Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Adeste, O quotquot sunt, Veneres, Gratix, Cupidines.
En vobis adsunt in promptu

I take it to be a rule, proper to be observed in all
Faces, vincula, spicula ;

occurrences of life, but more especially in the doHinc eligite, sumite, regite.

mestic, or matrimonial part of it, to preserve always All ye Venases, Graces, and Cupids attend :

a disposition to he pleased. This cannot be supSee prepared to your hands,

ported but by considering things in their right ligtit, Darts, torches, and bands:

and as Nature bas formed them, and not as our own Your weapons here choose, and your empire extend.

fancies or appetites would have them. He then who “ I am, Sir, your most humble Servant,

took a young lady to his bed, with no other consiA. B."

deration than the expectation of scenes of dalliance, The proposal of my correspondent I cannot but and thought of her (as I said before) only as she was look upon as an ingenious method of placing per- to administer to the gratification of desire; as that sons (whose parts make them ambitious to exert desire flags, will, without her fault, think her charms themselves in frivolous things) in a rank by them- and her merit abated : from hence must follow in. selves. In order to this, I would propose that there difference, dislike, peevishness, and rage. But the be a board of directors of the fashionable society; man who brings his reason to support his passion, and, because it is a matter of too much weight for and beholds what he loves, as liable to all the calaa private man to determine alone, I should be highly mities of human life both in body and mind, and obliged to my correspondents if they would give in even at the best what must bring upon him new cares lists of persons qualified for this trust. If the chief and new relations; such a lover, I say, will form coffee-houses, the conversations of which places are himself accordingly, and adapt his mind to the nacarried on by persons, cach of whom has his little ture of his circumstances. This latter person will be number of followers and admirers, would name from prepared to be a father, a friend, an advocate, a among themselves two or three to be inserted, they steward for people yet unborn, and has proper affecshould be put up with great faithfulness. Old beaux tions ready for every incident in the marriage state. are to be represented in the first place; but as that such a man can hear the cries of children with pity seet, with relation to dress, is almost extinct, it will, instead of anger; and, when they run over his head, I fear, be absolutely necessary to take in all time he is not disturbed at their noise, but is glad of servers, properly so deemed; that is, such as, with their mirth and health. Tom Trusty has told me, out any conviction of conscience, or view of in- that he thinks it doubles his attention to the most terest, change with the world, and that merely from intricate affair he is about, to hear his children, for a terror of being out of fashion. Such also, who whom all his cares are applied, make a noise in the from facility of temper, and two much obsequious next room : on the other side, Will Sparkish cannot ness, are vicious against their will, and follow leaders put on his periwig, or adjust his cravat at the glass, whom they do not approve, for ant of courage

for the noise of those damned nurses and squalling go their own way, are capable persons for this su- brats; and then ends with a gallant reflection upon perintendency. Those who are loath to grow old, the comforts of matrimony, runs out of the hearing; or would do any thing contrary to the course and and drives to the chocolate-house. order of things, out of fondness to be in fashion, According as the husband has disposed in himself, are proper candidates. To conclude, those who are every circumstance in his life is to give him torinent in fashion without apparent merit, must be sup- or pleasure. When the affection is well placed, and posed to have latent qualities, which would appear is supported by the considerations of duty, honour, in a post of direction; and therefore are to be re- and friendship, which are in the highest degree engarded in forming these lists. Any, who shall be gaged in this alliance, there can nothing rise in the pleased according to these, or what further qualifi. common course of life, or from the blows or favours eations may occur to himself, to send a list, is de- of fortune, in which a man will not find matters of sired to do it within fourteen days after this date. some delight unknown to a single condition.

