THE PLAIN DEALER: BEING SELECT ESSAYS ON SEVERAL CURIOUS SUBJECTS, RELATING TO

  • FRIENDSHIP,
  • LOVE, and
  • GALLANTRY,
  • MARRIAGE,
  • MORALITY,
  • MERCANTILE
  • AFFAIRS,
  • PAINTING,
  • HISTORY,
  • POETRY,

AND Other Branches of POLITE LITERATURE.

Publish'd Originally in the YEAR 1724. And now first Collected into TWO VOLUMES.

VOL. I.

LONDON: Printed for S. Richardson, and A. Wilde: And sold by A. BETTESWORTH, J. OSBORN and T. LONGMAN, and J. BATLEY in Pater-Noster Row; W. INNYS, J. KNAPTON, and C. RIVINGTON, in St. Paul's Church-Yard; J. CLARKE, in Duck-Lane; and J. LEAKE, at Bath. M.DCC.XXX.

THE PREFACE.

THO' such ESSAYS, as com­pose the following Volumes, are in Universal Esteem, and liable to every One's Observations, yet it has not been my Fortune to meet with any Discourse written purposely upon the Nature of them. The ESSAYISTS are apt to beat the Imagi­nation in Search of strange and exotick Sub­jects to write upon, while a Disquisition into their own Works, which are capable of afford­ing Matter so ample, seems to be intirely over­looked by Them. In this resembling the human Mind, which while it enters into, and examines the Depth of all other Sciences, seems to consider nothing less than its own Motions.

MOST other Kinds of Writing have, I think, been the Objects of Criticism, and [Page ii] Rules and Orders have been laid down for the Writers of them to Observe; but in this Spe­cies, nobody is confin'd; The only Rule that I know, (and it is generally well observed) is not only to go without, but to go against all Order and Method whatsoever. Montaigne, if I mistake not, was the Inventor of it; and He is in all its Beauties and Faults the best Pat­tern to examine it by. He has a great deal of Wit, much good Observation, and some Learn­ing; but his ESSAYS are wild, rambling, and incoherent; some of them don't treat at all of the Subjects propos'd, and others might as well have any other Title as those they wear: They are, in effect, like Mr. Bays's Prologue, that would do either as Prologue or Epilogue, or serve indifferently for any other Play, as well as that which it was written for.

THO' there are to be found among the An­tients some little Tracts upon particular Subjects, which if they were written at this Time, would be called ESSAYS; yet as they were generally (if we except the Symposiacks of Plutarch) made by Receipts, and done with a View to the Rules, which Orators and Declai­mers laid down for such Compositions; the Honour of this Invention must still be ascribed to Montaigne, who first introduced that useful Practice of Digression into Treatises upon select Subjects; and by giving us every whimsical Con­ceit that came into his Head, has led us as it were dancing after his Morality, much more pleasantly [Page iii] than if we walked in the Stilts, or were di­rected by the Leading-Strings which Seneca had accustomed us to. Montaigne had a great many Followers in France, and some in this Country: But the best, and he that excelled his Original, was La Bruyere; the finest and most delicate Remarks, the strongest Sense, and the justest Reasoning, all embellished by an Elegance of Style, and a Felicity of Expression, are to be found in his Works; to which we must add, that the frequent Egotisms; the needless Quo­tations, the whimsical Display of the Author's Character and Manners at every Period, and other Impertinences which pass upon some for Humour, are not to be met with in him. He has all the Variety, and an Appearance of the Irregularity which pleases, but intirely divested of the Digression and Distraction which consound and disgust the READER in these Performan­ces. In short, reading Montaigne, is Hunt­ing in a Country where you start so much Game as to spoil your Sport; while La Bruyere gives you all the Pleasure and Variety of the Chace, without the Fatigue of following the Prey too far.

WITHOUT arraigning the Taste of others, I will venture to say, That very little in this Way, worth Observation, has appeared at Home till the TATLER began to retail his Pennyworths of WIT. Several Political Tracts, it is true, have come forth, and some Argumentative Discourses which had their [Page iv] Shares of Merit; but did not come properly within this Species of Writing. The Character of BICKERSTAFFE, had it been real, was more upon the Humourist and Whimsical than that of Montaigne; and I believe the Fiction which was seen in it, by being natural, heighten'd the Pleasure which it gave us; besides, the Limits of his Paper prevented his being so diffuse and prolix, as we often find the Frenchman, who for want of such a Confinement, sometimes dis­gusts us. The SPECTATOR, and NESTOR IRONSIDE, are Characters also excellently well adapted to the Creation of our Pleasures, by our Knowledge of their being Fictitious: For such is our Malignity of Temper, that we can't forgive a real Author acting or thinking oddly or idly, though our Entertainment arises from thence, because we consider him as a rea­sonable Man, and obliged by a superior Duty to another kind of Behaviour; but we can in­dulge an imaginary, or assumed Personage in any ludicrous, frolicksome or whimsical Words or Opinions, because we know that he only plays the Fool for our Delight and Amusement, which we grudge him to do for his own. Thus Montaigne's Faults are the Beauties of BICKERSTAFFE and IRONSIDE; and thus Cibber and Hippesly are applauded on the Stage, for what they would in private Life run the Ha­zard of Correction.

CERTAINLY, writing under an assump­tive Character is a fine Improvement in this [Page v] Way; and I believe the Novelty of it, without derogating from the Wit, Humour, good Sense, or excellent Style of those mentioned Papers, made up the greatest Part of their Merit: The little Incidents of human Life, Pieces of Conversation, and familiar Arguments, which may be thrown into Writing under such a Cha­racter, give it the Advantage of all other Me­thods: And I am of Opinion it must eternally Please (and the Success of the following Papers, when first publish'd, corroborates the Opinion) if as new Matter is continually rising, some Geni­us's could be found able to treat it in a Manner equal to their Predecessors. Tho' perhaps, The Stamp Act first, and then the Rise and Multi­plication of Weekly Journals, are now such Im­pediments to a fair Hearing in this Method, as almost amount to a Prohibition of such ESSAYS for the future.

THE Invention of Weekly Journals, was, I believe owing to the Taste which the Town be­gan to entertain from the Writings of the TATLER, SPECTATOR, and others. Small ESSAYS were so much liked, that it was imagined worth while to put a little Wit, and a great deal of History in a large Quantity of Pa­per, and sell it for the same or a less Price than The Stamp Duty had rais'd the half Sheet Treatise to. The Project succeeded, and we have had several excellent Things publish'd in that Way; some that in their Fame almost rivall'd any Thing that went before them, but [Page vi] by the Nature of their Subjects, ought to be excluded from this Class of Writing; which whatever Liberties Men take, ought never to be drawn into Controversies about Religion or Government, Things that, to be sure, require a more orderly and regular manner of Treating, than is consistent with the Freedom and Latitude of an ESSAY.

BUT, as I hinted before, we have almost lost the Advantage of Entertaining in any other Manner; the Journals come abroad so seldom, that if a Humour was begun, Men would for­get it before it could be prosecuted, and the Jest would be lost before it was found. The general Way now of communicating our Thoughts to the Publick, is, by distinct and unconnected Letters to the Author of this or that Journal, and the common assumed Characters are, a Phi­losopher, a Critick, or a Divine; in these, some important Point is constantly laid down, and as gravely and solemnly discussed. Thus we intrude upon the Pulpit, and seem not to think that to mend the Heart it is necessary to please the Imagination.

THIS certainly is missing the Mark, and these little ESSAYS are written in the truest Taste, when they cloath good Sense with Humour, and embellish good Morals with Wit; when they instruct Familiarly, and reprove Pleasantly; when they don't swell above Com­prehension, nor sink below Delicacy: In short, [Page vii] when they adapt the Wisdom of the Antients to the Gust of the Moderns, and constrain Montaigne's Pleasantry within BICKERSTAFFE's Compass.

I CAN'T conclude without mentioning two Objections, which amongst others, these Sort of Writings, and their Authors, are liable to, the first is, That as from the Nature of their Subjects, it is often necessary they should be Occasional, which requires Dispatch, and pre­vents that Accuracy, which much Leisure, and frequent Reviews, generally produce in other Works, that in such Cases, to sketch out, or design well, is as much as can be performed, which certainly can give the Mind but a half Pleasure, and so far the Work must necessarily be Imperfect.

THE Second is to be found in Ben Johnson's Discoveries, which therefore take in his own Words.

SOME that turn over all Books, and are equally searching in all Papers, that write out of what they presently find or meet without Choice; by which means it happens that what they have discredited and impug­ned in one Work, they have before or after extolled the same in another. Such are all the Essayists, even their Master Montaigne. These in all they write, confess still what Books they have read last; and therein their [Page viii] own Folly, so much, that they bring it to the Stake raw and undigested: Not that the Place did need it neither, but that they thought themselves furnished, and would vent it.

THESE Objections had not been mention­ed, but that we believe the following Pieces stand clear of them; the Reception which was at first given them, encourages us in that Thought, and it is hoped, That from a Peru­sal of them, the candid READER will enter­tain the same Opinion.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No I.
VOL. I.
MONDAY, March 23. 1724.

— Hoc est
Vivere bis, Vita posse priore frui.
MART.

WHEN a Stranger comes into Com­pany, the Whisper goes round, Who is He? and the Face each Man wears, is the Effect of his In­formation: You ought therefore, to know, who I am, that you may regard what I say; and then, it is to be hop'd, we shall converse without Jealousy.

I AM a talkative Old Batchelor, in my grand Climacterick, of a sanguine Complexion; well-limb'd, strong and hearty; in Stature more than middling; my Face is round and smooth, [Page 2] my Forehead high and open, my Eye-brows are widely arch'd, my Teeth sound, and white; I have a Nose a little Aquiline, Eyes black and spritely; my Hair is brown and short, but somewhat of the thinnest, with a Silver­ing of Grey among it: I wear my Cloaths plain, am a great Lover of Walking, and go commonly alone; I carry a pair of Mouse-colour'd Gloves in one Hand, and my Oaken Stick in the other, instead of a Cane; for I am naturally partial to the Manufactures of my Country, and an irreconcileable Enemy to the East-India Company.

MY Father, who was one of the Cavaliers of the last Century, had a Dash in his Temper, of what his Mistresses called Surly; but he was of frank Heart and simple Manners. There was an unlucky kind of Contrast in his Dis­position, for he was Amorous, but Unpolish'd: He seems to have been rather Serious, than Witty; yet he lov'd Wit in others, and was particularly charm'd with the Wantonness of Mrs. Behn. That arch Baggage has made bold, in her Comedy, called the Rover, both with his Name, and his Character.—Who­ever has seen Ned Blunt, has seen, not the Copy, but the very Life of my Father.

HE left me an Estate, rather moderate than plentiful; which I have neither improv'd, nor diminish'd. I was naturally dispos'd to Quiet, and affected to think calmly: For this Reason I have obstinately resisted MARRIAGE. I pass my Summers at Blunt-Hall, the ancient [Page 3] Seat of our Family, in the dirtiest Part of Sussex: My Winters I enjoy in Town, where I am the oldest Member now alive of an Assem­bly, of both Sexes, very numerous and diver­sified: We meet, twice a Week, at the House of a sober Widow, whom we placed there on Purpose. But, because I delight in Study, and am an Enemy to the Faction and Flutter of the Polite End of the Town, I have my Lodgings in a low-built, silent House in the City, which has a large, shady Garden, and covers the very Spot, where, of old, as Stow tells me, stood the Watch-Tower of Barbican.

IT has always been my Custom, To keep a daily Account, in Writing, of my Actions and Observations, even to Particulars of no seem­ing Importance. By Help of these Notes, I live over again my past Time, and learn Wis­dom from my Follies.—I have lately been reflecting, and taken it stongly into my Fancy, That, wanting Children of my own, I should be Every Body's Father: I have so many Things to say, and am so naturally fond of Teaching, that I promise my self no small Fame, from the Success of my Weekly Coun­sel: The SUBJECT of my PAPER gave me little or no Pain: My Propensity to Talking required, That it should be General, and Un­boundedly Copious; But the NAME was a Dif­ficulty, that I could not easily get over: That Large Part of Mankind, which consists of SUPERFICIALISTS, judging every Thing by Ap­pearance, taste but coldly of a Meaning which [Page 4] is not dress'd to their Relish; and the Will, that is too stubborn to bend to the Fancy, shall hard­ly be able to work upon the Understanding.

THIS Doubt was so knotty, that I sub­mitted it to the Assembly, where a learned Clergyman spoke first, and was for calling it the INQUISITOR; He was honestly proceed­ing to give his Reasons for that Name, but was smartly interrupted by an Alderman's Wife, who, with Eyes full of Fire, and Face as red as her Ribbands, told him, That, however the Inquisition might agree with His Principles, it would never go down with honest People and Protestants:—If you desire, (said she to me) That your PAPER should be read by the Friends of the Government, you should give it a sober Name, and call it the TRUTH-TELLER.

A pert Coquet, who sate next her, a Toast, and a great Fortune, burst into a loud Laugh; Oh! Heavens! cry'd the Gipsey, I shall faint at the odious Formality of that Title! Ah, Ma­dam! How could you be so unreasonably mistaken! The TRUTH-TELLER!—Lord, deliver us! why, the COURT can never bear it! and all the gay World will despise and abhor it!—No, no, if you wish your PAPER to Spread and grow Publick, you have nothing to resolve, but to call it the SECRET.

FOR my Part, answered a grave Virgin, about Fifty, I think they would do well to entitle it the COQUET; There's scarce a Fop in Town but would be fond of that Name; for he would consider the PAPER as his Property.

[Page 5]A FAMOUS Critick interposing, remark'd, That the Taste of the Age was so vitiated, that no Name could be acceptable, unless it were Mu­sical; and the Wind, (says he,) of Modern Ar­guments, being an Over-match for their Weight, I am for calling it the BAGPIPE.—Oh! much rather the FLUTE, reply'd the Coquet; The BAGPIPE is so filthy, so horrible an Instru­ment! that 'twould be impossible to bear the Sound of it, unless 'twere introduc'd in an Opera.

A Justice of the Quorum, my next Neigh­bour in the Country, and an eminent Fox-hunter, maintain'd, with invincible Strength, both of Voice and Authority, That it ought, by all Means, since it was intended for Society, to be called the GOOD FELLOW; But he bow'd, and chang'd his Mind, when our Alderman's Young Daughter, who sate at her Mother's Elbow, blush'd, and whisper'd in his Ear, That for her Part, she could think of no Name, that would be so pretty, as the SWEET­HEART.

AN Old Maid of the Widow's, to whom, for Pleasantry-sake, we indulge the Familiari­ty, and Privilege of Impertinence, had been standing all this while behind her Mistress's Chair, and broke out, on a sudden, with an Air of Amazement; Hey Day! if you must whip it about thus, and keep it constantly spin­ning, the best Thing you can do is, To call it the WHIRLIGIG. All the Company laugh'd at the Wench's Conceit; 'till the Critick, assume­ing a surpriz'd and decisive Air, assur'd us, [Page 6] positively, It must take; for that No Body could fail to expect as much Wit, at least, in the WHIRLIGIG, as in the What-d'ye-call it.

I was unsatisfied with All This; and having a natural Partiality to my own Character, I bethought my-self of the PLAIN DEALER. The whole Assembly agreed in Approbation of That Name, and gave it, as their Joint-Opinion, That, Whether it would be generally liked or no, it was never more generally wanted.

THE LADIES, when they hear, That my Design is PLAIN DEALING, will consider me perhaps, as an Old-fashion'd Fellow, who can have nothing to do with Them; yet I know they will be frequently kind enough to furnish me with Business, and I shall handle them, as often as they allow me Opportunity.—The CHURCH and the STATE I have no great Genius for meddling with; They are either well as they are, or will never be the better for any Thing I can say to them. But the Passions, the Humours, the Follies, the Disquiets, the Plea­sures, and the Graces of Human Life, All these I claim a Right to consider as my Subjects; and shall treat them, without Prejudice, in the most frank and open Manner; so that the Watch-Tower of Barbican shall again resume its Use, and overlook this Antient CITY, for Her Ser­vice, and Her Safety.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No II.
FRIDAY, March 27. 1724.

— Ridentem dicere verum
Quis Vetat?
HOR.

THREE Enormous Abuses, have grown of late Years to a scandalous Heighth among us, Masquerading, Gaming, and Stock-Jobbing. They are Enemies to the Civil So­ciety of Mankind, and Destroyers of that va­luable Doctrine of PLAIN DEALING which I would so earnestly recommend.

MASQUERADES are the Undoers of Beau­ty, Honour, and Innocence, and, methinks it should be enough to deter any young Lady, if she did but reflect upon this Great Truth, That her Masque, has, at best, thrown a Cloud upon her Reputation, that will hang heavy for a long Time after, and sink her in the Esteem of her former Admirers.

AS to Gaming, the Sons of our Nobility, and the Heirs to plentiful Estates, especial­ly those who become too early their own Masters, are the Victims of Sharpers, the Prey of those Man-hunters, who form Asso­ciations [Page 8] to over-turn as many Honest So­cieties as they can; and only live in Peace to­gether, by being united in a Confederacy to spread Desolation among others. The Heads of our best Families may not improperly be called the GAME of this wide-wasting Fra­ternity.

STOCK-JOBBING is the Overthrow of all regular Commerce, and involves many a rich Trader, in the utmost Distress.

THESE Three Grand Enormities stand in direct Opposition to PLAIN DEALING; and the Province which I have undertaken, demands of me to declare War against them, and exert my best Endeavours to remove them out of the Way as fast as I am able. They grow out of the Obliquity of a Mind, that meditates an unnatural Increase of its own Ease, by di­minishing the Satisfaction of other People, and filling them with Uneasiness and Disquiet. These Subjects are so fruitful, that I shall im­ploy this whole Paper upon the Masquerades alone, and defer the Correction of the other to a second Opportunity.

THE Count of the ill-favour'd Visage may may be considered as the Leader and Captain-General of these Forces; and therefore, if in entring into a single Combat with him, I am valiant enough to get the better, I doubt not but the Army under his Command will pull off their Masques, in Respect to my Victory, and not be ashamed to shew their Faces, when they appear on the side that is uppermost.

[Page 9]THEY who lay Masques to the Count's Charge, have accounted for it very pleasantly, and will have it to be a politick Undertaking. He ought, say they, by the Laws of Sympathy to have Regard to a Vizor, since his natural Countenance bears such Resemblance to those artificial ones, that the only means in his Power to look like a Man, was to teach every Man to look like a Monster.

BUT I am not in a Humour to content my self with such abstracted Speculations, which appear to me to be artfully framed on purpose to excuse a Man they pretend to find fault with. It is true, they make a Jest of the Person, but they throw a Masque over the Mind, which ought certainly to be most cha­stised. I dare swear for the Count, it is not his nature to be angry with any Body, that, by handling his Face a little freely, gives him a handsome Opportunity for handling the Pockets of other People. Greater Statesmen than He, have been contented to look silly for a wise End, and to become the Jests of the People, when they have been sure of an Equi­valent. This makes me afraid that these Waggs, who speak of him with so much seeming Smartness, are his Friends at the bot­tom, and I doubt, if the Truth were known, he has bribed them to be of his Party by let­ting them now and then, into the Secrets of Masquerading.

I MUST therefore take leave to look a little seriously into this Matter, and I am afraid we [Page 10] shall find, That the Count has not so much a Design to make Persons of Quality with their Masques on, look like the Count, as to make the Count look like Persons of Quality with their Masques off.

SEVERAL Clergymen, some Bishops, and other grave Personages, have thought this a Matter of Importance enough to take Notice of as well as I; but still, it seems, the Count is secretly resolved to have Wit enough to take no notice of any of us. It must be allowed indeed, That he is a Person of uncommon Parts, to stand Proof against the Reasoning of so many Learned, and Great Men, without be­ing in the least convinced or perswaded.

BUT, tho' this Power, of resisting the Force of so many Eloquent Reasoners, proves him a Prodigy in Genius, and demonstrates him to have a world of Wit, yet I would not have him forget, that there is some Merit also, in Mo­desty. If a Clergyman or a Bishop, give their Opinions against him, he thinks it sufficient to shrug his Shoulders, and say, grinning in his own Defence, That he wonders they should make such a Bustle, for that a Domine, a Cassock, and a Mitre, are the most common Masques in Fashion. This raises a loud Laugh, and he comes off cleverly among the young Fel­lows; but he must not imagine to escape so with Persons of my Gravity.

SEVERAL old Counsellors of State, and at Law, grave Physicians, ancient Citizens, and worthy Country Gentlemen, just come up with [Page 11] their Wives and Daughters, to pay a Visit to the Town, have all complained of him in their Turns, and met with no better Quarter, and notwithstanding all they can say to the contrary, he has continued to carry on his Shew with very successful Raillery: I expect that he will give me my Share of his Taunts among the rest; but I have as little Taste for his Wit, as I have for his Sweetmeats; and to deal plainly with him, I am in no such merry Vein, as he may think, when I tell him this unwelcome Truth, That the Effects of Mas­querades, are very serious Things to Husbands, and Fathers, tho' they are Jokes to him and to some, who are pleas'd to support him. I must, therefore, desire him to lay aside his Wit, and consider, with a little Wisdom, whether He may not be in Danger of falling hereafter in­to the Clutches of a certain dark Enemy, who is now his Friend in Masquerade, and who will not be so easily eluded.

HE may recollect, if he pleases, in one of the Masquerades, a strange Spectacle, like a Man, whom he took, at first, to have a Vizard on, but found upon a more narrow Exami­nation to have exactly the Lineaments of his own Face, the same Shape, the same Air, the same Gait, the same Cloaths, as himself, and his very Wig of the same Colour, and hang­ing with the Fore-top on one Tip of the Ear, just like his own: He may remember, that this ghastly Mimick, constantly attended him, that whole Night, did every thing that he did; [Page 12] said every thing he said; and went to every Place where he went: He may remember, that he was struck with a terrible Panick, and did not know what to think of this uninvited Companion of his, but took him, sometimes, for a meer Mimick; sometimes for a Spectre, but at last he was convinced, that it cou'd be no other, than the Devil, which a great many well-meaning People believ'd was certainly the Truth: and he very well knows, that he, and his Companion, were easily mistaken for one another, and that no body at last could well tell which was the Count, and which was the Devil.

THO' the Count, as the Phrase goes of him, looks bad enough at the best, he was remark'd to look much worse after this Vision, than at any time before: He was for many Days much dejected, and profoundly pensive and melan­choly, and the terrible Apprehensions he was under, caused a visible Increase of Wrinkles, and furrow'd him into such Frightfulness, that if ever he went to take Coach, the Horses wou'd start, and run away from him.—But one Day, above the rest, when he was deep in the doleful Mood, an airy young Fellow hear­ing him say, He intended to have no more Masquerades, got out of him the Secret of his Disorder: This Youth who was afraid, that if that Diversion discontinued, he should not suc­ceed with a Lady, for whose sake He was us'd to hide his Face, that he might charm her, with less Difficulty, found an Expedient [Page 13] to free the Count from his Fears, and made him believe, that it was a Trick of the Prince de Monte Aspero. But the poor Count is im­posed on, if he gives Credit to that fictitious Story, and might have been better advertis'd of the Truth, if he had only had an Eye to the Club-Foot, which stood out, and plainly shewed his Companion, as several innocent Spectators then present could testify. Besides, as a Poet, who would preserve Probability, could produce no Body proper to personate Amphitryon but Jupiter, nor to mimick Sofia to the Life but Mercury; so the Count, if he reflects sufficiently, upon his Person, Parts, and Qualities, must of necessity be convinc'd, in his Mind, that since nothing Human could so exactly resemble him, It must be, at least, a Cacodaemon.

UPON the whole, if he lay this seriously to heart, as I hope he will, he will lay aside jesting, become a true Penitent, and take the good Time of Lent to consider, Whether it will not be proper to quit all Thoughts of Masquerading, for fear that Ghastly Figure that once took his Person upon him, shou'd the next Time, take off his Person.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No III.
MONDAY, March 30, 1724.

— Non est mortale quod optas.
OVID.
— dicique beatus
Ante Obitum Nemo suprema (que) funera possit.

SO weak is the Frailty of Human Nature, that we can never be too secure, tho' arm'd with the sublimest Vertue, against the repeated Attacks of so many Passions, as constantly be­siege us; and, tho' the Garrison of the Mind may be never so well provided with all Means of Resistance, the greatest of Qualities, Ver­tues, and Perfections, that our Nature is capa­ble of attaining; nevertheless Treachery, with­in, Force or Stratagem, from without, may sur­prize and defeat us: An Example of which Infirmity the following Story will furnish the Reader, and teach him, of all Things, to avoid, what is call'd Spiritual Pride, That Con­tempt of another for not being so good, as himself, when he sees how, in an Instant, the greatest Piety and Religion, may be chang'd, (by indulging only one dangerous Passion) into the other Extream of Wickedness; so that [Page 15] we may apply to the Lubricity of Human Vertue, what a wise Man of Greece, said of Happiness, That it can never be determin'd, 'till Death.

IN the following Story, which is true, as to Fact, I shall be obliged to disguise some Cir­cumstances of Time and Place, to prevent the unfortunate Subject of this Paper, or his Fa­mily, from being known, so that it will be enough to inform the Reader, That, less than half an Age ago, there liv'd a certain Gentle­man, of good Birth and Fortune, who had polish'd, and finish'd, a Learned Education by the Improvement of a Camp, and a Court; in Both which He spent some Time; when about the Thirtieth Year of his Age, he thought fit to settle himself in the World, and change his Condition, by chusing a Partner of Life, whose Mind was as well Adorn'd, as her Per­son was Engaging: This happy Couple spent Five Years together, in perfect Felicity; the Husband with Reputation, as well as Fortune, and the Wife with Vertue, not inferior to her Beauty.

BUT what crown'd all their Bliss, was, That mutual Esteem they had contracted for one another; in this time they had two or three Children, who all dy'd in their Infancy: And now, it pleas'd Heaven to snatch, from this happy Man, the only Joy and Comfort of his Life; his Charming Spouse died, and left him not only an inconsolable, but almost distracted, Widower: When the first Emotions [Page 16] of Grief were over, he retir'd, from his own House, to a little Farm, in another Country, where no Object should come in his way, to revive in his Memory the Loss of his lament­ed Wife: Here he spent two Years, which led him into the Thirty Eighth of his Life: this Time he divided between his Studies and Devotion; being Religious from his very In­fancy: Which natural Piety was, now, so much increas'd, by his late Loss, that at last he resolv­ed to quit his Native Country, and to retire into a Convent, being born, and bred in the Roman Catholick Communion.

THIS Resolution was no sooner known to his Friends, but they endeavour'd to divert it, by all manner of Persuasions and Arguments; by remonstrating to him, That he was, now, in the Flower of his Age, and blest with a plentiful Fortune to give him all the Comforts and Pleasures of Life; that it would be un­just, thus, to fling himself away, not only to himself, but his Friends and Family, to whom he ow'd the Debt, which he had contracted, for Posterity to continue his Name: They told him, That he had paid all the Tribute to the Memory of his deceas'd Wife, that the Laws of Honour, Decency, and the Obligations of a good Husband required; that he was now at Liberty to make another Choice; that one good Woman was not a Phoenix, but that others of the same Species might be found, to make him as happy as before.

[Page 17]THESE Arguments, tho' back'd with Rea­son, were all ineffectual; he was deaf to every Remonstrance; and pass'd over into Flanders, where he plac'd himself, at first, as Pensioner in a Religious House; and liv'd with the same Strictness, that even the Rules of that Order requir'd from those, who were under Vows of such Austerities; nor did he receive more Edi­fication from the Example of others, than he gave by his own.

AFTER a Life led, for some time, with the greatest Esteem and Reputation, he com­municated to the Superiors of the House, his ardent Desire of being receiv'd into their Society: The good Fathers, tho' inwardly pleas'd with the Honour of having so excellent a Person, in their Order, did not receive his Proposal with that Chearfulness, which he ex­pected: Their Prudence suggested to them, that he was yet too young a Man, to be real­ly, upon good Grounds, disgusted with the World, into the Love of which he lay under great Temptations of relapsing, by reason of that large Fortune, which could furnish Means of enjoying those Pleasures, which he must now for ever abandon; and the Loss of which, if he should repent his Vows, would make him as miserable, as he propos'd to himself to to be happy: They conjur'd him, at the same time, strictly to search his own Heart, so as to be convinced, that this Desire was an Im­pulse, and Call from God, and not any Tem­porary Disgust of the World, which might [Page 18] blow over, and vanish in time: He submit­ted to this Proposal, and in a little time assur'd them, That it proceeded from the Di­rections of that Providence, to whose Service he had so strong and glorious a Passion to de­dicate the rest of his Life: Upon this, the Society consented, on Condition, That he would undergo a double Noviciate, that by the length of the Time, they might be assur'd of his be­ing confirm'd in those pious Resolutions.

THIS he accepted, and immediately sent over Powers into his own Country, to convey and settle his Estate upon his Heir, which was accordingly done; and the Time of his Novice­ship being expir'd, he took his Vows, and em­braced that Life in which he propos'd to him­self so much Heavenly Satisfaction.

HE had not thus lived long in the Convent, but his great Capacity and Learning, render'd him too necessary to the Service of his Order, to be kept at home; by Command of his Su­periors he went on several Commissions into other Countries, where he executed the Orders, which he had receiv'd, with wonderful Ad­dress and Fidelity; at the same time acquiring an universal Reputation, for his extraordinary Sanctity of Life.

HIS Fortune settled him, at last, in France, where he met with the same Esteem, and Veneration, as in other Countries, being uni­versally caress'd, and admir'd: At last his ardent Zeal for the Service of God, inflam'd him with a passionate Desire of laying [Page 19] down his Life, in asserting the Cross of Christ; nothing wou'd now satisfy his grow­ing Fervour, but to be sent on a Mission, to convert Infidels to the Christian Faith, in which Employ he had the holy Ambition to meet with a Crown of Martyrdom. This pious In­clination he communicated to the Superiors of his Order, but was repulsed in his Request, being told, That Men of less Weight, than he, might be as serviceable in the Conversion of Savages; that less Abilities, than his, were sufficient to instruct Nations, so stupidly igno­rant; that his Presence was more necessary in Europe, where they had so many Learned Ad­versaries to combat.

THIS Repulse not a little mortify'd the Zeal of the good Father, whose Passion for Martyrdom was now more inflam'd, by hearing, That there was a new Mission of French Jesuits going over to America: He apply'd himself to the Bishop of Quebec, who was just upon his Departure for Canada; this Prelate was so charm'd with the Zeal, and Piety of the Man, whose Character he had heard before, that he enter'd into his Sentiments, and made use of the Interest he had in the Court of France, to get the Request of this New Apostle granted by Authority. Thus, Master of his Wishes, he went over with the Bishop to Canada, where he met with as much Veneration of his Piety, Humility, and all other Christian Vertues, in America, as he left behind him in Europe: After some time of Refreshment, he prepar'd [Page 20] for his Apostolical Function, and went with his Collegues, among the most savage, and cruel Nations of the Indians: Some of his Com­rades were murther'd by these People; others died of the Hardships and Fatigues which they endured, while our Missionary escap'd, thro' the Goodness of his Constitution.

IN this first Expedition, he was several times in imminent Danger of Life, having once the Knife over his Head to scalp him; but Providence, whose Secrets are unsearchable, preserv'd him, and would not vouchsafe that Honour, which he so passionately desir'd, of dying a Martyr: In this first Attempt, he suc­ceeded so far, as to vanquish the Obstinacy and Ignorance of Twenty-two Indian Men and Women, whom he baptiz'd, and brought with him to Quebec; which Town he enter'd, tri­umphantly, with his Converts. The Reader may guess at the Veneration paid him by the People, who look'd on him as a Saint and Apo­stle, and prest near to touch, and kiss his very Garments: The Winter Months he was oblig'd to spend his Time at Quebec, it being impos­sible to preserve Life in so cold a Country, without the Cover of Houses against the Incle­mency of the Air: The Summer-Seasons were taken up, entirely, by the Labours of his Mis­sion, in which he had wonderful Success the third Winter, at which time he approach'd the 50th Year of his Age: The Governour, who had a profound Respect for him, invited the good Missioner to come and reside at his House, [Page 21] with a Request to instruct his Daughter, who desired to learn Languages, and Mathematicks: The good Father chearfully undertook his New Province, and very assiduously attended his young Pupil, the Pregnancy of whose Parts made his Pains the more agreeable: This Lady was about Eighteen Years old, with a Person equal to the Beauties of her Mind, and all the Vivacity so natural to her Country: The Preceptor had not often attended his fair Scho­lar, but he found those Emotions in his Heart, which, in a little time shipwreck'd his Ver­tue; he fell desperately in Love, and thro' the Eyes, suck'd in that Poyson, which now taint­ed a Soul, that so much Vertue had long, and constantly defended before: LOVE, that in­vincible Tyrant, entirely subdued, and added the Heart of this once Holy Man, to his other Triumphs: In order to make himself the more agreeable, he cut off his Beard, and now put on Linnen, next his Skin, which he had not worn for some Years, the more to in­dulge his Mortification, tho' he was not oblig'd to that Austerity by the Rules of his Order: That Devotion, which had flam'd so long in his Heart towards God Almighty, was now turn'd into Adoration of one of his Creatures; LOVE converting all others Passions into itself, as the Plague does all other Distempers.

IN short, he managed his Amours with that Address, That, at last, he triumph'd, and gra­tify'd his Criminal Desires; the Fruits of which soon appear'd; the young Damsel was with [Page 22] Child, which flung the Lovers into the last Confusion and Distress: There was no Re­medy, but one, which was, To fly; accord­ingly one Night, the Summer now advancing, so as to permit them to lie in the Woods, they got over the Ramparts, and fled to the Indians, among whom he had a great Interest, and who now receiv'd them with open Arms. As he had seen some Campaigns in his Youth, and understood Fortification, and the Mathe­matical Part of War, he began to Train and Discipline the Savages, whom he persuaded to revolt against the French: In the mean while, the Governour, overwhelm'd with Grief for this terrible Misfortune in his Family, sent out several small Parties to bring them back; but these were defeated by the Superiority of Num­bers; upon which the Governour march'd with the whole Garrison, and all the Fighting Men he could muster; the Lovers animated and en­courag'd the Savages, whom they brought, in great Numbers, to oppose the Enemy; the little Armies came in sight, and while the Two Unfortunate Lovers stood close to one another, she, with an Indian Quiver at her Back, and Bow in her Hand, the first Fire from the French laid them both on the Ground; Such was the sad Catastrophe of this unhappy Man, whose Piety, and good Life, for so many Years, could not prevent his Falling, at last, so Memorable an Example of The Imbecility of all Human Ac­complishments.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 4.
FRIDAY, April 3. 1724.

— Tigris agit rabidâ cum tigride pacem
Perpetuam, saevis inter se convenit Ursis.
JUV.

GAMING, and Stock-jobbing, come to Day, under my Observation. The first methinks, needs no Aggravation of its Guilt in order to extinguish it; since it may so tru­ly be said, That there is nothing Honourable, that it does not aim to make Vile; nothing Great and Magnificent, that it does not reduce to look Little and Despicable.

HOW would the deceased Bucharis have been able to leap down from behind the Chariot of a departed Lord, and step into a finer of his own, if he had wanted the happy Turn of obliging unlucky Gentlemen to live in a more uncomfortable State, than even his Compani­ons, (before himself became a Gentleman.) What must the great Cartaerarius think when he prances along the Pavements, upon a Par with the Prime Nobility, and sees a Wretch walk the Streets half-starv'd with Cold and Hunger, dress'd in Sagathie in the Depth of [Page 24] Winter, whom he knew to have been his Su­perior in Wealth, and Magnificence, till he reduc'd him to this Disparity? Can my Rea­ders imagine, That Cartaerarius must not lose the Jollity of his Heart for a Moment, at so mortifying a Prospect? or, Do they think he can be Brute enough to enjoy himself upon the Reflection of his different Fortune, and of the Tricks he had play'd in his Life, and the Num­bers he had made as wretched, as the Object I have mentioned?

THIS is a strange and melancholy Fate: a Box and Dice heartily stamp'd upon a Table here in London, shall have a more powerful Effect, on the Walls of a strong-built Castle in the Country, than the firing of Twenty Mor­ta [...]s against it could have had, on the Spot, and shall force the Possessor to surrender it at Dis­cretion, with all the Territories round about it, to one who is innocently called, a fair Enemy, and who attacks it in Play only.

IT is still more strange, That a Custom, which has been known to have brought such uncom­mon Calamities upon the greatest and richest Men, should at last become common, among the common People themselves: And yet this was lately the Case. Tradesmen and Sharpers of a Lower Rank, committed the like Hosti­lities, and Shops were shut up by way of Gaming. I know one Wise Man an Apothecary, who ne­glected his Business to become Rich, and has been seen to lose more Money by shaking his Elbow over a Gaming-Table in three Hours, than he [Page 25] could recover by brandishing his Arm over a Mortar in three times as many Months.

I AM the more slack in my Remarks, and throw together only a few loose Hints against this vicious Habit, because a more effectual Way has been lately taken to check its Progress. And, if People of Fashion did not think them­selves above the Benefit of those Laws which vulgar Persons are cautious of transgressing, for fear of being treated as Cheats, and Im­postors, this Discourse would be render'd use­less. The Nature of Imposture, is no other­wise alter'd, by being the Fact of a Person of Distinction, but by its becoming more highly Criminal. Out of Persons of Fashion and Estate, are generally chosen those, who are obliged to watch over the publick Welfare: And can they guard Property in publick Life, who lay Snares to entrap it in a private Capacity? No Man should be allow'd to appear in an Assem­bly of Business, who has made himself a Member among the Surrounders of a Hazard Table. There have been of late but Two Gamesters, that stepp'd high enough to have any Rule in publick Affairs entrusted to their Management, Exlex and the young Montanus; these, tho' otherwise Men of signal Capacities, and many worthy Qualifications, could not resist their Natural Propensity, and thereby infus'd into two Kingdoms such an universal Spirit of Avarice and Gaming, by strange Schemes, 'till then unheard-of, as must, if continued, have [Page 26] soon accomplish'd the Ruin, which they threaten'd at their first Appearance.

AS to Gaming in lower Life, the Justices of the Peace have acted with such commendable Vigilance, That they have scarce left me a known Sharper in the Town, to exercise the Edge of my Satire upon. Most of them have, I believe, by this time, taken to the more ho­nourable way of Robbing with a Pistol and Brace of Balls in it, which is much less dangerous to the Offended, and less safe to the Offender, than a Box with a Pair of Dice in it: Others have gone in Gangs like Foot-pads, and while one knock'd down the Passenger, the other rifled him, which is only a kind of Emblem of their Play called Two poll One. Thus I believe, that, if a strict Scrutiny were made into the Num­bers that are left, of the Fraternity, we should find, that, since the happy Dissolution of that Knot, most of the loose ones have been swept away, by his Majesty's industrious Subject Mr. Jonathan Forward Rear-Admiral of the City Transports.

BUT there is a Species of more mischie­vous Gamesters remaining still among us, who ought, methinks, to have had free Passage in some of that Great Pilot's Vessels—I mean, the present Fraternity of Stock-jobbers.

THIS Brotherhood, who play their Game upon the Hopes and Fears, of other People, make use of cant Names, as the Gamesters did, and with just the same Propriety. The Game­sters called their Instruments of Mischief by the [Page 27] Denomination of Squibs and Puffs, and the Stock-jobbers have their Bulls and Bears; nor were those half so formidable in Covent-Garden, as these are about the Royal-Exchange, in Corn­hill.

A Bear is a Beast of Prey, who, not having perhaps a Morsel in the World, appears with the Pretence of a whole Paw full of Stock, which he agrees to deliver on a Day. But, if Stock rises, he must, as the Phrase is, Shew his Tail, that is, he must Run away.

A Bull is just the Reverse of this: He, is as Pennyless as his Brother Beast, but roars and bellows for Stock, and Devours all that is offer'd him; and if, at the Time when it is to be paid for, it happens to fall, then he too must Run off, as the Bear did.

NUMBERS of honest Tradesmen are delu­ded by these odd Beasts, and kept warm with imaginary Hopes of turning their Money better and faster upon Stocks, than in Business: And where the Unskilful are drawn in to try their Fortunes this way, their Money becomes a Sa­crifice to the Jobbers, and themselves Bankrupts to the Publick: Bulls and Bears, as opposite as they are in their Natures, agree very well together, and sometimes personate one another to draw in an honest Citizen; and if he once gets between both, by that Time the Stocks, have had a few Variations to and fro, he is sure, by their tossing him from one to t'other, to be worried out of his Senses.

[Page 28]MY Friend the Alderman, who has some­times a way of Jesting peculiar to himself, says, That when he has been running over the Ad­vertisements, relating to Bankrupts in our Ga­zettes, he would frequently make Marks on the Margin, denoting, Where such a broken-hearted Butcher has been forced to shut up his Stall upon being Gored by the Horn of a Bull; and where the Paw of a Bear has pulled a rich Linnen-Draper by the Head and Ears, over his Counter. I warrant you, my old Friend, (will he often say, for he is apt to dwell upon old Jokes) when the Watch-Tower of Barbi­can was standing, the sharpest Eye of any Man that stood in it, could never perceive round this whole City, one such voracious Ani­mal, threatning Ruin to the Inhabitants, as the Modern Bulls and Bears are.

IT is certain, That the Alderman's Jest was true in Earnest. For our wise Ancestors made wholsome Laws for extirpating all wild and mischievous Beasts out of the Land, and set a Price upon their Heads. It must be therefore very wrong in such a Populous Town as this, to permit Bulls, and unmuzzled Bears, to have their Stalls and Dens about Exchange-Alley, where they have Opportunity to run out and destroy unwary Citizens. Besides, the Alder­man told me (as a Remark of his Wife,) That under Boast of the vast Stocks they deal for, they tempt the yielding Hearts of many a rich Citizen's Daughter, and pin themselves on Fa­milies to be kept without a Groat, and some­times [Page 29] take a Bite of the young Lady, in that Part they like best, and then run away, with­out coming to account for it. She says, That Mr. Honeyman, a Sugar Baker, has Two Cubs upon his Daughter's hands, by a Bear that has left the Alley; and that Mr. Simple's Favourite Child is upon the Point of being delivered of a Calf, begot by a silly awkward Bull, that Burst himself, by swallowing Stock, beyond the Power of his natural Digestion.

THESE are Things not to be tolerated in any Civil Government whatsoever; for they manifestly tend to the Ruin of Commerce; and at this rate it will come to pass in the course of a few Years, That while Russia is polishing its rough Inhabitants into the finer Resemblance of Englishmen, the Politeness of Britain will be transformed into the Barbarity of Russia, and the greatest Part of this Metropolis will be over­run with an unheard-of Generation of Savages and Monsters. It is, therefore, my serious Opi­nion, That the Practice shou'd be put down; and that for the Quiet and Safety of sober Citizens, every Bull and Bear of them all, should be first driven out of the City, by the way of Newgate, and then transported out of the Kingdom.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 5.
MONDAY, April 6. 1724.

Militat omnis amans, & habet sua Castra Cupido.
OVID.

THE LOVE of our Country, when it is understood, as Great Spirits consider it, is the most Noble, among those Vertues, which grace and elevate Human Nature: But, in the General Idea, which Men form, when they speak of this publick Duty, it is a mean, and selfish Frailty! A poor Contraction of Soul, which would call in our Beneficence from Mankind, our common Brotherhood! and con­fine it, with a scandalous Frugality of Affecti­on, to the Land which we were born in; for the same ridiculous Reason, which made the Ape, in the Fable, the First, that produced her young Ones, when a Decree had been publish­ed, That the most Beautiful, among the Beasts, should succeed to the Government.

FEW Men, I am afraid, have any Nobler Motive, than this Love of themselves, for the Love, they bear their Country! But the Partia­lity of a true Patriot must be justify'd by his [Page 31] Care of the Publick Honour: He must contri­bute to the General Interest, with the Loss of his particular Ease, and to the Hazard of his private Safety. The same impatient Beat, with which the Soul, conscious of Immortality, presses forward to Futurity, and inspires a Se­cret Pleasure in our Hope of Fame Hereafter, tho' we are sure we shall be Dust, and have no Ear for those Praises, which we charm our our selves in Death, with but the Prospect, and faint Image of:—The same Noble Source has the Spirit of true Patriotism!—It teaches a wise Man to Love his Country, Like his Off-spring; not meerly, as they are His; but for the Natural Vertues, which he observes in them, and which he has taken Delight to to cherish, and urge forward, for the Orna­ment of Posterity.

THE Prejudices of our Minds, and the dif­ferent Interests we are led by, make us very unqualified Judges, of the State of this Vertue, with Regard to the Times, we live in: And the same Passions have always produc'd the same Effects, in the Historians, of former Ages: But there are some Instances, so strongly De­monstrative, in their Nature, That Partiality can add no Beauty, by the Arts of Describing; nor can Envy discolour them, by false Lights, or misplacing.

DEEP Enquirers into Nature have recom­mended it, as a way to judge soundly of Mens good, or evil Tendency, by observing what Effect is produc'd in their Passions, upon Re­lation [Page 32] of some Amiable Example, of Human Excellence; if such a Trial is just, I should wish to avoid the Society of that Man, who could reflect on the following Story, without unusual Emotions, in Honour of the Noble Roman, to whose true Sense of Publick Spirit, we owe it.

IN that part of the Punick War, when Fa­bius Maximus commanded the Forces of Italy, against Hannibal, certain Officers of the Roman Army, were taken Prisoners by the Enemy. Fabius was well acquainted with the Skill and Courage of these Men, and resolv'd not to lose them: He, therefore, treated with the Car­thaginians, and agreed upon their Ransom, at a very high Sum. for Payment of which, by a Day appointed, he engag'd the Honour of the Roman Senate: But the Senate, instead of sending him the Money, refused to ratify the Agreement.—Fabius receiv'd the News, with more Grief, than Indignation; and, giving strict Orders, for concealing it from his Army, dispatch'd his Son to Rome, with all Secrecy and Expedition, to make Sale of his Own Paternal Estate, and to return to him with the Money; which as soon he receiv'd, he sent it to Hannibal, as from the Senate,For I had rather, said he, It should be reported of the Ro­mans, That they have a General without Land, than a Senate without Humanity?

OUR Clergyman, whom we delight to con­sider, as a Blessing to the Assembly, because his Life is a silent Enforcer of his Doctrine, was [Page 33] expatiating, the other Day, on the Grace, and Grandeur, of this Action; and had fix'd us, in the most satisfied, and respectful Attention; when he was broke in upon, by the Coquet, with the following Relation, which she assur'd us, was Matter of Fact, and happen'd very lately;—And it contains, added she, so ex­alted an Instance of refin'd, and generous Love, That if ever I find a Man, who would be Mine upon such Terms, I shall Marry, and bid Defiance to the Sound of the Word Matron!

COURTHOPE was the Son of an English Merchant, who had liv'd long in the Canary Islands; he had been sent young to London, for the Advantage of his Education, and (while there) fell in Love with Bellaria, the only Daughter of a Gentleman of a good Family and Estate, who had promis'd this Lady to a distant Relation, of his Name: But she had an Aversion for his Person, and made open Profession of a Passion for young Courthope, which the Father was so far from approving, that, being provok'd by her Firmness, he command­ed her, under Penalty of his Hatred, and his Curse, never more to converse with him; and confin'd her, from that time forward, to pre­vent even the Possibility of it. Bellaria, not­withstanding this Restraint, found means to escape, and dressing her self in Boy's Cloaths, imbark'd with Courthope, on a Spanish Ship, that was bound for the Canaries; where he assur'd her, they would be welcome to a Fa­ther, whose gentle Nature knew nothing of [Page 34] that Rigour, which, from her Infancy, she had been oppress'd by. They were taken in this Voyage, by a Moorish Vessel, belonging to the Rovers of Sallee: And 'tis easier to conceive, than express, the Affliction, the Despair, the Astonishment of Courthope: fallen, at once, from a Prospect of the sweetest, and most live­ly Joy, to the Depth of consummate Misery! He saw Her, now, the Companion of his Sla­very, who had wish'd, and ventur'd, so much, to make Him Partner of her Affluence; and he suffer'd more than Death, every time, that his Eyes, all swimming in Tears, stole a Glance, at his Bellaria, whom he durst not distinguish, by any Marks of Respect, or Service, for fear of pointing out her Sex, to the Brutes, who were their Masters.

BUT what aggravated his Sorrow, to the most piercing Extremity, was, an Information he receiv'd from a Native of the Canaries, whom he found a Slave at Sallee, That his Fa­ther was newly dead, and that all his Effects had been seiz'd by the Spaniards, on Occasion of some Criminal Correspondencies, which he had unwarily been drawn into.

THEY pass'd about a Week, with the rest of their Ship's Company, in a publick Dun­geon of the City, where they were to expect the killing Summons, which must expose them in a Market, to be sold, and torn for ever from the Enjoyment of that mutual Comfort, which was, now, the only Thought, that could sup­port 'em in their Wretchedness. The Moon, [Page 35] one Night, shone clearly thro' the Grates of the Prison Windows; and Courthope, while the rest were asleep, hung, in melancholy Trans­port, over the Bosom of Bellaria, who started, in broken Slumbers, and fill'd his Soul with sad Reflections. He took Notice of a rugged Stone, which rose, pointed, thro' the Earth, and imagining it might hurt her, remov'd it, with much Difficulty, and had no sooner drawn it out, but he discover'd an old Piece of Wool­len Cloth, which had formerly been hidden under it, in which were Sixty Moidores, Two Gold Rings, and a Writing which he perceiv'd to have been French, but now defac'd, and not legible,

HE approach'd Bellaria's Ear, and awak'd her, in all the Ecstacy of a Man, who consider'd himself, as distinguished by Providence: He whisper'd his new Hopes, of an immediate Redemption; and found Means soon after, by Aid of an honest Jew, a Man of much Charity, who visited the Slaves every Morning, to be carried to the Alcaid; and, trusting his Gold with the Jew, propos'd to ransom Himself and Bellaria, whom he called his Brother: But the Conflict of his Passions had so visible an Effect, in his Looks, and his Earnestness, that the Alcaid took Advantage, from what he observed, and insisted on the whole Sum, for the Liberty, of One only, which was offered him, for Both.—He bid him name, at his Choice, either his Brother, or himself; but advised him to lose no Time, for an English Sloop was ready [Page 36] to sail out of the Harbour, with ransom'd Captives on Board, and would carry him to Gibraltar, where his Countrymen were in Gar­rison:—He added too, That all the Chri­stian Slaves in Sallee, were to set out the next Morning, for Mequinez, to work on some New Buildings of the Emperor of Morocco.

Courthope trembled with Jealousy; and a Thousand different Fears, at the distracting Imagination of Bellaria, in the Eye and Power of such a Tyrant!—He went out with the Jew, and took a sudden Resolution.

ABOUT Noon the same Day, the Jew re­turned to the Prison, and carried with him an Order for the Dismission of Bellaria; who, en­quiring after Courthope, was told, He went be­fore, to prepare Things for her Reception, on Board the Vessel, they were to embark in; and had given him Orders to conduct her thither immediately. Never was any Order obey'd with so much Transport; the Jew hir'd a Boat, and attending her to the Ship, return'd, abrupt­ly, to the Town, without taking Leave of her:—She was led into the Cabbin, where, ex­pecting to find her Lover, she was receiv'd by the Master of the Vessel, with whom the Jew had been before, and who deliver'd her a Let­ter, which she open'd, with trembling Hands, and read in it, what follows.

HOW miserable should I have been, my dear, my lost Bellaria! if Heaven had not enabled me to redeem you from Mi­sery! [Page 37]—The Money, which I found in the Dungeon, was too little to save us both; al­low me, therefore, the Honour, to have re­stor'd you to that Liberty, which you lost, for having pitied me: I am a Wretch, whose Ill-Fortune, neither your Sex nor your Limbs, were fram'd to be Partakers of!—If I am worthy of Bellaria, I shall see her again: If she blesses me with her Prayers, I cannot fail to be Fortunate:—And if she wishes to live without me, I shall die happiest in Ab­sence!—Angels Guide you to your Father! If he has lov'd, he will forgive me, and per­mit a Sigh now and then, to the Memory of poor

COURTHOPE.

SHE flew, skrieking, upon the Deck, as soon as she had read this dreadful, this insup­portable, Letter! but saw, with as much Di­stinction, as her Tears would permit her, that the Ship was under Sail, and all she wish'd to live for, left in Slavery behind Her.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 6.
FRIDAY, April 10. 1724.

— Quae te
Ter purelecto poterunt recreare Libello.
HOR.

THOUGH Good-Breeding and Politeness, are generally thought the same, they are Qualities very different. Politeness is the In­fluence of a Natural Refinement: Good-Breeding, the Form of an Artificial Civility. The Last but Restrains us from giving Offence; the First, Impowers us to give Pleasure. Politeness is the happy Mixture of Greatness, with Benignity: 'Tis a Sun-shine from the Soul, on the Looks, Words and Actions. Good-Breeding is often, a Surface without Depth; and, like the Painter's gay Colours, on dark Primings, spreads a Gloss over the Outside, even of Vices, and Mean­spiritedness: Whereas Politeness, like the Cry­stal, is transparent as well as shiny; and always appears lovelier, the fuller Light it is plac'd in.

I INTENDED to have adapted to this seri­ous Introduction, a very sober Dissertation, which many of my Gentle Readers, might, no [Page 39] doubt have mistaken for a Dull One: But I shall substitute in its Place, a most extraordinary Essay of the Epistolary Kind, which will serve for the same Purpose. It brings me the uncom­mon Case of a faithful, though unfavour'd Lover, whose Good-Breeding, without Politeness, has lost him a Mistress, by an odd Kind of Civility which he made use of, for engaging her.

I NEED not inform my Readers, That this Letter is an Original: They will discover na­tural Graces in it, which are inimitably Genuine.

These for the Plain-Dealer, at Mr. Roberts's in Warwick-Lane. With Care and Speed, Deliver.

Mr. Plain-Dealer: SIR,

ALL Yours, yet publish'd, have regular­ly receiv'd, and note their Contents. I thought it proper to let you know, That al­though I am a Cooper, I lov'd her as well as her finical Turkey-Merchant. But I forgot to let you know, first, That the needful of this Letter is, That she, that I mean, is a pretty, young Woman, worth a Brace and a half of Thousands. But that makes nothing to the Story: I had Money enough, for that Matter; and tho' I was no powder'd fine Fellow, with a finical white Wig, yet I valued and esteemed her, as if I had been the Mother that bore her: And I should have been glad, when Heaven saw fit, to have had her in [Page 40] her Smock! And so, mayhap, now I think on't, wou'd her Beau too; but I mean in an honest way only. But what matters that? Fair and False was an old Saying in its Time! And if I had stuck close to my Calling, and valued her no more than the Paring of my Nails, I had been a better Man for it, by some Hundreds. But there is no setting Old Heads upon Young Shoulders. Every Body knows, I am no Bragster; and, tho' I say it, that should not, I could have lov'd the very Ground that she went upon: And very un­happy she has made me, that's certain; where­by, I hope, somebody that is higher than she, will remember her for it, in the Last Day, for then all Secrets will be laid open. I can't, for my Life, imagine, what possesses me, but I shall begin to hate my own-self shortly, if it was, in Nature, to be possible, because, when­ever she comes into my Head, I am ready to cry at the Thoughts of her.

NOW you must know, she had told a Friend of mine, that wish'd me to her, not once, nor twice, but that very Day, that he was leading her Home from Draper's Gardens, That she thought, as how no Man could fall in Love with a Red-Hair'd Woman. But, to see how strangely Mistakes will come about! this was all but her own Fancy; for I never once thought of it; nor was never the Man, that had ever concern'd my self, with any Thing she had about her. So, because I woud'n't be uncivil, I made a great Supper, [Page 41] and invited an old Aunt of mine, that she know'd, and half a score young Women, be­sides herself, to take Part of it: for it burnt in my Mind, strangely. In the middle of the Supper, I watch'd my Time, to drink to her; and told her, before 'em all, That she might be sure, by my having no Body to Supper, but Folks with Red Hair, as how I shou'dn't like her a Crum the worse, for That: For I didn't care a Pin, for that mat­ter, if she was as red as a Fox, all over. To be sure, she look'd, all Night, after it, as the Devil lookt over Lincoln: And when I went, the Afternoon after, to make Love to her, as I us'd to do, nothing vex'd me, but her sending me down word, by that pert Gossip, Mrs. Briget, (that, I am sure, has had of me, at Times, in Presents, besides Good Words, to the Value of Five Pieces!) and yet, she bid Her, forsooth, to go and tell me, That I had no need for giving my self any more Trouble to come there; for her Mistress would have nothing to say to a Hoop-driver.

NOW I, knowing, as how we are com­manded to forgive all our Enemies, wou'dn't do her no Harm, for the World: And so, hoping you will print this, only to expose her, concludes the needful, at present, from

Your Real Friend, G— B—

P.S. Her Hair was not Golden Locks, but that hot Sort of Red, which most Folks call Carrots.

[Page 42]As I shall borrow, from my Correspondents, the Entire Entertainment of this Day, here follows an Epistle, which I have newly receiv'd, from the Malapert Mistress of a Riding-Hood Ware-House.

To the wither'd, old, Crab-tree, who calls himself the PLAIN-DEALER.

Dear Drybones!

WITH all due Respect to the Dignity of Woollen Night-caps, what has urg'd thee, to profess such a Spleen against Mas­querading? when nothing less than a Mask, can make thee fit to keep Company. It was just such a Vinegar Visage as thine, appear­ing abroad, uncover'd to the terrifying of whole Parishes, that made Impudence be call'd barefac'd. Thy Oaken-stick is a Type of Thee; only not half so dry, nor so tough, nor so crabbed.

'TIS well, you have taken up your Lodg­ings in a Watch-Tower. If I knew how to come at you, you shou'd have a Feeling of my Respect, for your Parts and your PLAIN DEALING.—Yet you are in the Right too, in one Thing, that relates to your Paper; which is, your Publishing it on Fridays: For Fish-Days, and Fasts, prepare People for Mortification.

IF you needs must be Preaching, are there not Subjects enow to cant on, without quarrelling with one pleasant Night or two [Page 43] in a Moon? Which gets so many honest Peo­ple a comfortable Livelihood too! and which accommodates sober Gentlemen, and Ladies, with so decent an Opportunity, to converse, without Censure! Why, since you must rail, don't you rail, like a Good Subject, at the in­convenient Presumption, of late so much in Fashion, of Making bold with our Betters? Egad! if I was Somebody, Nobody should dare to Deal Plainly.

IT is a Sign you are an Old Fellow, since you can't meddle with the Ladies, without nettling 'em! If this is your Manner of hand­ling us Women, which you had the Confi­dence to threaten, at your first setting out, a Fig for all you can do to us.—You cou'd never want Subjects, if you did not want Brains, without abusing Pleasures, you are past the Enjoyment of:—There's the Fool, and the Wise; and the Statesmen, and the fine Gentleman, Scope enough for Variety!—Let alone but the Masquerades, and use the World, at your Pleasure.

THE Fool will be, readily allow'd, to the PLAIN DEALER. But many, indeed, may wonder, what the Wise can have to do with your Paper.—Why, they see the Rest in the wrong, and laugh where they shou'd remedy: Their Ill-nature, therefore, stands in need of a Snarler.—The Statesman, you know, is by Prescription, and the Happiness of our Constitution, the Right of the Scrib­bler! And, as for the fine Gentlemen, (I [Page 44] mean those of the newest Edition, all gilt down the Back, and tightly bound, in Calf's Leather); they are a Race of breathing Blanks, fast asleep, with Eyes broad open! Yet, if you were good for any Thing, but to spoil Trade, you might wake 'em, by a Pinch or two, of Plain-Dealing, into an Ap­prehension of this Truth, which they never so much as dream't of,—That the Dead may as well be call'd Members of a State, as they who Live to no Purpose.

SEE, now, Goodman Sowersop! Here is Business enough cut out for you.—Let the Women alone; and concern yourself with what you are fit for.—Not a Word, for the future, in Prejudice to an Assembly, where Love and strictest Union, make the general Occupation. Throw away your greasy mouse-colour'd Gloves, and wear these clean Ones,

From yours, as you shall merit, M— L—

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 7.
MONDAY, April 13. 1724.

— Sapientia Prima
Stultitia caruisse —
HOR.

BEING the other Day in a large Com­pany at a Gentleman's House in Covent-Garden, I was highly delighted, to hear a young beautiful Lady acknowledge that Tears flow'd from her Eyes, upon reading of the Story of Courthope. She who had the Virtue to be so Elegantly moved by his Distress, will relish an Account of his better Fortune, which she may hereafter expect to be Entertained with. But when she added, That she had been a Coquette too long, and if ever it should be her Fate to meet with a Suitor of Courthope's Desert, she would let him lose no Time, for Fear of Accidents: when I perceived she made this frank Confession, not only with her Lips, but from her Heart, I confess, I began to conceive Hopes of knowing very speedily, That some visible Fruits would arise from these my Labours.

[Page 44]I WAS therefore a little concern'd, when I found my self interrupted by a young Wag, who was pleased to pass Pertness upon the Company for Jesting. ‘'That PLAIN DEALER, said he, is a well-meaning Writer, but he does not strike out a Meaning cleverly. This is one of the best Stories I have read, upon the Subject of Love; only, there is not one Double-Meaning through the Whole, and that makes it Insipid. He has been generally hitherto, a perfect Inhabitant of his Blunt-Hall, which seems to be, rather the Seat of his Understanding than of his Person. But, since the Ladies like him, I will endeavour to be of Their Mind, and especially be­cause he tells us, he is an Old Batchelor, as well as a PLAIN DEALER, and we must have some Humour struck out of him, when he comes to act that Character.’

I GUESS'D what the young Malapert would be at by the Word Humour, and I found I was not deceiv'd, when he pulled out of his Pocket a little Scrap of Poetry, intitled,—An Epistle from Mrs. Robinson to Senesino,—in which he peremptorily swore, There was a great deal of Turn, Life, and Spirit.

IT is certain, He shewed some Spirit in reading it, and proved himself a Master of Hu­mour, for he went boldly and undauntedly thro' it; and would never observe, that every fresh Line excited fresh Blushes in the Faces of all the Fair and Modest Part of the Assembly.

[Page 45]I TAKE this Opportunity of Informing that young Spark (and all others of the same Class are desired to take Notice of it) That he is greatly mistaken, if he expects any such Hu­mour from me, notwithstanding his irreverent way of talking of his Elders, and throwing, over my Shoulder, a General Sneer upon all the Old Batchelors in Great-Britain.

MY Province must be Tedious, before it can grow Pleasant; I must first remove Folly, before I can make Room for Wit; for it is by clear­ing their way through the Rubbish of Ab­surdity, that Men take the first Steps to Wis­dom.

IF, according to the Maxim in the Forehead of my Paper, it was my immediate Office to Teach that young Spark better Things, which I had then a great Inclination to Do, only for Fear of discovering my self, I would begin by Weeding out of his Mind that rank Conceit, which he entertains of his Parts, and shewing him, that there is no true Humour in Lewdness, nor true Wit in a Double Entendre.

HOW different was the Principle of Waller? That Excellent Writer, as I have heard my old Friend Mr. Dryden relate publickly at Will's, in his Commendation, used to say, That he would raze any Line out of his Poems, which did not imply some Motive to Virtue. This is a Saying that ought to be Memorable among our Poets; it carries with it the Energy of Good Sense, as well as Virtue.

[Page 48]FOR my own Share, I declare, I would rather Propagate one such Maxim, with good Effect, amongst the Writers of the present Age, than be the Head of those Writers my­self, and the Author of better Verses, than Waller's.

THEY who believe this to be my real Sen­timent, may guess how extreamly delighted I must have been, with the following Answer, which a young Lady has given, to the Affront and Outrage offered to the whole Sex, by one who personates Senesino, in that scandalous Epistle.

An ANSWER from Mrs. ROBINSON to SENESINO.
FROM thy Loose Lines I turn my Eyes away,
Nor know, o'erspread with Blushes, what to say;
The Modest MUSES, wounded by thy Strain,
For Me, and for Themselves do thus complain.
O Thou! our Country's Folly and Expence!
Dull Foe to Tragedy and GOD-like Sense;
Too long, mean, mercenary Shade, too long,
Hast thou these ISLES Inchanted with thy Song.
Musick's soft GOD Unbinds the Charm he rais'd,
He blest thy Tongue, and while He blest, we prais'd:
By Thee polluted, He disclaims his Choice,
And will no longer warble in thy Voice.
His Trembling Notes, where melting Softness hung,
And every Grace, will seek a Chaster Tongue.
No more, the Lover shall thy Song Repeat,
No more the FAIR ONE sigh,—'Tis wondrous sweet!
Oh Guilty Senesino! Thou no more,
Shalt bravo! bravo! hear;—or loud Encore.
The Loose and Dull, shall All thy Audience be,
The Chaste and Witty shall Resent for Me.
All unattended shall thy awkward Form
To sad, uncrowded Scenes, or whine, or storm.
Thy wretched Ha—shall unapplauded grow,
And ill-plac'd Bays fall with'ring from thy Brow,
Know, Songster, Julius GOD-like Chief! disdains,
Thy shrill, unnatural, ungraceful, Strains,
With Rage redoubled, Pompey's Ghost must burn,
To find such Tears prophane his Sacred Urn.
Remember, Eccho, soon thoul't know the Time
Stripp'd of thy Robes, thy Legions and thy Rhime;
(Thou poor Machine, of mean, delusive Sound)
When I shall see thy Temples all unbound,
And Those that Heroes Act, like Heroes Crown'd.
Thou, to thy famish'd Italy shalt go,
And Rival Faustus to the Shades Below.

THE Business of the following, is of a Nature very surprizing. To say Truth, I was startled at it. It does not, directly, indeed, come to me from the Devil: But it was sent me from a Deputy of his, who Professes the Black Art, and stiles himself Doctor Faustus. He dates his Letter, From the Theatre in Lincolns-Inn-Fields,—and would pass upon me, for a Player, or a Tumbler, or Zany, under the Disguise of a Magician: But I beg his Pardon for That; I am seldom deceiv'd so easily. I am almost persuaded, It is an Agile, Evil Spirit, [Page 50] that walks and does Mischief, by Candle-Light, and assumes enticing Shapes, to draw in the Unwary, and deprive People of their Wits. But, if he be, really, Flesh and Blood, I am at a Loss what to think of him; only his Assurance seems considerable, (since he appears, by his Letter, to belong to One of our Theatres) that he should imagine me to be Novice enough to believe, he could be a Conjurer.

FAUSTUS, the MAGICIAN, To the PLAIN DEALER, Greeting.

FORASMUCH as I Reverence your Name and your Purpose, I decline the Revenge, which, by Aid of my Art, I might return for my Injuries; and content my self, by your Means, to expose an Impostor.

HAVING fixed my Place of Residence, on my Arrival in this famous City, at the Theatre by Lincoln's-Inn, for the Publick Dis­play of Qualities which Distinguish the Sons of Magick; I heard, with a Due Mixture of Contempt and Displeasure, that the Rumour of my Purpose had encourag'd another Theatre to disguise under the Venerable Character of Faustus, a profess'd Lover of Levity; and endeavour, in Spite of Nature, to give him the Weight of a Wizard.

BUT, being satisfied in the Consciousness of my own Superiority, I have overlook'd and neglected him; 'till, embolden'd by Success, he has dar'd, now, at last, to publish his List [Page 51] of Fooleries; with a pertinacious Pretence to something not unlike Comparison! I am therefore determin'd, immediately, to make him leap out of my Gown, and confess him­self No Doctor.

IN that Catalogue of Tricks, (most illiberal Appellation!) he makes use of these strange Words—A Usurer comes in, and brings a Money-Bag to the Doctor; for which he offers his Note; but the Usurer entirely con­temns the Proposal, and will have the Doctor's Leg, instead of Security for the Money. The Doctor endeavours to dissuade him from this Demand, and offers him his Head, in Exchange of the Leg he wanted.

I PASS over the unmagical Absurdity of a Necromancer's wanting Money; or, That a Usurer, who would rather have parted with his own Leg, to save a Bag of Money, should be so whimsical to surrender it, in Exchange for Another's. I leave such Remarks to the Trite Essays of Criticks, not descending, my self, to the Insignificance of being Witty: But what I would convey to the Knowledge of your Readers, is, The Necessity which my Charms have laid this Boaster under, to Ex­pose and Discover himself, in the very Act of his Imposture.

FOR who does not know, That had he been the true Faustus, his Brains must have had their Situation in his Head? His Head therefore, he would have preferr'd to all his inferior Members. But the Seat of his Un­derstanding [Page 52] having been plac'd, by his Pro­fession, at the Bottom of his Body, I com­mission'd a Familiar to perplex his Appre­hension; who, by convincing him of how little Worth his Head was, in comparison with his Heels, drew him under such a Terror, that he continually cries out, to those who come for his Catalogue, The Devil is, in good Earnest, in the Conjurer of Lincoln's-Inn; but I am only a Dancing-Master.

YOU shall prosper in PLAIN-DEALING if you Publish this Letter, and have Faith in

FAUSTUS the ENCHANTER.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 8.
FRIDAY, April 17. 1724.

— Nos duo turba sumus.
OVID.

THERE is a Liveliness, and Race of Spirit, which we commonly call Wit; but it is the Effect of Natural Accident; and depends, like a Machine, upon Order and [Page 53] Parts. It is only the Result of a Mixture of different Humours: and of Animal Spirits, finer and more delicately agitated, than ordi­nary; which imprint in their Passage, a quick and lively Sense of Images; and animate by that Impression, the Visage, Voice, and Deport­ment.

IT is merely by this Quickness, and Heat of their Imagination, that witty Men surprize us. A smart and sprightly Rhetorick! A hu­morous Turn of Phrase! A frank Vivacity of Mien! with a modish Affectation of peculiar Looks, and Gesture, make the Merit of their Character. But these Men want, for the most Part, both Strength of Mind, and Penetration. Their Imaginations are thin, and delicate; and play lightly on the Skirts of Objects: But they are too weak for solid Reasoning; and, in any Thing abstracted, and above the Pitch of the Senses, they are miserably Impotent, and grow presently weary.

THEY are the Ladies Favourites, however; by a Kind of Sympathy, or Resemblance: For, Women, being naturally of feeble Constitutions, have their Brains of soft Consistence; with Fibres fine, and slender; apt and easy to be mov'd, by the weakest Agitations. They are subject therefore, to their Senses; and wanting Force, to strike deeper, set up for Judges of Modes, and Fashions; and relish nothing, but what contributes to their Pleasure, or their Ornament. They have fix'd the Standard of Wit, by certain Rules of this Tendency; and [Page 54] find nothing so difficult, as to believe a Man can want it, who has such Charms for their Entertainment.

NED VOLATILE, a Member of our Assem­bly at the Widow's, is a Foreman of this Species. With a great Extent of Good Nature, he ap­pears Void of any; his Facility to jest and rally, transports him, beyond Decency, to illustrate Objects, or debase 'em; and, without regard to Ceremony, Merit, or Condition, he contracts Things, or magnifies them, when they fall in his Way, 'till he has adapted them to his Talent, of presenting every Thing ridiculously.

WE have the very Reverse of this Character, in the frank-hearted Major Stedfast: a Brave, and Able Officer, the Reward of whose Merit has been Oppression and Injustice! yet, so firm is the manly Generosity of his Temper, that, at one and the same Time, he vindicates his Character with the Boldness of an injur'd Sol­dier; and offers Arguments, in Excuse for the Rashness of his Ruiner! Imputing to Credulity, and the Malice of Misrepresenters, what his Friends, All, consider as an Act of Violence and Barbarity. There is no Subject, which he, oftner, or with more Pleasure, enlarges on, than the great, and noble Qualities, of the Man who has undone him! Nay, he talks, even of his Justice, with as much Warmth and Seriousness, as if he had, himself, been oblig'd by it.

