,
Should next compose the venerable pile.
Great Milton first, for tow'ring thought renown'd,
Parent of song, and fam'd the world around!
His glowing breast divine Urania fir'd,
Or GOD himself th' immortal Bard inspir'd.
Borne on triumphant wings he take this flight,
Explores all heaven, and treads the realms of light:
In martial pomp he clothes th' angelic train,
While warring myriads shake th' etherial plain.
First Michael stalks, high tow'ring o'er the rest;
With heav'nly plumage nodding on his crest:
Impenetrable arms his limbs unfold,
Eternal adamant, and burning gold!
Sparkling in fiery mail, with dire delight,
Rebellious Satan animates the fight:
Armipotent they sink in rolling smoke,
All heav'n resounding, to its centre shook,
To crush his foes, and quell the dire alarms,
Messiah sparkled in refulgent arms;
In radient panoply divinely bright,
His limbs incas'd, he slash'd devouring light,
On burning wheels, o'er heav'n's crystalline road
Thunder'd the chariot of thy Filial God;
The burning wheels on golden axles turn'd,
With flaming gems the golden axles burn'd.
Lo! the apostate host, with terror struck,
Roll back by millions! Th' Empyrean shook!
Sceptres, and orbid shields, and crowns of gold,
Cherubs and Seraphs in confusion roll'd;
Till, from his hand, the triple thunder hurl'd,
Compell'd them headlong, to th' Infernal world.
Then tuneful Pope, whom all the nine inspire,
With saphic sweetness, and pindaric fire.
Father of verse! melodious and divine!
Next peerless Milton should distinguish'd shine.
Smooth flow his numbers when he paints the grove,
Th' enraptur'd virgins list'ning into love.
But when the night and hoarse resounding storm,
Rush on the deep, and Neptune's face deform,
Rough runs the verse, the son'rous numbers roar
Like the hoarse surge that thunders on the shore.
But when he sings th' exhilerated swains,
Th' embow'ring groves, and Windsor's blissful plains,
Our eyes are ravish'd with the sylvan scene,
Embroider'd fields, and groves in living green:
His lays the verdure of the meads prolong,
And wither'd forests blossom in his song;
Thames' silver streams his flowing verse admire,
And cease to murmur while he tunes his lyre.
Next shou'd appear great Dryden's lofty muse,
For who would Dryden's polish'd verse refuse?
His lips were moisten'd in Parnassus' spring,
And Phœbus taught his laureat son to sing.
How long did Virgil untranslated moan,
His beauties fading, and his flights unknown;
Till Dryden rose, and, in exalted strain,
Re-sang the fortune of the god-like man?
Again the Trojan prince with dire delight,
Dreadful in arms, demands the ling'ring fight:
Again Camilla glows with martial fire,
Drives armies back, and makes all Troy retire.
With more than native lustre Virgil shines,
And gains sublimer heights in Dryden's lines.
The gentle Watts, who strings his silver lyre
To sacred odes, and heav'n's all-ruling fire;
Who scorns th' applause of the licentious stage,
And mounts yon sparkling worlds with hallow'd rage,
Compels my thoughts to wing the heav'nly road,
And wafts my soul, exulting, to my God;
No fabled Nine harmonious bard! inspire
Thy raptur'd breast with such seraphic fire;
But prompting Angels warm thy boundless rage,
Direct thy thoughts, and animate thy page.
Blest man! for spotless sanctity rever'd,
Lov'd by the good, and by the guilty fear'd;
Blest man! from gay delusive scenes remov'd,
Thy Maker loving, by thy Maker lov'd;
To God thou tun'st thy consecrated lays,
Nor meanly blush to sing Jehovah's praise.
Oh! did, like thee, each laurel'd bard delight,
To paint Religion in her native light,
Not then with Plays the lab'ring' press would groan,
Nor Vice defy the Pulpit and the Throne;
No impious rhymer charm a vicious age,
Nor prostrate Virtue groan beneath their rage:
But themes divine in lofty numbers rise,
Fill the wide earth, and echo through the skies.
These for Delight;—for Profit I would read,
The labour'd volumes of the learned dead:
Sagacious Locke, by Providence design'd
T' exalt, instruct, and rectify the mind.
Th' unconquerable Sage,[A] whom virtue fir'd,
And from the tyrant's lawless rage retir'd,
When victor Cæsar freed unhappy Rome,
From Pompey's chains, to substitute his own.
Longinius, Livy, fam'd Thucydides,
Quintillian, Plato and Demosthenes,
Persuasive Tully, and Corduba's Sage,[B]
Who fell by Nero's unrelenting rage;
Him[C] whom ungrateful Athens doom'd to bleed,
Despis'd when living, and deplor'd when dead.
Raleigh I'd read with ever fresh delight,
While ages past rise present to my fight:
Ah man unblest! he foreign realms explor'd,
Then fell a victim to his country's sword!
Nor should great Derham pass neglected by,    }
Observant sage! to whose deep piercing eye     }
Nature's stupendous works expanded lie.          }
Nor he, Britannia, thy unmatch'd renown!
(Adjudg'd to wear the philosophic crown)
Who on the solar orb uplifted rode,
And scan'd th' unfathomable works of God,
Who bound the silver planets to their spheres,
And trac'd th' elliptic curve of blazing stars!
Immortal Newton; whole illustrious name
Will shine on records of eternal fame.
By love directed, I wou'd choose a wife,
T' improve my bliss and ease the load of life.
Hail Wedlock! hail, inviolable tye!
Perpetual fountain of domestic joy!
Love, friendship, honour, truth, and pure delight,
Harmonious mingle in the nuptial rite.
In Eden first the holy state begun,
When perfect innocence distinguish'd man;
The human pair, th' Almighty Pontiff led,
Gay as the morning to the bridal bed;
A dread solemnity th' espousals grac'd,
Angels the Witnesses, and GOD the PRIEST!
All earth exulted on the nuptial hour,
And voluntary roses deck'd the bow'r!
The joyous birds, on ev'ry blossom'd spray,
Sung Hymenians to th' important day,
While Philomela swell'd the sponsal song,
And Paradise with gratulations rung.
Relate, inspiring muse! where shall I find
A blooming virgin with an angel mind,
Unblemish'd as the white-rob'd virgin quire
That fed, O Rome! thy consecrated fire;
By reason aw'd, ambitious to be good,
Averse to vice, and zealous for her God?
Relate, in what blest region can I find
Such bright perfections in a female mind?
What Phœnix-woman breathes the vital air,
So greatly greatly good, and so divinely fair?
Sure, not the gay and fashionable train,
Licentious, proud, immoral and prophane;
Who spend their golden hours in antic dress,
Malicious whispers, and inglorious ease.—
Lo! round the board a shining train appears,
In rosy beauty, and in prime of years!
This hates a flounce, and this a flounce approves,
This shews the trophies of her former loves;
Polly avers that Sylvia dress in green,
When last at church the gaudy Nymph was seen;
Chloe condemns her optics, and will lay
'Twas azure sattin, interstreak'd with grey;
Lucy invested with judicial pow'r,
Awards 'twas neither—and the strife is o'er.
Then parrots, lap-dogs, monkeys, squirrels, beaus,
Fans, ribbands, tuckers, patches, furbaloes,
In quick succession, thro' their fancies run,
And dance incessant on the flippant tongue.
And when fatigued with ev'ry other sport,
The belles prepare to grace the sacred court,
They marshal all their forces in array,
To kill with glances and destroy in play.
Two skilful maids, with reverential fear,
In wanton wreaths collect their silken hair;
Two paint their cheeks, and round their temples pour
The fragrant unguent, and the ambrosial show'r;
One pulls the shape-creating stays, and one
Encircles round her waist the golden zone:
Not with more toil t' improve immortal charms,
Strove Juno, Venus, and the Queen of Arms,
When Priam's Son adjudg'd the golden prize
To the resistless beauty of the skies.
At length equip'd in love's enticing arms,
With all that glitters and with all that charms,
Th' ideal goddesses to church repair,
Peep thro' the fan and mutter o'er a pray'r,
Or listen to the organ's pompous sound,
Or eye the gilded images around;
Or, deeply studied in coquetish rules,
Aim wily glances at unthinking fools;
Or shew the lilly hand with graceful air,
Or wound the fopling with a lock of hair:
And when the hated discipline is o'er,
And Misses tortur'd with Repent no more,
They mount the pictur'd coach, and to the play
The celebrated idols hie away.
Not so the Lass that shou'd my joys improve,
With solid friendship, and connubial love:
A native bloom, with intermingled white,
Should set features in a pleasing light;
Like Helen flushing with unrival'd charms.
When raptur'd Paris darted in her arms.
But what, alas! avails a ruby cheek,
A downy bosom, or a snowy neck!
Charms ill supply the want of innocence,
Nor beauty forms intrinsic excellence:
But in her breast let moral beauties shine,
Supernal grace and purity divine:
Sublime her reason, and her native wit
Unstrain'd with pedantry and low conceit;
Her fancy lively, and her judgment free,
From female prejudice and bigotry:
Averse to idle pomp, and outward show,
The flatt'ring coxcomb, and fantastic beau.
The fop's impertinence she should despise,
Tho' sorely wounded by her radient eyes;
But pay due rev'rence to the exalted mind
By learning polish'd, and by wit refin'd,
Who all her virtues, without guile, commends,
And all her faults as freely reprehends.
Soft Hymen's rites her passion should approve,
And in her bosom glow the flames of love:
To me her foul, by sacred friendship turn,
And I, for her, with equal friendship burn;
In ev'ry stage of life afford relief,
Partake my joys, and sympathize my grief;
Unshaken, walk in virtue's peaceful road,
Nor bribe her reason to pursue the mode;
Mild as the saint whose errors are forgiv'n,
Calm as a vestal, and compos'd as heav'n.
This be the partner, this the lovely wife
That should embellish and prolong my life;
A nymph! who might a second fall inspire,
And fill a glowing Cherub with desire!
With her I'd spend the pleasurable day,
While fleeting minutes gaily danc'd away:
With her I'd walk, delighted, o'er the green,
Thro' ev'ry blooming mead, and rural scene,
Or sit in open fields damask'd with flow'rs,
Or where cool shades imbrown the noon-tide bow'rs,
Imparadis'd within my eager arms,
I'd reign the happy monarch of her charms:
Oft on her panting bosom would I lay,
And, in dissolving raptures, melt away;
Then lull'd, by nightingales, to balmy rest,
My blooming fair should slumber at my breast.
And when decrepid age (frail mortals doom!)
Should bend my wither'd body to the tomb,
No warbling Syrens should retard my flight,
To heav'nly mansions of unclouded light;
Tho' death, with his imperial horrors crown'd,
Terrific grinn'd, and formidably frown'd,
Offences pardon'd, and remitted sin,
Should form a calm serenity within:
Blessing my natal and my mortal hour,
(My soul committed to th' eternal pow'r)
Inexorable death should smile, for I,
Who knew to LIVE, would never fear to DIE.
[A] Cato.
[B] Seneca.
[C] Socrates.



Begin the high celestial strain,
My ravish'd soul, and sing,
A solemn hymn of grateful praise
To heav'n's Almighty King.
Ye curling fountains, as ye roll
Your silver waves along,
Whisper to all your verdant shores
The subject of my song.
Retain it long y' echoing rocks,
The sacred sound retain,
And from your hollow winding caves
Return it oft again.
Bear it, ye winds, on all your wings,
To distant climes away,
And round the wide extended world
My lofty theme convey.
Take the glad burden of his name,
Ye clouds, as you arise,
Whether to deck the golden morn,
Or shade the ev'ning skies.
Let harmless thunders roll along
The smooth etherial plain,
And answer from the crystal vault
To ev'ry flying strain.
Long let it warble round the spheres,
And echo through the sky,
Till Angels, with immortal skill,
Improve the harmony.
While I, with sacred rapture fir'd,
The blest Creator sing,
And warble consecrated lays
To heav'n's Almighty King.


Hail sacred Salem! plac'd on high,
Seat of the mighty King!
What thought can grasp thy boundless bliss,
What tongue thy glories sing?
Thy crystal tow'rs and palaces
Magnificently rise,
And dart their beaut'ous lustre round
The empyrean skies.
The voice of triumph in thy streets
And acclamations found,
Gay banquets in thy splendid courts
And purest joys abound.
Bright smiles on ev'ry face appear,
Rapture in ev'ry eye;
From ev'ry mouth glad anthems flow,
And charming harmony.
Illustrious day for ever there,
Streams from the face divine;
No pale-fac'd moon e'er glimmers forth,
Nor stars nor sun decline.
No scorching heats, no piercing colds,
The changing seasons bring;
But o'er the fields mild breezes there
Breathe an eternal spring.
The flow'rs with lasting beauty shine,
And deck the smiling ground,
While flowing streams of pleasures all
The happy plains surround.


Now let the spacious world arise,
Said the creator Lord:
At once th' obedient earth and skies
Rose at his sov'reign word.
Dark was the deep, the waters lay
Confus'd, and drown'd the land;
He call'd the light, the new-born day
Attends on his command.
He bids the clouds ascend on high;
The clouds ascend, and bear
A wat'ry treasure to the sky,
And float on softer air.
The liquid element below,
Was gather'd by his hand;
The rolling seas together flow,
And leave a solid land:
With herbs and plants (a flow'ry birth)
The naked globe he crown'd,
Ere there was rain to bless the earth,
Or sun to warm the ground.
Then he adorn'd the upper skies,
Behold the sun appears,
The moon and stars in order rise,
To mark our months and years.
Out of the deep th' Almighty King
Did vital beings frame,
And painted fowls of ev'ry wing,
And fish of ev'ry name,
He gave the lion and the worm
At once their wond'rous birth;
And grazing beasts of various form
Rose from the teeming earth.
Adam was form'd of equal clay,
The sov'reign of the rest;
Design'd for nobler ends than they,
With God's own image blest.
Thus glorious in the Maker's eye,
The young Creation stood;
He saw the building from on high,
His word pronounc'd it good.