N.B. The place of the physician to this society He that sincerely loves bis wife and family, and according to the last-mentioned qualification, is studies to improve that affection in himself, conceives already engaged.

pleasure from the most indifferent things; while the T.

married man, who has not bid adieu to the fashions

and false gallantries of the town, is perplexed with No. 479.] TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 1712. every thing around him. In both these cases men

cannot, indeed, make a sillier figure, than in repeat-Dare jura maritis.--Hor. Ars Poet. 398. To regulate the matrimonial life.

ing such pleasures and pains to the rest of the world :

but I speak of them only, as they sit upon those who Many are the epistles I every day receive from are involved in them. As I visit all sorts of people, husbands who complain of vanity, pride, but, above I cannot indeed but smile, when the good lady tells all, ill-nature in their wives. I cannot tell how it her husband what extraordinary things the child is, but I think I see in all their letters that the cause spoke since he went out. No longer than yesterday of their uneasiness is in themselves; and indeed II was prevailed with to go home with a fond bushave hardly ever observed the married condition un- band; and his wife told him, that his son, of his own bappy, but from want of judgment or temper in the head, when the clock in the parlour struck two, said man. The truth is, we generally make love in a style papa would come home to dinner presently. While and with sentiments very unfit for ordinary life: they the father. has him in a rapture in his arms, and is are half theatrical, half romantie. By this means, drowning him with kisses, the wife tells me he is but we raise our imaginations to what is not to be ex- just four years old. Then they both struggle for pected in human life, and because we did not be him, and bring him up to me, and repeat his obserforehand think of the creature we are enamoured vation of two o'clock. I was called upon, by looks of as subject to dishumour, age, sickness, impatience, upon the child, and then at me, to say something; or-sullevuess, but altogether considered her as the and I told the father that this remark of the infant' obiect of joy; human Bature itself is often imputed of his coming home, and joining the time with it, to ber-a6 her particular imperfection, or defect. was a certain indication that he would be a great his

[ocr errors]

torian and chronologer. They are neither vf them married state, with and without the atfection suitable fools, yet received my compliment with great ac- to it, is the completest image of heaven and hell we knowledgment of my prescience. I fared very well are capable of receiving in this life.-T. at dinner, and heard many other potable sayings of their heir, which would have given yery little entertainment to one less turned to reflection than I was : No. 480.] WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 10, 1712. but it was a pleasing speculation to remark on the

Responsare cupidinibus, contemnere honores happiness of a life, in which things of no moment Forts, et in seipso totus teres atque rotundus. give occasion of hope, self satisfaction, and triumph.

HOR. 2 Sat, vil. 85 On the other hand, I have known an ill-natured He, Sir, is proof to grandeur, pride, or pell, coxcomb, who has hardly improved in any thing but

And, greater still, he's master of himseir:

Not to and fro, by fears and factions hurid, bulk, for want of this disposition, silence the whole

But loose to aụ the interests of the world; family as a set of silly women and children, for re- And while the world tums round, entire and whole, counting things which were really above his own He keeps the sacred tenor of his soul.—Put, capacity.

The other day, looking over those old manuscripts When I say

all this, I cannot deny but there are of which I have formerly given some account, and perverse jades that fall to men's lots, with whom it which relate to the character of the mighty Phararequires more than common proficiency in philoso- mond of France, and the close friendship between phy to be able to live. When these are joined to him and his friend Eucrate, I found among the leto men of warm spirits, without teinper or learning, ters, which had been in the custody of the latter, au they are frequently corrected with stripes; but one epistle from a country gentleman to Pbaramond, of our famous lawyers* is of opinion, that this ought wherein he excuses himself from coming to court. to be used sparingly; as I remember, those are his The gentleman, it seems, was contented with bis colle very words; but as it is proper to draw some spi- dition, had formerly been in the king's service; but ritual use out of all afflictions, I should rather re. at the writing the following letter had, from leisure commend to those who are visited with women of and reflection, quite another sense of things than that spirit, to form themselves for the world by patience which he had in the more active part of his life. at home. Socrates, who is by all accounts the un. doubted head of the sect of the ben-pecked, owned

