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the greatest inducement with you to accept of it. Farewell.'
Thus should a benefaction bę done with a good grace, and shine in the strongest point of light ; it should not only answer all the hopes and exigencies of the receiver, but even outrun his wishes. It is this happy manner of behaviour which adds new charms to it, and softens those gifts of art and nature which otherwise would be rather distasteful than agreeable. Without it valour would degenerate into brutality, learning into pedantry, and the genteelest demeanour into affectation. Even religion itself, unless decency be the handmaid which waits upon her, is apt to make people appear guilty of sourness and ill-humour: but this shews virtue in her first original form, adds a comeliness to religion, and gives its professors the justest title ' to the beauty of holiness. A man fully instructed in this art, may assume a thousand shapes, and please in all; he
do a thousand actions shall become none other but himself; not that the things themselves are different, but the manner of doing them.
If you examine each feature by itself, Aglaura and Calliclea are equally handsome, but take them in the whole, and you cannot suffer the comparison : the one is full of numberless nameless graces, the other of as many nameless faults.
The comeliness of person, and the decency of behaviour, add infinite weight to what is pronounced by any one. It is the want of this that often makes the rebukes and advice of old rigid persons of no effect, and leave a displeasure in the minds of those they are directed to: but youth and beauty, if accompanied with a graceful and becoming severity, is
of mighty force to raise, even in the most profligate a sense of shame. In Milton, the devil is never described ashamed but once, and that at the rebuke of a beauteous angel:
• So spake the cherub, and his grave rebuke,
The care of doing nothing unbecoming has accompanied the greatest minds to their last moments. They avoided even an indecent posture in the very article of death. Thus Cæsar gathered his robe about him, that he might not fall in a manner unbecoming of himself; and the greatest concern that appeared in the behaviour of Lucretia when she stabbed herself was, that her body should lie in an atti tude worthy the mind which had inhabited it:
-Ne non procumbat honestè,
OVID, Fast. 1. 3. ver. 833.
6 'Twas her last thought, how decently to fall,
• MR. SPECTATOR, . I am a young woman without a fortune; but of a very high mind : that is, good Sir, I am to the last degree proud and vain. I am ever railing at the rich, for doing things, which, upon search into my heart, I find I am only angry at, because I cannot do the same myself. I wear the hooped petticoat, and am all in calicoes when the finest are in silks. It is
a dreadful thing to be poor and proud; therefore, if you please, a lecture on that subject for the satisfaction of • Your uneasy humble servant,
JEZEBEL. [The Author unknown.]
N° 293. TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 1711-12.
Πασιν γαρ ευφρογεσι συμμαχεί τυχη. .
FRAG. Vet. Poet.
The prudent still have fortune on their side.
The famous Gracian', in his little book, wherein he lays down maxins for a man's advancing himself at court, advises his reader to associate himself with the fortunate, and to shun the company of the unfortunate; which, notwithstanding the baseness of the precept to an honest mind, may have something useful in it, for those who push their interest in the world. It is certain, a great part of what we call good or ill fortune, rises out of right or wrong measures and schemes of life. When I hear a man complain of his being unfortunate in all his undertakings,
" Balthazar Gracian, a Spanish Jesuit, rector of the college of Tarragon, who died 1658, leaving, besides the book here alluded to, several sermons and other writings, which were much esteemed by his fraternity and his countrymen; but his style is inflated, and his sentiments often extravagant.
I shrewdly suspect him for a very weak man in his affairs. In conformity with this way of thinking, cardinal Richelieu used to say, that unfortunate and imprudent, were but two words for the same thing. As the cardinal himself had a great share both of prudence and good fortune, his famous antagonist, the count d'Olivarez, was disgraced at the court of Madrid, because it was alledged against him that he had never any success in his undertakings. This, says an eminent author, was indirectly accusing him of imprudence.
Cicero recommended Pompey to the Romans for their general upon three accounts, as he was a man of courage, conduct, and good fortune. It was, perhaps, for the reason above-mentioned, namely, that a series of good fortune supposes a prudent management in the person whom it befalls, that not only Sylla the dictator, but several of the Roman emperors, as is still to be seen upon their medals, among their other titles, gave themselves that of Felix or Fortunate. The heathens, indeed, seem to have valued a man more for his good fortune than for any other quality, which I think is very natural for those who have not a strong belief of another world. For how can I conceive a man crowned with any distinguishing blessings, that has not some extraordinary fund of merit and perfection in him, which lies open to the Supreme eye, though perhaps it is not discovered by my observation? What is the reason Homer's and Virgil's heroes do not form a resolution, or strike a blow, without the conduct and direction of some deity? Doubtless, because the poets esteemed it the greatest honour to be favoured by the gods, and thought the best way of praising a man was, to recount those favours which naturally implied an extraordinary merit in the person on whom they descended.
Those who believe a future state of rewards and punishments act very absurdly, if they form their opinions of a man's merit from his successes. But certainly, if I thought the whole circle of our being was concluded between our births and deaths, I should think a man's good fortune the measure and standard of his real merit, since Providence would have no opportunity of rewarding his virtue and perfections, but in the present life. A virtuous unbeliever, who lies under the pressure of misfortunes, has reason to cry out, as they say Brutus did a little before his death: 'O virtue, I have worshipped thee as a substantial good, but I find thou art an empty name.'
But to return to our first point. Though prudence does undoubtedly in a great measure produce our good or ill fortune in the world, it is certain there are many unforeseen accidents and occurrences which very often pervert the finest schemes that can be laid by human wisdom. “The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong.' Nothing less than infinite wisdom can have an absolute command over fortune; the highest degree of it which man can possess is by no means equal to fortuitous events, and to such contingencies as may rise in the prosecution of our affairs. Nay, it very often happens, that prudence, which has always in it a great mixture of caution, hinders a man from being so fortu"nate, as he might possibly have been without it. A person who only aims at what is likely to succeed, and follows closely the dictates of human prudence, never meets with those great and unforeseen successes, which are often the effect of a sanguine teme