Father of all! we bow to thee,
Who dwells in heav'n ador'd;
But present still thro' all thy works,
The universal Lord.
All hallow'd be thy sacred name,
O'er all the nations known;
Advance the kingdom of thy grace,
And let thy glory come.
A grateful homage may we yield,
With hearts resigned to thee;
And as in heav'n thy will is done,
On earth so let it be.
From day to day we humbly own
The hand that feeds us still;
Give us our bread, and we may rest
Contented in thy will.
Our sins and trespasses we own;
O may they be forgiv'n!
That mercy we to others shew,
We pray the like from Heav'n.
Our life let still thy grace direct,
From evil guard our way,
And in temptation's fatal path
Permit us not to stray.
For thine the pow'r, the kingdom thine,
All glory's due to thee:
Thine from eternity they were,
And thine shall ever be.


Father of all, in ev'ry age,
In ev'ry clime ador'd;
By saint, by savage, and by sage,
Jehovah, Jove, or Lord.
Thou great First Cause, least understood;
Who all my sense confin'd,
To know but this, that thou art good,
And that myself am blind:
Yet gave me in this dark estate,
To see the good from ill;
And binding Nature fast in fate,
Left free the human Will.
What conscience dictates to be done,
Or warns me not to do,
This, teach me more than hell to shun,
That, more than heav'n pursue.
What blessings thy free bounty gives;
Let me not cast away;
For God is paid when man receives,
T' enjoy is to obey.
Yet not to earth's contracted span
Thy goodness let me bound,
Or think thee Lord alone of Man,
When thousand worlds are round:
Let not this weak unknowing hand
Presume thy bolts to throw,
And deal damnation round the land,
On each I judge thy foe.
If I am right, thy grace impart,
Still in the right to stay;
If I am wrong, O teach my heart
To find that better way.
Save me alike from foolish pride,
Or impious discontent,
At aught thy wisdom has deny'd,
Or aught thy goodness lent.
Teach me to feel another's woe,
To hide the fault I see;
That mercy I to others shew,
That mercy show to me.
Mean though I am, not wholly so,
Since quicken'd by thy breath;
Oh lead me wheresoe'er I go,
Through this day's life or death.
This day be bread and peace my lot:
All else beneath the sun,
Thou knowst if best bestow'd or not,
And let thy will be done.
To thee, whose temple is all space,
Whose altar, earth, sea, skies!
One chorus let all being raise!
All nature's incense rise!


Know then thyself; presume not God to scan
The proper study of mankind, is man.
Plac'd on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise, and rudely great;
With too much knowledge for the sceptic side,
With too much weakness for the stoic's pride,
He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest;
In doubt, to deem himself a God, or beast;
In doubt, his mind or body to prefer;
Born, but to die; and reas'ning, but to err:
Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
Whether he thinks too little or too much:
Chaos of thought and passion, all confus'd;
Still by himself abus'd, or disabus'd:
Created, half to rise, and half to fall;
Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all:
Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurl'd;
The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!


See! Winter comes, to rule the varied year,
Sullen and sad, with all his rising train,
Vapours, and clouds, and storms. Be these my theme;
These, that exalt the soul to solemn thought,
And heavenly musing. Welcome, kindred glooms!
Congenial horrors, hail! With frequent foot,
Pleas'd, have I, in my cheerful morn of life,
When, nurs'd by careless solitude, I liv'd,
And sung of nature with unceasing joy.
Pleas'd, have I wand'red through your rough domain;
Trod the pure virgin snows, myself as pure;
Heard the winds roar, and the big torrent burst;
Or seen the deep fermenting tempest brew'd
In the grim evening sky. Thus pass the time,
Till, through the lucid chambers of the south,
Look'd out the joyous spring, look'd out, and smil'd.


My name is Norval. On the Grampian Hills
My father feeds his flocks; a frugal swain,
Whose constant cares were to increase his store,
And keep his only son, myself, at home.
For I had heard of battles, and I long'd
To follow to the field some warlike lord:
And heav'n soon granted what my sire deny'd.
This moon, which rose last night, round as my shield,
Had not yet fill'd her horns, when by her light,
A band of fierce barbarians, from the hills
Rush'd, like a torrent, down upon the vale,
Sweeping our flocks and herds. The shepherds fled
For safety and for succour. I alone,
With bended bow, and quiver full of arrows,
Hover'd about the enemy, and mark'd
The road he took; then hasted to my friends;
Whom, with a troop of fifty chosen men,
I met advancing. The pursuit I led,
Till we o'ertook the spoil encumber'd foe.
We fought—and conquer'd. Ere a sword was drawn,
An arrow, from my bow, had pierc'd their chief,
Who wore, that day, the arms which now I wear.
Returning home in triumph, I disdain'd
The shepherd's slothful life: and having heard
That our good king had summon'd his bold peers,
To lead their warriors to the Carron side,
I left my father's house, and took with me
A chosen servant to conduct my steps—
Yon trembling coward who forsook his master.
Journeying with this intent, I pass'd these towers;
And, heaven directed, came this day, to do
The happy deed, that gilds my humble name.


Beneath a mountain's brow, the most remote
And inaccessible by shepherds trod,
In a deep cave, dug by no mortal hand,
A hermit liv'd; a melancholy man,
Who was the wonder of our wand'ring swains,
Austere and lonely, cruel to himself,
Did they report him; the cold earth his bed,
Water his drink, his food the shepherd's alms.
I went to see him, and my heart was touch'd
With rev'rence and with pity. Mild he spake,
And, entering on discourse, such stories told,
As made me oft revisit his sad cell.
For he had been a soldier in his youth,
And fought in famous battles, when the peers
Of Europe, by the bold Godfredo led,
Against th' usurping infidel display'd
The blessed cross, and won the Holy Land.
Pleas'd with my admiration, and the fire
His speech struck from me; the old man would shake
His years away, and act his young encounters.
Then having shewn his wounds; he'd sit him down.
And all the live long day, discourse of war.
To help my fancy, in the smooth green turf
He cut the figures of the marshall'd hosts:
Describ'd the motions, and explain'd the use
Of the deep column and lengthen'd line,
The square, the crescent, and the phalanx firm;
For, all that Saracen or Christian knew
Of war's vast art, was to this hermit known.
Unhappy man!
Returning homeward by Messina's port,
Loaded with wealth and honours bravely won,
A rude and boist'rous captain of the sea
Fasten'd a quarrel on him. Fierce they fought;
The stranger fell, and with his dying breath,
Declar'd his name and lineage! Mighty God!
The soldier cry'd, my brother! Oh! my brother!
They exchanged forgiveness:
And happy, in my mind, was he that died;
For many deaths has the survivor suffer'd,
In the wild desart on a rock he sits,
Or on some nameless stream's untrodden banks,
And ruminates all day his dreadful fate.
At times, alas! not in his perfect mind!
Hold's dialogues with his lov'd brother's ghost;
And oft each night forsakes his sullen couch,
To make sad orisons for him he slew.


In ancient times, as story tells,
The saints would often leave their cells,
And stroll about; but hide their quality,
To try good people's hospitality.
It happened, on a winter night,
As authors on the legend write,
Two brother hermits, saints by trade;
Taking their tour in masquerade,
Disguis'd in tattered habits, went
To a small village down in Kent;
Where, in the stroller's canting strain,
They begg'd from door to door, in-vain;
Tri'd every tone might pity win,
But not a soul would let them in.
Our wandering saints, in woeful state,
Treated at this ungodly rate,
Having through all the village pass'd,
To a small cottage came at last,
Where dwelt a good old honest yoeman,
Call'd in the neighbourhood, Philemon;
Who kindly did these saints invite
In his poor hut to pass the night;
And, then, the hospitable sire
Bid goody Baucis mend the fire;
While he, from out the chimney, took
A flitch of bacon off the hook,
And, freely from the fattest side,
Cut out large slices to be fry'd:
Then stept aside, to fetch them drink,
Fill'd a large jug up to the brink;
Then saw it fairly twice go round;
Yet (what is wonderful) they found,
'Twas still replenish'd to the top,
As if they had not touch'd a drop.
The good old couple were amaz'd,
And often on each other gaz'd;
For both were frighten'd to the heart,
And just began to cry—What art!
Then softly turn'd aside to view,
Whether the lights were turning blue,
The gentle pilgrims, soon aware on't,
Told them their calling and their errand;
"Good folks you need not be afraid;
"We are but saints," the hermit said;
"No hurt shall come to you or yours;
"But for that pack of churlish boors,
"Not fit to live on Christian ground,
"They, and their houses shall be drown'd;
"While you see your cottage rise,
"And grow a church before your eyes."
They scarce had spoke, when fair and soft,
The roof began to move aloft;
Aloft rose every beam and rafter;
The heavy wall climb'd slowly after.
The chimney widen'd, and grew higher,
Became a steeple with a spire.
The kettle to the top was hoist;
With upside down, doom'd there to dwell,
'Tis now no kettle, but a bell.
A wooden jack, which had almost
Lost, by disuse, the art to roast,
A sudden alteration feels,
Increas'd by new intestine wheels;
And strait against the steeple rear'd,
Became a clock, and still adher'd;
And, now, in love to household cares,
By a shrill voice the hour declares,
Warning the housemaid not to burn
The roast-meat which it cannot turn.
The easy chair began to crawl,
Like a huge snail along the wall;
There, stuck aloft in public view,
And, with small change, a pulpit grew.
A bed-stead of the antique mode,
Made up of timber many a load,
Such as our ancestors did use,
Was metamorphos'd into pews:
Which still their ancient nature keep,
By lodging folks dispos'd to sleep.
The cottage by such feats as these,
Grown to a church by just degrees,
The hermits then desir'd their host
Old goodman Dobson of the green,
Remembers, he the trees has seen;
He'll talk of them from morn to night,
And goes with folks to shew the sight.
On Sundays, after ev'ning prayer,
He gathers all the parish there;
Points out the place of either yew:
"Here Baucis, there Philemon grew;
"Till, once, a parson of our town,
"To mend his barn, cut Baucis down;
"At which, 'tis hard to be believ'd;
"How much the other tree was griev'd;
"Grew scrubby, died a-top, was stunted;
"So the next parson stubb'd, and burnt it."


Oh happiness! our being's end and aim;
Good, pleasure, ease, content! whate'er they name,
That something still which prompts the eternal sigh,
For which we bear to live, or dare to die:
Which still so near us, yet beyond us lies,
O'erlook'd, seen double, by the fool, and wise:
Plant of celestial seed! if drop'd below,
Say, in what mortal soil thou deign'st to grow:
Fair op'ning to some court's propitious shrine;
Or deep with di'monds in the flaming mine?
Twin'd with the wreaths Parnassian laurels yield,
Or reap'd in iron harvests of the field?
Where grows? where grows it not? If vain our toil,
We ought to blame the culture, not the soil.
Fix'd to no spot is happiness sincere?
'Tis no where to be found, or every where.
Order is heaven's first law: and this confest,
Some are, and must be, greater than the rest;
More rich, more wise. But, who infers from hence
That such are happier, shocks all common sense;
Heaven to mankind impartial we confess,
If all are equal in their happiness.
But mutual wants this happiness increase;
All natures difference keeps all natures peace.
Condition, circumstance, is not the thing;
Bliss is the same, in subject, or in king;
In who obtain defence, or who defend;
In him who is, or him who finds a friend.
Fortune her gifts may variously dispose,
And these be happy call'd, unhappy those;
But heaven's just balance equal will appear,
While those are plac'd in hope, and these in fear;
Nor present good or ill, the joy or curse,
But future views of better, or of worse.
Oh sons of earth! attempt ye still to rise,
By mountains pil'd on, mountains, to the skies?
Heaven still, with laughter, the vain toil surveys,
And buries madmen in the heaps they raise.
Know, all the good that individuals find,
Or God and nature meant to mere mankind,
Reason's whole pleasure, all the joys of sense,
Lie in three words—Health, Peace, and Competence.


Now morn, her rosy steps in th' eastern clime
Advancing, sow'd the earth with orient pearl,
When Adam wak'd; so custom'd; for his sleep
Was airy light, from pure digestion bred,
And temperate vapours bland, which the only found
Of leaves and fuming rills, Aurora's fan,
Lightly dispers'd, and the thrill matin song
Of birds on ev'ry bough. So much the more
His wonder was to find unwaken'd Eve
With tresses discomposed, and glowing cheek.
As through unquiet rest. He, on his side
Leaning half rais'd, with looks of cordial love,
Hung over her enamour'd; and beheld
Beauty, which, whether waking or asleep,
Shot forth peculiar graces. Then, with voice
Mild as when Zephyrus on Flora breathes,
Her hand soft touching, whispered thus; "Awake,
"My fairest, my espous'd, my latest found:
"Heaven's last best gift, my ever new delight,
"Awake!—The morning shines, and the fresh field
"Calls us. We lose the prime; to mark how spring
"Our tended plants; how blows the citron grove:
"What drops the myrrh, and what the balmy reed;
"How nature paints her colours; how the bee
"Sits on the bloom, extracting liquid sweet."


