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enforce an obedience to them? for one who would consider his master as his father, his friend, and benefactor, upon easy terms, and in expectation of no other return, but moderate wages and gentle usage ? It is the common vice of children to run too much among the servants; from such as are educated in these places, they would see nothing but lowliness in the servant, which would not be disingenuous in the .child. All the ill offices and defamatory whispers, which take their birth from domestics, would be prevented, if this charity could be made universal ; and a good man might have a knowledge of the whole life of the persons he designs to take into his house for his own service, or that of his family or children, long before they were admitted. This would create endearing dependencies: and the obligation would have a paternal air in the master, who would be relieved from much care and anxiety from the gratitude and diligence of an humble friend, attending him as his servant. I fall into this discourse from a letter sent to me, to give me notice that fifty boys would be clothed, and take their seats (at the charge of some generous benefactors) in St. Bride's-church, on Sunday next. I wish I could promise to myself any thing which my correspondent seems to expect from a publication of it in this paper ; for there can be nothing added to what so many excellent and learned men have said on this occasion. But that there may be something here which would move a generous mind, like that of him who wrote to me, I shall transcribe an handsome paragraph of Dr. Snape's sermon on these charities, which my correspondent inclosed with his letter.
· The wise Providence has amply compensated the disadvantages of the poor and indigent, in wanting many of the conveniencies of this life, by a more abundant provision for their happiness in the next. Had they been higher born, or more richly endowed, they would have wanted this manner of education, of which those only enjoy the benefit, who are low enough to submit to it; where they have such advantages without money, and without price, as the rich cannot purchase with it. The learning which is given, is generally more edifying to them, than that which is sold to others. Thus do they become more exalted in goodness, by being depressed in fortune, and their poverty is, in reality, their preferment.'
N° 295. THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7,1711-12.
Prodiga non sentit pereuntem foemina censum:
At velut exhaustâ redivivus pullulet arcâ
JUV. Sat. vi. ver. 361.
But womankind, that never knows a mean,
MR. SPECTATOR, • I am turned of my great climacteric, and am naturally a man of a meek temper. About a dozen years ago I was married, for my sins, to a young woman of a good family, and of an high spirit; but could not bring her to close with me, before I had entered into a treaty with her, longer than that of the grand alliance. Among other articles, it was therein stipulated, that she should have 4001. a year for pin-money, which I obliged myself to pay quarterly into the hands of one who acted as her plenipotentiary in that affair. I have ever since religiously observed my part in this solemn agreement. Now, Sir, so it is, that the lady has had several children since I married her; to which, if I should credit our malicious neighbours, her pin-money has not a little contributed. The education of these my children, who, contrary to my expectation, are born to me every year, straitens me so much, that I have begged their mother to free me from the obligation of the above-mentioned pin-money, that it may go towards making a provision for her family. This proposal makes her noble blood swell in her veins, insomuch that finding me a little tardy in my last quarter's payment, she threatens me every day to arrest me ; and proceeds so far as to tell me, that if I do not do her justice, I shall die in a jail. To this she adds, when her passion will let her argue calmly, that she has several play-debts on her hand, which must be discharged very suddenly, and that she cannot lose her money as becomes a woman of her fashion, if she makes me any abatement in this article. I hope, Sir, you will take an occasion from hence to give your opinion upon a subject which you have not yet touched, and inform us if there are any precedents for this usage, among our ancestors; or whether you find any mention of pin-money in Grotius, Puffendorf, or any other of the civilians. "I am ever the humblest of
As there is no man living who is a more professed advocate for the fair sex than myself, so there is none that would be more unwilling to invade any of their ancient rights and privileges; but as the doctrine of pin-money is of a very late date, unknown to our great grandmothers, and not yet received by many of our modern ladies, I think it is for the interest of both sexes to keep it from spreading.
Mr. Fribble may not, perhaps, be much mistaken where he intimates, that the supplying a man's wife with pin-money, is furnishing her with arms against himself, and in a manner becoming accessary to his own dishonour. We may indeed generally observe, that in proportion as a woman is more or less beautiful, and her husband advanced in years, she stands in need of a greater or less number of pins, and, upon a treaty of marriage, rises or falls in her demands accordingly. It must likewise be owned, that high quality in a mistress does very much inflame this article in the marriage-reckoning.
But where the age and circumstances of both parties are pretty much upon a level, I cannot but think the insisting upon pin-money is very extraordinary; and yet we find several matches broken off upon this very head. What would a foreigner, or one who is a stranger to this practice, think of a lover that forsakes his mistress, because he is not willing to keep her in pins? But what would he think of the mistress, should he be informed that she asks five or six hundred pounds a year for this use? Should a man, unacquainted with our customs, be told the sums which are allowed in Great Britain, under the title of pinmoney, what a prodigious consumption of pins would he think there was in this island ? ' A pin a day,' says our frugal proverb, ' is a groat a year; so that, according to this calculation, my friend Fribble's wife must every year make use of eight millions six hundred and forty thousand new pins.
I am not ignorant that our British ladies alledge they comprehend under this general term, several other conveniencies of life; I could therefore wish, for the honour of my country women, that they had rather called it needle-money, which might have implied something of good housewifery, and not have given the malicious world occasion to think, that dress and trifles have always the uppermost place in a woman's thoughts.
I know several of my fair readers urge in defence of this practice, that it is but a necessary provision they make for theinselves, in case their husband proves a churl, or a miser; so that they consider this allowance as a kind of alimony, which they may lay their claim to, without actually separating from their husbands. But with submission, I think a woman who will give up herself to a man in marriage, where there is the least room for such an apprehension, and trust her person to one whom she will not rely on for the common necessaries of life, may very properly be accused in the phrase of an homely proverb) of being penny wise and pound foolish.'
It is observed of over-cautious generals, that they never engage in a battle without securing a retreat, in case the event should not answer their expectations ; on the other hand, the greatest conquerors have burnt their ships, or broke down the bridges behind them, as being determined either to succeed or die in the engagement. In the same manner I should very much suspect a woman who takes such precautions for her retreat, and contrives methods how she may live happily, without the affection of