« PředchozíPokračovat »
No, 172. governed by the Rules of Honour. We ought to abstract Monday, our Minds from the Observation of any Excellence in Sept. 17,
those we converse with, 'till we have taken some Notice, 1711,
or received some good Information of the Disposition of their Minds; otherwise the Beauty of their persons, or the Charms of their Wit, may make us fond of those whom our Reason and Judgment will tell us we ought to abhor.
When we suffer our selves to be thus carried away by meer Beauty or meer Wit, Omnamante with all her Vice will bear away as much of our Good-will as the most innocent Virgin or discreetest Matron; and there cannot be a more abject Slavery in this World, than to doat upon what we think we ought to_condemn: Yet this must be our Condition in all the Parts of Life, if we suffer our selves to approve any thing but what tends to the Promotion of what is good and honourable. If we would take true Pains with our selves to consider all things by the Light of Reason and Justice, tho' Man were in the Height of Youth and amorous Inclinations, he would look upon a Coquet with the same Contempt or Indifference as he would upon a Coxcomb: The wanton Carriage in a Woman, would disappoint her of the Admiration which she aims at; and the vain Dress or Discourse of a Man, would destroy the Comliness of his Shape, or Goodness of his Understanding, I say the Goodness of his Understanding, for it is no less common to see Men of Sense commence Coxcombs, than beautiful Women become immodest. When this happens in either, the Favour we are naturally inclined to give to the good Qualities they have from Nature, should abate in Proportion. But however just it is to measure the value of Men by the Application of their Talents, and not by the Eminence of those Qualities abstracted from their Use; I say, however just such a way of judging is, in all Ages as well as this, the Contrary has prevailed upon the Generality of Man kind, How many lewd Devices have been preserved from one Age to another, which had perished as soon as they were made, if Painters and Sculptors had been esteemed as much for the purpose as the Execution of
their Designs? Modest and well-governed Imaginations, No. 172. have by this Means lost the Representations of Ten Monday, thousand_charming Portraitures, filled with Images of Sept. 17, innate Truth, generous Zeal, couragious Faith, and tender Humanity; instead of which Satyrs, Furies, and Monsters, are recommended by those Arts to a shame, ful Eternity
The unjust Application of laudable Talents, is tolerated in the general Opinion of Men, not only in such cases as are here mentioned, but also in Matters which con cern ordinary Life. If a Lawyer were to be esteemed only as he uses his Parts in contending for Justice, and were immediately despicable when he appeared in a Cause which he could not but know was an unjust one, how honourable would his Character be? And how honourable is it in such among us, who follow the Profession no otherwise than as labouring to protect the Injured, to subdue the Oppressor, to imprison the careless Debtor, and do Right to the painful Artificer? But many of this excellent Character are overlooked by the greater Number; who affect covering a weak Place in a Client's Title, diverting the Course of an Enquiry, or finding a skilful Refuge to palliate a Falshoodi Yet it is still called Eloquence in the latter, though thus unjustly employed; but Resolution in an Assassin is according to Reason quite as laudable, as Knowledge and Wisdom exercised in the Defence of an ill Cause.
Were the Intention stedfastly considered, as the Measure of Approbation, all Falshood would soon be out of Countenance; and an Address in imposing upon Mankind, would be as contemptible in one State of Life as another, A couple of Courtiers making Professions of Esteem, would make the same Figure after Breach of Promise, as two Knights of the Post convicted of Perjury. But Conversation is fallen so low in point of Morality, that as they say in a Bargain, 'Let the Buyer look to it's so in Friendship he is the Man in Danger who is most apt to believe: He is the more likely to suffer in the Commerce, who begins with the Obligation of being the more ready to enter into it. But those Men only are truly great, who place their
No. 172. Ambition rather in acquiring to themselves the Con Monday, science of worthy Enterprizes, than in the Prospect of
Glory which attends them. These exalted Spirits would 171L
rather be secretly the Authors of Events which are serviceable to Mankind, than without being such, to have the publick Fame of it. Where therefore an eminent Merit is robbed by Artifice or Detraction, it does but encrease by such Endeavours of its Enemies: The im potent Pains which are taken to sully it, or diffuse it among a Crowd to the Injury of a single Person, will naturally produce the contrary Effect the Fire will blaze out, and burn up all that attempt to smother what they cannot extinguish.