Monsieur Chezluy to Pharamond. and acknowledged that he owed great part of his

“ Dread Sir, virtue to the exercise which his useful wife constantly “ I have from your own hand (enclosed under the gave it. There are several good instructions may cover of Mr. Eucrate, of your majesty's bed-chamber) be drawn from his wise answers to the people of less a letter which invites me to court. I understand fortitude than himself on her subject. A friend, with this great honour to be done me more out of respect indignation, asked how so good a man could live with and inclination to me, rather than regard to your so violent a creature? He observed to him, that own service; for which reason I beg leave to lay be they who learn to keep a good seat on horseback, fore your majesty my reasons for declining to depart mount the least manageable they can get; and, when from home; and will not doubt but as your motive they have mastered them, they are sure never to be in desiring my attendance was to make me a happier discomposed on the backs of steeds less restive. At man, when you think that will not be effected by my several times, to different persons, on the same sub-remove, you will permit me to stay where I am. ject he has said, “ My dear friend, you are beholden Those who have an ambition to appear in courts, to Xantippe, that I bear so well your dying out in a bave either an opinion

that their persons or their tadispute." To another, “ My hen clacks very much, lents are particularly formed for the service or ornabut she brings me chickens. They that live in a ment of that place; or else are hurried by downright trading street are not disturbed at the passage of desire of gain, or what they call honour, to take upon carts. I would have, if possible, a wise man be themselves whatever the generosity of their master contented with his lot, even with a shrew; for, can give them opportunities to grasp at. But your though he cannot make her better, he may, you see, goodness shall not be thus imposed upon by me: I make himself better by her means.

will therefore confess to you, that frequent solitude, But, instead of pursuing my design of displaying and long conversation with such who know no arts conjugal love in its natural beauties and attractions, which polish life, have made me the plainest crea I am got into tales to the disadvantage of that state ture in your dominions. Those less capacities of of life. I must say, therefore, that I am verily per- moving with a good grace, bearing a ready affability' suaded, that whatever is delightful in human life is to all around me, and acting with ease before many, to be enjoyed in greater perfection in the married have quite left me. I am come to that, with regard than in the single condition. He that has this pas. to my person, that I consider it only as a machine t sion in perfection, in occasions of joy, can say to am obliged to take care of, in order to enjoy my soul himself, besides his own satisfaction, " How happy in its faculties with alacrity; well remembering that will this make my wife and children!". Upon oc- this habitation of clay will in a few years be a meaner currences of distress or danger, can comfort himself, piece of earth than any utensil about my house. “But all this while my wife and children are safe.” When this is, as it really is the most frequent reflec. There is something in it, that doubles satisfactions, tion I have, you will easily imagine how well I should because others participate them; and dispels aftlic- become a drawing-room; add to this, what shall a tions because others are exempt from them. All who man without desires do about the generous Pharaare married without this relish of their circumstance mond? Monsieur Eucrate has hinted to me, that, are in either a tasteless indolence and negligence you have thoughts of distinguishing me with titles which is hardly to be attained, or else live in the As for myself, in the temper of my present miud, hourly repetition of sharp answers, eager upbraid. appellations of honour would but embarrass discourse

, ings, and distracting reproaches. In a word, the and new behaviour towards me perplex me in every

habitude of life. I am also to ackuowledge to you, tbai my children, of wbom your majesty condescended

[ocr errors]

.

Bractor

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

-Uti non

to inquire, are all of them mean, both in their per- school, where I learned Latin avd Greek. The misanos and genias. The estate my eldest son is heir fortunes of my familyforced me up to town, where a to, is more than he can enjoy with a good grace. My profession of the politer sort has protected me against self-love will not carry me so far as to impose upon infamy and want. I am now clerk to a lawyer, and, mankind the advancement of persons (merely for in times of vacancy and recess from business, have their being related to me) into high distinctions, made myself master of Italian and French; and who ought for their own sakes, as well as that of the though the progress I have made in my business has public, to affect obscurity. I wish my generous gained me reputation enough for one of my standing, prince, as it is in your power to give honours and yet my mind suggests to me every day, that it is out offices, it were also to give talents suitable to them; upon that foundation I am to build

my fortune. were it so, the noble Pharamond would reward the “The person I have my present dependance upon zeal of my youth with abilities to do him service in has it in his nature, as well as in his power, to admy age.

yance me, by recommending me to a gentleman that *****Those who accept of favour without merit, sup- is going beyond sea in a public employment. I know port themselves in it at the expense of your majesty. the printing this letter would point me out to those I Give me leave to tell you, Sir, this is the reason that want confidence to speak to, and I hope it is not in we in the country bear so often repeated the word your power to refuse making any body happy. prerogative. That part of your law which is reserved

Yours, &c. in yourself, for the readier service and good of the

ul “ September 9, 1712.

