« PredošláPokračovať »
pronounce publick orations at the funeral of a wo. man in praife of the deceased person, which till that time was peculiar to men. Would our English ladies, inftead of sticking on a patch against those of their own country, shew themselves so truly publick- fpirited as to facrifice every one her necklace against the common enemy, what decrees ought nor to be made in favour of them
Since I am recollecting upon this subject fuch paffages as occur to my niemory out of ancient authors, I cannot omit a sentence in the celebrated funeral oration of Pericles, which he made in honour of thofe brave Athenians that were flain in a fight with the Lacedemonians. After having addressed himself to the several ranks and orders of his countrymen, and shewn them how they should behave themfelves in the publick cause, he turns to the female part of his audience :
4. And as for you (fays he) I fhall advise you in very few words ; • Aspire only to those virtues that are peculiar to
your sex; follow your natural modesty, and think it your greatest commendation not to be talked of one way or other.
MONDAY, JUNE 4.
Caput Lomina venale fub hafta,
Juv. Sat, iii. ver. 33 His fortunes ruin'd, and himself a slave. PASSIN ASSING under Ludgate the other day, I heard a a
voice bawling for charity, which I thought I biad somewhere heard before. Coming near to the grate, the prisoner called me by my name, and des fired I would throw something into the box: I was out of countenance for hiin, and did as he bid me, by putting in half a crown, I went away, reflect
ing upon the itrange constitution of and how meanly they behave themselves in all forts of conditions. The person who begged of me is now, as I take it, fifty: I was well acquainted with him till about the age of twenty-five.; at which time a good estate fell to him by the death of a relation. Upon coming to this unexpected good fortune, he ran into all the extravagancies imaginable ; was frequently in drunken disputes, broke drawers heads, talked and swore loud, was unmannerly to those above him, and insolent to those below him. I could not but remark, that it was the same baseness of fpirit which worked in his behaviour in both fortunes: The same little mind was insolent in riches and shameless in poverty. This accident made me muse upon the circumstance of being in debt in general, and solve in my mind what tempers were most apt to fall into this error of life, as well as the misfortune it must needs be to languish under such preffures. As for myself, my natural aversion to that fort of conversation which makes a figure with the generality of mankind, exempts me from any, temptations to expence; and all my business lies within a very narrow compass, which is only to give an honest man, who takes care of my eitate, proper vouchers for his quarterly payments to me, and observe what linen my laundress brings and takes away with her once a week: My steward brings his receipt ready for my figning; and I have a pretty implement with the respective names of shirts, cravats, handkerchiefs and stockings, with proper numbers to know how to reckon with my laundress. This being alınost all the business. I have in the world for the care of my own affairs, I am at full leisure to observe upon what others do, with relation to their equipage and ceconomy.
When I walk the street, and oblerve the hurry about me in this town,
Where with like hafte, tho' diff'rent ways they run,
. Some to undo, and some to be undone ; I say, when I behold this vast variety of persons and humours, with the pains they both take for the accomplishment of the ends mentioned in the above verses of Denhamn, I cannot much wonder at the endeavour after gain, but am extremely astonished that men can be so insensible of the danger of rún. ning into debt. One would think it impoffible a man who is given to contract debts should know, that his creditor has, from that moment in which he tranfgreffes payment, so much as that demand comes to in his debtor's honour, liberty, and for. tune. One would think he did not know, that his creditor can say the worst thing imaginable of him, to wit, that he is unjuft, without defamation; and can feize his person, without being guilty fault. Yet such is the loose and abandoned turn of some mens minds, that they can live under these constant apprehenfions, and still go on to increase the cause of them. Can there be a more low and servile condition, than to be ashamed, or afraid to see any one man breathing? Yet he that is much in debt, is in that condition with relation to twenty different people. There are indeed circumstances wherein men of honeft natures may become liable to debts, by some unadvised behaviour in any great point of their life, or mortgaging a man's honesty as a security for that of another, and the like; but these instances are so particular and circumftantiated, that they cannot come within general considerations : For one such case as one of these, there are ten, where a man, to keep up a farce of retinue and grandeur within his own house, shall shrink at the expectation of furly demands at his doors. The debtor is the creditor's criminal, and all the officers of power and state, whom we behold make so great
a figure, a figure, are no other than so many persons in authority to make good his charge against him. Human society depends upon his having the vengeance law alots him; and the debtor owes his liberty to his neighbour, as much as the murderer does his life to his prince.
Our gentry are, generally speaking, in debt; and many families bave put it into a kind of niethod of being so from generation to generation. The father mortgages when his son is very young; and the boy is to marry as soon as he is at age to redeem it, and find portions for his fifters. This, forsooth, is no great inconvenience to him ; for he may wench, keep a publick table, or feed dogs, like a worthy English gentleman, till he has out-run half his eftate, and leave the same incumbrance upon his first-born, and so on, till one man of more vigour than ordinary goes quite through the estate, or fome man of sense comes into it, and scorns to have an estate in partnership, that is to fay, liable to the demand or insult of any man living. There is my friend Sir ANDREW, though for many years a great
general trader, was never the defendant in a law-fuit, in all the perplexity of bufiness, and the iniquity of mankind at prefent : No one had any colour for the least coniplaint against his dealings with him. This is certainly as uncommon, and in its proportion as laudable in a citizen, as it is in a general never to: have suffered a disadvantage in fight. How differ--ent from this gentleman is Jack Truepenny, who has been an old acquaintance of Sir ANDREW and myself from boys, but could never learn our: cau. tión. fack has a whorish unrefifting good-nature, which makes him incapable of having a property in any thing. His fortune, his reputation, his time and his capacity, are at any man's service that comes first. When he was at school, he was whip. ped thrice a-week for faults he took upon him to excufe others; fince he came into the business of
the world, he has been arrested twice or thrice ayear for debts he had nothing to do with, but as surety, for others; and I remember when a friend of his had suffered in the vice of the town, all the phyfick his friend took was conveyed to him by Jack, and inscribed, ' A bolus or an electuary for
Mr. Truepenny: Jack had a good estate left him, which came to nothing; because he believed all who pretended to demands upon it. This enfiness and credulity destroy all the other merit he has; and he has all his life been a sacrifice to others, without ever receiving thanks, or doing one good action.
I will end this discourse with a speech which I heard Jack inake to one of his creditors, (of whom he deserved gentler usage) after lying a whole night in custody at his suit.
7Our ingratitude for the many kindneffes I
have done you, shall not inake me unthankful . for the good you have done me, in letting me fee
there is such a man as you in the world. I am obliged to you for the diidence I shall have all the rest of my life: Isball hereafter trus no man so far as to be in his dubti?
TUESDAY, JUNE 5.
Animum piciurâ paseit inani.
VIRG. Æn. i. ver: 468. And with an empty picture feeds his mind.
DRYDEN. When the weather hinders me from taking my
diversions without doors, I frequently make a little party with two or three select friends, to visit any thing curious that may be seen under covert. My