THE Major and Ned Volatile, are the North and South Poles of our Assembly. Ned speaks, [Page 55] and the Major thinks. The first is always pleas'd, but the other always pleases. There is a Humanity in the Major's Air, that never fails to mark him out as the common Friend of the Company: and a kind of Majestick Tenderness in his Behaviour, gives him the Authority of their Father. He corrects, and approves, with Openness; and is, at once, severe and amiable! There is a solemn Force and Weight, in the Manner of his speaking, which seems to borrow its Equality from the Steddiness of his Principles. He esteems, without Transport; and condemns, without Anger. What is Fancy in Ned Volatile, is Reason in the Major. The One has a Judg­ment, that is Solid and Plain: The Other an Imagination, that is Sparkling and Wanton.

IT is a very frequent, and agreeable Enter­tainment, which arises to the Assembly out of the natural Opposition, of these two Characters; who yet preserve a Decorum, by Effect of the Regard each has for the other. The Major loves Ned's Chearfulness; But thinks him trifling and impertinent: And Ned Volatile hears, with Reverence, the Wisdom of the Major; but would like him a great deal better, if he would be merrier and more noisy.

WE had lately the Pleasure of hearing, in a full Meeting, some of the newest Opera Songs, by a skilful Italian Lady, who has been famous on our Theatres; and is equally remarkable for the Sweetness of her Voice, and the Strength of her Features! she is an Acquaintance of the Widow, who asked us, assoon as she was gone, [Page 56] our Opinion of this Person, to whom, we all knew her Partial. Ned Volatile prevented any Answer but his own; and desir'd, He might have Liberty to give it, under his Hand. He had Pen and Ink brought him; and every Bo­dy was grown Impatient for the Product of his Muse, when he presented it, in the following VERSES, from Randolph.

NOW Shame pursue my medling Sight;
Wou'd, I had been All Ear, to Night!
Sweet is her Voice, as Flow'rs in June;
But ne'er was Face so out of Tune.
Lower than Gammut are her Eyes:
Her Nose does above Ela rise!
Were I to chuse my self a Dear,
Not by my Eye, but by my Ear,
Here wou'd I fix—cou'd I but woo
The Sound, without the Substance too.
Some Women are All Tongue—and oh!
What Joy 'twou'd be, were This but so!
Harmonious Gods! to ease my Mind,
Or strike her Dumb, or make me Blind.

NO sooner had Ned Volatile repeated his Verses, but a General Applause, of Laughter, was return'd him by the Company. All but the Widow, the Major and My-self, were ex­travagantly transported with the Humour and the Satire: And Ned was triumphantly expand­ing his Poetry, with an Air of Levity, and Satisfaction; when the Major, to prevent [Page 57] a second Reading, of what he saw was distasteful to some Part of the Assembly, began to speak in this Manner.

THE Company must acknowledge, they are oblig'd to Mr. Volatile, for the Pains he is at, to please them: But, if he were as inclinable to reason, as he is to entertain, no Body could convince us sooner, that the finest Ri­dicule is to be considered but as Cruelty, where it borrows its Subject from Mens Natural Defects, or their Miseries. I know very well, that whatever savours of Instruction is of­fensive in Conversation; and that nothing is more insupportable, than a Liberty People take, of prescribing Rules to all the World. We presently wish to fly the Society of those who dogmatize: For the Mind of Man is Generous, and resists Truth, or receives it, as its Approaches are Rude or Gentle. But then, there is an equal Inconvenience in the contrary Extream: And if we wou'd enjoy Conversation, with a Delicacy of Wit, we should have Liberty to bound it, by the In­terposition of our Judgment.

THE Harmony of this Lady, who has so agreeably entertain'd us, is a Beauty that might weigh against the Absence of other Charms, more frequent, and perhaps less valuable! 'Tis the Motherly Indulgence of Nature, to rob us of no Benefit, without bestowing on us some other, in a double Proportion. How seldom do we find all Accomplishments united in the same Person! [Page 58] Some are happy in their Humour, and have their Spirits full of Fire; and swift and subtil in their Motion. Others, not so sprightly, have a Blood more cold and phlegmatic; but the Course of their Animal Spirits being tempe­rately regulated, they are cautious in Deli­beration, strong and constant in Resolution; and unshaken in their Enterprizes. How visi­ble is this Difference! One is airy and faceti­ous; the Other thoughtful and judicious. The Wit of One is sharp; the Sense of the Other, solid.

I REMEMBER to have seen, during the last War in Flanders, in a Town where I had my Winter-Quarters, a wonderful Example of this Recompence, observ'd by Nature. An old Man, who had been born blind, and had always continued so, had a natural Sagacity, that was prodigious and scarce credible! A Legacy being left him, to the Value of Fifty Pistoles, the poor Man, who had never ex­pected to be Master of such a Sum, was un­der no small Solicitude how to secure his Possession of it. He determin'd, at last, to dig a Hole in the Cellar, and hide it: But it happen'd, that a Dutch Soldier, who was quartered in the House, saw him bury the Purse, and went afterwards and stole it. The Blind Man bethinking himself of a Place more convenient, return'd, in an Hour or two, and discover'd his Misfortune; for which he con­triv'd an ingenious Remedy, by detecting the Author of it, which he judg'd to have been [Page 59] the Dutch Soldier; but the Difficulty was, how to prove it.

THEY lay in the same Room; and, at Night, when they were in Bed, the Blind Man began, under Pretence of Friendship and Confidence, to consult with the Soldier, concerning a Necessity which he said, he was under, to hide a hundred Pistoles. To say Truth, added he, I have hid fifty of them to Day; and would dispose of the other fifty in the same Place, to Morrow; only I am desirous to be satisfy'd, Whether, in Point of Conscience, such a Practice is unlawful? My Relations being so extravagant, that they would waste it all, if they could come at it.

THE Soldier swallowed the Bait, and ar­gued, like a Casuist, to confirm the Intenti­on; expecting, now, to get it all. He rose, therefore, betimes, and going into the Cellar, restor'd the fifty Pieces to the Hole, he had taken them from: The Blind Man went, af­terwards, and recover'd his Money, as he expected, by the Success of his Stratagem.

HERE, the Major clos'd his Speech; and it was difficult to say, which had most pleas'd the Hearers, His Story, or his Good-Nature: Ned Volatile, himself, tho' his Vanity was a little shock'd, felt an Awe, from the Vertue and Plain-Dealing of his Friend; and, looking generously out of Countenance, told the Major, with a serious Smile, ‘'That, in Company of 'the Wise, none are Foolish, but the Witty.

[Page 60]YET, to shew you, said he, (by this Time, beginning to recover himself,) That I have edified by your Sermon, I will make an ho­nourable Amends to the Ladies, by producing the Example of a Living Glory to their Sex, who has also been pleasant on a natural De­fect, but in a manner, much more Generous. She made them, on a Boy that was Dumb, but of excellent Quickness of Parts. And I speak with the more Pleasure, in Praise of this Lady, because I know I can do no­thing more acceptable to the Major, whom I have often heard declaring himself, One of Her devoted Admirers.
I Sing the Boy, who gagg'd and bound,
Has been, by Nature, robb'd of Sound:
Yet has she found a gen'rous Way,
One Loss, by many Gifts, to pay.
His Voice, indeed, she close confin'd;
But bless'd him with a speaking Mind.
And ev'ry Muscle of his Face,
Discourses, with peculiar Grace.
The LADIES, tatling, o'er their Tea,
Might learn to charm, by copying Thee:
If Silence, thus, can Man become,
All Women Beauties shou'd be dumb.
Then, happy Boy, no more complain,
Nor think thy Loss of Speech a Pain;
Nature has us'd thee, like good Liquor,
And cork'd thee, but to make thee quicker.

[Page 61]THE Major embrac'd Ned Volatile with a fatherly Pride, and Tenderness: And there was not One, in Company, who did not think it a Happiness, to be guilty of a Fault, which had furnish'd an Opportunity of repenting, so gracefully.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 9.
MONDAY, April 20. 1724.

— fratremque ruentem
Sustentat dextra —
VIR.

THERE is Nothing more talk'd of and less easily found than Friendship; Every One Pretends to It, and not One in a Million really Possesses this Noble Passion, which is the most Generous that can Actuate and Adorn the Soul of Man; being as Necessary a Cement, in Private and Domestick Life, as Publick Faith to Publick Society, and the greater Commerce of the World.

FOR Want of Authentick and Real Ex­amples of this Noble Quality so conducive to Pleasure as well as Profit, the Antient Poets have had Recourse to Fiction, and told us Stories of their Pylades and Orestes; but we [Page 62] will entertain the Reader with the greatest Action of Generous Friendship that Human Na­ture is capable of Performing; and this from an Author of unexceptionable Credit, who was both an Eye and Ear Witness to Part of the Story, which is more remarkable, by happening between Two Brothers, whom the constant Ob­servation of all Ages, has remark'd to be less often Friends, notwithstanding the Ties of Blood, than other Persons; insomuch that Vir­gil, who had a Perfect Knowledge of Human Nature, has thought fit (as it were Proverbially) to express himself on this Occasion,

Et infidos agitans Discordia Fratres.

IN the Beginning of the XVIth Century, the Portugueze Carracks sailed from Lisbon to Goa, a very great Colony of Portugueze, in the East-Indies. These Carracks are the largest Vessels that press the Ocean: On Board of one of them were Twelve Hundred Souls, Mariners, Merchants, Passengers, Priests, and Fryars, who were going on their several Missions esta­blished in China and the Indies: The Begin­ning of their Voyage was Prosperous; they had doubled the Cape of Good Hope, and were steer­ing North-East to the Continent of India, when some Gentlemen on Board, having studied Geo­graphy and Navigation, found in the Latitude in which they then were, a very great Ridge of Rocks laid down in their Sea Charts; upon this, they apply'd themselves to the Captain [Page 63] of the Ship, and acquainted him with the Danger which they apprehended, desiring him at the same Time, to communicate what they had discovered to the Pilot; which Request he immediately gratify'd, recommending to the Pilot to lie by in the Night, and slacken Sail by Day, 'till they should be past the Danger. By the Discipline of the Portugueze Navy, the Sailing Part is absolutely committed to the Care of the Pilot, who is answerable with his Head, for the safe Carriage of the King's Ship, and under no manner of Direction from the Captain, who commands in all other Respects.

INSTEAD of complying with so reasonable a Request, on which the Safety of so many Lives depended, the insolent Pilot, thinking it an Affront to be taught in his own Art, crowded more Sail than he carried before.

THE Observations of these Gentlemen were too true, not to have a fatal Issue: They had not sailed many Hours, but just upon Break of Day, (which would have been prevented if they had lain by) the Ship struck upon a Rock, and broke her Back.

I LEAVE to the Reader's Imagination, what a Scene of Horror this must be; the Fright of Twelve hundred Persons in the same inevita­ble Danger, at the Sight of that instantaneous Death, which star'd them in the Face!

THE Captain in this Distress, order'd the Pinnace to be launch'd, into which, after hav­ing toss'd in a small Quantity of Biscuit, and some few Boxes of Marmelade, he got himself [Page 64] with nineteen others, who seeing the Danger of a Crowd in the common Horror, rushing in­to the Boat, drew their Swords and prevented the coming in of any more: The same Neces­sity oblig'd them immediately to put off, lest their Pinnace should be drawn in by the Suction of the sinking Carrack.

HERE their Eyes were entertain'd with the most dismal of Spectacles, the Sight of their sinking Friends, and their Ears with the Cries of so many in the same Misery, whom they could not help without their own Destruction; a Scene of Woe, which nothing could alleviate but the Reflection, that they themselves were not in the same Extremity, though humanly speaking, they were not in a much better Con­dition, being destitute on the vast Indian Ocean, in an open Boat, without any Compass to direct them, without any fresh Water, but what must fall from those Heavens, whose Mercy alone could deliver them. To which must be added, the inevitable Danger of being overset by the first Wind that should raise the Waves, besides the Certainty of perishing assoon as their small Stock of Provisions should be spent, which only serv'd to prolong their Miseries by reserving them for a more lingring and cruel Death. In this Distress, after they had for four Days row­ed to and fro, without Guide or Direction, the Captain, who had been sick, and very weak, for some Time, overcome with Grief and Fa­tigue, died. This added, if possible, to their Misery, for now they fell into the last Con­fusion, [Page 65] Every one would Govern, and none would Obey: This oblig'd them to chuse one of their own Company to command them, whose Orders they agreed implicitly, without any Reserve, to follow.

THE Choice fell upon a Gentleman, who was, what the Portugueze call a Mestizzo, that is, one begotten between an European and an Indian: This Person, vested with his new Authority, proposed to the Company to draw Lots, and throw every fourth Man overboard, by Reason their Provision was spent so far, as not to last above three Days longer: They were now Nineteen Persons in all; in this Number were a Fryar and the Carpenter, both whom, they would exempt, by Reason of their being so necessary, the One to Ab­solve and Comfort them in their last Extremi­ty, and the other to take Care of the Boat, in Case of a Leak, or other Accident; the same Compliment they paid to their new Captain, he being the odd Man, and his Life of more Consequence than any of the rest. He refu­sed a great while, but at last acquiesced; so that there were four to dye out of the sixteen remaining.

THE Three first on whom the Lot fell, after having confess'd, and receiv'd Absoluti­on, submitted to their Fate.

THE Fourth, whom Fortune condemn'd, was a Portugueze Gentleman who had a younger Brother in the Boat, who, seeing him about to be flung over-board, most tenderly embraced [Page 66] him, and with Tears in his Eyes, besought him to let him dye for him; enforcing his Ar­guments by telling him, That, He was a Mar­ried Man, and had a Wife and Children at Goa, besides the Care of three Sisters who absolutely de­pended upon him: That as for himself, he was single, and his Life of no great Importance; he therefore conjur'd him to let him supply his Place.

THE Elder Brother astonish'd, and melted with this Generosity, replied, That since the Providence of GOD, had appointed him, it would be wicked and unjust to suffer any other to dye for him, especially a Brother to whom he was so infinitely oblig'd.

THE Younger would take no Denial, but flinging himself on his Knees, held his Brother so fast, that they could not disengage them: Thus they disputed for a while, the Elder Bro­ther bidding him be a Father to his Wife and Children, and as he would inherit his Estate, take Care of their common Sisters; but all he could say, made him not desist; This was a Scene of Tenderness which must fill with Pity any Breast susceptible of generous Impressions!

AT last, as it is no difficult Thing to per­suade a Man to live, the Constancy of the Elder Brother yielded to the Piety of the Younger; he acquiesced, and suffered the Gallant Young Man to supply his Place; who being flung in­to the Water, when he came to it, could not be content to dye; but being a very good Swimmer, got to the Stern of the Pinnace, and [Page 67] laid hold with his right Hand; which being perceiv'd by one of the Sailors, he cut off the Hand with a Cutlass, upon which, dropping into the Sea, he caught hold again with his Left, which received the same Fate by a second Blow; thus dismembered in his two Hands, he made a shift, notwithstanding, to keep him­self above Water, with his Feet and two Stumps.

THIS moving Spectacle so raised the Pity of the whole Crew, that they cry'd out, He is but one Man, let us save him; which was ac­cordingly done; and he taken into the Boat, had his Hands bound up as well as the Place and Circumstances would permit. They row'd all that Night, and next Morning, when the Sun arose, as if Heaven would reward the Gal­lantry and Piety of this Young Man, and for his Sake, save all the rest, they descry'd Land, which prov'd to be the Mountains of Mozam­bique in Africk, where the Portugueze have a Colony; hither they all safely got, where they staid 'till the next Ships from Lisbon pass'd by, and carried this Company to Goa; where Linschotten, a Dutch Author of good Credit, assures us, That he himself saw them land, supp'd with the two Brothers that very Night, saw the Younger with his Stumps, and had the Story from both their Mouths, as well as from the rest of the Company.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 10
FRIDAY, April 24. 1724.

— Dulcis Odor Lucri.
— didicisse fideliter Artes.
— Emollit mores nec sinit esse feros.
HOR.

AMONG the Benefits we owe to Trade, there is One Disadvantage, unavoidably annexed to It—It weakens our Humanity, and eradicates an open Confidence, which most Men are born with; but lose, as it were, insensibly, by the Influence of low Maxims: such as are early imprinted on the Minds of all who are educated to the Arts of Bargaining.

THE Notions of such Men, unless in some extraordinary Cases, are strangely narrow, and confin'd. They are seldom capable of relishing, or even of comprehending, the Extent of a dis­interested Beneficence.—Their Wisdom is but Cunning, and their Learning is a Craft. When they hear the Fame of some vast Bounty, some Expansion of the Soul, that is unusual, and astonishing, instead of that Emotion and warm Transport of Heart, which it excites, in the Generous, all their Wonder is the Effect of their Incapacity to conceive it: for, measuring [Page 69] it by a Supposition, That there must be some latent Design, they are at a Loss to account for the Gain, or the Drift of it.

CIVILITY, in these Men, is not Manners, but Mystery. Their Friendships are a Kind of Barterings, for Exchange of Good Offices, and the weakest of their Passions, are their Love, and their Pity.

NO Condition of Life can be more afflicted and mortifying, than the Misery of Owing Mo­ney to these Scantlings of Humanity. They consider you, then, no longer on the Foot of Merit, or Quality; but, as if Good Manners, and Decency, were their Ready Money Commo­dities, they throw off all Respect, and grow brutal, and unsociable.

Mr. Hawthorn, my Neighbour, the Sussex Justice of the Quorum, came lately into the Assembly, with a Mien, disturb'd, and Martial. He swung his Arms, like a Pendulum. His Face was flush'd, and flaming; and his whole Gesture menacing. He puff'd and breath'd short; sat him down, in one of the Windows; threw his Hat upon the Floor; and, as soon as he cou'd speak intelligibly, gave us loudly to understand, That he had been waiting, six Hours, in a Tavern, without eating or drink­ing, with a furious Determination, to break the Head of the Vintner.—Is this, said he, the Good-Breeding of your Welcome-mongers, that keep Taverns?—Is this, the little, flattering, scraping, sneering, wagtail Fellow, that us'd to be so ready, and so nimble?—To rub his [Page 70] Hands, and wriggle forward, like a Spaniel, to the Street-End of his Entry?—Odsbobs! it was a lucky Reprieve for his Bones, that he was gone down to the Custom-House! for I am verily convinc'd, that, in the Fury of my Heart, I shou'd have broke the King's Peace, tho' I had lost my Commission for't.

THE Assembly was, by this Time, in a Mid­way Disposition, betwixt Mirth and Astonish­ment! when he threw me a rumpled Paper, and nodded at me, to open it. I did so, in some Confusion, and, perceiv'd, it was a Letter; which, upon a second permissive Nod, I read, aloud, to the Company.

For 'Squire Robert Hawthorn. These.

SIR,

I SHUD a'thought, how such as you, shud a been a Man of Honour. Your Friend, as gave you a Character, promis'd, That you was Ready Money, for that Pipe of Neat Port, as I sent away, by your Order, to the Car­rier's in the Borough.—But I find no such Matter. I ha' writ one Letter, besides this, and had no Answer, to none of 'um. I de­pend upon hearing from you, to my Con­tent, betwixt and next Saturday, without fail:—Or Trouble will ensue.

Yours, Giles Winpenny.

[Page 71]I WAS a little at a Loss how to act in this Business, for it happen'd, unfortunately, that I had recommended Mr. Winpenny, to my worthy Neighbour Mr. Hawthorn; so that I was un­der some Surprize, and in Perplexity, what to say: When Ned Volatile, whose Levity is, some­times, of much Weight, interpos'd, very sea­sonably, and with his usual Vein of Humour.

LEND your Cudgel to Me, Mr. Justice o'the Quorum; for, if you shou'd pay him, your self, you will pay him, with Interest.—Besides, it is an Honour that every Body does not merit,—to be beat by a Magistrate.—The Matter is not so great neither.—If you will do me but the Favour to sup, to Night, at my Lodg­ings, there's my Man, now, I'll warrant you, can produce half a Score, such tender Billets as this.—I give 'em him, once a Week, to cut out into Fringes, for my Candlesticks.—But, as to poor Winpenny, he's an honest Fellow, at Bottom, and no worse than a Miser.—But so pleasantly covetous, that, if you were as learn'd in him, as I am, you wou'd forgive him, out of Gratitude, for the Laughter he wou'd afford you.—Shall I tell you a merry Story of him?—Poor Winpenny, you must know, lost a Cargo of Wine, that was coming to him, from Lis­bon; and, in the Anguish of his Heart, he re­solv'd to live no longer: He ty'd a Rope about his Neck, and fast'ning it to a Beam in his Cellar, jump'd, heroically off, from an unlucky, empty, Hogshead, that tumbled down, from its Stand, and alarm'd one of his Drawers, who [Page 72] was unseasonably Vigilant. The silly Rogue cry'd out; and I, happening, at that Time, to be Drinking behind the Bar, run immediate­ly down; and, as Ill-Luck wou'd have it, came Time enough to cut the Rope.—Great Endeavours were us'd, to compose his ruffled Mind.—But, when he was told, the next Morning, in what Manner he was preserv'd, he grew desperate, and uncomfortable; And nothing wou'd serve his Turn, but his Rope must be paid for.—I have the Bill, at Home uncancell'd, where he charges me, by Way of Postscript, with this remarkable Arti­cle,—For Cutting a New Rope, what you please, or think reasonable.

MR. Hawthorn lost his Anger, in Ned Vo­latile's Start of Pleasantry; and the Assembly grew compos'd, and took Occasion, from this Incident, to enter upon a serious, and instru­ctive, Chain of Reasoning, on the Loveliness of that Quality, which is call'd Generosity: At the Close of which, the Major, who had listen'd, from the Beginning, with a silent Approbati­on, and a Face augustly sweeten'd, with an Amiable Reverence, took his Turn in the Con­versation: And as soon as he offer'd to speak, a chearful Expectation appear'd in the Eyes of the whole Company; and every Body paid him the Homage of a voluntary Attention.

I have been greatly delighted, said this Friend of Mankind, with the Discourse which I have heard, of an Excellence, I love: And, which, I remember a fine Experience of, by [Page 73] a Companion of mine, an agreeable, young Fellow, who, in an Exigency, that befel him, try'd the Difference of Mens Natures.—He applyed himself to Two Persons; of whom One was his near Relation, and the Other had been his School-fellow. He sent each of them a Letter, which had the same Contents, Ver­batim.—From the first, he had this Answer. I keep both Copies in my Pocket-Book; for I should be sorry to lose Either.

Dear Tom,

YOU could never have applyed your self to me at so unlucky a Time, as Now: For I have not a loose Corn by me. The Funds are, to me, instead of a strong Box: And, you know, when they are in such a fair Way of Rising, one would not willing­ly sell out; unless for some extraordinary Oc­casion. I send you the Note again, because it don't fall in my Way to make the proposed Use of it: But I am heartily, and sincerely sorry, that it should happen to be thus out of my Power: For no Body in the World can be more willing, and ready, at all Times, to serve You, than,

Dear TOMSY,
Your loving Uncle, and real Friend, D. W.

The ANSWER to his other LETTER, was very different, and runs thus:

SIR,

NO good News can be more welcome, than a Proof, That I am honour'd with the Friendship of the Deserving.—I must consider in this Light, the Obligation you have laid me under, by that Confidence you allowed to my Professions of Sincerity.—This Bill should have come alone, but that I find my self under a Necessity to rectify a Mistake, you have made, in the Note, you sent me.—Forgive me, therefore, that I return it you. I am, with the greatest Respect,

SIR,
Your most Obliged, and most Obedient Servant, M. Z.

THE Note, which he sent back, was that, by which my Friend had acknowledged his Receipt of the Money he desired to borrow; and which he promised to repay, on Demand, to the Lender, or his Order: All this, the re­fined Obliger had eraz'd with his Pen; and instead of it, wrote what follows, on the blank Side of the Paper.—I do hereby declare, That I owe five Hundred Guineas, to my good Friend, Mr. S—, and will always reserve them in a Readiness for his Call; in Return for the [Page 75] Pleasure he has given me, by borrowing of me One Hundred.

WHILE we were expressing our Satisfaction in this fine-spirited Instance, of the Art of en­larging Favours, by the Manner of conferring them, the Alderman was observed to have fix'd his Eyes on the Floor, in a Posture of Thought, and Sadness, that was very unusual in him.—Ned Volatile, who had just made a Tour, round the Table, to beg a Pinch of Spanish from the Coquett's Venetian Snuff-Box, passing close behind the Alderman, and supposing him fast asleep, guided Part of it to his Nose, and rows'd him, into a Fit of Sneezing; which, as soon as he was freed from, he looked round for Ned Volatile; and, after a Half Smile, and a Sober Wag of his Head, thus addressed him­self to the Company.

I KNEW, I owed this Favour to the Wan­tonness of that young Mad-cap; who is as full of Mischief as a Monkey. He fancy'd, I was nodding; and, truly, I am sorry, that he hap­pened to be mistaken; for I was musing, and very melancholy.—This Story of the Major's brought afresh into my Mind an extraordinary Accident that I met with, my self, in the Year of the Great Frost, that was before the Revo­lution.

MANY Losses, that Year, had disabled me to make good my Credit; so that I was run upon, by my Enemies; and gave myself up for no Better than a Gone Man. But, one Morning, early,—I shall never forget it!—I was just [Page 76] come down into my Counting House, in my Night-Gown, and Slippers;—when, in comes a Porter, and delivers me a Letter; and away he goes, immediately, without asking for an Answer.—The Letter was from a Merchant, that had formerly been my Best Friend; but we had broke off, for some Years, upon my re­fusing to lend him a Thousand Pounds, upon his Bond; and we had never convers'd, since that Time, till now, that he sent this Letter; the Contents of which, were to tell me, That he was sorry to hear, what was reported abroad, to the Discredit of my Circumstances; for he knew, it must be owing to some unfortunate Accident; since, whatever Defects I had, I could never want Frugality.—But, however, says he, If Five Thousand Pounds can save you, call for it when you please, and I will lend it you, by Way of Punishment, for an Unkindness of Yours, formerly: And since the Mortification This must give you, merits Pardon for your Fault, I will forget it, from this Time forward, that we may be Friends again, as usual.

THE Alderman interrupted himself in this Part of his Story, by a sudden Burst of Tears; which he strove, in vain, to suppress; and which affected the whole Assembly with a Sympathy, more touching, than could have been excited by the most pathetick Force of Elo­quence.—He recover'd himself, after a short Pause, and went on, to inform us, That, with­in less than a Week, after he had sav'd him­self from Ruin, by Receipt of this Money, his [Page 77] generous Friend, the Merchant, fell out of a Boat, below Bridge, and was, unfortunately drown'd.—It is true, continu'd the good Alderman, I repaid it, very punctually, and have made all Acknowledgments, and done all Services, in my Power, to his sorrowful Widow, and his Children.—But, alas! What did all That signify?—He was dead, that had Oblig'd me:—And gone, beyond all Possibi­lity of ever knowing how I repented my unkind Usage of him! and what a Shame, and a Change, his Generosity had produced in me!

He would willingly have spoke more; but could not support his Anguish;—and wept again, very passionately; so that rising ab­ruptly, he hastened out of the Room, and left Us all in great Disorder.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 11
MONDAY, April 27. 1724.

— Nugis addere Pondus.
HOR.

I YESTERDAY went to see a very agree­able Friend, at whose House, I found a handsome Appearance of Young People of both SEXES. Upon my Entrance, every one [Page 78] rose, and very obligingly proffered me a Seat, each insisting on the Preference I should give in Acceptance of the Honour design'd me.

AS I was unwilling to disoblige any One, where All had treated me with so much Civili­ty, I wink'd at my Friend, who, with great Formality, conducted me to a large Elbow-Chair; and put an End to the Dispute.

WHILE I was wondring with a secret Pleasure, at such an unaccustom'd Piece of Good-breeding, and examining the Countenances of the Com­pany, my Friend, who till then had discours'd of indifferent Matters, told me with a Smile, He had assembled this Sett of Young People, with a Promise of shewing them the PLAIN DEALER, and therefore desir'd, I would throw aside all Re­servedness, and look upon every one as my pro­fess'd Admirer, and Friend, which was imme­diately confirm'd by a General Reverence.

I THANK'D him for the Favour he had done me, in introducing me to such Agreeable Society; and could not help discovering by my Looks, the inward Satisfaction I felt, at the Sight of so much Youth, and Beauty; which ended in that melancholy Reflection, How many Dangers it was expos'd to, and how easily it might be vitiated.

WHEN the Tea-Equipage was remov'd, and every One remained silent in Expectation of what I should say, the Charming Leonilla, my Friend's Eldest Daughter, after having first fix'd her Eyes on a Young Lady that sat op­posite to her, and then on me, desir'd in Be­half [Page 79] of Part of the Company, I would give my Opinion in the Case of That Restriction Young Women lie under, who, from a Custom, which, in her Opinion, had no just Grounds for its Support, are forbid by Decency, let their Passion be the most vertuous and tender that was ever felt, to make the least Advance, by which the Party belov'd may discover the Sen­timents they have in his Favour. To which I answer'd, A Woman of Sense can never feel that Tenderness for a Fool;—and a Man of Sense would always reckon such a Declaration, a Desire of enjoying that Happiness, whose Basis is Love, and whose Support is Virtue.

AFTER I had delivered my Opinion in Fa­vour of Leonilla, I turn'd to the Lady, with whom (I could perceive by the Blush in her Cheeks) she had been disputing, and told her, There was a false, as well as a true Decency; and that One consisted in Grimace and Shew, the Other in an open Deportment, the Result of an unaffected, disinterested Love of Virtue. And that it would always be found, a Man has no more Reason to conceive Hopes from the free Con­verse of the Latter, than to fear Success from the distant Carriage of the Former. True Vir­tue wants no Foil, and is never talking of itself. False Virtue, sensible of its Weakness, is forc'd to have Recourse to Hypocrisy, and is ever boasting a Strength it is a Stranger to.

AS I was running on in this grave Dis­course, I was interrupted by a young Gentle­man, who told us, he had just met with a Copy [Page 80] of VERSES, said to be written by Lady W—y M—e, wherein he thought there was the most Delicate Sense of Virtue, mixed with the most agreeable Turn of Wit. Upon the whole Company's desiring to see it, he pulled a Paper out of his Pocket, and read as follows.

The RESOLVE.
WHilst Thirst of Praise, and vain Desire of Fame,
In ev'ry Age, is ev'ry Woman's Aim;
With Courtship pleas'd; of silly Toasters proud;
Fond of a Train, and happy in a Crowd;
On each poor Fool bestowing some kind Glance;
Each Conquest owing to some loose Advance;
Whilst vain Coquets affect to be pursu'd,
And think they're virtuous, if not grossly lewd;
Let this Great MAXIM be my Virtue's Guide,
In Part she is to blame, who has been try'd;
He comes too near, that comes to be Deny'd.

WE all agreed in the Character he had given of this little Piece; particularly a Gentleman, who has a Smattering in Poetry; who, not to be behind-hand with the Sex in Modesty, pro­duc'd the subsequent Lines, which he desir'd I would read to the Company.

[Page 81]
ANSWER to the RESOLVE.
WHilst empty Coxcombs blast a Woman's Fame,
In ev'ry State and ev'ry Age the same;
With their own Folly pleas'd, each FAIR they toast,
And where they least are happy, swear they're most;
No Diff'rence marking 'twixt the Gay and Lewd,
But dreaming, All, who fly, wou'd be pursu'd:
Whilst thus they vainly think, and vainly live,
Lost, to that Reverence Love's soft Lessons give,
Let this Great MAXIM be my Passions Guide,
May I ne'er hope where I am ne'er deny'd,
Nor gain a Woman willing to be try'd.

IF before, we were loud in Commendation of the First, here, we were extravagant; the LADIES opprest him with Thanks; and told him, He should lose Nothing, by the Generous Opinion he had entertain'd of the SEX. To which a Wag, in Company, with an envious Smile, reply'd, ‘'If he should lose Nothing by it he was sure, he would get Nothing, but what wou'd be merited, by his Mortifi­cations.’

MY Friend perceiving both Parties grew warm, desir'd them, before they went on, to consider what they were saying, since he was persuaded the PLAIN DEALER would print the Occurrences of that Day. Upon which, they all compos'd their Looks, and a general Silence ensued. When my Friend turning to me, ‘'You see, (says he) the Ne­cessity of a Man of your Character: Ev'ry [Page 82] way you're Serviceable; the Publick feels the Benefit of your Writings; and Private Families of your Presence: One is restrain'd by Fear of Publick Censure; the Other, of Private Reproof; If therefore you have any Enemies, treat them with Candour, and con­vince them of their Errors by a — But I am engaging in a needless Office; and giving Advice where I ought to ask it.’

IT growing late, I took Leave of the Com­pany (not without a particular Invitation from Each, which I promis'd at the first Opportu­nity to comply with,) and calling at my Prin­ter's as I went Home, found the following Billet, which, but for the Advice my Friend gave me, I should hardly have been prevail'd upon to make publick.

To the PLAIN DEALER.

SIR,

THE best Construction I can put upon your Attempt is Vanity or Folly; for unless you look upon yourself as superior to the Authors of the Tatlers, Spectators, Guardians, Free-Thinkers, &c. You are very weak, to think any Thing inferior can be relish'd by those who are Admirers of Them; amongst the most Passionate of which, you may reckon

Indelectabilis.

N.B. You love PLAIN DEALING; so do I.

To Indelectabilis.

SIR,

YOUR Letter being so Witty, as not to be Capable of an Answer,—You have reduc'd me to the Necessity of bestow­ing it upon your Postscript. I am, Sir,

Your most humble Servant, The Plain Dealer.

N.B. Plain Dealing, is a Virtue, but Rough Dealing an Impertinence.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 12.
FRIDAY, May 1. 1724.

Pasces in Cruce Corvos. —
HOR.

I HAVE as just a Veneration as any Man living, for the Laws of my Native Coun­try: They are generous, mild, and gentle; built on equal Foundations of Justice and Mer­cy: And, to say all, in a Word, they are such, as every Freeman wou'd wish to be govern'd by. I am so far from denying them the Re­verence [Page 84] they deserve, that I have always read with Pleasure, the most elaborate, and strain'd En­comiums, with which the Gentlemen of the Robe fill their Writings, on this Subject.

BUT, since it is the most desireable, among all the Advantages of Liberty, to think, and speak freely; it cannot, I hope, be offensive, if I declare myself not well satisfy'd, with any Arguments I have, yet, heard, in Defence of Capital Punishment for certain Crimes, which are low, and frequent: And which carry, me­thinks, no Proportion, in Comparison with others, of a much blacker Complexion; to which notwithstanding, they seem parallell'd, by the Equality of their Sentence.

THE Life of a Man is, so infinitely of more Value than his Beast, or his Moveable, that, whenever I see the Sufferings of pinch'd, and hunger-starv'd Wretches, under the Agonies of an Execution; for having robb'd perhaps to avoid famishing; I find myself oppress'd by a Grief, which nothing mitigates, but this Reflection—That their Lives were expos'd to such Extremities of Want, and Misery, that their Death should be a Comfort.—And yet, the long protracted Gazings, the Paleness, the Tremblings, and the ghastly, distorted Faces, of the poor departing Strugglers (who die with strong Reluctance, and linger, and lengthen out, their last painful Moment) make it evi­dent, to the Beholders, That, Unfriendly as the World was to them, they are not willing to forsake it.

[Page 85]I AM convinc'd, that if it were possible to see, on some such Plain, as that of Salisbury, under one assembled Prospect, the whole Num­ber, of Men and Women, who have been exe­cuted, for Theft only, in all the Counties of this Kingdom, within the Memory of any Per­son, of but a moderate Advance in Years; such a dreadful Demonstration of the Waste, which is made, by this Sweep of the Sword of Justice, would be a startling Inducement to those, whose Province it is known to be, to weigh, with Pity, and Deliberation, whether Punish­ments, more adequate, and more politick, too, than Death, might not easily be appropriated to a Number of Petty Crimes, which ever were, and ever must be, unavoidably frequent, in all peopled Places; being the necessary Con­sequences, either of the Wants, or the Depra­vity, of the lowest Part of the Human Species.

ONE Evening, very lately, All my Neigh­bourhood, in Barbican, were in an Uproar, on a sudden; and I was disturb'd, in my Medi­tations, by the shrieking of Women, the mix'd Cries of Children, and a growing Hum of Con­course, that seem'd close under my Window.—I threw aside my Pipe; and, hastening to look out, saw the Street entirely fill'd, by a Groupe of dismal Faces; that had gather'd themselves into a Tumult, about a House, directly opposite, and appear'd to be touch'd, as strongly as Common Natures are capable, with a Mixture of Surprize and Sorrow. It seems, the Husband of a laborious, poor Crea­ture, [Page 86] who was Mistress of this House, had been condemn'd, at the County Assizes, in one of the late Circuits, for stealing a Horse: And a Letter had, just now, been deliver'd to his Wife; which the Criminal himself had writ­ten, the very Morning he was executed.

HIS Relations and Acquaintance had de­pended on a Reprieve; for the Man was uni­versally belov'd among his Neighbours: And, tho' always very poor, and unfortunate in his Dealings, had been remarkable for his Industry; of a sober Disposition, and never known, be­fore, to have been guilty of the least Disho­nesty. He had Six Children alive, and the Eldest but Eight Years old. His Mother, who liv'd in the same little House, had been disabled, by Sickness, for several Months past: So that, perceiving it beyond his Power to subsist his Family any longer, and not daring to stay in Town, by Reason of some Debts he had contracted, he went down, to try his Friends, who liv'd, in good Circumstances, in the Country. But, instead of meeting with Assistance, he only spent, in this Journey, all the little he had carried with him: And not being able to support the Thoughts of return­ing, without Bread, to a Family, in such want of it, he rode away with a Horse, which he found ty'd to a Gate; and being pursu'd, and overtaken, was try'd, condemn'd, and hang'd, for it.

THIS History was loudly given me, by the good Women, in the Street; after which, [Page 87] I had the Curiosity to press in, among the Crowd; and was struck, at my first Entrance, by the most moving Scene of Sorrow, that I ever remember to have met with. The Wi­dow had broke open her Husband's Letter, in Transport, concluding, That it brought her the Confirmation of a Reprieve, which a former had given her Hopes of. But she was so shock'd, and overwhelm'd by the sudden Reverse of Pas­sion, that her Grief was a kind of Madness. She sat on the Floor without Headcloaths; and had an Infant, cross her Knees, that was crying, with great Impatience, for the Breast, it had been thrown from. Another slept in a Cradle, close by a little Bed, in which the Grandmother sat weeping; bending forward in strong Agony; and wringing her Hands in silence. The Four Eldest Children were gather'd into a Knot, and clung about the Neck of their miserable Mother: stamping, screaming, and kissing her, in a Storm of distracted Tenderness!—The poor Woman, herself, was in a Condition, past describing! She press'd the Letter of her dead Husband, to her Eyes!—her Lips!—her Bosom!—She rav'd, and talk'd, and question'd him, as if he had been present!—And, at every little Interval, dry'd her Tears, with his Letter: And cast a Look upon the Com­pany, so wild! and so full of Horror! that it cannot be conceiv'd, but by those, who were Witnesses of it.

AS soon as she saw me there, she stretched out her Hand; and made Signs, that I should read [Page 88] the Letter; which I received from her, accord­ingly. And going back, to my Lodging, with a Resolution to send over some fitter Person than myself, to assist, in the Distresses of so dis­consolate a Family, I sat down, and took a Copy of it, because it moved me exceedingly.

Dear, Loving Betty,

IT is now nine a Clock; and I must be fetch'd out, by and by, and go to die, before Eleven. I shall see my poor Bess no more, in this World; but, if we meet one another again in the next, as I hope in God we shall, we may never part after­wards. Methinks, if I cou'd but only once more look upon my good Betty before I die, tho' it shou'd be but for a Minute; and say a kind Word to my Fatherless Children, that must Starve now, if God don't take Care for them, I should go, away, with a good Heart. And yet sometimes I fancy, it is better as it is, for it wou'd be sad, to die, afterwards, and I fear it wou'd make me faint­hearted: and I should be wishing, that I might live, to get you Bread, and Cloaths, for your poor precious Bodies. Sarah Taylor made my Heart ake, when she told me, that you had pawn'd away, every thing, to make up that last fifty Shillings that you sent me by Will. Sanderson, who is now in the Room with me, and sits down upon the Straw that I laid on, last Night, and is weeping for me like a Child. But God will make up all the Money to you again, that you have let me have, to no purpose. And I should be sorry that any unkind Body should hit [Page 89] it in your Teeth, that I come to such an untime­ly, bad End: For I thought as little of it, as they do. But all the Way as I walked up to London, afoot, I could not help having a Fan­cy in my Head at every Turn, That I saw my poor dear Betty, and my six helpless little Ones hanging upon me, and crying out bitterly, That they had no Bread, to keep Life in 'em; and begging me to buy them some. And so, I thought that I would sell that Horse, and make you be­lieve, that I got Money, of your Sister Parker: But she was too Sparing, for that; and wou'd never once look upon me.—I pray to God to forgive her, and, if she wou'd but be Good to you, when I am gone, God bless her.—Loving Betty, remember me to my sorrowful Mother, and tell her not to take on too much. And bid Richard and Harry, take Warning by my Fall, if ever they come to be Men: And, for the poor Girls, they are too young, as yet, to understand any thing you can say to them. God's Goodness be your Comfort, and if you can, don't think about me, for it will make you only melancholly.—I hope, the Old Deputy will be kind to you, and help you to do somewhat. I am sorry I can't write no more, because my Tears are come into my Eyes.—Little did I think of this dismal Parting—Oh! 'tis very sad!—God bless you, in this un­happy World; Dear, Dear Betty,

From your unfortunate, dying Husband, R. S.
[Page 90]

P.S. Nothing vexes me, but when I think that it is a very hard Case for a Man to be made to die, for a Horse. They say, the King is to have him; he is not worth much: but if my poor Betty had the Mo­ney, he cou'd be Sold for, it wou'd be some Comfort however; for then I shou'd not have left you all so Bare, as you be now.

I carry'd this Letter with me to the Assem­bly: where it was universally Agreed, That there is a plain-hearted Honesty, very mani­fest in all Parts of it; and a generous and manly Sorrow, not arising so much from his own Desire to Live, as from a Prospect of their Wants, whom his Death was to leave Destitute. Our Clergyman, in particular, was greatly mov'd to Compassion; and propos'd a Chari­table Collection, to be sent to the poor Widow, to which himself contributed first, in a very liberal Proportion.

He related to us afterwards an extraordinary Dying Speech, of a very different Turn; which he heard made when a Student, by a House­breaker, who was hang'd for Murder and a Robbery.

GOOD People, said the Criminal, since I am to serve you, for a Sight, the least you can do, is to be Civil to the Man that entertains you. I ask nothing of you, but the Justice, that is due to me. There are some medling Tongues, [Page 91] which I can hear among the Crowd, very busy to incense you. Tho' it is true, I have committed Murder, yet I hope I am no Murderer. The Felony I really purpos'd; but my Intention had no part in the Death that I was Guilty of. The Deceas'd cry'd for Help, and was so Obstinate, and Clamorous, that I was under a Necessity to kill him; or submit my self to be taken. And thus I argued in my Mind. If I Murder him, I shall get off; or, at worst, if I am taken, my Punishment will be no greater, than if I spare him, and Surrender: I can be BUT HANG'D for Murder, and I must be HANG'D TOO, for the House-breaking! This Thought, Good People, prevail'd with me to Shoot him; so that what you call Murder, was but Self-Preservation. Now that I shou'd have dy'd in this same Manner, whether I had Shot him, or no, Witness these two Weak Brothers here, who look as if they were already at the other End of their Voyage, tho' they have not hoisted Sail yet! one of these Stole some Bacon, and the other, a wet Smock or two. The LAW must be certainly Wiser than you are; and since that has been pleas'd to set our Crimes on a Level, be so civil or compas­sionate as to hold your silly Tongues, and let me die, without Slander.

We had several other Stories, on this Sub­ject, of the Publick Executions: but none pleas'd me better, than one, which I shall close my Paper with; and which we were also oblig'd to the Vicar for.

[Page 92]THE late King of Sweden had con­demn'd a Soldier to die; and stood at a little Distance from the Place of Execu­tion. The Fellow, when he heard this, was in hopes of a Pardon; but being assur'd he was mistaken, cry'd, his Tongue was yet free, he wou'd use it, at his Pleasure; which he did, with great License; accusing the King, most insolently, and as loud as he cou'd speak, of Barbarity and Injustice, and ap­pealing to God, for Revenge of his wrong'd Innocence. The King not hearing him, dis­tinctly, enquir'd of those about him, What the Soldier had been saying? and was told, by a General Officer, who was unwilling to heigh­ten his Resentment against the Miserable, That he had only repeated, very often and loud, That God loves the Merciful, and teaches the Mighty to moderate their Anger. The King was touch'd by the Lesson, and sent his Pardon to the Criminal. But a Courtier of an opposite Interest, took Advantage of this Occasion, and repeated to the King ex­actly the Licentiousness of the Fellow's Railing; adding gravely when he had done, That Men of Quality, and Trust, ought never, in his Opinion, to misrepresent Facts to their Sovereign. The King for some Time stood suspended in his Thoughts, but turn­ing at length toward the Courtier, with a Face of Reproof, It is the first Time, says he, that ever I have been betrayed for my Ad­vantage! [Page 93] But the LYE of your Enemy, pleas'd me better, than your TRUTH does.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 13.
MONDAY, May 4.1724.

— Trahit sua quemque Voluptas:
Dic mihi, si fueras tu Leo, qualis eris?
MART.

THERE are in every Man's Life, even the wisest, and most fortified, certain Periods of Weakness, which demonstrate our common Frailty, and seem thrown into our Nature, as Preservatives against Pride; and for the Mortification of Human Vanity.

THAT Venerable Sage of old, who has left us this Aphorism, That no Man should be esteem'd happy, 'till after his Death; might have extend­ed his Observation, as well to our Conduct, as our Fortune: Let no Man, during Life, be call'd Resolute, or Prudent.

COULD I ever have thought, That after passing my giddy Youth in a steddy Contempt of Beauty, I should be enslav'd to it, against Judgment, in my Grand Climacterick! If the Duty of a PLAIN DEALER did not indispen­sibly oblige me to the most rigid Impartiality; [Page 94] even to the giving Sentence against my-self, with what Face cou'd I confess, (what I am asham'd, when I but think of) That I, who am a staid Old Batchelor, am afraid, I am fall­ing in Love with Patty Amble the Coquet! who always seem'd to me, to have been born in a Fit of Laughter! and never had a Thought of Gravity, but when it furnish'd her with an Oc­casion to divert herself at the Expence of it!

WELL! If this should, in good Earnest, come to pass, I shall have a most uncomforta­ble Time of it! What Reason I have had, and from what Time, to suspect it, I shall, without Reserve, communicate, in the Progress of my PAPERS. But let it prove what it will, the Occasion of this Preamble is from an un­usual Disorder, in which I am come Home this Evening, after a kind of frolicksome Ad­venture, with that young Romp; which has left me under an Impression, little better than Witchcraft; tho' at any Time before last Easter, I should have thought it not worth telling.

TO Day, when she hoyden'd into the As­sembly, the whole Company rose together, and received her with that Pleasure, which her Gayety diffuses every where. She sailed through us all, with a swimming, smiling Port, that was visibly affected, but irresistably enga­ging!—When she had flutter'd, and fidget­ed, and sloped her self forward, and wheel'd down her Hoop, to the widest Swell of its Convex, in a Circular Course of Curtesies; she tript sideways to her Seat; and I was just be­ginning [Page 95] to hope Calm Weather, after such a Whirl-wind of Ceremony! when she rose, as it were in a Start, with a Look most whimsical­ly Serious; and drawing a Paper from her Bo­som, pac'd demurely to my Chair—She carry'd her Head to the left side, softly sweep­ing her right Eye-Brow, with the Knob of her Fan, and sinking forward, when she came near me, with a Fantastical Air of Languishment, brush'd my Mouth with her Paper; and be­gan to play over her Tricks, in a long and mystical Jargon of most Womanish Impertinence.

AND were they, said she, so naughty, to leave it by it's nown self? And did no body help it to write it's PLAIN-DEALERS? and was it abus'd, and over-work'd and neglected? Well then, let it be Good, and mind it's Book, and wash it's Face, and forget to be cross, and comb it's Head, and throw away it's dirty Stick; and see what I intend to do for it! There take it, and Print it; And, don't care a Pin for the Work they have put upon it. For I love it, and will think for it; and bring it good Things. And if it wou'dn't look Grim, I should buss it, and stroak it, and chuck it under the Chin; and make much of it, and play with it, and—&c.—&c.—&c.—

AFTER this silly Rate, she ran on, with a ridiculous, but lively and never-ending Volu­bility: and perceiving, that the Company laugh'd out, and were diverted at the grotesque Figure I was making under her Hand's, at length she kiss'd me out-right, and set 'em all, [Page 96] in an Uproar. I wou'd fain have look'd peevish. I turn'd my Face from her, and cry'd Pish—and Pshaw—and Fiddle—and shook my Head in a great Heat, and winch'd in both Shoulders; and much Pains I took, to seem nettled, and uneasy. But, to confess a foolish Truth, it was all, but mere Show; for I was never so agreeably made an Ass of in my Life, and while I felt the busy Wanderings of her Fingers about my Face, I was stung I can't tell how, with a Kind of tingling Delight, all over me; which being desirous to prolong, I pretended to make Efforts for pushing her away; and under that Pretence, gave my Hands the Opportunity of touching her, here and there—And I must own, I was sorry when she put an End to her Gambols.

BUT as soon as I came home, and look'd into her Paper, I was not so much an Ass, (far gone as I found My-self) but that I pre­sently discern'd her Drift: And I wish, with all my Heart, that I had Courage enough to return it her; and tell her, in downright Terms, I don't think it worth Printing. But whatever the Cause of this strange Alteration may be, there is nothing so dreadful to me, as the Dan­ger of disobliging this She-Cockatrice! Since therefore, I am in this odd Manner, bewitch'd, e'en take it, in the arch Flirt's own Words: For it is no Work of mine; and I will have nothing to do with it.

[Page 97]

The LADIES Equivalent. A TALE, with a MORAL to It.

IN the Reign of the Emperor Justinian, the City of Constantinople was much throng'd with Foreigners; for whose Entertainment, unusual Pastimes were invented. The Publick Theatres were embellish'd, interlarded and embroider'd, with Musick, Magick and Tumbling; and such unspeakable Additions, as were fittest to give Pleasure to the Eyes of Goths, Vandals, and Saracens, to whom Plays, alone, were insipid, because acted in a Language, which they were, in a Manner, wholly Strangers to.

THEODORA, the Empress, had been formerly a Comedian, and was a liberal Pro­moter of whatever cou'd contribute to make Pleasure pompous. Among the Numbers, who found their Interest in this Byas of the Court, there was a wily and egregious African; whom for the Flatness of his Nose, the Tawniness of his Complexion, and a certain Majestical Bru­tality, in the Composition of his Features, the merry Greeks had nicknamed the LYON. This Man became rich, by the universal Encouragement, that was given to an odd Project, of his starting.—It was a Kind of Blind-Buzzard, or Midnight-Mummery; of which it is difficult, at this great Distance of Time, to conceive a clear Notion: But Per­sons of the highest Rank, of both Sexes, met there, disguis'd, and under borrow'd Resem­blances, [Page 98] danc'd, regal'd, and discours'd with each other, at large, and disengag'd from all Ceremony, Distinction, or Punctilio.

IT was generally allow'd, however, by all but the LYON's Enemies, that nothing pass'd in these Meetings, either Scandalous or Misbe­coming: Every thing was Magnificent, Orna­mental, and Enlivening: But no Privacies were permitted, nor Indecencies connived at.

IT fell out, notwithstanding, most unfor­tunately for the LYON, That Religion was at this Time very flaming, and watchful. The Good Fathers of the Church became scandalized, and alarm'd, at the Probability of Impurities, in this new-invented Nightwork: For, it was dangerous, they knew, to allow such Latitude to their Female Flock, while their Shepherds were at Rest, who kept the Wolf from biting them. They determine, therefore, vigorously to remonstrate against it. But there was One considerable Rub, that lay full in their Way. The Emperor himself was often present at these Meetings, and indulg'd them, as an innocent, and agreeable Recreation.

TO Remove this heavy Difficulty, the Good Fathers, with great Dexterity, charg'd the Mo­tive of their Fears, upon the Weakness of the Women, whose Natures, they said, were liable to very dangerous Impressions, from those Whisper­ings, and Squeezings, and Inflammations of their Vanity. They went on to assert, That a Woman's Defence against Man, lying rather in her Dread of Shame, than her Abhorrence of Iniquity, [Page 99] she shou'd never be thought Safe, while under the Hazard of Temptations. The Men indeed, they believ'd, might be strong enough to resist; but not their Wives, and their Daughters: Weak Vessels! and brittle! and which wou'd break with a Fall! It were Prudence therefore, to place them out of the publick Reach, and cupboard them up, for the Houshold Use of their Owners: So they humbly represented, That it wou'd be an Act of great Piety and E­dification, if his Imperial Majesty gave Com­mand for the Total Suppression of these New Nurseries of Debauchery.

IT is one Thing to be Pious, and another to be Wise. The Warmth of their Zeal had not suffer'd them to consider, That there were Women of Wit, and Spirit, who would vindi­cate their Sex's Honour; and make use of their powerful Influence, to oppose the good End of these Reverend Memorialists, were it for no other Reason but because the Means were un­mannerly. THEODORA, the Empress, was provok'd to the last Degree; and after reproach­ing their Partiality, and the mean and false Idea's, which they had conceiv'd, of Womens Virtue, fell to reason with them in this Manner.

HOW Contemptibly wou'd your Sex com­pel us to consider them, if all Men were to treat us with so ungenerous a Diffidence! Is it possible, think ye, That our Persons can be won, before our Hearts have dispos'd of 'em? And, whenever we Love passionately, we have Courage to Act resolutely; and make [Page 100] Opportunities, if we were not allow'd to find 'em. If you once confine our Bodies, you set our Minds at full Liberty. Our Natures are too generous, to deceive those who trust us. But we think it a Merit, to make Fools of the Faithless.

THE LYON, grinning horribly, behind the Empress's Chair, was ready to roar, with De­light, at this Rebuke to the Fathers. But, stedfast, and immoveable, in the Piety of their Purpose, they were about to Reply at Large: When the Emperor, who had Meanings not to be trac'd on his Countenance, concealing his Resentment, return'd this Answer to their Re­monstrance.

I Thank you, for this Religious Simplicity, of your Proceeding. You are the Eyes of our Conscience, and see farther than we can. But I am not more pleas'd with your apply­ing for Redress of this formidable Grievance, than surpriz'd, at your overlooking another, of like Tendency; and which your laudable Zeal, for Removing Temptations, must excite you, to thank me, for resolving to see re­medy'd.

THE Women have a Custom, when they stand in need of Absolution, to send for their Confessor, and open their Hearts to him, in their Closets. Were all your Reverend Or­der of equal Sanctity with you, this cou'd possibly administer no just Cause of Scandal: But, since Nature is deprav'd, and there have been Wolves, in Sheep's Cloathing, I conceive [Page 101] it a Design, of much Edification, to abolish, for the future, this Indulgence of the Women; and withhold their Absolution, 'till they come for it, to the Churches. Intending therefore to join these good Purposes in One, I commit it to your Care, to prepare an Edict, for Both, that I may decree it into Law, with as much speed, as possible.

THE Good Fathers were, so unexpectedly, and beyond measure, confounded, at this over-liberal Extent of the Emperor's pious Purpose, that they stood long, at a Loss, to find fit Words to thank him. But they did it at last, with this Hope, in the Rear of all;—That his High and Imperial Majesty wou'd not hasten them too much, in Two Decrees of such Impor­tance, since the Empress had urg'd some Argu­ments, to prove One of them needless; and who cou'd tell, when they came to examine Things more closely, but they might be mistaken, in Both of 'em?

THUS, I have given you, the Coquet's Story; and am well enough aware what the Gypsy's Head was running on: But, if any Body shou'd desire to be made as wise as I am, I shall tell 'em an old Story and let 'em take it, in Satisfaction.— ‘'A Philosopher bought some Meat, and returning from the Market, hid it under his Cloak. An Impertinent Fellow met him, and wou'd needs know What it was?—It is there, said the Philosopher, on purpose, That you shou'd not know it.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 14.
FRIDAY, May 8. 1724.

— P [...]r pari referemus.
CICERO.

LITTLE Follies, which we but Smile at in Persons who are Indifferent to us, gives us Sorrow and Pain, when observ'd in those we Love. Patty Amble is of late become of such Importance, that I watch her with a Tenderness, that interests me in all her Acti­ons. For this Reason, I am frequently con­triving to interrupt Her, when she lets her Tongue run Races, that out-gallop her Rea­son. But I always lose my Labour: My Operations upon this Gossip are like the Wind's upon Fire; I may blow till my Breath fails,—instead of putting her out, I make her burn but the faster!

I HAVE succeeded however, in what I fail'd to do My-self, by the Assistance of Ned Volatile, But not to assume more Triumph than is due to me, the Stratagem I made use of, was found out by Shakespear, before me. That Poetical Politican taught his Richard the Third, among the rest of his surprizing Victories, to conquer [Page 103] a Woman's Tongue; but it was by Aid of one of his Drums, which no sooner Beat up, but the Enemy was put to Silence.

WE shall now enjoy some Freedom, and may all Talk in our Turns; for Ned, and the Coquet, will be play'd off at Pleasure. When either of 'em grows Troublesome, we shall let loose the Rival, and like Sulphur and Salt-Petre, one shall blow up the other.

PATTY AMBLE came Yesterday fine­ly dress'd to the Assembly; ready to burst with Impatience for our Admiration of her Fancy. She kept us Silent above an Hour, while she was so kind as to open to us the Labours and Difficulties, she had for fourteen Days been fatigu'd by, before she cou'd unite so elegant­ly all her trifling Varieties. From her Head to her Foot, she oblig'd us with the Minutes of her whole Fortnight's History. It was not to be expected, that in the midst of so much Business, she cou'd be at Leisure to consider, That after we had approv'd both the Price, and Colour of her Damask, it was of no great Edification, at least to the Male Part of the Company, to know what Shop she bought it at. But happy had it been cou'd she have found Rest so speedily! Nothing like it, I assure you; we were also to learn, in what Places she miss'd it. Yet for my own Part, I must say, I was particularly edify'd by her cri­tical Remarks, on certain Differences to be found, betwixt buying on Ludgate-Hill, or of the Mercers about Covent-Garden.

[Page 104]BUT ill fare, say I, that unlucky Word Garden! It put her fatally in Mind of a Fat fresh-colour'd Country Lady, who cou'd never be persuaded to make Visits, in any thing but Garden Silks, tho' her Arms were as big as a Rolling-Stone! Then the unfortunate Word Fat, brought as aptly to her Remembrance, poor old Dimpley the laughing Staymaker, that us'd to Work for her Grandmother, when first she was Married! and never lac'd our Patty, when she was a Girl, but she made her very Neck ake with twisting it to look back at him. At length, after infinite Disappointments and Dangers, she arriv'd safe at her Hoop-Petticoat; where, being seiz'd with a Fit of Gratitude for the Parliament's strange good Nature, and ex­traordinary Care of Trade, she was thinking to turn WHIG, because they had taken off the Duty, that lay so heavy upon Whalebone.

WELL, as to that however, she was not al­together so positive. But there was one Thing, of more Consequence, that she was absolutely convinc'd of; she wou'd venture any Wager, that not one Person in the Company, cou'd be able to guess, what her Ground Brussels Head had cost her a Yard; nor where, nor by what particular odd, Accident, she had been so hap­py as to light of it! The Dutchess of M—r took Coach in a Fright, the very Moment she saw it, to buy up the Remnant. But since she was sure we cou'd not guess, she wou'd tell us the Price her self; and not name one Farthing more or less than it really cost her; she wonder'd, [Page 105] for her Part, how Women cou'd be so silly! For what signify'd after all, the little Vanity of being thought skill'd in good Penny-worths! If she had a mind to be Vain, she need only believe, what was said to her at the Opera, by a cer­tain Duke, who must be nameless! But one Thing his Grace was pleas'd with, that she might venture to speak of, and it was that Fancy of her own upon her Fan! Lord! she remem­ber'd too he observ'd, That there was some­thing in a Lady's Fan, much genteeler in its Use, than any part of the Mens Equipage.

IT was just in this Place, that I took Pity of the Company; for I thought I felt their Heads ake! So tipping the Wink on Ned Vo­latile, he started up from his Chair, with such a Stare of Amazement, that one wou'd have thought he was apprehensive the House had been falling! The Coquet started too, and hold­ing her Tongue till she cou'd look round her, Ned, with wonderful Agility, snatch'd the Nick of that Interval; and resolving at once to bear down all Opposition, broke in upon her, like a Torrent, with this sudden Exclamation, ‘'Ah! Madam! Madam! What a Trifle is a Fan, in Comparison with a Feather! I shou'd be sorry to dissent from any Opinion you are fond of; but pray let your Reason be Judge of this Difference! I have one, in my Hat here, that all the African Ostriches, clubbing Tails, to produce the Fellow of it, might be moulting these thousand Years, and all to no Purpose! Dear Madam, do but look on it! [Page 106] The nearer you examine it, the more it will charm you! With all your Wit now, and your Industry, my Life to one of your Lappits, it puzzles you these three Hours to guess where I bought it? I can't be altogether so positive, that you won't hit the Price of it; but upon my Honour, if you shou'd, I'll acknowledge it to a Farthing. There's some Pleasure in con­versing on these critical Affairs, with so nice a Judge as you, Madam! Why here's a Coat, I have worn this five Weeks, and not one in fifty has had the Taste to take Notice, that all the Wool it was made of, is true unmix'd Spanish! You were saying something about Whalebone: 'Tis a useful Commodity indeed, as you Ladies have manag'd it, but what are Hoop Petticoats, to the Woollen Manufacture?

‘'FOR Heaven's sake take Breath, cry'd the Coquet, (swiftly Fanning herself; and half bursting with a Windyness, from Suppression of Meanings,) do but hear, what I was going to say to you?—Never, never, reply'd Ned, he can never be a good Subject, who sub­mits to hear any thing to the Prejudice of the Woollen Manufacture. Mark the wonderful Pro­gress of this silly thing call'd Wool, but from the Sheep's Back to Mine! Take Notice, in the first Place, of these few of the many My­steries which depend on this humble Material! There's the Grazier for Example; and the Shepherd, and the Shearer, and the Sorter, and the Comber, and the Carder, and the Spinner, and the Dyer, and the Scowrer, and the Fuller, [Page 107] and the Weaver, and the Napper, and the Pres­ser, and the Stretcher, and the Carrier, and the Factor, and the Draper, and the Taylor, and the Packer, and the Merchant: But mention­ing the Word Merchant, I must stop a little in my Way, and lay open to you the Won­ders and Advantages of Navigation! I shall inform you clearly, and distinctly, under their proper Heads and Divisions, to what different Corners of the Universe, you Madam, are oblig'd for all those Ornaments which are adorn'd by you! I will begin like a good Builder, and examine first your Foundation. That glittering Pair of Shoes, which we can but see the pointed Tips of, had a long and tiresome Journey, to the prettiest Foot in the World, from three most distant Parts of it. The Silver in their Lacing, you are indebted for to America. Now, you wou'd ask me, as I go along, whence that new Quarter of the Globe took this Name of America? I shall come to it in its Turn; but first you must be acquainted with the Fortunes of its chief Discoverers, Spanish, English, French, Por­tuguese, and Hollanders. And for clearing Things more effectually to your Apprehen­sion, I shall, with as much Brevity as possible, trace the Originals and Histories of these Nations. But speaking just now of Silver, I am presented by that Means, with a fortunate Opportunity to Sail away with you for Peru; and when once I have got you there, we shall never want Amusements suited to the [Page 108] Mercury of your Spirit. For in the first Place, Madam, I will carry you to the Bot­tom of those Mines, which have enrich'd and embroil'd all Europe. And because I know you are a Lady of most unsatisfy'd Curiosity, I will now anticipate in some measure this Improvement I design for you; for I will enumerate, in their pro­per Order, the Subterraneous Inhabitants of the whole mineral Kingdom. There is Gold, Madam, and Silver, and Copper, and Tin, and Quicksilver, (your Favourite, Madam!) and Iron, and Lead, and Antimony, and Marchasi­tes, and Lapis Calaminaris, and Pyrites, and Vitriol, and Allom, and Brimstone, and Sal Gem, and Crystal, and Marble, and Millstone, and Alabaster, and Bolus, and Ochre, and Talc, Madam! And of all these I will immediate­ly explain to you the Growth, and the Ope­rations; and their strange and distinct Uses, whether in Science or in Trade! And after­wards I will take Occasion from this wonder­ful Provision of Materials for our Industry, to demonstrate, beyond Denial, how needless it is for Man, Woman, or Beast, to live idle, and unuseful. But First, (for I wou'd be Regular) I must return to your Shoes. What I was, in their second Division, to particula­rize, was the Silk, which they are cover'd with. I dare not be positive, at this Distance, whether it is Christian or East-Indian; but I will tell you immediately, when I have ex­amin'd it a little nearer.

[Page 109] NED was risen from his Chair, and had levell'd his Eye at her Foot, when she made her Advantage of the lucky Opportunity which this Pause of his afforded her; and recovering her lost Ground, renew'd her Charge with a Vigour, that was fatal to her Opponent.

‘'BRAVELY Shot! cry'd she, laughing, but I am not so easily to be scar'd, I assure you. 'Twill be time enough to listen to such wise Harangues as yours, after I have talk'd myself weary. A most polite Entertainment indeed you are designing us! With your greasy Generation of Scowerers, and Wool-Combers! The Assembly will be better pleas'd with the intricate Prettinesses, which are to be learnt in the Art of Lace-making. Oh! the dexterous Disposition of the Cushion, and the Pattern, and the Pins, and the Bobbins!’

SHE set us all to work, but had no sooner entangled us, among her Threads, and her Bobbins, when she flew on a sudden, out of that Subject to another; and from that to a third. She led us up, so far back, that we were present at her Mother's Labour; and af­ter having been merry at her Christening, she took us along with her to her Nurse's on Ban­sted Downs. From thence to her Father's Coun­try-House beyond Canterbury. After this we liv'd with her four Years at a Boarding School in Hackney; and returning thence, with Plea­sure, had the Honour of her Company to the very first Play that ever she saw in her Life; nay, she permitted us to take Part with her, [Page 110] even in the Masquerade; and at the Opera. But the worst of it was, that, before we were well seated, we were drawn away in her Aunt's old Coach, and carry'd down, the Lord knows whi­ther to make Butter and Cheese in Warwick­shire. Yet in this Place, to do her Justice, she kept us to our no small Emolument, for we grew as good Housewives as her Aunt was. We all learnt to Brew and fatten Hogs, and feed Poultry. But what I found most Relishable were, certain savoury Instructions, she was so good as to communicate; insomuch that I who but yesterday Morning cou'd almost as easily have made a Horse, as a Pudding, am to Day a Man of Learning as well in Dishes as their Garnitures. I can read, if I please, when I meet with a Person of good Taste, a long luxurious Lecture on Farces, Bisks, and forc'd Meats, Ma­rinades, Puptoons, and Olios, Soops, Sauces, Ra­gousts, Puffs, Pastry, and Pickles, Tarts, Cheese­cakes, and Custards, Jellies, Conserves, and Mar­malades, Slops, Washes, Pomatums, Cold Creams, and Cordial Waters!

BUT, what was still more obliging, not con­tent to have enrich'd us with this profound Knowledge! she was liberal enough to talk on, with such unceasing Rapidity, that we had no Time to thank her; till at length, she saw Ned Volatile was preparing to take his Turn; and rose, and flutter'd her Fan, and scudded out of the Assembly; but we heard her Tongue running, all the way down Stairs, ask­ing Questions of the Servants, and answering [Page 111] them herself; and, for any think that I know, she may be Talking to this Time, while I am penning the Narration!

I AM myself too a great Talker, only I some­times love to listen; and nothing is so strange to me as that since these Pratlers are thus trans­ported, but by too much Vivacity, that very Vivacity shou'd not teach 'em to know when they grow Troublesome! I sometimes fancy them like Horses, which shutting their Eyes in their Swiftness, pass the Bounds of their Course, and never stop till they are beat backward by some Wall which they run their Heads against.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 15.
MONDAY, May 11. 1724.

Neque cuiquam, statim, tam clarum ingenium est, ut possit emergere, nisi illi, materia, occasio, fautor etiam, commendatorque contingat.

PLIN. EP.

AS I know not a more amiable Figure than that, which a Prudent and Indul­gent Father, makes with regard to an only Son, who is a promising young Gentleman; And as I am not able to frame an Idea, of any Pro­spect so Shocking and Frightful to Human Na­ture, as that which represents a Mother who can look with Indifference (not to say with Aver­sion) upon the Child of her Body, I was resolv­ing [Page 112] the other Day to form a PLAIN DEALER out of these two different Characters.

METHINKS I would not miss ranging the Deformities of one Parent, near the Beauties of the other; because this Manner of Illustra­tion by Opposites, in Writing, like Shade and Light in Painting, will make the Moral ap­pear with Vigour, and strike upon the Eye of the Understanding a more forcible Effect.

COULD I execute this Design according to my Wish; could I make the Draught just, and give it the Lively Touches and warm Colours it deserves, it might perhaps be a valuable Pre­sent, and instructive Family Piece, for the mar­ried Part of my Readers, and some of their Posterity might, for ought I know, have good Reason to thank me for it.

I WAS, according to Custom, opening my Mind upon this intended Subject to the worthy Major Stedfast; and telling him, That I should be agreeably lost in Pleasure, while I was tracing, in a good Father, the secret Springs of a Thousand little Beautiful Actions which would pass unnoticed by common Eyes, that are too Incurious and Indelicate on such Nice and Elegant Occasions.

—HERE I paused a while, with Intent to name some particular Observations, I have made, of these Critical Workings of a Spirit truely Parentile; when this constant Friend of Mankind changed my Inclination to speak, into the greater Pleasure of attending to what he began to say, in this Manner.

[Page 113]THERE is, no fear of your losing yourself in that Delightful Part of the Contemplation: But when you come to consider the Unnatural Mother, I don't know how difficult a Task it may be, even for all your Philosophy to ac­count for it. You will find yourself extream­ly perplexed, if you descend to make Enquiry, what Monstrous Turn in the whole Course of the Blood, what Prodigies over-ruling the whole Rational and Animal System, can Eraze from a Mother's Heart all those fond Records of Ten­derness which the Hand of Nature must have engraven there, in behalf of the Being which received its first Principle of Vitality so near it, and its immediate Preservation from it.

YOU may remember that, at your setting out, I told you, the Expression, which hit my Taste the best of any in your First PAPER, was, That you would look upon yourself as every Body's Father; and I would rather see you acting like a Father, than describing one: which said he (giving into my Hand a Paper) you may do, by publishing those Verses, which, according to my Opinion, want nothing more than their being Known, in order to their be­ing Applauded.