The hour advances, the decisive hour,
That lifts me to the summit of renown,
Or leaves me on the earth a breathless corse,
The buzz and bustle of the field before me;
The twang of bow-strings, and the clash of spears:
With every circumstance of preparation;
Strike with an awful horror!—Shouts are echo'd,
To drown dismay, and blow up resolution
Even to its utmost swell.—From hearts so firm,
Whom dangers fortify, and toils inspire,
What has a leader not to hope! And, yet,
The weight of apprehension sinks me down—
"O, soul of Nature! great eternal cause,
"Who gave, and govern's all that's here below!
"'Tis by the aid of thy almighty arm
"The weak exist, the virtuous are secure.
"If, to your sacred laws obedient ever
"My sword, my soul, have own'd no other guide,
"Oh! if your honour, if the rights of men,
"My country's happiness, my king's renown,
"Were motives worthy of a warrior's zeal,
"Crown your poor servant with success this day:
"And be the praise and glory all thy own."


Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste
Brought death into the world, and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater man
Restore us, and regain the blissful seat,
Sing heav'nly muse! that on the sacred top
Of Oreb, or of Sinai, did'st inspire
That shepherd, who first taught the chosen seed,
In the beginning, how the heav'ns and earth
Rose out of chaos: or, if Sion hill
Delight thee more, and Silo's book that flow'd.
Fast by the oracle of God; I thence
Invoke thy aid to my advent'rous song,
That, with no middle flight, intends to soar
Above th' Aonian mount, while it pursues
Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme
And chiefly thou, O Spirit! that dost prefer
Before all temples, th' upright heart and pure,
Instruct me, for thou know'st; thou, from the first,
Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread,
Dove-like sat'st brooding o'er the vast abyss,
And mad'st it pregnant; what in me is dark,
Illumine: what is low, raise and support;
That, to the height of this great argument,
I may assert eternal providence,
And justify the ways of God to men.


These are thy glorious works, Parent of good!
Almighty! thine this universal frame,
Thus wond'rous fair: thyself, how wond'rous, then,
Unspeakable! who fit'st above these heav'ns,
To us invisible, or dimly seen
In these thy lowest works; yet these declare
Thy goodness beyond thought, and pow'r divine—
Speak, ye who best can tell, ye sons of light,
Angels!—for ye behold him, and, with songs
And choral symphonies, day without night,
Circle his throne, rejoicing. Ye in heav'n!—
On earth, join all ye creatures, to extol
Him first, him last, him midst, and without end,
Fairest of stars! last in the train of night,
If better then, belong not to the dawn,
Sure pledge of day, that crown'st the smiling morn
With thy bright circlet, praise him in thy sphere,
While day arises, that sweet hour of prime.
Thou fun! of this great world both eye and foul,
Acknowledge him thy greater: found his praise
In thy eternal course, both when thou climb'st,
And when high noon has gain'd, and when thou fall'st,
Moon! that now meet'st the orient fun, now fly'st
With the fix'd stars, fix'd in their orb that flies;
And ye five other wand'ring fires! that move
In mystic dance, not without song; resound
His praise, who out of darkness, call'd up light.
Air, and ye elements! the eldest birth
Of nature's womb, that, in quaternion, run
Perpetual circle, multiform, and mix
And nourish all things; let your ceaseless change
Vary, to our great Maker, still new praise,
Ye mists and exhalations! that now rise
From hill or streaming lake, dusky or grey,
Till the sun paint your fleecy skirts with gold,
In honour to the world's great Author, rise;
Whether to deck with clouds, th' uncolour'd sky,
Or wet the thirsty earth with falling show'rs,
Rising, or falling, still advance his praise.
His praise, ye winds! that from four quarters blow,
Breathe soft or loud! and wave your tops, ye pines!
With ev'ry plant, in sign of worship, wave,
Fountains! and ye that warble, as ye flow,
Melodious murmurs, warbling, tune his praise.—-
Join voices, all ye living souls. Ye birds,
That, singing, up to heaven-gate ascend,
Bear, on your wings, and in your notes, his praise.—
Ye, that in waters glide! and ye, that walk
The earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep!
Witness, if I be silent, morn or ev'n,
To hill, or valley, fountain, or fresh shade,
Made vocal by my song, and taught his praise.—
Hail, universal Lord! be bounteous still,
To give us only good: and, if the night
Have gather'd aught of evil, or conceal'd—
Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark.


At the close of the day, when the hamlet is still,
And mortals the sweets of forgetfulness prove;
When nought, but the torrent, is heard on the hill;
And nought, but the, nightingale's song, in the grove;
'Twas then, by the cave of the fountain afar;
A hermit his song of the night thus began;
No more with himself, or with nature at war,
He thought as a sage, while he felt as a man.
'Ah! why thus abandon'd to darkness and woe?
'Why thus, lonely Philomel, flows thy sad strain?
'For spring shall return, and a lover bestow,
'And thy bosom no trace of misfortune retain.
'Yet, if pity inspire thee, ah! cease not thy lay;
'Mourn, sweetest complainer, man calls thee to mourn;
'Oh! soothe him, whose pleasures, like thine, pass away,
'Full quickly they pass—but they never return.
'Now, gliding remote, on the verge of the sky,
'The moon, half extinguish'd, her crescent displays;
'But lately I mark'd; when majestic: on high
'She shone, and the planets were lost in her blaze.
'Roll on, thou fair orb! and with; gladness pursue
'The path that conducts thee to splendor again—
'But man's faded glory no change shall renew:
'Ah fool! to exult in a glory so vain.
''Tis night, and the landscape is lovely no more;
'I mourn; but ye woodlands! I mourn not for you:
'For morn is approaching, your charms to restore,
'Perfum'd with fresh fragrance, and glitt'ring with dew.
'Nor, yet, for the ravage of winter I mourn;
'Kind nature the embryo blossom will save—
'But, when shall spring visit the mould'ring urn?
'O! when shall it dawn on the night of the grave!'
'Twas thus, by the glare of false science betray'd,
That leads, to bewilder; and dazzles, to blind;
My thoughts want to roam, from shade onward to shade,
Destruction before me, and sorrow behind.
'O! pity, great father of light!' then I cry'd,
'Thy creature, who fain would not wander from thee;
'Lo! humbled in dust, I relinquish my pride:
F'rom doubt, and from darkness, thou only canst free.'
And darkness, and doubt, are now flying away,
No longer I roam, in conjecture forlorn,
So breaks on the traveller, faint, and astray,
The bright and the balmy effulgence of morn.
See truth, love, and mercy, in triumph descending,
And nature all glowing in Eden's first bloom!
On the cold cheek of death, smiles and roses are blending,
And beauty immortal awakes from the tomb,


Pity the sorrows of a poor old man,
Whole trembling limbs have borne him to your door;
Whole days are dwindled to the shortest span,
Oh! give relief and heav'n will bless your store,
These tatter'd clothes my poverty bespeak,
Those hoary locks proclaim my lengthen'd years;
And many a furrow in my grief-worn cheek
Has been the channel to a flood of tears.
You house erected on the rising ground,
With tempting aspect, drew me from my road,
For plenty there a residence has found,
And grandeur a magnificent abode.
Hard is the fate of the infirm and poor!
Here, as I crav'd a morsel of their bread,
A pamper'd menial drove me from the door,
To seek a shelter in an humbler shed.
Oh! take me to your hospitable dome;
Keen blows the wind, and piercing is the cold:
Short is my passage to the friendly tomb,
For I am poor and miserably old.
Should I reveal the sources of my grief,
If soft humanity e'er touch'd your breast,
Your hands would not withhold the kind relief,
And tears of pity would not be represt.
Heav'n sends misfortunes; why should we repine?
'Tis heav'n has brought me to the state you see;
And your condition may be soon like mine,
The child of sorrow and of misery.
A little farm was my paternal lot,
Then like the lark I sprightly hail'd the morn:
But, ah! oppression forc'd me from my cot,
My cattle died, and blighted was my corn.
My daughter, once the comfort of my age,
Lur'd by a villain from her native home,
Is cast abandon'd on the world's wide stage,
And doom'd in scanty poverty to roam.
My tender wife, sweet soother of my care,
Struck with sad anguish at the stern decree,
Fell, ling'ring fell, a victim to despair,
And left the world to wretchedness and me.
Pity the sorrows of a poor old man,
Whose trembling limbs have borne him to your door;
Whose days are dwindled to the shortest span,
Oh! give relief, and heav'n will bless your store.


Oh, first of human blessings and supreme,
Fair Peace! how lovely, how delightful, thou!
By whose wide tie, the kindred sons of men,
brothers live, in amity combin'd,
And unsuspicious faith: while honest toil
Gives ev'ry joy; and, to those joys, a right,
Which idle barbarous rapine but usurps.
Pure is thy reign; when, unaccurs'd by blood,
Nought, save the sweetness of indulgent show'rs,
Trickling, distils into the vernant glebe;
Instead of mangled carcases, sad scene!
When the blythe sheaves lie scatter'd o'er the field;
When only shining shares, the crooked knife,
And hooks imprint the vegetable wound;
When the land blushes with the rose alone,
The falling fruitage, and the bleeding vine.
Oh! peace! then source and soul of social life!
Beneath whose calm inspiring influence,
Science his views enlarges, art refines,
And swelling commerce opens all her ports—
Bless'd be the man divine, who gives us thee!
Who bids the trumpet hush its horrid clang,
Nor blow the giddy nations into rage;
Who sheathes the murd'rous blade; the deadly gun
Into the well-pil'd armory returns;
And, ev'ry vigour from the work of death
To grateful industry converting, makes
The country flourish, and the city smile!
Unviolated, him the virgin sings;
And him, the smiling mother, to her train.
Of him, the Shepherd, in the peaceful dale,
Chaunts; and the treasures of his labour sure,
The husbandman, of him, as at the plough,
Or team, he toils. With him, the Tailor soothes,
Beneath the trembling moon, the midnight wave;
And the full city, warm, from street to street,
And shop to shop, responsive rings of him.
Nor joys one land alone: his praise extends,
Far as the sun rolls the diffusive day;
Far as the breeze can bear the gifts of peace;
Till all the happy nations catch the song.


All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts;
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in his nurse's arms;
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel,
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then, the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woful ballad
Made to his mistress' eye-brow. Then, a soldier
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation,
Ev'n in the cannon's mouth. And then, the justice,
In fair round belly, with good capon lin'd;
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances,
And so he plays his part. The sixth age foists
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose, and pouch on side.
His youthful hose well sav'd, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice
Turning again towards childish treble, pipes.
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness, and mere oblivion;
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans every thing.


CATO.—Fathers! we once again are met in council.
Cæsar's approach, has summon'd us together,
And Rome attends her fate from our resolves.
How shall we treat this bold aspiring man?
Success still follows him, and backs his crimes,
Pharsalia gave him Rome. Egypt has since
Receiv'd his yoke, and the whole Nile is Cæsar's.
Why should I mention Juba's overthrow,
And Scipio's death? Numidia's burning sands
Still smoke with blood. 'Tis time we should decree
What course to take. Our foe advances on us,
And envies us ev'n Lybia's sultry deserts.
Fathers, pronounce your thoughts. Are they still fix'd
To hold it out and fight it to the last?
Or, are your hearts subdu'd, at length, and wrought;
By time and ill success, to a submission?—
Sempronius, speak.
SEMPRONIUS.—My voice is still for war.
Gods! can a Roman senate long debate
Which of the two to chuse, slav'ry or death?
No—let us rise at once; gird on our swords;
And, at the head of our remaining troops,
Attack the foe; break through the thick array
Of his throng'd legions; and charge home upon him.
Perhaps, some arm, more lucky than the rest,
May reach his heart, and free the world from bondage.
Rise, Fathers, rise! 'Tis Rome demands your help;
Rise, and revenge her slaughter'd citizens,
Or share their fate! The corpse of half her senate
Manure the fields of Thessaly, while we
Sit here, delib'rating' hi told debates,
If we should sacrifice our lives to honour,
Or wear them out in servitude and chains.
Rouse up, for shame: Our brothers of Pharsalia
Point at their wounds, and cry aloud—to battle!
Great Pompey's shade complains that we are flow;
And Scipio's ghost walks unreveng'd amongst us!
CATO.—Let not a torrent of impetuous zeal
Transport thee thus beyond the bounds of reason.
True fortitude is seen in great exploits,
That justice warrants, and that wisdom guides;
All else is tow'ring frenzy and distraction.
Are not the lives of those who draw the sword
In Rome's defence, entrusted to our care?
Should we thus lead them to a field of slaughter,
Might not th' impartial world, with reason, say
We lavish'd, at our deaths, the blood of thousands;
To grace our fall, and make our ruin glorious?
Lucius, we next would know what's your opinion.
LUCIUS.—My thoughts, I must confess, are turn'd on peace,
Already have our quarrels fill'd the world
With widows and with orphans. Scythia mourns
Our guilty wars, and earth's remotest regions
Lie half unpeopled by the feuds of Rome.
'Tis time to sheathe the sword, and spare mankind,
It is not Cæsar, but the gods, my fathers!
The gods declare against us, and repel
Our vain attempts. To urge the foe to battle,
(Prompted by a blind revenge and wild despair)
Were, to refuse th' awards of providence,
And not to rest in heav'n's determination.
Already have we shewn our love to Rome;
Now, let us shew submission to the gods.
We took up arms not to revenge ourselves,
But free the commonwealth. When this end fails,
Arms have no further use. Our country's cause,
That drew our swords, now wrests them from our hands,
And bids us not delight in Roman blood
Unprofitably shed. What men could do
Is done already. Heav'n and earth will witness,
If Rome must fall, that we are innocent.
CATO—Let us appear, not rash, nor diffident,
Immoderate valour swells into a fault;
And fear, admitted into public councils,
Betray like treason. Let us shun 'em both.—
Father's, I cannot see that our affairs
Are grown thus desp'rate. We have bulwarks round us;
Within our walls, are troops inur'd to toil
In Afric heats, and season'd to the sun.
Numidia's spacious kingdom lies behind us,
Ready to rise at its young prince's call.
While there is hope, do not distrust the gods:
But wait, at least, till Cæsar's near approach
Force us to yield. 'Twill never be too late
To sue for chains, and own a conqueror.
Why should Rome fall a moment ere her time?
No—let us draw our term of freedom out
In its full length, and spin it to the last:
So shall we gain still one day's liberty.
And, let me perish, but, in Cato's judgment,
A day, an hour, of virtuous liberty,
Is worth a whole eternity of bondage.