" M. D.” public, slight men are eternally buzzing in our ears, T. to cover their own follies and miscarriages. It would be an addition to the brigh favour you have done me, No. 481.1 THURSDAY, SEPT. 11, 1712. if you would let Eucrate send me word how often, and in what cases, you allow a constable to insist Compositus melius cum Bitho Bacchius. In jus

Acres procurrunt

Hor. Sau 1. vii. 19. upon the prerogative. From the highest to the lowest

Who shall decide when doctors disagree, officer in your dominions, something of their own

And soundest casaists doubt like you and me?Pore. carriage they would exempt from examination, under the shelter of the word prerogative. I would fain, different notions which different persons have of the

It is sometimes pleasant enough to consider the most noble Pharamond, see one of your officers assert your prerogative by good and gracious actions. When same thing. If men of low condition very often set Is it used to help the aflicted, to rescue the innocent, are in a higher station of life, there are many things

a value on things which are not prized by those who to comiort the stranger? Uncommon methods, ap; these esteem which are in no value among persdits ; parently undertaken to attain worthy ends, would of an inferior rank. Common people are, in para neser make power invidious. You see, Sir, I talk ticular, very much astonished when they hear of to you with the freedom your noble nature approves those solemn contests and debates, which are made in all whom you admit to your conversation. * But, to return to your majesty's letter, I humbly remony; and wonder to hear that any business of

among the great upon the punctilios of a publie ce conceive that all distinctions are useful to men, only consequence should be retarded by those little cir, as they are to act in public; and it would be a romantic madness for a man to be a lord in his closet. trifling and insignificant. * I am mightily pleased

cumstances, which they represent to themselves as Nothing can be honourable to a man apart from the with à porter's decision in ore of Mt. South-F11's be that places honour in a consciousness of well-plays, which is founded upon that fine distrése doing, will have but little relish for any outward the first was yet living. The first husband, who was

virtuous woman's marrying a second husband, while hornage that is paid him ; since wbat gives him distinction to himself, cannot come within the observa: supposed to have been dead, returning to his house, lign of his beholders. Thus all the words of lordship, the tragic part of the play. In the meanwhile the

after a long absence, raises a noble perplexity for honour, and grace, are only repetitions to a man that nurse and the porter conferring upon the difficulties the king has ordered him to be called so; but no that would ensue in such a case, honest Samson thinks evidences that there is any thing in himself, that the matter may be easily decided, and solves it very Fould give the man, who applies to bim, those ideas, judiciously by the old proverb, that

, if his first master without the ereation of his master. " I bave, most noble Pharamond, all honours and There is nothing in my time which bas so much suk

be still living, “ the man must have his mare again." all titles in your own approbation : I triumph in prised and confounded the greatest part of my honest them as they are your gift, 1 refuse them as they are countrymen, as the present controversy between to give me the observation of others. Indulge me, Count Rechteren and Monsieur Mesnager, wbich emmy noble master, in this chastity of renown; let me know myself in the favour of Pharamond; and look ploys the wise heads of so many nations, and holds

all the affairs of Europe in suspense. dowa upon the applause of the people. “I am, in all duty and loyalty,

Upon my going into a coffee-house yesterday, and “ Your majesty's most obedient

lending an ear to the next table, which was encomSubject and Servant,

passed with a circle of inferior politicians, one of « JEAN CHEZLUY."