THE Author is a Young Gentleman who, tho' severe Accidents, and the Rigour of For­tune have thrown him into the Condition of an Orphan, is still likely to prove a Fav'rite Son of the Muses: But a Genius, tho' never so pro­mising, will not readily make its Way into [Page 114] Esteem, without the Aid of a Recommender, or the Encouragement of a Patron.

HERE I read over the Verses, and signified my Approbation, in very few Words, because I perceived the generous Temper of the Ma­jor inclin'd him to speak further, in behalf of Unfortunate Desert; when, resuming the Dis­course, he proceeded in this Manner.

YOU may guess by this little Performance, That those Talents, which were not happy enough to procure their Possessor a Compe­tency, from Parents who liv'd in Affluence, may, if Cultivated and Improved, intitle him to the Adoption of some great Personage, who, observing a Noble Impartiality, with Regard to Strangers and Acquaintance, may assist Me­rit wheresoever he finds it. It would really be pity that a Person, who has demonstrated, that he has a Capacity to entertain the World, should not meet with a Patron in it, to give him a Taste of its Enjoyments. Whoever may be meant by HORATIUS, if he makes as Handsome a Figure in his Reception of the Poet, as he does in the Poet's Description, he will be to him instead of a Mecoenas; and you will have the Satisfaction of knowing, That you put the Meritorious in a Way to meet Reward, and administer an Opportunity, the most Grateful (that can be) to a Person truly Great, an Op­portunity of doing a Graceful Action.

HERE a Gentleman interrupted us, and left me no Room to make Reply by Word of Mouth: But the best Answer I could, since, make him, [Page 115] was to repeat, in this manner, what he said, and to publish the following Lines instead of the Essay I intended.

To a Young Gentleman, a Painter: Occasioned by seeing his Picture of the Cele­brated CLIO.
FORGIVE an Artless, an Officious Friend,
Weak, when I Judge, but willing to Commend;
Fall'n as I am, by no kind Fortune rais'd,
Depress'd, Obscur'd, Unpitied, and Unprais'd,
Yet, when these well-known Features I peruse,
Some Warmth awakes; some Embers of a Muse.
Ye Muses, Graces, and ye Loves, appear!
Your Queen, your VENUS, and your CLIO's here!
In such pure Fires her real Thoughts refine!
Her Eyes with such Commanding Sweetness shine!
Such living Tinctures through yon Aether glow,
Stain Summer Clouds, or gild the Watery Bow:
She smiles, she speaks—she blushes, while we gaze,
I hear your Colours and I feel their Blaze:
More at each kindling Touch, your Canvass glows!
Till the full Form, instinct with Spirit, grows!
Let the dull Artist puzzling Rules explore,
Dwell on the Lines and creep the Features o'er;
You eye the Soul, the Source of Likeness find,
And thro' the meaning Muscles, strike the Mind.
Nor can one View such boundless Pow'r confine,
All Nature opens to an Art like thine!
[Page 116]Now Rural Scenes in simple Grandeur rise!
Vales, Hills, Lawns, Lakes, & Vineyards feast our Eyes!
Now Halcyon Peace a smiling Aspect wears!
Now the Red Scene with War and Ruin glares!
Here Britain's Fleets o'er Europe's Seas preside!
There long-lost Cities rear their ancient Pride!
You from the Grave can half redeem the Slain,
And bid Great JULIUS charm the World again:
Revive Pharsalia, mark out Munda's Fray,
And re-awaken Darkness into Day.
But if new Glories most our Warmth excite,
If Toils untry'd to noblest Aims invite;
Wou'd you in envied Pomp unrival'd reign,
Oh, let HORATIUS grace the Canvass Plain!
His Form might ev'n Idolatry create,
Serenely striking, and unproudly great.
Thro' those bright Features CAESAR's Spirit trace,
Each conq'ring Sweetness, each imperial Grace,
All that has Softness, Terror, Wisdom, Weight,
In Love, in War, in Knowledge, or in State.
Thus shall your Colours, like his Worth, amaze!
Thus shall you merit even your CLIO's Praise!
Clear, and more clear your Sunny Genius shines;
While my dim Lamp of Life obscure declines:
Dull'd in damp Shades it wastes, unseen, away,
While yours, Triumphant, blazes into Day.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 16.
FRIDAY, May 15. 1724.

Neque enim est hoc dissimulandum, quod obscurari non potest, sed prae nobis ferendum: trahimur omnes laudis studio, & optimus quisque, maximè, gloriâ ducitur.

CICER. Pro Archia Poeta.

Quam multos scriptores rerum suarum magnus ille Alexander secum habuisse dicitur? Atque is tamen, cum in Sigoeo ad Achil­lis tumulum astitisset, O fortunate, inquit, adolescens, qui tue virtutis Homerum praeconem inveneris! & verè. Nam nisi Ilias illa extitisset, idem tumulus, qui corpus ejus contexerat, nomen etiam obruisset.

Ibidem.

THERE is a Scantiness, in some Mens Souls, that gives a distasteful Air to their very Favours, and their Praises; what the Mien is to the Body, the Temper is to the Mind. And for Want of this Observation, on Occasi­ons where it had been most useful, some have lost their Friends Good-will by an arrogant Manner of obliging them; and others prais'd Men into a Contempt both for their Persons and their Civilities.

THERE must be visible, in those, who wou'd say, or do, Things engagingly, a certain Sweet­ness in the Eye, and a Sense of Pleasure in the Deportment. A Compliment is an Affront, when accompany'd with a sullen Brow, or a negligent, an absent, or supercilious, Behaviour. I appeal to my Readers, Whether they do not [Page 118] always find themselves uneasy in the Company of a Person, who seems more pleas'd with Him­self, than with those he is conversing with.

I WAS drawn into this Reflection, by read­ing, the other Day, a little Copy of VERSES, which is printed, with some Poetical Pieces of Mr. Pope's, and was written by a Person of very great Quality, and whose Wit, too, was of the first Mangnitude!

On Mr. POPE, and his POEMS.
WITH Age decay'd, with Courts and Business tir'd,
Caring for nothing, but what Ease requir'd;
Too dully Serious for the Muses Sport,
And, from the Critics, safe arriv'd in Port:
I little thought of launching forth agen,
Amidst advent'rous Rovers of the Pen:
And, after so much undeserv'd Success,
Thus hazarding at last, to make it less.
Encomiums suit not this censorious Time,
It self a Subject for Satiric Rhyme;
Ignorance honour'd, Wit, and Worth defam'd,
Folly triumphant, and ev'n HOMER blam'd!
But to this Genius, join'd with so much Art,
Such various Learning, mix'd, in every Part,
Poets are bound a loud Applause to pay;
APOLLO bids it, and they must obey.
And, yet, so wonderful, sublime, a Thing,
As the great Iliad, scarce shou'd make Me sing:
Except I justly cou'd, at once commend,
A good Companion, and as firm a Friend.
[Page 119]One moral, or a mere well-natur'd Deed,
Does all Desert in Sciences exceed.
'Tis great Delight to laugh at some Mens Ways,
But a much greater, to give Merit Praise.

THE good Nature of Mr. Pope, must be as Extensive, as his Wit, if his Esteem for this Noble Author was not lessen'd, by so Ignoble a Start of his Poetry. It is a grudging, haugh­ty, conscious, reluctant, and penurious En­comium! Under Pretence of Praise to a Friend, it indulges Spleen to his Enemies. It carries, throughout, a closer Eye upon his own Merit, than upon His to whom he addresses it. In four and twenty Verses, the four odd ones, I think, have some faint Inclination to shew Re­spect to another; but the twenty, I am sure, with a much stronger Bent, point directly up­on Himself.

WOULD this great Man have applauded such a POET, as he ought, he shou'd have forgotten, or seem'd to forget, both Himself, and his Rank, in that Reverence, so justly due to an Excellence, which will do Honour to our Nation. He shou'd not have imagin'd himself over Bountiful in his Condescention: The Praise of Mr. Pope will be a Theme for Wit, and Learning, when all the Dukes, his Patrons, shall be lost in the Dust that covers them! The accidental Advantages of Birth, Wealth, and Title, are so far from bestowing Worth, where they find it not originally, that they serve but to make the Want of it more [Page 120] obvious and contemptible; whereas a Genius like this Gentleman's, surmounts all the sha­dowy Superiorities of Fortune, adorns Dignity itself, and makes Obscurity illustrious!

THE great Cardinal Richelieu, in a Circum­stance of like Nature, acted in so different a Manner, that I am always charm'd afresh, when I read over a Letter, which he sent to Balzac a French Writer, whose Merit was as inferior to Mr. Pope's, as the Grandeur of the Prime Minister was superior to the Nobleman's: Let a Judgment be drawn, from an impartial Comparison.

A LETTER from Cardinal Richelieu, to Monsieur de Balzac.

SIR,

THO' I have often, and openly, declar'd what I think of your Writings, yet can­not I satisfy my self without sending you, by this Letter, a more Authentic Approba­tion: I never had any particular Affection for your Person, and since, therefore, it is the Prerogative of Truth, that compels me to my Opinion, I will take care, That the Esteem, I profess for your Works, shall be no barren Compliment; for my Praise shall be seconded by the Applause of a whole People.

Or, if, notwithstanding my Endeavours, some low Spirits shall be found, who may affect to think otherwise, Time will make them but too sensible, that the Faults, they [Page 121] impute to You, are Defects in their own Judgment. They are like People in the Jaundice, who see every Thing of that dis­temper'd Colour, which themselves are af­flicted by.

IN the Days of our Ancestors, Persons of narrow Understanding were implicite Ad­mirers of what was above their Comprehen­sion; but now, by a kind of Elasticity in modern Reason, Judgment extends or contracts itself, to sit close upon our Capacity; and we approve, but just as far, as we are able to understand; blasting every Thing by our Censure, that we cannot reach by our Practice. Yet I hope, I do not presume too much, when I say concerning your Works, That I see Things as they are, and declare 'em what I see them. Your Conceptions are strong, and the Flight of your Imagination outsoars every Thing but your Reason: Your Language is pure, and your Expression strongly Elegant.

I WILL conclude with this Caution; That you will be guilty in the Eye of God, if you suffer such a Pen to rest; or if you em­ploy it too idly. You ought to apply your­self henceforward, to grave and important Subjects; and I am content that you shall impute to Me, all the Blame, if, when you do so, you receive not the Returns, which will be due to you. Already I am medita­ting an Opportunity to be known for

Your Affectionate Humble Servant, The Cardinal of Richelieu.

[Page 122]I AM transported, while I read this Letter, at the flaming Intermixture of this Statesman's lovely Qualities! What a Glow of Humanity! What a Consciousness of that Care, which is the Duty of the Great, to draw up Merit, out of Obscurity! What a Knowledge of a State's true Interest, from the Force of such Examples! What a genteel Magnanimity! What a spirited Race of Sweetness, does there shine, in this short Letter!

IT is pleasant enough to remark, That both the French Encomium and the English, had Effects, the very Reverse of what was intend­ed by their Authors; yet, at the same Time, strictly consonant with Justice, and their diffe­rent Merits; while the English Applauder ad­dresses to Mr. Pope the Praise he means to Him­self; his Verses are never read without lessen­ing his own Character; whereas, the generous French Cardinal, meaning nothing in his Let­ter, but the Encouragement of Monsieur Bal­zac, draws that Honour on his own Name, which he wou'd bestow upon another's; and becomes Himself, the Reader's Idol, while he is pointing him where to worship!

IT was impossible for Monsieur Balzac, after being thus nobly distinguish'd, not to strain his Genius to the utmost, to keep Possession of a Glory, he must so justly have been Proud of; whereas Neglect, on the other Hand, has dis­courag'd a thousand Spirits, which might have been capable, had they been Fortunate, or sup­ported by those who were so, to shine out [Page 123] as living Lights, and illustrate the Age, they were born in, thro' a long Course of Futuri­ty. Camoens, whom the Portuguese call the Virgil of their Country, has touch'd this Sub­ject very happily, in the 5th Book of his Lusiad.

HOW sweet is Praise, and justly purchas'd Glory,
By our own Actions, when to Heaven they soar!
Each noble Soul will Strain, to leave his Story,
An Overmatch for all who climb'd before.
Those wond'rous Heights, Achilles reach'd in Arms,
Had ne'er so strongly mov'd the World's great Lord,
Had not the Muse of Homer giv'n 'em Charms,
And rows'd him from a Rest, he, thence, abhorr'd.
Scipio's, and Caesars, PORTUGAL can boast,
But has not bless'd them with exalted Hearts,
Once Dead, they Die for ever, and are lost,
Because, unfriended by the deathless Arts.
All those immortal Names, that tread on Time,
Were learn'd themselves, or lov'd the learned All;
In Greece, in Rome, in the most barb'rous Clime,
In every Land, but tasteless PORTUGAL.
Mournful I speak it, to my Country's Shame,
Want of Excitement keeps its Genius Low;
Our rude a [...] boist'rous Lords are deaf to Fame,
And seem, as careless to be known, as know.
Dull and of gross Desires, their empty Pride,
Dark and contracted, tastes not what is writ;
For how, alas! shou'd Lameness learn to stride?
Or he, who understands not, cherish Wit!
[Page 124]Blest let the Muses be, by those I sing,
That I, for no Reward, but Honour, born,
Have for my Country's Glory, touch'd the String,
And laugh her titled Arrogance to scorn.
While on the Fame of Lusitania bent,
Your Charms, ye Nymphs of Tagus, I reveal,
Fortune the Frame of my proud Hope has rent,
And drags me friendless at her Chariot Wheel.
Degraded, at another's Board to eat,
A Rock of Want! surrounded by my Woes;
Ingratitude it self, unmov'd I meet,
And rise, the stronger, against Envy's Blows.
See, Nymphs! what learned Lords your Tagus boasts!
What Patrons of the noble Arts we find!
Such is their Worth, who fill the Publick Posts!
And such the Prize, that crowns a generous Mind!

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 17.
MONDAY, May 18. 1724.

Quid si prisca redit Venus?
HOR.
— Tecum vivere amem
IBID.

MY Old Maid, who has liv'd with me these thirty Years, and claims the tuck­ing me up, as a Privilege annex'd to her Office; left open my Window-curtains last Night, [Page 125] which so early let in the Beams of the Sun upon me, that I was wak'd from a Dream, which I cou'd have wish'd to enjoy much longer.

FANCY had remov'd all my Distance from Youth; and given me back those gentle Flames, which warm and brighten Life in its Morning. I saw an adorable Object, which my Soul, me­thought, had once been passionately fond of: And of whose Perfections I imagin'd myself to have been vertuously enamour'd: But I had lost her, as I fancy'd, in Death. Oh! the Pain of that Imagination was terrible even in Sleep! I saw this lovely Person, adorn'd with all her Sweetness! I heard the Musick of her Accents, informing me, she was my PATTY. Now grown kinder and more sensible, I even felt her leaning over me; and found the animat­ing Influence of her Soul-enchanting Pressures! With what Ecstasy of Fondness did I survey her lovely Languor! Her Eyes were melting­ly relax'd; and their Beams serenely temper'd with angelick Softness and Compassion. Her very Soul seem'd to shine upon me, through the Smile of every Feature. Oh! how beau­tiful is a chast Passion! How sweetly does it remain upon the Mind, and appeal from Death to the Memory! I never knew, till this dear Dream convinc'd me, what I lost by not lov­ing, while my Body, as well as my Soul, cou'd have done Justice to the Passion.

WHILE I was thus tenderly employ'd, I wish some Artist cou'd have snatch'd my Pic­ture! Old as I am, I flatter myself, That Love [Page 126] wou'd have lent it Lustre. I wou'd have all my Friends, who are not, resolve immediate­ly, to commence Lovers. The Insipids, who have never lov'd, may be said to live as the Greedy drink; they swallow Life without tast­ing it.

BUT, all transported as I was, with this charming Dream, it was ravish'd from me, by the Sun. Yet did I not complain. It had tun'd my Soul to Harmony; and transform'd me from an Old Philosopher, into a young and hap­py Wanton! I started from my Bed, and flew with Vigour to the Glass! to which I have long accustom'd myself to creep without Transport. Old and Worm-eaten as it is in every Part of its broad Frame, yet did it not alarm me. I even saw my own Face in it without the least Mortification. Nay, I took Notice, That my Night-cap was not so White as it ought to have been; which in more unpolite Hours, I shou'd have thought not worth remarking. But Love adorns and improves us! My Bo­som swell'd with Sighs, and my Eyes shone with Pleasure. I brush'd up my Mouse-colour Gloves, and was wishing they had been Yellow ones. I powder'd my short Hair; and comb'd it down to look longer. Nay I almost arriv'd at the Foppery of spoiling my new Beaver, by inflicting the modern Pinch on it. At length I remember'd, That my Youth was but a Dream! And my PATTY a COQUET! My Arms, at this Thought, folded sadly upon my Breast; I sunk into my easy Chair, and was, some [Page 127] Minutes, quite lost there, before I cou'd recover myself. How dreadful is the Descent, from airy Pleasure to substantial Misery! It is not to be describ'd in Prose, and since LOVE both deserves good Poetry, and can inspire it, let me see what my Muse will say to it.

Oh! Lovely Object! Whose dear Form I keep,
In busy Daylight and in silent Sleep!
Revisit Fancy—to my Sighs attend;
Thou imag'd Shadow of my Soul's soft Friend!
When I recall thy Beauties to my Mind,
How dead are all Things thou hast left behind!
Study, Pride, Friendship, languish for thy Sake;
Oh! Why did Love from thy sweet Tomb awake?
Why move his pointed Arrows in my Breast,
In Life's Descent, and the cool Vale of Rest!
Oh! charm not thus my Soul, which is design'd
To flow down Time, and strengthen Humankind!

WELL! My Readers shou'd think as I do, that all Things are for the Best. I lost my Dream, and they find a Poet. The Witlings will say, a dreaming one! But Melancholy has its Charms, and I am sweetly Sad, in the Re­membrance of it.

WHILE I was indulging this mournful Tenderness, I heard a gentle Rap at my Door, as if it fear'd to alarm me; and the Outside of it seem'd to be swept by the rustling of Silk; a Musick I am not us'd to! I open'd it slow­ly, for I was still lost to myself; and was ad­dress'd by a Lady in a modest but most en­chanting [Page 128] Manner. She appear'd to be near thirty; and was dress'd, very gravely, a little remov'd from the present Mode. But my Heart sprung within me! For all the Beauties of my Vision were more than verify'd in this Reality! The Soul of a God seem'd to stream through her Eyes! And the Ideas of her Wit and Majestick Understanding flam'd and sparkled in her meaning Softness! There was something in her Air, that made the Room seem to blaze round her! I led her to my great Chair, but she gracefully declin'd it, and seated herself at some Distance, not to shew the Re­spect she had, to my Age, I hope, but my Writings: After a Preface, of the sweetest Praise, that Vanity cou'd wish to hear, she took a Paper from her Bosom; and seem'd to tremble, while she gave it me, as if it enclo­se'd some Declaration, that her Heart was con­cern'd in. How becoming is Humility, when such Excellence condescends to wear it!—She withdrew: and, from her Manner, I open­ed her Paper with Impatience; and found in it what follows.

Good SIR,

I WAIT on you, with my own Letter, from the Respectful Desire I have to see the Person of him, whose Soul I so much admire, in the PLAIN DEALER. I knew very well, That the Reverence you must in­spire, wou'd prevent my speaking freely, and [Page 129] I chose therefore, to write, what I wished to inform you of.

I WAS the other Day, in an Assembly, of what the World calls fine Ladies; to which gay Part of our Species I have lately been a Stranger, so that I found their Dress, and their Conversation entirely Foreign to me; though, (through all Disguises) I could dis­cover the British Beauty!—The Con­fusion of their Fans, and the Loudness of their Laughter, alarm'd, and oppress'd my Ear; as the new Situation of their Elbows drew my Eye under Astonishment! One of the Ladies, who, I fear for her own sake, is what they call a Toast, was, most lamenta­bly, delighted with a young Gentleman, who sat next her, and who by the Oddness of his Dress, surpriz'd me, more than the Ladies did.—His Wig, instead of gracefully adorning his Shoulders, was tuck'd up into a Bag, of the same Content with his Head; and had two Wings shooting from it; so that he look'd like a Mercury revers'd. The lit­tle Hair, that escap'd this Bag, (because no Hat was allowed to shield it) was cemented by Oil and Powder; to secure it against Tempest. The Sleeve of his Coat had re­mov'd the Middle of his Arm, from the Place I should have look'd for it in, and preferr'd the Bend of his Elbow, to within three Inches of his Shoulder. His Stockings were so high embroider'd, that they left no Shape to his [Page 130] Leg: And his Hands, to his Fingers Ends, were entomb'd, in a Pair of Ruffles. He was button'd up to the Chin, in a white Dimmity Waistcoat; and wore a Frock, which, I sup­pose, he borrow'd from one of his Grooms, to emulate the Jockey Air with the more Ele­gance, and Propriety.

AS odd a Creature as this was, he seem'd to consider Me as an Odder; for I over-heard him whisper his fair Neighbour, That, by my Ill Dress, and my Neglect of the Company, I must be either a Wit, or a Tory! It was plain, he said, from my Behaviour, that I was unlearned in the new World, and he fancied, for his Part, that I dropt out of the Eclipse, last Monday!—The Favourite Lady oblig'd him with a tender Look; and burst into a loud Laughter. I found that all his Discourse was fill'd with Arrogance, and Folly; and a Monster bred of both, which they call Double Entendres. At last, he hum'd half a Tune; danc'd a Step or two, to his own Musick; took Snuff and Leave to­gether; and hopt out of the Company.

The Ladies were now at Leisure to look a little at me. But their Hearts seem'd strangely full of this ridiculous Object, whom they immediately fell a praising, with a kind of miserable Emulation. Mr. Flushcheek, said the Toast, is, sure! the most delightful Crea­ture! the finest, and best-bred Gentleman! how witty! how tender! how polite and [Page 131] how severe, he is! He is the Soul of Sense, and Gallantry; and the very Life of the Masquerade: I started, at their Admiration; and felt my Heart sink into Pity for 'em; while I contemplated, in Silence, the Perfecti­on of my adorable Bellario.

OH! Mr. PLAIN DEALER! that I had pro­per Language to convey him to your Ima­gination! You wou'd then approve my Pas­sion: And I shou'd be justify'd even to your Reason. His Person is divinely form'd, Tall and Graceful! His Eyes, which are full of Wisdom, wear a Gentleness, as if they griev'd their own Lustre, and were willing to decline themselves in Pity to the Beholders! His Lips are rarely open'd but to praise or to improve, though he has Teeth, which he might be proud of shewing. There is, in the Turn of his Arms, an inexpressible Air of Majesty! I never look on him without seeing all the great Men, I have read of. I trem­ble before him, with a kind of religious Pas­sion! For Religion and Virtue are adorn'd by his Conversation! So that I may say, without Falshood, that it is Heaven to hear him! His Dress is disengag'd; and he knows all Things but, that he is charming! Oh! that you were acquainted with his Mind, which is shining with every Virtue! Amidst the Throng of his Beauties, I forgot to tell you, That he is a Poet, a most Divine one! Believe me it is no Fiction! Place him there­fore [Page 132] before Mr. Flushcheek's Eyes; and con­vert his fair Admirers: for they take in the PLAIN DEALER.

I am, with great Respect, Sir, your most humble Servant, CLEORA.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 18.
FRIDAY, May 22. 1724.

Qui fit, Moecenas, ut nemo, quam sibi sortem
Seu ratio dederit, seu fors objecerit, illâ
Contentus vivat: laudat diversa sequentes.
HOR.
Caetera de genere hoc (adeo sunt multa) loquacem
Delassare valent Fabium. Ne te morer, audi
Quo rem deducam. Si quis Deus, En ego, dicat,
Jam faciam quod vultis: eris tu, qui modo miles,
Mercator: tu, consultus modo, rusticus: hinc vos,
Vos hinc mutatis discedite partibus. Eia!
Quid statis? nolint. Atqui licet esse beatis.
Quid causae est, meritò quin illis Juppiter ambas
Iratus Buccas inflet: ne (que) se fore posthac
Tam facilem dicat, votis ut praebeat aurem?
IBID.

I FELL asleep, the other Night, after medi­tating, in my Bed, on our general Dissa­tisfaction, at the Fortune that is alloted us; and had, again, an extraordinary Dream, but [Page 133] very different from my last; and so strongly distinct, and entertaining, that I flatter myself, my Readers will be glad to share its Impression, while it is new, upon my Memory.

I WAS plac'd, I knew not how, on the Top of a green Hill; which was very flow'ry, and fragrant. The World, methought, lay under it, in a vast Descent of Cloudiness! A thousand Roads led up to it; but, with such intricate, and mazy Windings, that my Eye was unable to trace any of them, distinctly: Yet they, all, open'd at last, upon the Summit of the Hill, and pour'd out a mix'd Multitude, of both Sexes, and of all Ages, and Conditions; who, as soon as they had reach'd the Flat, hasten­ed forward towards its Center.

I WAS wonderfully pleas'd, to discover Patty Amble, in the Crowd; and, giving her my Hand, led her on, with great Composure. She inform'd me, That the Place we were up­on, was the Mount of Fortune; and, That she was going to a Fair, which is held on it, and call'd, Mend-all Market. Her Business, she said, was to change her Condition, for a Bet­ter; and, she doubted not, but I might do the same, if I pleas'd, since I had found my Way, up the Hill. For all People, who came thither, were allow'd the happy Privilege, to lay down their own Burdens; and take up lighter, in the Room of them.

IN the very middle of the Plain, we came, at length, to a kind of May-Pole, which was bigger than the Monument; and as high as the [Page 134] Pike of Teneriff: It was of a bright Yellow, or Gold-colour; but twinkled, strangely, at a Distance; and looked dazling, and transparent. There hung, off from it, all about, lovely Garlands, of precious Stones, with a Mixture of the sweetest Flowers; the Hues of which were changeable, and varied every Moment, with a most bewitching Delightfulness. Upon the Pinacle of this Pyramid, sat the Goddess of the Place, very busily spinning: But the Thread she twisted off, was too fine, to be seen, distinct­ly, by Us, who stood, so far, below it. The Wheel, in its Motion, made a musical Sound; but so rough, and so loud, that it shook the Hill, all round it. It scatter'd, while she turn'd it, a sparkling Shower of Globules, that were many-colour'd, but hollow; and broke, like empty Bubbles, in their descending over the Multitude.

WHAT I observ'd, with most Concern, was, that, the nearer we came, the Prospect grew less charming; for the Dust was so thick, that our Eyes, and Mouths, were filled with it; and our Heads ak'd with the Bustle, and the Noise, of the Tumult. The Commodities, which were to be barter'd for, lay, spread, every where, in Heaps; and All, who pass'd between, were invited to come, and cheapen them.—Sweet­meats, Limonades, and Variety of the finest Fruits, were offer'd, diligently, up and down, by little Cupids, with painted Baskets: And Trumpeters, Jugglers, Rope-dancers, Merry-Andrews, and Opera-Mongers, were exerting [Page 135] themselves, on all Sides, to compleat the Up­roar of the Market. But, tho' I pass'd by all their Stages, I saw no more than Two, whose Faces were well known to me; and Those were, Heidegger, and Doctor Faustus.

IN the Front of every Pile, rose an Alabaster Pillar, whereon hung a Picture, fill'd with Figures, all in Motion; representing whatever was most tempting, and desirable, in the Mer­chandize it recommended. And, at the Foot of each Pillar, was placed an Ebony Chair; on both Sides of which, stood young, and beau­tiful Women, dress'd like Muses and Graces: Some inviting Passengers to take Possession of the Empty Seat; and others pointing up, to a Compartment, on the Top of it, where was to be read, in golden Letters, the Name, and Quality, of the Merchandize.

WE made up, to a Heap, that was remark­ably higher than the Rest; and read, there, the Word ROYALTY. We were agreeably surpriz'd, to see, moving, in the Picture, that hung upon this Pillar, Armies, Palaces, and Navies! Crowds of Men, upon their Knees; and Women, still more prostrate!—Banquets, Treasures, Sports, and Triumphs, all succeed­ing, in their Turns, drew a mighty Crowd of Gazers; who were struggling for the Chair, and push'd each other from it. Patty Amble was very earnest, to have had me put in for it: But I wink'd upon her, to be quiet; and pre­sently, we saw a Person, breaking strong­ly through the Crowd; who, with loud [Page 136] Huzza's, and Concurrence, plac'd him, there, and bow'd round him.—But, no sooner was he seated, when the tempting Figures, in the Picture, chang'd, immediately, into horrible Ones!—Cares, Dangers, Hatred, Restless­ness, and a thousand sooty Furies, roll'd, un­quietly, about him! The Muses, and Graces, were transform'd into Serpents, and Satyrs! that hiss'd, grinn'd, and pointed at him. And, when he wou'd have, gladly, escap'd, and sprung out of the Chair, he found himself held down in it, by a Troop of meagre Phan­toms, that frighted us away, from any further Observation of him.

THE next Place, that we stopp'd at, was the Column of BEAUTY. We look'd up, to the Picture, and saw, moving, in it, a mix'd, and confus'd Bustle, of Coaches, Footmen, and Coronets: Men, with their Hearts in their Hands; and an indistinct Cavalcade, of shape­less Things, without Heads, call'd Smiles, Sighs, Vows, Desires, Faintings, Languishments, and Adorations. There came, up, to this Place, in great Hurry, a fat, but sprightly, Young Woman, with a Bundle, under her Arm; which she laid down, by Way of Bar­ter; and which, we observ'd, as she sorted the Goods, to be fill'd with large Legs, red Hair, brown Skin, big Breasts; and Small-Pox-Marks, in abundance. The Attendants, at the Pillar, having agreed to the Exchange, were inviting her into the Ebony Chair; when I, who, by this Time, began to suspect their fair Appear­ance, [Page 137] turn'd the Picture, with my Stick: and expos'd its other Side to the She-Merchant; which was to be Part of her Bargain, and con­sisted of Scandal, Spleen, Jealousy, Anguish, Perjury, and Ruin. She no sooner saw the Faces of this ugly Nest of Monsters, but, snatching up her own Bundle, she ran, as fast as her thick Legs cou'd carry her; tumbling, Head over Heels, at every Heap in her Way; and getting up, as she best cou'd; without staying, to look behind her.

WHILE we were diverting ourselves, at this pleasant Flight, a Person, whom Nature had design'd, and limb'd, for a PLOWMAN, had been seiz'd with an Ambition to be made a Minister of State; and, having thrown down his Burden, of Toil, Penury, and Dirtiness be­fore the Pillar of POWER, had seated himself, triumphantly, in the Chair, at the Foot of it; but was frighted out of his Wits, by that time we came up to him; for we found him al­most smother'd, under an unmerciful Load of Slanders, Terrors, Axes, and Halters; which he had much ado to crawl out from; and was bawling, with great Earnestness, and Distortion of Muscles, to have his Own Goods restor'd him.

IN the next Compartment we examin'd, we found written the Word, TITLES. We saw, there, a Beau, with six Footmen behind him, very earnestly perusing the moving Trophies, in the Picture. My Coquet felt her Heart beat, at the Sight of so fine a Gentleman; and whis­per'd [Page 138] her Opinion, That I need not turn that Picture; for sure! there was no Ill to be ap­prehended, there;—I did it, however, and the Beau fell into Fits; at the sudden rushing out of a Whirlwind of Ignorance, Conceited­ness, Scorn, Luxury, and Diseases!

I frighted an honest Citizen, in much the same Manner, from the Standard of WEALTH. He had taken a Fancy for Preferment: and was wishing, extremely, to be erected into an Alderman!—He had counted out, for the Pur­chase, a Life-full of Ease; a small Parcel of Understanding; and Ditto, of Conscience. But, the very Minute I turn'd the Picture, there flew, into his Face, Dullness, Cuckoldom, and Clumsiness! upon which he took to his Heels, and left his own Bag behind him.

AT the Column of WIT, I was agreeably entertain'd, among a large Circle of Gapers, who were admiring the wonderful Mechanism of the Picture, that was hung upon that Pillar.—Cities, Mountains, Oceans, Woods, Skies, Meadows, Gardens, Gods, and Goddesses, Gi­ants, Mermaids, Cupids, Dragons, Mistresses, Witches, Enchanted Castles, Fields of Air; and Seas of Fire; all, delightfully, intermix'd, and confounded, rose, and charm'd the Obser­vation!—But the Crowd dispers'd, immedi­ately, on my discovering, to their great Ter­ror, and Amazement, that there lurk'd, behind all this Gaiety, a lean Society, call'd Envy, Malice, Poverty, Dependence, and Calamity!

[Page 139]I WALK'D quite through the Fair; and, where-ever I wander'd, perceived it was, in all Parts, alike. They, who brought Complaints, to exchange, against Good-Fortune, chose to carry their own back again, rather than con­clude a New Bargain. There was something, in every Heap, that they were inclinable enough to purchase;—But there was some­thing too, that must go with it, which they could not bear to be troubled with: so, they went murmuring, away; and bestow'd their Curses, in great Plenty, on the Goddess, who kept the Market; which was never the thinner, notwithstanding; for, still, new Crowds sup­ply'd the Places of those, who return'd, dis­satisfy'd. Nor cou'd the Warnings they met with, from such Numbers who had been dis­appointed, prevail with these new Comers, to believe, they shou'd go back again, without being the Richer, from a Mart, that was stor'd, so plentifully, with all, that the World calls Valuable.

AMONG the infinite Variety of Temptati­ons, which glitter'd, every where, about me, I was in Danger but once; and That was, at the Pillar of FAME. I saw, when I turn'd that Picture, that the Weight of the Counter-balance lay, chiefly, in these four Evils,—Death, Time, Detraction, and Uncertainty! Yet, so strong was my Desire to float my Name through Futurity, that I was resolutely deter­min'd to take Possession of the Chair.—But, having Nothing of Value about me, but my [Page 140] Oaken Stick, and Mouse-colour'd Gloves, (the first of which they refus'd, because of the Mischief it had done 'em, in turning up the wrong Sides of their Pictures; and the Second, be­cause not fine enough to be fashionable, in that Region,) I was forc'd upon an Expedient, which I am almost afraid to confess, for fear of losing, for ever, the Good Opinion of my Female Readers.

TO say all, in a Word, I was, heroically, resolv'd, to give up my Love for my Glory; so, taking Patty Amble by the Hand, I prof­fer'd Her, in Barter, (having no Other Com­modity.) The Attendants, who watch'd the Pillar, were just ready to take hold of her; when she threw her Arms about my Neck, and conjur'd me, by all the Tyes, of Honour, and of Gallantry, that I wou'd not leave her, a Sa­crifice, to so empty a Divinity, as the Regent of that Mountain! She begg'd, that I wou'd return, with her, to the Lower, but happier World: and, whatever I should ask of her, she wou'd grant me, by Way of Recompence. I took her suddenly, at her Word, and ask'd her Heart for a Fairing.—Nay, spare me but that One Thing, said she, with a languishing Re­proachfulness, and take any thing else, about me.

Unfortunately overjoy'd, at this Bliss, which, methought, befel me, the sudden Flow of my Spirits, under a Sense of the promis'd Transport, caus'd so violent an Agitation, that, waking on a sudden, I dropt, out of her Arms, and per­ceiv'd myself in my Bed, in Barbican.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 19
MONDAY, May 25. 1724.

Non nostrum inter vos tantas componere lites.
Et vitulâ tu dignus, & hic: —
VIR.

I PASS some agreeable Hours, now and then, at the House of Sir Portly Rufus, an old and wealthy Acquaintance; who lives, a few Miles, out of Town; and having got his Estate, by a long and busy Life, spent in Trading, adventurously, to most Parts of the World, is, now, retir'd from its Hurry; and enjoys it with a graceful Ease, and unde­signing Hospitality. The only Inconvenience, I have to complain of, when I am with him, is, that the Company I meet there, is not so Delicate as I cou'd wish it; but mix'd with that Ineligance, which must be expected, and submitted to, among Men of Business: whose Friendships are form'd, for the most Part, not on Sympathy of Minds; but mutual Commerce of Interests.

YET, as there is, always, something to be learnt, from the most inconsiderable Accidents we can meet with, I never return'd from Dine­ing, or Supping, with my good Friend Sir [Page 142] Portly, but I brought away with me as strong a Proof, as I cou'd any where have met with, That the Reason why, in mix'd Com­panies, we seldom find much Pleasure, is, be­cause every Person, not under some immediate Guard of Hope, Fear, or Reverence, keeps only Himself in View: And directs his Dis­course, and Behaviour, not to the Taste of those he shou'd Entertain; but to the parti­cular Bent of his own Humour, or Capacity.

ONE of the most constant Guests, at Sir Portly's, is Tony Gingle his Sister's Son; who has a great Genius for Poetry. He makes very good Verses, and pronounces, gracefully enough, those he repeats, from other Writers,—so far, all is well. But the worst of it is, that Tony has studied nothing, but Poetry. He is quite dark in the useful Doctrine of Times, Seasons, and Places. It is the same Thing to him, when the Muse bites, whether he quotes Tragedy, to a Man of Letters, his Taylor's Wife, or a Stockjobber. The Chimes of his Numbers are for ever, ringing in his Fancy: And all, who chance to sit near him, must have their Share of the Melody. He has taken it into his Head, that, because he can make a considerable Figure, as a Poet, there is nothing, considerable, but Poetry! And it is a very pleasant Scene to observe Tony, studying, at one of the Tables of a full Coffee-House, in the midst of the City; scanning Verses, on his Fingers: Conceiving, writing, and blotting out: And humming them over, to himself, [Page 143] with all the Rapture, and Gesticulation, of Tone, Action, and Passion! Regardless that he is star'd at, and remark'd, all the while, by a dozen or two of thriving Citizens; who shake their Heads and pity him, as a Man, that has lost his Wits; even while he is under the Ope­ration of being Witty!—He has never per­mitted his Brain to grow cool enough to re­flect, That Wit, in dull Company, is the dullest Subject in the World; and that it is a Folly, to talk of Homer, Horace, or Pope, among Grave Fellows within Ludgate; who, when they hear of a Great Poet, will tell you a Story of Tom Brown; and feel no Difference in the Power of Tony Gingle's own Works, and the humble La­bours of their Bellman.

Jack Juniper, the Apothecary; and Tom Tiresome, the Haberdasher, living both in the same Street, ride down together, twice a Week, to take a Bottle, with my Friend, Sir Portly.Jack Juniper reads us Lectures, on the new Improvements in Botany, and the Rise, and Progress of Inoculation, which are, accurately, answer'd, by Mr. Thomas Tiresome; with the Price of the Stocks; and the Mournful Decay of the Spittle-fields Weaving.—As soon as this very able Apothecary has open'd, and ex­plain'd to us, the Circulation of the Blood, the punctual Haberdasher repays his Kindness, with the Course of Exchange. If some Patient, of the One, has taken Physick, for her Complexion; some Lady, who is the Other's Customer, has, with equal Advantage to her Skin, fallen into [Page 144] the Wear of his new Blush-Colour.—But, in the very Heighth of their Elucidations, Tony Gingle never fails to wedge in, between 'em both, some six Dozen of Quotations, from a Poem, call'd the Dispensary; though the intel­ligent Mr. Juniper is continually interrupting him with the true History of every weighty Occurrence, in Apothecaries-Hall, which pro­vok'd the Muse of the merry Doctor. While poor Tom Tiresome, when he has yawn'd, and listen'd, in vain, to the full Extent of his Pa­tience, for an Opportunity to grow Eloquent on the Use of Colchester-Bays, falls asleep, in his Chair; and snores at us, in Revenge, to maintain his Part in the Conversation.

HONEST Sir Portly wou'd be often at a Loss, to shape such stubborn Obliquities, into any direct Line of Society, if he had not, al­ways, at his Elbow, the good-natur'd Mr. William Weathercock, a Gentleman Farmer, in his Neighbourhood; who has a large, but empty, Understanding.—The Mind of Will. Weathercock is like the Sail of a great Ship, that has Room, to contain much Wind; but, hav­ing none, of its own producing, is swell'd out, by Turns, from all the Quarters of the Com­pass. Will. hits every Man's Taste; and is of all People's Opinion. He is so desirous to Oblige, that there is not a Point in the Circum­ference, but wou'd serve him for a Center. He is this Moment, in your Sentiment: and, the next, will, before your Face, be of his Opinion who contradicts you. But, if a Third [Page 145] affirms you Both to have been in the Wrong, and appeals to Will. Weathercock:Will, with the best-bred Agility in the World, shifts, immediately, to his Side, too; and thinks it as clear as the Sun that You were, All Three, in the Right of it.

THIS pliable Ductility, in the Reason of Will. Weathercock, hitches in, and chains toge­ther, the most repugnant Idea's; and, uniting them into an active Body, like the hook'd Atoms, of Des Cartes, gives 'em Strength, Fluidity, and Consequence. Such a lively Effect have the very Weaknesses of Humanity beyond the Force, and Subtlety, of Ill-Nature, and Self-Interest!

Tony Gingle, the last Time that I saw this Company together, was so put to it, for an Opportunity, to repeat some Verses, he was big with, that, in order to bring 'em in, with a tolerable Appearance of Propriety, he began, to compliment Sir Portly's Lady, on the Fine­ness of her Shape, and Skin, and inferring, from their being Praise-worthy, that they should lie open to Observation, took Occasion, by these Lines, to enforce his kind Opinion, that it was necessary for her, to go naked.

Can Forms, like yours, want Ornament of Dress?
Beauty, like Truth, shines most, in Nakedness.
Dressing, may skreen Deformities from View:
But, even, Adornment does but shadow you!
Most, but by what they wear are lovely made:
You, Madam, lose, whene'er you seek such Aid.
[Page 146]While others dress, their Lovers Hearts to warm,
You put off nothing, but what veil'd a Charm!

THE Lady blush'd, and smil'd. Sir Portly laugh'd aloud; and begg'd to hear 'em over again. For my Part, I was doubly pleas'd, with the Turn of the Verse; and Particularity of the Fancy. Tony Gingle, himself, was in Raptures, which he cou'd not hide, at the Applause his Muse had met with.—But Tom Tiresome had been weighing with the Foresight of a prudent Citizen, the Ill Consequence of going naked, to his good Friends the Weavers, and felt a commendable Indignation, against the tuneful Mr. Gingle; insomuch that in the Heat of his Resentment, he call'd him Madman; and Ballad-Singer—Pray, what do you sup­pose, said he, wou'd become of many thou­sand honest People, who live, by making Pet­ticoats, and what belongs to Petticoats, if all handsome Women were to go impudently Na­ked!—Out upon it! Methinks I see 'em; and am asham'd of you! It is scandalous, and in­decent; and to say nothing of the Plot, which may lie, conceal'd, in it, against Trade; it is the Whim of a Heathen Turk! and not fit to be thought of, in a Christian-Country!

TONY by this Time had fathom'd the Depth of his Antagonist, and began to play upon him, from his Batteries of poetical Ar­tillery; the War was growing hot: and threa­tened dangerous Consequences, when Will. Weathercock put in, between 'em, and taking [Page 147] Part with the Wit, because he observ'd him to be a Favourite, made this Charge, upon his Opposite, like a brave and faithful Auxiliary.

YOU are certainly in the right, most divert­ing Mr. Gingle!—Nature never wou'd have cover'd Women with such white, and tempt­ing Skins, if she had not meant 'em for a pub­lick Ornament. The Ladies are Nature's Fa­vourites; and, can we suppose her to have been less liberal, to those Favourites; than to the Beasts, which she plac'd below 'em?—She never sent us a Calf, but he came into the World, with his Coat on. An Ox has no Breeches to pull off, when he goes to Bed weary. The Lamb is born, ready dress'd, with her Freeze Coat about her. And who, ever, saw a Sow, drawing off her Shoes, and Stockings?—None sleep softer than the Birds do: Yet they rise, in the Morning, with their Feather­beds, upon their Backs.—The most Excel­lent, of the Virtues, are always painted, like Women; but it is, like Women, without Cloaths on! And, what does this mean, but to insinu­ate, to the Sex, that all, who love Virtue, shou'd despise Hoop-Petticoats, and go naked?—There is this manifest Absurdity in Wo­mens Dressing, that it involves them in Per­plexities, which make the chief End they dress for, much more difficult than it need be: For, as they order the Matter, they are to be taken to Pieces, like Watches, before a Man can come near enough, to examine the Wonders of [Page 148] their Workmanship.Fashions differ, in all Nations; and, what is a fine Dress, in one Place, is a frightful one, in another. But, were Women once uncover'd, all Mens Judg­ments wou'd agree, about 'em.—In a Word, since the Sun, Moon, and Stars, appear, as Na­ture has made 'em; since all Animals are satis­fy'd with their own natural Figures; and, since the Roses are not asham'd to shew their Thorns, with their Beauties; why shou'd Woman, Na­ture's Masterpiece! seek to hide, or disguise, her Loveliness?

WILL went, eloquently on, after this ex­traordinary Manner, till he had fully con­vinc'd, and satisfy'd, all that Part of his Au­dience, who were on this first Side the Question. But, casting his Eye, on poor Tom Tiresome, and, pitying the melancholy Air, with which he listen'd to an Opinion, he had not Wit enough to argue against, though he thought it little Better than Fornication, and Adultery;—Will, in simple Honesty of Heart; and out of a mere Motive of Compassion, slipt, by a very sudden Transition, into a sure Method of comforting him; and chang'd his Level, as follows.

YET, I must do Justice to both Arguments, and it seems plain, beyond Contradiction, that Beauty was made, to be ornamented. The Pea­cock's starry Tail, shews, that Nature loves gay Fancies. Nature dress'd the Hills, and the Meadows, in their fine, embroider'd Man­tles. [Page 149] It was she, that spangled over all that glorious Veil, of Heaven!—Who, but Na­ture, spotted the Ermin? And gilt the scaly Skins, of Fishes, and of Serpents?—Man, indeed, she sent into the World, plain, and naked:—Not, that she meant, he shou'd remain so,—but, because she adorn'd all Things else, for his Reason, to chuse a Dress from. What is the Silkworm, but Nature's little Spinster, set to Work for our common Benefit? The very Spider keeps a Loom; and weaves a finer Manufacture, than the Artists of Spittle-Fields, can!—Why smell these love­ly Flowers, round the Summer-House we are sitting in, so delightfully sweet, and fragrant, but to teach us, That we shou'd perfume our selves? And, to what End can we suppose they were made, so various, in their Colours, but to give Ladies the happy Hint, of employ­ing Dyers, and Silk-weavers!

TOM TIRESOME broke in upon him, at those two inspiring Words, with a loud and triumphant Hollow; and filling, instantly, two Bumpers, drank Prosperity to Trade; and Health and Happiness to Mr. Weathercock.—His Toasts went round the Company; and both Parties were so well satisfied with the Share each had, in his Decision, that Neither of them appear'd shock'd at the manifest Contradicti­on of his Reasoning. But Tony Gingle went away, the most pleas'd, of the Two; because Sir Portly desir'd him, at parting, to repeat his Verses, the third Time; and to make an­other [Page 150] Copy, against next Meeting, on the com­fortable use of Swan-skin Breeches, to Ladies who wear Wide Hoops, in a sharp and frosty Winter.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 20.
FRIDAY, May 29. 1724.

Tum pater Anchises lachrymis ingressus obortis:
O nate, ingentem luctum ne quaere tuorum:
Ostendent terris hunc tantum fata, ne (que) ultrâ
Esse sinent —
VIR.
Heu miserande puer! Si qua fata aspera rumpas,
Tu Marcellus eris. —
Ibid.
Discite justitiam moniti, & non temnere divos.
Ibid.
SIR,

YOU observed, very justly, in one of your late Papers, that no Figure in Life can be more graceful, and amiable, than that of a wise, and good, Father; with Respect to an only Son, who possesses, and deserves, his Indulgence.

THAT Lover of Mankind, Hortensius, gave us, lately, a fine Example, of the Force of this Truth: But I look back, upon it with Anguish, because I judge of his present Pain, by the Excess of his past Pleasure.

THO' Hortensius had, properly, but one Son, he was, in some Sense, the Common Fa­ther. [Page 151]—Nothing ever was carried higher than the Manliness of his Heart, except its Sweetness, and Humanity: For he was soften'd, by the benevolent Overflowings of a Pity, that touch'd him, at once, in the two Extremes of Sensibi­lity! His own Joys were damp'd, by other Peoples Afflictions; and his private Sorrows chear'd, by the Prosperity of those who hated him.—He not only forgave, readily, the most malicious of his Enemies; but, that he might be sure to do it, generously, he forgot the very Injuries.—Even his Faults were no other, than the unsuccessful Result of his Virtues; for act­ing rather by the measure of his Mind, than of his Power, he provok'd the Disappointed; to whom the Will is no Obliger.—His Wit could fear no Rivals, but his Courage, and his Honesty:—And every Person who shall read this faint Character of his Excellence, has been oblig'd, by the Effects of it; with regard to the Pub­lick Interest; and the Ornaments of Society.

SUCH was Hortensius!—and such Horten­sius is; if yet he may be said to be, after the Death of that dear Son, he liv'd in; and into whose fine Mind he had pour'd out, and trans­fus'd, all the Fullness of his Virtues; with a kind of Hope, in him, and his, to have im­mortaliz'd his very Body! and to receive, from future Ages, in the Honours paid to his De­scendants, the Tribute of that Praise, which his own, declining Life, is, now, too scanty to make Room for.

[Page 152]HE, who knows the Father's Prospect; and how suddenly Death has blasted it; having snatch'd away the Son, when just blooming into Manhood; and, already, the Companion, and the Friend, of his Father! never look'd on, without Joy;—never oblig'd, without Gratitude;—never thought on, without Ten­derness;—never hearken'd to, without Won­der! must be touch'd with a lively Sense of what that Fate brought with it; which tore, from such a Parent! (who, before, had lost the Mother,) such a Son; to leave him, joy­less; with the future World before him, like a bleak, and barren Desart!—And the past, more dreadful still, by a thousand goading Tendernesses; which cling for ever to the Me­mory; and torment, and sting, Reflection.

WHAT is Life, when we consider it under the Accidents it is liable to, but an unresting Conflict, in the Dark, with Labours, Doubts, and Disappointments!—One, such Loss, as Hortensius has sustain'd, in this lov'd Son: (and so felt, too, as Hortensius feels it) serves, for ever, to imbitter Hope; and draws Gloom enough over the Mind, to put a Stop to our wild Pursuits, of Riches, Power, and Reputa­tion.

WHEN I compare the present Calamity of this Gentleman, with the Satisfaction he is fallen from;—with that ripening Expectati­on;—that observing Vigilance; that unspeak­able Succession of little Transports, and tender Triumphs;—and all that Train of Noble [Page 153] Weaknesses, which warm, and open the human Heart, upon these dear, and soft, Occasions; I confess to you that I am lost, in too quick a Sense of his Misery!—And I tremble, while I learn from it, that we are expos'd to it, most danger­ously, on that strongest, and unguarded, Quarter, whence we look for our sincerest Happiness!

I MET Hortensius, some time since; and, letting down my Glass, by Accident, just as his Chair was passing me, my Soul was wound­ed, through my Eyes, at the moving Majesty of his Sorrow.—He endeavour'd to have skreen'd it, behind the Greatness of his Spirit; and put me in Mind, when I was gone by him, of this fine, and natural Stroke, in Shake­speare.

— She never told her Pain;
But let Concealment, like a Worm, i'the Bud,
Prey, on her Damask Cheek:—seem'd, all unmov'd;
And sat,—like Patience, on a Monument;
Smiling, at Grief!

IF a Man, who had embark'd himself, for some long Voyage, with his Friends, and his whole Family, shou'd have the miserable De­liverance, to escape, alone, from a Shipwreck; and be thrown ashore, upon some barren Island, whence he cou'd discern no Object round him, but the Swelling of the Sea, while it was cover­ing the sinking Heads of all, who were near, or dear, to him: and, to preserve whose che­rish'd Lives, he wou'd, himself have dy'd, with [Page 154] Pleasure!—Could such a dreadful Distinction be consider'd as a Blessing to him?—Or, shou'd we not rather pity him, as the Person, of the whole Number, whose Lot was least supportable? And to which, a thousand Deaths were preferable!

YET, methinks, Mr. Plain-Dealer, tho', to lose a Worthy Son, must be acknowledg'd a trying Misery; It is a Fate, severer still, to be the Father of an Unworthy one.—

— And live, to feel,
How, sharper than a Serpent's Tooth, it is,
To have a thankless Child!
Shakespeare in King Lear.

SHEW me a Good Man, whose paternal Care has been rewarded with Contempt, from the ungrateful Object of his Tenderness:—Who sees his Name disgrac'd, by the sordid Quali­ties of an Heir, from whose expected Excel­lence he had promis'd himself an Encrease to its Reputation:—Who lives, convinced, that he is hated, avoided, and wish'd dead, by a Wretch, whom he has given Life to! and from whose Virtues, he had flatter'd himself, that his Old Age wou'd find a Comfort! and his Memory retain a Glory!—Such a Father shall look, with a kind of Envy, on Horten­sius, and be the only Person capable of weigh­ing his Distress, without Agony.

THE Impartiality of Time, and Reason, placing in the same Degree of Fame, those [Page 155] who polish'd, and instructed, Nations, with those who govern'd, or conquer'd, them; Hortensius need not blush, to see his Name, rank'd with Princes.—I will therefore instance an Example of a vaster Misery than his own, in the greatest Monarch of our Age: (why did I not say of any Age?) I mean the Czar of Russia:—A Prince! whose Actions will draw after him a Blaze of Glory, and Astonish­ment, through the latest Depth of Time! and warm the Hearts of Posterity with the same generous Reverence, for the Name of this im­mortal Emperor, which we now feel, at men­tion of Alexander the Great: or the first, and noblest, of the Caesars.

THERE can be very few of your Readers, who have not heard the Czar accus'd of one of the most shocking Kinds of Cruelty, with regard to the Death of his Son, the late Prince Royal—But most of 'em, I believe, are igno­rant, that this great, and generous Sovereign, was so free from the Guilt of that ill-ground­ed Imputation, that he pardon'd his Condemn'd Son, in Person, in the most tender, and move­ing Manner, after he had been sentenc'd to Death, not by the Czar himself, but by a Con­vention of the Senate, and States, of Russia, Ecclesiastical,—Civil,—and Military:—for having (to use the very Words of the Sentence) Form'd a Design to get the Crown even in the Life-time of his Father: opposing, and under­mining, all his glorious Improvements; and soli­citing Insurrections, of Rebels, at Home; and [Page 156] the Assistance of a Foreign Army, to accomplish the Destruction of them.

I COU'D produce the most authentic, and undeniable, Evidences, that, throughout the whole Course of this great, and private, Affli­ction, the Czar discover'd more, of the Vast­ness! the Humanity! and the Firmness, of his Soul, than in all the Publick Torrent, of his Dangers; and his Victories!—And, I think, I may challenge the most partial Admirers of Antiquity, to produce any Thing, so humane! so heroic! so God-like! as this Letter! even from their greatest, and most honour'd, Cha­racters.—It was writ, and deliver'd, by the Czar's own Hand, to the Prince Royal, his Son, on the 11th Day of October, in the Year 1715.

Extract of a LETTER, from the Czar of Russia, to his Son, the Prince Alexei.

My SON,

YOU cannot be ignorant, since it is known to all the World, to what Degree our People groan'd, under the Swedish Oppres­sion. We saw, by the Loss of our Maritime Provinces, that we were cut off from all Com­merce with the rest of the World. You know, too, what it cost us, in the Begin­ning of this War, to qualify ourselves to give a Check to so implacable a Violence. But God led us by the Hand, till we were wor­thy, in our Turn, to make that Enemy trem­ble, [Page 157] before whom others had, long, trem­bled.—We owe this, next to God, to our own, unwearied Toil; and the Affection of our Best Children, our faithful, Russian Sub­jects.

BUT, if, while I am viewing this Prospe­rity of my Native Country, I turn an Eye to my own Posterity, my Heart is oppress'd, with Grief, that is too heavy for my Glory.—I see You, my Son! rejecting all the Means of becoming able to protect, or govern, what I leave you.—You will not so much as hear of Warlike Study; tho' by that only we broke out of the Obscurity we were in­volv'd in; and made ourselves notic'd among Nations.

I DO not exhort You to make War, with­out Reason;—I but press you to learn the Art of it. I cou'd place before your Eyes many Proofs, that this is necessary: But I will name the Greeks, only; for they are united in the same Faith, with us.—What, but Neglect of Arms, was the Occasion of their Ruin? Rest, and Idleness, had weaken'd them, till they cou'd submit, even to Slavery! You mistake, if you think it enough, for a Prince to have Good Generals. Men look up, to the Head: They examine his Inclinations, that they may conform themselves to his Genius.—My Brother, in his Reign, lov'd Magnificence, in Dress, and Horses. The Nation, (before, not at all inclin'd that Way) form'd their Taste, upon their Prince's; for [Page 158] they imitate us, as well in our Good Quali­ties, as our Evil.

YOU hate War:—You neglect it:—You will, consequently, never learn it.—How, then, can you command others?—How judge, of the Rewards, which shou'd encourage the Deserving? or the Punishments, which must be held out, to the Eyes of the Unworthy?—You will see, and hear, for ever, with the Eyes, and Ears, of others; and resem­ble a young Bird, that holds out its Bill to its Feeder.

I AM a Man, my Son, and I must die.—To whom shall I leave the Accomplishment of my Labours? To whom shall I commit the Protection of my People?—To one! who, like the slothful Servant, conceals, the Ta­lent, he shou'd employ!—and falls back, from the glorious Trust, which God has dis­tinguish'd him by!

REMEMBER your long Obstinacy—and become generously asham'd, of this Perverse­ness in your Nature.—How often have I reproach'd You! Nay, sometimes, you have compell'd my Affection even to punish you!—For some Years past, I have scarce spoke to you.—Yet, all this avail'd nothing.—It was losing my Time!—It was striking the Air!—All your Pleasure consists in Indo­lence! Things, of which you ought to be asham'd, because they make you contempti­ble, compose your dearest Delight!—Nor [Page 159] do you concern yourself for the Consequen­ces, it may produce to your Country!

AFTER having weigh'd, in my secret Breast, the fatal Tendency of your Proceed­ings;—After having reflected, how long, in vain, I have endeavour'd to redeem you: I have thought fit, by my own Hand-writ­ing, to give you the last Result of my Will.—With this Determination, however,—to wait, still, some Time longer, before I put it in Execution; to expect, or hope, your Amendment:—If not, you are, hereby, to know, that I will deprive you of the Succession; as a Man would cut off a gangren'd Member.

DO not fancy, that, because I have no other Child but you, I only write this to terrify you: By God's Pleasure, I will, most cer­tainly, do it. For, since I spare not my own Life, for the Welfare of my People: Why shou'd I regard your Honour, who are not fram'd for becoming it?—I will, rather, transmit my Dominions to a Stranger, who shall be Worthy of them, than to my own unworthy Son, who can neither defend, nor adorn, them.

Sign'd, in the Original, with the Czar's own Hand, PETER.

I WILL close my Paper, here, and revere the Soul of this great Prince, in Silence! for, to say any Thing, in Praise, or Explanation, [Page 160] of such a Letter, were to treat my Readers, like Insensibles.—If there lives any one Person, who can consider it, without Love, and Vene­ration, for its Writer, his Apprehension must be so grosly cover'd, with a Cloud of Dulness, and Stupidity, that he is destin'd to remain impenetrable, by Honour, Justice, or Huma­nity!

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 21.
MONDAY, June 1. 1724.

— Natio Comoeda est.
— Ridiculum acri.
HOR.

THE Coquette, and Ned Volatile, have been Indulged in their Propensities to talk, and, enjoyed their Humour and Pleasan­try; nay, they have been permitted to break in upon one another, sometimes, with unex­pected Vollies of Raillery, which might, per­haps, have been carried to unwarrantable Lengths, and attended with ill Consequences, if they had not been over-awed by the Presence of us, of a more sedate Turn; and sometimes, seasonably parted, by the Interposition of the Major, and timely relieved from one another in those brisk Onsets.

[Page 161]IF an Account of the little Infirmities of this pair of Scufflers has had its proper Tendency towards the Cure of any noted Impertinents, of either Sex, who have a Flux in their Tongues, I shall not think that I have as yet offended the Gravity of my Character, or lost any Time, in penning down such Levities, the Know­ledge of which, rightly convey'd, produces Consequences of so much Importance to the Quiet and Repose of the more serious part of the Human Species. Thus far I can say, from what has fallen within my own Observation, That several gay Parts, which I have dis­cover'd, of the Conversation between Ned and the Coquette, have excited an unusual Vein of Merriment among many of my young Readers; but, tho' I must confess, I had a secret Plea­sure in finding them pleased; I should have been delighted, in a more exquisite Degree, if my Writings, taking a better Effect, had stir'd up, in some of them, whom it wou'd have become, a little more Self-Reflection, and less Laughter. They who only laugh at the Follies of others, give me the worst half of their Ap­plause; I shall never be compleatly pleas'd, till I can teach them to laugh at themselves: they think me a pleasant and facetious old Fellow, but I wou'd be, at the same Time, a useful and a profitable Companion.

I LATELY saw the most penetrating pair of Eyes that ever shone upon Paper, very busily employed upon that Plain-Dealer, wherein I described the last Tongue-Skirmish, between [Page 162] the Two Talkatives of our Assembly. She read it to herself, and ever, now and then, laugh'd out heartily. I could guess, by observing her Eye, what Passages tickled her the most, and found 'em to be those, which threw the for­ward Humour of the two Combatants into the strongest Pitch of Ridicule. I was in hopes, That, if any of that Female Infirmity, which she so heartily laugh'd at in others, fell to her Share, she would ever after carefully avoid appearing in the same Light, in which she had seen her Neighbour make so ungraceful a Figure, and whom she confess'd, by such sen­sible Signs, to be a proper Object of Ridicule. But, to my very great Wonder, she no sooner laid the Paper out of her Hands, but she in­continently exercised those Lips, with ten times more Velocity in Talking, than they seem'd to have in the Course of their Reading. Her Tongue out-gallop'd the Coquette's; and I am persuaded, if Ned Volatile had been to start with her upon equal Terms, she would fairly have distanced him; he would have lost Sight of her in the first Flight: Up got I, (no Room being given to take Leave) and march­ed off, as fast as my Oaken-stick would help me; and have been mightily discouraged, to see the little Effects of my Performances.—I warrant this Gossip, told the next Company she fell into, That she read my Paper, and the Moment after, in utter Contempt of the Moral palpably contained in it, bolted away into numberless Fooleries, and as many Imperti­nences [Page 163] as before. But can this pert Fair-One be properly said to have read the PLAIN-DEALER? No, she saw it, but did not read it. At this Rate I must be obliged to turn Lecturer upon my own Works, and where there are any genteel Hints, substitute rougher, and coarser, in their Room, that they may not be too deli­cate, and escape Observation. It is the Sign of a well-manner'd Writer, just to touch upon the Verge of a severe Truth, and leave the rest to a Reader's private Meditation. But if this Method proves ineffectual, it is next to impos­sible, to preserve the Character of a PLAIN-DEALER, without saying something that may penetrate, more violently. I shall, therefore for the Future, without Scruple, declare, that any Eyes, let them appear never so beautiful, which at once look over, and overlook, these Papers, are in a Manner as bad as blind; and that the only Grace in beautiful Lips, which are almost always in Motion, and scarce ever to the Purpose, consists in the Propriety of their Colour, which shews, as if they blush'd, with a Sense of their own Impertinence.

THE Gentlemen run over my Papers, as well as the Ladies, without reading them. They conceive a Jest on some particular Per­son, then laugh; and become more a Jest themselves: yet will not consider, till they are told in plain Terms, that each of them is that particular Person.

THE odd Spark, whom my Correspondent, fair Cleora, very properly liken'd to a Mercury [Page 164] Reversed, is the same odd Spark he was, and, what is worse, has since that Time brought over Hundreds of Proselytes, to the same silly Fashion; so that one would be apt to imagine, there is nothing more wanting, to make a Dress very popular, but shewing it first to be very ridiculous. There seems to be a general Emulation among the Fashion-Mongers, which of them can be the most Whimsical, as the on­ly sure Way to be the most Taking and Suc­cessful.

THESE Mercuries consist mostly of your Sma [...]t, Dapper Blades; tho' some very tall Men have condescended to come into the Fa­shion, which makes them appear to have no Heads at all, or as if half the Head, lay hid in the Bag behind it.

IT is an extraordinary Entertainment to see the whole Mall crowded with this kind of Pup­pets; and yet more so, when examining these Childish Figures, you read in their Faces, that they generally consist of Persons from Five and Twenty, to upwards of Forty Years of Age. Some Fops of Fifty-odd, make the first Decays of Age remarkable in them by this Dress, which would be otherwise unnoticed. A jolly old Friend of mine, was taking an Airing with me in the Park the other Day, ‘'What must be in these Peoples Minds, said he, that, in order to look Gay, appear Hoary, like the Pictures of Old Winter, when every Thing looks flourishing about them? The very Breezes blow to refresh them, and sweep [Page 165] away the Load of Dust, which wou'd swel­ter them if they had not ingeniously prevent­ed it, by a Cement of Orange-Butter.’

CAN any of these Sparks pretend to read my Papers; who, without looking into their Minds, continue to cultivate the Outside of their Heads after such a prodigious and pre­posterous Rate! As to the Powderers of Fifty, I must tell them, that even I, who am in my grand Climacterick, and have gone thro' the Snow of so many Winters, am not half so much powder'd as they, and that therefore it cannot look decent in them.

IF we survey from the Head downwards, every Part of their Dress, there is not one, but what is preposterous.

IF a Man, for Example, was to take a Re­view of the Officers and Soldiers, provided they had Sleeves of the Modern Cut, he would take them for an Army of Invalids. The Company of Taylors seem to have forgot them­selves, and want the Assistance of the Barber-Surgeons, to instruct them in the Rules of Ana­tomy, without which, the Elbows of Men are visibly out of Joint, and can never be set cle­verly.

THE young Fellows have drop'd down the Flaps of their Coats, very near as Low as the Clocks of their Stockings, so that scarce any thing of the Leg is to be seen but Ancle; and they seem to be pulling them still lower and lower, that they may be more and more like Petticoats, which the Women are, grate­fully, [Page 166] tucking up shorter and shorter, that there will be a decent Necessity for converting them into Breeches.

BUT I observe, that the Ladies go open-breasted in Winter, tho' the Dappers button up to the Chin in Summer; and have garnished the Folds of their Coats with Supernumerary Buttons, the Use of which I cannot possibly learn, tho' I have applied to those who are very deeply read. I would propose Buttons and Button-holes down the Seam of the Back, that they may be button'd up to the Poll, as they are to the Chin, which will be of great Use, when, they are lazy; for they may be unbutton­ed, as Ladies are unlac'd, behind, by a Servant.

IF these Alterations should be carried on a little further, my Friend Gunter's Predictions, concerning the Mutation of Sexes, must be al­lowed to be punctually verified.

WHAT I most fear is, lest our Merchants and others, whose Affairs have kept them ma­ny Years beyond Sea, shou'd be surprized, at their Return, to find us dress'd after the pre­sent Mode, hear our Officers sing Italian, our Beaus compliment one another in High Dutch, our old Women talk Politicks in French, and not believe us to be the same Generation of Peo­ple, they left behind them in this Island.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 22.
FRIDAY, June 5. 1724.

Sed tamen amoto quaeramus seria ludo.
HOR.
In facinus jurasse putes
OVID.

O pulchra ista pars, quae actiones vitam (que) bene format ac diriget.

TACIT.

IT has been remark'd in the Course of these PAPERS, that among the Wise, there are none more Foolish than the Witty: May it not with great Truth be said, That, among the merely Witty, none are more ridiculed than the Wise? If a Clergyman offers to speak, the Witlings foretel Dullness.

BUT the Case is quite otherwise with Per­sons of a serious Cast of Thought, who know, that, as Truth is the only Mean, by which Divines can surely instruct, so their Stile must be peculiarly clear, which, without stopping at Brightness, pursues Solidity. I am therefore fully satisfy'd, that, that Grave Class of my Readers, whom I count doing me an Honour, when I see them clap on their Spectacles to read my Works, as if they thought they could meet with Improvement from them, after their [Page 168] own long Experience of the World, will be pleased with the following Discourse, which the Clergyman made, the other Day, upon that Virtue call'd Plain-Dealing.

WHEN we consider that every Body, said he, is continually recommending the Subject of your Papers in common Conversation, one would think there was little need for a Writer to employ his Time upon it: But when we reflect how few practise it, no Subject requires more Pains to inforce it. People praise it every Day, and violate it every Hour, and common Honesty, like common Sense, is boldly pretended to by every Body, but really pos­sessed by few.

IT must be worth a little of our Meditation to inform ourselves, how this Quality comes to be so Valuable among us, and yet we so frequently and so easily part with it; in short, by what Mystery in our Conduct such Numbers of Men, would appear to be what they are not.

WE see upon the first Moment's Reflection, that PLAIN-DEALING is the Soul of Friendship; it is the necessary Essence of it; and, when that is once gone, the most warm and lively In­timacies can no longer subsist: They grow cold and dye at once. Now Friendships, we all know, are the very Bonds of Society; again, we as clearly comprehend, that what we call, a Good Understanding, among publick Bodies of Men, (which cannot be maintained but by Fair-Dealings) is the Prop and Support of every Civilized Government. Since we are so [Page 169] soon and so perfectly convinced, that Plain-Dealing carries along with it such Advantages, it is no wonder, that we should desire to be reckoned the Possessors of so valuable a Good. It is Natural for us to desire it; it is in this Sense scarce a Vertue; for, morally speaking, it is what we cannot help desiring. Every Mortal breathing has felt the first Principles of Honesty very strong in his Heart; and even he that departed from it, knows his Struggle was very great. It is the Quality he covets to find in every one with whom he converses, and he secretly adores the Man in whom he hap­pens to meet it.

ON the other hand, if Plain-Dealing had not all these attractive Charms, yet there is something so ridiculous and unpopular in play­ing the Double upon Mankind; there is such a Baseness in the doing of it, such an Impossi­bility of doing it often without being discover­ed; such an irretrievable Ignominy, such a quick and painful Remorse, that a Life of Dis­simulation is full enough of Horror to fright Men from it, if a Life of Honesty had not Charms to tempt, and invite us.

SURE then it is a Riddle, that we are not like the People we Love, but the People we Hate. The meanest Slave cannot bear to be called a Dissembler, and yet the great­est Princes do not blush to dissemble. Qui nescit Dissimulare, nescit Regnare, is grown their Political Motto. Statesmen originally meant the same as Faithful Servants of a State; [Page 170] they are now adays called Politicians, and Politican is little more than a new Name for Deceiver. Even Religious Persons have enter'd into a Conspiracy against Plain-Dealing; Dis­semblers, in Holy Orders, have caused, In ver­bo Sacerdoti, to signify a Falshood, and Nolo Epis­copare to stand for desiring earnestly what a Man pretends to decline.

UPON the whole it is nothing but Folly and Cowardice, that seduces Men first out of the plain Road of Honour and Vertue, into the By-ways of Double-Dealing? and, when once Cunning took the Place of Wisdom in Mens Minds, and Fear instead of Resolution govern'd their Hearts; they at length brought Double-Dealing (which was, at first, a Crime, by Ac­cident) thro' a long and constant Habit, to be no less than an Art and Profession.

SUCH a Duty as Plain-Dealing, cannot be too much known, and nothing is learnt, more easily; but then in a Corrupt Age nothing is so easily lost: in a depraved and impious Com­pany, nothing is so readily parted from.