CATO, solus, sitting in a thoughtful posture: In his hand Plato's book on the immortality of the soul. A drawn sword on the table by him.

It must be so—Plato, thou reason'st well!—
Else, whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire,
This longing after immortality?
Or whence this secret dread, and inward horror,
Of falling into nought? Why shrinks the soul
Back on herself, and startles at destruction?
'Tis the divinity that stirs within us;
'Tis heav'n itself, that points out—an hereafter,
And intimates—eternity to man.
Eternity!—thou pleasing—dreadful thought!
Through what variety of untry'd beings,
Through what new scenes and changes must we pass!
The wide, th' unbounded prospect lies before me—
But shadows, clouds, and darkness rest upon it.—
Here will I hold. If there's a pow'r above us,
(And that there is all nature cries aloud
Through all her works) he must delight in virtue;
And that which he delights in must be happy.
But, when! or where! this world—was made for Cæsar.
I'm weary of conjectures—this must end 'em.
[Laying his hand on his sword.
Thus am I doubly arm'd; my death and life,
My bane and antidote are both before me:
This, in a moment, brings me to an end;
But this informs me I shall never die.
The soul, secur'd in her existence, smiles
At the drawn dagger, and defies its point.
The stars shall fade away, the sun himself
Grow dim with age, and nature sink in years;
But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth,
Unhurt amid the war of elements,
The wrecks of matter; and the crush of worlds.
What means this heaviness that hangs upon me?
This lethargy that creeps through all my senses?
Nature oppress'd, and harrass'd out with care;
Sinks down to rest. This once I'll favour her;
That my awaken'd soul may take her flight,
Renew'd in all her strength, and fresh with life;
An offering fit for Heav'n. Let guilt or fear
Disturb man's rest; Cato knows neither of 'em;
Indiff'rent in his choice, to sleep or die.


To be—or not to be!—that is the question.—
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind, to suffer
The stings and arrows of outrageous fortune;
Or to take arms against a siege of troubles,
And, by opposing, end them?—To die—to sleep—
No more;—and, by a sleep, to say we end
The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to—'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die—to sleep—
To sleep—perchance to dream—aye, there's the rub.—
For, in that sleep of death what dreams may come;
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil;
Must give us pause.—There's the respect
That makes calamity of so long a life
For, who would bear the whips and scorns o' th' time,
Th' oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despis'd love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes;
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,
To groan and sweat under a weary life;
But that the dread of something after death
(That undiscover'd country, from whose bourne
No traveller returns) puzzles the will;
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of;
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought;
And enterprizes of great pith and moment,
With this regard, their currents turn away,
And lose the name of action.



Then is Orestes blest! My griefs are fled!
Fled like a dream! Methinks I tread in air!—
Surprising happiness! unlook'd for joy!
Never let love despair! The prize is mine!—
Be smooth, ye seas! and, ye propitious winds,
Blow from Epirus to the Spartan coast!


I'll go; and in the anguish of my heart—-
Weep o'er my child—If he must die, my life
Is wrapt in his; I shall not long survive.
'Tis for his sake that I have suffer'd life;
Groan'd in captivity; and outliv'd Hector.—
Yes, my Astyanax! we'll go together;
Together—to the realms of night we'll go.


Hadst thou but seen, as I did, how, at last,
Thy beauties, Belvidera, like a wretch
That's doom'd to banishment, came weeping forth,
Whilst two young virgins, on whose arms she lean'd,
Kindly look'd up, and at her grief grew sad!
E'en the lewd rabble, that were gather'd round
To see the sight, stood mute when they beheld her,
Govern'd their roaring throats—and grumbled pity.


Come on, Sir,—here's the place—stand still,—
How fearful 'tis to cast one's eyes so low!
The crows and coughs, that whig the midway air,
Shew scarce so gross as beetles. Half way down,
Hangs one that gathers samphire—dreadful trade!
Methinks he seems no bigger than one's head,
The fishermen, that walk upon the beach,
Appear like mice; and yon tall anchoring bark
Seems lesson'd to a cock; her cock, a buoy
Almost too small for fight. The murmuring surge;
That on th' unnumbered idle pebbles chases,
Cannot be heard so high.—I'll look no more,
Lest my brain turn and the disorder make me
Tumble down headlong.


Now, all is hush'd and still as death—
How reverend is the face of this tall pile,
Whose ancient pillars rear their marble heads,
To bear aloft its arch'd and pond'rous roof,
By its own weight made stedfast and immoveable,
Looking tranquillity! It strikes an awe
And terror on my aking sight. The tombs,
And monumental caves of death look cold,
And shoot a chillness to my trembling heart.
Give me thy hand, and let me hear thy voice—
Nay, quickly speak to me, and let me hear
Thy voice—my own affrights me with its echoes.


Hark!—the death-denouncing trumpet founds
The fatal charge, and shouts proclaim the onset.
Destruction rushes dreadful to the field,
And bathes itself in blood. Havock, let loose.
Now, undistinguish'd, rages all around;
While Ruin, seated on her dreary throne,
Sees the plain strew'd, with subjects truly her's,
Breathless and cold.


Hear me, rash man; on thy allegiance hear me,
Since thou hast striven to make us break our vow,
Which, nor our nature, nor our place can bear,
We banish thee forever from our sight
And kingdom. If, when three days are expir'd,
Thy hated trunk be found in our dominions,
That moment is thy death—-Away!


If it will feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced me, and hindered me of half a million; laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies. And what's his reason—I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Is he not fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? if you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And, if you wrong us—shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility?—Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example?—Why, revenge. The villainy you teach me, I will execute; and it shall go hard, but I will better the instruction.


What find I here?
Fair Portia's counterfeit?—What demi-god
Hath come so near creation! Move these eyes!
Or, whether, riding on the balls of mine,
Seem they in motion?—Here are sever'd lips,
Parted with sugar breath: so sweet a bar
Should sunder such sweet friends.—Here, in her hair,
The painter plays the spider, and hath woven
A golden mesh, t' entrap the hearts of men
Falter than gnats in cobwebs.—But her eyes—
How could he see to do them! having made one,
Methinks it should have power to steal both his,
And leave itself unfinish'd!


Make thy demands to those that own thy power!
Know, I am still beyond thee. And tho' fortune
Has strip'd me of this train, this pomp of greatness;
This outside of a king, yet still my soul,
Fix'd high, and on herself alone dependant,
Is ever free and royal: and, even now,
As at the head of battle—does defy thee!


Away! no woman could descend so low,
A skipping, dancing, worthless tribe you are;
Fit only for yourselves. You herd together;
And when the circling glass warms your vain hearts,
You talk of beauties that you never saw,
And fancy raptures that you never knew.


Yet, yet endure—nor murmur, O my foul!
For, are not thy transgressions great and numberless?
Do they not cover thee, like rising floods?
And press then, like a weight of waters, down?
Does not the hand of righteousness afflict thee?
And who shall plead against it? who shall say
To Pow'r Almighty, Thou hast done enough;
Or bid his dreadful rod of vengeance it stay?—
Wait, then, with patience, till the circling hours
Shall bring the time of thy appointed rest
And lay thee down in death.


Oh! rid me of this torture, quickly there,
My Madam, with the everlasting voice.
The bells, in time of pestilence, ne'er made
Like noise, or were in that perpetual motion.
————————————All my house,
But now, steam'd like a bath, with her thick breath,
A lawyer could not have been heard, nor scarce
Another woman, such a hail of words
She has let fall.


Henceforth, let no man trust the first false step
Of guilt. It hangs upon a precipice,
Whose deep descent in last perdition ends.
How far am I plung'd down, beyond all thought
Which I this evening fram'd—
Consummate horror! guilt beyond, a name!—
Dare not, my soul, repent. In thee, repentance
Were second guilt; and 'twere blaspheming Heav'n
To hope for mercy. My pain can only cease
When gods want power to punish.—Ha!—the dawn—
Rise never more, O fun!—let night prevail:
Eternal darkness close the world's wide scene—
And hide me from myself.


Mercy!—I know it not—for I am miserable.
I'll give thee misery—for here she dwells,
This is her house—where the sun never dawns:
The bird of night sits screaming o'er the roof;
Grim spectres sweep along the horrid gloom;
And nought in heard, but wailings and lamenting.
Hark!—something cracks above;—it shakes—it totters!
And see—the nodding ruin falls to crush me!—
'Tis fallen—'Tis here!—I feel it on my brain!
A waving flood of bluish fire swells o'er me!
And now 'tis out—and I am drown'd in blood.—
Ha! what art thou? thou horrid headless trunk!—
It is my Hastings—See, he wafts me on!
Away I go!—I fly!—I follow thee!


My Father! Oh! let me unlade my breast;
Pour out the fullness of my soul before you;
Shew ev'ry tender, ev'ry grateful thought,
This wond'rous goodness stirs. But 'tis impossible,
And utt'rance all is vile; since I can only
Swear you reign here, but never tell how much.


Reward him for the noble deed, just Heavens!
For this one action, guard him, and distinguish him
With signal mercies, and with great deliverance,
Save him from wrong, adversity, and shame,
Let never-fading honours flourish round him;
And consecrate his name; ev'n to time's end.
Let him know nothing else, but good on earth
And everlasting blessedness hereafter.


Silence, ye winds!
That make outrageous war upon the ocean:
And then, old ocean? lull thy boist'rous waves.
Ye warring elements! be hush'd as death,
While I impose my dread commands on hell.
And thou, profoundest hell! whose dreary sway,
Is given to me by fate and demogorgon—
Hear, hear my powerful voice, through all thy regions
And from thy gloomy caverns thunder the reply.


A generous few, the vet'ran hardy gleanings
Of many a hapless fight, with a, fierce
Heroic fire, inspirited each other:
Resolv'd on death, disdaining to survive
Their dearest country. "If we fall," I cry'd,
"Let us not tamely fall, like passive cowards!
No—let us live, or let us die—like men!
Come on, my friends. To Alfred we will cut
Our glorious way: or as we nobly perish,
Will offer to the genius of our country—
Whole hecatombs of Danes." As if one soul
Have mov'd them all, around their heads they flash'd
Their flaming falchions—"lead us to those Danes!
Our Country!—Vengeance!" was the general cry.


I will tell you, Sir, by the way of private, and under seal. I am a gentleman; and live here, obscure, and to myself; but, were I known to his Majesty, and the Lords, observe me, I would undertake, upon this poor head and life, for the public benefit or the state, not only to spare the entire lives of his subjects in general, but to save the one half, nay three parts of his yearly charge, in holding war, and against what enemy soever. And how would I do it, think you? Why thus, Sir. I would select nineteen more to myself, throughout the land; gentlemen they should be; of good spirit, strong and able constitution. I would chuse them by an instinct that I have. And I would teach these nineteen, the special rules; as your Punto, your Reverso, your Stoccaio, your Imbroccato, your Passada, your Montonto; till they could all play very near, or altogether, as well as myself. This done, say the enemy were forty thousand strong. We twenty, would come into the field the tenth of March or thereabouts; and we would challenge twenty of the enemy; they could not, in their honour refuse us: Well, we would kill them; challenge twenty more, kill them: twenty more, kill them: twenty more, kill them too. And thus, would we kill, every man, his twenty a day; that's twenty score; twenty score; that's two hundred; two hundred a day; five days, a thousand: forty thousand—forty times five—five times forty—two hundred days kill them all up by computation. And this I will venture my poor gentleman-like carcase to perform (provided there by no treason practised upon) by fair and discreet manhood; that is, civilly by the sword.


—Let me think—
What can this mean—Is it to me aversion?
Or is it, as I feared, she loves another?
Ha! yes—perhaps the king, the young count Tancred?
They were bred up together—surely that,
That cannot be—Has he not given his hand,
In the most solemn manner, to Constantia?
Does not his crown depend upon the deed?
No—if they lov'd, and this old statesman knew it,
He could not to a king prefer a subject.
His virtues I esteem—nay more, I trust them—
So far as virtue goes—but could he place
His daughter on the throne of Sicily—
O! 'tis a glorious bribe; too much for man!
What is it then!—I care not what it is.


Would he were fatter—but I fear him not.
Yes, if my name were liable to fear,
I do not know the man I should avoid,
So soon as that spare Cassius. He reads much—
He is a great observer—and he looks
Quite through the deeds of men.
He loves no plays: he hears no music.
Seldom he smiles; and smiles in such a sort,
As if he mock'd himself, and scorn'd his spirit,
That could be moved to smile at any thing.
Such men as he be never at heart's ease,
Whilst they behold a greater than themselves—
And, therefore, are they very dangerous.


A good sherris-sack hath a two-fold operation in it. It ascends me into the brain. Dries me there, all-the foolish, dull, and crudy vapours which environ it: makes it apprehensive, quick, inventive; full of nimble, fiery, and delectable shapes, which, delivered over to the voice, the tongue, which is the birth, becomes excellent wit—The second property of your excellent sherris, is, the warming of the blood; which, before, cold and settled, left the liver white and pale: which is the badge of pusillanimity and cowardice. But the sherris warms it, and makes its course from the inwards to the parts extreme. It illuminateth the face, which, as a beacon, gives warning to all the rest of this little kingdom, man, to arm; and then, the vital commoners, and inland petty spirits, muster me all to their captain, the heart; who, great, and puffed up with this retinue, doth any deed of courage—and this value comes of sherris. So that skill in the weapon, is nothing without sack; for that sets it a-work; and learning, a mere hoard of gold kept by a devil, till sack commences it, and sets it in act and use. Hereof comes it that Prince Harry is valiant; for the cold blood he did naturally inherit of his father, he hath, like lean, steril, and bare land, manured, husbanded, and tilled, with drinking good, and good store of fertile sherris—If I had a thousand sons, the first human principle I would teach them, should be—to foreswear thin potations, and to addict themselves to sack.

