« AnteriorContinuar »
tual differences. Learn, therefore, like a wise man, the true estimate of things. Desire not more of the world than is necessary to accommodate you in passing through it; look upon every thing beyond, not as useless only, but burdensome. Place not your quiet in things which you cannot have without putting others beside them, and thereby making them your enemies; and which, when attained, will give you more trouble to keep than satisfaction in the enjoyment. Virtue is a good of a nobler kind; it grows by communication ; and so little resembles earthly riches, that the more hands it is lodged in, the greater is every man's particular stock. So, by propagating and mingling their fires, not only all the lights of a branch together cast a more extensive brightness, but each single light burns with a stronger flame. And lastly, take this along with you, that if wealth be an instrument of pleasure, the greatest pleasure it can put into your power is that of doing good. It is worth considering that the organs of sense act within a narrow compass, and the appetites will soon say they have enough. Which of the two therefore is the happier man-he who, confining all his regard to the gratification of his own appetites, is capable but of short fits of pleasure-or the man who, reckoning himself a sharer in the satisfactions of others, especially those which come to them by his means, enlarges the sphere of his happiness ?
· The last enemy to benevolence I shall mention, is uneasiness of any kind. A guilty or a discontented mind, a mind ruffled by ill-fortune, disconcerted by its own passions, soured by neglect, or fretting at disappointments, hath not leisure to attend to the necessity or reasonableness of a kindness desired, nor a taste for those pleasures which wait on beneficence, which demand a calm and unpolluted
heart to relish them. The most miserable of all beings is the most envious; as, on the other hand, the most communicative is the happiest. And if you are in search of the seat of perfect love and friendship, you will not find it until you come to the region of the blessed, where happiness, like a refreshing stream, flows from heart to heart in an endless circulation, and is preserved sweet and untainted by the motion. It is old advice, if you have a favour to request of any one, to observe the softest times of address, when the soul, in a flush of good humour, takes a pleasure to show itself pleased. Persons conscious of their own integrity, satisfied with themselves and their condition, and full of confidence in a Supreme Being, and the hope of immore tality, survey all about them with a flow of goodwill: as trees which like their soil, they shoot out in expressions of kindness, and bend beneath their own precious load, to the band of the gatherer. Now if the mind be not thus easy, it is an infallible sign that it is not in its natural state : place the mind in its right posture, it will immediately discover its innate propension to beneficence.'
No. 602. MONDAY, OCTOBER 4, 1714.
Facit hoc illos hyacinthos.
Juv. Sat. vi. 110. This makes them hyacinths.
The following letter comes from a gentleman who, I find, is very diligent in making his observations, which I think too material not to be communicated to the public.
In order to execute the office of lovecasuist of Great Britain, with which I take myself to be invested by your paper of September 8, I shall make some farther observations upon the two sexes in general, beginning with that which always ought to have the upper hand. After having observed, with much curiosity, the accomplishments which are apt to captivate female hearts, I find that there is no person so irresistible as one who is a man of importance, provided it be in matters of no consequence. One who makes himself talked of, though it be for the particular cock of his hat, or for prating aloud in the boxes at a play, is in a fair way of being a favourite. I have known a young fellow make his fortune by knocking down a constable ; and may venture to say, though it may seem a paradox, that many a fair one has died by a duel in which both the combatants have survived.
* About three winters ago I took notice of a
young lady at the theatre, who conceived a passion for a notorious rake that headed a party of catcalls; and am credibly informed that the emperor of the Mohocks married a rich widow within three weeks after having rendered himself formidable in the cities of London and Westminster. Scouring and breaking of windows have done frequent execution upon the sex. But there is no set of these male charmers who make their way more successfully than those who have gained themselves a name for intrigue, and have ruined the greatest number of reputations. There is a strange curiosity in the female world to be acquainted with the dear man who has been loved by others, and to know what it is that makes him so agreeable. His reputation does more than half his business. Every one, that is ambitious of being a woman of fashion, looks out for opportunities of being in his company : so that, to use the old proverb, “ When his name is up he may lie a-bed.”
I was very sensible of the great advantage of being a man of importance upon these occasions on the day of the king's entry, when I was seated in a balcony behind a cluster of very pretty country ladies, who had one of these showy gentlemen in the midst of them. The first trick I caught him at was bowing to several persons of quality whom he did not know; nay, he had the impudence to hem at a blue garter who had a finer equipage than ordinary; and seemed a little concerned at the impertinent huzzas of the mob, that hindered his friend from taking notice of him. There was, indeed, one who pulled off his hat to him ; and, upon the ladies asking who it was, he told them it was a foreign minister that he had been very merry with the night before ; whereas in truth it was the city common hunt.
• He was never at a loss when he was asked any person's name, though he seldom knew any one under a peer. He found dukes and earls among the aldermen, very good-natured fellows among the privy-counsellors, with two or three agreeable old rakes among the bishops and judges.
• In short, I collected from his whole discourse that he was acquainted with every body, and knew nobody. At the same time, I am mistaken if he did not that day make more advances in the affections of his mistress, who sat near him, than he could have done in half a year's courtship.
Ovid has finely touched this method of making love, which I shall here give my reader in Mr. Dryden's translation.
Page the eleventh.
• Again, page the sixteenth.
" () when will come the day by heaven design'd,