THE Clergy have a Right to diffuse among the People this Spirit of Honesty, by Precept, and a more particular Duty, incumbent upon them, to enforce it by Example. But too many among them have such a Taste for world­ly Interest, as to have lost the Relish of Primi­tive Religion; and while they profess them­selves Priests, appear ashamed, to be thought Christians.

[Page 171]AS there is nothing nobler than a good Priest; so there is nothing so shocking and ri­diculous, as to see a base Man of that Profes­sion, which annexes Reverend to his Name. A Layman, that does not reverence a good Pastor, is a Profligate: But a wicked Man, in holy Orders, is a Monster. The Ancients, when they drew the Pictures of Beauty and Ugliness, took Pieces from several Objects, the better to compleat their Design. In order to excite true Horror against wicked Prelates I shall use the same Liberty, and draw from the wickedest, I have heard of, a kind of Eccle­siastical Caligula, and suppose him to be a Bishop, to give him the Fulness of his Deformity: I shall then give the Sketch of a virtuous Eccle­siastick; but must remark, for the Honour of Priesthood, that the ill Character is compound­ed of a great many Double-Dealers, and that the good one, did really belong to one good Man.

UMBRA was always a great Pretender to Virtue and Piety, but never Possessor of Com­mon Honesty: He made Godliness his Gain, and never espoused the Interests of Virtue, but with the View of pushing his own. Umbra cant­ed inordinately; but never once pray'd hearti­ly. In order to ingratiate himself with great Families, he applied himself to learn a false kind of Oratory, and grew a famed Panegy­rist, and Composer of Funeral Sermons, in which he would salve up the Vices of great Men, in favour of Death-bed Repentance; [Page 172] and demonstrate very elaborately, how the Virtue of a Moment, could atone the Impiety of an Age. If he dined at a Nobleman's Table, he said a scanty Grace to a full Meal, and would just dip down his Head to the great Author, who multiplies Food for the Use and Benefit of his Creatures; but, before he seated himself, would make a profound Reverence to the Debauchee that entertain'd him. When he grew, by these Means, acquainted with great Men, he turn'd Politician, and raised himself up on the blind Side of one, by setting him at Variance with another: He next became a State Preacher, and changed his Note as the Times changed, so that there were many Ser­mons of his, direct Contradictions to each other. He sold the Gospel by Retale, and lived long in Grandeur, by debasing Christianity: he has sometimes taken Delight in abusing the very Priesthood, and triumph'd in a Bishoprick, when he deserv'd to be excommunicated. Thus vested, unhappily, with Prelatical Autho­rity, he would ruin his honest Inferiors, and if they sought Justice, terrify them by his Pri­vilege. This Double-Dealer, with a Mitre on his Head, lived prevaricating for many Years, and then died as he lived, leaving such Fals­hoods under his Hand on his Death-bed, as if the Measure of his Days had been too short for his Prevarication.

THERE was such a Person lately living as Cordatus, who had an honourable Post in the Church. He belong'd to a great Cathedral, [Page 173] and was really a Person of Quality; joining the Gentleman with the Christian, he was both Religious and Polite. He had this peculiar Felicity in his Temper, that, though he lived in an Age of Faction, he judged many, of a different Opinion from himself, to be honest and well-meaning Men, and, by treating them as such, won them over to his Opinion. He never used his Authority but to quiet Animosi­ties, to make or renew Friendships, and to establish Peace, good Will, and Union. He was learned and wise, and tho' he had an Im­pediment in his Speech, he preached clearly to the Understanding. He never chose that Oratory, which tends more to nourish Pride in the Speaker, than to instil Virtue into the Hearer. He knew it his Duty to instruct the Ignorant, and therefore studied Perspicuity, in all that he deliver'd from the Pulpit. He made Virtue the Study of one part of his Life, and the other was taken up with the Labour of communicating what he had learnt, for the Use and Instruction of others. He never con­cealed any thing that might make other Men better; save one, and that was his Charity. All knew he recommended what he acted, and finding the Preacher in earnest, the Hearers were so too. Nothing among his Parishioners, was deliver'd over to Shame, but Impiety. He lived thus for many Years a general Blessing, and his Death was a Common Calamity. The Poor lost a Benefactor, the Rich a valuable [Page 174] Friend, and every individual Man of his Ac­quaintance, an exemplary Companion.

I MUST, before I conclude, advise all Cler­gymen not to fix any Parts in the Description of Umbra, upon any particular Persons they may not think well of; because that will be shewing, they have some of his Spirit: Let them rather study to live like Cordatus, that they may die with his Character. What signi­fies finding out who is meant by Umbra, or who is Cordatus? The profitable Search will be to examine what Parts they have acted like Umbra, and amend them; and, in what they have personated Cordatus, and improve them: If they do otherwise, they will imitate the Dog in the Fable, and, by catching at the Shadow, lose the Substance of my Dissertation.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 23.
MONDAY, June 8. 1724.

Helleborum frustra, cum jam cutis Aegra Tumebit,
Poscentes videas. Venienti occurite morbo.
Et quid opus Cratero magnos promittere montes?
Disciteque O miseri, & causas cognoscite rerum.
PERS.
Ad populum phaleras. Ego te intus & in cute novi.
Ibid.
— dicisque, facisque, quod, ipse,
Non sani esse hominis, non sanus juret Orestes.
Ibid.

I PUBLISH the following LETTER, in Justice to some great Qualities, which were latent, till now, in my good Friend, Mr. Jyngle: And which he held, it seems, like the Flint; that never sparkles till it is struck upon.

Old Favourite!

HOW little did I think, when you pro­fess'd yourself a PLAIN DEALER, that you wou'd, so soon, become a Tatler! Pray don't mistake this, for a Compliment: I am not in so obliging a Humour, I assure you. I find, Men must be cautious, when they keep communicative Company: For there are a kind of Talkative old Gentlemen, who never know when to have done, with their Acquaintance; but will carry a Man about [Page 176] with 'em, for half an Age after his Funeral: However to go, at once, into my Matter.

I HAVE a very particular Regard for Sir Portly Rufus: Nor do his Commands want their due Weight with me. But, as a cer­tain Poet, somewhere expresses himself,

All Duties must to Self-Defence give Way;
For injur'd Honour cannot brook Delay.

LET the Ladies, therefore wait, for their Swan-skin Breeches. My Muse may, per­haps, be at Leisure, against Winter: And none, but a hasty Prude or two, can want 'em, this warm Weather. So, I shall have Time to stand justify'd, against your false Accusation, That I study nothing, but Poetry. Tom Tiresome, a heavy Blockhead! can talk of nothing but the Stocks! But Mr. Juniper is a Man of Learning; let him speak of me, from his own Knowledge. Or I might ap­peal to Will Weathercock, (against whom I often maintain Arguments) whether there is any Truth in your Accusation? But, as an­other Poet says, upon some Occasion or other, in some Place that I have forgot,

In vain are Toothless Satires writ
'Gainst him, who feels himself a Wit.

I shall scorn to owe my Vindication to any Hand but my own: And hope to convince [Page 177] you, before I end this Letter, That I have more in me than Poetry.

PRAY, who taught you in the first Place to be Witty upon your Friends, before you cou'd Spell their Names right? All the Men of Erudition, who have been numerous among the Jyngles, wrote themselves with an j Consonant: A soft and shapely Letter! Which you have barbarously demolish'd; and built up, in the Place of it, a broad­back'd, Gothick G: A rough, and choaking, Guttural! that is scarce fit for any Thing, but to gargle a German's Throat with! Every Graduate, (duce take this G!) Every Stu­dent, in Orthography, knows the manifest Difference, between Jyngle and Gingle! what tho' Jilt sounds like Gentlewoman, and Jackanapes like Ginger-bread! If our Lan­guage is a Double-Dealer, and for want of settled Usage, and a limited Acceptation, gives Encouragement to idle People to run Divisions on the Alphabet; that is nothing to me. All I mean by it, is, to convince you, that I understand something, besides Poetry.

THIS, however, en passant only, for I am Master of better Sciences; such as are new, even in Theory. But, not to triumph, too much, over the Mistake of a Friend, (since it is a very common Error to think too meanly, of the Merit we are familiar with) I will open upon this Occasion, but one Vein of my Skill; and let it flow to your Shame, till it shall be stopt, by your Conviction.

[Page 178] I AM, you must know, then, a kind of im­material Anatomist: I can dissect an Imagina­tion; or disembowel a Quality: I am about to make publick Profession of my Art: And having my Chariot as good as ready, the rest of my Apparatus will be, comparatively, of no Consequence. I shall drive fast into Practice. But the chief Scruple I labour under, is, by what Title to distinguish my­self: I wou'd make use of the Word Doctor, but that the College of Physicians, who place much Learning in Privilege, wou'd have me ascend, by Degrees, to that Dignity: Which is too phlegmatic a Prescription to agree with my Temper. I am, therefore, inclina­ble, since very much of my Practice will lie among the Ladies, to call myself a Mind-Midwife: Insinuating, by that Hint, That I can see 'em as safely brought to Bed of their Affectation, and other spiritual Conceptions, as they can be assisted, in their Matrimonal Preg­nancies, by the bodily Brothers of my Pro­fession.

THE first Patient I propose to lay, is a pregnant Male Member of that learned College I was mentioning. To be a Doctor's Doctor, is, to cure, in the best Light possible: And I wou'd emulate the Example of that me­morable Magician, Zyto, who was sent for, says a grave Historian, by the Emperor Charles the IVth; to try his Skill, against a High German Conjurer; Zyto, who was a White Wizard, and worth a Hundred of your [Page 179] Faustus's; stood, in Presence of the Emperor, and, with inflexible Composure, observ'd the Instances of his Rival's Art; who swallow'd, at last, a burning Horse-shoe: And defy'd our Zyto, to do it after him. But Zyto chose, rather (that he might end the Dispute, at a Morsel) to swallow the Conjurer himself! And expanding his Mouth into horrible, and inhuman, Wideness, snapt him up, like a Radish! But, when he came to his dirty Shoes, and disdain'd to swallow farther, he ran with him, to a Horse-pond, hard by; and launch'd him out into the middle of it; to the no small Entertainment, and Satis­faction of the Company.

THE Name of my future Patient, is Sir Clouterly Rumble: a Professor, of the Eque­strian, as well as the Medicinal Order. He car­ries, on his Countenance, the clearest Symp­toms of his Grievance: Which is a Distem­per, that some moral Doctors have distin­guish'd by the Name of Vanity. It operates, with most Violence, on the Head, and the Heart; tho' it affects the Limbs also: And, sometimes swells the whole Frame, into the most enormous Turgidity. It shakes the Fin­gers of this afflicted Gentleman, with a year­ly Convulsion of the Nerves; during which Fits, it is dangerous to let Paper lie in his way: For he applies himself, with the wildest Ecstasy to strike it over, at Random, with odd Lines, crooked Cyphers, and Characters, wholly unintelligible! to the pitiful Dis­quieting, [Page 180] and Perplexity, of his Brain: Which, becoming heated, praeter-naturally, by such extravagant Agitation, inflames, and nourishes his Malady.

IT was a laudable Accomplishment, that of calculating Distempers by examining the Patient's Water! In Imitation of this good Custom, I poured out, before me, a large Quantity of the sick Man's Prosaic, and Poe­tic Emissions; and upon inspecting the La­bel, annex'd to one of 'em which he ad­dresses, poor Gentleman! to an Illustrious young Prince in Germany, with as grave, and serious an Air, as if it was really, some­thing fit to be look'd upon! I presently discovered both the Distemper, and his pro­per Cure for it. The Tokens, as far as I can remember, were Strongest, and most Evi­dent, upon the following Eruption of puru­lent Matter, from a Complication of Scrophulous Humours, which the Greeks call [...]. But the Name the Patient himself wou'd have it go by, is ALFRED. It is, in short, a most malignant, and virulent, Species, of the Epic, or Narrative Cacoethes! See a Part of it!

THE Glory of a People depending on the Ex­cellence of their King, he, who loves his Country, cannot better promote its Happiness, than by teaching this King to Govern it. I know, that your Highness is well enough Taught already: But Examples being better than Precepts, espe­cially, when presented in the Works of Cele­brated Authors; Men of copious Invention, [Page 181] and a fruitful Imagination: It was for that Rea­son, Sir! That I wrote the following Poem! having had the Honour to contribute more to the Succession of your Illustrious House, than ever I boasted of; because I did it, for the Service of Religion, and the Glory of my Country.

NO Spots, in a Purple Fever, were ever thus Morbidly Significant! If there were not, in the Nature of the Symptoms, something opposite to Contagion, I should have judged Sir Clouterly's Distemper to be, most Putridly Pestilential!—The poor Man, in fine, is extreamly far gone! and would, certainly, have been irrecoverable, under any Hand but mine.—There is but One Cure, for so exceeding foul a Stomach, and that must be, to ply him with Emetics, till, to speak in a Physical Phrase, I have made him Vo­mit his Heart up.—I have a Pill, to Purge Vanity; a Specific! and a Nostrum! which will do his Business, effectually; and it shall be the first, of my Operations, as soon as my Horses are harnessed;—for a Man wou'd not become noted, you know, till he's in a Readiness to be sent for. I am, in Prose, you see, as well as in Poetry,

Your humble Servant, however, Tony Jyngle.

[Page 182]BY a very unlucky Accident, this Letter, before I receiv'd it, fell into the Hands of Tom Tiresome; who has writ to me, about it, in very high Terms. And what the Consequence of it may be, I know not.

Mr. Edward Plain-Dealer, Sir,

TAKING it for granted, that you know, and every body knows, as bad as the World is, there is some Difference still it is to be hop'd, between a Poet, and a Haber­dasher! I wou'd have the conceited Mr. An­tony Jyngle junior, to know, that, as witty as he thinks himself; I am wittier than he, by every Penny I am worth; for Sir Portly said, 'twas Pity that all his Money lay in his Brains: And I say, that his Brains are ad­dled: to go in that manner and write Block­head, about One that he has nothing to do with.—No—nor shall have nothing to do with! for, if ever he talks Tragedy in my House again, I'll be bound to say as one of my foolish Daughters does, that Mr. Jyngle is a pretty Gentleman: Which if I think, or ever will think, in the Humour I am in, never more give Credit to,

Your Friend, to serve you, Thomas Tiresome.

[Page 183]WHILE I was at a Loss how to account for the Cause of this great Misfortune, the following, from Will Weathercock, unriddled the whole Mystery.

Dearest Sir,

HONEST Mr. Jyngle, our good, and agreeable Friend, put into my Hands, Yesterday, a Copy of that comical Letter, which he sent you, about Sir Clouterly Rum­ble, and I, being wonderfully pleased with the Fancy, must needs be shewing it to Al­derman Blunder, who dined with us, at Sir Portly's. The Alderman laugh'd immode­rately, and was so taken with it, that all Din­ner Time he could talk of nothing, but Tony's Pills to Purge Vanity. But Tom Tire­some unluckily, came down, in the After­noon; and the first Thing the Alderman said, was, Oh! Mr. Tiresome! Here's the Pleasantest Letter!—Nay, you must see it, for 'twill make you laugh till you cackle again!—It was in vain to endeavour at diverting him, by other Subjects. The Letter was all his Cry! Mr. Tiresome must see the Letter! In short, he did so; and the only Remark he made was, that he found himself called Blockhead, in it. Well! you can't imagine, how angry he is about it! Pray, do your best to recon­cile 'em; or we shall have sad Work, at Sir Portly's. Shall I give you my Opinion, which is most in the wrong? Certainly Mr. Jyngle, for why should one Man call another [Page 184] Names?—Yet Mr. Tiresome was most to Blame; because these Things are Common, among Friends. But, be it as it will, I thought it absolutely necessary to write you Word of it, and my own Opinion of the Difference: Who am,

Your most Faithful and Sincere Servant, William Weathercock.

I AM afraid, I must close in, with my Friend Will's Opinion, That they are both in the Wrong. But what shall I do, with this unlucky Alder­man Blunder? The odd Creature has no harm in him; but he does more harm than a Stockjob­ber! He has a plain and open Heart, but wants both Foresight and Reflection. He is Mis­chievous, not Malicious: and errs on, with­out Ill Purpose, from a Natural Clumsiness of Mind, and Healthy Coarseness in his Understand­ing. He overturns Things, without feeling 'em, like the Elephant of Africa; that, walk­ing gravely in the Night, among the Villages, of the Negroes, does not disturb himself in the least, about the Houses, that stand in his Way; but, keeping streight forwards, oversets 'em, says a Dutch Author, without intending it, as if they were so many Nut-shells.

WHEN I took him with me, the first time, to drink Tea, at Patty Amble's, after she had prattled and trifled him into an Ecstasy at her Wit, and Beauty; he turn'd from her, in a Start of Rapture, and said, to me, aloud, How [Page 185] cou'd you be so Mistaken, as to tell me, she was not Handsome? I shall never forget the extra­ordinary Look, she obliged me with, upon this fine Question! I gloss'd it over as well as I could, by telling Blunder, That he misrepre­sented my Words, which were not, That she was not Handsome—But That she was more Witty than Handsome. He had found out, by this Time, that he had done a ridiculous Action, and look'd as like an Ass, as any reasonable Man could have desir'd him; but he repented, as most Men do, when it was too late, and to no Purpose: And I verily believe, I am doom'd to great Afflictions, (if my Passion shou'd conti­nue) for that dull Start of Mr. Alderman Blun­der's.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 24.
FRIDAY, June 12. 1724.

— Micat, inter omnes,
Julium sidus, velut, inter ignes
Luna, Minores.
Gentis humanae pater atque custos,
Orte Saturno, tibi cura Magni
Caesaris fatis data: tu, secundo Caesare, Regnes.
SIR,

HAVING observ'd, That my Extract of the CZAR of RUSSIA's Letter to his SON, which you publish'd in your [Page 186] 20th Paper, gave a very great Surprize to the Generality of your Readers, who had form'd, upon common Rumour, an Opinion of that Prince's Death, extremely different from the Truth; I now send you as brief an Abstract as possible, from a Relation, which was pub­lish'd in High Dutch, by the Minister of a German Court, not likely to be partial in Favour of the Czar, and who was present, and an Eye-Witness of the Facts, which he publishes.

THE Czar had long inclin'd to ally him­self with some powerful Family of Germany, by the Marriage of his Son; whom he hop'd to reclaim from his Indolence, by the Conver­sation of a Princess of high Extraction, and a noble Education: For this Prince had, by a continual associating himself with the vilest Company, contracted such corrupt Habits, as could not fail of producing an Aversion to him, in all honest Minds. He was so far sunk in Sensuality, that no Representations, no Pains, could recover him: So that the Czar, being, at length, by his Son's perverse Con­duct, almost brought to an Abhorrence of his Person, began to drop Intimations, That he wou'd cause him to be shav'd for a Monk, and shut him up in a Convent.—The Prince's own Favourites were alarm'd at the Danger; and earnestly entreated him to have his Wel­fare at Heart; and to conceal, if he cou'd not suppress, his rigorous Hatred against Foreigners. This dispos'd him to fall in with [Page 187] the Czar's Proposition, and he was married, as is well known, to a Princess, of the Family of Brunswick Wolfenbuttel, and Sister to the present Empress.

BUT, after he had brought her to Russia, he shew'd not the least Complaisance; nor endeavour'd, at all, to divert her.—On the contrary, I observ'd, That, on all Publick Occasions, he never exchang'd a Word with her; but, industriously shun'd her Company. The Prince had the Apartments of the right Wing; and the Princess those of the Left: But they saw each other scarce once a Week; and, had not the Prince consider'd the beget­ting an Heir, as the Support of his own Safety, he would have made himself intirely invisible to her. He even neglected the Repair of the House, to that Degree, that the Princess lay expos'd to the Injuries of the Air, and Wea­ther, in her own Bedchamber.

WHEN the Czar expostulated with him, concerning these Proceedings, he loaded her with Reproaches, as if it was she, who had accus'd him; whereas, that wise Princess sub­mitted to her hard Fate, with the firmest Con­stancy and Resignation; nor had any other Witnesses of her Tears, but the Princess of East-Freisland, her Companion, and the Walls of her own Apartment. She liv'd, four Years, in this Manner, and was then seiz'd with an Indisposition, so dangerous, that her Recovery was immediately despair'd of.

[Page 188]WHEN she perceiv'd her End approaching, she desir'd to see the Czar, who was, at the same Time, indispos'd: But he caus'd himself to be carry'd to her, in a Machine, mov'd on Wheels.—The Princess took her Leave of him, in the most moving Expressions; and recommended her two Children to his Care and Protection; embracing them, in the most ten­der manner possible; and almost melting away in Tears. Then, she sent for her Servants, who, to the Number of two hundred Persons, and upwards, lay prostrate, in the Anti-cham­ber, imploring Heaven to assist their dying Mistress, in her last Agonies.—She comforted, admonished, and gave them her Blessing:—The Physicians would still be pressing her, to take some Medicines; but she threw the Glasses from her, crying out, with great Emotion,—Do not torture me any more.—Permit me to die in quiet.—For I am resolved to live no longer.—She expir'd, in fervent Prayer, and depart­ed an unfortunate Life, before she was quite one and twenty Years old.

IT was soon after the Funeral of this Prin­cess, that the Czar gave that admirable Letter, which you publish'd in a late PAPER, into the Hands of his Son. And, what follows, is the unequal Answer, which he had the Mortifica­tion to receive from him.

The Answer of Prince ALEXEI, of RUSSIA, to the Letter of the CZAR, his Father.

Most Clement Lord, and Father,

I HAVE read your Majesty's PAPER, and have nothing to reply to it; but, that, if your Majesty will deprive me of the Succes­sion to the Crown of Russia, by Reason of my Incapacity, Your Will be done. I do not think myself fit for the Government: The Rule of so many Nations, requires a more vigorous Man than I am.—I will not pre­tend to the Succession, for the future, of which I take God to Witness; and swear it, upon my Soul, desiring nothing more than bare Maintenance, during Life.

Your most humble Servant, And Son, ALEXEI.

MANY further Attempts the Czar made, on his Son's Obstinacy: But the Consequence of them all; and of his pretended Resignation, was his Flight to a Foreign Protection, and a plunging himself into those High Crimes which are particulariz'd, in his Sentence.

THE Czar, upon this extraordinary and me­lancholy Occasion, convok'd a High Court of Justice; consisting of all the Chief of the States. [Page 190]—He lay, for eight Days, successively, many Hours, on his Knees; imploring God, with Tears, to inspire him with Sentiments, becom­ing his double Duty—as a Monarch, and as a Father.—The Prince was brought into Court, under Guard of four Officers; and pro­ceeded against, in a Manner too tedious, and circumstantial, to be particulariz'd in so short a Compass.

THE Court, upon the whole, having pro­nounc'd a formal Sentence, and condemn'd the Prince to Death, the violent Surprize and Ter­ror of his Mind, and the disorderly Conflict and Fluctuation of his Passions, threw him into an Apoplectick Fit. The Czar no sooner heard, that he was in this Danger, and that he was desirous to see him, but he visited his dy­ing Son, with the most visible Marks of Pity, and a Proof of Paternal Tenderness.

THE Prince, at Sight of his Father, burst out into Tears; and, with Hands, rais'd, and folded, said, ‘'He had grievously offended the Majesty of Almighty God, and the Good­ness of the Czar—; that he had not even a Wish, to recover from his Indisposition, be­ing unworthy to live longer. He begg'd his Majesty, for God's sake, only to take from him the Curse, he had laid on him, at Moskow: to forgive him all his heavy Crimes; to impart him his Blessing; and, to cause Prayers to be put up for his Soul.’

DURING these moving Words, the Czar, and the whole Court, almost melted away, in [Page 191] Tears.—His Majesty return'd him a most no­ble, and pathetic, Answer: He represented, in a few, of the mildest Words, he cou'd select, all his Length of Offences; and then, gave him, in the most touching Manner possible, his For­giveness, and his Blessing: After which, they parted, with abundance of Tears, and La­mentations, on both Sides.

VERY late, in the Night, came a Messen­ger to acquaint the Czar, that the Prince was extremely desirous, once more, to see his Fa­ther. And his Majesty had just stept into his Sloop, to go over to the Fortress, when ano­ther Messenger brought News, that the Prince was already expir'd.—He was deposited in the new Burying-Vault, of the Czarish Family; and plac'd next the Coffin of his late Consort.—The Czar, among the Mourners, carried a lighted Wax-Taper, in his Hand; and was observ'd to be bath'd in Tears, during the Pro­cession; and, in particular, at the Church Ser­vice; where the Priest had chose, for the Text of his Funeral Sermon, these Words of the mournful David,—O! my Son Absalom!—my Son!—my Son, Absalom!

YOU see, Sir! how different this Great Monarch's Conduct, in so nice, and trying, a Circumstance, really was, from the Clouds, which Rumour blew upon it, to shade, and blacken, an unequal'd Character!—The Roman Fierceness has been celebrated, in Men, who not only condemn'd their Sons; but stood by, and saw 'em executed, in the most severe, [Page 192] and shameful Manner, for the Love and Safe­ty of their Country. Yet there was a Brutal Inflexibility, and a kind of Politic Necessity, in the Actions of those Roman Fathers! But this prodigious, modern, Prince, under no In­fluence of Fear, Dependence, or Obligation, chose, to set aside his own Blood, for the future Glory of his People! Only, with this fine Dif­ference from the Roman, that, what was, there, done, with a Stoicism, that gave Suspicion of Insensibility, was, here, adorn'd with Pity, and the most manifest Strugglings of an amia­ble Weakness, that convinc'd his Subjects how Dear their Prosperity must be, to a Sovereign, who cou'd thus provide for it, by a Sacrifice, against his Nature, even of his private, and domestick, Comfort!

HAVING shewn, in the foregoing Instances, the afflicted Side of the Czar's Behaviour: It is but just, that I shou'd change the Light, and surprize you, by a View of that unshaken Firmness, with which he regarded the Danger of the Conspiracy; while the Reflection, Who was the Author of it! gave him so moving a Misery!

UPON the Examination, and Confessions, of that infinite Number of Confederates, who were engag'd in the Prince's Projects, it ap­pear'd, that the Defection was so wide, and so general, that many of his nearest, and most trusted Servants, were embark'd in it; and such also, in whose Hands lay great Part of his Wealth and Power; so that he was congra­tulated [Page 193] in Form, by the Ambassadors of Fo­reign Princes, upon his Discovery, and Pre­vention, of so endangering a Combination. To which, he gave this noble Answer—Dan­gers always are strong, if they are weakly resist­ed:—Where a Fire meets with Straw, it soon spreads, and burns through it.—But, if Iron lies in its Way, it falls back, and is extinguish'd!

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 25.
MONDAY, June 15. 1724.

— Uterne [...]
Ad Casus dubios fidet sibi certius; hic qui
Pluribus assuerit mentem, corpusque superbum:
An qui contentus parvo, metuensque futuri,
In pace, ut sapiens, ap erit idonea bello?
HOR.

WITH the Leave of the Grammarians, I shall venture to put one of their Moods a little upon the Rack; while I affirm, in a kind of Riddle, for the Use and Pleasure of my Reader—That, tho' every Body may be Happy, yet scarce any Body can be so.

THERE is no Definite Point, that we can fix at, when we wou'd describe what Happi­ness is; yet the Road, to this great Journey's End is very Short, and Obvious. One wou'd wonder therefore, how it comes to be so uni­versally [Page 194] mistaken, if it were not easily observ'd, that most Men are under an Error, even as to the very Placing it.—Happiness is seated, not in Power, but in Will.—Though very few can be Fortunate, yet all Men may be Sa­tisfy'd: And they, who lessen their Desires, have, in one great Point, the Advantage, over those who enlarge their Prosperity; for, allow­ing both to be equally Happy, yet the First, at least, are Happy, with less Danger, and In­cumbrance.

WHOEVER can be so wise, as to content himself with his present Lot, while he, patient­ly, hopes a better, will escape the common Fate, of tasting, with Disrelish, what he finds within his Reach, from a restless and devour­ing Thirst after what is Future, and Uncer­tain—Life slides from the Impatient, like the Motion of a murmuring Brook; where the Cur­rent wastes much faster, than if the Surface had been smooth, and silent.—When we are upon the Brink of the Grave, we start,—and wonder at our Situation! And, then, first, be­gin to look back, with Shame, and Sorrow, at the too Little we have Done, in Life; and the too Much, we have wish'd, in it.

Oh, greatly bless'd! who can, as Fate requires,
By ductile Wisdom, temper your Desires!
Balanc'd, within, you look abroad, serene:
And, marking both Extreams, pass, clear, between.
Oh! cou'd your lov'd Example teach your Skill,
And, as it moves my Wonder, mend my Will:
[Page 195]Calm wou'd my Passions grow; my Lot might please:
And my sick Soul shou'd think itself, to Ease.
But, to the Future, while I strain my Eye,
Each present Good slips, undistinguish'd, by.
Still, what I wou'd, contends with what I can;
And my wild Wishes leap the Bounds of Man.

SO complain'd a Friend of mine, to a Gen­tleman, wiser than himself, by as much as his Desires were more moderate.—It was in a Poem, which he call'd his Choice: But his Mind was so discompos'd, by a Tempest of ungovern'd Wishes, that he scarce knew what to chuse, even when his Choice was the Sub­ject chosen!

If in my Power it lies, to limit Hope,
And my unchain'd Desires can fix a Scope:
This were my Choice—Oh, Friend! pronounce me poor:
For I have Wants, which Wealth can never cure!
Mean is that Soul, whom its own Good can fill:
A prosp'rous World, alone, cou'd feast my Will.
He's poor, at best, who Other's Mis'ry sees,
And wants the wish'd-for Power to give it Ease.
He's rich, who, sole-supreme, and unconfin'd,
Can, with unbounded Influence, bless Mankind.
A Glory this! unreach'd, but on a Throne!
All were Enough.—But less, than All, is None.
This my first Wish.—But, since 'twere wild and vain
To grasp at glitt'ring Clouds, with fruitless Pain,
[Page 196]More safely low, let my next Prospect be;
And Life's mild Evening this fair Sun-set see.
Far from a Lord's loath'd Neighbourhood,—a State,
Whose Little Greatness is a Pride I hate!
On some lone Wild, shou'd my strong House be plac'd;
Surrounded by a vast, and healthy, Waste.
Steril, and coarse, the untry'd Soil shou'd be:
But forc'd to flourish; and subdu'd by me.
Seas, Woods, Meads, Mountains, Gardens, Streams & Skies,
Shou'd, with a changeful Grandeur, charm my Eyes.
Still, where I mov'd, new Marks of my past Pains,
Shou'd plume the Mountain Tops, and paint the Plains,
Greatly Obscure, and shunning Courts, or Name,
Widely befriended, but escaping Fame:
Peaceful in studious Quiet, wou'd I live;
Lie hid, for Leisure; and grow Rich, to give.

I AM sure, I wish no Ill to the Author of the Manuscript, from which I took these Ver­ses; because, to say Truth, he is the most In­timate of all my Acquaintance;—yet, I fore­see an inexhaustible Provision of Disappoint­ments in Store, for a Mind, that is so un­stable, as to afflict itself with other's Sorrows, when there are Domestick ones, more than enow, in the happiest Man's Condition, to interweave, and make Checquer-work of, the richest Robes of Fortune.

I REMEMBER a pleasant Fancy, in Plu­tarch's Feast of the Seven Wise Men, concern­ing the Limits we shou'd set to our Desires.— ‘'If a Person, (says the Speaker) is a Man of [Page 197] Wisdom and Gravity, he wants no Rule but his Reason, to prescribe him a proper Mea­sure: But, if a Fool were to ask me the Que­stion, I would tell him this Story.—The Moon, upon a Time, was very earnest with her Mother, that she wou'd make her a new Pet­ticoat, that might sit handsomely about her; and be neither too short, nor too long, for her Body:—But how is that possible, an­swer'd the Mother, with some Emotion, when thou art always changing Shapes, and never contented with thy own Figure?’

THERE is a restless and universal, Circu­lation of Discontent, in all Degrees, and Con­ditions;—The Rich Man is miscrable, because he has no Heirs; and wishes himself but so bless'd, as the poor Labourer; who cries out, while he trims his Hedges, that he cou'd be happy and live comfortably, if he had no Chil­dren, to provide for!—The Citizen sighs, with Envy, at the Smell of a new Hay-cock; and longs to wind himself out of Business, that he may enjoy Life in the Country!—The Coun­try Gentleman finds his Time the most heavy, of all his Cares; and dreams, for ever, of the Delights, which he cou'd pass it in, at London!—The great Man complains, that he is wretch­ed, from too much Notice; and the good Man is really so, from too little.—Command is full of Cares; and Dependance pinch'd with Mise­ries! Every Body repines at some Deficiency in his own Fortune, and has something to wish for, from another, who is still less satisfy'd!

[Page 198]DISTANT Prospects are most pleasing; but they seldom fail to deceive us. The rough Lines, and Ruggednesses, which look smooth, a great Way off, perplex, and entangle, us, when we find ourselves among them.—I have often been entertain'd, by an ingenious Italian Emblem, where, to satirize the Levity of this insatiate Disposition, Boys are painted very busy, running about, with erected Faces, to pursue, and catch at Bubbles; which are blown down, among them, by a Monkey, with a long Pipe, and a Bason.—The Boys, who are suppos'd to have grasp'd some, look amaz'd, and disappointed, that they are va­nish'd, in the catching! And the Motto, un­der-written, is—He, who reaches me, loses me.

PERHAPS, it might deserve to be remem­ber'd, as a Maxim, That nothing ought to af­flict us, which it is absolutely out of our Power to remedy.—If it were as easy to regulate our Lives, by this Rule, as it is reasonable to ap­prove it, much the largest Part of our Calami­ties wou'd, at once, be cut off, and effectual­ly prevented, for the future.—It is certainly an Ambition, not only just, but noble, to pursue the honest Calls, either of Fortune, or of Glory: But, if we cou'd pursue 'em, with such Pati­ence, and Moderation of Desire, as not to lose, in the Interim, all Relish of our present Con­dition; not to place our only Happiness, in at­tempting to become more happy; but content ourselves with what we are, from the Prospect [Page 199] of what we hope to be:—All the Bitterness of Adversity wou'd lose its Taste, in our Use of it; and Prosperity become less envied, than Peace of Mind and Tranquillity.

BUT this, however possible to Nature, is impossible to Pride and Custom—Things, indifferent, in themselves, become hateful, or amiable, from their Consequences.—The Re­putation, that follows Wealth, gives the sharpest Pain to Poverty: And a Man who is brave enough to provoke Danger, and Death, shall want Courage to bear Contempt, though but an imaginary Evil!

HATEMTAI, says the Arabian History, was the most bountiful, of all Mankind; and was flatter'd, by a Train of Followers, with continual Flights of Praise, and Congratulati­ons of his Good Fortune.—They were ask­ing him one Day, ‘'Whether, ever, he had seen, or heard of, any Man, who had so noble a Soul, as Hatemtai?—He smil'd, and return'd this Answer:—I walk'd out into the Fields, on a certain Time, when, at a Sacrifice of a Hundred Camels, my House was fill'd, by my Order, with all the Poor, and the Miserable, who cou'd be found, in the Space of many Miles round my Dwelling.—Some of the Lords in my Company, dis­cern'd, at a little Distance, a Man, who was very busy, in gathering up a Bundle of dry Thorns, to sell, at the next Village. We went to him and ask'd, why he was not among the Number of his Fellows, who were [Page 200] feasting at the House of Hatemtai?—Be­cause, answer'd he, a Man, who can provide himself with Bread, by his own Labour, needs not be oblig'd to Hatemtai.—This Man, said he, had a Nobler Soul, than Hatemtai.

I WALK'D, lately, into the City, toward the Close of the Day, and observing a Church open, went in, to Evening Prayers. I sat near a Lady, whose fine Face, methought, appear'd like the Seat of a long War, between Beauty, and Affliction. She saw, that I had no Prayer-Book, and modestly offer'd me her own. I kept it, during the Service, and took Plea­sure to charge my Memory with the Eight following Lines, which were written, in a Woman's Hand, on a white Leaf, at the Be­ginning; and were, I believe, of her own com­posing.

Here, tracing Duty's Path, redeem'd from Care,
I heal my Sorrow, with the Balm of Prayer:
Patience, that arms the Mind for every State,
Has taught me, not to feel Affliction's Weight.
They, who can, bravely, bear the Woes of Life,
Steer, safe and steady, through a Sea of Strife.
While they, who pine their Hope, to feed their Grief,
Embosom Anguish; and resist Relief.

THIS was a fine, and useful Lesson; and not improperly plac'd. But it was pity that she learnt is not soon enough to protect her against those Passions, which had left their Traces too visibly on her Eyes, her Air, and her Complexion.

[Page 201]THE World, upon the whole, may be di­vided into two Classes;—The one seldom Find, what they are, always, painfully Seek­ing: The other Find it, easily, but are never the more Contented.—Among many Remark­able Proverbs, which are proper to the Eastern People, they have one to our present Purpose.— ‘'There are only two Things which can fill the Covetous Man's Eye;—Discretion:—Or the Earth that his Corpse must be cover'd with.’

AFTER all that can be said of Riches; or, that is the Consequence of their Possession:—Content is the surest Comfort.—It is Luxury, that creates Poverty; and they are Rich, who desire Nothing.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 26.
FRIDAY, June 19. 1724.

Si quis nunc quaerat, quo res haec pertinet; illuc:
Dum vitant stulti vitia, in contraria currunt.
HOR.

THE Number of my Correspondents en­creasing, very fast, I must resolve to disengage my self from some of their Obliga­tions: As many of their Letters, therefore as [Page 202] I can make room for, to Day, shall compose my Reader's Entertainment.

Oh! SIR,

WOU'D to Heaven, when you were so severe upon Masquerades, you had warn'd us, against Opera! you had sav'd an undone Woman! and one, who, for ought I see, is still likely to be undone; for, think­ing no Harm, where, I had heard, there was no Danger, I am fallen desperately in Love, with Signior—, the Italian, What d'ye call it?—One of those People with an ill-favour'd Name, like the ugly Folks, in the Bible, that waited on King Ahasuerus.—I thought, I cou'd have sworn, I had been Proof against Man: But, alas!—He is not Man!—He is a Being more refin'd: and I am wretched, without Remedy!—I have heard some Peo­ple report Things, to his Prejudice; but I dare swear it was all Envy.—The Men, to be sure, cou'd never endure him, because the Women were so pleas'd with him; and be­sides, he sings so much finerthan they can.—But, do you think, Mr. Plain-Dealer, that a Man, that sings finely, may'nt be a good Man, for all his Singing?—I wou'd fain know what they mean, by laughing, when I mention the Value I have for him; and saying, with a waggish Look, that no Lion will eat a Lion?—However heartily I love him, I did not tell 'em, I wou'd eat him.—But I suppose they mean something, that, I [Page 203] fancy, is not true. No Body, I am sure, wou'd think it, who has seen how he makes Love in the Opera's.—I know where I can sit by him, every Day; but I don't know what to say to him; for I can't speak one Word of Italian, but only Bravo!—Pray, if you know what one shou'd do in this Case, oblige with your Advice,

Your Disconsolate Admirer, FIDELIA.

PERHAPS, this Lady's Case is not so bad as she thinks it.—Let her only find out what it is, she wou'd do with him; and, for what she has to say to him, she may take a Hint, from the following Verses.—They were writ­ten, in Italian, by Milton, when he was at Florence, in his Youth; and fell in Love, as Fidelia has done, with a Person, whose Lan­guage he understood but little of.—They were address'd to his Italian Mistress.

I.
When, in your Language, I, unskill'd, address
The short-pac'd Efforts of a trammell'd Muse;
Soft Italy's fair Criticks round me press,
And my mistaking Passion, thus, accuse.
II.
Why, to our Tongue's Disgrace, does thy dumb Love
Strive, in rough Sound soft Meanings to impart?
He must select his Words, who speaks, to move;
And points his Purpose at the Hearer's Heart.
III.
Then, laughing, they repeat my languid Lays—
—Nymphs, of thy Native Clime, perhaps,—they cry,
For whom thou hast a Tongue,—may feel thy Praise:
But we must understand, e'er we comply!
IV.
Do thou,—my Soul's soft Hope! these Triflers awe;
Tell 'em, 'tis nothing, how, or what, I writ:
Since Love, from silent Looks, can Language draw,
And scorns the lame Impertinence of Wit.
Dear SIR,

I AM an honest Man, and keep a Coffee-House; and pay Two-Pence apiece for your Plain-Dealers. My Customers are so pleas'd with them, that I take it for granted, they are worth the Money: But what I think I have just Cause to complain of, is, that, when a Gentleman calls for a Dish of Coffee, and the Plain Dealer, if he finds any thing in the Paper, that he is mightily taken with, he makes no Scruple of convincing me, that he is as taking, as the Paper;—that is to say, he puts it up, and carries it away with him, to divert his Club, or his Mistress.—So, he has Two-pence in Wit; and Two-pence, in Liquor: Yet, pays me only for the Li­quor!—as if Wit were worth Nothing!—I am serv'd thus, so often, that, though your Papers come out, but twice a Week, I take 'em in, twice a Day; as my Account-Book can make appear, by very woeful Ex­perience.—Now, what I want you to say, [Page 205] to these light-finger'd Purchasers, is, that a Man, who has no Hair, may as well lay Claim to my Periwig, as a Man, who has no Wit, pocket up that, which I have paid for.—Pray, a Word or two to this Purpose, for the sake of

Yours, to Command, D. B.
Mr. Plain-Dealer,

I AM a sort of silly Coquet; but not so happy a one, as the envied Patty Amble.—I am sensible of my Faults; but, since that is not enough, unless I also confess them, pray put me into a Plain-Dealer, that the Party, I mean, may take Notice, how I think of him.

I discharged some random Shot, among the Wild-Fowl, at our last Horse-Races; but the only two I wounded, were a Buz­zard, of the Foot Guards; and a Canary-Bird, called a Templer.—The Templer was a Wit; and, I speak it, with a Sigh,—a charming one!—He was vain, conscious, chearful, and as false, as my own Smiles were.—My Foot Officer was serious, honest, friendly: but I thought, he was too Dull.—I receiv'd both their Addresses, but not with equal Sensibility: The Soldier, I slight­ed, [Page 206] but the Wit became Triumphant.—Now, first, my Heart felt Warmth enough, to beat with real Passion; and had just impress'd the Image of this gay, this lov'd, Deceiver; when News was brought, one Morning, that he had bid farewel to Epsom, without taking Leave of me, to follow a Flirt of a Fortune, that was hoyden'd away, to London.—But, what gave me a double Sense, as well of my Error, as my Shame, was, that, the Evening before this happen'd, my honest Lover, the Soldier, had slid into my Hand the following Prophetick SONG; which I bosom'd up for a Billet.

I.
Be wary, my Celia, when Celadon sues,
These Wits are the Bane of your Charms:
Beauty, play'd against Reason, will certainly lose;
Warring, naked, with Robbers, in Arms.
II.
Young Damon, despis'd, for his Plainness of Parts,
Has Worth, that a Woman shou'd prize:
He'll run the Race out, though he heavily starts,
And distance the short-winded Wise.
III.
Your Fool is a Saint, in the Temple of Love,
And kneels all his Life, there, to pray:
Your Wit but looks, in, and makes haste to remove:
'Tis a Stage, be but takes, in his Way.

[Page 207] NOW, Sir, what I have found out, too late, is,—That my serious Lover, whom, I was silly enough to think Dull, was the great­est Wit, of the two.—I wou'd tell him so, now I have lost the other, but that I am afraid, he will laugh at me.

BUT I hope, you'll contrive it, so, that he may read it, in the Plain-Dealer.—Pray, put it in, for you can't guess the Disorder of,

Your nettled, humble Servant, COQUETILLA.
SIR,

I AM a most Catonick Adherer to the Old, English, Simplicity; the Vertue, the Blunt­ness, and the Liberty, which were the Or­naments of our Ancestors.—I have taken some Pains to prove, that we Britons, shou'd not only be left Free; but, that we ought to be left Rough, too.—I am not able, there­fore, to resist the Indignation, that rises in me, at the too visible Encrease, in the Num­ber of our Courtiers.—It is natural for our Gentry, to love to shine, in that gay Light: But, why should Tradesmen be corrupted by the Taste of undue Dignity?—I cannot walk the Streets, but I see fresh Instances, in every Corner, of the spreading Power of Preferment. The Court Verge, of old, [Page 208] reach'd, I think, but to Charing-Cross.—Of late, it is ek'd out, to White-Chapel, and Norton-Folgate. Nay, I have been credi­bly inform'd, that there are Courtiers of great Eminence, in and about Hockley in the Hole!

I SHOU'D not be so averse to this En­crease of the Royal Retinue, if his Majesty's Ease, or Interest, were, proportionably, en­larg'd by it.—Thus, it is neither Useless, nor Uncomely, for a Prince to have his Cow-House: But there is another Court Establish­ment, which little can be said in support of, and that is, the King's Ass-House.—His Honour, of this Office, holds his Re­sidence, in the Road to Hide-Park-Corner: It being Decent, he says, that his Dwelling shou'd be near his Duty; and where he may be under the Eye of his Fellow Statesmen.—I was the other Day at an odd Christ'ning, in one of the Horns of this huge City, where, a newly preferr'd Court Lady was complain­ing, to her Sister Gossips, How unavoid­able it is, in Divided Times, for those, who are distinguish'd by Court Favours, to have the Disaffected for their Enemies.—I whi­sper'd a grave Gentlewoman, to know, what Post that great Lady held? And was an­swer'd, with becoming Seriousness, that she was marry'd to the King's Mustard-maker.

HIS Majesty's Oculist, in Extraordinary, lately departing this Life, I am glad, it has [Page 209] been resolv'd, to abolish that High Station: Nothing being more dangerous to the Peace of a Body Politic, than to multiply Officers, without Office.—Yet, there are not wanting imprudent People, who have Hopes of in­stituting a Royal Mantua-maker, in Place of the defunct Oculist.—Now, it is quite a dif­ferent Case, where Commissions are really useful: No good Subject, for Example, can think much of the King's Pudding-maker, and a great deal might be said, in Honour of the King's Punch-house.—The Royal Chimney-sweeper is a Minister, not of Rank only, but Necessity: and something like it may be offer'd, in Behalf of His Majesty's Butter-Woman.—But I wou'd be glad to be inform'd, what serious Pretence can be urg'd, by any Man, who makes a Conscience of his Arguments, in Defence of the Royal Gin­shop?—Or, who can assert the Benefit, or, indeed, the Propriety, of the King's Royal Riding-hood Woman? Or, His Majesty's sworn Staymaker?

TO speak with the good old Bluntness of a Briton, these are some of the luxuriant Ex­crescences of Monarchy; and wou'd, in the watchful Times of our Forefathers, have been par'd away, for the Publick Benefit. And I will take it upon me to averr, that, unless some seasonable Restraint be soon put upon this growing Evil, the Courtiers will set up Shops in the very Heart of the City; where, if, among their other Customs, they [Page 210] shou'd introduce their way of Paying,Trade will die of the Inoculation, and leave Credit its Executor.—I am,

Your Friend, and my Country's Servant, DUKE HUMPHREY.
Dear SIR,

I AM a Woman, who, by the Help of a little Reading, am, so far at least, more learned, than the Generality of my Sex, that a Hard Word does not fright me. But my Husband is a Person, of great Goodness, and little Knowledge. He has a small Estate, in Essex, and is only, what they call a Sports­man.—We came to Town, last Week; where my poor Dear drank hard, and fell so ill, that I was alarm'd for him.—The Lady, whose House we lodg'd at, wou'd needs send for Doctor Fossile, who is, I find upon Enquiry, a Man of excellent Learning; but, to borrow a Phrase of Shakespeare's, it is sicklied over, with Affectation.—When he had felt my Husband's Pulse, and gone through his Course of Questions, he turn'd, from whispering Mr. Juniper, who was in wait­ing, at his Elbow; and said to me, with a physical Air, not the Air of a Physician,—Maam!—I have order'd Mr. What's his Name here, your Spouse's Apothecary, to Phlebotomize him, to Morrow Morning.—To do what to me? cry'd my poor Husband, [Page 211] starting up, in his Bed—I will never con­sent to suffer it—No,—I am not, I thank God, in so desperate a Condition, as to under­go such a damnable Operation as that is.—As what is? my Dear,—answer'd I, half smile­ing,—The Doctor wou'd only have you blooded.—Ay,—for bleeding, reply'd he, I like it well enough.—But, for that other Thing he order'd, I will sooner die, than submit to it.

NOW, Good Sir!—cannot such a useful Mass of Learning, as distinguishes Doctor Fossile, render him capable of discerning, and correcting, this odd Weakness?—It exposes him to the Ridicule of malicious Persons, who, hating a Merit, they despair of ever equalling, are glad to depreciate his Character, by make­ing the Worst of his Particularity.—Since Ars est celare Artem, the Doctor wou'd be thought more learn'd, if he less endeavour'd to display his Learning. I know, I have made a forc'd Application of my little Latin Sentence; yet, it will do, well enough, too, in the Sense that I have given it.—I am,

Good Mr. Plain Dealer,
Your Constant Reader, and Servant, LAETITIA LOVELIGHT.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 27.
MONDAY, June 22. 1724.

Audire atque togam jubeo componere, quisquis
Ambitione mala, aut argenti pallet amore,
Quisquis luxuria, tristive superstitione,
Aut alio mentis morbo calet.
HOR.

THE Writer of the Rehearsal, puts in­to the Mouth of Mr. Bayes, with regard to the Good to be extracted from Books, by the most indifferent Hands, a Truth, that might have been spoken by a Person, whose Air of Gravity, was not (like that of Mr. Bayes,) in­tended to make him Ridiculous.

HOW far was I from thinking Mr. Jyngle the most Eligible Companion in the World, when I met him at Sir Portly's? And yet this very Mr. Jyngle, (for I will take heed how I an­ger so touchy a Philologist, by mis-spelling his Name any more, with a broad-back'd Gothick G, as he calls it) no sooner became my Cor­respondent, but he proved himself a Man of more than ordinary Parts, and one whose Ta­lents are new and uncommon. I may liken him to some curious Engine, of great Use to me in my Writing-Capacity; and very neces­sary [Page 213] in the Machinery of some Inventions which I shall make known in the Course of these PAPERS, for the Benefit of those, who have contracted an ill Habit of Humour, and are sickly in their Understanding.

I EXPRESS myself, with much Serious­ness, when I declare, as I here do, that I know not one Science, so Advantageous in Theory, as Mr. Jyngle's New System of Mind Midwife­ry. If this lucky Gentleman can but make it answer in Practice, according to the vast Idea's I conceive of its Excellence and Use, he will be as much superior to Hippocrates as the Soul is to the Body. Now, Hippocrates, as Sir Clouterly Rumble, in one of his Physical Treatises, informs us, was complimented with Divine Honours, just as his Predecessor Aes­culapius had been erected to the Dignity of a Demi-God, from so low a setting out, as that of a Tooth-drawer. As mean a Conception, therefore, as I, or any of my Readers, might have, too hastily, entertained of Mr. Jyngle, as a mere Repeater of his own Rhimes, there is now ample Room for forming great Idea's of his Abilities, and of the Preferment, he may come to, since he is, the Inventor, and will, in all Probability, be the Perfecter of this more noble Art of Healing. And if, in the very Infancy of his Science, he makes a thorough Cure of his desperate Patient Sir Clouterly; I do verily think, after that, there will not be the least Room for any sick minded Person what­soever, to despair of Success under his Regimen.

[Page 214]HOWEVER, since a Person must be in a painful way indeed, before he cries out for the Physician, I would propound a kind of Diet to those who discover Symptoms of any ap­proaching Spiritual Malady, which will serve them by way of Prevention. This Method is certainly preferable to the common way of Delaying till the Disease is actually upon them, which is then in Danger of not being removed, without Recourse to violent Reme­dies. In Sir Clouterly's Case, the Prescription of Mr. Jyngle is so very ungentle, that Fair Ladies, who find themselves a going into any Immoral Habit, should, one would think, take early Care to stop the Progress of it, for fear of lying under the Necessity of such dreadful Emeticks. That, it seems, which the Titled Patient must be forced to undergo, for the Cure of Vanity only, (and, what Person, with a Title, thinks Vanity so great an Ill?) will, he confesses, be attended with such violent Workings, that it will make him vomit his Heart up. Now, who would not avoid this rough Handling, by taking Things in Time, when they apprehend a Disorder to be rising, and observing a regular Mind-Diet.

I SHALL proceed, to lay down some ge­neral Rules, and short Recipes, by way of Spe­cimen, that the Ladies, especially, may encou­rage a Pocket Volume, which I intend short­ly to publish, on the Subject of Mind-Labours, and Deliveries, and which I only wish may be dispersed into as many Hands as Culpeper's Mid­wifery; [Page 215] for I am sure I may say, without Boasting, it will be a more useful and valua­ble Treatise.

PERSONS, who have any Consideration for the Health of their Minds, are desired to re­flect Seriously, that all Excessive Passions are Distempers of the Mind; and but Fore-runners of Diseases in the Body. Let them know, that nothing conduces more, to the Restraint of these Humours, (which grow peccant and pernicious, the very Moment they become Inor­dinate,) than Exercise in the Thinking Fa­culty.

READING the Salutary Maxims of Wise Men, with Attention, digesting them by Me­ditation, and imprinting them on the Memory, by frequent Recollection, is a Mind-Diet or Regimen, which will, in a short Time, restore Health to a decayed Constitution, and add incredible Vigour, to a Weak and Languishing Understanding. Minds the best arm'd, are not always Invulnerable: There are constantly some peevish Accidents, some cross and fret­ful Disappointments, in the rugged Road of Life, to throw a Cloud over the serenest, and discompose the most equal Tempers. But, there is not methinks, a quicker or sweeter Re­medy than to step to the Closet, and take down a moral Draught, which will smooth us into the most perfect Calm. Gallus, Tibullus, Ovid, Catullus, will afford us Lenitives; and Horace, Juvenal and Persius, will furnish us with Cor­rosives, so that we may find a Cure for every [Page 216] Distemper. There are not any Infirmities, Pains, or Sufferings of the Mind, but what the Writings of some of these Doctors contain proper Specificks for. The best of this Method of prescribing, is, that the Physick is easy and delightful. For what does it consist in but Exercising one's Wits with some of the best Company in the World, whom even Ladies cannot go to for Diversion, without finding them at the same Time useful, or visit for Instruc­tion, without finding them agreeable. Dry­den, Congreve, &c. Have made them refined Englishmen, and our Modern Beauties have the same Advantages in their Translations, the Ro­man Ladies had in the Originals.

WHY should it not be the Care of profess'd Visiters, not to contract ill Habits which are always very catching, and fill the Mind, with Spots and Blemishes? a Toast that never had the Small-Pox, would be in a Pannick, at the Appearance of a Face newly mark'd; and Per­sons who break out with Detraction, have the Small-Pox of the Mind, and are frightful when the Marks are upon them.

YOU shall see a Young Creature torture her­self into Beauty punish herself to please her Lover, and skin her Face for a Complexion; And yet, tho' she knows she is a little Vixen in her Nature, she shall not so much as once, after she is married to him, endeavour to learn, how she may avoid the praeternatural Palenesses and Flushings, which Anger excites in a Beautiful Countenance, giving the whole Form of it such [Page 217] a contrary Cast, that it is enough to terrify all Beholders. Whenever any of these blooming Bustlers begin to bluster, the Husband may be the Physician; for, when the fiery Par­ticles within them betray any of the Soft Things to an unbecoming Fit of Rage, the Sight of a Looking-Glass, at that Critical Minute of De­formity, has been prescribed by our Fore­fathers with admirable, and neverfailing Effect. But this is only a transitory Cure, and does not go to the Root of the Disease. There are Pas­sages relating to the Effects of Anger in a mar­ried State, that would place their Inside as clear­ly before them. A Lady, whom this Practice would not work into Gentleness of Temper, could never be cured of so violent an Inflam­mation, but by one of Mr. Jyngle's severest Operations.

IS a Lady jealous? And will she not have Sense enough, to blush at the Follies of Jealousy, when she is reading them, in private, and save herself from the Inconveniency of looking frightful, in publick Company? She stands highly in need of Mr. Jyngle. Who, that could not read away a Fit of the Spleen, in that Excellent Modern Poem, the Rape of the Lock, could be otherwise than given over, as quite lost, Unless Mr. Jyngle appear'd, to carry it off, by his new Invention? Those Ladies, who have Wit enough to plead their being of the Unfortify'd Sex in so artful a Manner,

[Page 218]
That, if weak Women go astray,
Their Stars are more in Fault, than they,

have likewise Wit enough, to Fortify them­selves by proper Lectures, against the Attacks of Passion and Folly. Therefore, after this seasonable Warning, Mr. Jyngle is the Word; and if any wild, disorderly, pretty Creatures, will Steal away from these Precepts, and run Gadding after their own Inventions, till they hurt their Health and Quiet; Care shall be taken, to send Mr. Jyngle, with all conve­nient Speed, after them; and he may drive as fast as he pleases, into Practice.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 28.
FRIDAY, June 26. 1724.

Tendentem (que) manus, & jam sua fata videntem,
Et, MATER, MATER, clamantem, & colla petentem
Ense ferit MATER.
Quam vocat hic Matrem?
OVID. METAM.
— Grande doloris
Ingenium est, miseris (que) venit solertia rebus.
Ibid.
Mota quidem est genitrix, infractâ (que) constitit ira,
Inviti (que) oculi lachrymis maduere coactis.
Ibid.

THE Loss of Friends is a Misery, which, more than any other, puts our Patience to the Trial; and breaks in upon Human Na­ture with a Violence not to be resisted. All the Looks, Words, and Actions, of those, who were dear to us, in their Life-times, rise, like Ghosts, to haunt the Memory: But, with this Difference from their Effects, before Death had interpos'd, that we now remember with a kind of Pleasure, the Wrongs and Slights we may have suffer'd from them, as the only Remedy we can have Recourse to, for some Mitigation of our Sorrow: Whereas their Vertues, their Endearments, and the Good Offices they have done us, are like Tortures to the Imagination; and the most painful Enflamers of our Misery.

[Page 220]BUT the Tenderness of the Lovelier Sex maintains a generous Superiority, over ours, in the Warmth, and Softness, of their Sorrow. There is a Sweetness, in a Mother's Grief, when she drowns her Charms in Tears, that raises Beauty into Majesty; and mixes Reve­rence with our Fondness for her. It is her Soul, we are, then, enamour'd of! And the Husband, Son, or Father, of such a Mourner, considers, with an inward Triumph, the In­terest, he is proud to hold, in a Heart, so grac'd by Pity; and so sincerely Sweet and Sensi­ble.

THE Force of Natural Affection has its strongest Effect, in Mothers from the great Ne­cessity there is, for that long Care, and Pati­ence, which are the Supports of the Human Species, during the Wants, and Helplessness of Infancy: And the most unreasonable Par­tialities, of fond Mothers, to their Children, are not only Pardonable, but Beautiful, when we consider, what good Effects are owing to the Influence of this charming Weakness.

SHAKESPEARE's Tragedy, of King John, has, I hear, been lately alter'd, with Design to bring it on the Stage next Winter. I doubt not, but the Alterer has been careful not to rob us of the Grief of Constance, for the Loss of her Son Arthur, when in the Hands of the King, who designs to murder him.—Being told, that she is Mad, not Sorrowful, she replies,

[Page 221]
I am not mad, Oh! wou'd to Heaven I were!
If I were mad, I shou'd forget my Son.
— I have heard 'em say,
That we shall meet, and know our Friends, in Hea­ven:
If so, I, yet, may see my Boy again.
—But Sorrow's Canker will have eat his Bloom;
'Till he looks Pale, and Meagre, as a Ghost:
And dies, so chang'd, that, when, in Heaven, we meet,
I fear, I shall not know him!

THIS Thought, of her Son's Sorrow, and his becoming so alter'd by it, as not to be known, if she shou'd meet him, in Heaven, has so natural a Mixture in it, of the Tender and the Wild! Something so exquisitely adapt­ed both to her Character, and her Condition, that I have always consider'd it, as one of the liveliest Strokes in the Tragedy: Tho' it is finely supported, by what follows.

Grief fills the Place up, of my absent Son,
Lies in his Bed; walks with me up and down;
Puts on his pretty Looks; repeats his Words;
Swells out his vacant Garments with his Form.
—But Memory smarts to miss him!

HOW much easier, and less lovely, wou'd this Constance have appear'd, under the Afflicti­on of her Son's Loss, had she regarded him with the cold Indifference of a Modern Mo­ther; whom I am glad, for her own Sake, not to find nam'd, in the following Letter!

SIR,

I HAVE the Pleasure of a very intimate Acquaintance with that unhappy young Gentleman, whose Verses to a Painter, you printed in one of your PLAIN DEALERS; with a generous Remark, or two, on the Merit of the poor Gentleman, himself, and the uncommon Cruelty of his Mother.

PERHAPS few Things cou'd be more sur­prizing, than a History of his Birth and Usage!—Of two Fathers, whom he might have claim'd, and both of them Noble, he lost the Title, of the one, and a Provision from the other's Pity, by the Means alone of this Mother! who, as if she had resolv'd, not to leave him a single Comfort, afterwards robb'd him of herself too! and, in direct Op­position to the Impulse of her Natural Com­passion, upon mistaken Motives of a false Delicacy, shut her Memory against his Wants, and cast him out to the severest Mi­series; without allowing herself to contri­bute even such small Aid, as might at least, have preserv'd him from Anguish; and pointed out some Path to his future In­dustry.

BUT I forbear to be too particular, on any of these Heads, because I know it wou'd give him Pain, for whose sake only I remember them: For while Nature acts so weakly, on the Humanity of the Parent, she seems, on the Son's side, to have doubled her [Page 223] usual Influence. Even the most shocking Personal Repulses, and a Series of Contempt and Injuries, received, at her Hands, through the whole Course of his Life, have not been able to eraze, from his Heart, the Impres­sions of his filial Duty: Nor, which is much more strange! of his Affection. I have known him walk, three or four times, in a dark Evening, through the Street this Mo­ther lives in, only for the Melancholy Plea­sure of looking up, at her Windows, in Hopes to catch a Moment's Sight of her, as she might cross the Room by Candle Light.

HIS good Qualities, which are very nu­merous, ought the more to be esteem'd and cherish'd because he owes them to himself only: And, without the Advantage of Friends, Fortune, or Education, wants nei­ther Knowledge nor Politeness, to deserve a Mother's Blessing, and adorn, rather than disgrace her.—I am strongly persuaded, from the Character, which, upon all Occa­sions, he has taken Pleasure to give me of the Lady's Humanity, with regard to the rest of the World, that nothing but her hav­ing, much too long, already been a Stranger to such a Son, cou'd make her satisfy'd to continue so.—It is impossible, at least, that she shou'd not distinguish him, by some kind Notice; some little Mark of her returning Tenderness; if, without Regard to his Me­rit, she knew but his Manner of thinking of her: Which is, itself, a shining Merit! and [Page 224] a surprizing Instance of Generosity! if con­sider'd against those Reasons, which might excuse a different Treatment of her.

He writ the following Copy of Verses, and several other, on the same Subject, at a Time, when I know not which was most to be wonder'd at;—That he shou'd be serene enough, for Poetry, under, the Extremity of Ill-Fortune!—Or, that his Subject shou'd be the Praise of her, to whom he ow'd a Life of Misery!

Hopeless, abandon'd, aimless, and oppress'd;
Lost, to Delight, and, every Way, distress'd:
Cross his cold Bed, in wild Disorder, thrown,
Thus, sigh'd Alexis, friendless, and alone.—
Why do I breathe?—What Joy can Being give,
When she, who gave me Life, forgets I Live!
Feels not these Wintry Blasts;—nor heeds my Smart:
But shuts me from the Shelter of her Heart!
Saw me expos'd, to Want! to Shame! to Scorn!
To Ills!—which make it Mis'ry to be born!
Cast me, regardless, on the World's bleak Wild:
And bad me, be a Wretch, while, yet, a Child!
Where can he hope for Pity, Peace, or Rest,
Who moves no Softness in a Mother's Breast?
Custom, Law, Reason, All! my Cause forsake:
And Nature sleeps, to keep my Woes awake!
Crimes, which the Cruel scarce believe, can be,
The Kind are guilty of, to ruin Me!
Even she, who bore me, blasts me, with her Hate,
And, meant my Fortune, makes Herself my Fate!
Yet has this sweet Neglecter of my Woes
The softest, tend'rest, Breast, that Pity knows!
Her Eyes shed Mercy, wheresoe'er they shine;
And her Soul melts, at every Woe,—but Mine.
Sure, then! some secret Fate, for Guilt unwill'd,
Some Sentence, prae-ordain'd to be fulfill'd!
Plung'd me, thus deep, in Sorrow's searching Flood:
And wash'd me from the Mem'ry of her Blood.
But, oh! whatever Cause has mov'd her Hate,
Let me but sigh, in Silence, at my Fate.
The God, within, perhaps, may touch her Breast:
And, when she pities, who can be distress'd?

THEY, who are depriv'd, by Death, of their dearest Friends, and Relations, are left wretched, in the Want of them; But they have this Comfort, however,—that, before those Deaths, they were happier:—Whereas this Gentleman, on the contrary, is unhappy, by his Mother's Loss, while she is living, gay, and fortunate! and only dead, to that Affecti­on, which other Mothers chiefly live for!

IF you, Mr. Plain-Dealer, wou'd give us a Paper, on these Heads, it might, I believe, have some Effect, for the Service of a too early Sufferer, whose Merit, and the Wrongs he has sustain'd, from his Parent's Cruelty, entitle him to the Hope, of finding better Parents, among Strangers! to the open Re­proach, and Dishonour of a Mother, who, since she has so many fine Qualites, wants, perhaps, but to be touch'd into a Sense of [Page 226] her Mistake, to atone for it, by a generous Change, in her Regard for him, for the fu­ture. I am,

Sir,
Your most Humble Servant, AMINTAS.

I AM sorry, that, in a Nation, justly famous for Good-Nature, we have so strong an Ex­ception, as may be taken from this Letter. But I will forbear, with my Correspondent's Leave, to address any Arguments, to the Lady: Since, if she is not harden'd, beyond Nature, the ge­nerous Sorrow, and the Sufferings, express'd, in her Son's Sentiments, will melt her Heart into Pity for him; and move her, more effec­tually, than any Thing, that can be, morally, offer'd to her.

I WILL turn my Advice, therefore, to the Service of those Sons and Daughters, who are neglected, and made unhappy, by the Aver­sion, or Partiality, of the Parent they depend on. A Case, too common, in most Families! and which stands in need of all the Comfort, that can be pour'd upon their Affliction.

IT is a very melancholy Circumstance when this happens, as it often does, to the finest spirited Child, of the whole Number. But it shou'd be Ground enough for Consolation, that such Sufferers owe the wrong Position, they appear in, to a Weakness in the Parents Reason: A kind of Deception, in their Judg­ment's Sight! As, when we see our Shadows, [Page 227] in the Water, our Heads seem to hang down­wards; and our lowest Parts are preferr'd, to look, unnaturally, uppermost.

TIME will, certainly, bring a Remedy, to those, who bear this Trial, with Temperance: For Submission disarms the Rancour, that wou'd gather Strength, from Exercise, by an imprudent Opposition. None, whose Injuries are receiv'd, with Mildness, and return'd by Acts of Affection, can be, long, without dis­covering, and repenting, their Ingratitude. Whereas, by permitting ourselves to revenge the Wrongs we suffer, we furnish our Oppres­sors with an Appearance of Justice; and only make them more blind, when 'tis our Interest, that they shou'd see clearly.

IMPATIENCE under this, or any other, Affliction, does but double our Mortification. How languid wou'd Life be, to the largest Part of the World, if Expectation did not quicken it! Hope is the sweetest, of all Companions!—If it leads us not to the Road, which we are most inclin'd to travel in, its Conversation, however, is so entertaining, and agreeable, that we can never tire, in the Journey.

WHEN a wicked Man is happy, he seems unworthy of his Happiness: But, where Ver­tue is unfortunate, it looks the larger, for the Clouds we see it through.—There is a Courage, in Adversity, that can put Fortune out of Countenance.—Men are not despicable, by their Fate, but, by their Manner of support­ing it. The Lyon has more Majesty, in his [Page 228] Chains, than when in the Forest: His Fierce­ness is reduc'd, and soften'd, by the Restraint of his Condition, and, what was terrible, in him, before, becomes venerable, by his Calamity.

BUT, we shou'd not only bear our Misfor­tunes, with Patience; we shou'd sustain 'em, too, with Silence.—Complaints are weak Mens Weapons: And, there was something, delicate, and finely judg'd, in the Conduct of a Persian Merchant, I have read of, who, finding him­self on the Brink of Ruin, by a Race of Losses, that befel him, gave strict Orders, to his Son, that he shou'd speak of it to Nobody. For, otherwise, said he, of One Misfortune, we shall make Two—The Loss, itself, which we com­plain of;—and our Enemy's rejoicing at it.

BUT, as the most perfect Pleasures in the World are always mix'd with Afflictions, so the sharpest Afflictions have their Uses, and their Pleasures.—A Man's best Friend, is his Enemy! Since by mortifying his Vanity, he adorns his Nature with Humility; and teaches him to shun the Practice of those Ill Qualities, toward Others, which he finds so unjust, and hateful, while he himself is oppress'd by them.

BUT, while I talk of Humility, I blush, at my own Pride, who wou'd teach others a Sci­ence, which I am myself, but a Learner in.—My Reader, in this Case, must be so good as to compare me to a Blind Man, with a Torch in his Hand—Though I see not my own Way, I carry Light enough along with me, to guide the Steps of those who follow me.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No. 29.
MONDAY, June 29. 1724.

— Pudet haec opprobria nobis
Et dici potuisse & non potuisse refelli.
OVID.

UNLESS my Legs are in Motion, my Ima­gination is apt to stand still: for which Reason I am so great a Walker, that, if the Weather does not allow me to take the Air, in the open Fields, I measure my Landlady's Hall Floor, so many Times, for a Breathing, that I can walk Twenty Miles, without stirring out of my Lodgings.—I was meditating, Yester­day Morning, in one of these reverted Peram­bulations, when I heard the Sound of a Horse's Feet, on the Pavement, before my Door; which was follow'd by a loud, rustick, Whistle; and a thumping against the Porch, with the Handle­end of a Whip.—I look'd out; and was sa­luted, by a Country Servant of Will. Weather­cock's, with this simple, and hearty Address,—That Master remember'd his Love to me; and had sent him up with a Letter. I dispatch'd my Friend's Courier; and shall lay before my Reader the Contents of this Intelligence.

Dearest SIR,

THE good Company, at Sir Portly's, are at a sad Loss, in your Absence. Mr. Tiresome, and our Friend Tony, won't drink one another's Healths yet. But Mr. Juniper has done as strange a Cure, upon Mr. Jyngle, as Mr. Jyngle himself intends to do, upon Sir Clouterly Rumble.Tony has never been right, as he shou'd be, since you made him so asham'd of shooting his Poetry, at Ran­dom. He look'd very pale, Yesterday, and complain'd of a Pain in his Stomach. There was something, he said, lay, like a Load, at his Heart: and he had much ado to draw his Breath, for it.—Mr. Juniper felt his Pulse, and said, he hop'd there was no Dan­ger: Asking him, at the same Time, If he had made no Verses, for this Week past? Mr. Jyngle told him, Yes—and repeated six hun­dred Lines, of a Poem, he has made a Begin­ning in. The Verses, I must needs say, sound­ed as fine, as ever I heard any! But, what I thought strange, was, that, as soon as he had done Repeating, Mr. Juniper bid him hem—and go, chearfully, about his Busi­ness: for his Oppression, he said, was re­mov'd.—And it really prov'd, as he said.—Mr. Jyngle's Colour return'd immediately; and he breathes, as freely as ever he did!