A plague on all cowards, I say, and a vengeance too, marry and amen! Give me a cup of sack, boy—Ere I lead this life long, I'll sew nether socks and mend them, and foot them too. A plague on all cowards! Give me a cup of sack, rogue. Is there no virtue extant?


You rogue! here's lime in this sack too. There is nothing but roguery to be found in villainous man. Yet a coward is worse> than a cup of sack with lime in it—-Go thy ways, old Jack! die when thou wilt, if manhood, good manhood, be not forgot upon the face of the earth, then a'nt I a shotten herring. There lives not three good men unhanged in England; and one of them is fat, and grows old, God help the while!—A plague on all cowards, I say still!—-Give me a cup of sack.


I am a rogue if I were not at half-sword with a dozen of them two hours together. I have escaped by miracle. I am eight times thrust through the doublet; four through the hose; my buckler cut through and through; my sword hacked like a hand-saw—ecce signum! I never dealt better since I was a man. All would not do. A plague on all cowards!—But I have peppered two of them; two, I am sure I have paid; two rogues in buckram suits. I tell thee what, if I tell thee a lie, spit in my face; call me a horse.—Thou knowest my old ward. Here I lay; and thus I bore my point.—Four rogues in buckram let drive at me. These four came all afront, and mainly thrust at me. I made no more ado, but took all their seven points in my target, thus. Then, these nine in buckram, that I told thee of, began to give me ground. But I followed them close; came in foot and hand; and, with a thought—seven of these eleven I paid.—A plague on all cowards, say I!—Give me a cup of sack.



I can as well be hanged, as tell the manner of it; it was mere foolery.—I saw Mark Antony offer him a crown; and, as I told you, he put it by once—but, for all that, to my thinking, he would fain have had it. Then he offered it to him again; then, he put it by again—but, to my thinking, he was very loth to lay his fingers off it. And then he offered it a third time; he put it the third time by; and still as he refused it, the rabblement shouted, and clapt their chopt hands, and threw by their sweaty night-caps, and uttered such a deal of stinking breath, because Cæsar refused the crown, that it had almost choaked Cæsar, for he swooned, and, fell down at it; and for mine own part, I durst not laugh for fear of opening my lips, and receiving the bad air.

Before he fell down, when he perceived the common herd were glad, he refused the crown, he plucked me ope his doublet, and offered them his throat to cut: an' I had been a man of any occupation, if I would not have taken him at a word, I would I might go to hell among the rogues!—and so he fell. When he came to himself again, he said, "if he had done, or said any thing amiss, he desired their worships to think it was his infirmity." Three or four wenches where I stood, cried, Alas, good soul!—and forgave him with all their hearts. But there's no heed to be taken of them: if Cæsar had stabbed their mothers they would have done no less.


Vengeance! death! plague! confusion!
Fiery! what quality?—-Why, Gloster, Gloster!
I'd speak with the Duke of Cornwall and his wife:
The King would speak with Cornwall—-the dear father
Would with his daughter speak; commands her service.
Are they inform'd of this?—-My breath and blood!
Fiery! the fiery Duke! Tell the hot Duke—
No' but not yet: may be he is not well:
I beg his pardon: and I'll chide my rashness,
That took the indisposed and sickly fit.
For the sound man,—-But wherefore sits he there?—
Death on my state! this act convinces me,
That this retiredness of the Duke and her
Is plain contempt—Give me my servant forth—
Go tell the Duke and's wife I'd speak with 'em:
Now: instantly—Bid 'em come forth and hear me;
Or, at their chamber-door, I'll beat the drum—
'Till it cry—Sleep to death.

Elements of Gesture.


On the Speaking of Speeches at Schools.

Elocution has, for some years past, been an object of attention in the most respectable schools in this country. A laudable ambition of instructing youth in the pronunciation and delivery of their native language, has made English speeches a very conspicuous part of those exhibitions of oratory which do them so much credit.

This attention to English pronunciation has induced several ingenious men to compile Exercises in Elocution for the use of schools, which have answered very useful purposes; but none, so far as I have seen, have attempted to give us a regular system of gesture suited to the wants and capacities of school-boys. Mr. Burgh, in his Art of Speaking, has given us a system of the passions, and has shewn us how they appear in the countenance, and operate on the body; but this system, however useful to people of riper years, is too delicate and complicated to be taught in schools. Indeed, the exact adaptation of the action to the word, and the word to the action, as Shakespear calls it, is the most difficult part of delivery, and therefore can never be taught perfectly to children; to say nothing of distracting their attention with two difficult things at the same time. But that boys should stand motionless, while they are pronouncing the most impassioned language, is extremely absurd and unnatural; and that they should sprawl into an aukward, ungain, and desultory action, is still more offensive and disgusting. What then remains, but that such a general style of action be adopted, as shall be easily conceived and easily executed, which, though not expressive of any particular passion, shall not be inconsistent with the expression of any passion; which shall always keep the body in a graceful position, and shall so vary its motions; at proper intervals, as to seem the subject operating on the speaker, and not the speaker on the subject. This, it will be confessed, is a great desideratum; and an attempt to do this, is the principal object of the present publication.

The difficulty of describing action by words, will be allowed by every one; and if we were never to give any instructions but such as should completely answer our wishes, this difficulty would be a good reason for not attempting to give any description of it. But there are many degrees between conveying a precise idea of a thing, and no idea at all. Besides, in this part of delivery, instruction may be conveyed by the eye; and this organ is a much more rapid vehicle of knowledge than the ear. This vehicle is addressed on the present, occasion, and plates, representing the attitudes which are described, are annexed to the several descriptions, which it is not doubted will greatly facilitate the reader's conception.

The first plate represents the attitude in which a boy should always place himself when he begins to speak. He should rest the whole weight of his body on the right leg; the other, just touching the ground, at the distance at which it would naturally fall, if lifted up to shew that the body does not bear upon it. The knees should be strait and braced, and the body, though perfectly strait, not perpendicular, but inclining as far to the right as a firm position on the right leg will permit. The right arm must then be held out with the palm open, the fingers straight and close, the thumb almost as distant from them as it will go, and the flat of the hand neither horizontal nor vertical, but exactly between both. The position of the arm perhaps will be best described by supposing an oblong hollow square, formed by the measure of four arms, as in plate the first, where the arm in its true position forms the diagonal of such an imaginary figure. So that, if lines were drawn at right angles from the shoulder, extending downwards, forwards, and sideways, the arm will form a& angle of forty-five degrees every way.



When the pupil has pronounced one sentence in the position thus described, the hand, as if lifeless, must drop down to the side, the very moment the last accepted word is pronounced; and the body, without altering the place of the feet, poise itself on the left leg, while the left hand rises itself into exactly the same position as the right was before, and continues in this position till tine end of the next sentence, when it drops down on the side, as if dead; and the body poizing itself on the right leg as before, continues with the right arm extended, till the end of the succeeding sentence, and so on from right to left, and from left to right alternately, till the speech is ended.



Great care must he taken that the pupil end one sentence completely, before he begin another. He must let the arm drop to the side, and continue for a moment in that posture in which he concluded, before he poizes his body on the other leg, and raises the other arm into the diagonal position before described; both which should be done before he begins to pronounce the next sentence. Care must also he taken in shifting the body from one leg to the other, that the feet do not alter their distance. In altering the position of the body, the feet will necessarily alter their position a little; but this change must be made by turning the toes in a somewhat different direction, without suffering them to shift their ground. The heels, in this transition, change their place, but not the toes. The toes may be considered as pivots, on which the body turns from side to side.

If the pupil's knees are not well formed, or incline inwards, he must be taught to keep his legs at as great a distance as possible, and to incline his body so much to that side, on which the arm is extended, as to oblige him to rest the opposite leg upon the toe; and this will, in a great measure, hide the defect of his make. In the same manner, if the arm be too long, or the elbow incline inwards, it will be proper to make him turn the palm of his hand downwards, so as to make it perfectly horizontal. This will infallibly incline the elbow outwards, and prevent the worst position the arm can possibly fall into, which is that of inclining the elbow to the body. This position of the hand so necessarily keeps the elbow out, that it would not be improper to make the pupil sometimes practice it, though he may have no defect in his make; as an occasional alteration of the former position to this, may often be necessary both for the sake of justness and variety. These two last positions of the legs and arms, are described in plate second.

When the pupil has got the habit of holding his hand and arm properly, he may be taught to move it. In this motion he must be careful to keep the arm from the body. He must neither draw the elbow backwards, nor suffer it to approach to the side, bur, while the hand and lower joint of the arm are curving towards the shoulder, the whole arm, with the elbow forming nearly an angle of a square, should move upwards from the shoulder, in the same position as when gracefully taking off the hat; that is, with the elbow extended from the side, and the upper joint of the arm nearly on a line with the shoulder, and forming an angle of a square with the body—(see plate III.) This motion of the arm will naturally bring the hand with the palm downwards, into an horizontal position, and when it approaches to the head, the arm should with a jerk be suddenly straitened into its first position, at the very moment the emphatical word is pronounced. This coincidence of the hand and voice, will greatly enforce the pronunciation; and if they keep time, they will be in tune as it were to each other, and to force and energy add harmony and variety.

As this motion of the arm is somewhat complicated, and may be found difficult to execute, it would be adviseable to let the pupil at first speak without any motion of the arm at all. After some time he will naturally fall into a small curvature of the elbow, to beat time, as it were, to the emphatic word; and if, in doing this, he is constantly urged to raise the elbow, and to keep it at a distance from the body, the action of the arm will naturally grow up into that we have just described. So the diagonal position of the arm, though the most graceful and easy when the body is at rest, may he too difficult for boys to fall into at first; and therefore it may be necessary, in order to avoid the worse extreme, for some time to make them extend the arm as far from the body as they can, in a somewhat similar direction, but higher from the ground, and inclining more to the back. Great care must be taken to keep the hand open, and the thumb at some distance from the fingers; and particular attention must be paid to keeping the hand in the exact line with the lower part of the arm, so as not to bend at the wrist, either when it is held out without motion, or when it gives the emphatic stroke. And above all, the body must be kept in a straight line with the leg on which it bears, and not suffered to bend to the opposite side.



At first it may not be improper for the teacher, after placing the pupil in the position plate I. to stand at some distance exactly opposite to him in the same position, the right and left sides only reversed, and while the pupil is speaking, to show him by example the action he is to make use of. In this case the teacher's left hand will correspond for the pupil's right, by which means he will see as in a looking-glass, how to regulate his gesture, and will soon catch the method of doing it by himself.

It is expected the master will be a little discouraged at the aukward figure his pupil makes in his first attempts to teach him. But this is no more than what happens in dancing, fencing, or any other exercise which depends on habit. By practice, the pupil will soon begin to feel his position, and be easy in it. Those positions which were at first distressing to him, he will fall into naturally, and if they are such as are really graceful and becoming (and such it is presumed are those which have been just described) they will be adopted with more facility than any other that can be taught him.


On the Acting of Plays at School.

Though the acting of plays at schools has been universally supposed a very useful practice, it has of late years been much laid aside. The advantages arising from it have not been judged equal to the inconveniencies; and the speaking of single speeches, or the acting of single scenes, has been generally substituted in its stead. Indeed when we consider the leading principle and prevailing sentiments of most plays, we shall not wonder that they are not always thought to be the most suitable employment for youth at school; nor, when we reflect on the long interruption to the common school-exercises, which the preparation for a play must necessarily occasion, shall we think it consistent with the general improvement:—But, to wave every objection from prudence or morality, it may be confidently affirmed, that the acting of a play is not so conducive to improvement in elocution, as the speaking of single speeches.

In the first place, the acting of plays is of all kinds of delivery the most difficult; and therefore cannot be the most suitable exercise for boys at school. In the next place, a dramatic performance requires so much attention to the deportment of the body, so varied an expression of the passions, and so strict an adherence to character, that elocution is in danger of being neglected: Besides, exact propriety of action, and a nice discrimination of the passions, however essential on the stage, are but of a secondary importance in a school. It is plain, open, distinct, and forcible pronunciation which school-boys should aim at; and not that quick transition from one passion to another, that archness of look, and that jeu de theatre, as it is called, so essential to a tolerable dramatic exhibition, and which actors themselves can scarcely arrive at. In short, it is speaking rather than acting which school-boys should be taught, while the performance of plays is calculated to teach them acting rather than speaking.

But there is a contrary extreme into which many teachers are apt to run, and that is, to condemn every thing which is vehement and forcible as theatrical. It is an old trick to depreciate what we can not attain, and calling a spirited pronunciation theatrical, is but an artful method of hiding an utter inability of speaking with force and energy. But though school-boys ought not to be taught those nice touches which form the greatest difficulties in the profession of an actor, they should not be too much restrained from an exertion of voice, so necessary to strengthening the organs of sound, because they may sometimes be too loud and vociferous. Perhaps nine out of ten, instead of too much confidence, and too violent a manner of speaking, which these teachers seem so much to dread, have as Dr. Johnson calls it, a frigid equality, a stupid languor, and a torpid apathy. These must be roused by something strong and excessive, or they will never rise even to mediocrity; while the few who have a tendency to rant, are very easily reclaimed; and ought to be treated in pronunciation and action, as Quintillion advises to do in composition; that is, we should rather allow of an exuberance, than, by too much correctness, check the vigour and luxuriancy of nature.