them, after having read over the news very atten. tively, broke out into the following remarks: “I

am afraid," says he, “this unhappy ruptăre between "I need not tell with what disadvantages men of the footmen at Utrecht will retard the peace of low fortunes and great modesty come into the world; Christendom. I wish the pope may not be at the what wrong measures their diffidence of themselves, bottom of it. His holiness has a very good band at and fear of offending, often oblige them to take fomenting a division, as the poor Swiss cantons have and what a pity it is that their greatest virtues and lately experienced to their cost If Monsieur What: qualities, that should soonest recommend them, are d'ye-call-him's domestics will not come fo an accomthe main obstacle in the way of their preferment. modation, I do not know how the quarrel can be This, Sir, is my case; I was bred at a country lended but by a religious war.".

* Sir,

* Why, truly,” says # wiseacre that sat by him, now stands, if you will have my opinion, I think

were l as the king of France, I would scorp to they ought to bring it to referees." take part with the tootmen of either side: here's all I heard a great deal more of this conference, but the business of Europe stands still, because Monsieur I must confess with little edification; for all I could Mesnager's man has had his head broke. If Count learn at last from these honest gectiemen was, that Rectrum* had given them a pot of ale after it, all the matter in debate was of too high a nature for such would bave been well, without any of this bustle; heads as theirs, or mine, to comprehend. -0. but they say he's a warm man, and does not care to be made mouths at."

Upon this, one that had held his tongue hitherto, No. 482.) FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 1712. began to exert himself; declaring, " that he was very well pleased the plenipotentiaries of our Chris. Floriferis ut apes in saltibus omnia libant.--LECL i 11. tian princes took this matter into their serious con- As from the sweetest flower the lab'ring bee sideration ; for that lackeys were never so saucy and

Extracts her precious sweets.CREECH. pragmatical as they are now-a-days, and that he When I have published any single paper this should be glad to see them taken down in the treaty falls in with the popular taste, and pleases more than of peace, if it might be done without prejudice to the ordinary, it always brings me in a great return of public affairs."

letters. My Tuesday's discourse, wherein I gave One who sat at the other end of the table, and several admonitions to the fraternity of the hea. seemed to be in the interests of the French king, pecked, has already produced me very many corre told them, that they did not take the matter right, spondents; the reason I cannot guess at, unless it for that His Most Christian majesty did not resent be, that such a discourse is of general use, and every this matter because it was an injury done to Mon- married man's money. An honest tradesinau, who sieur Mesnager's footman; " for,” says he," what dates his letter from Cheapside, sends me thanks is are Monsieur Mesnager's footmen to him ? but be the name of a club, who, he tells me, meet as often cause it was done to his subjects. Now,” says he, as their wives will give them leave, and stay toge “ let me tell you, it would look very odd for a sub- ther till they are sent for home. He informs ne, ject of France to have a bloody nose, and his sope that my paper has administered great consolation to reign not to take cotice of it. He is obliged in how their whole club, and desires me to give some further Dour to defend his people against hostilities; and if account of Socrates, and to acquaint them in whose the Dutch will be so insolent to a crowned head, as reign he lived, whether he was a citizen or a codrtier in any wise to cuff or kick those who are under his whether he buried Xantippe, with many other pare protection, I think be is in the right to call them to ticulars : for that, by his sayings, he appears to have an account for it."

been a very wise man, and a good Christian. Ad. This distinction set the controversy upon a new other, who writes himself Benjamin Bamboe, tells foot, and seemed to be very well approved by most me that, being coupled with a shrew, he had endea that heard it, until a little warm fellow, who had devoured to tame her by such lawful means as those clared himself a friend to the house of Austria, fell which I mentioned in my last Tuesday's paper, and most unmercifully upon his Gallic majesty, as en that in his wrath he had often gone further that couraging his subjects to make mouths at their bet- Bracton allows in those cases; but that for the foters, and afterward screening them from the punish- ture he was resolved to bear it like a man of temper ment that was due to their insolence. To which he and learning, and consider her only as one who added, that the French pation was so addicted to lives in his house to teach him philosophy. Tom grimace, that, if there was not a stop put to it at the Dapperwit says, that he agrees with me in that whole general congress, there would be no walking the discourse, excepting only the last sentence, wbere ! streets for them in a time of peace, especially if they affirm the married state to be either a hearen or a continued masters of the West Indies. The little bell. Tom has been at the charge of a penny upon man proceeded with a great deal of warmth, declaring this occasion to tell me, that by his experience its that, if the allies were of his mind, he would oblige neither one nor the other, but rather that middle sud the French king to burn his galleys, and tolerate the of state, commonly known by the name of purgatory. Protestant religion in his dominions, before he would

