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No 330. Wednesday, March 19.
Maxima debetur pueris reverentia —
T HE following Letters, written by two very confi
derate Correspondents, both under twenty Years
of Age, are very good Arguments of the Necessity of taking into Consideration the many Incidents which affect the Education of Youth.
SIR, • I HAVE long expected, that in the Course of your 'Observations upon the several Parts of Human Life, s you would one time or other fall upon a Subject, - which, fince you have not, I take the liberty to recom
mend to you. What I mean, is the Patronage of young • modeft Men to such as are able to countenance and instroduce them into the World. For want of such Alif• tances, a Youth of Merit languishes in Obscurity or Po“ verty, when his Circumstances are low, and runs into « Riot and Excess when his Fortunes are plentiful. I can( not make myself better understood, than by sending you 6 an History of myself, which I shall desire you to insert < in your Paper, it being the only Way I have of ex+ pressing my Gratitude for the highest Obligations ima' ginable. . I am the Son of a Merchant of the City of London, 6 who, by many Losses, was reduced from a very luxuri« ant Trade and Credit to very narrow Circumstances, in
comparison to that of his former Abundance. This took • away the Vigour of his Mind, and all manner of Attenction to a Fortune which he now thought desperate ; in
fomuch that he died without a Will, having before burised my Mother in the midst of his other Misfortunes. I 6 was sixteen Years of Age when I lost my Father; and an 6 Erate of, 2001. a Year came into my Possession, with• out Friend or Guardian to instruct me in the Manage
ment or Enjoyment of it. The natural Consequence of " this was, (chough I wanted no Director, and fcon had « Fellows who found me out for a smart young Gentlesman, and led me into all the Debaucheries of which I
was capable) that my Companions and I could not well o be supplied without running in Debt, which I did very • frankly, till I was arrested, and conveyed with a Guard • strong enough for the most desperate Assassin, to a • Bayliff's House, where I lay four Days, furrounded with • very merry but not very agreeable Company. As soon
as I had extricated my self from this shameful ConfineI ment, I reflected upon it with so much Horror, that I • deserted all my old Acquaintance, and took Chambers « in an Inn of Court with a Resolution to study the Law
with all possible Application. But I trifled away a whole 6 Year in looking over a thousand Intricacies, without • Friend to apply to in any Case of Doubt ; so that I only
lived there among Men, as little Children are sent to . School before they are capable of Improvement, only to • be out of harm's way. In the midst of this State of sus. • pence, not knowing how to dispose of myself, I was • fought for by a Relation of mine, who, upon observing
a good Inclination in me, used me with great Familiari• ty, and carried me to his Seat in the Country. When I « came there, he introduced me to all the good Company s in the County ;, and the great Obligation I have to him
for this kind Notice and Residence with him ever since, • has made fo strong an Impreifion upon me, that he has • an Authority of a Father over me, founded upon the - Love of a Brother. I have a good Study of Books, a • good Stable of Horses always at my command; and tho' • I am not now.quite eighteen Years of Age, familiar Con
verse on his part, and a strong Inclination to exert my • self on mine, have had an effect upon me that makes me « acceptable wherever I go. Thus, Mr.SPECTATOR, by • this Gentleman's Favour and Patronage, it is my own * fault if I am not wiser and richer every day I live. I • speak this as well by subscribing the initial Letters of my • Name to thank him, as to incite others to an Imitation « of his Virtue. It would be a worthy Work to shew • what great Charities are to be done without Expence,
and how many noble Actions are loft,out of inadvertency
in Persons capable of performing them, if they were put « in mind of it. If a Gentleman of Figure in a County
would make his Family a Pattern of Sobriety, good • Sense, and Breeding, and would kindly endeavour to - influence the Education and growing Prospects of the s younger Gentry about him, I am apt to believe it would
fave him a great deal of ftale Beer on a publick Occali• on, and render him the Leader of his Country from their « Gratitude to him, instead of being a Slave to their Riots
and Tumults in order to be made their Representative. . The same thing might be recommended to all who have ' made any Progress in any parts of Knowledge, or arrived
at any Degree in a Profession; others may gain Preferiments and Foriunes from their Patrons, but I have, I • hope, receiv'd from mine good Habits and Virtues. I
repeat to you, Sir, my Request to print this, in return for
all the Evil an helpless Orphan fhallever escape, and all o the Good he shall receive in this Life ; both which are wholly owing to this Gentleman's Favour to,
Mr. SPECTATOR, .6 AM a Lad of about fourteen. I find a mighty Plea. c sure in Learning. I have been at the Latin School
four Years. I don't know I ever play'd truant, or nega • lected any Task my Master set me in my Life. I think " on what I read in School as I go home at noon and 6 night, and so intently, that I have often gone half a smile out of my way, not minding whither I went. Our • Maid tells me, she often hears me talk Latin in my sleep. " And I dream two or three Nights in the Week I am
reading Juvenal and Homer. My Master seems as well s pleased with my Performances as any Boy's in the same
Class. I think, if I know my own Mind, I would choose " rather to be a Scholar, than a Prince without Learning.