BUT, I fancy, for all this, he is not quite cur'd, yet. His Distemper, I doubt, works inward: and, unless it has constant Vent, [Page 231] may blow up, into his Brain, and do more Mischief, than we are aware of. For I ob­serve, though he says nothing, the suppress'd Spring of his Fancy twitches his Eyebrows, up and down, and moves his Lips, like a Rabbit's!—He has got an odd Whim, too,—the Effect, to be sure, of his Melancholy! Of untying the Knots of People's Periwigs, who happen to sit within Reach of him! He will do the same, by the Ladies Apron-Strings; and has made an Attempt or two, at their Garters! Yet, is musing, all the while, without meaning any Harm in it.—Pray send me Word, by Humphry, who rides old Robin to Town, on purpose, whe­ther you don't think, this untying Wigs, and Apron-Strings, an untowardly Symptom, in poor Mr. Jyngle?—Methinks, I wou'dn't, for a great deal, that his Brain shou'd have any Thing in it.—Pray a Word, of your Advice, to, Dearest Sir!

Your most Faithful Servant, William Weathercock.

THE Answer I return'd to this apprehensive Humanity, of Will. Weathercock, was, That I cou'd determine nothing, suddenly, in so doubt­ful a Case: But I desir'd him to tell Tony the following Story, the first Time he shou'd catch him at a Wig-Knot, or an Apron-String: and, from the Effects of it, I might judge better.

[Page 232] AN Arabian Physician, of great Learning, went to visit the Caliph, who took Plea­sure in discoursing with him, concerning Dis­eases, and their Remedies. The Physician was demonstrating the Necessity of Binding Madmen to prevent Danger, from their Ex­travagance; and the Caliph who sat, involv'd, in the profoundest Attention, had insensibly apply'd his Fingers to the Bottom of the Doctor's Gown; which finding a little un­stitch'd, he had ript it, to the very Girdle. The Doctor, observing it, made a Pause, in his Narration.—The Caliph, then ask'd him, By what Tokens they knew, when it was Time to Bind a Madman?—We bind him, answer'd the Physician, when he pulls People's Cloaths to Pieces, without the smallest Pro­vocation.
SIR,

GOING last Sunday, in the Afternoon, to a Church, not far from the Temple, to hear an Eminent, and Learned, Divine, who is remarkable, for his good Preaching, I found the manifest Necessity we are under, of a PLAIN-DEALER: Since most of our well-bred Enormities, which were suppress'd during the Reign of your great Predecessor, Venerable Spec, of Immortal Memory, are crept again, into Practice.—Lay-Parishioners, for Example, repeat the Absolution, with as [Page 233] much Loudness, and Assurance, as if they were, all, in Priest's Orders! They bar­barously, drown too, in their Responses, the Vocal Zeal of the Parish Clerk; to the Dis­grace, and utter Overthrow, of that ancient and useful, Office!—The Psalms, which were sung, plainly, in the simple Worship of our Forefathers, are, now, most musically, warbled, by gay, powder'd, Choristers, who have their Ears refin'd, by Opera, with such a rapturous Italic Quavering, that every Syllable pants, and trembles, with the Sigh­ings of a broken Spirit!—The Reverend Doctor declaim'd on Pride: But neither the Terror of his Reasoning, nor the awful Gra­vity of his Person, cou'd restrain a giddy Covey, of young Female Gold-finches from fluttering their Fans into a Whirlwind; that blew Grace, and Edification, quite out of the Church Windows!—These Indecencies fall more properly under your Cognizance, than the Pulpit's; therefore, at your Leisure, I hope, you will animadvert on their Growth, and Consequence. A Nod, from you, will startle them: for they fly PLAIN-DEALING, like a Pestilence. I am,

Your hearty Well-Wisher, &c. J. H.
Mr. Plain-Dealer,

I AM one of those Light-finger'd Purchasers, complain'd against, in a Letter to you, from the Keeper of a certain Coffee-House, for filling my Pocket with Wit of another Man's paying for. The Truth is, I did it; but it was by way of Revenge only. For before your Paper became establish'd, I went a Do­zen Times, to his House, with no other In­tention, than to read over the PLAIN-DEALER: But the Answer, I always had, was,—They did not take in the Paper. At last, his Custo­mers so often ask'd for it, that he was asham'd to be longer without it; and I continue to drink his Coffee, for the Pleasure of reading your Paper. But in order to be even with him, I kept a private Account how many Twopences I spent, in vain, while I was dis­appointed by his Avarice: And just so ma­ny PLAIN DEALERS I am determin'd to pocket up, that I may bring Things to Balance. Af­ter that, I will content myself to carry off, in my Memory, what I now bring away in my Pocket. And this is the true State of Mr. D. B's Complaint to you.

But, since Coffee-Men must be murmuring, I will put you in a Way to mortifie some of the Backward Ones, of that Fraternity; who care not how little Wit they lay in, for their Customers, because themselves have no Re­lish for it: And they love to deal in nothing, but what they can come in for a Taste of. [Page 235] You must know, Sir, that several of them are resolv'd to wait, 'till Winter, before they take in the PLAIN DEALER; as if Cold Wri­ters were fittest to refresh their Summer Customers. But your Disciples are so nu­merous, that, if you only give the Word, that none, who have Wit, or Breeding, shall drink, even a single Dram, at any Coffee-House, that is not licens'd, by the Stamp of the PLAIN DEALER; then, these Friends to Money, and Dullness, who, to save a Groat a Week, lose Twelve Pennyworth of Improve­ment, wou'd take it in for their Profit Sake, though they have no Concern for their Un­standing: And by that Means, extend your Influence to many Thousands of his Majesty's sober Subjects; who now, sit and sleep in the Corner of a Dusty Coffee-Room, for want of Matter to be kept awake by. I am,

Sir,
Your Humble Servant, VINDEX.

UPON opening some late Letters, which have been sent me by my Correspondents, I found, inclos'd in one, the following Learned Proposition, for unravelling the Occult Sciences.

PROPOSALS, for Printing a Book, Entitled, The Mystery of Modern Game­ing; being a Description of the Abuses, in Games at Dice: Proving, by calculated Ta­bles, [Page 236] That Hazard is an unequal Game. Ex­posing the Nature of unfair Dies and Boxes, with the Operations of Loaded Dies, Scoop'd Dies, Flat Dies, Chain Dies, and Link'd Dies. The Art of working with a Grate Box; Eclipsing, Sighing, Waxing and Topping.

A Dissertation on Pharo, Basset, Picquet, Wisk, and other Card Games: Proving, that a Pack of Cards may be shuffled, cut, dealt away, and, afterwards, dispos'd to your Interest, notwithstanding. With a particu­lar Description of a Pharo-Bank; its Atten­dants and Expences. Calculated for the Meridian of those two famous Universities, Bath and Tunbridge-Wells.

THE Book will be Printed on fine Paper, Octavo, with a New Dutch Letter, and neat­ly Bound: Price One Guinea, half down, as usual. 'Tis now ready for the Press; and any Subscriber shall, if he pleases, see the Copy, to convince him, that it deserves En­couragement. Subscriptions are taken in at Mr. William Leverland's, at the Golden-Key, in King-Street, Covent-Garden.

I AM ignorant with what Intention this Pro­posal was enclos'd to me; there having been no Letter sent with it. But I take it for grant­ed, that it is the Wish of the Undertaker to have it notic'd, in the PLAIN DEALER: And I recommend it, with the more Readiness, be­cause, if this Work is any way answerable to its Title, the Author will deserve to be con­sider'd as a Patriot! and may, by opening the [Page 237] Eyes of those, who are fond of that vile Art, call'd Gaming, become the Means of more Good to his Country, than the Care and Wisdom of our Parliaments have, yet, been able to ac­complish.

Worthy SIR,

I MY own self am a Barber, by Trade, but my Wife takes in Plain-work. I cou'd never endure to be Idle; and, therefore, when we rented a little House, in the New-Buildings, I hung a Board, at my Pole's End, with these Words writ upon it, in Great Letters, SHAVE FOR A PENNY, Though I say it, that shou'd not, I have a clean Stroke with a Razor: But, because I love a stirring Trade, I thought it better to work for a little, than stand still, and get no­thing. Now, it is a strange Thing to consider, how little Encouragement Honest Industry meets with.

ONE Evening, last Week, a Beau with a great Black-Bag at his Back, was set down, out of a Stage-Coach; and fixing his Eye upon my Pole, put his Hand to his Beard, and came directly to my Door, as if he meant, I shou'd Shave him: But, as soon as he read my Rate, that was written on my Show Board, he turn'd short, upon his Heel; and cry'd out with a silly Oath, ‘"That, Six Pence, he thought, was too little, for a clean Shav­ing: But, if a Man must pay for being flea'd, a Penny was too much in Conscience.’

[Page 238] I WAS quite out of Heart, at this unex­pected Return, for falling the Price of my Practice: And my poor Wife, who over­heard it, as she sat at work, fell a crying, at the Ill-Nature of it. But, presently, we heard a jolly Voice, in the Street, Come, let us go in:—I will encourage this Honest Fellow, though I have been shav'd once, to Day, already. So, there came into my Shop a grave, well-dress'd Gentleman, and a pretty Youth with him: He was kind, and talk'd very familiar to me; and had so good-humour'd a Face, that I lov'd dearly to look upon him: When I had done with him, he said, that I had the soft Sweep of your Turkish Barbers; and, as he was going out of my Shop he gave me a Crown Piece; and told me, ‘"That such Industri­ous Men, as I, ought to be paid, as we de­serv'd, and not, as we expected: And that no body else shou'd Shave him, as long as his Beard grew in London.

AS soon as he was gone, my Wife fell a crying, again.—But, this Time it was for Joy, That in spite of Beaux and Black-Bags, there is some good Nature left in the World yet.—If you will put this into your PLAIN DEALER, and accept of a Shaving, the next Time you come our Way, you may Com­mand the ready Hand of,

Your Obedient Humble Servant, Latherlight Edgely.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No. 30.
FRIDAY, July 3. 1724.

— Nec Vox hominem sonat, O Dea certe!
VIR.

IT is said, by a Vulgar Error, That the Eng­lish are fond of Novelty.—I have won­der'd, a Thousand Times, how this Notion became establish'd: For, that nothing is more false, in Fact, may be proved, from our oldest Histories: and is, every Day, remarkable, in our modern, and familiar Practice.

THOUGH ten Englishmen, in twelve, are the Descendants of Foreigners, and the very Name itself, of England, is Foreign: Yet, the Noti­on of a Foreigner has been, always, ridicu­lously, distastful to us!

INNOVATIONS were ever odious to us; and we chose rather to neglect Advantages, than to try an untrodden Path, for 'em.—What lost England the first Possession of that Gold and Silver World in the Spanish West-Indies, but her Disposition to discredit Novelty?—Our very Laws depend on Precedent:—And the De­fence, even of Rights, in Parliament, is sup­ported upon what has been; and seems uncon­cern'd [Page 240] in why it was. Those scandalous Op­positions, which are so obstinately given, to the Clearest Bills, for Publick Benefit, such, as making our Rivers Navigable,—Putting our Lands under a Register,—Promoting untry'd Trades,—And Establishing National Fisheries: Are, all, convincing Instances, that no Nation, under Heaven, have so fix'd an Aversion to Novelty; which, yet, every Body is imputing to us, as the Reigning Humour of our Coun­try.

BUT we have a Present Example, that will confirm my Remark, and for ever put to Si­lence those, who accuse us of the Love of Novelty. I mean, the new Practice, of Ino­culating the Small-Pox, on Bodies, purposely, prepar'd to receive it: So, to prevent the usual Danger, and Malignancy, of that Distemper; and sustain it, without the Terror, the Fatali­ty, and the Sorrow, which have heretofore, gone along with it.

IT was a generous Undertaking, in that Pub­lick-spirited Member of the Royal Society, who, resolving, by clear Matter of Fact, to establish or explode, this Practice, has, with an unwea­ried Application, and the most stedfast Impar­tiality, inform'd himself of its Success, through­out all Parts of the Kingdom; and given the World an Account of it, in his Pamphlet, late­ly publish'd. A Treatise! which deserves the Eye, and most careful Consideration, of every Parent, who has Reason, or who wou'd save a Favourite Child, the promis'd Comfort of [Page 241] his Life! from being snatch'd away, perhaps in its Bloom, by the Sweep of this Distemper.

IT is demonstrated, in the mention'd Trea­tise, from a Forty Year's Examination of the Bills of Mortality, ‘'That the Small-Pox car­ries off, at least, one in every six, of all whom it seizes in the natural Way; whereas not one in fifty, (scarce one in many hundreds) of those who receive it by Inoculation, have been found to die under it.’

THE whole Number of Persons, who have been so much as suspected to owe their Deaths to it, ever since its first Introduction, in Eng­land, amounts to Nine, only!—They are, all nam'd, in the Printed Account; and there is scarce one among them, for whose Death a Clearer Cause, than the Inoculation, is not assign'd, and attested, by the very Physicians, and Surgeons, who directed the Operation—So that Providence seems to have guided, and enlighten'd, Art, in this Practice, to assist, and relieve, Nature, for the Preservation of the Human Species.

YET, with what Violence, and Malice, has it not been rail'd at, and oppos'd?—How many False Affirmations have we seen, with unblushing Boldness, insulting Truth, in our Publick News-Papers!—Nay, the Pulpits, too, have trembled, under the Zeal of Reverend Railers; who, in the holy Blindness of their Passion, have shewn us Job, upon his Dung­hill; inoculated, for the Small-Pox, by the De­vil, of a Surgeon!

[Page 242]IT has been represented, as a Wilful Mur­der! A new, and wicked, Presumption! An Assault on the Prerogative of Heaven! And a taking God's own Work out of his Hands, to be mended by Man's Arrogance!

BUT the Common Arguments, however des­picable, give me Diversion, and Entertainment.—When I hear a pious Old Woman wisely wondering,—What this World would come to! and concluding her Remarks with this great Maxim of Resignation, that God's own Time is best! I compare this Force of Female Rea­soning, to the Representation which, a late Writer tells us, The old Boyars, or Grandees of Russia, gravely made, to the Present Czar, when he attempted a Communication, by Dig­ing a Canal, between the Volga, and the Tanais.‘"The Design, they said, was Great;—But they humbly conceiv'd it Impious:—For, since God had made the Rivers to run one Way, Man ought not to turn them Another.

IT is an establish'd Rule, amongst Game­sters, That Losers shou'd have leave to speak: And, for this Reason, I rather pity, than grow angry with an unmarried Prude or Coquet, when I catch 'em Railing at Inoculation, with a Thousand Excuses for it, in their Faces.—As it is a Comfort to the Miserable to have Companions in their Misery, so, it must be a Provocation, to these Fair Invalids, to hear of a Preservative, for other's Beauty, when it is too late, to save their own by it.

[Page 243]YET, these good Ladies, unmindful that they carry about with them, the Cause of their own Peevishness, treat an innocent Practice, when they join the Chorus of Railers, as the Indian did the Looking-Glass, which he found on the Sea-Side.—He was frightfully Ugly; and, starting back from his own Image, threw away the Glass, in great Rage, with this com­fortable Observation:—I might have guess'd, thou wert good for nothing: Thou would'st not have been left here else.

IT is the Observation of some Historian; but I forgot where I met with it: That Eng­land has ow'd to Women the greatest Blessings she has been distinguish'd by—In the Case, we are now upon, this Reflection will stand justified.—We are indebted to the Reason, and the Courage of a Lady, for the Introduction of this Art; which gains such Strength in its Progress, that the Memory of its Illustrious Foundress will be render'd Sacred, by it, to future Ages.

THIS Ornament of her Sex, and Country, who ennobles her own Nobility, by her Learn­ing, Wit, and Vertues, accompanying her Con­sort into Turkey, observ'd the Benefit of this Practice, with its Frequency, even among those obstinate Praedestinarians; and brought it over, for the Service, and the Safety, of her Native England; where she consecrated its first Effects, on the Persons of her own fine Children! And has, already, receiv'd this Glory from it, ‘"That the Influence of her Example has reach'd as high as the Blood Royal."’ And [Page 244] our noblest, and most antient, Families, in Confirmation of her happy Judgment, add the daily Experience of those, who are most Dear to them.

I HAVE seen a short Poetical Essay, on the Occasion we are now treating of. I wou'd say, if I meant the Verses an Encomium they shou'd be envied for, ‘"That their Subject need not blush at them!’

On Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's bringing with her, out of Turkey, the Art of Inocu­lating the Small-Pox.
WHEN Greece, reviving, into short Delight,
Felt Pride, and Comfort, at Our Muse's Sight:
The Rival'd Nine no sooner saw her Face,
But ev'n their Envy gave their Wonder Place!
Charm'd, into Love, of what eclips'd their Fame!
They wak'd Apollo, with her pow'rful Name.
See!—God of Grecian Wit! Urania cries,
How sweet a Muse the Western World supplies!
Say, shou'd she ask some Favour, from your Throne,
What cou'd you bid her take, that's not her own?
Sparkling in Charms, the heav'nly Stranger view,
So grac'd!—she scarce can owe a Beam, to You!
Beauty, with Love, her Pow'r to Your's prefers:
And Wit, and Learning, are, already, Hers!
Rous'd, at her Name,—receding, from her Eyes,
The gazing God rose slow, in soft Surprize!
Fair Miracle, he said,—and paus'd, a while:
Then, thus,—Sweet Glory, of your envied Isle!
[Page 245]Charm'd, and oblig'd, lest, we ungrateful seem,
Bear hence, at least, One Mark of our Esteem.
One, of my three great Claims, your Wish may fit;
Whose Voice is Musick: and whose Thoughts are Wit!
Physick, alone, remains, to grant you, here—
A Skill! your godlike Pity will endear.
Form'd, to give Wounds, which must no Ease procure,
Atone your Influ'nce, by new Arts, to cure.
Beauty's chief Foe, a fear'd, and fierce Disease!
Bows, at my Beck; and knows its God's Decrees.
Breath'd, in this Kiss, take Pow'r, to tame its Rage:
And, from its Rancour, free the rescu'd Age.
High, o'er each Sex, in Double Empire, sit:
Protecting Beauty, and inspiring Wit.

A Journey into Greece being the Subject of these Verses, Parnassus lay a little too direct­ly in the Way.—I shou'd, else, have been out of Humour, that the Force of the Author's Fancy took its Turn from the Pagan System: and does Apollo as much Honour, as the Lady, who is worth a Thousand of him. But, it is an uncommon Misfortune, to her Genius, ‘"That the only Thing in the World, worth knowing, and not known, to her, is, her own prodigious Excellence.—So, she is nei­ther able, nor willing, to describe it, herself; and no Verse, but her own, can soar high enough, for her Merit.—The sweetest of our English Poets has endeavour'd it with less Success, than attended any of his other Compositions: And, if a Nameless one has miss'd it, after him, he has, at least, this Consolation, ‘"That he miscar­ries [Page 246] in such Company, as it is a kind of Ho­nour to go astray with.’

I WOU'D not, however, be mistaken, in this Censure.—The Verses, I mean, abound with Wit.—They have only an Air of wanton Levity, that looks too merry, to be enough in Earnest, and gives the Turn of a smiling Satire.—Praise ought always to be serious, when it is address'd to the Person prais'd, and where the Subject is of Weight, and Dig­nity.

THERE is, I know, a pert Species of Pane­gyrick, which has been admir'd, in the Exam­ples of Balzac, Voiture, and other French Writers; who, when they wou'd praise Kings, and Heroes, took 'em, ironically, to Task: and chid 'em, by way of Commendation.—But, to speak like a PLAIN DEALER, such familiar, and smart Encomiums imply something like a Sense of superior Qualities, in the over-conscious Bestowers of 'em.—Some of the Verses, just now hinted at, have a little too much of the Sportive; but nothing of the French Arro­gance.

Then bravely, fair Dame,
Renew the old Claim,
That, to your whole Sex does belong:
And let us receive
From a second bright Eve,
The Knowledge of Right, and of Wrong.
[Page 247]But, if the First Eve
Hard Doom did receive,
When only One Apple had She;
What a Punishment New,
Must be found out for You,
Who have tasted, and robb'd the whole Tree?

THIS is exquisite, and lively, Wit! But it is Wit of too brisk a Species, for the Pur­pose it is applied to.—If a Barrister shou'd take a Fancy to dance in his Pleading, wou'd the Judge admit his Skill, in Excuse of his In­decorum?—This Praise, so gayly given, wou'd have surpriz'd, like a Flash of Lightning; where, instead of being the profess'd Subject, it had been struck out, unexpectedly.—As it is, it looks like Trifling; and misrepresents the Author, as not charm'd into Reverence of the Worth he celebrates. It speaks him Regard­less; and but half Intent:—and is like trip­ping, antickly, over a Drawing-Room, when it is prepar'd for the Steps of Majesty.

IF ever this Remark shou'd fall in the way of that Excellent Writer, and he shou'd not, himself, think, as I do; I shall fear, I have been mistaken. But, It is the Duty of every Man, when he assumes the Critick, to speak frankly his Opinion, what is an Error, and what an Excellence; that his Reasons being weigh'd by the Reader's Impartiality, may con­tribute to produce that Judgment, which is the sole good End of Criticism.

[Page 248]BUT, to return to the Lady, from whose extensive Benevolence, we receiv'd the Art we have been speaking of;—It is a Godlight De­light, that her Reflection must be conscious of! when she considers, to whom we owe, ‘"That many Thousand British Lives will be sav'd, every Year, to the Use, and Comfort, of their Country, after a General Establish­ment of this Practice!"’—A Good! so last­ing, and so vast! that none, of those wide En­dowments, and deep Foundations, of publick Charity, which have made most Noise in the World, deserve, at all, to be compar'd with it.

SAADI, the Persian Author of the Work call'd Gulistan, tells a Story, of three Sages;—A Greek, an Indian, and a Persian; who, in Presence of a King of Persia, debated, on this Question. ‘"Which, of all Evils, was most grievous?"’—The Grecian said, Old-Age, oppress'd with Poverty.—The Indian answer'd, Pain, under Impatience.—But the Persian de­cided it to be Death, without Good Works be­fore it.

IF the want of Good Works is all, that makes Death Terrible, the great Bestower of the mentioned Blessing cannot fail to die, with Chearfulness.—It must be Impossible for her to want Joy, at her last Moments: But it may be fear'd, she will carry it away with her to the other World;—For this will be left, in Sorrow.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 31.
FRIDAY, July 6. 1724.

— Teque his, Infaelix, Exue Monstris.
OVID.
Good Mr. Plain-Dealer,

I AM a young Widow-Woman, that was bred and born in Wapping; and, had one of the Best of Husbands; that was Master of as good a Ship as ever us'd the Guiney-Trade. But he dy'd, in his last Voyage, as he was bringing Home a great Elephant for a Token: And I have taken a strange Fancy to the Beast, because he puts me in Mind of my poor Husband.—Most of our African-Company have been to see him; and they all agree, there is more in him, than in a whole Court of Assistants.

BUT, for all he looks so big, there is no Manner of Harm in him. He is as Tame, as one of us, Women; and plays twenty clever Tricks, to make People merry, that make much of him.—One cou'dn't forbear laughing, tho' one lay a dying, to see, how the good-natur'd, clumsy, Beast will dance Moll Peatly! He will so catch up his Feet, [Page 250] and frisk round, in a small Compass; and thump the Floor, to keep Time; and move his Back-side to the Musick! and, in short, your other End o' the Town Dancing-Masters, are no Body at all, to him!

HE plays at Trap-Ball, in a Rope-Walk, by our House; and strikes out the Ball with his Snout; and is the comicalest poor Crea­ture alive, to be sure!—A Gunner, and a Man of War's Chaplain of my Acquaintance, are, now, very busy, in teaching him to dance upon the Ropes; and I must needs say, he comes on, very towardly; only, he look'd a little silly, at first, and tumbled off, when they cry'd, Jump, for the King; and cou'dn't keep steady, for the Life of him.—He cracks Nuts, with his Nose: and makes a woeful Splutter, when he gets Loose among the Herb-Womens Apple-Baskets.—All my Neighbours love him; and tell me, that he will bring in a world of Money, if I would but make a Show of him.—Pray, what is your Opinion? And where-abouts, do you think, it will be best for me to set up, with him? In answering this you will do an Act of great Kindness, to

Your afflicted, humble Servant, SUSAN SOFTLY.
Honourable SIR,

OBSERVING by some of your Plain-Dealers, that you are a great Admirer of the Czar of Muscovy, I humbly presume to acquaint you, that I am, lately, come out of his Country; and have brought with me a Commodity, call'd a Russian Bear.—He has shar'd very largely, in the Improvements of his Fellow Subjects; for, he can fiddle, as well as any Body; he sits bolt up on End, and holds his Kit in one Paw, with the Butt End against his Belly; and, with his Fiddle­stick in the other Paw, tunes it away, after the Italian Manner, with his Head o' one side, all in Raptures, at his own Harmony!—It wou'd do your Heart good, to look at him, when he is splitting a Note into Graces: For he shakes his Nose, and his Paw, together, with such a Variety of melodious Quavering, that his Ear must be confess'd as delicate, as if he had been a Subscriber to the Opera.

BUT, there is one Thing, that I take to be a very particular Happiness to him! He looks, when he is Grave, for all the World, like that Ingenious Swiss Gentleman, that has so many diverting Fancies, to get Money, by making Ladies, and Gentlemen, merry together. If they were to be dress'd both alike, I am confident there wou'd be no knowing 'em asunder. May be, that may go a great Way, toward making the poor Thing's Fortune.—I have him, here in [Page 252] Town, but he is out of Business, at pre­sent, so, if you cou'd but be so kind as to put him in some Way of Preferment, he shall wait on you, where you please; and enter­tain you with a Sample Lesson: Which is all, that offers, at this Time from, Honourable SIR,

Yours to Command, JONAS QUEER.

I TACK this extraordinary Pair of Epistles together, because of a manifest Resemblance in their Contents; and, for that I am desirous to promote a Union between Mrs. Softly, and Mr. Queer.—Their Beasts, at least, if not themselves, must be subscribed into a Joint-Stock, for the better carrying on of their Trade.—They may afterwards debate, at Leisure, concerning the Incorporation of their Persons. But, certain it is, that two Animal Artists, of such Sagacity, as both the African, and the Russian Stranger, cou'd never have honour'd London with their Residence, at a properer Time than this: Or, with a fairer Promise, for their own Benefit.

SOME Statesmen, who look deep into Nati­onal Consequences; and discern at a Distance, the Fate of Mightiness, and Ministry, have pre­tended to foresee the sudden Downfall of Opera!—Who knows, if such a melancholy Revolu­tion shou'd befall the Polite World; but these two, qualify'd, Performers, may take Possession [Page 253] of that deserted Theatre; and, under the Au­spices of so noble, and so unanimous, a Board of Directors, out-do, even the surprizing Things, which have already been heard, and seen, there!

OR, suppose, it were, yet, a Winter, before the Haymarket will be in a Condition to receive them: They cannot fail, in the mean Time, to meet with more than reasonable Encourage­ment, if they but apply themselves to the Ma­nagers, of either of our Theatres: In one, of which, they labour under such a want of good Actors, that two such accomplish'd Comedians (having the Advantage, too, of being foreign Ones!) may, certainly, make their own Terms, if they are inclinable to strengthen the Youngest Company: Or, if Fortune, against her usual Custom, most propitious to her old Favourites, shou'd dispose their Choice another Way; they may be entertain'd, as Friends, and Allies, up­on the Foot of well-paid Subsidies; the Com­manding Officers, of those Veterans, entering, lately, with much Vivacity upon New Plans of Action, which fall, immediately, within the Genius of our fourfooted Virtuoso's.

HAVING barely touch'd this Hint for the Service of my Correspondents, who are Per­sons, of great Parts and Industry; I come now to say a Word or two, in my own Person, to the Stages.

MUCH of the Summer is, yet, before us; and Winter, being the Season of our Theatri­cal Campaigning, I shall prepare myself against [Page 254] that Time, to take the Field, at their first Marching: and move, with one, or other of the Bodies, during the whole Course of their Operations. My Readers may then, expect to be entertain'd, from my private Journal, with the Good, or Bad, Discipline, of both Armies: and the Personal Conduct of their Generals, in the Exercises, Evolutions, Sallies, Stratagems, or Engagements, they shall, at any Time be concern'd in.—Let 'em therefore stand warn'd: and assure themselves, that I shall animadvert on their Behaviour, with a Frankness, they have been little us'd to; and lay 'em Open, like a PLAIN DEALER.

BUT, to enter on another Subject, I have receiv'd several Letters, from the Female Part of my Care, to complain of my Odious Title, (so they call it!) of PLAIN DEALER.—They had heard of me, it seems, but did not dream I had any Thing in me.—They took my Business to have been Politicks.—They little thought me the Man they find me.—Instead of Humour, and Wit, they look'd for Bluntness, and Malice, from a surly, old, Fellow, that was setting him­self up for a Cynick,—with a great deal more, to the same Purpose. But one arch Flirt, among the Rest, is for forcing me to declare myself, that People may know, what to make of me. She is at a Loss how to think, or what to say, of my Papers; and can neither like, nor dislike, with any Manner of Certainty, till she hears, whether I am a Whig, or a Tory?—She adds, in a Postscript, ‘"That, perhaps, I may think [Page 255] indifferently of both, and pretend to an Im­pudent Neutrality, like the Old Grasier, in our Civil Wars: who, when he was met, on the Road, by Either of the opposite Parties, and ask'd: For King? Or for Parliament? told 'em.—For Neither: 'till both were wiser.

THE Hotheads, and Testimonies, of this pre­sent Generation, think it a Disgrace to their Vivacity, not to be as briskly in the Wrong, as their Ancestors. And I pity, very heartily, the Condition of the King's poor Subject, who has sent me the following Letter.

Master PLAIN DEALER,

I WISH you wou'd lend me but one Lash, or two, of your PLAIN DEALING, for some Folks, in Red-Coats, and Others, in no Coats at all: For, if Things go on, as they stand now, an honest Man won't be able to travel the Road, pro, and con, for a Set of silly Busy-Bodies, that must be medling with us, about Things, that we have other Matters to do, than to think of. For, you must know, Master Plain-Dealer, if you please, That I drive a peaceable Waggon, of my own; and have done so, these Thirty Years, without being molested in my Calling: till now lately, that a Pack of strange People have got a Whim into their Heads, to make us Englishmen, all of one Mind:—But, if ever they bring it about, I will be hang'd, for 'em.

[Page 256] ABOUT Six a Clock, in the Morning on the Nine and Twentieth Day of May last, I, and my Waggon, were met, near a Wood-Side, by a Knot, of fifty, or sixty, roaring Fellows, stuck all over with Oaken Boughs; and loaded with Branches of the same.—They stopt me, in the Road, to know, Whe­ther I lov'd the Memory of King Charles the Second.—I said, Yes, with all my Soul.—At that Word, they fell a dancing, and set up a loud Huzzaing: waving their Hats, and their Boughs, till my Team became frighted, and took 'em all to be bewitch'd, and was within a Hair's Breadth of running away with my Waggon. Then, they hand­ed me a two Quart Brandy-Bottle; and bid me drink a Dram, To the Glorious Memory of the Restoration: And, as soon as I had got it down, they gave a great Shout, again, stuck my Horses, and my Waggon, all over with Green Boughs; said, I was a very honest Fellow: and had a Heart of English Oak. And, so, we parted, with much Ceremony, and Satisfaction, on both Sides.

BUT, before Eleven, the same Day, as I was driving into a Town, where my Waggon was to Dine, there came up, in a great Rage, seven or eight of the Troopers, that were quarter'd there; and ask'd me, What I bush'd out my Horses for? I told 'em, To drive Flies away: But they said I was a Jacobite Rascal,—that my Horses were guilty of High-Treason; and my Waggon ought to be [Page 257] hang'd.—I answer'd, That it was already drawn; and within a Yard or two, of be­ing Quarter'd; but as to being hang'd, It was a Compliment, we had no Occasion for, and therefore desir'd them to take it back again, and keep it in their own Hands, 'till they had an Opportunity to make Use of it:—I had no sooner spoke these Words, but they fell upon me, like Thun­der, stript my Cattle in a Twinkling; and beat me black and blue, with my own Oaken Branches.

THIS went off, and I thought no more of it: 'till the Tenth Day of June came. I was then Inn'd in London; and, from where my Waggon lay, in Holborn, I went to Soho Square, to deliver a little Parcel, that I had brought up, for my Landlord's Lady.—She order'd, That I should have as much Strong Beer, as I cou'd drink, and that I should drink a Health to her Inclinations.—She smil'd at me, and was so kind, as to give me, out of her own Hand, a fine Nosegay of White Roses. I was very proud of my Nosegay, for my Lady's Sake, that had given it me: And went along the Street smelling to it, thinking all the Way as I walk'd, How pretty it looks in your Gentry, to be so free and good-natur'd with a poor Man, as I am: When, all of a sudden, a Scarecrow, lean Man, in a fine lac'd Coat, snatch'd it out of my Hand, and another Gentleman in red, who was along with Him, [Page 258] lent me a Cut cross the Shoulders, with a cursed smarting Cane, and told me,—That he would teach such a dirty Dog, as I was, to be smelling to Tory Roses.

IF I could have got one of these fine Fel­lows all alone with me, in my Waggon, I shou'd have made him know his Driver.—But as it was, I thought it best to shew him a good Pair of Heels for it.—Which of us might have run fastest, in a fair Field of Battle, I can but give a guess at.—Up­on this Occasion, it was my Luck to be nimblest, and outstrip Both of 'em.—I don't know, for my Part, what to make of all these Doings. They are strange Times we live in; and as I love to be musing, when I have nothing else to do, methinks, very often, as I travel along the Road, from one End of the Kingdom to another, and find the People of such different Notions, I fancy my Waggon and I are moving upon a Draft Board; Old England is turn'd Chec­quer Work, and mix'd Black and White all over. So, wishing Things wou'd mend, I rest, Master PLAIN DEALER,

Your humble Servant to Command, RALPH DOBBYN.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 32
FRIDAY, July 10. 1724.

Verane te facies? Verus mihi nuncius affers?
Vivo equidem, vitamque extrema per omnia duco:
Ne dubita, nam vera vides.
VIR.
Omnem crede diem tibi diluxisse Supremum;
Grata superveniet, quae non sperabitur, hora.

I MADE a Visit, the other Day, to a Gen­tleman, who has a Country-House, near London; and, while we refresh'd ourselves with a Social Glass, in a Summer Bower, which he has rais'd above the Corner of his Garden-Wall, I observ'd him to fix his Eyes, with much Attention, on the Gate of a stately Building, that stood on the opposite Side of the Road.—The Mistress, said he, of that fine House, has been charming me, all this Morning, in a Poem, which was written, in Praise of her Extraordinary Beauty, by a very celebrated, English, Genius.—The warm, and lively, Imagination of the Poet has plac'd her exactly before me! I feel, methinks, the Influence of her Eyes! I am inchanted, by her Air and Movement!—But I lose my self in Rapture, while I seem to gaze upon [Page 260] that Spring of Youth, which he describes with so much Wantonness! That living, thinking, Bloom! that quickens her soft Languor; and adds Health, and Joy, to Loveliness.—But, see!—Look yonder! The very Charmer comes, This! this! is she: This gay, young, wish'd, ador'd dear Master-piece of Nature; whom I have been reading of, with so much Transport.

I STARTED up, in great Amazement; and, inflam'd by eager Curiosity, look'd out, to see this Prodigy.—But I beheld no other than a thin, wither'd, stooping, old Lady; whom Two Servants, with much seeming Difficulty, supported; and were leading along, between them, toward a Coach, that waited for her, at the Gate. Her Head, and both her Hands, shook, strongly, with the Palsey; but every other Part seem'd motionless, and quite insen­sible.—I sigh'd at the Appearance of so mortifying an Object! And recall'd my Eyes, from aking at it, to fix 'em, reproachfully, upon my Friend, for his ill-pointed Levity, in sporting with the Weakness, and Misery of Human Nature.—Yet This, said he, was once, so chang'd as we now see her! that Di­vine! that Godlike! that resistless Miracle! whom, to contemplate, in Dryden's warm De­scription of her Influence, when the Hearts of a gay Monarch, and a Court of Rival Lovers, were the Trophies of her Beauty, Who cou'd think, that Time wou'd thus re­duce her, to a Contradiction of all those flou­rishing [Page 261] Attractions; which, though perish'd in the chang'd Original, will bloom, for ever, in the Poet's Picture.

I PROTEST, the sudden Shock, which this malicious Artfulness of my good Friend's Mo­rality surpriz'd and struck me with, quite damp'd, and overwhelm'd my Chearfulness.—I sicken'd, at this too near and naked View of Life, without its Palliatives.—I resolv'd to drink no more.—Your Wine, said I, has lost its Relish, and your Society is grown in­sipid; from the tingling Thoughts which you have fill'd me with.—So, rising for my Hat and Gloves, I took my Leave abruptly, and walk'd homeward, cross the Fields, oppress'd with musing Melancholy.

I have not, to this Moment, lost the Weight of its Oppression; and shall never cease to wonder, That the Young reflect so seldom on the Shortness of their Spring, when yet the Old are always near us; and the Younger coming up behind, to push us forward into Winter.—It was a sharp and startling An­swer, That of the Armenian Beggar, who, leaning double on his Staff, was ask'd by a young jesting Coxcomb, How much that Bow had cost him? For I wou'd be glad, said he, to buy one—Have Patience, answer'd the old Man, and, if God prolongs your Life, you will have as good a one for nothing.

THERE is but one Thing Here, that can deserve our constant Thoughts, and that is the very Thing, which we most hate to think of! [Page 262]—What ought, so frequently, to busy our Remembrance, as the only sure, and unavoid­able common Lot of ALL who ever liv'd, who now do live; or who shall live here­after?—Where are, now, Times past?—We toil, and strive, and labour on, through Life, as if to live were our chief Business! Unmindful, all the while, what empty Sha­dows we are grasping at; and for how short a Time, and how uncertainly they can be Ours, when we have gain'd them. What is become of all those busy Bustlers, who have liv'd and died before us? Are they not vanished, and forgotten? They have made their Way thro' Life, as an Eagle does through Air; and their Path is clos'd up after them; nor have they left a Track to follow by.

TIME is the greatest of all Deceivers; but deceives us, without flattering us.—It has a Tongue in every Steeple; and points its Finger to the Dial's Shadow, to alarm and give us Notice. But we neglect its hourly Summons; we trust its gentle Pace, against the Harshness of its Warning. Yet, were we wise, we should think Time a smooth, but precipitate Current, that carries us down to Death, whether we are bound thither, or no: And He will, always, have the roughest Pas­sage, who, instead of gliding quietly, will be struggling to swim against it.

LIFE has nothing, that is truly desirable, but the Presence of those we love; yet this, of all its Pleasures, is most precarious and [Page 263] unstable.—Are we charm'd by the Power of Beauty? Let us learn from such an Object, as the once blooming Lady, whom I have been speaking of, that it is a false and fluid Prospect.—It is chang'd since Yesterday; and will be further chang'd, To-morrow.—All, that is Ours, is mutable. We still, in­deed, live on; but we are no longer what we have been, nor can we continue what we are. Though the River is still known by its old Name, its Waters, To-day, are not the same Waters that were Yesterday. Not our Blood alone is flowing, and in constant Motion; our Faces, Strength, Health, Comforts, Fears, Joys, Miseries, and Dangers, all move and mix us in one Gulph, Eternity!

I KNOW nothing so ridiculous, as what is call'd being serious: nor is any thing more idle, than what we usually term Business.—We wou'd be fortunate, lov'd, fear'd, great, every thing, but what we shou'd be:—For, whoever, in this Life, proposes to be com­pleatly happy, hopes to build, like the Men of Babel; and wou'd raise a Pile, as high as Heaven, without Foundation to erect it on. The World is too narrow to allow Dimensions for a Basis, where the wild-intended Height is so unproportionably extravagant.

The Mahometans, who affect, after the an­cient Manner of the Eastern Writers, to ex­press their Moral Doctrine, in a kind of pro­verbial Chain of Parallels; say, there are six Things which a wise Man will ground no [Page 264] Hopes on:—The Colour of a Cloud, be­cause imaginary. The Friendship of the Co­vetous, because mercenary. The Love of Women, because inconstant. Beauty, be­cause frail. Praise, because airy: And, the Pleasures of this World, because deceitful.

IT is equally to be wonder'd at, since Life is so little valuable, and Death so certain, and unavoidable, ‘"That we should be so unrea­sonably fond of the One; and, so fruitlessly afraid of the Other."’ There is no Harbour on this Side Death: And, the nearer we ap­proach to those shining Follies, which we pur­sue with such dangerous Eagerness, the more we multiply our Cares, and distract and weary our own Purposes. The whole Earth is not broad enough for two proud Fools to quarrel in! whereas Death is the End of Contest, the weary Man's Repose, the great Man's Glory, the sick Man's Health, the poor Man's Com­fort; and a Shelter against Wrongs and Mi­sery.

SINCE a Traveller can enjoy Pleasure, by often thinking on his Journey's End, while he is yet but upon the Road toward it; why might not Death be made familiar to us, and disrob'd of its false Terrors, by accustoming ourselves to look out for it? To acquaint our selves with it, at a Distance, during our Jour­ney, through Life to it? Life is, properly, a Journey; but differs from our other Journeys, of less Consequence, in this surprizing Parti­cular, ‘"That we are travelling as fast, while [Page 265] we are sleeping, and intend no Progress; as, when we are awake, and know we are moving.’

LIFE, then, being a Journey, Death, I think, may be consider'd as an Inn at the Land's End: And, since the Traveller, when he comes thither, is still oblig'd to go farther; and must set out for Discoveries, upon a deep and unknown Ocean; if he takes not along with him, fit Provisions for his Voyage, he must be either a Fool or a Madman.

THE Difference between the Great Man, and the Good Man, is never so plainly seen as when they, both, come to die. Then, the one shuts his Eyes; and steps, trembling, and in the Dark, into the Dreadfulness of Uncer­tainty: While the other smiles, with Joy, up­on the Enlargement of his opening Prospect; and comes, out of a miry Labyrinth, into Day-light, and a boundless Champian!—I sometimes take Pleasure to consider the Birth of Man, as a Commitment of his Soul to Pri­son; where, during the Life of the Body, it is chain'd short, and can move but a creeping Pace; and in limited and dusky Stages. But, it is set free, and unfetter'd, by Death, and, at one Spring, reaches Heaven.—Such Dis­charge is, to the Soul, what Light is, to the Eye; when it opens Colours, and Objects, which before, were conceal'd in Darkness.

Thus, then, when it is said, we die, we are rather born into real Being; we are infran­chis'd, by the Grant of Death, and incorpo­rated [Page 266] among the Millions upon Millions, who have died before us. Those we leave, are a Number, very small and inconsiderable, in Comparison with those we go to. The Patri­archs, the Prophets, the Apostles, the heroick Conquerors, the shining Poets of Antiqui­ty, and the whole, assembled Congress, of long-known and glorious, Characters, who have flourish'd, from the World's Creati­on, are to be the Company, to whose fami­liar Converse Death will introduce us.—And, that we may add one charming Hope, to warm and sweeten, all the rest! There, too, we shall, perhaps, embrace, and be restor'd to, those lost Friends, we lov'd, most dearly: and whom we never more expected to have met with.

BUT, I will, now, relieve my Readers from the Severity of these Reflections, by entertaining them with a Copy of Verses; which, I am assur'd, were, really, written to a Lady, eminent for her Wit, and Beauty: by a Gentleman, who thought it no Disgrace to her Loveliness, to mix his Admiration of it, with the Memory, that she was mortal.

To CLELIA, in the COUNTRY. On the pulling down St. Martin's Church.
WHILE from the noisy Crowd, you lean, retir'd,
In silent Shades, by Love of Thought inspir'd,
I, vex'd by varied Cares, to Business chain'd,
Mourn'd your lost Converse, and in Town remain'd.
[Page 267]Dark, as the Midnight World, your Sunshine gone,
Guideless, in sullen Gloom, I wander'd on.
Passion's wild Influence ebb'd, and flow'd, my Mind;
As Seas drive diff'rent, with the changing Wind.
But, to what Point soe'er my Will was bound,
In vain I turn'd th'unresting Compass round:
Doubtful, a while, the wav'ring Needle hung;
Then, trembling, backward to your Image sprung.
Pensive, I view'd a Sacred Pile, of late,
Which falls, like Man, to rise in nobler State.
The Doors, thrown wide, it seem'd unveil'd to lie:
And rev'rend Ruin struck my startled Eye!
Ent'ring, amidst the busy Hammers Sound,
I saw Time's dusty Trophies scatter'd round.
Each violated Pillar stood, bedew'd;
And wept, in solemn Grief, a Fate so rude.
From Tombs, by Force disjoin'd, reluctant Stones
Roll'd, mix'd with Clouds of Dust, and human Bones.
From faithless Walls, defac'd Inscriptions fled:
And to long Night consign'd the nameless Dead.
The Pews pale Squares, in their whole lengthen'd Row,
Gave Way, and open'd a sad Scene, below!
Beauty, Youth, Wealth, and Pow'r, reduc'd to Clay,
Larded with Bones, yet moist, unshelter'd, lay.
Remnants of Eyeless Skulls, with concave Stare,
Mock'd the proud Looks, which living Charmers wear.
Coffins rose, broke, unfaithful to their Trust!
And Flesh flew round me, in unjointed Dust.
Scarce a short Span, beneath that op'ning Floor,
Where kneeling Charmers pray'd, the Week before;
Where Forms, like Yours! rejoic'd th' admiring Eye,
Forms, once, like Yours! in naked Atoms, lie.
[Page 268]O! Fate of failing Life! O! flatt'ring, Dream!
What wintry Sunshine is Thy shadowy Gleam!
Thus, while I mus'd, Thy Soul approach'd my Ear:
Thy soft-wing'd Soul! that, always, hovers near.
See'st Thou, it sigh'd, How these sad Relicks lie!
And do'st Thou fear, that CLELIA thus can die?
No, she's All Mind: and Her immortal Name,
Eluding Death's short Reach, shall tread on Fame.
Tongues, yet unthought-of, CLELIA shall adorn,
And charm adoring Nations, yet unborn.
Heroes, at whose Resolves the World will shake,
Shall treat thy Sex with Rev'rence, for thy Sake:
And each fair Tyrant, who wou'd Empress be,
Form but One Wish—
"To Think, and Look, like Thee.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 33.
MONDAY, July 13. 1724.

Ostendit Tibi Te. —
HOR.

AMONG some extraordinary Epistles, which have been lately sent me, I had the Honour to receive the following, from the Right Worshipful Mr. Alderman Blunder: But, not thinking fit to reply to it, explicite­ly, I have only taken it, Ad Referendum, as [Page 269] our good Neighbours, the Dutch States, re­ceive Petitions, which they find themselves inclinable to answer with the political Elo­quence of saying nothing.

SIR,

I, And Mr. Weathercock, were at a Tavern, with Ned Volatile; who may have Wit, for any thing I know to the contrary: But, as for Money, I dare be positive, that the first Time he saves Six-pence, will be when he has but a Groat in his Pocket. And yet this extravagant young Fellow (as I have lately been well inform'd) has the under­hand Impudence to make Love to my Daugh­ter!—A Whim took him, while we were merry together, that he must set himself, forsooth, to Scribbling.—Presently, it comes into my Head, that he was writing a Love-Letter to my Daughter: And so, pretending to mind nothing but Talking, I lean'd back in my Chair, and overlook'd what he was doing.—But, as if the young Rogue had had Eyes in his Elbows, he broke off what he had begun, and writ, thus, in a new Place.—If an impertinent Old Fellow, that sits by me, did not overlook what I am writing, I should have told you a plea­sant Secret—I let him alone, as far as this; but, then, being thoroughly provok'd, at his calling me Names, I told him round­ly, That he was a Lyar, and an unmannerly young Coxcomb, to pretend to write Folks [Page 270] Word, that I overlook'd his Letter, when I had not so much as seen a single Word he had been writing.—The only Answer he gave me, was, to laugh till he tumbled out of his Chair. But I wou'd have him to know, that this is no laughing Matter. Mr. Wea­thercock says, he is in the Wrong: But, that he was in the Right of it too. I don't much like this Decision, because I can't tell what to make of it; so I resolv'd to refer it to you; and, pray tell the pert young Jack­anapes his own: which is the Needful.

I rest, Yours to serve you, HABAKKUK BLUNDER.

P.S. Mr. Thomas Tiresome has something to say, which he will write, by the same Hand.

Worthy SIR,

MY good Friend, the Alderman, saying, he was to write to you upon extraor­dinary Business, makes me lay hold on this Opportunity, to ask a little of your wise Advice, what I shall do with the Sum of Twelve Hundred and Ninety Three Pounds Sterling, which are come back upon my Hands, by selling out my India Stock, very seasonably, upon this melancholy Story, that is whisper'd about, so cautiously, concern­ing the Great Mogul's entering into an Alli­ance against Prince Tockmas, and the Czar [Page 271] of Muscovy?—My Broker is for South-Sea Dipping: Because, now, says he, it is Low-Water, in those Parts, and the Danger of Drowning not half so great, as it was for­merly. But, I believe, I shall stay, till their New House is quite finish'd; and, then, perhaps, I may, for any thing I see to the contrary, stay still a little longer: For the young King of Spain seems to have more in his Head than ordinary. They say he is angry with the Irish already, because of the Bustle they made at Cadiz lately; and, if the next he falls out with shou'd be the English, South-Sea will go near to pinch for it.—Besides, who can tell (you know) what may happen, upon the Choice of this New Pope? He won't let People wear good Cloaths: And, some of our publick Prints say, that he is so horribly covetous, that he makes the Cardinals go bald-headed, to save the Charge of buying Perriwigs! Pray, what can be his Meaning, in all this, but only to ruin the Protestant In-Interest, and make Stocks fall, to destroy Trade, in downright Spite to Old England? The poor Bays-Makers, at Colchester, seem to suffer for it, already: And the Weavers that are Up, about Columpton, have much ado to be kept Quiet at it!—Then, again, What could the French King mean, by calling home the Marshal de Villeroy? I make no Doubt, but there is some Mischief in that too.—In short, while Things stand in this [Page 272] ticklish Posture, a wary Man will think twice, before he runs into the Stocks.—Indeed, if the King of Prussia should come over, there might be some Reason for ven­turing: But, as it is, I am afraid, I must lay out my Money in Lottery Tickets: For, when all comes to all, that is the only abso­lute Certainty.—Knowing you to be a long-headed Man, would be glad to have your Opinion, in a Matter of such extraordinary Difficulty.

Your Friend, THOMAS TIRESOME.
Mr. PLAIN DEALER,

I AM a good agreeable young Woman, of a very Loyal Family: and have a most mortal Aversion for a Roundhead. It gives me no small Pain to observe how fast they increase, in this present Generation. Pray, make publick Proclamation, in the Name of Us our ownself, and many Hundred unsub­scribing, Spinsters, who adhere to our Opinion, ‘"That a Fat, Chubby Face, with a Short, Thick Neck, and Broad, Big Shoulders, were never made for Nightcap Perriwigs, of the New, Scarecrow Model! that shew the Ears a little of the Longest: but all the rest of the Head, as Round, and as Empty, [Page 273] as a Cypher."’—Give the Great O's this Hint, from

Your humble Servant, ARAMINTA SQUEAMISH.
Old PLEASANT ONES,

THIS comes to acquaint you, That my dear Spouse is taken sick, of a sudden, and stands in need, to the utmost Degree, of that Experience in Mind-Midwifery, which you gave out Bills about, in your XXVIIth Paper.—Pray, let Doctor Jyngle be sent for, immediately: And beg him to come away, whether his Chariot is brought home or no.—We must have him, though he comes in a Wheel-barrow.—The Bearer knows how to bring him: And, pray, let his Emetics be such as will work deep, and fetch up Choler, as well as Flegm.—Rage­ing Jealousy is the Distemper: And, if the Bitter, and Green, and Yellow, that lie as low as my poor Fubsy's Heart, is not, all, brought away by it, he had e'en as good give her a Caudle.

BUT, unless Doctor Jyngle has better Phy­sick, for sick Minds, than those Poetical Pills, which you prescribe, out of the Classi­cal Dispensatory, I shall have little Faith in his Modus of Practising.—I have try'd, to no Purpose, an admirable Modern Doctor, who has given us finer Recipe's of that Kind, for Cure of either the Hot or Cold [Page 274] Fits of Jealousy, than the whole College of your Ancients, Greeks, and Romans, put to­gether.—I love him at my Heart, and have most of his Lectures without Book. And, I am sure, he is profoundly skill'd in my dear Love's Distemper, by this feeling Force, with which he speaks of it:

Oh, Jealousy!—All other Storms are Calms
To Thee!—Thou Conflagration of the Soul!

THAT Word Conflagration, is the very Picture of my Fubsy's Symptoms!—I had prepared, from the Salutary Works of this learned Gentleman, a healing Linctus, that I thought infallible, if my afflicted Deary cou'd be persuaded but to apply her Tongue to it now and then, in order to dulcify her picquant Palate, when the acid Particles should rise too vehemently. I had got it ready written, upon a Sheet of her own gilt Paper; and the last Time she was taken, I gave it kindly into her Hands, and desired her to apply it moderately. She look'd it over, with great Composure; and I began to conceive such Hope, that I took up an untasted Sillabub, that had just been set be­fore us, and intreated her, if the Physick was too bitter, that she would wash down the Taste of it, with a Sip or two of that emollient Sweetner. But the Spout was no sooner within a Foot of her pretty Lips, when the Conflagration, abovemention'd, [Page 275] blaz'd out at both her Eyes; and, with a frightful flaming Face, she tore the Recipe in a thousand Pieces; and burnt so strong, and so outragiously, that, fearing I should be scorch'd as she flew toward me, and not be­ing, just then, provided with one of Mr. God­frey's Chymical Extinguishers, I had no Way left to quench the Fire, but by Affusion of my Sillabub; which, very fortunately, put her out, by the Copiousness of its Adhesion. But I was so frighted at the Ebullition that ensued immediately upon it, that I ran away as fast as I was able; having left her a good deal cool'd, and in a fair Way to be extin­guish'd.

I THOUGHT it proper to give you this Intelligence, how far I have fail'd, that Doctor Jyngle may come, prepar'd, with more powerful, and searching Remedies.—Let him make but a thorough Cure, and I'll warrant him we do his Business. There are Nine-and-Thirty Ladies of Quality, of my Fubsy's particular Acquaintance, who are All down, at this very Time, of the self-same Distemper; and All taken, too, with the Conflagration, exactly as she, her­self, is. He shall never want good Patients, if his Emeticks but go to the Bottom.—I am, in no small Impatience,

Dear PLEASANT ONES,
Thine, most Expectantly, GREGORY DINGLE, Knight.
Mr. Plain-Dealer,

I HAVE a wonderful Piece of News for you; and desire, that you will apprize the World, That Wit may be worth some­thing, when a little Good Fortune goes along with it.—My Muse was so long my Mistress, that I began to grow weary of her; and she has been so kind, in the very Nick, as to help me to a Wise.—I had been in Love above three Years, and never got three good Words from the dear Ty­rant; 'till I went a Fishing with her, one hot Evening, in the Middle of last Month.—She delighted much in Angling, out of an old Summer-House, over a River, that makes part of her own Royalty.—Upon these Occasions, you must know, I was always her Humble Trout; and it was my Business to bait her Hooks, and sit, and read to her while she watch'd her Fishing Rods. But, that happy Evening, abovemention'd, I had, upon a Hint out of Doctor Donne, compos'd three little Stanza's; and, hiding the Paper they were waitten in, betwixt the Leaves of one of the Volumes of Dry­den's Miscellanies, I read her the Title, and Verses, as if they had been part of the Print­ed Collection.

[Page 277]
To a LADY, who lov'd ANGLING.
SOme, by the bending Reed's slow Aid,
May boast th' unwary Fish betray'd:
Others may finny Shoals beset,
And sweep 'em with the treach'rous Net.
But, why shou'd SYLVIA use Deceit,
Who is, herself, her own best Bait?
Step but, undress'd, within the Brook,
And smile at every needless Hook:
Each willing Fish will round thee swim,
Gladder to catch thee, than thou him.
Or, if one Fish, uncaught, goes by,
That Fish is Wiser, far than I!

She was taken with 'em, as I cou'd wish; and, without dreaming that they were mine, cry'd out, to hear 'em again; for nothing, sure! was ever so pretty: But, observing me very careful to conceal the Inside of the Book, she snatch'd it out of my Hand; and, discovering her Mistake, blush'd, and cry'd Pish!—and look'd most charmingly silly!—But, in short, my Bait took so well, that I have now got her on a Hook, that she is never like to slip off from, 'till one of us has done with Fishing in this World; which has at present, no happier Creature in it, than

Your most fortunate Humble Servant, PETER TROUT.
SIR,

IT is said, that England, within this last Century, is grown Richer, and more Po­tent, beyond Comparison, than in the Days of our Forefathers. I verily believe, it is so: Because the Increase of Rank Weeds is a natural Indication of Strength in the Soil that breeds them. I was reading, the other Day, That in the Reign of King Edward the Second, the Number of Attorneys was limitted; and one hundred and forty declar'd sufficient, to serve the whole Kingdom!

WHAT a Surplusage of rapacious Claws has this Nation then to spare, if we were dis­pos'd to cut our Nails, and send the Parings to our Neighbours!—Put the Case, Mr. Plain-Dealer, That yout Friend, the Czar of Russia, were to borrow thirty or forty thousand of our Inns o'Court Labourers, to help his own clumsy Subjects, in Digging that Canal, for joining the two great Rivers you were mentioning? I can but smile to think, how happy they wou'd make him!—Let his Rivers be never so distant, they will bring 'em together by the Ears; and work away every Inch of the firm Ground between them.—You can't think, what an admirable Talent they have at your Dirty Work: for, where-ever they find a Hole, they never leave it, 'till it is past stopping.—So, pray, use your Interest, to procure a Transportation in that Monarch's Favour, [Page 279] of these Root-and-Branch Pioneers; for 'tis Pity, so great a Prince shou'd want an As­sistance that we cou'd lend him, without do­ing ourselves the least Hurt by it. I am,

Yours, as far as is left of me, GOOSE FEATHERLESS.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No. 34.
FRIDAY, July 17. 1724.

Notus in fratres animi paterni.
HOR.

I NEVER wak'd in more Harmony, and Composure of Mind, than I did Yesterday Morning; when, rising chearfully, with my Spirits more diffused than ordinary, I visited my Friend the Major, whose Face, as often as I see it, makes me happier than I was be­fore. From his firm, and steady Temper, I learn to break the Force of my Disappoint­ments, by the Patience with which I receive them: And I am taught, by his Generosity, to feel the Weight of no Misfortunes, but those which oppress my Friends, whom I love, without being able to comfort.—When I see this Gentleman despising, and even adorning [Page 280] himself by, his Afflictions, I am ashamed to have ever murmured, or considered my own as burthensome.

I FOUND this faithful Friend reading one of my printed Papers, and entertaining his lit­tle Family, with all the Chearfulness of the Fortunate.—He rose, and received me, smiling. I have been Reasoning away some Pain, said he, by the Influence of your PLAIN DEALER. How powerful are your Thoughts? And how happy am I in your Friendship? What a Force of Delight comes with the Praise of those we love? It is Musick to the Mind, and our Cares dissolve before it.

THE generous Fulness of his Heart, was prepared to say much more, if I had not in­terrupted him, by proposing a Walk into the Fields.—It was one of those sweet, sunless Days, when, though no Place was shelter'd, yet every Place would be shady. We had wander'd, without designing it, 'till we found ourselves by Chelsea-College. The Grandeur, Use, and Beauty of that Building, charm'd us into a short Silence, which the Major broke agreeably, by these apt, and just, Reflections.

THOUGH Charity is last in Rank, when we name the three great Virtues, it stands first, methinks, in Dignity; for it seems to include the others. There may be Faith, and Hope, where there is no Charity; but there can be no Charity without both. It imploys Faith in the easy Credit which it allows to affirm'd and rational Appearances: And it applies [Page 281] Hope to its own, and others Benefit, by in­dulging an Expectation, that all that is amiss, will mend; and Ills produce good Consequen­ces. The common Notion of this Virtue, centers in a contracted Beneficence toward the Support of the Poor and Needy: And that, too, for the most Part, when the Bestower has no longer the Power of enjoying what he parts with. Whereas Charity, in its noblest Sense, requires a Return of good Offices, to the very Malice that oppresses us: For, it teaches us not only to act well, but also to think generous­ly.—It banishes from the human Soul, all its sordid Affections; All Partiality to our own Interests; All Attachment to our own Opinions; All Jealousies, and low Suspicions, concerning the Designs, Words, and Actions, of those we hear of, or converse with. It is, in short, the great Refiner, and Ennobler of the Mind: It swells the Heart with Pity, Friendship, Justice, Pardon, Openness, and Magnanimity; And stifles the inward Strug­lings of Self-preference, Revenge, Distrust, Pride, Avarice, and Ignorance.

THOUGH it is certain, answered I, That Charity, at full Extent, is no less than you describe her; yet, even in the Sense most li­mitted, her Influence is sweet, and amiable. How wretched would many Thousands be, through want of the most common Comforts, if Ostentation did not borrow the white Robe of Charity, to disguise her Pride of Heart, in the Appearance of Humility! And if the [Page 282] Miser, on the Brink of Life, did not fill his trembling Hands with Benefits, that bless the Destitute as effectually, as if his Will, and not his Penitence, had urged him to bestow them!

HOW many want the Pity, which even an Hospital can give them? How many return hungry, cold, weary, disappointed, and de­spairing, to their famish'd, and unfriended Children? What double Death would it be to an unhoping, wanting Husband, to see the Breast of a lov'd Wife dry'd up with killing Want; and a dying Infant held, in vain, to her insensible, exhausted Bosom?—I know, you feel not that you can be miserable, 'till you think of the more miserable: And I should not, therefore, haunt so apprehensive a Re­flection, with Apparitions of imagined Sorrow. But, how frequent would such Lots become, if not prevented by the late, indeed, yet al­ways welcome, Bounty, of those Founders, even of our common Houses of Compassion? Our Monuments of Death-Bed Bribery! to which, for the Example's sake, This World allows the Name of Charity!

IT has been remarked, but, I hope, it was unjustly, That the Charity of Women is much narrower than that of Men.—If this is true, it is an Accident which must be owing to some Error in their Education; for Nature meant it otherwise, and soften'd their tender Minds, to fit them for Impressions of a mild, and pity­ing Quality.—In all the Sculptures, and fine Paintings of Antiquity, we see Charity repre­sented [Page 283] as a smiling Woman, to shew, it is the Sex's Virtue; and, that Sweetness, Grace, and Bounty, should adorn a Lady's Loveliness.—When I see a Woman fortunate, yet narrow-minded, and unmerciful, I look with Scorn upon her Beauty, and think most upon the Dross it covers. I grow angry at beholding such a gay and gilded Sepulchre, and turn my Eyes from her shining Dust, to the more grate­ful Earth, which it was taken from.

HOW different, replied the Major, from such a Woman as you are describing, is the charming Belvidera? I have seen her lovely Features, which give new Joy to the Trium­phant, languish, and look comfortless, when she has heard of the Unhappy.—Her Voice, which wakes the Soul, and calls it up into the Ear, with all the Musick of a Trumpet, falls, and trembles, when she talks of Wretchedness, which she is sensible she cannot remedy. The Numbers whom she obliges, have two Rival Benefactors, which divide and perplex their Gratitude; for they know not which most merits it, her Manner, or her Bounty.—To such a sweet Excess of Tenderness does Belvi­dera raise her Charity, that she would be old, unseen, unlovely, rather than adorable, as she now is; because she pains, where she must on­ly pity.—She is, at once, the most charming, and least conscious, of all Women!

WHILE we were speaking of her, we were surprized in the most agreeable Manner pos­sible, by the Sight of her Chariot passing us. [Page 284]—She bowed very humbly, and order'd it to stop; and, while her Servants retir'd, with a Politeness and Sensibility, which I have very seldom remark'd in Persons of their low Con­dition, she receiv'd us with an Air of Sweetness, that resembled the Idea which we have of a descending Angel.—She lamented, that she was in her Chariot; because her Coach, she said, might have held us all; she wou'd, there­fore, leave it, to bless our Walk. The Major offer'd her his Arm; at which I felt a kind of foolish Envy, which I knew not how to re­concile with my growing Passion for Patty Amble.

HOW attractive is Beauty, when it is sof­ten'd by the humblest Modesty, and yet dig­nify'd by Wit and Majesty!—She busied and delighted my Soul; and I was so trans­ported by her Voice and Sentiments, that I fell in Love with my own Silence, because it pro­long'd the Pleasure of her Speaking.

WE were join'd in this Place, very unex­pectedly, by Ned Volatile, who had enquir'd for us at the Major's, and rambled hither in pursuit of us. He had never seen Belvidera, nor so much as knew who she was, yet came up with his usual Air, of brisk Assurance and Sufficiency.—What! cry'd he, my Old Friends engag'd in a Confederacy against my Li­berty! Then he retreated, with a kind of counterfeit Astonishment, and, lowering his Voice, went on thus, looking, with a genteel Levity, upon the Lady; I don't know, Ma­dam, [Page 285] what undeserv'd good Opinion you may have, of these grave Gentlemen; but I shall never be brought to think patiently of 'em again.—'Twas ungenerous, and unpardonable, to give a poor Wretch no Warning; but draw him in, with an unguarded Breast, to stand the Mark of all these Charms, where it is impossible but I must fall by some of 'em!

Believe me, Sir, reply'd Belvidera, with a Mixture of Disdain and Compassion; The Danger you complain of, is too small to excuse your Terror.—However open your Heart may lie, few first Blows reach thither.—If you are wounded at Sight, the Hurt was only in your Eyes; and the Armour, you should have been defended by, was not a Breast-Plate, but a Head-Piece.

I SHALL never forget, with what an Air of Surprize and Awe, poor Ned Volatile start­ed back, at the piercing Voice of Belvidera, and from the smiling Sharpness of her Satire: But I love the young Rogue's Virtue; and, I own, my Heart triumph'd for him, under the Mortification of this Retreat; for it sate on him, methought, more gracefully, than all his natural Gayety.

HE kept behind us all the Way, in a sin­cere and becoming Confusion, listning, atten­tively, to Belvidera, without one Attempt to Rally: But I observ'd him, at length, draw out his Pocket-Book with a Sigh; in which, he writ for Three or Four Minutes, and then, giving it into my Hands, I found he had been [Page 286] penning down his Dying Speech, with a woful Warning to all Christian People, to take Ex­ample by his Suffering.

Let rash, young Fools for what I now endure,
Learn, never to believe their Hearts secure:
Once, O ye Gay! a striking Hour may come,
When Mirth shall cease to smile; and Wit grow dumb!
The light, low Jest! the giddy Repartee!
The chearful Triflings, of the Vain and Free!
When Love's warm Hand shall wake the wond'ring Heart,
Will shame the Mem'ry, and increase the Smart.
Oh! Love!—from Midnight Mirth, Wit, Friends, and Wine,
Take my snatch'd Soul, from this soft Moment Thine.

I COU'D not resist the Temptation I was under, to make Atonement for Ned's Imper­tinence, by presenting his Poetick Penitence to the Divine Belvidera: She perus'd it with a conscious Blush, and an Air of eloquent Dis­order, which has given a reviving Hope to the Distress of her new Lover. But it robb'd us too soon of her Company; for she took Leave presently after, and, permitting her Hand to Ned Volatile, stept, again, into her Chariot, and left us, melancholy, and dissa­tisfy'd.

THE Major and I, were for returning to our first Subject, and had resum'd the Dis­course of Charity; but Ned would have no­thing but Love. His whole Soul was fill'd [Page 287] with the Image of Belvidera: And a Passion, which, 'till now, he cou'd never mention se­riously, was become, on a sudden, the darling Theme of his Conversation.—Groves, Brooks, and Belvidera, were the Objects of his ena­mour'd Fancy.—Silence, Thought, Shade, Solitude, Things which he had never before a Notion of, presented themselves to his Ima­gination, as the most desirable Delights of Na­ture.—The Major oblig'd him beyond Ac­knowledgment, and won all that remain'd of his Heart, by talking to him of a Poem, which he cou'd shew him, when he came Home, call'd, The Picture of Love; and repeating out of it some Lines, the most adapted to Ned's new Circumstances.

Cautious, ye Fated! who frequent the Fair,
Your Breasts examine, nor too rashly dare.
Curb your untrusted Hearts, while yet they're free:
Love is resistless, when you feel 'tis He.
Small is the Soul's first Wound, from Beauty's Dart,
And scarce th' unheeded Fever warms the Heart.
Long, we mistake it, under Liking's Name:
A soft Indulgence! that deserves no Blame.
A Pleasure, we but take, to do her Right,
Whose Presence charms us, and whose Words delight!
Whose sweet Remembrance broods upon the Breast;
And whose dear Friendship is, with Pride, possess'd!
Excited thus, the smother'd Fire, at length,
Bursts into Blaze, and burns with open Strength.
[Page 288]This Image, which, before, but sooth'd the Mind,
Now lords it there, and rages unconfin'd.
Mixing with all our Thoughts, it wastes the Day;
And when Night comes, it dreams the Soul away;
Pungent Impatience tingles in each Vein,
And the Sick Bosom throbs, with aking Pain.

Ned was impatient to learn more, of a Lesson which he found so fit for him. But the Major, with much Difficulty, came off, by assuring him, that though he could remem­ber no more at present, yet he had it at Home in Manuscript, and would shew it him all an­other Time.—He then grew quiet, and walk'd on contentedly, 'till the full Advance of the Day put us in mind, that if we return'd, we might perhaps, find Dinner waiting for us.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 35
MONDAY, July 20. 1724.

— Davusne? Ita, Davus amicum
Mancipium Domino. —
HOR.

WHEN Souls of a superior Form, look Abroad, and discover among their honest Inferiors, Minds capable of the finest Impressions, and only in Danger of being ren­der'd [Page 289] barren by Poverty, Ignorance, and In­juries; they take a Godlike Pleasure in com­municating their own Virtues: they strive, with the most Praise-worthy Charity, to sub­stitute the more influencing Power of their own good Example in the Room of evil Patterns by others, 'till, by turning Injuries into Bene­fits, they raise their obscure Neighbours, to bright Images of themselves.

ALL Persons, who are Favourites of For­tune, who shine in exalted Stations, who are gifted with large Possessions, and surrounded with a Multiplicity of Dependents, have the Blessing, I have been speaking of, in their Power. They may choose for their Dome­sticks, the Distress'd of both Sexes, whom Poverty has render'd humble enough to wish to become Servants; and whose Discretion, adapting their Nature to their Condition, has taught them the Spirit of Obedience, and Di­ligence.

A GOOD Master may be consider'd as the Soul of his Family, who communicates Acti­on and Dignity to all, who are under his In­fluence, and animates them by his own Exam­ple, to be, in some measure, like himself; his House will be the Habitation of Wisdom, Vir­tue and Honour. If such a Master be at Home, and a Stranger wants Access to him, that Stranger will be prejudiced in his Favour, even before he beholds him; for it is easy, and natural, to read in the Voices, Looks and Ges­tures of the People below Stairs, what sort of [Page 290] a Person one may expect to meet with above, Nay, suppose him even Absent, he remains in some measure at Home, leaving so much of the Force of his Presence, in those, who represent him: He reigns in the obliging Deportment of his Domesticks; and their grateful Manner of receiving all Persons who inquire after him, proclaims the Goodness of their Master. All the Honour, or, Dishonour, of a Family, re­verts to the Source, and either clears or pol­lutes the Fountain.