The fair sex have likewise obliged me with the sheath his sword. He concluded with calling Mou- reflections upon the same discourse. A lady, nebo sieur Mesnager an insignificant prig.

calls herself Euterpe, and seems a woman of letters, The dispute was now growing very warm, and one asks me whether I am for establishing the Salic law does not know where it would have ended, had not a in every family, and why it is not fit that a wonsta young man of about one-and-twenty, who seems to who has discretion and learning should sit at the have been brought up with an eye to the law, taken belm, when the husband is weak and illiterate ? the debate into his hand, and given it as his opinion, Another, of a quite contrary character, subscribers that neither Count Rechteren nor Monsieur Mes herself Xantippe, and tells me that she follows the nager had behaved themselves right in ibis affair. example of her namesake; for being married to a "Count Rechteren,” says he," should have made bookish man, who has no knowledge of the world

, affidavit that his servants had been affronted, and she is forced to take their affairs into her own hands, then Monsieur Mesnager would have done him jus and to spirit him up now and then, that he may not tice, by taking away their liveries from them, or grow musty, and unfit for conversatioo. some other way that he might have thought the most

After this abridgment of some letters which are proper; for, let me tell you, if a man makes a mouth come to my hands upon this occasion, I shall pabu at me, I am not to knock the teeth out of it for his lish one of them at large. pains. Then agaid, as for Monsieur Mesnager, upon his servants being beaten, why, he might have had “ MR. SPECTATOR, his action of assaule and battery. But as the case “ You have given us a lively picture of that bad

of husband who comes under the denomination of 1.6 Count Rechteren.

the bed-pecked; but I do not remember that you

have ever touched upon one that is of the quite dif- ceal under the name of Nemesis, is the greatest disferent cbaracter, and who, in several places of Eng-coverer of judgments that I have met with. She laud, goes by the name of a cot-quean.' I have can tell you what sin it was that set such a man's the misfortune to be joined for life with one of this house on fire, or blew down his barns. Talk to her character, who in reality is more a woman than 1 of an unfortunate young lady that lost her beauty am. He was bred up under the tuition of a tender by the small-pox, she fetches a deep sigh, and tells mother, till she had made him as good a housewife you, that when she had a fine face she was always as hersell. He could preserve apricots, and make looking on it in her glass. Tell her of a piece of jellies, before he had been two years out of the nur good fortune that has befallen one of her acquaint sery. He was never suffered to go abroad, for fear ance, and she wishes it may prosper with her, but of catching cold; when he should have been hunt- her mother used one of her nieces very barbarously. ing down a buck, he was by his mother's side learn. Her usual remarks turn upon people who had great ing how to season it, or put it in crust; and was estates, but never enjoyed them by reason of some making paper boats with his sisters, at an age when Aaw in their own or their father's behaviour. She other young gentlemen are crossing the seas, or tra- can give you the reason why such a one died childFelling into foreign countries. He has the whitest less; why such a one was cut off in the lower of hand that you ever saw in your life, and raises paste his youth; why such a one was unbappy in her better than any woman in England. These qualiti marriage; wby one broke his leg on such a partications make him a sad husband. He is perpetually cular spot of ground; and why another was killed in the kitchen, and has a thousand squabbles with with a back-sword, rather than with any other kind the cook-maid. He is better acquainted with the of weapon. She has a crime for every misfortune milk-score than his steward's accounis. I fret to that can befal any of her acquaintance; and when death when I hear him find fault with a dish that is she hears of a robbery that has been made, or a not dressed to his liking, and instructing his friends murder that has been committed, enlarges more on that dine with him in the best pickle for a walnut, the guilt of the suffering person, than on that of the or sauce for a haunch of venison. With all this he thief, or the assassin. In short, she is so good a is a very good-natured husband, and never fell out Christian, that whatever happens to herself is a with me in his life but once, upon the over-roasting trial, and whatever happens to her neighbours is a of a dish of wild fowl. At the same time I must judgment. own, I would rather he was a man of a rough tem- The very description of this folly, in ordinary per, tbat would treat me harshly sometimes, than of life, is sufficient to expose it: but, when it appears such an effeminate busy nature, in a province that in a pomp and dignity of style, it is very apt to does not belong to him. Since you have given us amuse and terrify the mind of the reader. Herothe character of a wife who wears the breeches, pray dotus and Plutarch very often apply their judgments say something of a husband that wears the petti- as impertinently as the old woman I have before coat. Why should not a female character be as ri- mentioned, though their manner of relating thein diculous in*a man, as a male character in one of makes the folly itself appear venerable. Indeed, our sex?

