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That our good king had suinmon'd his bold peers
C H A P. X I X.
Vlost potent, grave , and reverend Seigniors , My very noble and approv'd good masters, That I have ta'en away this old man's daughter, It is most true ; true, I have married her; The very head and front of my offending Hath this extent ; no more. Rude am I in speech, And little bless'd with the set phrase of peace; ; For since these arms of mire had seven years pith, Till now some nine moons wasted, they have usd Their dearest action in the tented field : And little of this great world can I speak , More than pertains to feats of broils and battle: And therefore little shall I grace my cause, In speaking for myself. Yet, by your patience, I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver, Of my whole course of love ; what drugs ,. what
What conjuration, and what mighty magic
Her father lovd me, oft invited me;.
Of hair.breadth 'scapes in th' imminent deadly
I KNOW no two words that have been more: abused by the different and wrong interpretations which are put upon them, than these two--Modesty and Assurance. To say such a one is a modest man, sometimes indeed passes for a good character ; but at present is very, often used to signify a sheepish, awkward fellow, who has neither good breeding, politeness, vor any knowledge of the world.
Again, a man of assurance, though at first only denoting a person of free and open carriage, is now very usually applied to a profligate wretch, who can break through all the rules of decency and, morality without a blush.
I shall endeavour , therefore, in this essay, to restore these words to their true meaning, to prevent the idea of Modesty from being confounded with that of Sheepishness, and to binder Impudence from passing for Assurance, · If I was put to define Modesty, I would call it, The rellection of an ingenuous mind, either when a man has committed an action for which he censures himself, or fancies that he is ex. posed to the censure of others.
For this reason a man truly modest is as much $0 when he is alone as in company, apd ass
subject to a blush in his closet, as when the eyes of multitudes are upon him.
I do not remember to have met with any instance of modesty with which I am so well pleased, as that celebrated one of the young Prince, whose father, being a tributary king to the Romans, had several complaints laid against him before the Senate, as a tyrant and oppressor of his subjects. The prince went to Rome to defend his father, but coming into the Senate, and hearing a multitude of crimes proved upon him, was so oppressed when it came to his turn to speak, that he was unable to utter a word. The story tells us that the fathers were more moved at this instance of modesty and ingenuity , than they could have been by the most pathetic oration ; and, in short, pardoned the guilty father for this early promise of virtue in the son.
I take Assurance to be, the faculty of possessing a man's self, or of saying and doing indifferent things without any uneasiness or enotion in the mind. That which generally gives a man assurance, is a moderate knowledge of the world ; but above all, a mind fixed and determined in itself to do nothing against the rules of honour and decency. An open and assured behaviour is the natural consequence of such a resolution. A man thus armed, if his words or actions are at any time misinterpreted, retires within himself, and from a consciousness of his own integrity, assumes force enough to despise the little censures of ignorance or malice.
Every one ought to cherish and encourage in Limself the modesty and assurance I have here mentioned.
A man without assurance is liable to be made üneasy by the folly or ill-nature of every one he converses with. A man without modesty, is lost to all sense of honour and virtue..
It is more than probable that the Prince above-mentioned possessed both these qualifications in a very eminent degree. Without assuirance he would never have undertaken to speak before the most august assembly in the world, without modesty he would have pleaded the cause he had taken upon him, though it had appeared ever so scandalous.
From what has been said, it is plain that modesty and assurance are both amiable, and may very well meet in the same person. When they are thus mixed and blended together, they compose what we endeavour o express when we say a modest assurance ; by which we understand the just mean between bashfulness and impudence.
I shall conclude with observing, that as the same man may be both modest and assured ; so it is also possible for the same person to be both impudent and bashful.
We have frequent instances of this odd kind of mixture in people of depraved minds and mean education ; who though they are not able to meet a. man's eyes, or pronounce a sentence without confusion, can voluntarily commit the greates villanies, or most: indecent actions.
Such a person seems to have made a resolution to do ill even in spite of himself, and in defiance of all those checks and restraints his temper and complexion seem to have laid in his, way.'
Upon the whole, I would endeavour to establish this maxim , That the practice of virtue is. the most proper method to give a man a bem