THERE are too many haughty Flutterers, in the World, made giddily vain and unthink­ing by too much Prosperity, who dream, that People of low Condition, ought to be over­look'd; and that Servants, because Servants, should not be treated as of the same Species with themselves. These Gentlemen, as they must be call'd, have Understandings abundant­ly too coarse to be come at by Railery: They ought to be bluntly told, That good Servants might make good Masters, and that theirs pos­sess good Qualities of which themselves appear to be destitute. They ought in very plain Terms, to be informed, That Reason has plac'd their Servants above them, tho' themselves are pleased, unreasonably, to despise them, because Fortune, without Demerit of theirs, had placed them seemingly lower.

A LOW and obscure Birth has been often the Lot of a high, and noble Spirit. It seems to be the Victory of Nature over Fortune, that she can produce such valuable Creatures, in [Page 291] the most abject State of Servitude: A Plain-Dealing, faithful Servant is a Jewel of inesti­mable Value.

THE Compassion due to honest Men, on ac­count of their Poverty, must, after having ap­proved their Integrity, be refin'd into Regard, and Esteem. I have, for this Reason, con­sider'd it as a well-spirited Piece of Advice in Monsieur Bruyere, who writes like an accom­plish'd Gentleman, when he counsels all, of that Rank, to treat a Good Old Domestick, rather like a Friend than a Servant. And truly, it is far from impossible, but that a Master may stand in need of such a Servant for his Friend, and find him, upon Trial, a much better, than those inconstant Comrades, whom the World, in their mistaken Phrase, would be apt to call his Betters.

I LATELY had a Story told me to this Pur­pose, and if it affects the Reader, as it did me, he will not be displeased, that I give it him by way of Example.

A GENTLEMAN named Belmont; a Per­son of Distinction, filled an honourable Post in the Army, and behaved himself well during the late Wars in Flanders. He is Honest, Brave, Hearty, Sincere, Generous, and Affa­ble; was generally courted for his Company by his Brother Officers, and universally be­loved by his Soldiers. In those Sunshine Days of his Prosperity, Belmont held dear, as his Bosom-Intimate, a Gentleman, by Name, Cel­sus; and had one particular Servant, whom, [Page 292] on account of many rare Qualities, he loved above the rest, and treated as Monsieur Bruyere advises, and whom, for the Sake of his Fide­lity to his Master, we will call Fido.

BELMONT, and Celsus lived, indeed, like true Friends: And, as if each thought the other's Interest his own, they commutually, as Exigences on either Side required, furnished one another with Money, and desired no In­terest or Security. At length, when they had long loved and lived together, Celsus, was called to another Quarter: Never did Soul and Body part with more Reluctancy than these Friends, being less certain when, and where, and how, they should meet again. Much about the same Time, Fido, having been bred to a Trade, and got a little Stock by his Master, had Thoughts of setting up in the World. His Master, when he discharged him, added to the Salary he paid him, a handsome Present, and wished him good Fortune, with such Familiarity and Condescension, as made the Wish more endearing than the Present.

AFTER this, if we behold Belmont, it must be under a Cloud of Evils: He met with cross and severe Accidents which reduced him to narrower Circumstances, than suited so liberal a Soul: He, who delighted in extricating others out of Troubles and Perplexities, was, at length, involv'd in Difficulties himself. In a word, his Affairs were brought to that Ex­tremity, that a certain Sum must be punctually paid on such a Day, or Belmont be exposed to [Page 293] such an indecent Distress, as it is painful but to think of.

MANY Measures he had try'd, in vain, to make Provision against it: He was acquaint­ed with many Persons of Fashion, who had been lavish of their Vows of Friendship, and profuse, even to Prodigality, in offering him their Services, at Times, when they well knew there was no Danger in the Offer. He tried them all in their Turns: And found them, all, false alike.

HOW will it go with poor Belmont, who has the Ill-luck of such Acquaintance? why, the Reader will be pleased to hear, That Cel­sus is return'd to England, as much in the Abundance, as Belmont in the Want of all Things, and settled within a Mile or two of London. On him were Belmont's Eyes turn'd from the sad Scene that threaten'd him: Here he is sure to be right; Here his Address must prevail: I fancy myself walking over the Fields with Belmont; I hear him say, he is no longer to groan under his Misfortunes, than till they can reach the Ear of Celsus; They want no­thing towards being reliev'd, but being bare­ly laid before him: Then Belmont is to asto­nish him with the Falshood and Meanness of his other Acquaintance. Thus soothing his Imagination, he arrives at the House of Celsus, is receiv'd with the Warmth of Friendship; he opens his Complaint, and tells the Story of the Usage he had met with. Here the Reader will be stunn'd—the Story was as unprofita­ble [Page 294] in the Ear of Celsus, as if their Friendship, had been a Fable.

AS Belmont was returning home cross the Fields, loaded with heavy Reflections, with whom should he meet, but his old Man Fido! walking out with an Intention to lie that Night at his Country-Lodgings, for the Benefit of the Air. Fido would walk back, part of the Way with his Master: And finding him very melancholy, implored him to tell the Cause of it.—At length Belmont, half smiling, said, Thou can'st not help me in it, honest Fido; and yet, with a Sigh, said he, now I think on't, I will tell thee, for thou knowest Celsus.—Thou must remember him.—Sir, reply'd Fido, and ever shall.—I can't forget your best Friend: I hope he is not dead!—Belmont told him the whole Story: Just as he had finish'd it; they reach a little publick House on the Road—Fido, without answering, begg'd him to walk in, called for Pen, Ink, and Paper, and wrote a Note for the Money, and giving it his Ma­ster, said thus; I am glad at my Heart it was a Sum within my Power, without breaking in upon my Stock, because I should have parted with it All; for, Sir, I owe it All to you.

LET us consider Celsus and Fido, Celsus a Friend and a Companion; Fido a Menial Ser­vant: Fido a Weaver of fine Silks, Celsus a Wearer of finer; how then shall we reconcile this Matter, That Celsus, after all this Diffe­rence in Substance and Figure, should be on­ly Gentleman in Appearance, Fido in Reality? [Page 295] It is easy to answer, that the Stage of Life is like the Theatre, where the principal Parts acted, are not always the best: It is not what Part we act, but how we act it, that gives us Applause. I have frequently known a Ser­vant the chief Ornament of a Play: It is the same in the World; where they often make considerable Figures.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No. 36.
FRIDAY, July 24. 1724.

Admiranda tibi levium spectacula rerum.
VIRG.

I AM never more delighted, than when I meet with an Opportunity to unveil ob­scure Merit, and produce it into Notice: There being nothing that more easily deceives us, than our Judgment on the Wit and Learn­ing of a Cotemporary Writer, when we take not our Measure from our own Examination, but rely on the Authority of Publick Rumour.

A PLEASANT Vein, a busy, medling Ta­lent, Acquaintance, Importunity, Preferment, or any outward and accidental Advantage, shall throw forward an assuming Trifler into Distinction and Popularity: While a great, [Page 296] and modest Genius is neglected and unfam'd; because not One in Fifty, of our Men of Fa­shion, or of Quality, as they call themselves, has an Understanding that is able to go alone. They are forc'd, therefore, to wait 'till they have their Sustainer's Opinion to lean against, before they dare venture upon the Praise, even of what they are inclinable to think favoura­bly of, as far as poor, weak Wards, can pre­sume to think at all, whose Wits are out in Guardianship, and under other Mens Disposal.

IT is owing to the Multiplicity of these overgrown Infants, that our Eyes and Ears are fatigu'd by such Impertinence of mistaken Encomium. Insomuch, that, to those who in­spect the Things and Persons which are most praised among us, we appear a Nation of Grotesque Thinkers, whose Idea of our Writers Excellence, like the Dutchmens Taste of Paint­ing, seems to be Nature, in a Fit of Distor­tion, where Grimace is placed for Dignity.

BY a Custom, that has prevailed too much, since the chearful Times of King Charles the Second, when they ran into the contrary Ex­treme to that which they had suffer'd by, and confounded the Serious with the Humorous, treating the most solemn Subjects after a light and wanton Manner, we have established a false Taste of Wit, which has insensibly, like an unnoted Current, declin'd us from our right Course, and brought us so far out of our Way, that it will be some Time before we find our­selves restored to our old Relish.—The slen­der [Page 297] Shape of the Modern Muse, is made for becoming the Hoop-Petticoat; but there was a charming, majestick Nakedness in that ner­vous Simplicity, and plain Soundness of pa­thetick Nature, which went to the Hearts of our Forefathers, without stopping at their Fan­cy, or winding itself into their Understanding, through a Maze of mystical Prettinesses.

BUT, though this venerable, undress'd Na­ture, is seldom to be met with now; and has, indeed, been lost among us, for above a Cen­tury, it was so frequent Two or Three hun­dred Years ago, that their lowest Class of Poets, the Composers of our good Old Ballads, have left us some of the noblest Examples of the Sub­lime, in its most striking Energy. But, in the present Practice, it is stifled, as the Roman Maid was, under the Oppression of Golden Ear­rings, Bracelets, Jewels, and heap'd Heavi­nesses of the Gothick Armory. Yet, now and then, we start upon it in the Writings of our Modern Poets; as I did, the other Day, in an Ode, on the Power of Musick, which was writ­ten by a young Scots Gentleman, who has conveyed, in a naked Grandeur, and in the ut­most Degree of Plainness, the following awe­ful Thought, which carries a Terror, that will shake the Soul of every attentive Reader.

When Living Men shall die, and Dead Men live,
And Order is, again, to Chaos hurl'd;
Thou, Melody! shalt still survive,
And triumph o'er the Ruins of the World!
[Page 298]A dreadful Trumpet, never heard before,
By Angels never blown, 'till then,
Through all the Regions of the Air shall roar,
That Time is now no more!

BUT the Accident, which has drawn me in­to this Lamentation for the Loss of Nature, in our Works of Wit and Poetry, where she ought most to shew herself, is, my having taken up, in a late Perambulation, as I stood upon the Top of Primrose-Hill, a torn Leaf of one of those Half-penny Miscellanies, which are published for the Use and Pleasure of our Nymphs of low Degree, and known by the Name of Garlands—That Part of it, which first caught my Eye, had its Turn a little too Modern, as well in the Matter, as the Poetry, and celebrated the Midnight Triumphs of some straggling Female, of whom I had no Knowledge; but one, it should seem, of more Beauty than Delicacy;

Who took the Place of Ladies bright,
And with their Lords lay all the Night!
Who pleas'd them with her Humour free;
Oh! the charming Sally Sal'sbu—ree!

BUT I pass'd lightly over this Lyrick Frag­ment, as too ludicrous for a Person of my Gra­vity, and fell, unexpectedly, upon a Work, for so I make no Scruple to call it, that deserves to live for Ever! And which (notwithstanding its Disguise of coarse, brown Paper, almost [Page 299] unintelligible Corruptions of Sense, from the Blunders of the Press, with here and there an obsolete, low Phrase, which I have alter'd for the clearer Explanation of the Author's Mean­ing) is so powerfully filled, throughout, with that Blood-curdling, chilling Influence, of Na­ture, working on our Passions (which Criticks call the Sublime) that I never met it stronger in Homer himself; nor even in that prodigious English Genius, who has made the Greek our Countryman.—The simple Title of this Piece was,

WILLIAM, and MARGARET. A BALLAD.
I.
WHEN Hope lay hush'd in silent Night,
And Woe was wrapp'd in Sleep,
In glided Marg'ret's pale-ey'd Ghost,
And stood at William's Feet.
II.
Her Face was like an April Sky,
Dimm'd by a scatt'ring Cloud:
Her clay-cold, lilly Hand, Knee-high,
Held up her sable Shroud.
III.
So shall the fairest Face appear,
When Youthful Years are flown!
Such the last Robe, that Kings must wear,
When Death has reft their Crown!
IV.
Her Bloom was like the Morning Flow'r,
That sips the Silver Dew:
The Rose had budded, in her Cheek,
Just op'ning to the View.
V.
But Love had, like the Canker-worm,
Consum'd her tender Prime:
The Rose of Beauty pal'd, and pin'd,
And dy'd before its Time.
VI.
Awake! she cry'd, Thy true Love calls,
Come from her Midnight Grave!
Late, let thy Pity mourn a Wretch,
Thy Love refus'd to save.
VII.
This is the dark, and fearful Hour,
When injur'd Ghosts complain:
And Lovers Tombs give up their Dead,
To haunt the faithless Swain.
VIII.
Bethink thee, William! af thy Fault,
Thy Pledge of broken Truth:
See the sad Lesson, thou hast taught
My unsuspecting Youth!
IX.
Why did you, first, give Sense of Charms,
Then all those Charms forsake?
Why sigh'd you for my Virgin Heart,
Then left it, thus, to break?
X.
Why did you, present, pledge such Vows,
Yet none, in Absence, keep?
Why said you, that my Eyes were bright,
Yet taught 'em first to weep?
XI.
Why did you praise my blushing Lips,
Yet make their Scarlet pale?
And why, alas! did I, fond Maid!
Believe the flatt'ring Tale?
XII.
But, now, my Face no more is Fair;
My Lips retain no Red:
Fix'd are my Eyes, in Death's still Glare!
And Love's vain Hope is fled.
XIII.
The hungry Worm my Partner is:
This Winding-Sheet my Dress;
A long, and weary, Night must pass,
Ere Heaven allows Redress.
XIV.
But, hark!—'tis Day!—the Darkness flies:
Take one long, last Adieu!
Come, see, false Man! how low she lies,
Who dy'd for pitying You.
XV.
The Birds sung out; the Morning smil'd;
And streak'd the Sky with Red;
Pale William shook, in ev'ry Limb,
And started from his Bed.
XVI.
Weeping, he sought the fatal Place,
Where Marg'ret's Body lay,
And stretch'd him o'er the Green-grass Turf,
That veil'd her Breathless Clay.
XVII.
Thrice call'd, unheard, on Marg'ret's Name,
And thrice he wept her Fate:
Then laid his Cheek on her cold Grave,
And dy'd—and lov'd too late.

I AM sorry I am not able to acquaint my Reader with his Name, to whom we owe this melancholy Piece, of finish'd Poetry, under the humble Title of a Ballad.Such Ballads were the reverend Fragments of disjointed Homer, when they were sung about the Streets of the Grecian Cities, before Lycurgus caused the Limbs to be assembled into Union; and so piec'd, redeem'd, and consecrated them to the End of Time, as we now see 'em in his Iliad.—Yet, the Common Fate of Merit is so unequal to its Claim, that one might almost venture to conclude, That this great Genius, whoever he was, lived poor, and died unknown; in Want perhaps, of Ease and Comfort, while he had Excellence, that merited a Nation's Gratitude, for the Honour he might have lived to do it.

FROM an Air of impressive Earnestness, that is distinguishable through this Piece, I am of Opinion, that it was founded on the real [Page 303] History of some unhappy Woman of the Age the Author liv'd in, who had the Misfortune to die untimely by her Lover's Insensibility; or, rather, by his Ingratitude.—I please my­self with an Imagination, that this Sonnet might be one of Shakespear's. A hundred worse are imputed to him: And there is his peculiar, solemn Power to touch this Church-Yard Ter­ror, very visible in the Ghost of this Ballad.

BUT, whoever the Author was, his Judg­ment appears to have been as extraordinary as his Genius; as is finely visible in his Conduct of this little Poem.—When the Ghost has gli­ded in, and stands at the Bed's Foot of the sleep­ing Lover, had the Speech begun immediate­ly, the Reader must have been hurried too fast away from the Impression which the Ap­parition was design'd to make on him: He is, therefore judiciously detained in this Place by a Description of her Face and Posture, so strongly painted, that we really seem to see her. And, after a short Moral Reflection, which follows aptly in the Third Stanza, we are acquainted, during this artful Interval, with her Character, her Youth, her Beauty, and the Cause of her unhappy Death: And, by that Time we are prepared to know her, and to pity her, the Speech is open'd with this sharp and startling Summons.

Awake! she cry'd,—Thy true Love calls,
Come from her Midnight Grave!

[Page 304]BUT nothing was ever juster, or more strikingly imagin'd, than his Comparison of the Ghost's Face, to an April Sky, (which is, at best, but faintly shining, and is here made fainter still, by a scattering Cloud that dims it) to the Shadow, as it were, or thin Resemblance of a Light not visible. This is an Image, so true to the Meaning, so Poetical, and well-adapted, that it greatly deserves Notice: As does also, That Clay-cold, Lilly-Hand, that holds up a sable Shroud! The Opposition of the Shroud's Blackness, to the Lilly White­ness of the Hand, is a delicate and graceful Stroke, and very judiciously heighten'd by that Epithet of Clay-cold, which makes us shrink, as if we felt, what we see, so very strongly.

TO wake us from this Horror, in order to make way for that Pity, which he is prepar­ing to move in us, we are, by a sudden, yet almost imperceptible, Transition, carried away from what she is, to what she was, before Love chang'd her;

Her Bloom was like the Morning Flow'r,
That sips the Silver-Dew.

I AM charm'd by a Stroke in this sweet Simile, which is touch'd with so much Delica­cy, that it would go near to escape the Obser­vation of any Reader, not skill'd in Poetry: I will therefore take Notice, That her exact Time of Life being directly pointed out by [Page 305] The Morning Rose, just opening to the View, that Expression of Sipping the Silver-Dew, is peculiarly just and elegant: For, where a Flower is full blown, the Dew-drops have free Admission, and are taken in, as it were, by large Draughts; but a budding Flower, receiving no Moisture, but on its Edges, is, with the finest Propriety, said to sip it.

A SECOND excellent Simile is, That where he compares a secret Love in a Woman's Heart, to the Canker-worm in a Bud, that fades and destroys it: And this, again, has the Air of Shakespear, who has the same Al­lusion for Grief in one of his Tragedies.—There is something exquisitely touching in that noble Tenderness of her Reproach, in the Eighth Stanza.—That Erotema, or Figure of Questioning, which takes up the Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh, is pursued with the most pathetick Emphasis; and, at last, broken off with an Aposiopesis, so natural, and so mov­ing, that I have seldom seen a Beauty more distinguishable. It is where, after all those passionate Why's, with which she has been up­braiding her Lover's Falshood, she interrupts them, on a sudden, with this Self-accusing Question, which strikes out the Moral too, in a surprizing Flash of Warning, where it was least to be expected;

And why, alas! did I, fond Maid!
Believe the flatt'ring Tale?

[Page 306]BUT it were endless to particularize the Beauties of this charming Ballad. The whole may be said to be one continued Beauty! And, I believe, it will not be possible for any serious Reader to peruse, or hear it, without Emotions in his Blood, that will speak more in its due Praise, than the most regular Cri­tique on it.

IT is a plain and noble Masterpiece of the natural Way of Writing, without Turns, Points, Conceits, Flights, Raptures, or Af­fectation of what Kind soever. It shakes the Heart by the mere Effect of its own Strength and Passionateness; unassisted by those flam­ing Ornaments, which as often dazle, as dis­play, in Poetry. This was owing to the Author's Native Force of Genius; For they, who conceive a Thought distinctly, will, of Necessity, express it plainly, because, out of the Words which arise, and offer themselves to embody a Meaning, they find no Use for the Superfluous, but to darken, and confound their Purpose.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 37.
MONDAY, July 27. 1724.

PROPRIA QUAEMARIBUS. —
LILLY's Grammar.
Interea volucres Pyrois, & Eois & Aethon,
Solis Equi, quartusque Phlegon, hinnitibus auras
Flammiferis implent, pedibusque repagula pulsant.
— Nec froena remittit,
Nec retinere valet, nec nomina novit equorum.
OVID.

I HAVE remark'd an Impropriety, in our Use of common Names, which cries out aloud for Redress: And I am absolutely de­termined to proceed, ex Officio, and without waiting to receive Complaints, in giving Sen­tence against certain nimble-tongu'd, married Females; who have taken it into their Fan­cies, so far to invert Order, and Distinction, among the Animals which they are possess'd of, as to bestow upon their Dogs the Names of Heroes, Gods, and Goddesses; and apply plain Puppy, to their Husbands.

[Page 308]I KNOW not how it comes to pass; but an Enormity, of like Nature, has had Con­fidence enough of late Years, to creep into His Majesty's Navy; to the most manifest Hazard of bringing a bad Name upon many a Ship-full of good Mariners.—What a Hard­ship, for Example, must it be, for a Crew, who can fight like Lions, to be sent to Sea in the Antelope? Or, for a Commander, as keen as a Hawk, to hear his Ship call'd but the Swallow? There is a Sound of something to the Purpose, in the Warsprite! The Dread­nought! The Revenge! and, The Defiance!—The very Names of these Ships carry a Re­port, like their Artillery. But who would dream of a Man of War, in the Hare? or the Roe-Buck? In the Hind? or, in the Weasel?

I WAS at a Loss how to account for these Runaway Names, in the most fighting Fleet of Europe, till I found, upon due Enquiry, that the Riders of our Sea-Horses have been jockey'd out of their proper Titles, by the En­croachment of the Newmarket Racers. I wou'd fain, therefore, have the Claims of these Two Parties adjusted, and assign to each its proper Quota. It is but reasonable, that His Grace of Bolton shou'd keep his Slo­ven to himself: But his Terror ought to be given up, in Exchange for the Roebuck, or Antelope.—Against Creeping Jenny, and Cone [...]-Skins, much might be said, in a Way of Criticism. But I am not, at present, in [Page 309] so carping a Humour, but that I will indulge the Fraternity in Possession of those Appella­tives. Nay, I will even throw 'em, into the Bargain, Dryboots, Fidler, and Blackpud­ding: Provided, absolutely, that they part with Scarecrow, Swimmer, Ranter, Old Surly, Thunderbolt, and Drunken Barnaby, to the Use, Behoof, and Disposal of the Commissi­ners of His Majesty's Navy.

I AM indebted to a little white-headed Son, of my good Landlady, for the Honour of my Acquaintance with so many Horses of Quality, who are worthy, I make no doubt, of all the Friendship that is shewn them, by those grateful Allies, and Confederates, their Masters. The Boy came up, to my Appart­ment, with a Petition, and a Paper of Gun­powder; which he desir'd I wou'd instruct him in the Mystery of making out, into Crackers: And I busied my self, for half an Hour, with becoming Gravity, and Applica­tion; enjoying all that Pleasure, which I per­ceiv'd I gave my Pupil: Whose Powder being apply'd to the important Use which he had bought it for, the Paper it was wrapt in, happen'd to be left upon my Hands; and seems to have been an Original Letter, from some honest poor Fellow, of the inferior Class of Horse-Coursers (if any Certainty, as to his Rank, may be drawn from his bad Spelling.)—The Beginning was torn off, with the Date, and Place, it was sent from: But, what remain'd, was as follows.

—IT was early in the Morning, the Thursday before our Races was to come on, as All Us Horses in the Field started together, for a Breathing. But mad Work we made, amongst us: For that same Coney-Skins, that bit Tom. Varney by the Shoulder, at Barnet, kick'd Betty Williams in the Belly, before she had run a Stroke: And Dryboots, with me upon his Back, started close against Captain Collier's Pig; and bid fair, for half the Course, to bite him by the Tail, if I had not not been thrown out, by a cross Fling of Black­pudding; That is, for all the World, such another wicked Beast, as Master Bond's Kentish Lady!—After him came Drunken Barnaby, blundering, jig by jole, along with Master Morgan's Beau: And, so, they kept up, till they came, both, to the Gap-side, and there, struck out, for the nonce, and overturn'd Bully-Rock, into the Ditch, upon Creeping Jenny.—When we were up, at the Broad-Pond, Miss Kitty, that had only a Chimney-sweeper's Boy upon her Back, was put in a great Fright; For Squeaker and Scarecrow, run her up to the Rail Brink! But souce came Swimmer between 'em, flouncing directly through the Water; and, as soon as he came out, shook himself dry, upon Old Surly, that was close up with Hobler; and made him run back upon Tender-Toe, which beat down [Page 311] Ranter into a Rutt. Mean while, whip comes Thunderbolt, full drive along with Whitefoot. But Whitefoot came first in, altho' Fidler was a Length behind him. You never saw such strange Doings! For, except Blue Dick and me, there was Nobody rid, that knew what breathing a Horse meant, any more than Nell Clapton does. But pray be down a Friday: For never was such rare Work, as we are like to have at the Ass-Matches!

So no more, for now, but I rest, Your loving Kinsman, till Death, SETH THOMSON.
Mr. PLAIN DEALER,

I BELONG to a Club of Friendly Citi­zens: And we meet, every Monday Night, to discourse of such Things as may entertain, and improve us, in a way most suitable to that industrious, and unambiti­ous, Honesty, which Men of Trade pro­pose to thrive by. But our Diversion has been often spoil'd by a great Scholar, who is got among us, that makes no more of Greek, and Latin, than if it were only plain English!—Ever since he was introduc'd, he has had all the Talk to himself; but [Page 312] was never understood, above Three times from the first Night he came into our Com­pany. He is Great Mogul of our Club, and reigns Absolute, and without a Mini­stry: Publishing his Edicts in a Language peculiar to the Throne, and which, being unintelligible, by any of his Vassals, can neither be contradicted, nor disputed against.

HE expatiated, last Night, with a Stile, unusually florid, on the Verbosity, Loquaciousness, and Propension to Garrulity, of a worthy Common-Council-Man, whom we were commending, for a ready Speaker. And when one of us, by way of Atone­ment, mentioned my Neighbour Hushly, the Cheesemonger, as the silentest Man, in London; he answer'd, That Taciturnity was a Quality as ineligible as Excess of Narra­tion; for it dehominated those Persons who were obnubilated by its Umbrageousness; and involv'd their Comprehension in a La­byrinth of Internality.

IT happen'd, fortunately for the CLUB, that an honest Drunken Officer, belonging to the East-India Company, was among us upon this Occasion.—He was, now, what we call Half Seas over; and star'd at our Man of Oratory, for, a Minute with­out Motion! At last, he began to tell him, with the most compos'd Face in the World, That he was charm'd with this Opportu­nity of discoursing with a Gentleman of [Page 313] so much Wit and Learning, and hop'd he shou'd have his Decision in a Point, that was pretty nice, and concern'd some Eastern Manufactures, of Antient and reverend Ety­mology. Modern Criticks, he said, were undetermin'd about them; but for His Part, he had always maintain'd, That Chintz, Bullbull, Morees, and Ponabaguzzys, were of nobler and more generous Use, than Doorguzees, or Nourfurmannys; not but he held against Byrampauts, in Favour of Ni [...] ­canees and Boralchauders; Only, he wish'd, That so accurate a Judge wou'd instruct him, why Tapzils, and Sallampores have given Place to Neganepauts? And why Bejatapoutz shou'd be more esteem'd, than the finer Fabrick of Blue Chelloes?

THERE was not One, of all the Com­pany, except the grave Banterer himself, but laugh'd out aloud, at this humorous Retribution of the Scholar's affected Lan­guage. He look'd a little out of Counte­nance, and sate silent for some Time. But he started up, at last, with a smiling Air of good Humour: And, filling out a Brim­mer, drank the Health of the East-India Officer; and, then, spoke to him, as fol­lows.—Sir, I find myself much obliged, and return you my Publick Thanks. You have held to me so true a Glass, that I see, and am ashamed of the Image of my Vanity. I was weak enough to be growing angry; but, upon a short Recollection, find you have [Page 314] used me no otherwise, than I have treated the CLUB, and been forgiven for it, these Six Months. In short, Sir, you have re­deem'd me, from an Affectation, that made me ridiculous; and, as long as I live, I will take Care to be Wiser.

THUS all ended well; and the CLUB being restor'd to Freedom, I am deputed, in their Name, to write this Account of it, to the PLAIN DEALER; that it may be publish'd for the common Benefit. Your Health is just going round, and,

I am, SIR, Your constant Reader, &c. J. H.

FOR my Reader's Entertainment, I shall add, to these Two Letters, Two uncommon Pieces of Poetry. The First was written, by Karasin, the Favourite Mistress of Tamerlane the Great; by way of Congratulation, after his Success against Bajazet. It was compos'd in Form of a Lozange; the Letters of which were Brilliant Diamonds, upon a Ground of Crimson Velvet. The Words, the Order, and the Figure, are exactly as in the Origi­nal. Note, The Wit of the Lady's Poetry, lay in its Shape, and fine Cloaths: Where a Lady's Wit often lies, in other Countries, besides Tartary.

SOUND
O YE HARPS!
SOUND OUT IN STATE,
TEMIR THE GREAT:
WHO, WITH HIS SWORD,
OF BRIGHT, RESISTLESS, STEEL,
MAKES ALL, WHO MEAN HIM HARM,
AND THOSE, WHO WRONG HIM, FEEL
THE STRENGTH OF THAT RIGHT ARM:
CLEAVING, BETWIXT BOTH EYES,
SUCH, AS AGAINST HIM RISE.
WHAT FAME HE WON
BY DEEDS NEW DONE,
BEFORE THE SUN;
BAJAZET, LATE,
IN HIS FATE,
FOUND.

Tamerlane answer'd her in like Form; but with a great deal of Gallantry, and Polite­ness in Letters of Amethysts, upon a Ground of Green Velvet.

FIVE
BATTLES FOUGHT,
AND DEARLY BOUGHT,
THY TEMIR WON:
AND IN THE BLOODY FIELD,
HAS FORC'D ALL FOES TO YIELD,
REDUCING CROWNS, AND LAND,
BY HIS TRIUMPHANT HAND:
YET NEVER GAIN'D I CONQUEST, YET,
SO JOYFUL, AND SO DEAR, TO ME,
AS WHEN I CONQUER'D THEE.
O! KARASIN! THY WOES
ARE MY WORST FOES.
BUT GENTLE BE;
FOR LOVE OF THEE
KEEPS ME
ALIVE.

[Page 316]THE Second, which now follows, is a Copy of Verses, by Queen Elizabeth; on Oc­casion of her first Uneasiness, concerning Mary, Queen of Scots.—I met with this little Piece, in an Old Art of English Poesy, which was Imprinted at London, in the Year 1589; and Dedicated to the Lord Treasurer, Burleigh.—The Author, speaking of these Verses, says, ‘'And this was the Occasion of them; Our Sovereign Lady, perceiving how, by the Queen of Scot's Residence within this Realm, were bred secret Factions among her People, some of them desirous of Innovation, and aspiring to greater Fortunes, by her Liberty and Life: The Queen, our Sovereign Lady, to declare, that she was nothing Ignorant of these Secret Practices; albeit she had long, with great Wisdom and Patience, dissembled it, writeth this Ditty, most sweet and sententious.

Watchful, to shun those Snares which wou'd my Peace destroy,
In doubt of future Woe, I lose my present Joy
When Falsehood's Tide flows in all Duty's Channels ebb:
And meddling Folly toils, to untwist Wisdom's Web
N [...]w Clouds of Toys, untry'd, o'ercast th' aspiring Mind:
Then fall in empty Show'rs; and drive, with ev'ry Wind
B [...]t Pride of Hope, suppos'd, the Root of Ruthe will be;
And all th [...]ir grafted Guiles a sudden Blast shall see.
That Daughter of Debate, that doth Contention sow,
Shall reap no Harvest here, where Peace hath us'd to grow.
Our Swo [...]d, that rusts with Rest, shall first his Edge employ:
And lop this Love of Change, that gives such distant Joy.

HAVING never met with these Verses be­fore; and questioning, whether they are ex­tant, in any Book, but that, in which I found them; I have taken Pleasure to communicate them as a Relique, that merits to be preserv'd; and is worth the Notice of the Curious.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 38.
FRIDAY, July 31. 1724.

— Quis enim generosum dixerit hunc, qui
Indignus genere, & praeclaro nomine tantum
Insignis? —
JUVEN.
Rarus enim ferme sensus communis in illa
Fortuna. —
Ibid.
— Nobilitas sola est atque unica Virtus.
Ibid.

THERE is a Hobby-Horse, in the World, call'd Nobility by Right of Birth; which was the Invention of industri­ous Policy, to entail, and perpetuate, Vir­tue. But, like Vinegar, from the finest Wines, it is so changed, by its Putrefaction, That there is not a sharper Curse, among the Scourges of God's Vengeance, than is inflicted on Mankind, by that silly Thing, called, [Page 318] Pride of Descent. It was first indulged, as a Mark of Merit: But it clings, inseparably, to the Line, after the most manifest Extincti­on of all the Worth, which it was given for.

YET, there was both the Rational, and the Generous, in that Hope, which seems to have been conceiv'd, by the first Inventors of Nobility, from its Original Institution.—Some Great, and Powerful Prince, when he had experienc'd a Servant's Courage, his Con­duct, or Integrity; and, was willing to tran­smit those Virtues (after they had been so useful to Himself) to the future Benefit of His Heirs and Successors; made it his first Care to bestow, on this able Favourite, such Lands, and Extent of Revenue, as might place him above the Necessity of concerning himself for his Childrens Support in Life. And this left him at perfect Leisure, to en­large, and inspire, their Minds, till He made them capable of succeeding, as well to his Toils, and Dangers, as to his Honours, and Possessions.

TO strengthen, yet more, their Expecta­tion of so good an End, They contriv'd this further Means of adding visible, and out­ward Marks; betokening Honour, Power, and Wisdom: Such as Titles, Robes, Rank, Privileges, and a Train of Pomps, and Cere­monies. All These they made Hereditary, for this weighty, and sufficient Reason:—Because, It was a natural Hope, that Persons, who were exempt from private Wants, should, [Page 319] also, be unsubject to private Baseness. They would, then, be at Liberty to enlarge, and exalt, their Thoughts, in Proportion to that High Condition, which they grew up in the Expectation, and Fore-knowledge of: 'Till they came to disdain narrow Principles, and renounce selfish Purposes; such as Poverty might have seemed to justify; but, which could never correspond with that Magnificence and disinterested Scope of Mind, which was propos'd to be the Consequence of so distin­guish'd an Education, in a Life so happily provided for.

A NOBLEMAN, the Descendant of No­ble Ancestors, when we consider him in this Light, seems to be One of the Pillars of Hu­man Virtue, and the honour'd Ornament of a Body Politick! And the only Reason, why we talk with Respect, or even with Gravity, of the Antiquity of a Man's Family, is, Be­cause, by how many more Successions the Line has continu'd Noble, by so many more Examples their Virtues are suppos'd to have been fortified; 'till the Practice, and Love of Glory, Justice, Knowledge, and Compassion, are esteem'd inherent, in their very Nature; and their Blood flows down, distinguish'd, by a kind of Inspiration, which it carries with it.

BUT, exclusive of this single Consideration what a ridiculous Pretence to Reverence is the Accident of having been born, to live lazily!—It is Insolence; in the highest Degree, for [Page 320] a Cypher, of Rank, and Title, to expect Sub­mission, from a Person, who is venerable, for his good Qualities, upon no better a Foun­dation, than because the accomplish'd Commo­ner is, perhaps, the Son of an honest Man, who had nothing to depend on, but his In­dustry; And the foolish Lord had a Father, who left him an Estate, and a Title, which somebody (a long Time ago!) gave a sturdy, valiant, Soldier, to maintain his Posterity, till they shou'd grow good for nothing, and look with Scorn, at their first Founder: Draw­ing all their empty Glory from the number'd Ages, which have passed, since Merit, and Humility, could claim a Place, in their Great Family!

IF, in the World, there is a pleasanter Piece of stupid Impertinence, than ordinary, It is, that conceited and satisfied, Self-Preference, with which one of these Happy Creatures looks down, from his own Sublimity, upon the Merit that lies below him!—But I wonder what he would Answer, if, in the Heighth of his Exultation, Fortune shou'd take a Freak to whisper this Question, in his Ear, ‘"Pray, my Lord! have you consider'd, how to Deserve this fine Distinction, which you in­herit, without knowing why?—Are you Honester, than your own Steward? Pretty much upon a Par.—Are you Braver, than your ragged Cousin? Oh! no—Not at all.—Are you more Pious, than your Chaplain? Far from it, I assure you.—[Page 321] Are you Wiser, or more Learned, than my Lady, your Lordship's Wife? But a little, if any thing.—Are you Richer, than your Banker? Not so Rich, by half a Plumb.—Pray, what then may your Lordship's Pretensions be, to that Respect, which you claim from others?—Why,—you know, says he, that I was born to it."’

IT is a pleasant Pretension! let us trace it a little higher.—Why is This Lord's Family of more Dignity than That Lord's, since their Estates, and Rank, are Equal? Oh! there is a very good Reason for That: It is, because His Race is most Ancient.—Pray, what do you mean by Ancient? Was not Adam their common Father? Yes: But This My-Lord has been longer in Possession of Lands, than That My-Lord has.—So then, the Case, it seems, stands thus, Other Mens Acquirements must give Him DIGNITY, to whom Other Mens Merit has given DISTINCTION!

ANTIQUITY of Name, and Family, is one of the most riduculous Things in Nature, when it is made use of, as the Ground of Ho­nours: There being nothing more certain, than that the Revolutions of Time and For­tune, have us'd all Families alike. And, were it possible to see, backward, into the Obscurity of past Ages, we might pick out Beggars, from our proudest Lines; and point at Princes, in our humblest. This Nobility, that consists in Sound, is an empty, and chi­merical, [Page 322] Grandeur: It is a mere King of Clubs, who, as the Game happens to be, may run away from the Knave, and see the single Ace a nobler Card than His Majesty!

I FANCY, that, if I were a Lord, the Tur­key-Cock, with his sweeping Wing, erected Neck, and Peer-like Strut, within the Sphere of his Barn-door Royalty, wou'd make me sick of my boasted Quality, unless I had better Claim than my Pride, to the Stateliness I was distinguish'd by.

THE true Use of Titles, is, That they may serve, as shining Lights, to lay open and il­lustrate, the spacious Chambers of a Mind well-furnished. But, to a close, and sordid, Soul, they are like Torches, which we carry down, to illuminate a sickly Dungeon: Where they expose, but the more disgrace­fully, the narrow Cells, bare Walls; and Dirtiness.

THE basest Thing in Nature is, To have Power to do much Good, without Will to do any. How contemptible, then, are they, who, becoming insolent by Prosperity, think on nothing so seldom as the Distresses of the Miserable? And, while they were made No­ble, for this End only, to be active in good Offices, live, for Pleasure, and to no better Purpose than one of their Hounds, or their setting Dogs?—If a Nobleman, who is thus declin'd, from the only End of his Institution, can be Author of any Good, by Effect of his Example, it must be such an [Page 323] accidental, and involuntary, Service, as was done, of old, to the Philosopher.—He was ask'd, From whom he learnt, to be so steady, in Pursuits of Virtue? ‘'I learn it, said he, from the Persons who live most vici­ously: For, observing what makes them de­spicable, I see plainly what to shun: And I guess, by the Reverse, what it is that I ought to practise.

The Eastern People ascribe to Plato several excellent Sayings, which we do not find in his Works: And, among others, they cite this following. ‘'Plenty and Want, are Two Clouds, the fullest stor'd of any; the First rains Dul­ness, and Arrogance; the Second, Learning and Humility. For, while the Body of the Poor is improving into Spirit, the Spirit of the Rich is degenerating into Body.'’ It is a pretty Remark: And every Man's Experi­ence will enable him to justify it. For how few Publick or Private Improvements have been owing to our Men of Rank? And how many to the unsatisfied Application of the Unhappy; who, finding themselves press'd, by uneasy Circumstances, whet and urge their active Talents, 'till Prosperity can afford them Leisure to be as useless, as if they were born to it.

IT is plain, then, That a Nobleman, who has no other Merit, than his Rank gives him, has no Merit at all: And is just so much more despicable than a Commoner, who is equally worthless, as the Duties of his Condition are [Page 324] more elevated, and important. And that Respect, which is look'd for, by a Lord, merely as a Lord, deserves to be number'd among those Sacrifices, which we make to Custom, at the Expence of our common Sense; and to the Dishonour of our natural Liberty.

AN Essay Writer, of the last Age, who had learnt from tiresome Experience, That he had, irrecoverably, lost those Years, which he had spent in attending the Great, (as they love to hear themselves call'd) quitted the Pursuit with a manly Scorn: And having ob­serv'd, for his Reader's Use, That these Men make no Friendships, but such as are subser­vient, either to their Interests, or their Plea­sures; he closes all, with this Remark— ‘'I have so hearty a Contempt for what is commonly called Greatness, that if I did not meet with the Word Lord, in a Prayer I repeat daily, I should never name it, but with Detestation!'’ And, to allow this Au­thor but common Justice, no Man is so fool­ishly, a Tyrant over his own Heart, as he, that humbles himself, to a Will, that is too proud to take Notice of it: And waits on those, from whom he can expect nothing, but what he must dearly pay for, in Guilt, Dishonour, or Mortification.

I am pleas'd with a frank Correction, of that peevish, and humoursome, Arrogance, so inseparable from these proud Mens Beha­viour, as it was given, by a Syrian Doctor, [Page 325] to one of the Caliphs of Babylon. They were Angling, upon the River Tygris; and the Caliph, growing impatient, because he had catched nothing, ordered the Physician out of his Sight, for he was sure he should have no Sport, in Company with one, who was so unlucky.‘'Nay, but methinks, reply'd the Doctor, you accuse me a little rashly: My Father was a Drawer of Water, and my Mother but a Slave; yet I have been Chief Favourite of many successive Caliphs, and am Rich, and Fortunate, beyond my Wishes: How then can such a Man, as I, deserve to be call'd unlucky? But if you would be inform'd, I can name a Person, who may, truly, be stil'd unhappy.'’ The Caliph told him, he might explain himself. ‘'—It is, Sir, pursued the Physician, a Lord, who descending, lineally, from Four illustrious Caliphs, and being, himself too, a Caliph, sits, unmindful of his Dignity, catching Fish, like an idle Saunterer; while Ignorance and Rest, are spreading Nets, to catch his People.'’

SINCE Honours were first bestow'd, as a Reward of Mens past Virtues, and for Ex­citement of their Future, it seems the justest Thing imaginable, That all Lords, who pos­sess them, fruitlesly, should forfeit them: And step down among the Herd, to hide the Shame of those Defects, which, by Reason of their too high Situation, blaze out, like a Beacon, to the Disturbance of a whole Coun­try. [Page 326] As, (for the same Reason) where a Nobleman is truly such, his Wisdom, his Courage, and his Loyalty, strike out their Influence in larger Circles, than the Virtues of inferior Ranks can possibly be extended to.

FOR my Part, as it is my Purpose to speak of every Thing like a Plain Dealer, I declare with the utmost Indifference, That, though no Man more sincerely reverences what a Nobleman was meant to be, yet I can have no Respect at all, for the Name, where the Thing is wanting. On the contrary, it is my Opinion, That every Gentleman of Spi­rit should despise, and mortify the Vanity of such a chimerical Superiority, as would ad­vance itself, above substantial Honour, by the empty Memory and Sound of it.

THE Breath of a Sovereign may have Power to create Titles; But it can have none, to invert Qualities. Though the Vessel is in the Potter's Hands, and the Man must be cal­led Noble, whom the King delighteth to Ho­nour, yet, he will never be so, by his Patent, if he was not before, so, in his Nature.—But there is a Kind of Man, who, will, al­ways, be found Noble, without Aid of Pomp, or Titles: And, in what Place soever you chance to meet him, you may know him by the following Marks: He will be Humble in Greatness; and Immoveable, in Adversi­ty. He will be compassionate, without Weakness; Brave, without Arrogance; Con­scious, without Pride; and Sincere, without [Page 327] Indecency. He will be Wary, but not Sus­picious: And his Anger will have no Malice. He will Love, without Folly: and Disap­prove, without Hatred. His Hope will be Strong, but Patient: his Fear Awake, but Easy. He will be Active, without Hurry; and at Leisure, without Idleness: And, at least, if he be not Learned, he will be a Lo­ver of Learning.

THE PLAIN DEALER. N 39.
MONDAY, August 3. 1724.

— Turpi Secernis Honestum.
HOR.
Nec duo sunt, sed forma duplex; nec foemina dici
Nec puer ut possit: neutrumque & utrumque vid tur.
OVID.

THE following Letters being written in the Spirit of Benevolence, and ten­ding very much to the Reformation of some vicious Habits, which are grown to an enor­mous Height in too many of both Sexes, they shall furnish the Entertainment of the Day. [Page 328] These Female Correspondents, who are such powerful and ingenious Advocates in the Be­half of Beauty, Innocence, and Modesty, will, probably, observe with Pleasure, that their Letters, in a short Time, will have had a good Effect upon those who are not lost to all Sense of Shame; they will then enjoy the Satisfaction, of having efficaciously corrected, with their own pretty Hands, the Rude­nesses and Abuses, which they, so justly com­plain of.

Mr. PLAIN-DEALER,

I HAVE had the Misfortune to be Edu­cated after the old-fashion'd Method of our Ancestors; who were so ignorant, to in­stil Modesty, as a Virtue, into their Female Pupils. Now, you must know, Sir, this Place is filled, at present, with a polite Set of Ladies, (Members of a Society, with so hard a Name, that I am afraid I shou'd spell it wrong, so will omit it) that have Heroically resolv'd to put all Modest Virgins out of Countenance, by staring unmerci­fully in their Faces. This Behaviour adds so many new Charms, and renders them so agreeable to all they converse with, that I would gladly assume a little of this Modern Accomplishment: But the Prejudice of early imbib'd Principles, is so strong, that, instead of answering a SMART in his own Way, I cannot forbear Blushing, both for [Page 329] Him, and the Ladies that are diverted with his prodigious Wit: So beg you will either assist me to conquer these ill-bred Flushes; or prevail with the Ladies to confess their Sex, by a Grain or two of Modesty, out of Compassion to several Sufferers; and par­ticularly,

SIR,
Your Obedient Humble Servant, BIDDY BASHFUL.

N.B. It wou'd not be amiss, if you wou'd be pleas'd to appoint different Hours of Publick Appearance, to the two Classes, of the Bolds, and Bashfuls.

SIR,

MOST of our Neighbours, know­ing that I have the Honour to be related to you, have put me upon writing this Letter, to acquaint you, That Yester­day a strange and surprizing Creature was seen to pass through our Town on Horse­back: It had the Face of a young Woman, stuck full of Patches; a Perriwig, which hung down to Its Waist; a Hat, cock'd with the Smartness of a young Officer; a huge Bunch of Ribbons, fastened behind Its Left-Shoulder; a Shirt laid in large [Page 330] Pleights on the Breast, and tied close at the Neck and Wrists, which, with a Vest of White Satten, trimm'd with Black, had much the Resemblance of a Shroud. Our whole Town was soon alarmed with this strange Appearance, and various are still the Opinions what It really was: The Old Peo­ple who were the most couragious generally, went pretty near to It, with their Specta­cles on, to view It more distinctly; the younger Sort kept It at an awful Distance: Some were of Opinion, that It was a High­wayman in Disguise, and accordingly were for seizing It; others took It for a Nun; but by a certain arch Lear It had with Its Eyes, I dare engage It had not a Bit of Nun's Flesh about It: However, by its pale Complexion, and Shroudlike Dress, most of my Neighbours, at last, concluded It to be a Ghost, and so took to their Heels, and left me, (who am no great Believer in these Things) almost alone with It in the Road. I had now an Opportunity. during the Time It was drinking a Glass of Rhe­nish Wine and Sugar, at the Saracen's-head-Inn, to survey It well, and thereupon, con­cluding It to be an Hermaphrodite, I enqui­red of the Man, who seemed to have the keeping of It, If he intended to shew It in our Town? and at what Inn? for, you must know, Sir, that I have a mighty Cu­riosity to see one of those Creatures all over: But the Man, with an angry Coun­tenance, [Page 331] told me, That what I took for an Hermaphrodite, was only a young Lady, and that the Sort of Dress she was in, was commonly worn for a Riding-Habit by the Ladies of Fashion at London: But as nei­ther I, nor my Neighbours, can believe it possible for Folks, upon no ill Design, to disguise themselves in such a Manner, I desire you will, in one of your PLAIN-DEALERS, (for we have it constantly brought to us by our Coach) inform us of the Truth, which will tend very much to the Satisfaction of the best Part of our Town, who are your Readers; and parti­cularly,

Honoured SIR,
Your Kinswoman, And most Humble Servant, DOROTHY PLAIN.

P.S. SIR, Since I writ my Letter, some of my Neighbours tell me, they believe the Creature I have writ to you about, is one of the Masqueraders we have heard of, that are common with you at London; but, for my Part, I can't think it ugly enough for one of them neither.

[Page 332]THE subsequent Epistle is very curious, and gives an Account of a new Method of Scandal, which, my Correspondent assures me, takes very much with the Satyrical Part of her Sex; whom I am sorry to see so uncha­ritable to each other, and indiscreet enough to trust their Reputation to the Tongue of so loquacious an Animal.

SIR,

I WAS prevailed upon, one Day last Week, to visit my Lady Tattle, where I was no sooner seated, but I heard a Voice (which I thought too hoarse to come from our Sex) cry, ''Tis true, she is very pretty; but she has Mrs. Frail's Fault, that loves Fellows Company: And then a little after­wards: Good Lord! What's become of Miss Patty! will she never leave the Country! People say, before she went, she was fat about the Waist. Hearing my best Friends scan­dalized after this rude Manner; I could contain no longer, but, turning about to see the Author of such injurious Expressi­ons, I was surprized to hear the same Voice, in the most humble Tone imaginable, cry, Poor Poll, scratch Pole; pretty Parrot! It is impossible to describe the Pleasure, that appear'd in Lady Tattle's Eyes, upon hear­ing her Bird's Discourse: She told me, She had bespoke Three more, and that she de­signed one for Party, another for Scandal, and the Third, which she would instruct [Page 333] herself, should speak Poetry; I beg, Sir, you would either in your Writings put a Stop to this growing Folly, or desire some Member of Parliament to propose an Act to prohibit the Importation of Parrots.

I am SIR, Your most Humble Servant, VINDEMIA.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 40.
FRIDAY, August 7. 1724.

Omnia vincit amor, & noscedamus amori.
VIRG.

To the PLAIN DEALER.

SIR,

THE few Lines, I sent to you, on the 27th of the last Month, were in­tended for the Diversion of your Readers, and were the Dictates of a Mind at Ease. I write to you now, with a quite different' [Page 334] Spirit, and on a more substantial and solid Motive. My Heart was then, so light, that I little thought it would, in so short a Time, grow so heavy as I now find it. I am in Pain about a very worthy Relation of ours, young Mr. Truelove, who, being just return'd from his Travels, is married to a young Lady, upon whom he had secretly set his Heart for some Years before he went Abroad. The Perplexity of the Case is, That he has married her, without the Knowledge of his Father, and that the good old Gentleman, without the Know­ledge of his Son, had provided for him a Lady, Beautiful like her, himself has cho­sen, and young, like her; Equal in Fa­mily, but vastly Superior in Point of For­tune. Never was there a more Paternal Affection, than my Uncle Truelove has shewn innumerable Marks of to his Son; nor were there ever more Tokens of Filial Piety, than my Cousin has taken all Oc­casions to demonstrate towards his Father. It would be a wonderous Pity, that any Misunderstanding should happen between so loving and beloved a Father, and so lov­ing and beloved a Son: And yet we are all in mighty Apprehensions, that this Marri­age may occasion a fatal Breach between them. The Father placed the Prospect of the Son's Happiness in his having a Wife with a plentiful Fortune. The Son thought that, with Regard to his own Happiness, [Page 335] no Fortune could be put in Competition with the Value of the Woman, whose Virtue, Beauty, and Innocence, had en­dear'd her to his Heart. The Father (if all our Family guesses right, and much I fear we do) will be inraged at the Loss of an Estate, in which he had imaginarily pla­ced the whole Sum of his Son's Felicity in this World; he will tax him of Impru­dence, tell him he has thrown himself away, and call this Marriage so enter'd upon with­out his Knowledge or Consent, an Act of Disobedience. My Cousin, who bears a tender and an affectionate Heart, will ill brook these Rebukes, that make his Fa­ther seem to undervalue the precious Crea­ture, whom he, above all the World, holds dear; he will not, he cannot, suffer them. He will justify his Choice; He will be warm in the Defence of the Fair One his Father has despised; He will speak with Indifference of the Fortune; his Father had with Pains been seeking, in Compari­son of her, and maintain the Privilege of his being of Age, and free to chuse for himself. Thus their very Affections, by this different Notion, they have of Hap­piness, may be the Causes of their Diffe­rence; and since those, who have a Vio­lence in the Passion of Love, carry with them that Violence into other Passions, we are apt to fear, that, unless some Precauti­ons be taken, the Rupture may be dange­rous; [Page 336] and we rather think, by gentle Me­thods, to break the Force of the Disap­pointment in the Manner of discovering the Marriage to the Old Gentleman, than leave him to the Chance of a hasty Fury, upon his suddenly discovering it himself. We are all on the Son's Side, before the Matter breaks out; and we have a Mind to make it up with the Old Gentleman, as it were without his own Knowledge. Our Contrivance is, what I am sure your Hu­manity will prompt you to help forward; that you should pen a Paper, in Defence of the Right which young Men have of chusing for themselves, and against the Hardship there would be in a Father's interposing his Au­thority against the Inclinations of his Son, in the Case of Marriage, and after we have read that to him, we will open it by De­grees. Though it is more particularly ours at present, yet it is the World's Concern: The Young of both Sexes will be pleased with the Speculation, and it may be very extensively beneficial. If that Fatherly Gentleman, that wise Companion of yours, the Major, joins with you in supporting the Cause of the young People, two such Au­thorities will be of great Weight with the old Ones, and, at least reconcile them so far to this general Opinion of all Children, that when such Accidents happen, they will not stand in need of so many Argu­ments to reconcile them to their Persons. [Page 337] In complying with this, you will give great Ease and Satisfaction to our whole Family, and particularly to,

Honoured SIR,
Your Affectionate Kinswoman, and Humble Servant, DOROTHY PLAIN.

WHEN this Letter came to my Hands, the Major happened to be present, and as soon as I had look'd it over, I told him, He had a Right to read it; he did so, and returning it with a Smile, Your Kinswoman (said he) makes a very reasonable Request; The Old People, who are generally in the Right, when they differ from the Young, will not be angry with us, their Coaevals and Well-wishers, if we should endeavour to shew, that the young People are not al­together in the Wrong in this Point. For my share, I must frankly declare, That, when young People are at Years of Discretion before they marry, the Law of Nature and Reason, seems to speak them Free to chuse for themselves, since they, and not their Parents, for no less a Term than Life, are to enjoy the Happiness of a Right Choice, or feel the Smart of a Wrong one. The Major and I agreed in this Sentiment, and had a long Discourse upon [Page 338] the Subject, which, when I got Home, threw me into the following Reflections.

OF all the Affections, which move and act pleasurably upon the Frame of Human Na­ture, Plato reckons Love the most desirable: For He, saith this curious Philosopher, who is thoroughly affected with this Passion, removes his Soul to the Place, where he has settled his Affections, and loses Himself to find the Object he doats upon. This pleasant Straying, this delightful Wandering of the Soul from its own Mansion, is a beautiful Description of the Force of Love, and the Power, which those, who were created to charm, have to transport us, as it were, from the Government of Ourselves, into their own absolute Dominion. A Passion, which is, of its own Nature, so violent, ren­ders Men excusable, in a great measure, when they seem to misplace it: They cannot be said to be guilty of a Fault in disobeying their Relations, when they are transported beyond the Power of giving Law to themselves. They are sunk in the soft Captivity, and Cap­tives, are not free Agents: Neither is it hard it should be so in Nature; on the contrary, as good and virtuous Women, alone, have the full Power of moving and captivating the Soul in the manner I mention, it is so far from being an Evil, that it is a Blessing to be highly coveted. The Man, who is born of a good Mother, says little enough, when, transported by her Desert, he calls Women the Ornaments of Mankind in their [Page 339] Prosperity, and their Supports in Adversity; There is no being happy in Life without them.

PLATO, in another Place, has carried the Sentiment to a more agreeable Height, he says, The Soul of a Man, in Love, dieth in his own Body, and liveth in anothers. This is Energy of Expression; and yet there is not more of Strength and Delicacy, than of Pro­priety and Justness: For, the Soul of a Man in Love, is dead to all other Appetites. The Man, who was in Love with Riches, and ea­ger in the Pursuit of Honour, before he be­held the Fair One, who captivated his Soul, the Moment his Heart confesses itself a Victim to the Enchantment of Beauty, looks no longer upon Honour and Riches as the Two principal Movements, they grow only secondary Bless­ings, and are no farther valued than as they may help him to comfort, and adorn the adored Companion of his Life. Love is really, witn regard to other Affections, what the Philoso­pher's Stone is pretended to be, with regard to Metals: It inriches, and ennobles every Thing it touches: It is the genuine Elixir, that gives a golden Tincture to every Dispo­sition of the Mind; it heightens Ambition; it inlarges Generosity; it quickens Joy; it banishes Envy; it extinguishes Lust; it en­livens the Virtues, and extirpates the Vices of Men in all Ranks and Conditions of Life. Is there a King, who is a Lover of Money? The Beauty whom he languishes to make a [Page 340] Queen, is valued beyond all his Treasure: Is there a Courtier that is warm in the Pursuit of a Coronet? Let him be in Love, and his Mistress is his Pride: Without her, the Co­ronet will not hinder his Head from aching: A Garter will less assuage the Swellings of his proud Heart, than a Favour of her be­stowing. A Man that has a Fulness of Joy in his Composition, will grow melancholy, if he loses the fair Object of his Desires; Musick cannot please where her Voice is not heard: Equipage, Embroideries, and Brocades are false Colours upon the Heart that is inwardly in Mourning. The Envious Man envies no Body but his Rival, while he continues a Lover. The Lustful forgets his Appetites after Va­riety of Women. What Parent can ratio­nally expect to be heard, when he undertakes to plead against such powerful Impressions? All the Urgings of Duty will be of no Effect; all the Arguments that can be used, will be no Arguments to these; all the World, beside his Mistress, is nothing to the Man that is in Love, and She is all the World to him.

WHAT can they hope to propose to a Son in this Condition, thar will deter him from his Purposes? Will they propose to him a Women, whom they think more beautiful and agreeable, and that as an infinite Superiority of Fortune, above the Fair One, that is his own Choice; Let her be as great a Fortune as she pleases, she is no Fortune at all to him: She would be, with all her Wealth, the Load [Page 341] and Calamity of his Life. Love, he would say, is built upon the Union of Minds; Hearts are not to be bribed by Gold, and true Passion is not to be bought off by the Treasure of both Indies. He can have no Relish in Possessions, that his desired Partner shares not. Will they add, That besides Fortune, the Mistress they recommend, has infinitely more of Beauty in the World's Eyes? He will answer, The World's Eye is none of his; he will grant, even that she may have Defects, and will not stop to say, That he is even in Love with those Defects. In fine, All they can propose will never avail, nor is it, indeed, reasonable that it should. If they threaten him with their Displeasure, and tax him with want of Duty, he will tell them, That he is dutiful in all other Points; he will be sor­ry for their Displeasure, but cannot obey in this One Case; he will make this undeniable Quotation in his Defence, That he is to leave his Father and Mother, and cleave to his Wife. And, truly, if his Parents think, that he sins against Prudence in chusing a slender Fortune, all the World will judge, that they would sin against Justice, if, forcing his In­clinations, they make him Wretched, under Pretence of making him Rich, and render him Miserable, under the Colour of making him Fortunate.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 41.
MONDAY, August 10. 1724.

Principiis Obsta —
OVID.
— Vellent tibi barbam
Lascivi pueri —
HOR.

THE Complaint of CHLOE, in the ensuing Letter seems to be formed up­on so laudable a Desire of making her Hus­band more agreeable to her, that without being entirely uncomplaisant, and void of all Gallantry whatsoever, there is no such Thing as refusing to insert it, or denying her all the Assistance, that such a Plain Old Man, as I am, shall be able to give her, to­wards procuring her a proper Redress from her Husband.—It is, indeed, a nice and ticklish Matter to have any Thing to do be­tween married Folks; and, unless I had great Hopes of doing good, I should have little Inclination to meddle in it.

[Page 343]BUT I remember to have heard a particu­lar Case once, when a very Reverend Divine was applied to, by both Parties, to accom­modate a Difference between them; the holy Man, excused himself, with a venerable Shrug, saying, That he had laid it down as a Maxim, Never to go between a Man and his Wife, on any Consideration whatever.—A Friend of mine, who knew both the Man and the Wife, assured me, That the first Grounds of their Difference were too ridicu­lous to bear being told; but, that both being very stiff and obstinate not to yield an Inch on either Side, were, however, inwardly ashamed, and wanted nothing more earnestly than a Pretence to come together by the In­terposition of the Divine: If the Doctor had only used Will. Weathercock's healing Method, and said no more, but that, Tho' both of them had been in the Wrong, yet both of them were in the Right too, all would certainly have come right, and they have been as good Friends as ever.

FOR this Reason therefore, I shall never think it a Matter of Scruple to thrust in be­tween a discontented Couple. My Corre­spondent CHLOE complains of a very ob­vious and visible Obstruction, that is easy, and will be even refreshing to her Husband to take off, and I comply with her Desire of inserting the Complaint, because, I confide, that her Husband's Compliance with the Prayer of her Petition, will be the Conse­quence of mine.

Mr. PLAIN DEALER.

THIS very Day makes it exactly Half a Year, since I became a Wife. My Husband, when he made his Applications to me, always appeared Gay, Genteel, and Debonnair. But, about Two Months af­ter we had tyed the Gordian Knot, He be­gan to dress in a more negligent Manner. He now appears so much the Reverse of what he did formerly, in Point of Dress, that the Neighbours look upon it as a bad Compliment to his Yoke-Mate. Before Matrimony, his Chin was scarce shaded. But now, the Barber is never sent for but on a Saturday Night. This strange Meta­morphosis, you may naturally suppose, is no ways agreeable to me. I assure you, Sir, I have spared no Pains to prevail with my Deary, to make his Appearance, in a Man­ner suitable to his Station. However, my repeated Petitions have, all of them, prov­ed ineffectual. I therefore, beg of you, Mr. PLAIN DEALER, to give me your Assistance in this Affair, and you will high­ly oblige,

Your very Humble Servant, CHLOE.

IF the Maxim of the above-mentioned Divine was to be followed in our present Case, [Page 345] I do not know where this Complaint might end, and whether it would not come to an open Rupture: It is certain, the most remarkable Divorces have arisen from as small Beginnings. The very Letter of this young Lady, shews her to be a neat and cleanly Person, and therefore her Complaint of this (I cannot help terming it) dirty Usage, carries the greater Weight with it. I can, methinks, behold this young Sloven approaching the tender Thing, and embracing her in a man­ner that turns Pleasure into a Torment; I see him hold her struggling against a Kiss, his Arms round her unwilling Neck, force her Face to his dreaded Lip; he is put to the Necessity of ravishing a Kiss from his own Wife, and yet is ignorant of the Meaning.—He takes it, however, by Violence.—She looks half pleased, half angry, hangs down her Head, hides the Water in her Eyes, pushes him, between Jest and Earnest, from her Bosom; rubs her glowing and smarting Mouth, calls him Rough Thing! with half a tender-laughing, and a half-whining Voice.—The unpolish'd Creature casts a Booby Stare at her, and is stupidly at a Loss to know why she struggles so hard against what she likes: Unless he is told, point-blank, That his Beard is the Cause of all the Disor­der, he cannot perceive that her Cheeks look red and angry with his Kisses, and wear ra­ther the Print of Fury than Love. He must be told, That a delicate Skin was never [Page 346] form'd to be brush'd over by a bristly Beard, that is rough, and stubborn, like the Hu­mour that lets it grow. I call it more parti­cularly stubborn in this unaccountable young Fellow, for she has told, and told him of it again and again, in plain Terms, and he, notwithstanding all this, pertinaciously conti­nues to go rough. Now is it not a preposte­rous way of acting, after all, that when a Lover, he should shave close, for fear of of­fending the Eye of a Mistress whom he was uncertain of obtaining; and yet let it grow, when a Husband, without having the Fear of wounded Beauty before his Eyes; and without any Apprehensions of hurting that Face by his Roughness, that charm'd him by its Softness.

I DWELL the more upon this Subject, as in­considerable as it may seem to some, because it is a Male Vice that I have frequently ta­ken Notice of, and as often wish'd to see re­medied for the sake of the fair Sufferers, who are wedded to such unpolish'd Barbarians. A Marriage Conversation ought to humanize and temper Men; on the contrary, these, in­stead of growing tamer, are made more sa­vage by Matrimony.

YOU shall see a Lover in a fine Campaign Peruque, and an embroider'd Suit of Cloaths, alter'd into a Husband, with an aukward Country Bob, and a Surtout made out of a Rug. You shall find his Manners following his Dress, and his Complaisance degenerating [Page 347] into Bluntness. It is in all Degrees alike. You shall see one, whom before Marriage, you would take for a Lord, alter'd, after it, into a Coachman; many that seemed Senators transmuted into Jockies; a hundred ceremo­nious Beaus turn'd Clowns, and numberless Sir Clements transformed into Country Lob­bins.

SURE, as old as I am, I have a more amorous Nature in me still, than these my­sterious young Fellows, whose Affections and Actions are so different, I cannot tell what to make of them. I can easily guess it would tickle my Ear strangely, to hear a young beautiful Creature telling me, how I should become more agreeable to her, by adorning myself, and intreating me to do it. For Ex­ample, if Patty Amble and I were upon ab­solute Terms of Agreement, There are not any little Customs, that I would not depart from for her Ease. As fix'd an Aversion as I have profess'd against clouded Canes, I should, however, be easily perswaded to carry a painted Stick, instead of an Oaken, if by walking with it, I was sure to make Progres­sion in my Wife's Affection; nay, I would admit a Knot of Ribbons to it into the Bar­gain, provided it would render our Marriage-Knot the easier. Again, I have known Wo­men, who have a prodigious Aversion to a Mouse, and are not only very wary at guard­ing their Petticoats upon the Approach of that little noxious and nimble Animal, but [Page 348] do not even care that any Thing, which looks the least like it, should come near them: Now, if my Patty was of that Temper, I, who know how far Women are apt to stretch some Antipathies, would alter the very Colour of my Gloves for fear of Offence; and though I have affected Mouse-colour for so many Years, I would fit myself with a Pair of White, or, at least, of a less frightful Complexion, before I would come within Arm's Length of her Hoop. In fine, tho' I wear a little Mustache (the Fashion when I was young, and a Peculiarity I have not mentioned of myself 'till this Day) that would rather tickle than offend, yet sooner than that should interpose, it should be de­voted to the Edge of the Razor. For I am absolutely for rescinding the least Obstacles between a Man and his Wife, before Mat­ters are carried too far.

A GREAT many People will object, that these are Trifles; but I say, They are Mat­ters that have more Consequences than they dream of. However, granting the Objection true, if conforming one's-self in little Mat­ters is sufficient to please, it is the least a Man can do, to indulge so amiable a Crea­ture.

COMPLIANCE in Dress, is a Piece of Matrimonial Wisdom, Fine Feathers making fine Birds: Women often chuse more judici­ously than the Men; and have Regard to [Page 349] Sense, Temper, and Behaviour, but they will have a Mixture of Appearance too, in the Composition of their Man, if possible; and Dress passes, with some of them, even beyond Looks; insomuch, that though Fi­nery, in the general Rule, be the Glory and darling Passion of a Woman, yet there are Exceptions of many, who would rather see their Husbands fine, than themselves. No­thing is more common, than to hear ordinary Women, especially, who, after they are mar­ried, are very free in declaring the Source of their Affections, say, That the Neatness of her Husband, the Smugness of his Look, and the Cleverness of his Shape, &c. first made her in Love with him. If this be the Case, when the Cause ceases, the Effect will cease too: The Moment he grows dirty, wears a long Beard, or drowns himself in a large Josephus, the pleasant Picture, that his Wife had painted of him, in her Fancy, va­nishes; and if not re-imprinted sometimes, her Liking insensibly wears away. In fine, as much Trifles as these are, a Wife's Heart, if that be a Trifle, is lost by the Disuse of them; and perhaps made a trifling Present of, to a Stranger that minds Dressing.

I HAVE been credibly informed, That it is a political Piece of Cunning, among those unlucky Sparks, who affect to shine by the Means of modish Wickedness, to observe, how the Husband, who grows careless after Marriage, appeared in the Times of his [Page 350] Courtship, and to equip themselves accord­ingly. They Play the Part of the Suiter so well upon the Husband, as to estrange from him the Affections of his Spouse, and transfer them to their proper Purpose. They dress in the same Manner, wear Cloaths of the same Colour, are punctual in his very Pinch and Cock of the Hat, mimick his Air, Gait, Mien, and by this Policy in Love, make the Husband his own Rival. But as the Face is the Mart of Love, so these Inconveniencies happen mostly from an Over-neglect of that Part; the being not shaved ruffles a Wo­man's Temper against her Husband; while the Gallant, by being trimm'd, smooths a Passage to her Inclination.

I AM sure, if the Case stands thus, a Bar­ber is an Artisan of Importance, since, be­sides taking off the Beard, he lops away such growing Evils.

LET Him, therefore, that values his Head, look to his Beard; and be mindful.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No. 42
FRIDAY, August 14. 1724.

— Cinis & Manes, & Fabula fies.
PERS.

EVER since I was a School-Boy, I have been fond of walking in Westminster-Abbey, where, when my Heart is heated, by the Violence of some unruly Passion, I enjoy a cool Composure, and a kind of Venerable Refreshment.—Its dusky Cloisters, majest­ick Isles, Quire, Organs, Royal Tombs, and reverend Variety of strong, impressive, Images, have a never-failing Power to reduce my Mind from Transport, when Hope, Prosperity, or Pleasure, have betray'd it into Vanity; or, to relieve it, when disorder'd, by a Weight of Anguish, or Oppression.

DEATH, and the Sun, says a French Writer, are Two Things not to be look'd upon with a steady Eye.—Though there is something in his Observation, rather pretty, than just, yet so far is certainly true, That we are un­qualify'd [Page 352] to think, serenely, on our Dissolu­tion, while we are surrounded by the Noise, and Hurry of the World, in its ambitious Scenes; or soften'd into sensual Wishes, by the Languor of an idle Solitude.—While we are Part of our own Prospect we can never view it justly: But, in such a Situation as the Abbey, we are plac'd as it were, out of our­selves, and, from this ancient Stand of Death, look back upon a Country, which we seem no longer to have any Concern in; and which, therefore we can judge of with the necessary Clearness and Impartiality.

THE Mind that is stedfast enough to medi­tate, calmly, on Death, will be arm'd to re­sist the Strength, and the Flattery, of human Passions.—Such Thoughts, if they make us not better, will, at least, make us wiser; since that must moderate our Wishes. which puts us out of Countenance at their Levity: And, who can reflect, without being asham'd, that while every Thing, in Life, is accidental, and Death, the only Certainty; we go on to act notwithstanding, as if all Things, else were in­fallible, and Death but accidental.

I, sometimes, suffer myself to be shut up for Five or Six Hours among the Tombs, where I sit down without Ceremony, or Reprehen­sion, among the proudest of those Princes, who were once, too stately to be convers'd with, but at Distance, and with Fear and Re­verence.—I possess, in common, with the Spiders (their Companions, and most con­stant [Page 353] Servants, who spread Net-work over their Trophies) the unenvied Privilege of sur­rounding those last Beds of forgotten Ma­jesty.—Here I bury myself, in solemn Si­lence, and imprint my Imagination with Images, which awaken Thought and prepare me for Humility.—The stain'd, and melancholy Light, that enters faintly through the painted Windows, as if it wore a decent Mourning, to become the Scene it opens to me, guides me, slowly, by the cloister'd Allies, dusty Tombs, and weeping Statues, till I am lost in that still Pomp of figur'd Sorrow, which, on every Side, incloses me.

