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« Devotee is so far from promoting Goodness, that she de« ters others by her Example. Folly and Vanity in one « of these Ladies, is like Vice in a Clergyman ; it does < not only debase him, but makes the inconsiderate Part • of the World think the worse of Religion.
I am, SIR,
Hotspur. Mr. SPECTATOR, . "V ENOPHON, in his short Account of the Spar'A tan Commonwealth, speaking of the Behaviour • of their young Men in the Streets, lays, There was so ' much Modesty in their Looks, that you might as soon « have turned the Eyes of a Marble Statue upon you, as. • theirs; and that in all their Behaviour they were more • modest than a Bride when put to Bed upon her Wedding• Night: This Virtue, which is always subjoin’d to Mag• nanimity, had such an Influence upon their Courage, ! that in Battle an Enemy could not look them in the Face, • and they durft not but die for their Country
"WHENEVER I walk into the Streets of London ' and Westminster, the Countenances of all the young Fels • lows that pass by me, make me with my self in Sparta : • I meet with such blustering Airs, big Looks, and bold • Fronts, that to a superficial Observer would bespeak a • Courage above those Grecians. I am arriv'd to that • Perfection in Speculation, that I understand the Lan• guage of the Eyes, which would be a great Misfortune to • me, had I not corrected the Testiness of old Age by Phi• losophy. There is scarcea Man in a red Coat who does • not tell me, with a full Stare, he's a bold Man: I fee
several swear inwardly at me, without any Offence of ' mine, but the Oddness of my Person: I meet Contempt • in every Street, express’d in different Manners, by the • scornful Look, the elevated Eye-brow, and the swelling • Nostrils of the Proud and Prosperous. The Prentice • speaks his Disrespect by an extended Finger, and the • Porter by stealing out his Tongue. If a Country Gen• tleman appears a little curious in observing the Edifices, Signs, Clocks, Coaches, and Dials, it is not to be ima.
* gined how the polite Rabble of this Town, who are • acquainted with these Objects, ridicule his Rusticity. I • have known a Fellow with a Burden on his Head steal a • Hand down from his Load, and lily twirl the Cock of • a Squire's Hat behind him; while the Offended Person . is swearing, or out of Countenance, all the Wag-Wits in • the High-way are grinning in applause of the ingenious • Rogue that gave him the tip, and the Folly of him who I had not Eyes all round his Head to prevent receiving ' it. These things arise from a general Affectation of • Smartness, Wit, and Courage. Wycherly somewhere ral. • lies the Pretensions this Way, by making a Fellow say, ' Red Breeches are a certain Sign of Valour ; and Otway • makes a Man to boast his Agility, trip up a Beggar on • Crutches. From such Hints I beg a Speculation on this • Subject; in the mean time I shall do all in the Power of • a weak old Fellow in my own defence: for as Diogenes, • being in quest of an honest Man, fought for him when • it was broad Day-light with a Lanthorn and Candle, so • I intend for the future to walk the Streets with a dark • Lanthorn, which has a convex Crystal in it; and if any • Man stares at me, I give fair Warning that I'll direct the • Light full into his Eyes. Thus despairing to find Men Modeft, I hope by this Means to evade their Impudence.
I am, SIR, · Tour moft humble Servant,
Thursday, April 17:
Non ego mordaci difrinxi carmine quenquam. Ovid. T HAVE been very often tempted to write Invectives | upon those who have detracted from my Works, or
spoken in derogation of my Person ; but I look upon it as a particular Happiness, that I have always hindred my Resentments from proceeding to this Extremity. I once had gone thro' half a Satire, but found fo inany Motions of Humanity rising in me towards the Persons whom I had severely treated, that I threw it into the Fire without ever finishing it. I have been angry enough to make several little Epigrams and Lampoons; and after having admired them a Day or two, have likewise committed them to the Flames. These I look upon as so ma. ny Sacrifices to Humanity, and have receiv'd much greater Satisfaction from the suppressing such Performances, than I could have done from any Reputation they might have procur'd me, or from any Mortification they might have given my Enemies, in case I had made them publick. If a Man has any Talent in writing, it shews a good Mind to forbear answering Calumnies and Reproaches in the same Spirit of Bitterness with which they are offered : But when a Man has been at some Pains in making suitable Returns to an Enemy, and has the Instruments of Revenge in his Hands, to let drop his Wrath, and stifle his Resentments, seems to have something in it great and heroical. There is a particular Merit in such a way of forgiving an Enemy; and the more violent and unprovok'd the Offence has been, the greater still is the Merit of him who thus forgives it.