“I am,” &c. most historians, as well Christian as Pagan, have 0.

fallen into this idle superstition, and spoken of ill No. 483.) SATURDAY, SEPT. 13, 1712.

success, unforeseen disasters, and terrible events, as

if they had been let into the secrets of Providence, Nec deus intersit, nisi dignus vindice nodus

and made acquainted with that private conduct by HOR, Ars Poet. ver. 191.

which the world is governed. One would think Never presume to make a god appear,

several of our own historians in particular had many Bat for a business worthy of a god.-RosCOMMON.

revelations of this kind made to them. Our old We cannot be guilty of a greater act of unchari- English monks seldom let any of their kings depart tableness than to interpret the afflictions which be- in peace, who had endeavoured to diminish the fal our neighbours as punishments and judgments. power or wealth of which the ecclesiastics were in It aggravates the evil to him who suffers, when he those times possessed. William the Conqueror's looks upon himself as the mark of Divine vengeance, race generally found their judgments in the New and abates the compassion of those towards him who Forest, where their father had pulled down churches Tegard him in so dreadful a light

. This humour, of and monasteries. In short, read one of the chroni turning every misfortune into

a judgment, proceeds cles written by an author of this frame of mind, and from wrong notions of religion, whick in its own na- you would think you were reading a history of the teste produces good-will towards men, and puts the kings of Israel or Judah, where the historians were mildest construction upon every accident that befals actually inspired, and where, by a particular scheme them. In this case, therefore, it is not religion of Providence, the kings were distinguished by that sours a man's temper, but it is his temper that judgments

, or blessings, according as they promoted cours his religion. People of gloomy uncheerful idolatry, or the worship of the true God. imaginations, or of envious malignant tempers, I cannot but look upon this manner of judging whatever kind of life they are engaged in, will dis- upon misfortunes, not only to be very uncharitable cover their natural tincture of mind in all their in regard to the person on whom they fall, but very thoughts, words, and actions. As the finest wines presumptuous in regard to him who is supposed ti have often the taste of the soil, so even the most re- inflict them. It is a strong argument for a state o ligious thoughts often draw something that is parti- retribution hereafter, that in this world virtuous cular from the constitution of the mind in which persons are very often unfortunate, and vicious perthey arise. When folly or superstition strike in with sons prosperous ; which is wholly repugnant to the this natural depravity of temper, it is not in the natare of a Being who appears infinitely wise and power even of religion itself, to preserve the charac- good in all his works, unless we may suppose that ber of the person who is possessed with it from ap- such a promiscuous and undistinguishing distribupearing highly absurd and ridiculous.

tion of good and evil, which was necessary for carry. "Ao old maiden 'gentlewoman, whom I shall con- ing ar. ihe plezoug of Peswidreezin

this life, will þ

Inciderit

« ZurückWeiter »