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is in no state at all, but carried one way and another by starts.
KNOW not with what words to express to you the
sense I have of the high obligation you have laid upon me, in the penance you enjoined me of doing • some good or other to a person of worth every day I • live.
The station I am in furnishes me with daily op. portunities of this kind; and the noble principle with • which you have inspired me, of benevolence to all I • have to deal with, quickens my application in every
thing I undertake. When I relieve merit from difcountenance, when I assist a friendless perfon, when I produce concealed worth, I am displeased with myself
for having designed to leave the world in order to be • virtuous. I am sorry you decline the occasions which • the condition I am in might afford me of enlarging your 6 fortunes; but know I contribute more to your fatisfac• tion when I acknowledge I am the better man, from
the influence and authority you have over,
AM intirely convinced of the truth of what you
were pleased to say to me, when I was last with you alone. You told me then of the filly way • in; but you told me so, as I saw
me, otherwise I could not obey your commands in letting you • know my thoughts so sincerely as I do at present. “ I « know the creature for whom I resign so much of my “ character,” is all that you said of her; but then the • trifler has something in her so undesigning and harm, « less, that her guilt in one kind disappears by the com
parison of her innocence in another. Will you, virtu
ous men, allow no alteration of offences ? Must dear 6 Chloe be called by the hard name you pious people give
to common women? I keep the folemn promise I made you
in writing to you the state of my mind, after your • kind admonition; and will endeavour to get the bet
ter of this fondness, which makes me so much her ( humble fervant, that I am almost ashamed to subscribe • myself yours,
THE "HERE is no state of life so anxious as that of a
man who does not live according to the dictates of his own reason. It will seem odd to you, when assure you that my love of retirement first of
all brought me to court; but this will be no riddle, ' when I acquaint you that I placed myself here with
a design of getting so much money as might enable
me to purchase a handsome retreat in the country. • At present my circumstances enable me, and my duty
prompts me, to pass away the remaining part of my • life in such a retirement as I at first proposed to • myself; but to my great misfortune I have intirely
loit the relish of it, and should now return to the country with greater reluctance than I at first came to court. I am so unhappy, as to know that what I
fond of are trifles, and that what I neglect is • of the greatest importance : in short, I find a con
teft in my own mind between reason and fashion. I • remember you once told me, that I might live in the ( world and out of it at the same time. Let me beg • of you to explain this paradox more at large to me, • that I may conform my lifc, if poflible, both to my ó duty and my inclination.
· I am,
Your most humble servant,
No. XXVIII. MONDAY, APRIL 2.
Neque femper arcum
SHALL here present my reader with a letter from
a projector, concerning a new office which he thinks inay very much contribute to the embellishment of the city, and to the driving barbarity out of our streets. I consider it as a satire upon projectors in general, and a lively picture of the whole art of modern criticism.
Sir, OBSERVING that you have thoughts of creat
ing certain officers under you, for the inspection o of several petty enormities which you yourself can.
not attend to; and finding daily ablurdities hung out upon the sign-posts of this city, to the great scandal
of foreigners, as well as those of our own country, ( who are curious spectators of the fame; I do hum
bly propose that you would be pleased to make me your superintendant of all such figures and devices
as are or shall be made use of on this occafion; with • full powers to rectify or expunge whatever I shall • find irregular or defe&tive. For want of such an
officer, there is nothing like found literature and good « sense to be met with in those objects, that are every « where thrusting themselves out to the eye, and en• deavouring to become visible. Our streets are filled <with blue boars, black fwans, and red lions; not to
mention flying pigs and hogs in armour, with many 'other creatures more extraordinary than any in the
deferts of Afric. Strange! that one who has all • birds and beasts in nature to choose out of, should live at the sign of an Ens Rationis !
My first task therefore should be, like that of Hercules, to clear the city from monsters. In the second • place I would forbid, that creatures of jarring and in.
congruous natures should be join'd together in the • same fign; such as the Bel and the Neat’s-tongue, the Dog and Gridiron. The Fox and Goose
be supposed to have met, but what has the Fox and Seven
Stars to do together? And when did the Lamb and • Dolphin ever meet, except upon a fign-poit? As for " the Cat and Fiddle, there is a conceit in it; and there• fore I do not intend that any thing I have here said • should affect it. I must houvever observe to you upon • this subject, that it it is usual for a young tradeliman,
at his first setting-up, to add to his own sign that of • the master whom he served; as the husband, after ' marriage, gives a place to his mistress's arms in his
This I take to have given rise to many of 6 those absurdities which are committed over our heads;
and, as I am informed, first occasioned the three Nuns 6 and a Hare, which we see so frequently joined toge6 ther. I would therefore establish certain rules, for 6 the determining how far one tradesman may give the
sign of another, and in what cases he may be allowed " to quarter it with his own.
• În the third place, I would enjoin every shop to « make use of a sign which bcars fome affinity to the 6 wares in which it deals. What can be more incon. • fiftent, than to see a Bawd at the sign of the Angel, 6 or a Tailor at the Lion? A Cook should not live at • the Boot, nor a Shoe-maker at the Roasted Pig; and
yet, for want of this regulation, I have seen a Goat 4 set
up before the door of a perfumer, and the French • king's head at a sword-cutler's.
• An ingenious foreigner observes, that several of 6 those gentlemen who value themselves upon their fa6 milies, and overlook fuch as are bred to trade, bear o the tools of their forefathers in their coats of arms. 6. I will not examine how truc this is in fact; but s though it may not be necessary for posterity thus to « set up the sign of their forefathers, I think it highly proper
for those who actually profefs the trade, to ihew Tome fuch marks of it before their doors.
• When the name gives an occasion for an ingenious
sign-post, I would likewise advise the owner to take • that opportunity of letting the world know who he is. • It would have been ridiculous for the ingenious Mrs. • Salmon to have lived at the fign of the trout; for " which reason fhe has crećted before her house the ' figure of the fish that is her name-fake. Mr. Bell
has likewise distinguished himíelf by a device of the • same nature: and here, Sir, I must beg leave to ob• serve to you, that this particular figure of a bell has • given occasion to several pieces of wit in this kind. • A man of your reading must know, that Abel Drug
ger gained great applaufe hy it in the time of Ben
Jonson. Our apocryphal heathen God is also repre• fented by this figure; which, in conjunction with the
dragon, makes a very handsome picture in several of our streets. As for the bell-favage, which is the fign of a favage man standing by a bell, I was for
merly very much puzzled upon the conceit of it, till • I accidentally fell into the reading of an old romance « translated out of the French; which gives an account • of a very beautiful woman who was found in a wil. • derness, and is called in the French, La belle Sau.
vage; and is every where translated by our countrymen the Bell-favage. This piece of philofophy will, I hope, convince you that I have inade lign-posts my study, and consequently qualified myself for the em
ployment which I folicit at your hands. But before . I conclude my letter, I must communicate to you 6 another remark which I have made upon the sub
ject, with which I am now entertaining you, namely • that I can give a shrewd guess at the humour of the ' inhabitant by the sign that hangs before his door. À • surly choleric fellow generally makes choice of a bear;
as inen of milder dispositions frequently live at the • lamb. Seeing a punch-bowl painted upon a sign near • Charing-Cross, and very curiously garnithed, with a 6 couple of angels hovering over it and squeezing a lemon into it, I had the curiosity to ask after the master