Though school-boys, therefore, ought not to be taught the finesses of acting, they should as much as possible be accustomed to speak such speeches as require a full, open, animated pronunciation: for which purpose, they should be confined chiefly to orations, odes, and such single speeches of plays, as are in the declamatory and vehement style. But as there are many scenes of plays, which are justly reckoned among the finest compositions of the language, some of these may be adopted among the upper class of boys, and those more particularly who have the best deportment: for action in scenes will be found much more difficult than in single speeches. And here it will be necessary to give some additional instructions respecting action, as a speaker who delivers himself singly to an auditory, and one who addresses another speaker in view of an auditory, are under very different predicaments. The first has only one object to address, the last has two:—For if a speaker on the stage were to address the person he speaks to, without any regard to the point of view in which he stands with respect to the audience, he would be apt to turn his back on them, and to place himself in such positions as would be highly ungraceful and disgusting. When a scene, therefore, is represented, it is necessary that the two personages who speak should form a sort of picture, and place themselves in a position agreeable to the laws of perspective. In order to do this, it will be necessary that each of them should stand obliquely, and chiefly make use of one hand: that is, supposing the stage or platform where they stand, to be a quadrangle, each speaker should respectively face that corner of it next to the audience, and use that hand and rest upon that leg which is next to the person he speaks to, and which is farthest from the audience. This disposition is absolutely necessary to form any thing like a picturesque grouping of objects, and without it, that is, if both speakers use the right hand, and stand exactly fronting each other, the impropriety will be palpable, and the spectacle disgusting.

It need scarcely be noted, that the speaker in a scene uses that hand which is next the audience, he ought likewise to poize his body upon the same leg: this is almost an invariable rule in action: the hand should act on that side only on which the body bears. Good actors and speakers may sometimes depart from this rule, but such only will know when to do it with propriety.

Occasion may be taken in the course of the scene to change sides. One speaker at the end of an impassioned speech, may cross over to the place of the other, while the latter at the same moment crosses over to the place of the former. This, however, must be done with great care, and so as to keep the back from being turned to the audience: But if this transition be performed adroitly, it will have a very good effect in varying the position of the speakers, and giving each an opportunity of using his right hand—the most favourable to grace and expression. And if from so humble a scene as the school, we may be permitted to raise our observations to the senate, it might be hinted, that gentlemen on each side of the house, while addressing the chair, can with grace and propriety only make use of one hand; namely, that which is next to the speaker; and it may be observed in passing, that to all the other advantages of speaking, which are supposed to belong to one side of the house—may be added—the graceful use of the right hand.

The better to conceive the position of two speakers in a scene, a plate is given representing their respective attitudes; and it must be carefully noted, that when they are not speaking; the arms must hang in their natural place by the sides; unless what is spoken by one is of such importance, as to excite agitation and surprize in the other. But if we should be sparing of gesture at all times, we should be more particularly so when we are not speaking.

From what has been laid down, it will evidently appear, how much more difficult and complicate is the action of a scene than that of a single speech; and, in teaching both to children, how necessary it is to adopt as simple and easy a method as possible. The easiest method of conveying instruction in this point, will be sufficiently difficult; and therefore, the avoiding of aukwardness and impropriety should be more the object of instruction, than the conveying of beauties.

There are indeed some masters who are against teaching boys any action at all, and are for leading them in this point entirely to nature. It is happy, however, that they do not leave that action to nature, which is acquired by dancing; the deportment of their pupils would soon convince them they were imposed on by the sound of words. Improved and beautiful nature is the object of the painter's pencil, the poet's pen, and the rhetorician's action, and not that sordid and common nature, which is perfectly rude and uncultivated. Nature directs us to art, and art selects and polishes the beauties of nature. It is not sufficient for an orator, says Quintilian, that he is a man: he must be an improved and cultivated man: he must be a man favoured by nature and fashioned by art.

But the necessity of adopting some method of teaching action, is too evident to need proof. Boys will infallibly contract some action; to require them to stand stock-still while they are speaking an impassioned speech, is not only exacting a very difficult task from them, but is, in a great measure, checking their natural exertions. If they are left to themselves, they will in all probability fall into very wild and ungraceful action, which, when once formed into habit, can scarcely ever be corrected: giving them therefore a general out-line of good action, must be of the utmost consequence to their progress and improvement in pronunciation.

The great use, therefore, of a system of action like the present, is, that a boy will never be embarrassed for want of knowing what to do with his legs and arms; nor will he bestow that attention on his action, which ought to be directed to his pronunciation: he will always be in a position which will not disgrace his figure; and when this gesture is easy to him, it may serve as a ground-work to something more perfect: he may either, by his own genius or his master's instructions, build some other action upon it, which may in time give it additional force and variety.

Thus, what seemed either unworthy the attention, or too difficult for the execution of others, the author of the present publication hits ventured to attempt. A conviction of the necessity of leaching some system of action, and the abundant success of the present system in one of the most respectable academies near London, has determined him to publish it, for the use of such seminaries as make English pronunciation a part of their discipline.

It may not be useless to observe, that boys should be classed in this, as in every other kind of instruction, according to their abilities. That a class should not consist of more than ten; that about eight or ten lines of some speech, should be read first by the teacher, then by the boy who reads best; and then by the rest in order, all having a book of the same kind, and all reading the same portion. This portion they must be ordered to get by heart against the next lesson; and then the first boy must speak it, standing at some distance from the rest; in the manner directed in the plates; the second boy must succeed him, and so on till they have all spoken. After which another portion may be read to them, which they must read and speak in the same manner as before. When they have gone through a speech in this manner by portions, the two or three first boys may be ordered, against the next lesson, to speak the whole speech; the next lesson two or three more, and so on to the rest. This will excite emulation, and give the teacher an opportunity of ranking them according to their merits.


Rules for expressing with Propriety, the principal Passions and Humours which occur in Reading or public Speaking.

Every part of the human frame contributes to express the passions and emotions of the mind, and to shew, in general, its present state. The head is sometimes erected, sometimes hung down, sometimes drawn suddenly back with an air of disdain, sometimes shews by a nod, a particular person or object; gives assent or denial, by different motions; threatens by one sort of movement, approves by another, and expresses suspicion by a third.

The arms are sometimes both thrown out, sometimes the right alone. Sometimes they are lifted up as high as the face, to express wonder; sometimes held out before the breast, to shew fear; spread forth with the hands open to express desire or affection; the hands clapped in surprise, and in sudden joy and grief; the right hand clenched, and the arms brandished, to threaten; the two arms set a-kimbo, to look big, and express contempt or courage. With the hands, we solicit, we refuse, we promise, we threaten, we dismiss, we invite, we in treat, we express aversion, fear, doubting, denial, asking, affirmation, negation, joy, grief, confession, penitence. With the hands we describe, and point out all circumstances of time, place and manner of what we relate; we excite the passions of others, and soothe them: we approve and disapprove, permit or prohibit, admire or despise. The hands serve us instead of many sorts of words, and where the language of the tongue is unknown, that of the hands is understood, being universal and common to all nations.

The legs advance, or retreat, to express desire, or aversion, love or hatred, courage or fear, and produce exultation, or leaping in sudden joy; and the stamping of the foot expresses earnestness, anger, and threatening.

Especially the face, being furnished with a variety of muscles, does more in expressing the passions of the mind, than the whole human frame besides. The change of colour (in white people) shews, by turns, anger by redness, and sometimes by paleness; fear likewise by paleness, and shame by blushing. Every feature contributes its part. The mouth open, shews one state of the mind, shut, another; the gnashing of the teeth another. The forehead smooth, eyebrows arched and easy, shew tranquility or joy. Mirth opens the mouth towards the ears, crisps the nose, half shuts the eyes, and sometimes fills them with tears. The front wrinkled into frowns, and the eyebrows overhanging the eyes, like clouds fraught with tempest, shew a mind agitated with fury. Above all, the eye shews the very spirit in a visible form. In every different state of the mind, it assumes a different appearance. Joy brightens and opens it. Grief half-closes, and drowns it in tears. Hatred and anger, flash from it like lightning. Love darts from it in glances, like the orient beam. Jealousy, and squinting envy, dart their contagious blasts from the eye. And devotion raises it to the skies, as if the soul of the holy man were going to take its flight to heaven.

The force of attitude and looks alone appears in a wonderously striking manner, in the works of the painter and statuary, who have the delicate art of making the flat canvas and rocky marble utter every passion of the human mind, and touch the soul of the spectator, as if the picture, or statue, spoke the pathetic language of Shakspear. It is no wonder, then, that masterly action, joined with powerful elocution, should be irresistible. And the variety of expression, by looks and gestures, is so great, that, as is well known, a whole play can be represented without a word spoken.

The following are, I believe, the principal passions, humours, sentiments and intentions, which are to be expressed by speech and action. And I hope it will be allowed by the reader, that it is nearly in the following manner, that nature expresses them.

Tranquility, or apathy, appears by the composure of the countenance, and general repose of the body and limbs, without the exertion of any one muscle. The countenance open; the forehead smooth; the eyebrows arched; the mouth just not shut; and the eyes passing with an easy motion from object to object, but not dwelling long upon any one.

Cheerfulness, adds a smile, opening the mouth a little more.

Mirth, or laughter, opens the mouth still more towards the ears; crisps the nose; lessens the aperture of the eyes, and sometimes fills them with tears; shakes and convulses the whole frame, giving considerable pain, which occasions holding the sides.

Raillery, in sport, without real animosity, puts on the aspect of cheerfulness. The tone of voice is sprightly. With contempt, or disgust, it casts a look asquint, from time to time, at the object; and quits the cheerful aspect for one mixed between an affected grin and sourness—the upper lip is drawn up with an air of disdain. The arms are set a-kimbo on the hips, and the right hand now and then thrown out toward the object, as if one were going to strike another a slight back-handed blow. The pitch of the voice rather loud, the tone arch and sneering; the sentences short; the expressions satyrical, with mock-praise intermixed. There are instances of raillery in scripture itself, as 1 Kings xviii. and Isa. xliv. It is not, therefore, beneath the dignity of the pulpit-orator, occasionally to use it, in the cause of virtue, by exhibiting vice in a ludicrus appearance. Nor should I think raillery unworthy the attention of the lawyer; as it may occasionally come in, not unusefully, in his pleadings, as well as any other stroke of ornament, or entertainment.

Buffoonery assumes an arch, sly, leering gravity. Must not quit its serious aspect, though all should laugh to burst ribs of steel. This command of face is somewhat difficult, though not so hard, I should think, as to restrain the contrary sympathy, I mean of weeping with those who weep.

Joy, when sudden and violent, expresses itself by clapping of hands, and exultation, or leaping. The eyes are opened wide; perhaps filled with tears; often raised to heaven, especially by devout persons. The countenance is smiling; not composedly, but with features aggravated. The voice rises from time to time, to very high notes.

Delight, or pleasure, as when one is entertained, or ravished with music, painting, oratory, or any such elegancy, shews itself by the looks, gestures, and utterance of joy; but moderated.

Gravity, or seriousness, the mind fixed upon some important subject, draws down the eyebrows a little; casts down, or shuts, or raises the eyes to heaven; shuts the mouth, and pinches the lips close. The posture of the body and limbs is composed, and without much motion. The speech, if any, slow and solemn; the tone unvarying.

Enquiry into an obscure subject, fixes the body in one posture, the head stooping, and the eye poring, the eyebrows drawn down.

Attention to an esteemed, or superior character, has the same aspect, and requires silence; the eyes often cast down upon the ground; sometimes fixed on the face of the speaker; but not too pertly.

Modesty, or submission, bends the body forward; levels the eyes, to the breast, if not to the feet, of the superior character. The voice low; the tone submissive; and words few.

Perplexity, or anxiety, which is always attended with some degree of fear and uneasiness, draws all the parts of the body together; gathers up the arms upon the breast, unless one hand covers the eyes, or rubs the forehead; draws down the eyebrows; hangs the head upon the breast; casts down the eyes; shuts and pinches the eye-lids close; shuts the month, and pinches the lips close, or bites them. Suddenly the whole body is vehemently agitated. The person walks about busily; stops abruptly: then he talks to himself, or makes grimaces. If he speaks to another, his pauses are very long; the tone of his voice, unvarying, and his sentences broken, expressing half, and keeping in half of what arises in his mind.

Vexation, occasioned by some real or imaginary misfortune, agitates the whole frame; and, besides expressing itself with the looks, gestures, restlessness, and tone of perplexity, it adds complaint, fretting, and lamenting.

Pity, a mixed passion of love and grief, looks down upon distress with lifted hands; eyebrows drawn down; mouth open, and features drawn together. Its expression, as to looks and gesture, is the same with those of suffering, (see Suffering) but more moderate, as the painful feelings are only sympathetic, and therefore one remove, as it were, more distant from the soul, than what one feels in his own person.

Grief, sudden and violent, expresses itself by beating the head; groveling on the ground; tearing of garments, hair, and flesh; screaming aloud, weeping, stamping with the feet, lifting the eyes, from time to time, to heaven; hurrying to and fro, running distracted, or fainting away, sometimes without recovery. Sometimes violent grief produces a torpid silence, resembling total apathy.

Melancholy, or fixed grief, is gloomy, sedentary, motionless. The lower jaw falls; the lips pale; the eyes are cast down, half shut, eye-lids swelled and red, or livid, tears trickling silent, and unwiped; with a total inattention to every thing that passes. Words, if any, few, and those dragged out, rather than spoken; the accents weak, and interrupted, sighs breaking into the middle of sentences and words.