I never met with a Consideration that is more finely spun, and what has better pleased me, than one in Epictetus, which places an Enemy in a new Light, and gives us a View of him altogether different from that in which we are used to regard him. The Sense of it is as follows: Does a Man reproach thee for being proud or ill-natur’d, envious or conceited, ignorant or detracting? Consider with thy self whether his Reproaches are true; if they are not, consider that thou art not the Person whom he reproaches, but that he reviles an imaginary Being, and perhaps loves what thou really art, tho' he hates what thou appearest to be. If his Reproaches are true, if thou art the envious ill-natur'd Man he takes thee for, give thy self another Turn, become mild, affable and obliging, and his Reproaches of thee naturally cease : His Reproaches may indeed continue, but thou art no longer the Perfon whom he reproaches.
I often apply this Rule to my self; and when I hear of a satirical Speech or Writing that is aim'd at me, I examine my own Heart, whether I deserve it or not. If I bring in á Verdict againft my self, I endeavour to rectify my Conduct for the future in those Particulars which have drawn the Censure upon me; but if the whole Invective be grounded upon a Fallhood, I trouble my self no further about it, and look upon my Name at the Head of it to signify no more than one of those fi&titious Names made use of by an Author to introduce an imaginary Character. Why should a Man be sensible of the Sting of a Reproach, who is a Stranger to the Guilt that is implied in it? or fubject himself to the Penalty, when he knows he has never committed the Crime? This is a Piece of Fortitude, which every one owes to his own Innocence, and without which it is impossible for a Man of any Merit or Figure to live at Peace with himself in a Country that abounds with Wit and Liberty.
THE famous Monsieur Balzac, in a Letter to the Chancellor of France, who had prevented the Publication of a Book against him, has the following Words, which are a lively Picture of the Greatness of Mind fo visible in the Works of that Author. If it was a new thing, it may be I should not be displeased with the Supprefion of the first Libel that jould abuse me; but fince there are enough of 'em to make a small Library, I am secretly pleased to Lee the Number increased, and take delight in raising a bead of Stones that Envy has cast at me without doing me any harm.
THE Author here alludes to those Monuments of the Eastern Nations, which were Mountains of Stones raised upon the dead Body by Travellers, that used to cast every one his Stone upon it as they passed by. It is certain that 10 Monument is so glorious as one which is thus raised by the Hands of Envy. For my part, I admire an Author for such a Temper of Mind as enables him to bear an undeserved Reproach without Resentment, more than for all the Wit of any the finest satirical Reply.
THUS far I thought necessary to explain my self in relation to those who have animadverted on this paper, and to Thew the Reasons why I have not thought fit to return them any formal Answer. I must further add, that the Work would have been of very little use to the Pubdick, had it been filled with personal Reflexions and De
bates; bates ; for which Reason I have never once turned out of my way to observe those little Cavils which have been made against it by Envy or Ignorance. The common Fry of Scribblers, who have no other way of being taken notice of but by attacking what has gain’d some Reputation in the World, would have furnish'd me with Business enough, had they found me disposed to enter the Lists with them.
I shall conclude with the Fable of Boccalini's Traveller, who was so pefter'd with the Noise of Grashoppers in his Ears, that he alighted from his Horse in great Wrath to kill them all. This, says the Author, was troubling himself to no manner of purpose : Had he pursued his Journey without taking notice of them, the troublesom Insects would have died of themselves in a very few weeks, and he would have suffered nothing from them.
No 356. Friday, April 18.
- Aptissima quæque dabunt Dii, Charior es illis homo quàm fibim
IT is owing to Pride, and a secret Affectation of a cer
tain Self-Existence, that the noblest Motive for Action
that ever was proposed to Man, is not acknowledged the Glory and Happiness of their Being. The Heart is treacherous to it self, and we do not let our Reflexions go deep enough to receive Religion as the most honourable
Incentive to good and worthy Actions. It is our natural · Weakness, to flatter our selves into a Belief, that if we search into our inmost Thoughts, we find our selves wholly disinterested, and divested of any Views arising from Self-Love and Vain-Glory. But however Spirits of superficial Greatness may disdain at first fight to do any thing, but from a noble Impulse in themselves, without any future Regards in this or another Being; upon stricter In- ' quiry they will find, to act worthily, and expect to be rewarded only in another World, is as heroick a Pitch of