I have a very good affectionate Father; but tho' very
rich, yet so mighty, near, that he thinks much of the • Charges of my Education. He often tells me he be“ lieves my Schooling will ruin him; that I cost him God
knows what in Books. I tremble to tell him I want one. 'I am forced to keep my Pocket-Money and lay it out for * a Book, now and then, that he don't know of. He has 'order'd my Master to buy no more Books for me, but ' says he will buy them himself. I asked him for Horace. • t'other Day, and he told me in a Passion, he did not be
lieve I was fit for it, but only my Master had a mind to ' make him think I had got a great way in my Learning. 'I am sometimes a Month behind other Boys in getting
the Books my Master gives Orders for. All the Boys in " the School, but I, have the Classick Authors in usum Dela • phini, gilt and letter'd on the Back. My Father is often
reckoning up how long I have been at School, and tells ' me he fears I do little good. My Father's Carriage so
discourages me, that he makes me grow dull and me• lancholy. My Mafter wonders what is the matter with • me; I am afraid to tell him ; for he is â Man that loves • to encourage Learning, and would be apt to chide my
Father, and not knowing my Father's Temper, may ' make him worse. Sir, if you have any Love for Learn• ing, I beg you would give me some Instructions in this 6 case, and persuade Parents to encourage their Children • when they find them diligent and desirous of Learning. . I have heard some Parents say, they would do any thing ' for their Children, if they would but mind their Learn• ing : I would be glad to be in their place. Dear Sir, • pardon my Boldness. If you will but consider and
pity my Case, I will pray for your Prosperity as long as I live.
London, March -2, 1711.
Your humble Servant,
Solidam præbet tibi vellere barbam. Perf.
longer than ordinary before the Bult of a venera• ble old Men. I was at a loss to guess the reason of it, when after some time he pointed to the Figure, and asked me if I did not think that our Forefathers looked much wiser in their Beards than we do without them. For my part, says he, when I am walking in my Gallery in the Country, and see my Ancestors, who many of them died before they were of my Age, I cannot forbear regarding them as so many old Patriarchs, and at the same tiine looking upon my self as an idle smock-fac'd young Fellow. I love to see your Abrahams, your Ifaacs, and your Jacobs, as we have them in old Pieces of Tapestry with Beards below their Girdles, that cover half the Hangings. The Knight added, if I would recommend Beards in one of my Papers, and endeavour to restore human Faces to their antient Dignity, that upon a Month's warning he would undertake to lead up the Fashion himself in a pair of Whiskers.
I smiled at my Friend's Fancy ; but after we parted, could not forbear reflecting on the Metamorphofes our Faces have undergone in this Particular.
THE Beard, conformable to the Notion of my Friend Sir Roger, was for many Ages look'd upon as theType of Wisdom. Lucian more than once rallies the Philosophers of his Time, who endeavour'd to rival one another in Beards; and represents a learned Man who stood for a Professorship in Philosophy, as unqualify'd for it by the Shortness of his Beard.
ALIAN, in his Account of Zoilus, the pretended Critick, who wrote against Homer and Plato, and thought himself wiser than all who had gone before him, tells us