There is but one thing necessary to keep the Possession of true Glory, which is to hear the Opposers of it with Patience, and preserve the Virtue by which it was acquired. When a Man is thoroughly perswaded that he ought neither to admire, wish for, or pursue any thing but what is exactly his Duty, it is not in the Power of Seasons, Persons or Accidents to diminish his Value : He only is a great Man who can neglect the Applause of the Multitude, and enjoy himself independent of its Favour. This is indeed an arduous Task; but it should comfort a glorious Spirit that it is the highest Step to which humane Nature can arrive. Triumph, Applause, Acclamation, are dear to the Mind of Man, but it is still a more exquisite Delight to say to your self, you have done well, than to hear the whole humane Race pronounce you glorious, except you your self can join with them in your own Reflexions. A Mind thus equal and uniform may be deserted by little fashionable Admirers and Followers, but will ever be had in Reverence by Souls like it self. The Branches of the Oak endure all the Seasons of the Year, though its Leaves fall off in Autumn; and these too will be restored with the returning Spring,
Tuesday, September 18.
Sept. 18, Remove fera moastra, tuaeque
Author for the erecting of several Handicraft Prizes to be contended for by our British Artizans, and the Influence they might have towards the Improvement of our several Manufactures. I have since that been very much surpriz'd by the following Advertisement which I find in the Post-Boy of the 11th Instant, and again repeated in the Post-Boy of the 15th
On the 9th of October next will be run for upon Coleshill-Heath in Warwickshire, a Plate of 6 Guineas value, 3 Heats, by any $ Horse, Mare or Gelding that hath not won above the Value of 5 1.9
the winning Horse to be sold for 10 lon to carry 10 Stone weight, if 14 Hands high, if above or under, to carry or be allowed weight for Inches, and to be entred Friday the 5th at the Swan in Coleshill
, before 6 in the Evening. Also a Plate of less Value to be run for by Asses. The same Day a Gold Ring to be Grinn'd for by Men.
The first of these Diversions, that is to be exhibited by the 101. Race-Horses, may probably have its use ; but the two last, in which the Asses and Men are concerned, seem to me altogether extraordinary and unaccountable. Why they should keep running Asses at Coleshill, or how making Mouths turns to account in Warwickshire, more than in any other Parts of England, I cannot com prehend. I have looked over all the Olympick Games, and do not find any thing in them like an Ass Race, or a Match at Grinning. However it be, I am informed that several Asses are now kept in Body-Cloaths, and sweated every Morning upon the Heath, and that all
the Country Fellows within ten Miles of the Swan, ĩ grinn an Hour or two in their Glasses every Morning,
in order to qualifie themselves for the 9th of October. The Prize which is proposed to be grinn'd for, has raised such an Ambition among the Common People of Out-grinning one another, that many very discerning Persons are afraid it should spoil most of the Faces in
No. 173 the County, and that a Warwickshire Man will be Tuesday, known by his Grinn, as Roman Catholicks imagine a Sept. 18, Kentish Man is by his Tail. The Gold Ring which is 17ú.
made the Prize of Deformity, is just the Reverse of the
The frightfull'st Grinner
Be the Winner, In the mean while I would advise a Dutch Painter to be present at this great Controversie of Faces, in order to make a Collection of the most remarkable Grinns that shall be there exhibited.
I must not here omit an Account which I lately received of one of these Grinning Matches from a Gentleman, who upon reading the above
mentioned Advertisement, entertained a Coffee house with the following Narrative. Upon the taking of Namur, amidst other Publick_Rejoicings made on that Occasion, there was a Gold Ring_given by a Whig Justice of Peace to be grinn'd for. The first Competitor that entred the Lists, was a black swarthy French Man, who accident ally passed that way, and being a Man naturally of a wither'd Look, and hard Features, promised himself good Success. He was placed upon a Table in the Great Point of View, and looking upon the Company like Milton's Death,
Grinn'd horribly a Ghastiy Smile His Muscles were so drawn together on each side of his Face, that he shewed twenty Teeth at a Grinn, and put the Country in some pain, least a Foreigner should carry away the Honour of the Day, but upon a further Tryal they found he was Master only of the Merry Grinn
The next that mounted the Table was a Male content in those Days, and a great Master in the whole Art of Grinning, but particularly excelled in the angry Grinn. He did his Part so well that he is said to have made half Dozen Women miscarry, but the Justice being apprised