From finish'd Pray'r, the Flock disperse apace,
And each glad Foot forsakes the dreary Place:
The hooded Prebend, plods along before;
And the last Virger, claps the ringing Door.
Then, thoughtful, ling'ring, curious, and alone,
In the dark Temple, when the rest are gone,
No Noise invades my Ear; No murm'ring Breath
Not one low Whisper, in the Hall of Death!
No trampling Sound swims o'er the silent Floor;
But the slow Clock, that counts the sliding Hour!

HERE, indulging Contemplation, I forget my Cares, and Misfortunes, and disencumber myself from the Forms, and Embarrassments of Converse. I become the Inhabitant of a quiet, and unbusy World, where all is serene and peaceful: I am disturb'd by no Fears, inflam'd by no Anger, inspir'd by no Hope, tormented by no Jealousy: I can expect, [Page 354] whitout Impatience; and be disappointed, without Affliction: The Dust, which is scat­ter'd round me, and which once, was Living Flesh, as I am, choaks the Fountains of my Pride, and produces in me a Mortification, that is too strong for all my Passions.

I WAS present, very lately, when of those Monumental Historians, whose Imployment it is to draw a Profit from reading Lectures, on these Resting Places of our antient Princes, was shewing the Tomb of Henry the Fifth, to a Circle of Holiday Strollers.—After having inform'd the tasteless Wonderers, That this was He who conquer'd France! That His Son was crown'd in Paris! That he married the French King's Daughter! And what else he had been Able to collect from the Records of this great Prince's Reign; he pointed to a Plain, Wooden, Worm-eaten, Coffin, that was plac'd upon the Ground, by this Tomb's Side, and told them, That it contain'd the Body of Queen Catherine, the beautiful Wife of this Triumphant Henry.—Adding, That for a small, additional, Contribution, he would unlock the Coffin, and let them look in upon her Corpse, which lay there, perfect, and undecay'd, though she had been dead al­most Three hundred Years. They had Curi­osity enough to pay the Price demanded, and the Proposer made good his Promise, unveiling to their Sight, and Touch, the Reliques of that Royal Charmer.

[Page 355]I CANNOT express the Indignation, and Con­cern which this Scene gave me.—Her lovely Limbs, which, once, were thought too ten­der for the Wind to blow upon; and which were never seen without Joy, Reverence, and Wonder, by the Conqueror of Her Father's Kingdom, and the Sovereign of This in which she died: Now, lay neglected, and expos'd! denied even Earth to cover her! and made a Spectacle, for Entertainment of a Croud of common Wanderers!

SUPERIOR, as this Lady was, in her Beauty Birth, and Fortune, what Prae-eminence in Death have all these given her above the Meanest, and most Unlovely?—After hav­ing made her Life a changeful Course of Sor­row and Calamity, they left her destitute, in Death, without the Decency of a Grave to shelter her!—There, now, she lies, a Proof of transitory Greatness! To comfort the Wretched, with this Reflection, when they look in upon her expos'd Remains, that Nature has made no Difference between a Royal, and a Vulgar, Body; But, that, taking away what was added by Fortune, each, from the Moment of Death, is the other's Equal to Eternity.

WHAT Rank, or Condition, is there among us, which may not draw, from this great School of Moral Reasoning, some Observa­tion for their Benefit?—Even the Unwary and Extravagant, whose Lives are a con­tinued Luxury! and to whom the Miseries [Page 356] of Debt appear remote, and without Terror! Even They, may find a Lesson among these Tombs; for there they may be shewn the Bodies of great Men, doing Penance in their Velvet Coffins, and imprison'd after Death, to satisfy the Malice of their stubborn Creditors, as if the Influence of sordid Money could extend its Cruelties beyond Life, and had a Privilege to disturb, by Avarice, the sleeping Ashes of de­parted Sovereigns!

IS a Man insulted? wrong'd? betray'd? Does he hate his distrusted Enemy? Are his Thoughts imploy'd on Revenge? And does he break his Sleep with Stratagems, to avoid, or retaliate, the Injustice that may be done him? Let him walk with me in this instruct­ive Circle, and I will shew him the Dust of a murder'd Monarch, mixing quietly with his who murder'd him.—I will tread with him over Earth that is passive, and ferments not, though compos'd of united Atoms from the mingl'd Bodies of those Men, whose bat­tling Interests and Affections, while they liv'd, shook the Kingdom like an Earthquake!—When the Quarrelsome consider This they ought to blush at their little Hatreds, and grow asham'd to let their Souls be divided by Animosity, when Death may crumple their Bodies together, and incorporate them with their most malicious Enemy!

THERE is no Fortune so exalted, but it may find a Check in this dark Mansion: Nor any Condition so dejected, but that it may [Page 357] be sure of a Comfort: Every Stone that we look upon, in this Repository of past Ages, is an Entertainment, and a Monitor.—I never leave its venerable Gloom, without finding my Mind cooler, and more compos'd than when I enter'd.—I sink deep into myself, and see my Heart without Disguise; in its good, or evil Propensities: And I ga­ther Power from these strong Impressions to re­sist Pleasure, Pride, Ambition, or low Avarice: And to fortify the Impulses of Humility, For­giveness, Charity, and the Virtues of Con­tent and Quietude.

THERE was publish'd, a few Years since, a Poem, call'd WESTMINSTER-ABBEY. I am sorry the Author's Name was not printed with it. There is somthing highly elevated in his Genius, that is sweetly serious, and sublimely melancholy!—The Verses insert­ed above, I am indebted for to that Poem: And I shall borrow from the same Piece, these following, which, I will take the Liberty to affirm, are as fine ones, as were ever written.—I ask Pardon for a Transposition, and Alteration, or Two, which I have only made, that I might have the Pleasure of collecting into one view, as many of the Beauties, as could possibly be drawn together in the narrow Compass of my Paper.

[Page 358]
Lead on, my Muse! while, trembling, I essay
To trace thy Footsteps, through the Cloister'd Way:
Throw a thick Veil around thy radiant Head,
And lead me through the Dwellings of the Dead.
Where the still Banner, faded, and decay'd,
Nods, pendant, o'er its mould'ring Master's Head,
Where Loves, transform'd to Marble Angels, moan:
And weeping Cherubs, seem to sob in Stone.
Seize Time: and by the Pinions, urge his Stay;
Stop him, a while, in his Eternal Way.
Bid him recline his Scythe, on each pale Tomb,
And name the Tenant of the darksome Room.
O, Muse! with Care, the blended Dust explore;
And re-inspire, and wake, the sleeping Floor.
To mount their Throne, here, Monarchs bend their Way,
O'er Pavements, where their Predecessors lay:
Ye Sons of Empire! who, in pompous Hour,
Attend, to wear the cumbrous Robe of Pow'r!
When ye proceed along the shouting Way,
Think, there's a Second Visit, still to pay.
And, when in State, on buried Kings you tread,
And swelling Robes sweep o'er th' imperial Dead!
While, like a God, your worshipp'd Eyes move round,
Think, then, O think! you walk on treach'rous Ground.
Though firm the chequer'd Pavement seems to be,
'Twill, surely, open, and give Way, for Thee!
While crouding Lords, address their Duties near
Th' anointing Prelate! and the kneeling Peer!
While with obsequious Diligence, they bow,
And spread the careful Honours, o'er thy Brow:
[Page 359]While the high-rais'd Spectators shout around,
And the long Isles and vaulted Roofs, resound:
Then, snatch a sudden Thought and turn thy Head,
From the loud Living, to the silent Dead.
With conscious Eye, the neighb'ring Tombs survey:
These will instruct thee, better far, then They!
What now, thou art, in yon gay Homage see:
But These best shew, what thou art sure to be!

I AM ignorant what Reception this excel­lent Performance met with in the World; but I, hope, for the Honour of my Country, that it was not a bad one!—The whole Poem is full of Beauties; but, if it had no other Merit than appears in what I have here copied from it, every candid Judge of Poetry, must allow it to have deserved the highest Applause and Admiration.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No. 43.
MONDAY, August 17. 1724.

— Hic murus aheneus esto
Nil conscire sibi, nulla pallescere culpa.
HOR.
But thou shalt flourish in immortal Youth,
Unhurt, amidst the War of Elements,
The Wreck of Matter, and the Crush of Worlds.
Add. Cato.
Mr. PLAIN DEALER,

I Am an old Man, as you are, and when I reflect on the fantastick Vicissitude of human Affairs; when I consider the Short­ness of Life, and the small Pretensions I have to any longer Share in it, it fills my Mind with something grave, solemn, and, I must own, melancholy; but when I give my Thoughts a more unbounded Scope, and pass over that short Intermission of Life, into the Contemplation of an Eternal [Page 361] Being, my Mind recovers from that Gloom, which the first Reflection fill'd me with, and grows gay, in Proportion to the Influ­ence which this latter has upon it.

I WAS, last Night, reading that celebrated Speech of Cato whence I have taken the Motto, with which I head this Letter, and whether it was from the serious Thoughts which that Soliloquy inspired, or the last strong Glimpses of a Mind almost expiring, and habituated to such Speculations, I am not able to determine; but I was no sooner fallen asleep, than the following Dream, or rather Vision, grew into Form, and fill'd my Fancy.

METHOUGHT the dreadful Hour was come, in which I was to resign this Life; my Bed was surrounded by a silent Company of weeping Friends, whose Sorrows touch'd me more, than my own approaching Dissolution, which happen'd in less Time, than human Nature can con­ceive, and therefore (though at that Period I felt it sensibly) it is impossible I should now describe it. I was no sooner freed from the Incumbrance, and Obscurity, of Mat­ter, but my Soul became refined to such an infinite Degree of Conception, that my Eyes, having nothing to interrupt, or con­fine their View, were strengthen'd with such piercing Beams, that they darted every Glance through an innumerable Pro­gression [Page 362] of Worlds, and illuminated me with a particular, and perfect, Knowledge of the Harmony, and Fabrick of each ex­tended System.

WHILST I was thus lost in Contem­plation (for infinite Spare, like an endless Source, still afforded me new Objects to nourish that inextinguishable Thirst of Knowledge, which is the Employment of Eternal Life) I felt a Heavenly Transport, which diffus'd itself, swifter than Thought, through the Frame of my new Being; and which, at the same Time it made my Soul tremble with its Influence, invigora­ted, and enabled it to support the Energy.

I NOW enjoy'd perfect Felicity, and whilst my Soul (whose Desire of Know­ledge increased in proportion with its Power to gratify it) imploy'd each different Sen­sation in pursuit of that Branch, which which was peculiar to its Nature; on a sud­den, I heard an universal Crack, which seem'd to arise from the whole Number of created Worlds, and resounded from Globe to Globe, with a long Continuance of rever­berated Uproars.

AT last, the Chain that link'd them in that dependant Order, in which, from the first Moment of their Creation, they have perpetually been moving, shiver'd, of it­self: The loosen'd Orbs, thus disunited, began to roll, with an unconceivable Swift­ness, through the vast Expanse of Space, [Page 363] and met, and shock'd each other in the dark Vacuity! The Sun, now robb'd of Light, whirl'd rapid, and irregular! The Moon let loose her Seas, and rain'd a De­luge in her falling! The fixed Stars, that, from the Birth of Time, had kept their appointed Stations, no longer aw'd by the all-powerful Word, broke loose, and rush'd together. Prodigious was the Sound! and horrible the Conflict! The Elements, for­getting their respective Qualities, and urg'd by the immutable Decree, met, all, and mix'd, and lost themselves, in ruinous Confusion.

WHEN all seem'd bury'd in profoundest Darkness, the wild Uproar ceas'd at once; and as I wonder'd at this sudden Silence, a Pyramid of Fire broke thro', that in a Moment, enwrapp'd the Whole, and, having nothing left to prey upon, at length, devour'd it self.

THUS was the End of All! When from that inaccessible Brightness, where the Di­vine Presence conceals, yet makes it self known, a Beam of Day shot out, which lighting up the infinite Extent of Heaven, and rendering it transparent, discover'd all its Glories. I there perceiv'd the Stream of Life, which running through the midst of Heaven, quicken'd where-ever it roll'd, and watering the Tree of Knowledge, nou­rish'd it eternally: Next, I saw numberless Swarms of Beings, like myself, that fill'd [Page 364] the Vastness of Infinitude, and seem'd lost, like me, in Wonder, Praise, and Adora­tion. I heard a Voice (which had more Influence, than the most perfect Harmony of human Art, and communicated itself to all alike) cry, Come, Eat of the Tree of Knowledge, and Drink of the Water of Life.

IMMEDIATELY the Angelick Host, and all the Children of Earth (who, by Obedience to this Command, were become one, and the same) eat, and drank, as they were commanded. The first Effect of this, that I found on myself, and per­ceived in all the rest, was a perfect Recol­lection of whatever I had done since my first entering into Life: Various were the Consequences! The Ungrateful, the Mur­therer, the Miser, the False Friend, and the Rebel, remember'd, with Horror, their past Crimes, and grew frantick, at every Thought, with the Consciousness of what they had merited. They felt the se­verest Pangs of that most lively of all Torments, Despair; but the Just, and those who had the least to reproach them­selves with, found, yet, they had too much to answer for, when, in the Book of Record, which was thrown open to the View of all, they perceived, that the mi­nutest of their Thoughts were registered.

NOW we all became sensible, how easy the Rule was by which we were to have [Page 365] liv'd; and how adapted to the required Obedience of human Nature! Whilst we were thus lamenting our unhappy States, and aggravating our Misery by Self-Con­viction, in an Instant, we discover'd a fiercer Blaze of Light, and beheld the my­stick Veil drawn off, that shrouded the Almighty's Presence: Raised on a Throne, to which the Brightness of the Sun would have been dim, the Divine Father of all Things disclos'd Himself; His Countenance was mildly aweful; Paternal Tenderness shone out in every Feature of His Face, and dis­covered a Concern for us, which, we knew, proceeded from a Divine Idea, That if He should be Merciful, He must be more than Just.

ON His Right Hand sat the Second Person, our known Redeemer; In Him, the Beauty of the Father was divinely manifested; In Him, the Glory of His Power at once was soften'd, and exerted. Behind Him the fatal Figure of that Cross, on which He suffer'd, hung, like a dread­ful Comet, prognosticating the Hour of Judgment. On the Left, was placed the Third Adorable Person, in the, now, no longer Mystick Union. In Him, an equal Mixture of the Father, and the Son, re­veal'd itself, uniting, in his Countenance, the severest Glory of the One, with the most ineffable Sweetness of the Other.

[Page 366] BENEATH, and on the Right of the World's triumphant Saviour, sat his Twelve Disciples: Their Eyes were fix'd on their great Master's Looks, and seem'd to borrow thence, by Reflection, all their Softness, and their Lustre. In equal Sta­tions, on the Left of the Holy Spirit, ap­pear'd those Antient Philosophers, who, through the Dusk of Superstition and Ido­latry, by the Light of Reason, and mere Nature, saw, and taught, One True, Eternal God; and in Defence of that Be­lief, had Courage even to suffer Martyr­dom.

WHILST I contemplated this Divine Appearance, I heard a Voice, which, pro­ceeding thence, pierc'd the profoundest Space of Heaven, proclaming, That each should be his own Judge, and from the Testi­mony of his own Conscience, acquit, or con­demn himself.

IMMEDIATELY all the Just, and those whose Consciences, by due Allowances for the Frailties of human Nature, could ac­quit, and encourage them, advanced, and (with a Modesty, at once more humble and assured, than any thing on Earth) as­serted, and made known, their Virtues and Obedience to the Divine Commands, concluding, that, though they had ac­quitted themselves, and were intitled, by the unalterable Word, to Everlasting Feli­city, yet could they not pretend to claim [Page 367] it, 'till they had received the Almighty Sanction, which they hop'd for, through the Mediation, the Merits, and the Blood of his beloved Son, who died for Man's Redemption, Pardon, and Salvation. Af­ter which, they prostrated themselves be­fore the Throne, and, receiving Diadems of Glory, were admitted as Partakers of Beatitude without End.

I THEN heard the same Voice repeat, Let each be his own Judge, and from the Testimony of his own Conseience, acquit, or condemn, himself; But, far from seeing any more advance (though still there were infi­nite Numbers remaining) I observ'd, that they drew back, reproaching each other, beating their Breasts, and making such Variety of Lamentations, that the violent Noise awaken'd me, in such a Mixture of Joy, and Horror, that it will be long be­fore my Memory wears out the Impression of so strong a Vision, which, if it affects you enough, to make you judge it worth publishing, I shall have slept, as I love to wake, for the Service, or Warning of others.

I am, SIR, Your constant Reader, C. D.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 44.
FRIDAY, August 21. 1724.

Obsequium amicos, veritus, odium parit. —
TEREN.
Fortior, est qui se, quam qui fortissima vincit
Moenia —
VIRG.
Nil agit exemplum, litem quod lite resolvit. —
HOR.

I was visited, some Days ago, by several of my distinguish'd Friends; and, on this Occasion, must particularly name the Major, and Ned Volatile, in regard they were the principal Persons concerned in that After­noon's Conversation, which gave Birth to this Day's Paper.

THE Discourse turn'd upon a Subject, to which a late unhappy Rencounter furnish'd too many Materials: 'Twas the Dispute be­tween Two dear and inseparable Friends, which ended not, but with the Life of one of [Page 369] them. The Personal Acquaintance, that some of us had with one, or both, of the Gen­tlemen, continued our Conversation longer, and carried our Reflections farther, than we should else have allow'd of, at a Time, when we met to give, and receive a mutual Plea­sure.

THE Point of Honour, which is usually the Foundation, upon which these unhappy Dis­putes are grounded, was, by the Major, beau­tifully explain'd, and set in a just Light, opposite to the too generally mistaken Notions of that noble Qualification; and which Ned had too warmly debated, 'till Will. Weather­cock diverted his pushing it to Extremity, by the seasonable Interposition of his peculiar Judgment. Will's Decisions, as the Pagans painted their Janus, always appear with Two Faces, which favour both Parties, and recon­cile them in good Humour. Nevertheless, we could not leave the Subject intirely, with­out a Progress of Reflection upon the Fa­tality of sudden Startings, and ungovernable Passions, which are too much indulg'd, and but too little provided against, by the Gene­rality of Mankind.

I REMEMBER 'twas agreed to, that most of the ill Blood, Debates, and Quarrels, that happen, owe their Original to Unconcern, and Carelesness about our Humour in Conver­sation. A Man must be Master of himself, and preserve a watchful Guard over his Be­haviour in Company, if he would either please, [Page 370] or be pleased. There is a natural Liberty, which all Mankind claims by Right; but the mistaken Use of it leads to Mischief. A li­centious, or rambling, Tongue proves, as in­jurious to Society, as Treason to a State; and Traitors smart no more, frequently, for This Guilt, than Prattlers for That Folly.

NED VOLATILE, not yet quite cool, broke in upon our Chain of Reasoning, by as­serting, ‘'That a strict Watch over one's Words, Actions, and Humour, in all Companies, is a Restraint, which, in his Opinion, dif­fer'd nothing from Torture. What! said he, must I be always under the Slavery of thinking before I speak? Shall I never have the Pleasure of expressing my own Senti­ments? Who would sacrifice his natural Rights, to please another Man? Would any but a Fool, or Flatterer, praise what he hates? or declare himself an Enemy to what he loves, merely to shew his good Humour, or Complaisance? No Gentlemen, I maintain, That Grandeur itself, would be too dear bought at this Priee; and whoever affirms the contrary, is no Friend to Plain-Dealing.

HE paus'd here, and look'd at me for Ap­probation; I was going to distinguish, and remark the Circumstances that should be punctually regarded, when the Major begg'd to be heard. ‘'The Restraint, said he, that you represent so dreadful, gives more Satis­faction, than Pain. Your Complaisance, [Page 371] and good Humour, is more your own In­terest, than your, Companion's. Is it not for your own Sake, that you accommodate yourself to his Humour, from whom you hope good Offices or expect agreeable En­terainment? Do you take for Dissimulation a Guard of Prudence, which induces you to seem in the Sentiments of a Man, whom you would willingly draw into yours, when either your Interest, or Inclination, requires it? For my Part, I think you have a Right to applaud yourself, when you can enter agreeably into opposite Humours: What induc'd all the Anticents to admire the pliant Conduct of Alcibiades? And why do we still wonder, that a Man could so aptly accommodate himself to the dif­ferent Manners of the several Countries where he liv'd? Nothing was so much talk'd of at Athens, as his Eloquence and Gallantry. Among the Persians, he was always feasting, and nothing was seen more splendid, than his Dress and Equipage; but he pass'd over to opposite Manners, when he was obliged to go to Sparta; for there the most rigid Lacedemonian led a Life less austere than Alcibiades.

‘'ALCIBIADES, cry'd Ned Volatile, was an Affector of Popularity. His Maxim was like that of a Friend of mine, Cum fueris Romae, Romano vivito More. But, hang it.—I hate that Suppleness of Humour, It may be necessary for Embassadors and [Page 372] Travellers; but Ned Volatile has nothing to do with it.’

HE was proceeding, in his usual Volubility of Speech, when I interrupted him, in the following Manner.

‘'I AM sorry my Friend Volatile would de­cry one of the Blessings, upon which the Happiness of Society is in a great Measure, founded. The Commerce of Life requires our Regard to Variety of Humours every Day, and when Nature denies the Mastery, of them, Men should endeavour to acquire it. Who would not rejoice with a Friend, new­ly, and happily, married? Congratulate one just arrived from his Travels? Or Condole with another on the Loss of an only, and valuable Son? This is no Suppleness, no Inequality of Humour? 'Tis a Sweetness, 'tis a Virtue. Tell me; Would not your­self, in the Presence of a Gay Prince, de­voted to his Pleasures, appear with a chearful Countenance? Or, Would you accost with a smiling Air, a cloudy, and suspicious, one? No more is it fitting to carry a Passi­on into Company disagreeable to that which reigns in it, or to discover a Mien which condemns the Sentiments wherewith the Company is prepossessed. In short, no­thing is more opposite to the Maxims of Civil Society, than an Opinionative, and Dog­matical, Conduct; and he who will obstinate­ly follow it, is in Danger of never getting new Friends, and even of losing his old [Page 373] ones. I wish I could say, That these Duels, and Deaths, we have been speaking of, are not its common Consequences.’

‘'I HAVE heard, and enter into your Senti­ments with Pleasure, said Ned Volatile; but allow me, at least, to affirm, That one who is thus Master of his Temper, must never abuse this Power; never betray his Senti­ments, in maintaining an Error, or in giv­ing Praises to Words or Actions, that he is sensible do not deserve it.’

‘'RIGHT, answered I.—How then, said he, or wherein, do you appear Master of your Humour?—When I submit it, replied I, to that of others, or decline my own Will to theirs, to whom I would shew a Deference, my Words, at least, my Silence, should carry Tokens of my Complaisance. As for Example; Did one whom I would not displease, commend an ill Man, not well known to him? or who had wrong'd, or disoblig'd me? In such Case, I would stifle and conceal my Resentment; and be silent, since I could not be of the same Opinion with a Person whom I was unwilling to offend.’

‘'NO, no cry'd, Ned Volatile, if ever I sub­ject my Humour, it shall be to the Ladies; There are many Capricio's, that must be borne with, from them; but, in all other Cases, my Mind is my Kingdom; I am absolute, and will be so.'’

[Page 374]HE ran on, to this Purpose, near a Quar­ter of an Hour; and, at last, happening to touch again on the Article of Honour and Friendship, which had introduc'd the Subject of our Discourse, the Major requested him to hear a Story, in which, an Example of both these valuable Distinctions would better plead for their right Use, than any Account he could give of his own particular Sense of them. The Story, said the Major, is Modern; but not well known; and amongst all the Instances of Bravery, is a fine, and uncommon Display of it. 'Tis what most Fighters would think below them, yet, what none, but a Con­queror, could come up to.

ALTAMONT, and Honorius, were both Men of Quality, and of Eminence in the Army, wherein they had served long in Friendship together. Altamont was, deservedly, placed in the full Height of Power and Preferment: Honorius, inferior but a small Degree in Post, was greatly so in Fortune; but he was fill'd with Princely Virtues, and his Soul had a distinguish'd Greatness: He had been a Sharer in the whole Course of Altamont's innumerable Glories.—Honorius, on some after-Occasion, whether, as suppos'd, by Altamont's Breach of Promise, or what other Ground for Resent­ment happened, is neither known, nor mate­rial to be debated; 'tis sufficient to tell you, That Honorius was so disoblig'd, that he sent Altamont a Challenge, to determine their Difference, in a Duel, at a Time appointed, in Hyde-Park.

[Page 375]AT the Time in which Altamont received this Challenge, he was soo deeply ingaged in a Trust, whereon depended the Preservation of the King's Person and Government, that he could not sacrifice, or neglect them, by risquing his important Life, in a Personal Quarrel, at that Juncture; but knowing well the Honour and Bravery of Honorius, and jealous too of his own, he sent for Carolinus early that Morning, in which he was to fight.— ‘'Brother, said he, You know how much of the Weight of Government lies at this Time upon my Shoulders, and there are some secret Concerns of State, to which you are yet a Stranger. I am called upon to a Duel: It concerns a Case of Honour, and my Adversary is a Man of Bravery. You must meet him, in my Stead, and give him the Satisfaction he requires.'’

CAROLINUS, resolved to act in his Brother's Cause, as in his own, without Delay, went to meet his unknown Opponent; but when he arrived at the destin'd Spot, he was con­founded, to see him the dearest Friend he had upon Earth! ‘'Good God! said Honorius, to what am I fated? I expected your Brother, and is it You, my Carolinus!'’ It is, replied Carolinus, with a Sigh! They gaz'd on each other; their Breasts were agitated by a Tem­pest of warring Passions!—After a Length of silent Confusion, Honorius thus addressed himself to Carolinus‘'You are that very Friend, I ever called, and thought [Page 376] you; You are the Man who have so often vow'd the most sincere, and exalted Friend­ship for me.'’ ‘'I am, replied Carolinus, and I bring with me the same devoted Heart, a Sacrifice to your Disposal! If you survive, you will know my Innocence, and the Cause why I am here, which weighty Reasons forbid the Discovery of at present; But come—Since it must be thus'’—They both advanc'd, and in that Instant, Honorius cry'd, Hold my Carolinus! 'Tis done! The Struggle of my Soul is over, and our Dis­pute at an End. I am determin'd! I will not, I cannot break the Chain that has bound our Souls so long together; no, not for your Bro­ther's Power, or my Prince's Crown.—They continued some Time in Disorder and Expo­stulation. Both of them were brave, sove­reignly brave! and none ever lived, who better knew what Honour was, or could de­fend it more nobly!

HONORIUS went on;— ‘'Well, my Friend, 'till now, I never felt Extre­mity. Your Brother, who has done me Wrong, ought to give me Satisfaction, and were he here, I could not sheath my Sword unsatisfied; but you are my Friend, with whom I can have no Difference. I would die a Thousand Deaths to save, or to serve you; and I will put the greatest Force up­on my Nature, and even ask Pardon of the Man who has injur'd me, rather than ha­zard a Life, so much more precious than [Page 377] my own. But, let us leave this Place with Speed; I'll give up my Resentment. Let your Brother, let the World, treat my Conduct, at their Pleasure: There is no­thing, but my Hopes of Heaven, that I would not hazard for my Carolinus:—He went, and did as he said; and whatever Constructions the World might put upon Altamont's Behaviour, and Honorius's Con­deseension, a noble Example was here gi­ven of the most generous, and exalted, Friendship; and of that absolute Self-Conquest, which Solomon, the wisest of all Men, prefers to the Conquering of a City.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 45.
MONDAY, August 24. 1724.

Scribere jussit Amor. —
OVID.

I DEDICATE this Paper to the Ladies; for I design it as a Lesson of Love: which a certain perverse Foreigner, will have to be no more than a Phantom; Because says he, Like an Apparition, Every Body has heard of, but No-body has seen it.

[Page 378]IT is much easier, indeed, to love, than to explain what Love is; For it is one, among the Paradoxes of that ungovernable Passion, that it strikes the Tongue dumb; but makes every other Part of the Body eloquent.

THE Major, to please Ned Volatile, has indulg'd him the Perusal of that PICTURE OF LOVE, from which he recited the Verses, in my XXXIVth Paper.—I had the Mis­fortune to be present, and to hear him read it over. I call it a Misfortune, because my Passion for that wild Insensible, my Coquet, who is rambled away to Tunbridge, was half suppress'd before, for want of Occasion to in­flame it; but has rekindled itself, at the Fire which it catch'd from this unlucky Picture; and I, now, bleed afresh, like a dead Body, at the Touch of its Murderer.

YET, why do I complain, that I am sen­sible of a generous Passion, which, to lay aside the Pride of Wisdom, and the Forma­lity of Age, and Gravity, he who is insensi­ble of, is stupid?—The Philosopher de­fin'd Love prettily, when he said, It was a Circle, returning through Happiness, to Happiness, from Happiness. The Emblem was ingenious, and the Lover's Ring is a pro­per, and significant, Allusion to it.

I AM so far, when I think seriously, from being asham'd to be call'd a Lover, that I am, sincerely, of Opinion, that whoever has not lov'd, has put his Virtues to no Tryal.—Love is the Breeze of Life: A healthful, [Page 379] and refreshing, Gale, which, by its Agitation of the Spirits, keeps our Faculties in lively Motion; so, as neither to stagnate, in un­fruitful Rest, nor drive tempestuously, with the most stormy Passions.—The Heart of a Lover is impress'd with Sweetness, and Humanity. His Soul receives Extension, beyond its natural Power; and is as much more refin'd, than a selfish, common, Soul, as that Soul, which it so excels, is above the Body it belongs to.

THERE is something, in Love, that is stronger than Calamity, and more gentle than Pity! serener than Silence, more splendid than Riches, and statelier than Honour! More trembling than Fear, and more charming than Pleasure! It is, even more powerful than Conscience: For whom we love, we imagine, always, present, and passing Judg­ment on our most secret Purposes. We re­gulate them, therefore, according to our Apprehension of what She would approve, or condemn; and, so, supply ourselves with a constant Vigilance, and Propensity to noble Actions.

IN some Sense, he who loves, may be said to be like a God; for he has but one, Care, and That, a Great, and a Heavenly, One! He is, wholly, intent upon Beneficence.—He has the Prophet's sacred Privilege, to be rapp'd, out of himself! To enjoy per­petual Ecstacy! To be emptied of his own Soul, that he may be animated by one, [Page 380] more dear to him!—Our Ideas of the Joys of Heaven, can represent them no other, than that we are, there, to love, and to be beloved: And they, who love, here on Earth, are above the World, while they are in it. Nor can Death disunite Lovers so in­tirely as it does other People, since Love dies not, with the Object lov'd. She lives, so te­naciously, in our charm'd, and retentive, Memory, that her Death seems no more, than a long, and lamented, Absence, ra­ther indearing, than defacing, her Image.—So that This is the only Difference, which Death seems capable of making, when he interposes between Lovers;—While both liv'd, their Two Bodies had no more than One Soul: And, now one is dead, their Two Souls hove no more than One Body.

NEITHER has Age, that alters all Things, a Power to deface our Love; for, whom we love, can never seem Old. Our Remem­brance presents her Beauty everlastingly in its Spring: And her Idea is retain'd inchanting­ly, in the very Attitude, which, first, she struck us by.

THE restless, but unwearied, Lover, seeks for himself, out of himself: Let him gaze, touch, listen, and be bless'd, for ever, yet, still, he longs, and is unsatisfied!—There is a Dropsy, in his Mind, and his Thirst augments, with drinking.—His Soul is either not at home, or in a starting, and im­patient Posture.—If he presses his [Page 381] Charmer's Hand, it darts, with Violence, into his Fingers. If he leans at her lov'd Side, it beats against his Breast, as if it would break its Prison, to be nearer her. When she speaks, it is in his Ear: When he looks on her, it is in his Eye: But, he has no Soul at all, when she is absent.

Absent from her, in whom, alone, we live,
Life grows a Bankrupt, and no Bliss can give:
Friends are importunate, and Pleasures lost;
What, once, most charm'd us, now, disgusts us, most!
Fretful, to silent Solitudes we run,
And Men, and Light, and noisy Converse, shun.
Pensive, in Woods, on Rivers Sides, we walk,
And to th' unlistning Winds, and Waters, talk.
How, next, we shall approach her, pleas'd, we weigh!
And think, in Transport, All, we mean to say.
Tenderly bowing, Thus will we complain;
Thus, court her Pity; And, Thus, plead our Pain.
Thus, sigh, for fancied Frowns, if Frowns shou'd rise,
And Thus, meet Favours, in her softning Eyes.
Restless, on Paper, we our Vows repeat,
And pour our Souls out, on the letter'd Sheet.
Write, blot, restore, and in lost Pieces, rend
The Mute Entreaters; yet, too faint, to send.
Unbless'd, when no Admission we procure,
'Tis Heav'n, at Distance, to discern her Door.
[Page 382]Or, to her Window, we, by Night repair;
And let loose Fancy, to be feasted, there.
Watch her lov'd Shadow, as it glances by:
And, to imagin'd Motions, chain our Eye.
Has she some Field, or Grove, or Garden, bless'd?
Pleas'd, we retread the Paths her Feet have press'd.
Near her, by Chance, at Visits, or at Plays,
Our rushing Spirits croud, in speaking Gaze,
Light, on her varied Airs, our Eye-balls ride,
Dark, as the Dead, to the full World, beside.

LOVERS converse, like Angels, by a kind of Intuition! They hear one another's Souls; and prevent each other's Wishes.—Like Divinities quitting their Shrines, they disrobe themselves of their Bodies; and intermingle their meeting Minds, as we see Two Lights incorporate.—Their Souls glide out, from their Eyes, to snatch Embraces, at a Di­stance; and return, inrich'd, with the fan­cy'd Treasure.—There is more Harmony, in Love, than in Musick: A Harmony! like that which the old Philosophers imputed to the Spheres! Only Two Spheres are acted; by one, and the same, Intelligence. For the Strings of Two Hearts sympathize, like those of Two Lutes, with correspondent Trepida­tions.

HOW mistaken are they, who call Love an idle Passion!—Thought itself is scarce more active. There is an unsatisfied, and continual Thirst, in the Appetite of a Lover: [Page 383] A constant Spring, in his Delights, and Tor­ments. He pursues his Discoveries, with a restless, and impatient, Vigour: And, tho' like the shining, heavenly, Bodies, he is, everlastingly, in Motion, yet, he is so far from becoming weary, that he is rather refresh'd, by his Labour.

I WILL copy, yet farther, from the Pi­cture abomentioned, the following Group, or Assembly, of the Symptoms, Moles, and To­kens of this Passion.—It is upon the Lover's first Approach to his Mistress's Person: We recover, slowly, from our sweet Surprize, says this Doctor of Cupid's-College, and, ad­vancing, with a blushful Tenderness,

Bowing, we kneel; and her giv'n Hand is press'd,
With sweet Compulsion, to our beating Breast:
O'er it, in Ecstacy, our Lips bend low,
And Tides of Sighs, 'twixt her grasp'd Fingers, flow.
High beats the hurried Pulse, at each, forc'd, Kiss:
And ev'ry burning Sinew akes, with Bliss:
Life, in a Souly Deluge, rushes o'er;
And the charm'd Heart springs out, at ev'ry Pore!
The first fierce Raptures, of Amazement, past,
Confusion quits us, and Desire grows, fast.
We sit: And, while her gaz'd at Wonders rise,
A humid Brightness fills our sparkling Eyes:
Modest Disquiet, every Action wears;
And each, long Look, the Mark of Passion bears.
[Page 384]Disorder'd Nature, no cold Medium keeps;
Transport, now, reigns, and dull Reflection sleeps.
All, that we wish, or feel, or act, or say,
Is above Thought, and out of Reason's Way!
Joy murmurs, Anger laughs, and Hope looks sad:
Rashness grows prudent, and Discretion mad.
Restless, we feel our am'rous Bosom burn:
Now, This Way look we; And, now, That Way, turn.
Now, in sweet Swell of Thought, our lifted Eyes
Lose their low Languor, and attempt to rise:
Now, sinking, suppliant, seek the Charmer's Feet;
And court wish'd Pity, in their glanc'd Retreat.
Oft, in full Gaze, they dwell upon her Face;
Then, start, astonish'd, from some dazling Grace.
Now, in bold Liberty, fly out, unbid:
Now, aw'd, 'scape, inward, 'twixt the closing Lid.
If we dare speak, and wou'd our Wish pursue,
The Words fall, feath'ry, like descending Dew,
The soft'ning Accents, ev'n in Utt'rance, die:
And the Tongue's Sweetness, here, outcharms the Eye.
'Till mingled Sighs our fainting Voice confound:
But Lovers Meanings speak, though robb'd of Sound.

I AM fond of thinking we might draw, from Love, a Proof of the Soul's Immortality: What, else, mean our Desires, when they ex­tend themselves, beyond the utmost, that willing Nature can indulge us in.—Why, else, are the Joys of Love mix'd with me­lancholy, [Page 385] and unsatisfied Tremblings?—They increase, indeed, and refine, the Plea­sure: But they convince us, That there is a Union, more adapted to our Mind's free Es­sence; and, which, Bodies are not fine enough to permit them the Enjoyment of.

HENCE, that exquisite Expansion! That Liquefaction, of the Heart! when it refuses to allow us the Possession of our dearest Wish, in the very Moment we become Masters of it! The subtle Workings of this exalted Pas­sion, upon the Refinements of our Mind, have Deified the beloved Object, 'till we faint, with Awe, when we should receive her Ten­derness: And, by a fantastical kind of Envy, consider ourselves, as our own Rivals!—The supremest Joy of Love must, if Men will have it so, be call'd Bodily: But All, that heightens it, to be worth the Wish of a wise Man, it must be indebted to the Mind for.—Whence could Images so warm, as these which follow, receive a Purity, in their Expression, that adapts them to the chastest Ear, if the Mind's Part were not strongest, even where the Body pretends most Influence?

Is there no more? Oh! yet the Last remains!
Crown of our Conquest! Sweetner of our Pains!
There is a Time, when Love no Wish denies:
And smiling Nature throws off All Disguise.
But, who can Words, to speak those Raptures, find?
Vast Sea of Ecstacy, that drowns the Mind!
[Page 386]That fierce Transfusion of exchanging Hearts!
That gliding Glimpse of Heav'n, in pulsive Starts?
That veiny Rush! That warm, tumultuous, Roll!
That Fire that kindles Bodies into Soul!
And, on Life's Margin, strains Delight, so high,
That Sense breaks short—and, while we taste, we die!

BUT, I am going, I know not whither. The Painter of this Picture has bewitch'd me, from my Purpose; which was to have enter'd upon a Philosophical Dissertation, concerning the Qualities of Love: Instead of which, I am rambling into a natural one, upon the Effects of it!

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 46.
FRIDAY, August 28. 1724.

— Partes speculamur in omnes.
CLAUD.

IN my XXXVIth Paper, I published some Remarks on an excellent Old Bal­lad, called WILLIAM, and MARGARET. I was charm'd with the Strength, and Beau­ties, of its masculine Simplicity: and, really, took it to be, what it appear'd, The Work of some Old Poet, long since dead; but I have been agreeably undeceiv'd: The Author of it is alive, and a North-Briton; I congratulate his Country, on the Promise of this rising Genius: For the Gentleman, it seems, is ve­ry young, and received his Education in the University of Edinburgh.

AMONG many fine Qualities, which adorn him, he is so unconscious of his own Merit, or possesses it with so sincere a Modesty, that he declines being publickly nam'd: But, as he [Page 388] has oblig'd me with a Letter, containing the short History of an unhappy Accident, which gave Occasion to his Ballad, it will be an agreeable Entertainment if I publish it, as the Author sent it me.

SIR,

YOUR PLAIN DEALER, of July the 24th, was sent to me by a Friend. I must own, after I had read it over, I was both surpriz'd and pleas'd to find, that a simple Tale of my Writing, had merited the Notice, and Approbation, of the Au­thor of the PLAIN DEALER.

AFTER what you have said, of WILLIAM and MARGARET, I flatter myself, that you will not be displeas'd with an Account of the Accident which gave Birth to that Ballad.

YOUR Conjecture, that it was founded on the real History of an unhappy Woman, is true—A vain, young, Gentleman, had, for some Time, professed Love to a Lady, then in the Spring of her Life, and Beauty. He dress'd well, talk'd loud, and spoke Nonsense, with Spirit: She had good Understanding; but was too young to know the World. I have seen her, very often. There was a lively Innocence in her Look. She had never been address'd to by a Man of Sense: And, therefore, knew not how despicable, and unsincere, a Fool is. In time, he persuaded her, that there was [Page 389] Merit in his Passion.—She believ'd him, and was undone.

SHE was upon the Point of bringing in­to the World the Effect of her ill-plac'd Love, before her Father knew the Misfor­tune. Judge the Sentiments of the good Old Man! yet his Affection outweighed his Anger. He could not think of aban­doning his Child, to Want, and Infamy. He applied himself to her false Lover, with an Offer of Half his Fortune; But the Temper of the Betrayer was savag'd, with cruel Inso­lence. He rejected the Father's Offers, and re­proach'd the Innocence he had ruin'd, with the Bitterness of open Scorn. The News was brought her, when in a weak Condi­tion, and cast her into a Fever. And, in a few Days after, I saw her, and her Child, laid in one Grave, together.

IT was some Time after this, That I chanc'd to look into a Comedy of Fletcher's, called, The Knight of the burning Pestle. The Place I fell upon was, where old Mer­ry-Thought repeats these Verses;

When it was grown to dark Midnight,
And all were fast asleep:
In came Margaret's grimly Ghost,
And stood at William's Feet.

WHICH, I fancy, was the Beginning of some Ballad, commonly known, at the Time, when this Author wrote.—These [Page 390] Lines, naked of Ornament, and simple, as they are, struck my Fancy; I clos'd the Book, and bethought myself, that the un­happy Adventure, I have mentioned above, which then came fresh into my Mind, might naturally raise a Tale, upon the Appearance of this Ghost.—It was, then, Midnight. All, round me, was still, and quiet. These concurring Circumstances work'd my Soul to a powerful Melancholy. I could not sleep. And, at that Time, I finish'd my little Poem, such as you see it here. If it continues still to deserve your Approbation, I have my Aim; and am,

SIR,
Your most Obliged, And most humble Servant, &c.

IT does, most justly, continue to deserve, and will, for ever, deserve, not only Ap­probation, but the Applause, of all true Judges of Wit, and Nature. The Author's Copy, which he inclos'd to me, is different in several Places, from that which fell into my Hands; but the Sense of both, is exactly the same; and the Variation, in some Ex­pressions, not considerable enough to make it necessary to republish that excellent Ballad.

[Page 391]HAVING this Occasion to speak of Scot­land, I judge it the properest Place to insert my Acknowledgment of a Letter from Edin­burgh, sign'd Fergus Bruce. I take this Name to be fictitious; but, whoever the Writer is, I am pleas'd with his propos'd Cor­respondence, which will open a New Scene of Intelligence to the Expectation of my Rea­ders; as they may see by the following Ex­tract of the Letter itself, which is writ, with the Politeness of a Gentleman, and in the Stile of a Man of Learning.

SIR,

THE first PLAIN DEALER, that came to my Hand, was that, where­in you represent, in true Colours, the Character, and Conduct, of the present Emperor of Russia, with Regard to his Son, Prince Alexei.—My Fancy was charm'd, and my Judgment intirely satisfied, with the Account you gave: Our Coffee-Houses take in your Papers, and I observe, with Pleasure, the Welcome which our politest People receive them with. Not the Men alone, of all Ranks, but the Ladies also, make them their Entertainment. The ge­neral Conversation of both Sexes turns, on the Matter you afford.

I CANNOT help writing to you, that I may let you know your Influence. It must [Page 392] be a Pleasure to your generous Soul, to be conscious of the Extent, and Power, of its Beneficence: And I should be wanting in my Duty to the Man, who gives me Weekly Delight, and Instruction, if I con­ceal'd from him, what might, any way, contribute to his Satisfaction.

I WILL presume, if you please, to send you, now-and-then, my Reflections, upon the Matter which the Beaux, and Belles, of this City, may furnish, for a PLAIN-DEALER. Something happens here every Day, not un­worthy Publick Notice. And there are a Thousand Things, that fall, naturally, un­der your Cognizance, that neither the King, the Parliament, the Pulpit, or the Bench, have any Thing to do with. Perhaps, too, it would be of Use to our Gentry, at Edin­burgh, to know, you have a Spy, here, up­on their Conduct. Pray tell them so, and depend on the most watchful Fidelity of,

SIR,
Your sincere Friend, And most humble Servant, FERGUS BRUCE.

I CANNOT forbear confessing, that I shall expect, with a very sensible Pleasure, the Event of this Northern Correspondence: For I have retain'd, from my Infancy a kind [Page 393] of affectionate Partiality, for the generous Bravery, and gallant Plainness, of our Bro­thers, beyond Tweed. When I travell'd, in my Youth, I scarce ever saw a Court, even in the remotest Parts of the civiliz'd World, where some Gentleman, or other, a Scot, by Birth, or Descent, was not, one, of its noblest Ornaments: And, now, since the Muses, and the Graces, have, very visibly, from the Begin­ning of the present Century, fix'd, and seated themselves, in their learned Seminaries, their rising Youth, of both Sexes, seem to vie, with one another, in a warm, and generous, Emulation which shall most adorn their own, or soonest match the Elegance, of other, even the po­litest, Nations.

NOT the Gentlemen alone, but the very Ladies, of Edinburgh, form themselves into select, and voluntary, Societies, for the Im­provement of their Knowledge, instead of the Entertainment of their Fancy: And go on, at the same Time, to refine their Conversa­tion, inrich their Understanding, and polish, and render amiable, their Personal Deport­ment.

I SHALL, in the Course of my Observa­tions, take Occasion to demonstrate the Truth of this Remark, by a Variety of Particulars; which, while they are doing Justice to the North, will contribute, in no small Degree, to the Pleasure of the South Part of this King­dom. At present, I shall produce but Two Instances: And the First is, A Society of [Page 394] Young Gentlemen, most, if not all of them, Students in the University of Edinburgh, who from a Sympathy of Affections, found­ded on a Similitude of Parts, and Genius, have united themselves into a Body, under Title of THE GROTESQUE CLUB; the Reason of which Name, I shall explain in a future Paper. Their Business, to express it in the Words of one of their own Members, is, A Friendship that knows no Strife, but that of a generous Emulation, to excell, in Virtue, Learn­ing, and Politeness.

TO how surprizing a Degree these fine Spirits have succeeded, in their noble End, let the following Sentiments declare; conceiv'd, and express'd, with all the Clearness, Depth, and Strength, of an experienc'd Philosopher, by a Member of this Grotesque Club, who was in his Fourteenth Year only, when he compos'd, in Blank Verse, a Poem, now in my Hands; and founded on a Supposition of the Author's sitting, a whole Summer Night, in a Gar­den, looking upward, and quite losing him­self, in Contemplation on the Works, and Wonders, of Almighty Power.—If this was a Subject, naturally above the Capacity of so very a Boy, to what a Degree does it in­crease our Wonder, when we find it treated, in this Masterly Manner!

Now, I survey'd my native Faculties:
And trac'd my Actions to their teeming Source.
Now, I explor'd the universal Frame;
Gaz'd Nature through, and, with interior Light,
[Page 395]Convers'd with Angels, and unbody'd Saints,
That tread the Courts of the Eternal King!
Gladly, I would declare, in lofty Strains,
The Power of Godhead, to the Sons of Men.
But Thought is lost, in its Immensity!
Imagination wastes its Strength in vain:
And Fancy tires, and turns within itself,
Struck, with th'amazing Depths of Deity!
—Ah! my lov'd God! in vain, a tender Youth,
Unskill'd, in Arts of deep Philosophy,
Attempts to search the bulky Mass of Matter:
To trace the Rules of Motion: and pursue
The Phantom Time, too subtle, for his Grasp!
Yet may I, from thy most apparent Works,
Form some Idea of their wondrous Author;
And celebrate thy Praise, with rapt'rous Mind.
How can I gaze upon yon sparkling Vault,
And view the Planets, rolling in their Spheres,
Yet be an Atheist!—Can I see those Stars,
And think of others, far beyond my Ken,
Yet want Conviction of creating Power?
What, but a Being, of immense Perfection,
Cou'd, through unbounded Spaces, thus, dispose
Suth num'rous Bodies, All, presumptive Worlds?
The undesigning Hand of giddy Chance,
Cou'd never fill, with Globes, so vast! so bright!
That lofty Conclave!—
Where shall I trace the Sources of the Light?
What Seats assign to th' Element of Fire,
That, unconfin'd, thro' all the Systems, breaks!
Here, cou'd I lie, in Contemplation wrapt,
[Page 396]And pass, with Pleasure, an eternal Age!
But, 'tis too much for my weak Mind to know:
Teach me, with humble Reverence to adore
The Mysteries, I must not comprehend!

LET this prodigious Young Man, bear the Blame, of my not having left myself Room in this Paper, to pay that Respect, which I intended, to THE FAIR INTELLECTUALS: A Club of Ladies, at Edinburgh, who set a Pattern to Female Excellence: And whose His­tory, Rules, and Constitutions, I have the Pleasure to see, before me, with the conventual Address of Mistress Speaker, to the lovely Sisterhood; and the admissory Speech, of one of the Ladies; as set forth by the able Pen of Mistress Secretary.—I shall say more, on a future Occasion, of the Honour done to the whole Sex, by the dangerous Ambition of these Ladies: And of the Political Necessity, which, I conceive, there will soon be, of putting a Stop to the Progress of such un­limitted Improvement of a Power, already too exorbitant!

THE PLAIN DEALER. No. 47.
MONDAY, August 31. 1724.

— Veniunt a Dote Sagittae.
JUV.

I HAVE endeavour'd to shew, in a for­mer Paper, that Parents are highly to blame, when they force their Children to marry for the Sake of a Fortune which can never repair the least of those innumerable Mischiefs, that are inseparably annexed to it. Using Authority in such a Case, turns the most Indulgent of Fathers, into an insupport­able Tyrant, who by one inconsiderate De­cree, that is irreversible, dooms his own Child to the most doleful Imprisonment for Life. The following Epistle, gives us so sad, but so lively a Representation of this Truth, that I insert it for the Sake of those, who might, possibly, be betrayed, in their Conduct, to give the same fatal Proofs of their Affection to their Off-spring, that seem to Edge all the Sufferings of our present Complainant.

SIR,

I AM a Young Man, about Three and Twenty, that much against my Will, have complied with the incessant Importu­nities of my Friends; or, rather, obey'd the absolute Commands of an indulgent Father, and a fond Mother, in marrying a very Rich Maid of about Thirty Six, who, it seems, is only mine, because several Sui­ters of equal Pretensions in Wealth with herself, that liked her Person, left her, as soon as they had conversed with her suffici­ently to sound her Temper.

BEFORE I married her, I enjoyed Health, and good Humour, and thought my For­tune good enough as it was, and abundant­ly sufficient, with a Female Companion that brought the like Ingredients towards it, to make Life tolerably happy.

SHE has not been my Wife, quite a Year, and yet has managed her Time so well, that she has robb'd me of all my Quiet. The natural Gayety of my Disposition is sowr'd, almost enough to make me think of grow­ing her Torturer, as she is mine: The Flo­ridness of Health has left me; and I am overcome by an inward Pining, that wastes me outwardly: In fine, she has convinced me, that a Man may be emphatically Poor in the Affluence of Wealth, and truly, and properly said to Want, amidst the Abun­dance of all Things.

[Page 399] I HAVE industriously studied to shew Gratitude, and true Friendship. For I really had an Intention to render my­self as agreeable as possible; and the more, because, during the Time of our modish Courtship, she had told those, from whom I should hear it again, that she lik'd me: By this habitual Art of Tender­ness, I almost brought it to be Natural, and began to deceive myself into an Opini­on, that I should not be incapable of even loving her at last. She, in Return, began, after a manner then perfectly unaccountable, to do every Thing, not only that she thought would disoblige me, but that she knew would be a sincere Affliction to me. I find since, I am taken, by way of shew­ing, she could have her Man; and I am the Subject of her Revenge, because she lost, the Person, she had a Liking to.

SHE is a Woman of a strong, but mis­chievous Understanding; and letting it be guided, by what it should correct, her Hu­mour, which is my inveterate Enemy, she can be as poignantly cruel to me as she plea­ses. She lets me know, by broad Hints, that she sees what would delight me, but is blind, like a Jew, out of Hardness of Heart. If I ask how I may oblige her, she is Dumb; but if I drop an ambiguous Word, that may be tortured into a malig­nant Construction, she can use her Tongue like a Larum.—If I explain, the Sim­plicity [Page 400] of my Meaning, and beg Pardon for want of Caution in expressing my-self; her Ears are shut, and she is like the Deaf Adder. The Comparison is true beyond the Deafness: she is like it in my Bosom; she stings like it, she poisons like it, only with this Difference, That her Poison is of an Italian kind; it lengthens out Torment, and kills, at Distance of Years, after a painful Confinement.

IN my Father's Presence, this fair Hy­pocrite, is never dumb, but ever eloquent in my Praise.—Such a Husband! and such a Wife! We are the happiest Couple:—Then she calls often upon me, with an Air of Friendship, to be merry, under the Ef­fects of the Melancholy she causes. Her Eyes, her Ears, her Tongue, her Hands, seem all too little to oblige me.—The Old Gentleman doats on her.—I help to carry on the Farce; it would be Tragedy, if he knew otherwise.—He blesses his Stars, and very comfortably puts me in Mind, how much I possess the Joy he wished me.

WHAT is to be done with this Riddle of a Woman, so much in her Senses, and out of them, as she pleases? What Pro­spect can I have of Happiness, but from her Death; whom, by my Publick Vow, and hard-tugg'd Virtue, I am obliged to sup­port, in Sickness.

[Page 401] I WOULD never have complain'd, but that I hope it may be a proper Caution, and serve for the Preservations of others; I am pleas'd, that I never discover'd these Grievances, because, had I complained eve­ry Time, I had Occasion, I should have been asham'd to complain any longer, and she would have appeared as irreprehensible, as an Angel: Thus I have a Fortune, which has been the Purchase of Misery. To make me rich, my Relations have made me wretched; and, for my part, I have nothing to hope, but that long Patience, and Sufferings may make me insensible.

I am, SIR, Your most humble Servant, A. Z.

TO what a Multitude of Sorrows is this genteel Complainer betray'd; The first Con­siderations, that ought to precede a Matri­monial Choice, are the Piety, Education, Person, and Liking of both Parties; indeed, a competent Fortune, is a material Conside­ration to be weighed together with the others; but never separately from them. Of this Pliny, the politest Gentleman, as well as finest Writer of his Age, has given us a satis­factory Account in Two of his Epistles, which I am glad, for the Benefit of the La­Ladies, [Page 402] to find published in Two Volumes in in Eaglish. In one, he shews us his Judg­ment in chusing a Husband, for a Friend's Relation; in the other, the happy Effects of a judicious Choice, in the Person of his own Wife.

To JUNIUS MAURITIUS; on chusing a Husband for his Relation.

THE particular Opinion you have of my Choice of a Husband for your Brother's Daughter, is very obliging; you well know, how much I loved and esteemed that great Man; with what Advice he che­rished my Youth, and by his own Com­mendation, gave me the Credit of being thought Praise-worthy: You could have in­joined me nothing of greater Consequence, or more agreeable, nor any Thing I would undertake with more Honour, than to chuse a Man fit to continue the Family of Arulenus Rusticus, which, indeed, might prove a Work of Time, did not Minucius Acilianus luckily present, who, as young Men do each other (for he is some Years younger) loves me intimately, yet treats me with a Respect due to Age. He is plea­sed to be form'd and instructed by me, as I us'd to be by you. His Country is Bresica, of that Part of our Italy, that does yet re­tain, and keeps up much of the Antient Modesty, Frugality, and even Rusticity. His Father Minucius Macrinus, eminent in [Page 403] the Equestrian Order, for he aimed no high­er, being chose by Vespasian into the Prae­torian, with great Constancy preferr'd an honest Ease to this our Ambition (shall I call it?) or Honour. His Grandmother, of the Mother's Side, is Serana Procula of Pa­dua; you are acquainted with the Manners of the Place, yet Serana is to the Patavins an Example of strict Virtue. His Uncle P. Acilius is a Man of singular Discretion, Prudence, and Honesty; in Truth, you will meet with nothing in the whole Fami­ly less agreeable than in your own. Acili­anus himself, has a great deal of Vigour and Industry, accompanied with the utmost Modesty. And having already discharged the Offices of Questor, Tribune, and Praetor, with Abundance of Credit, yet he has re­ferr'd it to you to make his Court for him. He has a comely Face, a sanguine Comple­ction, his whole Person Gentleman-like, with a becoming Gravity in his Mein, Things, I think, not to be disregarded, but due to the Merit of a virtuous Woman. I am in Doubt, whether I need take No­tice of the large Estate of his Father; for when I consider You, for whom we propose a Son-in-Law, I think I need not: When I reflect on the Common Custom, and even the Laws of the City, which principally have Regard to the Fortunes of Men, that seems, by no Means, to be omitted, and to one that thinks of Posterity; this, in [Page 404] the making of a Match, is not the least material Consideration. Perhaps you will think I have indulged too much the Love of my Friend in this Account; but I will stake my Credit, you shall find every thing exceed my Description: I love the young Man, indeed, most ardently, as he deserves; but it is the Duty of Friendship, to be mo­derate in Commendation.

To HISPULLA, his Wife's Aunt.

AS I remember that great Affection, which was between you and your ex­cellent Brother, and know you love his Daughter as your own, so as not only to express the Tenderness of the best of Aunts; but even supply that of the best of Fathers: I am sure it will be a Pleasure to you to hear, that she proves worthy of her Father, worthy of you, and of your and her An­cestors. Her Ingenuity is admirable, her Frugality extraordinary: She loves me, the surest Pledge of her Virtue, and adds to this, a wonderful Disposition to Learning, which she has acquired from her Affection to me: She reads my Writings, studies them, and even gets them by Heart: You would smile to see the Concern she is in, when I have a Cause to plead, and the Joy she shews, when it is over: She finds Means to have the first News brought her, of the Success I meet with in Court; how I am heard, and what Decree is made. If I [Page 405] recite any Thing in Publick, she cannot refrain from placing herself privately in some Corner to hear, where, with the ut­most Delight, she feasts on my Applauses. Sometimes she sings my Verses, and accom­panies them with the Lute, without any Master, except Love, the best of Instru­ctors. From these Instances I take the most certain Omens of our perpetual and in­creasing Happiness, since her Affection is not founded on my Youth and Person, which must gradually decay; but she is in Love with the immutable Part of me, my Glory and Reputation. Nor, indeed, could be less expected from One, who had the Happiness to receive her Education from you; who, in your House was accustomed to every Thing that was virtuous and de­cent, and even began to love me by your Recommendation: For, as you had always the greatest Respect for my Mother, you were pleased from my Infancy to form me, to commend me, and kindly to presage, I should be, One Day, what my Wife fan­cies I am. Accept therefore our united Thanks; mine, that you have bestowed her on me, and hers, that you have given me to her, as a mutual Grant of Joy and Felicity.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 48.
FRIDAY, September, 4. 1724.

— Quod nequeo monstrare & sentio tantum.
JUVEN.

DETRACTORS may be said to lead their Lives in a Habit of most injurious Falshood towards good Men, and of the most offensive Impiety to Heaven. Persons, of this itching and abandoned Appetite, may, If we consider the numerous Mischiefs they do to human Society, be compared to the most ravenous Beasts of Prey, with this Difference, That, as Beasts of Prey do good sometimes, in worrying one another, these, on the con­trary, will not fall upon, or devour any thing but what is excellent.

WIT, Wisdom, Beauty, good Humour, Modesty, Valour, Integrity, in fine, all the Virtues and all the Graces, which can illustrate any Person of either Sex, are as so many tempt­ing [Page 407] Spoils to the savage Slanderer, and strong Provocatives to Detraction. There is scarce a Man living, that has many little, infamous Srories, more than ordinary, privately handed about wirh great Industry, from one to ano­ther, in order to depreciate his Character in the World, but what will be found, upon a close Examination, to have merited publick Ap­plause for some noble Action or other; Ex­amine still farther, and it will as certainly be found, that that noble Action was the very Source of a secret Envy and a private Hatred, which broke out in a Hundred whisper'd Tra­ditions, till it spread and inlarged itself into publick Defamation.

THE most unhappy Circumstances which attend the illustrious Sufferers in this Way, I reckon to be these; That, as Persons, who seek after Fame the most eagerly, do, for the most part, very plentifully deserve it; so they are the most frequently interrupted in the Search, and the least able to bear the Trouble of such unwelcome Interruptions. No Men are more Ideally fond of Glory, than such as most substantially deserve it; this is a pleasant Weakness: But then no Men have a quicker Sensibility of unjust Reproaches than those who take Care never to deserve them; and this is a sore Frailty, which opens, through the Bosoms of the Generous and the Innocent, a Way to a Thousand unnecessary Heart-Achs. It is Pity, it should be so much in the Power of Calumny, as Experience shews it is, to strike [Page 408] a Damp upon the most Generous Spirits, and throw a Load over an aspiring Mind, that is upon the Stretch after Glory. But what seems at present the most of all to be regretted; is, That, by the frequent Complaints I have lately received, this Vice is as prevailing, as it is insupportable.

I HAVE a Letter from a Gentleman, containing a very lively Description of a Lady, whose Charms have been so long drown­ed in Tears, that they are almost worn out and carried away by the wasting Tide of her Sor­row, which she hides, but cannot stop:—He proceeds to tell me, ‘"That, upon Inquiry into the Source of this mighty Woe, he finds it arose from Two or Three ambiguous and broken Sentences, glancing at her Virtue, and Conversation, artfully dropp'd by a malicious Woman in the Ear of a Youth of a Jealous Disposition, who loved her whom she loved, who was contracted to her, and departed from her on this Account.—What signifies talking to her of her inno­cence, and telling her, that no Mortal liv­ing credits it but that one Jealous young Man?—Alas! it is only his not be­lieving it, that must pour Comfort upon her Affliction.—'Till then she must re­main as Inconsolable, as she is Innocent."’

MY Correspondent goes on to say, ‘"That he had the Curiosity to go and see this De­tractress. He found her, as he tells me, Old, Wrinkled, Ugly; her Visage of a pale, just turning black, as with a Mor­tification; [Page 409] her Conscience he takes to be much of a Complexion with her, Face; for, when he charged her with it, she own'd it as some trifling Mistake; then, drawing her Mouth into a scornful Smile, to con­tradict her Words, cries out, That she did not mean it as it was taken.—When the fatal Consequences were press'd upon her,—she said, She was sorry, but express'd her Grief so very unconcernedly, desiring to be troubled no more about it, since it was not Actionable, that she might have sate for the Picture of Envy's Look, when she has just stollen from doing one of her most precious Mischiefs."—’

THIS Correspondent of mine, justly mov'd with his own Relation, concludes his Letter with warm Expostulations.— ‘"Shall GUILT sin thus! and shall INNOCENCE look pale for it; is there no Redress,—Yes, there is—Others, who are out of the Question, may, and ought to rise up in the Defence, of Innocence.—Let the PLAIN DEALER, says he, whenever any Scandal is traced to the Fountain-head, but mark the Quarters of the Detractors, as Crosses in the Time of the Pestilence are placed upon the Doors of the Deceased, and that Method will effectually strike the Tongue of Detraction dumb."’

ANOTHER Account has been lately tran­smitted to me, concerning a young Gentle­man, who is said to have numerous good [Page 410] Qualities, and has been divided from the Estimation of his Friend, by the as constant as false Insinuations of a worse than once perjured Woman; who insists, That the young Gentleman betrayed his Friend's Liberty for a Bribe.—The contrary has been made out, and attested to her Face—She con­tinues, behind his Back, to load him with the Calumny.—Finding, since she began her Evil Reports, that they would not take with­out putting on an Air of Charity and Sanctity, she now concludes her Story to Srrangers thus. ‘"—He (meaning the Person she aims to scandalize) is generally allowed to be a good Man, an honest Man—Pretty ge­nerally indeed.—But what is there to be said for Accidents in this World?—There is nothing wonderful—Nothing new under the Sun.—I have so often Occasion to Wonder, that I am resolved never to let any Thing, for the Future, surprize me into a Fit of Admiration.—He is no Lover of Money—that is certain, as some say.—But, say they what they will, there is such a Prevalence in Bribes, no one knows his own Strength till he be tri­ed.—There is no trusting any Body.—I would not have believed it of him if Every-Body had not said it; but, What Every-Body says must be true."—’

HERE my Correspondent says, he asked the Detractress, How Every-Body came to know it? and she immediately boasted, That she [Page 411] was the Discoverer of it, to all who heard it at first Hand, ‘"To what, continues he, may we properly liken such a dangerous Crea­ture as this is, who puts out false Colours that she may come up safe, and rob Virtue, unsuspected? She can be compared to no­thing that resembles her so nearly as a Witch, in one of those fatal Operations, where Murder is the Consequence of her Incantations. The Detractress molds her Descriptions, as the Witch does her Waxen Images. When the Witch has made an End of her Image, the bewitch'd Body perishes; and where the Detractress ends any of her Descriptions, she makes an in­jur'd Reputation die!"’

I HAVE other Accounts of the like Sort, to all which I shall give an Answer, in a future Paper, when I shall explain my self at large upon this Head.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 49.
MONDAY, September 7. 1724.

— Hae nugae seria ducunt
In mala, derisum semel exceptrumque sinistre.
HOR.

THE Entertainment of this Day shall be furnished by my restoring to my Correspondents, in this publick Manner, what they were so kind to lend me privately for that Purpose.

SIR,

I HAVE been Married about Two Years to a Young Woman that is every Way agreeable to my Temper, but only she is given to be a little too Superstitious. The Truth is, she was determined in her Choice of me by the Prediction of a For­tune-teller. Without thinking myself more oblig'd to him, than in good Reason I [Page 413] should. I may safely say, without Supersti­tion, that I shall like him for having cau­sed my good Fortune, by foretelling it, the longest Day I have to live. She would be the best-natur'd Creature in the World, if her Mind was not haunted by Spirits, Sto­ries of which, take up most of her Con­versation by Day, and make her waken me a Nights very frequently. I laugh'd at these little Tales at first, but, not being able to get her out of them, I indulged her in the relating them, which she has conti­nued to do so prettily, that, though I know, according to right Reason, I ought not to be Terrified, I am brought to trem­ble at the tumbling of a Saltseller.—If my Wife could be once cured, I am sure I should be well soon after.—She has been for these Three Months last, counting our Hours by a Death-watch, and has made me almost sick with Fear, that she, who so often speaks of her Death, should die in good Earnest—This splenetick Cast of her Temper having an Effect on me, who sympathize with her in every Thing, throws a Gloom over our Hours, which would otherwise pass as delightfully, as any Couple's upon Earth.—Pray give her some better Reasons, than I am able to in­still into her, to fortify her Mind against these little Surprizes of Superstition; and you will make her the best Wife in the World, who studies to be, and is, EASY to me [Page 414] in every Case, but this, that she is UNEASY to her ownself.

Your most Humble Servant, MARK DOCILE.
Mr. PLAIN DEALER,

YOU have pretended to give Laws about People's Behaviour in Marri­age, and there is no such Thing in Nature to be done. I am a Man of the best Hu­mour in the World, or otherwise I could not please my Wife, by appearing to be the Worst. If I am not angry half a do­zen Times a Day, she will be out of Hu­mour, and not speak to me. I found out her Delight, and have got many a sweet Kiss for what in another Couple would have gone near to have caused a Divorce. She uses a hundred Plots to put me out of Hu­mour, all which encreases my good Nature, so much, knowing that poor Molly falls out for nothing but to make Friends, that I sometimes find it hard to be pleas'd to be angry with her. I am, perhaps, the merri­est Man of a passionate one, that was ever known; and my Wife, the most contented of all Sufferers. I should weary your Pa­tience, if I was to tell you the different Stratagems, by which she almost tires out my good Humour, to make me exert it in trying her Patience. My Shoemaker, has [Page 415] a Wife as like her as Two Lasts. But she is more violent in her Cravings; insomuch that he is forced to proceed, from Sound, to Substance.—He says, she never is a kinder Bedfellow, than when she has induc'd him to do her the Kindness to bang her into Bed. He adds, that he has bound her to him in all Kindness, by laying his Strap over her Shoulders almost every Day she lives. If he miss it some Days together, the poor Thing cries, and thinks herself neglected. You, see what Happiness there is in Matri­mony: And that there are other Rules for Behaviour, between Husband, and Wife, besides those of your Teaching.

Yours, BOB. MERRY-THOUGHT.
SIR,

YOU lately gave us so lively a De­scription of the Races at Newmarket, that I cannot but wish you would exert your Wooden-Horse, as Men of your Age commonly call their Oaken-Sticks, and take a Journey from your Watch-Tower of Bar­bican to Exchange Alley. You will find that the Citizens, who have been a long Time injuriously misrepresented as a plod­ding Generation of People, have as brisk Imaginations, in their way, as any of the quickest Wits that inhabit the Temple, or [Page 416] any courtly Part of the Town beyond the Bar. Their Fancies run upon Wheels, but they are substantial ones, and, since the Lot­tery has been set up, they all seem to turn upon that great and important One, of Fortune. They are so clever in their Devi­ces, that they have formed several Streets into Courses, and fix'd a convenient Mar­ket just at hand, where a Man may pur­chase a Racer, at any Hour of the Day, to try his Luck upon, and scower away in­to a large Estate, between Sun and Sun. In fine, the Scene of Newmarket is shifted to London, and Smithfield translated into Exchange-Alley. As ill a Figure as the top Citizens have been said to make on Horse­back, with all their Pageants about them on a Lord-Mayor's Day, yet, to do them Justice, now, they are become serious in Horseman­ship, and have turned Play into a Trade, you cannot imagine what expert Jockies they make. Our News-Papers have lately diverted us with strange Accounts of slow Beasts called Asses, that have been brought up to be very nimble, and of Cows, turn'd into Gallopers, for the Sport of our ingeni­ous Brethren that have running Heads in the Country: We have very far overmatch'd them, in Town, for we have Exchange Bears, and Exchange Bulls, that will mount a Titt as cleverly as if they were born to it. They will purchase you a Nag for Three Half Crowns, and count him but a mere [Page 417] Jade, if he wins the Rider less than a Thousand Pounds. Guildhall is the Goal they run to, and if one of your City-Racers comes in at the Nick, as we call it, (for we run the Twelve Hours by lucky Minutes.) two Boys hold up their Hands, and bid the Man, that has run the Course, be happy all his Life after. I don't doubt but when Bar­tholomew Fair was put to so early a Period, you deplored the Accident, because, lasting a little longer, the odd Mirth of the Peo­ple, that frequented it, would have fur­nished you with Materials without going far from your Neighbourhood. But this Bull and Bear Fair, in the City, will be of long Continuance, and make you ample Amends if you will but come and see it; When I see the Wheel go round, and the Racers are by at the Twirling of it, my Imagination re­presents it to me, like the flying Chariots, and Machines, for young Travellers in Smith­field, in which, methinks, I see an Ap­prentice seated over the Head of a Com­mon-Council-Man; a Suburb-Habardash­er of Small Wares mounted three Stories higher in Fortune than a grave Alderman with a Gold Chain about his Neck; and a Semstress more lofty than a Lady Mayo­ress. But I am giving you a Description which I had rather you should come and take; I dare say it will make as diverting a Paper, at least, as the List of the Lot­tery Tickets, and you need not desire a [Page 418] better Prize than to have yours read by equal Numbers, with equal Curiosity, Desire, and Circumspection. I am of the Mule Kind in Trade, and sometimes Bellow in the Alley, like a Bud, upon the Fall, and sometimes Dance like a Bear, upon the Rise of the Stocks: You shall be welcome to take a secure Stand in in my Den, from whence you may see all the Diversion. You will be presently directed to it, if you ask any one, out of the many Thousands of City Jockies, that you will see there, for

Your very Humble Servant, URSA MAJOR.