Despair, as in a condemned criminal, or one who has lost all hope of salvation, bends the eyebrows downward; clouds the forehead; roils the eyes around frightfully; opens the mouth towards the ears; bites the lips; widens the nostrils; gnashes with the teeth, like a fierce wild beast. The heart is too much hardened to suffer tears to flow; yet the eye-balls will be red and inflamed, like those of an animal in a rabid state. The head is hung down upon the breast. The arms are bended at the elbows, the fists are clenched hard; the veins and muscles swelled; the skin livid; and the whole body strained and violently agitated; groans, expressive of inward torture, more frequently uttered than words. If any words, they are few, and expressed with a sullen, eager bitterness; the tone of voice often loud and furious. As it often drives people to distraction, and self-murder, it can hardly be over-acted by one who would represent it.

Fear, violent and sudden, opens very wide the eyes and mouth; shortens the nose; draws down the eyebrows; gives the countenance an air of wildness; covers it with a deadly paleness; draws back the elbows parallel with the sides; lifts up the open hands, the fingers together, to the height of the breast, so that the palms face the dreadful object, as shields opposed against it. One foot is drawn back behind the other, so that the body seems shrinking from the danger, and putting itself in a posture for flight. The heart beats violently; the breath is fetched quick and short; the whole body is thrown into a general tremor. The voice is weak and trembling; the sentences are short, and the meaning confused and incoherent. Imminent danger, real or fancied, produces in timorous persons, as women and children, violent shrieks, without any articulate sound of words; and sometimes irrecoverably confounds the understanding; produces fainting, which is sometimes followed by death.

Shame, or a sense of one's appearing to a disadvantage, before one's fellow-creatures; turns away the face from the beholders, covers it with blushes, hangs the head, casts down the eyes, draws down the eyebrows, either strikes the person dumb, or, if he attempts to say any thing in his own defence, causes his tongue to faulter, and confounds his utterance, and puts him upon making a thousand gestures and grimaces, to keep himself in countenance; all of which only heighten the confusion of his appearance.

Remorse, or a painful sense of guilt; casts down the countenance, and clouds it with anxiety; hangs down the head, draws the eyebrows down upon the eyes; the right hand beats the breast; the teeth gnash with anguish; the whole body is strained and violently agitated. If this strong remorse is succeeded by the more gracious disposition of penitence, or contrition, then the eyes are raised (but with great appearance of doubting and fear) to the throne of heavenly mercy; and immediately cast down again to the earth. Then floods of tears are seen to flow. The knees are bended, or the body prostrated on the ground. The arms are spread in a suppliant posture, and the voice of deprecation is uttered with sighs, groans, timidity, hesitation and trembling.

Courage, steady, and cool, opens the countenance, gives the whole form an erect and graceful air. The accents are strong, full-mouthed and articulate, the voice firm and even.

Boasting, or affected courage, is loud, blustering, threatening. The eyes stare; the eyebrows draw down; the face red and bloated; the mouth pouts out; the voice hollow and thundering; the arms are set a-kimbo; the head often nodding in a menacing manner; and the right fist, clenched, is brandished, from time to time, at the person threatened. The right foot is often stamped upon the ground, and the legs take such large strides, and the steps are so heavy, that the earth seems to tremble under them.

Pride, assumes a lofty look, bordering upon the aspect and attitude of anger. The eyes open, but with the eyebrows considerably drawn down; the mouth pouting out, mostly shut, and the lips pinched close. The words walk out a-strut, with a slow, stiff bombastic affectation of importance. The arms generally a-kimbo, and the legs at a distance from one another, taking large tragedy strides.

Obstinacy adds to the aspect of pride, a dodged sourness, like that of malice. See Malice.

Authority, opens the countenance, but draws down the eyebrows a little, so far as to give the look of gravity. See Gravity.

Commanding requires an air a little more peremptory, with a look a little severe or stern. The hand is held out, and moved toward the person to whom the order is given, with the palm upwards, and the head nods towards him.

Forbidding, on the contrary, draws the head backwards, and pushes the hand from one with the palm downward, as if going to lay it upon the person, to hold him down immoveable, that he may not do what is forbidden him.

Affirming, especially with a judicial oath, is expressed by lifting the open right hand and eyes toward heaven; or if conscience is appealed to, by laying the right hand upon the breast.

Denying is expressed by pushing the open right hand from one, and turning the face the contrary way. See Aversion.

Differing in sentiment may be expressed as refusing. See Refusing.

Agreeing in opinion, or Conviction, as granting. See Granting.

Exhorting, as by a general at the head of his army, requires a kind, complacent look; unless matter of offence has passed, as neglect of duty, or the like.

Judging demands a grave, steady look, with deep attention; the countenance altogether clear from any appearance of either disgust or favour. The accents slow, distinct, emphatical, accompanied with little action, and that very grave.

Reproving puts on a stern aspect, roughens the voice, and is accompanied with gestures not much different from those of Threatening, but not so lively.

Acquitting is performed with a benevolent, tranquil countenance and tone of voice; the right hand, if not both, open, waved gently toward the person acquitted, expressing dismission. See Dismissing.

Condemning assumes a severe look, but mixed with pity. The sentence is to be expressed as with reluctance.

Teaching, explaining, inculcating, or giving orders to an inferior, requires an air of superiority to be assumed. The features are to be composed of an authoritative gravity. The eye steady, and open, the eye-brow a little drawn down over it; but not so much as to look surly or dogmatical. The tone of voice varying according as the emphasis requires, of which a good deal is necessary in expressing matter of this sort. The pitch of the voice to be strong and clear; the articulation distinct; the utterance slow, and the manner peremptory. This is the proper manner of pronouncing the commandments in the communion office. But (I am sorry to say it) they are too commonly spoken in the same manner as the prayers, than which nothing can be more unnatural.

Pardoning differs from acquitting, in that the latter means clearing a person, after trial, of guilt; whereas the former supposes guilt, and signifies merely delivering the guilty person from punishment. Pardoning requires some degree of severity of aspect and tone of voice, because the pardoned person is not an object of entire unmixed approbation; otherwise its expression is much the same as granting. See Granting.

Arguing requires a cool, sedate, attentive aspect, and a clear, slow, emphatical accent, with much demonstration by the hand. It differs from teaching (see Teaching) in that the look of authority is not wanting in arguing.

Dismissing, with approbation, is done with a kind aspect and tone of voice; the right hand open, gently waved toward the person. With displeasure, besides the look and tone of voice which suits displeasure, the hand is hastily thrown out toward the person dismissed, the back part toward him, the countenance at the same time turned away from him.

Refusing, when accompanied with displeasure, is expressed nearly in the same way. Without displeasure, it is done with a visible reluctance, which occasions the bringing out the words slowly, with such a shake of the head, and shrug of the shoulders, as is natural upon hearing of somewhat which gives us concern.

Granting, when done with unreserved good-will, is accompanied with a benevolent aspect and tone of voice; the right hand pressed to the left breast, to signify how heartily the favour is granted, and the benefactor's joy in conferring it.

Dependence. See Modesty.

Veneration, or Worshipping, comprehends several articles, as ascription, confession, remorse, intercession, thanksgiving, deprecation, petition, &c. Ascription of honour and praise to the peerless, supreme Majesty of Heaven, and confession and deprecation, are to be uttered with all that humility of looks and gesture, which can exhibit the most profound self-abasement, and annihilation, before One; whose superiority is infinite. The head is a little raised, but with the most apparent timidity and dread; the eye is lifted, but immediately cast down again, or closed for a moment; the eyebrows are drawn down in the most respectful manner; the features, and the whole body and limbs, are all composed to the most profound gravity; one posture continuing, without considerable change, during the whole performance of the duty. The knees bended, or the whole body prostrate, or if the posture be standing, which scripture does not disallow, bending forward, as ready to prostrate itself. The arms spread out, but modestly, as high as the breast; the hands open. The tone of the voice will be submissive, timid, equal trembling, weak, suppliant. The words will be brought out with a visible anxiety and diffidence, approaching to hesitation; few and slow; nothing of vain repetition, haranguing, flowers of rhetoric, or affected figures of speech; all simplicity, humility, and lowliness, such as becomes a reptile of the dust, when presuming to address Him, whose greatness is tremenduous beyond all created conception. In intercession for our fellow creatures, which is prescribed in the scriptures, and in thanksgiving, the countenance will naturally assume a small degree of cheerfulness beyond what it was clothed with in confession of sin, and deprecation of punishment. But all affected ornament of speech, or gesture in devotion, deserves the severest censure, as being somewhat much worse than absurd.

Respect for a superior, puts on the looks and gesture of modesty. See Modesty.

Hope brightens the countenance; arches the eyebrows; gives the eyes an eager, wishful look; opens the mouth to half a smile; bends the body a little forward, the feet equal; spreads the arms, with the hands open, as to receive the object of its longings. The tone of the voice is eager and unevenly, inclining to that of joy, but curbed by a degree of doubt and anxiety. Desire differs from hope as to expression, in this particular, that there is more appearance of doubt and anxiety in the former than in the latter. For it is one thing to desire what is agreeable, and another to have a prospect of actually obtaining it.

Desire expresses itself by bending the body forward, and stretching the arms toward the object, as to grasp it. The countenance smiling, but eager and wishful; the eyes wide open, and eyebrows raised; the mouth open; the tone of voice suppliant, but lively and cheerful, unless there be distress as well as desire; the expressions fluent and copious: if no words are used, sighs instead of them; but this is chiefly in distress.

Love (successful) lights up the countenance into smiles. The forehead is smoothed and enlarged; the eyebrows are arched; the mouth a little open, and smiling; the eyes languishing, and half shut, doat upon the beloved object. The countenance assumes the eager and wishful look of desire, (see Desire above) but mixed with an air of satisfaction and repose. The accents are soft and winning; the tone of voice persuasive, flattering, pathetic, various, musical, rapturous, as in joy. (See Joy.) The attitude much the same with that of desire. Sometimes both hands pressed eagerly to the bosom. Love, unsuccessful, adds an air of anxiety and melancholy. See Perplexity and Melancholy.

Giving, Inviting, Soliciting. and such-like actions, which suppose some degree of affection, real or pretended, are accompanied with much the same looks and gestures as express love, but more moderate.

Wonder, or Amazement, (without any other interesting passion, as Love, Esteem, &c.) opens the eyes, and makes them appear very prominent; sometimes raises them to the skies; but oftener, and more expressively, fixes them on the object, if the cause of the passion be a present and visible object, with the look, all except the wildness, of fear. (See Fear.) If the hands hold any thing, at the time when the object of wonder appears, they immediately let it drop, unconscious, and the whole body fixes in the contracted, stooping posture of amazement; the mouth open; the hands held up open, nearly in the attitude of fear. (See Fear.) The first excess of this passion stops all utterance; but it makes amends afterwards by a copious flow of words, and exclamations.

Admiration, a mixed passion, consisting of wonder, with love or esteem, takes away the familiar gesture and expression of simple love. (See Love.) Keeps the respectful look and gesture. (See Modesty and Veneration.) The eyes are opened wide, and now and then raised toward heaven. The mouth is opened. The hands are lifted up. The tone of the voice rapturous. This passion expresses itself copiously, making great use of the figure hyperbole.

Gratitude puts on an aspect full of complacency. (See Love.) If the object of it is a character greatly superior, it expresses much submission. (See Modesty.) The right hand pressed upon the breast, accompanies, very properly, the expression of a sincere and hearty sensibility of obligation.

Curiosity, as of a busy-body, opens the eyes and mouth, lengthens the neck, bends the body forward, and fixes it in one posture, with the hands nearly in that of admiration. See Admiration. See also Desire, Attention, Hope, Enquiry, and Perplexity.

Persuasion puts on the looks of moderate love. (See Love.) Its accents are soft, flattering, emphatical and articulate.

Tempting, or Wheedling, expresses itself much in the same way, only carrying the fawning part to excess.

Promising is expressed with benevolent looks, the nod of consent, and the open hands gently moved towards the person to whom the promise is made, the palms upwards. The sincerity of the promiser may be expressed by laying the right hand gently on the breast.

Affectation displays itself in a thousand different gestures, motions, airs and looks, according to the character which the person affects. Affectation of learning gives a stiff formality to the whole person. The words come stalking out with the pace of a funeral procession, and every sentence has the solemnity of an oracle. Affectation of piety turns up the goggling whites of the eyes to heaven, as if the person were in a trance, and fixes them in that posture so long that the brain of the beholder grows giddy. Then comes up, deep grumbling, a holy groan from the lower parts of the thorax; but so tremendous in sound, and so long protracted, that you expect to see a goblin rise, like an exhalation through the solid earth. Then he begins to rock from side to side, or backward and forward, like an aged pine on the side of a hill, when a brisk wind blows. The hands are clasped together, and often lifted, and the head often shaken with foolish vehemence. The tone of the voice is canting, or sing-song lullaby, not much distant from an Irish howl, and the words godly doggrell. Affectation of beauty, and killing, puts a fine woman by turns into all sorts of forms, appearances and attitudes, but amiable ones. She undoes by art, or rather by aukwardness, (for true art conceals itself) all that nature had done for her. Nature formed her almost an angel, and she, with infinite pains, makes herself a monkey. Therefore, this species of affectation is easily imitated, or taken off. Make as many and as ugly grimaces, motions and gestures as can be made, and take care that nature never peep out, and you represent coquetish affectation to the life.

Sloth appears by yawning, dosing, snoring; the head dangling sometimes to one side, sometimes to the other; the arms and legs stretched out, and every sinew of the body unstrung; the eyes heavy, or closed; the words, if any, crawl out of the mouth but half formed, scarcely audible to any ear, and broken off in the middle by powerful sleep.

