Obrazy na stronie

leucus immediately gave orders for solemnizing the marriage ; and the young queen, to shew her obedience, very graciously exchanged the father for the



N° 186. SATURDAY, JUNE 17, 1710.

Emitur solâ virtute potestas.


Virtue alone ennobles human kind,
And power should on her glorious footsteps wait.


Sheer Lane, June 16. As it has been the endeavour of these our labours to extirpate, from among the polite or busy part of mankind, all such as are either prejudicial or insignificant to society ; so it ought to be no less our study to supply the havoc we have made, by an exact care of the growing generation. But when we begin to inculcate proper precepts to the children of this island, except we could take them out of their nurses arms, we see an amendment is almost i" practicable; for we find the whole species of our youth, and grown men, is incorrigibly prepossessed with vanity, pride, or ambition, according to the respective pursuits to which they turn themselves ; by which means the world is infatuated with the love of appearances instead of things. Thus the vain man takes praise for honour; the proud man ceremony for respect; the ambitious man, power for glory. These three chao. racters are indeed of very near resemblance, but differently received by mankind. Vanity makes mien ridiculous; pride, odious ; and ambition, terrible. The foundation of all which is, that they are grounded upon falsehood: for if men, instead of studying to appear considerable, were in their own hearts possessors of the requisites for esteem, the acceptance they otherwise unfortunately aim at would be as inseparable from them, as approbation is from truth itself. By this means they would have some rule to walk by; and they may ever be assured, that a good cause of action will certainly receive a suitable effect. It may be an useful hint in such cases for a man to ask of himself, whether he really is what he has a mind to, be thought? If he is, he need not give himself much further anxiety. What will the world say ? is the common question in matters of difficulty ; as if the terror lay wholly in the sense which others, and not we ourselves, shall have of our actions. From this one source arise all the impostors in every art and profession, in all places, aniong


in conversa tion, as well as in business. Hence it is, that a vain fellow takes twice as much pains to be ridiculous as would make him sincerely agreeable.

Can any one be better fashioned, better bred, or has any one more good-nature, than Damasippus ? But the whole scope of his looks and actions tends so immediately to gain the good opinion of all he converses with, that he loses it for that only reason. As it is the nature of vanity to impose false shews for truth, so does it also turn real possessions into imaginary ones.

Damasippus, by assuming to himself what he has not, robs himself of what he has.

There is nothing more necessary to establish reputation, than to suspend the enjoyment of it. He that cannot bear the sense of merit with silence, must of

necessity destroy it: for fame being the general mistress of mankind, whoever gives it to himself insults all to whom he relates any circumstances to his own advantage. He is considered as an open ravisher of that beauty, for whom all others pine in silence. But some minds are so incapable of any temperance in this particular, that on every second in their discourse, you may observe an earnestness in their eyes,

which shews they wait for your approbation; and perhaps the next instant cast an eye on a glass, to see how they like themselves. Walking the other day in a neighbouring inn of court, I saw a more happy and more graceful orator than I ever before had heard or read of. A youth of about nineteen years of age was in an Indian night-gown and laced cap, pleading a cause before a glass. The young fellow had a very good air, and seemed to hold his brief in his hand rather to help his action, than that he wanted notes for his further information. When I first began to observe him, I feared he would soon be alarmed ; but he was so zealous for his client, and so favourably received by the court, that he went on with great fluency to inform the bench, that he humbly hoped they would not let the merit of the cause suffer by the youth and inexperience of the pleader ; that in all things he subunitted to their candor; and modestly desired they would not conclude, but that strength of argument, and force of reason, may be consistent with grace of action, and comeliness of person.

To me (who see people every day in the midst of crowds, whomsoever they seem to address to, talk only to themselves, and of themselves, this orator was not so extravagant a man as perhaps another would have thought him : but I took part in his success, and was very glad to find he had in his favour judgment and costs, without any manner of opposition.

The effects of pride and vanity are of consequence only to the proud and vain ; and tend to no further ill than what is personal to themselves, in preventing their progress in any thing that is worthy and laudable, and creating envy instead of emulation of superior virtue. These ill qualities are to be found only in such as have so little minds, as to circumscribe their thoughts and designs within what properly relates to the value, which they think due to their dear and amiable selves : but ambition, which is the third great impediment to honour and virtue, is a fault of such as think themselves born for moving in an higher orb, and prefer being powerful and mischievous to being virtuous and obscure. The parent of this mischief in life, so far as to regulate it into schemes, and make it possess a man's whole heart without his believing himself a dæmon, was Machiavel'. He first taught, that a man must necessarily appear weak to be honest. Hence it gains upon the imagination, that a great is not so despicable as a little villain ; and men are insensibly led to a belief, that the aggravation of crimes is the diminution of them. Hence the impiety of thinking one thing and speaking another. In pursuance of this empty and unsatisfying dream, to betray, to undermine, to kill in themselves all natural sentiments of love to friends or country, is the willing practice of such as are thirsty of power for any other reason, than that of being useful and acceptable to mankind.

" See No 123, and 214.

ADVERTISEMENT. "Whereas Mr. Bickerstaff has lately received a letter out of Ireland, dated June the ninth, importing that he is grown very dull, for the postage of which Mr. Morphew charges one shilling; and another without date of place or time, for which he, the said Morphew, charges two-pence: it is desired that, for the future, his courteous and uncourteous readers will go a little further in expressing their good and illwill, and pay for the carriage of their letters; otherwise the intended pleasure or pain, which is designed for Mr. Bickerstaff, will be wholly disappointed.'


N° 187. TUESDAY, JUNE 20, 1710.

-Pudet hæc opprobria nobis
Et dici potuisse, et non potuisse refelli.

OVID. Met. ii. 759.
To hear an open slander is a curse:
But not to find an answer is a worse.


From my own Apartment, June 19.


• His holiness is gone to Castel Gandolpho, much discomposed at some late accounts from the missionaries in your island : for a committee of cardi

« PoprzedniaDalej »