P.S. A Vintner had but one Leg of a Horse, which whole Horse cost but Three Half Crowns, and won Five Hundred Pounds to his Share by that Leg. Pray come and see the Sport, and you will say, That as old as you are, you never saw the like since you was born; nor do I think, except the Time of the South-Sea, there was ever such merry Trading in the Memory of Man. If you continue to like Mrs. Patty Amble, bring her with you, I must put her in a Way of making a pro­perer Wife for you by teaching her how to mend her Paces and her Fortune together, both which you may remember, you left in a desperate Way at that Place, which you describ'd, in a most delightful and instruct­ive Paper of yours, by the Name of Mend-All-Market.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 50.
FRIDAY, September 11. 1724.

Dignum laude virum musa vetat mori.
HOR.
Virtus repulsae nescia sordidae
Intaminatis fulget honoribus,
Nec sumet aut ponit secures
Arbitrio popularis aurae.
Ibid.

THE Estimation, of publick Actions, seems to me to be unjustly calculated, Men derive the Quality of Actions from that of the Actor; Would it not be more just to measure the Actor by the Action? The An­cients considered the Degrees of Superiority to consist in those of Merit and Virtue. Pliny has distinguish'd himself, by Remarks, on this Head, in his admirable Epistles, and tho' he was at the Head of the Nobles, as well as the Wits of his Age, he thought it not below him, to pay Acknowledgments, [Page 420] nay, refined Compliments, to the Merit of Persons in low Life; but took a worthy Pride in raising them from the Obscurity, annexed to that Condition, by a Comparison with the highest renowned for Deeds which sprang from the same Greatness and Elevati­on of Spirit. As Titles are often but Acci­dents, this is a just Way of Judging; since Worth is not the Consequence of a Name, but a great Name ought ever to be the Consequence of Virtue.

‘"MODERN Writers," said our Critick, the other Evening, "have gone into a different Turn of Thinking: They extol, to the Skies, the indifferent Actions, and palliate the Blemishes, of Titled People, who disgrace the Figure of Life they ap­pear in; but meanly, decline the right Use of Art upon Subjects, where they might point out Greatness in obscure Men, who were never little in any Thing but the Accident of their Birth, and who living and dying, did an Honour to Human Nature. Such Pen-men may be called, The Rabble of the Wits, who are dazled by the false Glare of the Great, but can look at solid, Virtue, without the least Emotion, or Sign, of being able to see it. The Stiles of these petty Panegyrists, are, like their Subjects, glittering, but not solid; swel­ling, but rather empty than great; they seem never to have heard of that beautiful [Page 421] Simplicity, which arises out of Nature, and forms the Sublime, so much admired by the Readers, and so masterly executed by the Writers of Antiquity."’

WE were led into this Track of Thinking, by my looking, the other Day, into a little Book, call'd, The History of the Preservation of Charles the Second, after the noted Battle of Worcester; which was fought in the Year 1651, on the Third of this very Month of September. I there meet with such a prodigi­ous Instance of Fidelity, and Loyalty, in a poor mean Country Fellow, nam'd Pendrell, and all his Family, that I know not any so Illustrious, to which my Heart would lead me to pay greater, or sincerer Acknowledge­ments. I am not at all surprized, to find, that this amazing Incident, of Integrity, is coolly, and insensibly, treated by Men of slender Abilities; who have an Affectation to shine upon more pompous Subjects; who chuse rather to spend their Strength in relat­ing the Fury of that Battle, and lay out all their mistaken Eloquence in raising the Pow­ers of Hell, to push on its horrible Conse­quences; but it is both a Matter of Surprize, and Confusion, to think, that so many truly great Poets, and Orators, should live just af­ter, and leave an Example, so beneficial to Posterity, in a manner forgotten, for want of being commended, with that Spirit it so richly deserves.

[Page 422]PERHAPS the History of the whole World, were we to turn it never so carefully over, could furnish us with but few Things more astonishing, more moving, and pathetick, more exemplary, and edifying, than this un­celebrated Passage!—A Monarch to be forced, by a prevailing Faction, to turn a Fugitive, in his own Kingdoms! And when discomfited Princes, disabled Lords, and routed Armies, could no longer assist their Sovereign, that it should be reserved for a poor simple Hind to preserve this Lord's Anointed from a cruel, pursuing Victor, whose praeternatural Swells of Fortune made him the Terror of all Christendom!—That it should be reserved for an ignorant Country­man, to save a wise and mighty Prince from falling, like his good Father, to be after­wards, received as our Glory, with the Ap­plauses and Acclamations, not only of our own Three Kingdoms, but all the Nations about us! And shall this Englishman, record­ed with Honour, by foreign Writers, be only coldly spoken of by our own?—Is he a mean Man? Consider the noble Trust, and the nobler Discharge of it! and he grows great in Proportion to the Littleness of his Condition. Is he Poor? How does that Po­verty add to the Richness of his Virtue, who hears Praemiums bid for the precious Life, he has in Custody, and yet, disdaining the Bribe of Gold, ventures his own for his Loyalty? Sure, nothing but a Soul, which is abandon'd [Page 423] to Barbarity and Meanness, can let a little Idea of him take Place, upon Account of his despicable Figure. It is the noblest Addition to his Greatness! As inconsiderable as he might be otherwise, he must, in this View, make a fine Picture, and he is a living Dis­grace to that Herd of Titled Criminals, who follow'd the Fortunes, and partook the im­pious Greatness, of the Pursuer of Majesty. Let those, who look no farther than the out­side of Things, think a Plebian, below Eulo­gy; I, who view him with other Eyes al­most think him above it. Had he lived in more generous Times, and been the Preser­ver of an Augustus, his honest Contempt of Gold, would have justly given him a Place equal with Camillus, in the Horatian Ode, consecrated to the Praises of that Emperor.

IT is a Scene, that the Imagination can­not entertain without a Mixture of Grief and Admiration, when we place before our Eyes that Prince in the Habit of a Rustick, amidst so many different Dangers, relying upon the Conduct and Fidelity of this real Rustick, this venerable Clown, and his little Family for his Guards. I remember to have been informed, by a very great Man, That ‘"He has heard the King tell the Story in Jest, and wonder'd to see many smile, when his Majesty said pleasantly, That He He was once in danger of losing his Guide in the Night-Time, but that the Rustling of Richard's Calves-Skin Breeches was a Dire­ction [Page 424] to his Ear in the Dark. The King might, indeed, make a Jest of it, said he, but I could not think of Majesty in such Distress, without being touch'd in good Earnest, by a Grief, which it was beyond the Notion of an odd and comical Dress to remove."’—I must say the same, as this Nobleman, with regard to the King; and even as to Pendrell, there is some­thing too serious in his Integrity, not to make us lose his Appearance, in our Venera­tion of his Virtues. As there was a Princely Person in one rough Garb; there was a noble Soul in the other; for when he attended the King, for the last Time, he shewed, he had a true Sense of the Weight of his Charge. For, his Majesty complaining of the Horse, That it was the heaviest Jade he ever rode on; Pendrell, smilingly told him, That the Horse had the Weight of Three Kingdoms on his Back, and ought not therefore to be blamed, if he went a little heavily.

WHEN I Meditate the many Passages, that this little History recounts, between the King and Pendrell, my Attention is so fixed to the Parts, which exercised this Man's Fi­delity, that I scarce have Room in my Thoughts, for the Glories of a Restora­tion, that he was reserved for. I love to dwell upon this good Man: It is a familiar Example, but it is the more useful; the Least Man may be faithful, and Fidelity will make him Great; while the Greatest Man, with­out [Page 425] Integrity, dwindles into a Little one.—It is true, also, Integrity makes a Great Man much Greater; so it is with Ge­neral Monk, a Name, far beyond his Title. Duke of Albemarle, strikes no Ear; calls for no Admiration. But Every one admires the General and the Restorer.

A LITTLE gentlemanly Estate was after­wards settled upon his Descendants; and had he been advanced by the Pleasure of the King, from that lowly Degree, to the No­bility, no Lord could have thought himself injur'd, by having for his Peer, and Compa­nion, the Heir of that worthy Man, who preserved the Fountain of Honour.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 51.
MONDAY, September 14. 1724.

— Fallacia
Alia aliam trudit.
TEREN.

CREDULITY is a Weakness, from which very few are exempted. It is the Ground-work of Craft and Imposture; and the Means by which they are propa­gated.

I HAVE often reflected, with Concern, upon the Condition of Humanity, in this Regard: And nothing can be more afflicting, than to behold one Part of the rational World making a Trade of misguiding the other! If all the Errors, into which People are drawn, had but the Marks of Truth, some Excuse, might be found for their Cre­dulity; but the Shame is, in their receiving what is new, at the Expence, even of Proba­bability. [Page 427] Vulgar Minds are most struck with what is most incredible; and the Way to convince, is, to amaze them. Reason makes few Proselytes: But Mystery rarely fails. And the less they know why, the fonder they grow of the Imposture.

BECAUSE I would not dip into Contro­versies, wherein Religion, and Government, are concern'd; I must descend into Low Life, and only touch the little Artifices which owe their Reputation to this Weakness.

THE World is wearied with Stories of Witches and Fairies, and begins to see thro' the Imposture. The Craft of Astrologers, Conjurers, and Prophets, begins also to be ex­ploded, by the Vulgar, whose Oracles they have long been. But I am not a little amaz'd to find, that, instead of the Delusions, once practis'd on the Multitude, They, now, work strongest among the polite and fashionable People. What Staring, what Clapping, what Waste of Time and Money have Harlequin and Faustus occasion'd? The Madness, both of Actors, and Spectators, has so provok'd me almost to Tears, that I could even have wept over the City!

I WILL not be so partial, to our Wor­shipful Society of FREE and ACCEPTED MASONS, as to forbear reproving them, on this Occasion, for the unaccountable Po­ther and Noise they have lately made in the World. What Stories have been told to amuse, and engage the Credulous? What [Page 428] Reflections, what Reproach, have they brought upon That ANCIENT ORDER, by making Proselytes, in so cheap and so prosti­tuted a Manner? It afflicts me sensibly, when I see Coxcombs introduc'd into our Lodges, and made privy to our Secrets. I have often enter'd my Protest against this Abuse, in pri­vate Society; and must use the Freedom to offer this Memorial, in my publick Character. 'Tis my Opinion, That the late Prostitution of our Order is in some Measure, the betraying it. The weak Heads of Vintners, Drawers, Wig­makers, Weavers, &c. admitted into our Frater­nity, have not only brought Contempt upon the Institution, but do very much endanger it. And I have heard it ask'd, Why we don't admit Women, as well as Taylors, into our Lodges? I must confess I have met with as sufficient Heads among the Fair Sex, as I have found in the BROTHERHOOD: I have some Reasons to fear, that our SECRETS are in Danger. There is, in the Conduct of too many, since their Admission, the

— Caecus amor sui,
Et tollens vacuum plus nimio Gloria verticem;
Arcanique Fides prodiga, perlucidior vitro;

which is expresly prohibited by our Excellent RULES and CONSTITUTIONS; and, which is the very Characteristick of the Fools, that were received into the LODGES at ROME, in the Days of AUGUSTUS CAESAR; [Page 429] and whereof our Brother HORACE com­plain'd vehemently, in an Ode to VARUS, who was then GRAND MASTER. But whatever Freedoms others imagine they may lawfully and discreetly use, my Conscience cannot brook them.

— NON EGO TE —
INVITUM QUATIAM: NEC —
SUB DIVUM RAPIAM —

MY Female Readers, and, I'm afraid, some of the Brotherhood may stop here, and stare, as if I had blabb'd out the whole My­stery. They may be doubtful whether the above Words, and Dashes may not be decy­pher'd into the famous Mason Word? But I leave the Ignorant to their Wonder; and pro­ceed to assure my Brethren, that they have promoted Superstition and Babbling, contrary to the Peace of our Sovereign Lord, the King, by their late Practices, and Condescen­tions. Alarming Reports, and Stories of LADDERS, HALTERS, DRAWN SWORDS, and DARK ROOMS, have spread Confusion and Terror: And, if the Government does not put the Laws against us in Execution, it will be an extraor­dinary Favour, or Oversight. For my own Part, I am so faithful a Subject, and have the Weal of Our Ancient Order, so much at Heart, that unless the GRAND MASTER puts a Stop to these Proceedings, by a peremptory [Page 430] Charge to the BROTHERHOOD, I wish I cou'd honourably enter into ANOTHER.

AND, now I have hinted at ANOTHER Order, I must entertain my Readers with Two Letters; the first address'd to my self, and the last written from Rome, to the Au­thor of the first.

HANG CHI to the British PLAIN-DEALER: Health.

Sage SIR,

BY the Help of my Secretary and In­terpreter I peruse your Lucubrati­ons; and write this Epistle, to assure you of my Esteem.

I AM inform'd, that you have taken Notice of the Advertisement I caused to be publish'd in the News-Papers; and that you call'd at the Castle, to be satisfy'd of the Truth of my Arrival in this Place. Your Enquiry, and the Conversation you had with my Secretary, give me Occasion to gratify you farther; and I am proud to have it in my Power to distinguish one of your Merit in the Manner I intend.

THE Laws and Constitutions of the most ancient and illustrious Order, of the GORMOGONS oblige us to be cau­tious and frugal, in admitting new Mem­bers. Remarkable Virtues have always re­commended the Candidates. No Rank, Station, or Condition of Life, intitles a [Page 431] Person to be of our Fraternity. We know neither Prejudice, nor Partiality, in con­ferring this Honour; and all the Interest in the World to procure it, would be fruitless, without Merit.

MY Residence here will be short. It cannot therefore be expected, that I shou'd invite many worthy Persons to enter into our Order; nor dare I render it cheap and contemptible, by admitting every Preten­der: But I know several who deserve to be received, and to whom I have promis'd the Distinction.

I SHALL consider it as an Ornament to our most ancient and illustrious ORDER, which is the Honour and Ornament of all its Members, if you, Sage Sir, will be pleas'd to accept the Privileges that I am empower'd to bestow on the Deserving. I confess, you must first be DEGRADED, as our Laws require, and renounce, and abandon, the Society of False-Builders. But, as your great Judgment must distin­guish the Excellence of our Order, I hope you will prefer being a Fellow with Us. Nothing would more sensibly concern me, when I leave London, than not be able to transmit your Name in the List, that I must send to the OECUMENICAL VOLGEE in China.

I am, Sage SIR, Your Affectionate Friend, HANG CHI.

SHIN SHAW, to HANG CHI, at London: Health:

Most Illustrious Brother and Friend,

I CONGRATULATE you on the speedy Progress you have made from the Court of the Young SOPHY, and your safe Arrival in the Isle of Britain. Your Presence is earnestly expected at ROME. The Father of High Priests is fond of our Order, and the CARDINALS have an Emulation to be distinguish'd. Our Excellent Brother GORMOGON, Mandarin, CHAN FUE, is well, and salutes you. Since my last, I had Advi­ces from Pekin, which confirm former Ac­counts, that our new Emperor is an open Enemy to the Jesuits: But I pray, their Disgrace in China may not provoke the Europeans to use Us ill. Take Care of your Health. Farewell.

SHIN SHAW.

I ACKNOWLEDGE the Honour done me, by the illustrious Mandarin HANG CHI; and, though I cannot prevail with my self to be DEGRADED, in the Manner re­quir'd by the Laws and Constitutions of the Order of GORMOGONS, I approve, and applaud, their admitting none, but whom Merit recommends into the Fellowship of the OECUMENICAL VOLGEE. [Page 433] Moreover, I propose the Good Conduct, and Regularity of the GORMOGONS, as a Pattern to the FREE and ACCEPTED MASONS, for the Future: And, if I shall be enabled to make any useful Discoveries for the Service of the Brotherhood, they may depend on my watchful Fidelity.

THE Letters, sign'd MAECENAS, com­municated to us, by PHILANTHROPOS, are come to Hand, and deservedly claim a Place in this Paper the first Opportunity.

Our Fair Correspondents, the one from Edinburgh, the other from Surrey, who, both so beautifully, and pathetically, pour forth their Complaints to the PLAIN DEALER, shall meet with a proper and early Regard.

THE ANONYMOUS Gentleman, who re­quests our speedy Opinion of a certain Case, which, he says, is urgent, is desired to sus­pend his dangerous Advice to his Friend; and we shall touch upon that Subject, in an am­pler Manner, than is consistent with the Haste he requires.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 52.
FRIDAY, September 18. 1724.

— De tot modo millibus unus:
— De tot modo millibus una.
OVID.

THE following Letters sign'd MAECENAS, were written, as their Dates shew, some Time since, by a Gentleman from Lon­don, to his Friend at Cambridge, and being full of a generous Spirit, we have inserted them, according to our Promise in our last.

SIR,

WHAT I here write to you, is Af­fection, true (because spontaneous) Affection to a Family who know not me, or that I am now writing, or intending to write to you, or any body concerning them.

[Page 435] I AM just now seated at a Coffee-house, not far from the Royal-Exchange, where I am very much affected (as I often have been) with the genteel, humble Deport­ment of the Bar-keeper; A Deportment most agreeably adapted to her present Sta­tion.—Yet, at the same time, such as betokens a Genius superior to this Way of Livelihood. It is known to every body that sees this Gentlewoman (seeing her is knowing it) that she is a Gentlewoman: But that, moreover, she has this additional Merit, To have been the Comfort, the lov­ing, and beloved Comfort, of the great and admirable Favellus; this perhaps is not so universally known.

FAVELLUS was an eminent Preacher of the Town: Those that know his Character, can tell 'twas a Compound of all the good Characters belonging to a Christian, to a Divine, to a Gentleman. He had a most extensive Genius, which, with his own Edu­cation and Industry, made vast Acquire­ments in all sorts of Theological Literature. This will appear to a Man of any Sagacity, that makes use of That and his Sermons, when publish'd, which are now Printing by Subscription. The first of these Sermons, that was preached in my Hearing, gave me a most surprizing Mixture of Pleasure and Concern: Pleasure, in hearing, at once, a Demosthenes, and a Euclid, a Chrysostom, and a Bentley (All met together) All speak­ing [Page 436] in this accomplish'd Divine; who was himself a most powerful, a most pathetick Orator, a most exact Reasoner, a most persua­sive Theologer,—in one Word, an universal consummate Scholar.—This was the Pleasure. A Concern too it gave me (a Concern in­expressible) arising from a certain Uneasiness I felt in my own Breast, from reflecting, that tho' I had been Years in London, this was but my First Pleasure of hearing this inimitable Man. After this, you may be sure I became his eager Attendant: And of All the Sermons I attended, Head and Heart say this.—They were All, to a Degree that is incredible, All Edifying, All Enter­taining; Entertaining, I mean in that Way wherein Theological Performances may and ought to entertain. 'Tis rare, remarkably rare, to meet with the Man that writes, or indeed is capable of writing, in that Close, that Mathematical, that Concatenating Way he excell'd in; or, that has the same Sa­gacity in Pointing out the Intricacies of an Argument, together with the same Acute­ness, the same Clearness in Removing 'em;—putting Prejudice to the Blush;—re­conciling Scripture to Scripture;—making Error appear to be Error, Truth to be Truth. You'd be sure not only to be pleas'd, but to exult in the Pleasure you took, if you had heard him frequently, as I did, ad­vancing (and that so ingeniously) some Truths that were uncommon, and defend­ing [Page 437] common ones in an uncommon Man­ner; making obscure Things plain; plain Things surprizingly plainer.—To raise Objections so pertinently, to state 'em so can­didly, to answer 'em so unanswerably, is a Talent, or rather many Talents, wherein but few Men, if few, cou'd come up to him.

I ASK now, Shou'd it not be (Matter of Wonder to ALL Men, and) to Men of Merit, Concern, that this very Man, a Man of their own Number, a Minister of the Gos­pel too, an eminent Minister, an eminent Writer,—Great in Learning,—Great in Goodness,—Great in Renown,—Of a meek humble, winning Disposition,—Of a sweet, sober, edifying Conversation,—Of a blameless, of an unspotted Cha­racter,—Withal too, a Man of strict Or­thodoxy (and is not This alone a Thousand good Characters?)—I say, shou'd it not, even in Point of Humanity (much more so of Charity) affect All Men of Merit or that love Merit, to observe how it pass'd unrewarded, slighted, discourag'd, tho' seen plainly, tho' admir'd universally, in this excellent Man?

THINK—(and grieve when you think) how he Died! How Indigent! How exceed­ingly Indigent!—and this, after a Life wherein there was nothing of Excess,—ex­cept that of its being painful, willingly pain­ful to Himself,—and that purposely that it might be useful to Others.

[Page 438] BEHOLD him, when Living, living blamelessly in every Thing;—Blamelessly did I say? It had been just to have said, Admirably in every Thing: Admirably every where: At Home Studious, at Home Frugal, in all his Oeconomy: Abroad sel­dom—except at his Church: At Church attended with a full Congregation (perhaps the fullest in this great City, wherein were Persons of almost all Denominations, all all Ranks and Perswasions; all pleas'd, all greedy to hear this incomparable Man.—And yet,

BEHOLD him, when Dying, not worth enough to defray the Charge of his Funeral! Now, it appears (thro' his own singular Modesty, it did not till now) What a poor Livelihood (—Wonder, and be astonish'd! and yet this was All his Livelihood (for himself and Family) he got by the Mini­stry: Poor! so deplorably poor, that his di­stress'd Widow, and Two or Three young lovely Children, at least some of 'em, are likely, e'er long, (—O pity! pity!) even to—I cannot speak it!—What shall I say?—My Heart bleeds when I think of it. He died, as I'm told, not worth Ten Shillings.

WITHIN the Circle of your Acquain­tance, and my own, there are, some, no doubt, that have Inclinations, but want Abilities to be Beneficent; some, that have Abilities, but want Inclinations: Some, [Page 439] that have Both, and would imploy both, but know not where to employ 'em. To these last sort of Persons, to all these able-well-in­clining Persons, namely, to all that have no Heirs of their own to inherit after them, or have more Riches than enough for their Heirs, and for such like Reasons have gene­rous Design, I say, To these surely I need not say more.

PITY, even common Pity, mov'd me thus to throw in a Word or two (I hope, at least, 'twill have some favourable Conse­quence) in Favour of this unhappy Widow and Children (the Melancholy Remains of that Learned Good Man I have been speak­ing of); and the this rather, because, as you see, they are now reduc'd, for the Sake of a Subsistence, to the Business of a Coffee-house.

THE Widow's Demeanor, in this new Way of Life, as I told you, genteel Humility, sub­missive, easy, chearful in this the Station allotted her, Because 'tis allotted her. She has this Character, in all its Beauty and Elegance, in all the Nicety and Goodbreed­ing belonging to it. See the Whole of her Conduct. See in that, the worst of Adver­sities in its best Dress. Whoever attends to it (and whoever beholds cannot but attend to it) has a very instructive Amusement. There is scarce an Action she does, that in this Way is not an excellent Document, being itself a Comment on that polite Humility I am speaking of. To see her, just now, bring­ing [Page 440] me the Dish of Coffee, I call'd for, with HER peculiar Way of doing it, is an admir­able Criticism on those Words of St. Paul, I know HOW to be abased. And to attend her, saying Sir, I thank you, and her Man­ner of saying it (—with the Curt'sy an­nex'd) to a Gentleman that a while ago laid his Penny at the Bar, is perhaps a bet­ter Sermon than many a Divine cou'd have made on this Text of St. Peter [Be Courteous] So much for the Widow.

THE Children (poor, fatherless, undone Children!) seem to carry an Hereditary Goodness in their very Aspects. It wou'd melt any Heart to behold them; any, es­pecially, that remembers that worthy Fa­ther they descended from.

SIR, Sure you are affected with this Me­lancholy Narrative: 'Tis Truth. Inquire, and you'll find it All to be Truth, as related to you, by

Your most Affected MAECENAS.
Dear SIR,

IN my last I griev'd, in this I rejoice; as you will, when I tell you that the distress'd Widow of the late Reverend and Excellent Favellus is lately Married to a Good Man, and an ample Estate, ample [Page 441] enough to provide handsomly for her and her Children. Behold the Benevolence, be­hold the Goodness, the Superlative Good­ness of Amasius! that has thought fit to be­stow Himself, and his All! and this with­out Hurt to any Relation of his own. I esteem, I admire the Man, 'tho I know him not. I'm all Joy and Transport, and impatient to tell it you. I can write nothing else;—therefore conclude in an Extasy.

Yours, MAECENAS.
SIR,

'TIS the Opinion of me, and of many that the two Letters, I inclose, may pass with Advantage thro' your Hands to the Publick. If too long, abridge 'em as you think fit. I was at Cambridge, when I reciv'd both from Maecenas, who I must tell you, is a Gentleman of the Temple, that won't permit me to say more of him; nor need I to a Person, of your Taste and Dis­cernment, that can read the Soul of a Man in his Letters.

BE just, Sir, to such a remarkable Piece of Generosity as this of Amasius, and con­vince the World, that it is not only an un­common Generosity, but an uncommon good Sense; a good Sense, perhaps, which a [Page 442] great many foolish People have not a Notion of, and which a great many wise ones have only a Notion of.

THE like Conduct to this of Amasius, was t'other Day, that of THEODOSIA, a Lady of an amiable Character, and of a very con­siderable Family and Fortune. She has had a long and intimate Knowledge of Honestus, and of All his Good Qualities. She has of­ten heard, often seen, what a kind Hus­band he made to his Wise, whom he has lately lost, and with her an Estate, that was all he had to subsist upon. He had met with many Adversities, many Trials before. But this was the greatest. He bore it man­fully; hoping, trusting, resting, firmly and chearfully, in an Almighty Wisdom, Goodness, and Providence. With this Re­solution, he made a friendly Visit to his Ac­quaintance in the Country; among the rest, to Theodosia, who receiv'd him kindly, and pity'd him. He there fell ill of a Fever, during which, she gave him a Thousand Proofs of her Tenderness! and, after he had recover'd, added this to the Number of 'em, She Married him—Not without the Ad­vice of her best Friends and Relations.—

THIS is the Character of Honestus; a great deal of Merit, but, withal, a great deal of Poverty, and Four Children along with it. For this she's reflected on. Cruel World! thus to treat the generous Theodosia! And thus to treat her, because she is generous! [Page 443]—Cruelty itself! But incourage her, I beseech you, Sir, and let it be your Gene­rosity to say all you can in behalf of Theo­dosia's.

HEREBY, (if speedy) you'll oblige many besides,

SIR,
Your Sincere Friend, And Humble Servant, PHILANTHROPOS.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 53.
MONDAY, September 21. 1724.

Trahimur omnes laudis studio: & optimus quis (que) maxime gloria ducitur.

CICERO.

WE regard not Rivals in Love, with more Malice than Rivals in Fame: And the softer Sex, is most liable to the ma­lignant Impressions of Envy; because their Pursuits being fewer than ours, their Appli­cation is more intense and collected: And they brook Disappointments with less Comfort and Moderation.

[Page 444] WIT and Beauty, are the Arms they conquer by; It is with Jealousy, therefore, that they behold them in any Hands but their own. The Praise of one Lady, is con­sidered by another, as a Reproach: And her Soul must be sublimely Great, who, not on­ly observes with Pleasure, the Fame and In­fluence, of a powerful Rival; but contri­butes her own Endeavours, to the Support, and Increase of them!

I HAVE been led into these Reflections, by the Delight, with which, I perus'd the following Letter, and Copy of Verses, which were lately sent me, by a Lady, who has either too much Generosity, to malign the Excellence and Applause of others: Or too large a Share of both, herself, to be al­larm'd, at their Advance, in either.

SIR,

I HAVE found, That your Paper has a Power to move the Soul; and holds a Command over the Passions. Your PLAIN DEALER on Death, is one con­tinued Beauty. He ought, methinks, to live for ever, who can make Death so de­sirable. While I was reading in it, all Vanity, and Love of Life forsook me.—My Eyes resign'd themselves to Tears: and I even seem'd to feel the Grave. The beautiful Verse glided through my Veins; and I trembled, with a pleasing Horror.

[Page 445] WHILE my Mind was, thus delight­fully sadden'd, Death depriv'd me of a perfect Friend, to whose dear Memory, I have devoted the Lines inclos'd. They have little Beauty, but the Truth and Passion of my Concern. Perhaps, That will plead their Pardon.

THE Lady, whose Loss I lament, was an Ornament to one Sex; and the Re­proach and Admiration of the other. I wonder, a Death, so considerable, appears so little deplor'd.—Where is Friendship?—Was it buried, in Delia's Grave? Let me invoke it, to lament her.—She who cou'd, so gracefully, mourn, let us mourn her.—She, who cou'd give Life to our Imagination, let us be sorry for her Death, and assist her Fame, by our Gratitude.

YOU, Sir, who know how to Charm your Readers, as you please, I wish, you would chuse this inspiring Subject of Friend­ship. Its divine Spirit is too much confin'd among Persons of narrow Natures.—As for me, I am not insensible of it: I feel its Power at my Heart; but can't do Justice in expressing it.—The Descent to Age, and Affliction, is smooth'd and sof­ten'd, by the Aid of Friendship. It rebates the Edge of sharpest Miseries. We seem not to grow Old, when we have a Friend, to make Life tasteful to us: Time flies over us, indeed; but he seems to brush us with downy Wings; and marks his Way, with slight Impressions.

[Page 446] WHEN I see a Face, more serene, or more lovely, than usual, I take Pleasure to imagine, she owes her Sweetness, to the Influence of some charming Friend's Society. The Soul is quicken'd in its Energy, by the Power of so divine a Soft­ness, nor shares, nor laments, the Body's Miseries.

EXCUSE the Fullness of my Heart, on this favourite Subject: And I will be frank enough to own, that I am sometimes blest, with a Friend; of your Sex, too: And, while I have the Joy of listening to his Wisdom, methinks, we have already pass'd the Grave, and are enjoying the De­lights of Heaven.

I am, SIR, Your most Respectful, Humble Servant, CLEORA.
VERSES, Written by a LADY: On the Death of Mrs. MANLEY.
PALE bleeding Friendship, and distracted Grief,
Leave me no Voice, to give my Woe Relief:
Ev'n the soft Gratitude my Eyes should pay,
Flows from my Soul, and speaks, this nobler Way.
My weeping Pen shall my Distress impart,
And its dark Tears dissolve the Reader's Heart:
[Page 447]Till Tears on Tears, in social Grief, descend,
And the World mourns my Soul's lamented Friend.
Yet does my Muse, but a brib'd Off'ring give:
Since, join'd to Thine My Name is sure to live.
Why wert Thou ravish'd from my Love, so soon?
Why gleam'd thy Evening only, on my Noon?
Had thy dear Friendship warm'd my Morning Lays,
I had deserv'd the Glory of thy Praise:
Sprung, lively, forward lighten'd by thy Ray;
Chear'd, for the Race; and darted into Day.
But thou wert held, from my desiring Sight:
And my Muse wander'd, distant from Thy Light.
How strong, yet soft, was Her accomplish'd Mind!
Sincere, like Heaven; and, as its Angels, kind.
Safe, as the Sun, in her Superior Rays,
How full shone Merit, in her graceful Praise!
Such active Flame, did her warm Fancy give,
That ev'ry glowing Letter seem'd to live!
Where's now th' unconscious Heart, that cou'd descend,
To bless my Wishes, with the Name of Friend!
Senceless, and cold, 'twill, now, no longer move,
At Pity's tender Voice, or weeping Love!
Where shall we, now, those bright Ideas find,
That peopled Thought, from thy creating Mind?
Death has turn'd back the intercepted Store:
But thy Fame lives, and thou can'st die no more.
Such Immortality Thy Friendship gave;
For none, whom Delia sung, can fear the Grave.
Life of my Genius! whither art thou flown?
To what new Regions, to my Soul unknown!
[Page 448]Let me o'ertake thee—for I weary grow;
And sicken at the World, that's left below.
The Sunless World, where Friendship has no Part,
Is cold, and dead, to my be-winter'd Heart.
In Life's vain Joys, no Comfort can be found,
No Cure for Mem'ry's ever-smarting Wound.
When the bright Traces of thy Mind I read,
Oh! how will waking Recollection bleed!
Thy Angel Pen, aw'd ev'n unblushing Vice:
And chas'd high Guilt, from its proud Paradise.
But Innocence and Vertue, were thy Care:
Thy tow'ring Genius, shone Triumphant there.
Oh! Delia! tuneful Mistress of my Mind,
Dear to my Friendship, to my Errors kind,
Where shall my Muse another Delia find?
What wish'd Intreaties did I still receive!
Such, the true Great, alone, have Soul, to give.
While, in immortal Honours she was dress'd,
She stoop'd, to raise me to her gen'rous Breast?
And woo'd my distant Merit, to be blest?
I grasp thy Tomb, nor wou'd I thence depart;
The World has, now, no Charm, that tempts my Heart.
Dark, let me sigh, to thy departed Shade,
Nor Light, intruding, solemn Grief invade:
My trembling Arms, wou'd this cold Marble bind.
Till my lost Body, joins my buried Mind.

I AM charm'd, almost equally, with the Verse and Prose, of this Lady:—There is in her Stile, a peculiar Mark, or Mole, which her Minerva may be known by. It is a cer­tain majestick Shortness in her Periods, im­pregnated [Page 449] with Sense and Fullness. And her Poetry is so rich in Beauties, that her Eyes have scarce more Fire; or her Mind more Scope and Sweetness.

IT has often been observ'd, That the Ladies of this Island, are the most beautiful in the Universe. I shall endeavour, for my Coun­try's Honour, to prove them also the most Witty. And, that they are most Wise, we are under a Political Necessity of maintain­ing, because no Remark is more obvious to Foreigners, than, that the Superiority of our Women's Talents, has almost universally pre­ferr'd the Sex, in this happy Corner of the World, to a Right of Governing their Hus­bands.

BUT when I come to speak of the Wit of our English Ladies, I will not do 'em the Injustice of comparing them with our Male Poets.—There was a Corinna among the Antients, who carried away the Prize of Poetry from the Immortal Pindar himself.—To write better than the Men, therefore, is a Triumph below the Genius of some of our Female Wits, whom I could name, since other Women have been already, so far Con­querors in other Nations. But, if I match our modern Muses, against the Sappho's, and Corinna's of Antiquity, and they shall be victorious over those fam'd Victors, That, indeed will be a Glory.

I SHALL consecrate Three future Papers, to the Great, and different Excellence of Three [Page 450] English Ladies, who are all now living; And whose Writings shall be tryed, in a most impartial Comparison, with the finest, and most celebrated Remnants of Female Genius, which have been preserv'd and wonder'd at, through a Length of applauding Ages.—And, I doubt not, but I shall make it demonstrable, in those Three Papers; that the English Ladies have excell'd the Antients, in the Depth, the Tenderness, and the Subli­mity of their Compositions.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 54
FRIDAY, September 25. 1724.

Cur ego, si nequeo, ignoroque, Poeta salutor?
HOR.

IN a Coffee-Room, the other Day, where the Conversation turn'd on Wit, a Gen­tleman was taking Pains to draw an odd kind of Demonstration, from the List of Subscrib­ers to Mr. Pope's Translation of Homer, That there never was an Age so favourable to Poets, [Page 451] as This:—And, That, from the Num­ber of our Noble Patrons, the Glorious Reign of King George will shine brighter to Posterity than the Reign of Augustus Caesar.

THOUGH I love Loyalty, at my Heart, and am as conscious as I ought to be of the Influences of His Majesty's Glory, yet, I confess, I was a little startled, at the No­velty of this Assertion; and express'd my Surprize, with some Emotion.—I find then, cry'd I, that I have lived in profound Ignorance!—As for the Politicks indeed of the present Age, I have always consider'd 'em as too remarkable to be soon forgot: But, for the Wit of it, I was in Hopes, there cou'd be no Danger of its being remem­ber'd.

IT seems, continued I, the severest Misery of Men of Learning, that Custom has mis­led them to depend, for their Encouragment, on those Great, Little, Creatures, whom we call People of Quality.—Were Wisdom the Consequence of Riches, Rank, and Power, it had been prudent, and reasonable, for Merit in Distress to apply itself to the Mighty.—But, since the Flattery, and Indul­gence, in which Those called Great Men, are educated, must give Liberty to their Passions, and Restraint to their Intellects, (for Under­standing is scarce necessary to Men who can pay others, to think for them!) therefore, with due Regard to a few shining Excepti­ons, a Lord is above Wit: And most of 'em [Page 452] wou'd have found it more to their Taste, and their Talent, to subscribe to Heidegger, than to Homer, but that the numerous Ac­quaintance of this fine, and happy Genius united themselves, so powerfully, to recom­mend his Translation, that, to be out of the List, was to be out of the Fashion: which Misfortune, no Doubt, it was well worth Six Guineas, to be delivered from the Disgrace of — But, let me see these shining Names to Mr. Dennis's Miscellaneous Tracts, which he is now publishing by a Subscription, scarce the Sixth Part so chargeable, and I will afterwards, suppose, that They can read, as well as purchase.—This, however, is what I know them too well to expect at their Hands, unless Mr. Dennis shall become as much The Mode as Mr. Pope is.

I WAS surpriz'd to observe, that at my Mention of Mr. Dennis, almost every Person present, join'd in a Clamour against Criticks. They affirm'd, Thus it was but just, to neglect the Writings of a Person, who only writes, to censure Others. And, That the World shou'd, without Regard to a Critick's Learning, declare War, against his Malice; and treat, and con­sider him, as a King of Common Enemy.

I CONTENTED myself with smiling, at the Extravagance of this Reasoning, and re­ply'd, That I doubted hot, however, but the Name of Mr. Pope would be found a­mong Mr. Dennis's Subscribers; because He has Soul to know, That though Living Merit, [Page 453] may sometimes, as in his own Case, be po­pular, yet Popularity is so far from being the Mark of Living Merit, that Real Excellence, for the most Part, both wants and disdains it.

IN the Progress of my Papers, I am de­termined to examine into the Foundation of this silly Notion, That Criticks are Enemies to Wit and Learning: And I dare be positive, before-hand, that I shall discover it to take its Rise from a Cause, of the same Nature with that, which makes the Pickpocket hate the Horsepond.

TO pretend a Love of Learning, and at the same Time io dispise Criticism, is as ri­diculous an Absurdity, as to delight in noble Buildings, and exclaim against Architecture.—If there is not some Rule, whereby we are to measure Wit, then Wit has no Depen­dance on the Reason, and the Judgment; and, to be a Wit, or a Fool, are in that Case, Terms Synonimous.—But, if Wit is to be judg'd, by the Examination of our Reason, then that Reason is Criticism: And he, who is a Critick, is the Champion of Wit, and defends it from Prophanation.—How can he, therefore, be the Enemy, of what is supported by his Influence?

THE true Friends of Learning ought to be cautious, how they give up Criticks; lest, to free themselves from a present Fear, they destroy their future Hope, and fall into Ob­livion, under the Growth of assuming Igno­rance: [Page 454] Like the Degenerate Roman Armies, who slackening the Severity of their old mar­tial Discipline, came at length, says Proco­pius, to think Helmets and Corslets too hot for them.—They were cumbersome and in­supportable:—They fainted under the Weight of 'em:—And had Courage enough, they were sure, to fight, as successfully without 'em.—They tried it: And the Consequence was, They were never, from that Time forward, able to stand, against the Arrows of the over-numbering Goths, and Vandals: So depriv'd of their Defence, they lost their Empire to Barbarians.

BUT, since no Truth operates so power­fully as that which convinces by Example, let the Good, or Ill, of Criticism be decided, in fair Combat, between the Gentleman I have nam'd above, who professes, and forms himself on it; and one of our most rapid, and voluminous Compilers of Poetry; who tho' one wou'd imagine him too heavy to ride Post; yet, trusting wholly to Inspiration, breaks over Hedges and Ditches, and never checks his Horse's Speed, whether out of the Road, or in it.

THIS Merchant Adventurer was for en­grossing Trade to Himself: And began with firing the Magazines of Those who dealt in the same Commodity.—One of his first witty Performances, was, A Satire against Wit.—An Accident befell me, the other Day, that may furnish him with Matter of Specu­lation. [Page 455] I am very fond of a Cat: And, ever since I lodg'd in Barbican, have delight­ed in the Society of a Tabby Favourite of my Landlady's Children. But, it happen'd, a few Days since, that, not being in a Hu­mour to be so familiar with her as usual, she open'd one of her Claws, and was pleas'd to scratch my Leg, with no small Freedom, and Impertinence: Upon which, in great Wrath, I took her up, by the Tail, and toss'd her out of Window.—The Cat got no Harm: but I have quite lost her Heart upon it. And now, I may call, coax, and tempt her, as much as I please, she keeps, always, out out of my Reach: And I dare be positive, I shall never catch her, though I were to live and die in Barbican.

BUT, to go on, with what I propos'd.—After his Satire against Wit, he set forth his Wit against Satire; and publish'd an Epic Poem, call'd PRINCE ARTHUR.—The Excellent Critick, abovenam'd, saw, upon perusing this Piece, that the Gentleman wanted Skill and Application, in the Art he was bent on practising. He put himself, there­fore, to the Trouble of composing, for his Use, a just, and generous Reprehension, which he intitled, Remarks upon Prince Arthur.—Had the Author been either humble, or wise, enough to make Advantage by it, This wou'd have serv'd him as a Plan, to build stronger, for the future; and given a Turn to his Re­flexion, that might have made him, him [Page 456] what he had so earnest a Desire to pass for.

BUT it was, then, as it is now, the Cus­tom to despise a Critick. And the Author of Prince Arthur fell, so couragiously, into the Fashion, that in almost His Coach-Load of Epic Poems, which he has, since oblig'd the World with, from Arthur, down to Al­fred, (I speak it without Compliment) The same distinguishable Purity, Fire, Elegance, Fancy, Copiousness, and Elevation, shine, alike, in every one of 'em: And, All, are equally secure, as well from Criticism, as Imitation.

BUT, not content with raising, and adorn­ing Human Nature, He aspir'd, at last, to write, upon Divinity Itself.—The Great Almighty, and His Works, were, now, to be the Subject of his practis'd Panegyrick.—Here, sure! if ever, He was to guard himself with Caution, and put on the Critick's Armour.—Creation opened to him, with its boundless Lustre!—Worlds beyond Worlds, were to be discover'd, by his Poetic Telescope: And other Suns, whose Light (tho' swift enough, to travel a Hundred and Fourscore thousand Miles, in one Second of Time, is notwithstanding, spent, and lost, in unconceivable Immensity, before it reaches, This, our own, Sun's Confines!) This Light was to be more Illuminated, by His Muse, and shine down, upon his Reader's Fancy.

[Page 457]HERE, the admirable Critick, his old Friend, had, Himself, set an Example; such, as can never be too much applauded.—The noblest, the most extensive, the most astonishing Ideas, which can expand the Hu­man Soul, had inrich'd his powerful Concep­tion. And one wou'd have hop'd, that Mr. Dennis had made it impossible for any future Writer to treat this Subject, in a mean and groveling Manner; after he had oblig'd the World, so nobly, in his Paraphrase on Te Deum, with Verse, and Sentiments, sub­limely suited to the Vastness of the Occasion.

Where-e'er, at utmost Stretch, we cast our Eyes,
Thro' the vast frightful, Spaces of the Skies;
Ev'n there, we find Thy Glory!—There we gaze
On Thy bright Majesty's unbounded Blaze!
Ten Thousand Suns, prodigious Globes of Light,
At once, in broad Dimensions, strike our Sight.
Millions, behind, in the remoter Skies,
Appear but Spangles, to our wearied Eyes.
And, when those wearied Eyes want farther Strength,
To pierce the Void's unmeasurable Length,
Our tow'ring Thoughts, more vig'rous, farther fly:
And, still, remoter, flaming Worlds discry.
But, ev'n an Angel's comprehensive Thought,
Cannot extend so far as Thou hast wrought,
Our vast Conception, to such Swelling brought,
Swallow'd, in Infinite, is lost, in Nought!

[Page 458]THIS is Poetry, that defies Censure, and is rais'd, even above Praise: for it is scarce pos­sible to say so much of it, as it truly deserves.—But, now, behold; on the opposite Side, an Abstract, from the Muse of Prince Arthur, in his Hymn to the Creator.

Hail, King Supreme!—Of Power, immense Abyss:
Father of Light! Exhaustless Source of Bliss!
Thou Uncreated, Self-existent Cause,
Controul'd by no Superior Being's Laws.

THE first Three Lines being truly poetical, what Pity, that the Author's Pride depriv'd him of the Use of Criticism! Had he buoy'd himself, by the Help of That, He cou'd ne­ver (though he had Sir John Falstaff's Alacrity in Sinking) have sunk, so soon, and so shame­fully, as to tell us, in the 4th Verse—That He, who is Supreme in Power, is controul'd by no Superior.

ABOUT 20 Lines after this, God goes out with a Pair of Compasses, to mark the Limits of the World: Not that the Poet had any Design they should be made use of; but Mr. Milton had described Compasses, upon this very Occasion: And our Author was resolv'd to be up with him.

Thro' the black Bosom of the empty Space,
The Gulph confess th' Omnipotent Embrace:
And pregnant grown, with Elemental Seed,
Unfinish'd Orbs, and Worlds in Embryo, breed.

[Page 459]TO suspend a short Remark, on the mani­fest Contradiction of these two Ideas—The Drawing out with a Pair of Compasses,—And the Begetting, by Embraces,—I challenge the whole Tribe of Critick-Haters throughout Europe, to match this last Image with any thing so indecent, so improper, so ill-express'd, and, indeed, so almost blasphe­mous, and extravgant!

BUT, that no Cause of Complaint may disturb the Lovers of Variety, whoever likes not one Image, shall have a Dozen new ones, to make Choice of.—The Author, to do him Justice, is no Niggard of his Fancy: We are, all, kindly welcome to it, as far as it will go: And He, that desires more, is too unreasonable in all Conscience.

From the Crude Mass th' Omniscient Architect
For ev'ry Part, Materials did select:
And with a Master Hand, the World erect.
Labour'd by him, &c.—
By His cementing Words, the Parts cohere:
And rolls, by His impulsive Nod, in Air.

I AM sorry I have not Room to entertain my Reader with the whole; but we may mea­sure Hercules, by his Foot.—One of your creeping narrow, Genius's, Creatures, who stand in Awe of the Criticks, wou'd never have been capable of half this luxuriant Fullness! nay, They might have been silly enough to suppose it blameable! By which [Page 460] pusilanimous Fear of theirs, the Reader must have lost the Sublimity of these fine Ideas, Of His Creator, at one, and the same Time, measuring the World with a Pair of Compasses.—Omnipotently Embracing it—Impregnat­ing it with SeedBreeding Orbs in Embryo—Picking Materials from the Crude Mass—Erecting it, with a Master-Hand—Labouring it—Cementing it—Nodding at it—And setting it a rolling.

SHAMEFULL Heap of Inconsistencies!—Are Images, that should elevate the Soul of Man, to an Astonishment, at His Maker's Power, in creating, with a Word, the Hea­vens, and the Earth, and All, that is in them all! Are Images, fit for This, to be borrow'd from the Pains, and Postures, of a Common Labourer? Had not he a nobler Lesson be­fore him? And does not Moses inform him, that, when God saith, Let there be Light, there WAS Light?—But such as These, are the Effects of maintaining War, against Criticks: And the prodigious, and unbound­ed Difference between these two Gentlemens Performances, upon One and the Same Sub­ject, may convince the Self-sufficient, That it is not a dancing Brain, a wild, eruptive, Fan­cy, that can qualify a Man to be a Poet; though it serves, well enough, to set him a going, as a Scribbler.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 55.
MONDAY, September 28. 1724.

Est modus in rebus, sunt certi denique fines,
Quos ultra citraque nequit consistere rectum.
HOR.

THE following Letter, from the Gen­tleman, who oblig'd me with a for­mer, from Edinburgh, will speak so excel­lently for Itself; that the kindest Thing I can do for my Reader, will be, to say no­thing concerning it, which may detain him from the Pleasure of perusing it.

SIR,

YOUR Paper of Friday the 28th. of August, is arrived in North-Britain, and has occasioned much Speculation; but all its Readers are sensibly obliged, by the [Page 462] Respect you have shewn our Country, and for the Honour you have done the rising Generation of both Sexes; and I believe, there is none here, who would not heartily join their Acknowledgements with mine on this Occasion. I may therefore presume to thank you in the Name of all my Country­men, who may not use the Freedom to write to you: But the Gentlemen of the Grotesque Club, whom you have so remark­ably distinguish'd, must represent their Sentiments, in a better Manner than I can; and I will not pretend to speak their Sense, or anticipate their Gratitude.

GIVE me Leave, SIR, only to express my Mind in the Sequel. You have brought me under strong Obligations to you, by the Notice you have taken of my Letter. And since you seem to promise to yourself, and the World, some Intelligence from this Quarter, by means of my propos'd Correspondence; I cannot but use my En­deavours, to answer, in some Measure, your Expectations. You have fix'd me, SIR, in the Character of your Northern Spy, and you may depend upon my most watchful Fidelity.

EDINBURGH being our Metropolis, and the Place of my Residence, must be the chief Scene of Action, and the Date of your Intelligence from North-Britain. Here is a vast Variety of Humours, Cu­stoms, Manners, and Conversation, to be [Page 463] considered. Many Things happen in this Place, that are worthy your Knowledge as a PLAIN-DEALER. Some deserve Praise and Admiration, others Displeasure and Reprehension; both Regards may be use­ful, either as Examples provoking Emula­tion; or, as Reasons, warning from Dan­ger: And sure, your Judgment, SIR, cannot err, in the Improvement and Ap­plication, of any Accounts I send you.

I BEG leave to lay before you, several of the Advantages, and Disadvantages of our good Town, before I descend to Private Life.

WE are blest with an able and active Magistracy. Most of Those intrusted with with the Superintendency of the City, are Gentlemen of Breeding and Letters, and all have a Bent of Mind, that favours the Publick Grandeur and Emolument. It seems to be the united Ambition of our Magistrates to adorn the Place, and by rendring it more beautiful and commodious, to invite new Inhabitants, to increase its Treasure and Revenue. They would surmount all the Difficulties it labours under, by a Superio­rity of Genius: And, as they appear true Friends to the Publick Interest, in respect of Trade; they are not wanting in giving Countenance and Encouragement to Arts and Sciences. Politeness thrives under their Influence, and some of them set an Ex­ample of it to the Youth, in their own [Page 464] Practice and Behaviour. Here, SIR, are few cloudy, heavy-headed Aldermen, whose Length of Wigs and Gowns, is their sole Mark of Dignity. You would take our Provosts for First Ministers, and our Bailies for Courtiers. I have seen Statesmen, make a worse Figure than our Deacons, and heard as good Speeches in the Town-Council at Edinburgh, as at the Council-Board of Great-Britain. I wish all our Peers had Abilities equal to some of our Weavers, and that every Clergyman, had half the Grace of some Bonnet-Makers of our City.

BUT, SIR, you know there is no Body-Politick, perfect; many Things are wanting, to make our City more flourishing and fam'd. And, perhaps, the greatest Misfortune we labour under, is Faction and Party. This, SIR, discourages many noble Purposes, and baffles glorious Undertakings. Self-Love, Pride and Ambition, prevail every­where, and sway all Men, more or less: These are natural to all Creatures. The Oldest Cock is Lord of the Roost, and the strongest Bull is Grand Seignior in his green Seraglio; the eldest Buck is Tyrant of the Park, and, from his Strength and his Horns claims a Right to be Chief in Power; and, no doubt, but every individual Crea­ture, of every Species, with the same Force, would seek and exercise the same Jurisdict­ion. But Men are remarkably distinguished, [Page 465] by their Love of Precedency, and often add, to their natural Desire of Governing, a certain low-spirited Spleen and Malice. Our worthy Magistrates, meet with more Opposition and Discouragment, from little Pretenders to their Place and Authority, than from any other Cause. If the Town-Council, beholds not Macro, with the same Partiality, with which he considers himself, he wonders at their Blindness, and grows peevish upon it; for the Root of the Spleen, is often Pride disappointed. Some carry it farther than mere Envy, by labouring to undermine and depose those who are above them, and commonly the greater the Merit is, the more obnoxious to Ill-will and Re­proaches. As the Red Dragon pursued the Woman in the Revelation, Faction or Pri­vate Malice, pursues the most deserving Man; and when it cannot overtake him, it opens its Mouth, and throws a Flood after him: People who have not Merit to rise themselves, would at least level others. And what has often been my greatest Won­der, in this Case, is, that most of our little Jars, are created and carried on by our Clergy. Priest-Craft is here, as Infallible as it is at Rome, and our Popes are as abso­lute, to the full Extent of their Parishes. For my own Part, I have neither Personal Partiality for any of the present Magistrates, nor Prejudice against their Adversaries: I never had, nor ever needed the Favour of any [Page 466] of them. I speak my Sense freely, and it is the Result of just Reflexion, and Ob­servation. And I heartily wish, I had not such Ground, to expose the Spirits of any of my Neighbours, to the Plain-Dealer. But what a Pity is it, that Faction should deface the Publick Good? And how vile, to plot the Downfal, or calumniate the Fame of Those, whose Power is their Coun­try's Blessing?

MY Concern for the Place of my Birth, has carried me farther than I ought to have allow'd myself Liberty; but as I am not to touch this Subject again, you will have the Goodness to excuse, what I judg'd, in some respects, to be requisite.

I SHOULD not neglect giving you an Account of the State of Trade in this Place nor ought I to pass over in Silence, the University and College of Justices. Many of the Clergy too, deserve their Praises, and must, upon some Occasions, come under Consideration: But being unwilling to tire your Patience, and huddle my Materials too much together, I will conclude this Letter, when I have acquainted you with what the Ladies would have most known, and what every Body here would be glad to have your Opinion of: I mean, The FAIR ASSEMBLY. This, SIR, consists of our best-bred Ladies, of different Qualities and Ages: 'Tis but a late Institution, and at first, was thought to be a proper Theme [Page 467] for our Pastors Sunday Sermons; all our Pulpits rail'd against it, as they did, of Old, against Perukes and Tobacco. But the holy Fire is now much spent, and we are at Liberty to meet in our great Hall, without Danger of the Kirk's Anathema; nay, some of the Wives and Daughters of the Sanctified, begin of late, to grace our Fellowship. For my own Part, I despair not to see the Reverend themselves, eating Sweatmeats in our Company: And mixing innocently, in our Country Dances. And I own, notwithstanding they are worthy Ladies, of undisputed Virtue and Honour, who preside over the Fair Assembly, I should be better pleased to see at our Head, a Moderator from the General One. Slander and Detraction would fly before him, and innocent Freedom, and Christian Commu­nion wou'd be cherished by his Influence. Husbands would allow their Wives to go into Company, without Jealousy, and Parants send their Daughters, without fear of their leaving behind them any thing, that they ought to bring back again. But till that Halcyon Day arrives, we must be contented with the want of Sanction, and dance, and drink Tea without them. I shall say more of our Fair Assembly hereafter, and at pre­sent only subscribe myself,

Sage SIR,
Your Trusty Spy, And Humble Servant, FERGUS BRUCE.

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 56.
FRIDAY, October 2. 1724.

Virtutem incolumem odimus
Sublatam ex oculis quaerimus invidi.
HOR.

To the Author of the PLAIN-DEALER.

SIR,

I RETURN you Thanks for the Pleasure which I have received from several of your Plain Dealers, and particularly from that which you lately published concerning Detraction, which could never have obliged the World at a more seasonable Juncture; because, as you justly observe, Slander was never so prevailing, as 'tis at present, and never so insupportable.

DETRACTION, or Slander, or Calumny, call it by what Name you please, is, for the most part, begot by Knaves, and nou­rish'd, and maintain'd, by Fools; and the [Page 469] more Fools and Knaves, there are, in a Nation, the more must Slander flourish in it; but the more corrupt and degenerate a Nation grows, the more Fools and Knaves must abound in it. Now, whether this Nation was ever so corrupt and degenerate, as it is at present, I leave to others to de­termine.

THE Fools, and Knaves, of either Sex, have a natural Aversion to Merit, and when they are neither able, nor willing, to reach a Height, to which others, more befriended by Nature, and more beloved by Heaven, have attained, they constantly endeavour, with all their Might, to bring the envied Object down to their own Pitch: And, the more extraordinary the Merit is, the greater is the Envy, and the stronger the Efforts, which it makes, to blacken the Deserving: Which has occasioned a famous Observer of Mankind to say, That when­ever he hears a great deal of Ill said of any one, and sees none at all in him, he be­gins to suspect, that That Person has a troublesome and offensive Merit, which eclipses that of others.

AS soon as a Knave has invented a Slander, a Fool cries out, There must be something in it,—There is no Smoak with­out Fire: Which is as much as to say, that there can be no such Thing as Slander; or, that no Slander can be propagated; which is equally contrary to common Sense, and [Page 470] to constant Matter of Fact.—How different an Opinion of this Matter, had the judicious, and penetrating, La Bruyere, who tells us, That the Reverse of what is commonly reported, concerning Persons, or Things, is what may reasonably be believ'd of either.

THERE is another musty Proverb, made use of in the Propagation of Slander, which is mention'd in your last Paper, viz. That, what Every-Body says, must be true.—If they, who pronounce this, meant, that Every thing must be True which has the univer­sal Consent of Mankind, there might, per­haps, be something in it; but, alas! their Meaning is vastly different: They only in­fer, That when a Report, or Opinion, in any Place, so far prevails, as to become, in that Place, general, that Report, or Opinion, must be true. So that, in the Notion of these Gentlemen, If Calumny, at any Time, so far prevails, as to become General, 'tis no longer Calumny, but Truth; and a sure Consequence of this Doctrine is, That Popery is the best Religion at Rome, and Mahometism at Constantinople.

BUT, how little do they, who talk, at this Rate, know, either of the Frailty, or Malignity, of Human Nature, or the Transactions of their own Times, or the Records of preceding ones? Some of the best, and most deserving Persons, both among Ancients, and Moderns, have labour'd [Page 471] under general Calumny; under Calumnies which were not only inconsistent with com­mon Sense, but were directly contradictory of those Virtues, and great Qualities, for which they had long been eminent, and for which some of them have been celebrated, by Twenty succeeding Centuries; and tho' the Truth was so manifestly on their Side, yet some of these, and those of the most deserving, have been quite oppress'd by such Calumnies; as Socrates, and Phocion, a­mong the Graecians.—Among the Ro­mans, Camillus, and Coriolanus.SOCRATES, the most Religious, and most Virtuous, of all the Athenians, was con­demn'd, and excuted, as an Atheist, and a Corrupter of Youth. Among the Jews, the Prophets were ston'd, and Jesus Christ, Himself, was crucify'd as an Imposter, and a Blasphemer.

YOU have, very justly observ'd, That Detraction brings most Disquiet, to those who are most above it.—You may say such Things, without any Consequence, to a worthless Fellow, as will blow a Man of Honour into a Flame, not to be quench'd, but by Blood. But, if such Injuries are so insupportable, to a Man of Honour, when they come from one single Person, provok'd, perhaps, by some ima­ginary Offence, and quite frantick, with Passion, and Wine; what Impressions must they not make, when they are whisper'd [Page 472] in cold Blood, by a Number of different Persons? Such Slanders obstruct the Pro­gress of Arts, the Advancement of Learn­ing, and the Growth of Virtues, by the killing Impressions, which they make, on Individuals.—I wish you would proceed to show, what Disorder they bring to Families and what Desolation to States. Hannibal was undone, and Carthage was ruin'd, by the malicious Slanders of Hanno; and the Duke of Marlborough's unparallel'd Victories cou'd not defend him against Ingratitude, while the Malice of his Slanderers met with Countenance from Men in Power, who, being, privately, his Enemies, had not Soul enough to sacrifice their little Spleen to the Love of their Country's Glory.

I am, SIR, Your most Obedient Servant, A. B.

DETRACTION is an Evil, which, how­ever hateful in its Nature, the World must always expect to abound with. And, there­fore, since my Correspondent has written so much, and so well, in Detestation of this un­generous Weakness, all I will add, upon the Subject, shall be, to advise those who suffer under the Severity of its Consequences, rather to despise, than complain of it. To which End, they wou'd do well to reflect on [Page 473] the Answer of the Philosopher, whom his Friends were urging to contrive some publick Means, whereby to redeem himself from the Disgrace which he suffer'd, under the Malice of some busy Slanderers.—They who love me, said he, will give no Credit to malicious Rumours, to my Disadvantage: And, as for those who hate me, I will live, in a Manner so contrary to what they believe of me, that I will make 'em asham'd of their Credulity.

THAT very Socrates, which my Correspond­ent so justly produces, as one of the most glorious of all the Victims to Slander, triumph'd over it, in the very Current and full Force, of its Influence. For when Aristophanes, in his Comedy, call'd, The Clouds, had expos'd this great, and virtuous Sufferer, with the utmost Bitterness of witty Malice, to the publick Spleen of the Athenians, Socrates came, in Person, to see the Comedy acted; and, taking his Place in the most remarkable Part of the Theatre, stood up, and exposing himself to the Observation of the whole Audience, told 'em, aloud, when the Play was over, that, They had been at a merry Feast, where He was serv'd up, for their En­tertainment; nor was he angry, to have been their standing Dish, because the Aversion which some had brought with them, wou'd last no longer than till they had tasted him.

SINCE it is inseparable from Merit, to be expos'd to Envy, and Envy necessarily produces Slander, there is no hoping to live [Page 474] free, from the Effects of this pernicious Calumny. But, next to not feeling it the most desirable Strength of Mind, is, Not to appear to feel it.—One of these is out of our Reach; the other we may attain, by Force of Reason, and Resolution: And its prettily observ'd, in Aelian, (asserting that Defamation sinks deepest in weak Natures) The Slander of the Strong is like Water thrown against a Wall; but the Slander of the Weak is like the Wall thrown into Water.

To the Author of the PLAIN DEALER.

SIR,

THE Lady, who was the Occasion of my Writing the Song I have sent you, has Merit enough to justify me, both as a Lover, and an Author.—When you have Room for it in your Paper, you'll oblige me if you publish it.

I am, Your very Humble Servant, PHILANDER.
O Love! thou never-absent Thought!
Thou only Purpose of the Mind!
All are to thy Subjection brought,
Yet, not One Rebel canst thou find:
Thou God! who dealst out every Human Lot!
Whose Pow'r decrees, who's Happy, and who not.
[Page 475]Reign still, thus Mighty, as thou art!
I wish not Liberty restor'd:
For the bright Idol of my Heart
Was born to Rule, and be Ador'd!
But, oh! the Passion which you raise, protect!
Nor let such Truth be blasted by Neglect!

THE PLAIN DEALER. No 57.
MONDAY, October 5. 1724.

— Tantaene animis coelestibus irae?
VIRG.

I HAVE lately received a Letter con­taining some Remarks on the Battle of the Angels, as 'tis describ'd by Milton in the VIth Book of his Paradise Lost, and I thought I could not find a more proper Occasion of publishing that Letter, than just after the Feast of St. Michael, on the 29th of the last Month, which was set apart by the Church to celebrate the Victory which that Arch-Angel got over Lucifer, and his rebellious Crew. I make no Doubt, but it will ap­pear, [Page 476] that Milton, by the Account which he has given of that Victory, has gained a very glorious one himself, and has carried away the Praise of Sublimity from all Poets, both Antient and Modern.

SIR,

OF all the Commentators on the Pa­radise Lost, Mr. Addison was certainly the most ingenious, if he was not the most learned; but he has not given Milton his full Due, either through want of Discern­ment, or want of Impartiality. In the 17th Page of the small Edition of his Notes upon the Paradise Lost, he has these Words of the Author:

MILTON's chief Talent, and, indeed, his distinguishing Excellence, lies in the Sub­limity of his Thoughts. There are others of the Moderns who rival him in every other Part of Poetry; but in the Greatness of his Sentiments he triumphs over all the Poets, both Moderns and Antients, Homer only excepted.

BUT as when a Man departs from Truth, which is the only Bond of Union and Agreement, both of our Sentiments with those of others, and of our Sentiments with themselves, he his ready immediately to differ from, and to grow inconsistent with himself; Mr. Addison, who expresly [Page 477] here either equals or prefers Homer, for the Greatness of his Sentiments, before Milton, contradicts himself at least, no less than twice in the Course of his Observations: For, says he, in the 7th Page of the fore­said Edition, There is an indisputable and un­questioned Magnificence in every Part of Pa­radise Lost, and, indeed, a much greater than could have been formed upon any Pagan System. Now if there is a greater Magni­ficence in every Part of Milton's Poem, there is by Consequence a greater Sublimity, than there is in the Iliad, which was form­ed upon a Pagan System.

AGAIN in the 92d Page of the foresaid Edition, Mr. Addison, speaking of the Excellence of Milton's Performance in the Sixth Book of his Poem, delivers him­self thus:

MILTON's Genius, which was so great in itself, and so strengthened by all the Helps of Learning, appears in this Book every way equal to his Subject, which is the most sublime that could enter into the Thoughts of a Poet.

NOW, SIR, if Milton's Subject is the most sublime that could enter into the Thoughts of a Poet, and his Genius is every way equal to his Subject, it follows, That Milton is more exalted than any Poet who has not a Subject so elevated, and, consequently, than Homer, or any other Poet antient or modern.

[Page 478] BUT, as in the 91st Page of the foresaid Comment, Mr. Addison takes a great deal of Pains to shew the Greatness of one par­ticular Passage of Homer, and to describe it, after Longinus, in all those chosen Cir­cumstances, which may make it appear to be noble and exalted, which Pains he has not taken with any other Passage, we may rea­sonably conclude, that he believed this to be the most lofty of any that are in the Works of Homer, as indeed it really is: Now, as there is a Passage in the 6th Book of Paradise Lost, which was produced upon a parallel Occasion, let us see if we cannot find by comparing them, for the Honour of our Country, that the Passage, of our Briton, is as much superior to that of the Grecian, as the Angels of the one are more potent than the other's Gods, or as the Em­pyrean Heaven is more exalted than Ossa, Pelion, or Olympus.

IN order to this, SIR, give me leave to lay before you the Words which Mr. Addison makes Use of to set sorth the masterly Strokes of Homer. After he has told us, That there is no Question, but that Milton had heated his Imagination with the Fight of the Gods in Homer, before he entered upon the En­gagement of the Angels (of which, by the Way, I do not believe one Syllable: I would sooner believe the greatest Absurdities of the Alcoran) he is pleased to add what follows:

[Page 479] HOMER there gives us a Scene of Men, Heroes, and Gods, mixed together in Battle. Mars animates the contending Armies, and lifts up his Voice in such a Manner, that it is heard distinctly amidst all the Shouts and Confusion of the Fight. Jupiter at the same Time thunders over their Heads; while Nep­tune raises such a Tempest, that the whole Field of Battle, and all the Tops of the Mountains, shake about them. The Poet tells us, That Pluto himself, whose Habitation was in the very Center of the Earth, was so affrighted at the Shock, that he leap'd from his Throne. Homer afterwards describes Vulcan, as pouring down a Storm of Fire upon the River Xanthus; and Minerva, as throwing a Rock at Mars, who he tells us covered Seven Acres in his Fall.

WITH these imaginary ne plus ultra's had Mr. Addison so filled his Capacity, that when Ten thousand greater Beauties are be­fore his Eyes, he stops short of them, and never in the least discerns them, as you will see immediately; for thus he goes on:

AS Homer has introduced into his Battle of the Gods every Thing that is great and ter­rible in Nature, Milton has filled his Fight af good and bad Angels, with all the like Cir­cumstances of Horror. The Shout of Armies, the Rattling of brazen Chariots, the Hurling of Rocks and Mountains, the Earthquake, the Fire, [Page 480] the Thunder, are all of them imployed to lift up the Reader's Imagination, and give him a suitable Idea of so great an Action. With what Art doth the Poet represent the whole Body of the Earth trembling, even before it was created?

THUS, with this very pretty trifling Re­mark, does Mr. Addison stop short, within the very Touch of one of the vastest, and the sublimest Beauties, that ever was in­spired by the God of Verse, or by Milton's Godlike Genius; when the very next Lines, the very next Words, strike and astonish us with such wonderful Ideas, as are able to lift up the Reader's Imagination to a Thousand Times a greater Height, than either the Shout of Armies, the Rattling of brazen Chariots, the Hurling of Rocks and Moun­tains, the Earthquake, the Fire, or the Thunder. But that these Beauties may be seen in all their Lustre, and in all their Glory, give me leave to set the whole Passage before you.

Th' Arch-Angel's Trumpet through the Vast of Heav'n
Resounded, and the faithful Armies rung
Hosanna to the Highest: nor stood at gaze
The adverse Legions, nor less hideous join'd
The horrid Shock; now storming Fury rose,
And Clamour, such as heard in Heav'n till now
Was never; Arms on Armour clashing, bray'd
Horrible Discord, and the madding Wheels
[Page 481]Of brazen Chariots rag'd; Dire was the Noise
Of Conflict: Over-head the dismal Hiss
Of fiery Darts, in flaming Vollies, flew,
And, flying, vaulted either Host with Fire.
So, under fiery Cope, together rush'd
Both Battles main, with ruinous Assault,
And inextinguishable Rage: All Heav'n
Resounded; and had Earth been then, all Earth
Had to her Center shook: What Wonder! when
Millions of fierce encountring Angels fought
On either Side, the least of whom could wield
These Elements, and arm him with the Force
Of all the Regions?

BUT now, Sir, if Millions of fierce encountring Angels fought on either Side, and the very least, the very weakest of so many Millions, had Power to rend this Globe of Earth and Ocean from its Axle, and whirl it, with its dependent Atmo­sphere, through the Aethereal Regions, what must be the unutterable, the inconceivable Effect of so many Millions furiously con­tending against each other, and each of them exerting all his Might for Victory? When,

— Each on himself relied,
As only on His Arm the Moment lay
Of Victory.

THESE are amazing, these are astonish­ing Ideas, worthy of the great Original Fight, the Battle of the Empyrean.

[Page 482] BUT now, Sir, if the least, if the weakest of so many Millions, as fought on either Side, had Strength to remove this Globe of Earth, with its dependent Ele­ments, what could not the greatest of them? what could not Lucifer? what could not the Prince of the Arch-Angels, Michael's next-to-Almighty Arm, do? The follow­ing Lines, and our own Reflections on them may a little help to inform us.

— Long time in even Scale
The Battle hung, till Satan, who, that Day,
Prodigious Pow'r had shewn, and met in Arms
No Equal, ranging through the dire Attack
Of fighting Seraphim confus'd, at length
Saw where the Sword of Michael smote, and fell'd
Squadrons, at once.

BUT, now, Sir, of whom were these Squadrons? Why,

Squadrons of those the least of whom could wield
These Elements, and arm him with the Force
Of all their Regions.

WHAT must the Power of that Arch-Angel be, who, with one Stroke of his Sword, could fell whole Squadrons of those,

The least of whom could wield these Elements,
And arm him with the Force of all their Regions?
[...]

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