People who walk in their sleep (of which our inimitable Shakespear has, in his tragedy of MACBETH, drawn out a fine scene) are said to have their eyes open; though they are not, the more for that, conscious of any thing, but the dream which has got possession of their imagination. I never saw one of those persons, therefore cannot describe their manner from nature; but I suppose their speech is pretty much like that of persons dreaming, inarticulate, incoherent, and very different, in its tone, from what it is when waking.

Intoxication shews itself by the eyes half shut, sleepy, stupid, inflamed. An idiot smile, a ridiculous surliness, an affected bravado, disgraces the bloated countenance. The mouth open tumbles out nonsense in heaps, without articulation enough for any ear to take it in, and unworthy of attention, if it could be taken In. The head seems too heavy for the neck. The arms dangle from the shoulders; as if they were almost cut away, and hung by shreds. The legs totter and bend at the knees, as ready to sink under the weight of the reeling body. And a general incapacity, corporeal and mental, exhibits human nature sunk below the brutal.

Anger, (violent) or Rage expresses itself with rapidity, interruption, noise, harshness, and trepidation. The neck stretched out; the head forward, often nodding and shaken in a menacing manner, against the object of the passion. The eyes red, inflamed, staring, rolling, and sparkling; the eyebrows drawn down over them; and the forehead wrinkled into clouds. The nostrils stretched wide; every vein swelled; every muscle strained; the breast heaving, and the breath fetched hard. The mouth open, and drawn on each side toward the ears, shewing the teeth in a gnashing posture. The face bloated, pale, red, or sometimes almost black. The feet stamping: the right arm often thrown out, and menacing with the clenched fist shaken, and a general end violent agitation of the whole body.

Peevishism or Ill-nature is a lower degree of anger; and is therefore expressed in the above manner, only more moderate, with half sentences, and broken speeches, uttered hastily; the upper lip drawn up disdainfully; the eyes asquint upon the object of displeasure.

Malice or Spite, sets the jaws, or gnashes with the teeth; sends blasting flashes from the eyes; draws the mouth toward the ears; clenches both fists, and bends the elbows in a straining manner. The tone of voice and expression, are much the same with that of anger; but the pitch not so loud.

Envy is a little more moderate in its gestures than malice, but much the same in kind.

Revenge expresses itself as malice.

Cruelty. See Anger, Aversion, Malice and the other irrascible passions.

Complaining as when one is under violent bodily pain, distorts the features; almost closes the eyes; sometimes raises them wishfully; opens the mouth; gnashes with the teeth; draws up the upper lip; draws down the head upon the breast, and the whole body together. The arms are violently bent at the elbows, and the fists strongly clenched. The voice is uttered in groans, lamentations, and violent screams. Extreme torture produces fainting, and death.

Fatigue from severe labour, gives a general languor to the whole body. The countenance is dejected. (See Grief.) The arms hang listless; the body (if sitting or lying along be not the posture) stoops, as in old-age. (See Dotage.) The legs, if walking, are dragged heavily along, and seem at every step ready to bend under the weight of the body. The voice is weak, and the words hardly enough articulated to be understood.

Aversion, or Hatred, expressed to, or of any person or thing, that is odious to the speaker, occasions his drawing back, as avoiding the approach of what he hates; the hands, at the same time, thrown out spread, as if to keep it off. The face turned away from that side toward which the hands are thrown out; the eyes looking angrily and asquint the same way the hands are directed; the eyebrows drawn downwards; the upper lip disdainfully drawn up; but the teeth set. The pitch of the voice loud; the tone chiding, unequal, surly, vehement. The sentences short and abrupt.

Commendation, or Approbation from a superior, puts on the aspect of love (excluding desire and respect) and expresses itself in a mild tone of voice; the arms gently spread; the palms of the hands toward the person approved. Exhorting or encouraging, as of an army by a general, is expressed with some part of the looks and action of courage.

Jealousy would be likely to be well expressed by one, who had often seen prisoners tortured in the dungeons of the inquisition, or who had seen what the dungeons of the inquisition are the best earthly emblem of; I mean Hell. For next to being in the Pope's or in Satan's prison, is the torture of him who is possessed with the spirit of jealousy. Being a mixture of passions directly contrary to one another, the person, whose soul is the seat of such confusion and tumult, must be in as much greater misery than Prometheus, with the vulture tearing his liver, as the pains of the mind are greater than those of the body. Jealousy is a ferment of love, hatred, hope, fear, shame, anxiety, suspicion, grief, pity, envy, pride, rage, cruelty, vengeance, madness, and if there be any other tormenting passion which can agitate the human mind. Therefore to express jealousy well, requires that one know how to represent justly all these passions by turns, (see Love, Hatred, &c.) and often several of them together. Jealousy shews itself by restlessness, peevishness, thoughtfulness, anxiety, absence of mind. Sometimes it bursts out in piteous complaint and weeping; then a gleam of hope, that all is yet well, lights up the countenance into a momentary smile. Immediately the face, clouded with a general gloom, shews the mind overcast again with horrid suspicions and frightful imaginations. Then the arms are folded upon the breast; the fists violently clenched; the rolling, bloody eyes dart fury. He hurries to and fro; he has no more rest than a ship in a troubled sea, the sport of winds and waves. Again, he composes himself a little to reflect on the charms of the suspected person. She appears to his imagination like the sweetness of the rising dawn. Then his monster-breeding fancy represents her as false as she is fair. Then he roars out as one on the rack, when the cruel engine rends every joint, and every sinew bursts. Then he throws himself on the ground. He beats his head against the pavement. Then he springs up, and with the look and action of a fury bursting hot from the abyss, he snatches the instrument of death, and, after ripping up the bosom of the loved, suspected, hated, lamented, fair one, he stabs himself to the heart, and exhibits a striking proof, how terrible a creature a puny mortal is, when agitated by an infernal passion.

Dotage or infirm old age, shews itself by talkativeness, boasting of the past, hollowness of the eyes and cheeks, dimness of sight, deafness, tremor of voice, the accents, through default of teeth, scarce intelligible; hams weak, knees tottering, head paralytic, hollow coughing, frequent expectoration, breathless wheezing, laborious groaning, the body stooping under the insupportable load of years, which soon shall crush it into the dust, from whence it had its origin.

Folly, that is, of a natural ideot, gives the face an habitual thoughtless, brainless grin. The eyes dance from object to object, without ever fixing steadily upon any one. A thousand different and incoherent passions, looks, gestures, speeches and absurdities, are played off every moment.

Distraction opens the eyes to a frightful wideness, rolls them hastily and wildly from object to object; distorts every feature; gnashes with the teeth; agitates all parts of the body; rolls in the dust; foams at the mouth; utters, with hideous bellowings, execrations, blasphemies, and all that is fierce and outrageous, rushes furiously on all who approach; and, if not restrained, tears its own fiesh, and destroys itself.

Sickness has infirmity and feebleness in every motion and utterance. The eyes dim, and almost closed; cheeks pale and hollow; the jaw fallen; the head hung down, as if too heavy to be supported by the neck. A general inertia prevails. The voice trembling; the utterance through the nose; every sentence accompanied with a groan; the hand shaking, and the knees tottering under the body; or the body stretched helpless on the bed.

Fainting produces a sudden relaxation of all that holds the human frame together, every sinew and ligament unstrung. The colour flies from the vermilion cheek; the sparkling eye grows dim. Down the body drops, as helpless, and senseless, as a mass of clay, to which, by its colour and appearance, it seems hastening to resolve itself—Which leads me to conclude with:

Death the awful end of all flesh; which exhibits nothing in appearance different from what I have been just describing; for fainting continued ends in death,—a subject almost too serious to be made a matter of artificial imitation.

Lower degrees of every passion are to be expressed by more moderate exertions of voice and gesture; as every public speaker's discretion will suggest to him.

Mixed passions, or emotions of the mind, require a mixed expression. Pity, for example, is composed of grief and love. It is therefore evident, that a correct speaker must, by his looks and gestures, and by the tone and pitch of his voice, express both grief and love, in expressing pity, and so of the rest.

It is to be remembered, that the action, in expressing the various humours and passions, for which I have here given rules, is to be suited to the age, sex, condition, and circumstances of the character. Violent anger, or rage, for example, is to be expressed with great agitation; (see Anger) but the rage of an infirm old man, of a woman, and of a youth, are all different from one another, and from that of a man in the flower of his age, as every speaker's discretion will suggest. A hero may shew fear, or sensibility of pain; but not in the same manner as a girl would express those sensations. Grief may be expressed by a person reading a melancholy story or description of a room. It may be acted upon the stage. It may be dwelt upon by the pleader at the bar; or it may have a place in a sermon. The passion is still grief. But the manner of expressing it will be different in each of the speakers, if they have judgment.

A correct speaker does not make a movement of limb, or feature, for which he has not a reason. If he addresses heaven, he looks upward. If he speaks to his fellow-creatures, he looks round upon them. The spirit of what he says, or is said to him, appears in his look. If he expresses amazement, or would excite it, he lifts up his hands and eyes. If he invites to virtue and happiness, he spreads his arms, and looks benevolent. If he threatens the vengeance of heaven against vice, he bends his eye-brow into wrath and menaces with his arm and countenance. He does not needlessly saw the air with his arm, nor stab himself with his finger. He does not clap his right hand upon his breast, unless he has occasion to speak of himself, or to introduce conscience, or somewhat sentimental. He does not start back, unless he wants to express horror or aversion. He does not come forward, but when he has occasion to solicit. He does not raise his voice, but to express somewhat peculiarly emphatical. He does not lower it, but to contrast the raising of it. His eyes, by turns, according to the humour of the matter he has to express, sparkle fury, brighten into joy, glance disdain, melt into grief, frown disgust and hatred, languish into love, or glare distraction.

On Reading and Speaking.


The first object of a reader or speaker, is, to be clearly understood by his hearers. In order for this, it is necessary that he should pronounce his words distinctly, and deliberately; that he should carefully avoid the two extremes of uttering either too fast, or too slow; and that his tone of voice should be perfectly natural.

A reader or speaker should endeavor to acquire a perfect command of his voice; so as neither to stun his hearers by pitching it upon too high a key; nor tire their patience by obliging them to listen to sounds which are scarcely audible. It is not the loudest speaker, who is always the best understood; but he who pronounces upon that key which fills the space occupied by the audience. That pitch of voice, which is used in ordinary conversation, is usually the best for a public speaker.

Early attention ought to be paid to the pauses; but the rules for these are so indefinite and arbitrary, and so difficult to be comprehended, that long experience is necessary in order to acquire a perfect knowledge of their use. With regard to the length of the several pauses, no precise rules can be given. This, together with the variety of tones which accompany them, depends much upon the nature of the subject.

Perhaps nothing is of more importance to a reader or speaker, than a proper attention to accent, emphasis, and cadence. Every word in our language, of more than one syllable, has, at least, one accented syllable. This syllable ought to be rightly known, and the word should be pronounced by the reader or speaker in the same manner as he would pronounce it in ordinary conversation.

By emphasis, we distinguish those words in a sentence which we esteem the most important, by laying a greater stress of voice upon them than we do upon the others. And it is surprising to observe how the sense of a phrase may be altered by varying the emphasis. The following example will serve as an illustration.

This short question, "Will you ride to town to-day?" may be understood in four different ways, and consequently, may receive four different answers, according to the placing of the emphasis.

If it be pronounced thus; Will you ride to town to-day? the answer may properly be, no; I shall send my son. If thus; Will you ride to town to-day; Answer, no; I intend to walk. Will you ride to town to-day? No; I shall ride into the country. Will you ride to town to-day? No; but I shall to-morrow.

This shows how necessary it is that a reader or speaker should know where to place his emphasis. And the only rule for this is, that he study to attain a just conception of the force and spirit of the sentiments which he delivers. There is as great a difference between one who lays his emphasis properly, and one who pays no regard to it, or places it wrong, as there is between one who plays on an instrument with a masterly hand, and the most bungling performer.

Cadence is the reverse of emphasis. It is a depression or lowering of the voice; and commonly falls upon the last syllable in a sentence. It is varied, however, according to the sense. When a question is asked, it seldom falls upon the last word; and many sentences require no cadence at all.

In addition to what has been said, it is of great importance to attend particularly to tones and gestures. To almost every sentiment we utter, more especially, to every strong emotion, nature has adapted some peculiar tone of voice. And we may observe, that every man, when he is much in earnest in common discourse, when he is speaking on some subject which interests him nearly, has an eloquent or persuasive tone and manner.

If one were to tell another that he was very angry, or very much grieved, in a tone which did not suit such emotions, instead of being believed, he would be laughed at. The best direction which can be given, is, to copy the proper tones for expressing every sentiment from those which nature dictates to us in conversation with others.

With respect to gesture, the few following hints may be of some service. When speaking in public, one should endeavor to preserve as much dignity as possible in the whole attitude of the body. An erect posture is generally to be chosen; standing firm so as to have the fullest command of all his motions. Any inclination, which is used, should be forwards towards the hearers, which is a natural expression of earnestness.

As for the countenance, the chief rule is, that it should correspond with the nature of the discourse; and when no particular emotion is expressed, a serious and manly look is always the best. The eyes should never be fixed close on any one object, but more easily round upon the whole audience.

In the motions made with the hands consists the chief part of gesture in speaking. The right hand should be used more frequently than the left. Warm emotions demand the motion of both hands corresponding together. All the gestures should be free and easy. Perpendicular movements with the hands, that is, in a straight line up and down are seldom good. Oblique motions are, in general, the most graceful.

Motions made with the hands should proceed rather from the shoulders than from the elbows; for they appear much more easy. Too sudden and nimble motions should be avoided. Earnestness can be fully expressed without them. Above all things, a speaker should guard against affectation, which is always disgustful.