« PředchozíPokračovat »
me, that he bid her speak no more of me, unless she had No. 181. Mind to disturb him in his last Moments ; for, you
Thursday must know that he has the Reputation of an honest and Sept. 27, religious Man, which makes my Misfortune so much the greater. God be thanked he is since recovered, but his severe Usage has given me such a Blow that I shall soon sink under it, unless I may be relieved by any Impressions which the reading of this in your Paper may make
I am, &ci'
Of all Hardnesses of Heart, there is none so inexcusable as that of Parents towards their Children. An obstinate, inflexible, unforgiving Temper, is odious upon all Occasions, but here it is unnatural. The Love, Tenderness and Compassion, which are apt to arise in us towards those who depend upon us, is that by which the whole World of Life_is upheld. The Supreme Being, by the transcendent Excellency and Goodness of his Nature, extends his Mercy towards all his Works; and because his Creatures have not such a spontaneous Benevolence and Compassion towards those who are under their Care and Protection, he has implanted in them an Instinct, that supplies the Place of this inherent Goodness. I have illustrated this kind of Instinct in former Papers, and have shewn how it runs thro' all the Species of Brute Creatures, as indeed the whole Animal Creation subsists by it.
This Instinct in Man is more neral and uncircumscribed than in Brutes, as being enlarged by the Dictates of Reason and Duty. For if we consider our selves attentively, we shall find that we are not only enclined to Love those who descend from us, but that we bear a kind of stopyń or natural Affection to every thing which relies upon us for its Good and Preservation. Dependa ance is a perpetual Call upon Humanity, and a greater Incitement to Tenderness and Pity than any other Motive whatsoever.
The Man therefore who, notwithstanding any Passion or Resentment, can overcome this powerful Instinct
, and extinguish natural Affection, debases his Mind even below Brutality, frustrates, as much as in him lies, the great
No. 181. Design of Providence, and strikes out of his Nature one of
Among innumerable Arguments which might be 1711.
brought against such an unreasonable Proceeding, I shali only insist on one. We make it the Condition of our Forgiveness that we forgive others. In our very Prayers we desire no more than to be treated by this kind of Retaliation. The Case therefore before us eems to be what they call a Case in point; the relation between the Child and Father, being what comes nearest to that between a Creature and its Creator. If the Father is in exorable to the Child who has offended, let the Offence be of never so high a Nature, how will he address him self to the Supreme Being, under the tender Appellation of a Father, and desire of him such a Forgiveness as he himself refuses to grants
To this I might add many other Religious, as well as many Prudential Considerations ; but if the last men tioned Motive does not prevail
, I despair of succeeding by any other, and shall therefore conclude my Paper with a very remarkable Story, which is recorded in an old Chronicle published by Freher among the Writers of the German History,
Eginhart, who was Secretary to Charles the Great, became exceeding Popular by his Behaviour in that Post. His great Abilities gained him the Favour of his Master, and the Esteem of the whole CourtImma, the Daughter of the Emperor, was so pleased with his Person and Conversation, that she fell in Love with him. As she was one of the greatest Beauties of the Age, Eginhart answered her with a more than equal Return of Passion They stifled their Flames for some time, under Apprehen sion of the fatal Consequences that might ensue. Eginhart at length resolving to hazard all, rather than live deprived of one whom his Heart was so much set upon, conveyed himself one Night into the Princess's Apartment, and knocking gently at the Door, was admitted as a Person who had something to communicate to her from the Emperor. He was with her in private most part of the Night; but upon his preparing to go away about Break of Day, he observed that there had fallen a great
Snow during his Stay with the Princess: This very much No. 181. perplexed him, lest the Prints of his Feet in the Snow Thursday might make Discoveries to the King, who often used to
Friday, September 28.
ferences from my speaking knowingly of that sort of Crime which is at present treated of. He will
, I hope, suppose I know it only from the Letters of Correspond ents, two of which you shall have as follow.
Mr. SPECTATOR It is wonderful to me, that among the many Enormities which you have treated of you have not mentioned that of Wenching, and particularly the insnaring Part; I mean, that it is a thing very fit for your Pen to expose the Villany of the Practice of deluding Women. You are to know, Sir, that I my self am a Woman who have been one of the Unhappy that have fallen into this Misfortune, and that by the Insinuation of a very worthless Fellow who served others in the same Manner both be? fore my Ruin and since that Time. I had, as soon as the Rascal left me, so much Indignation and Resolution, as not to go upon the Town, as the Phrase is, but took to work for my Living in an obscure Place, out of the Knowledge of all with whom I was before acquainted.
It is the ordinary Practice and Business of Life with a Sett of idle Fellows about this Town, to write Letters, send Messages, and form Appointments with little raw unthinking Girls, and leave them after Possession of them without any Mercy to Shame, Infamy, Poverty, and Disease. Were you to read the nauseous Impertin encies which are written on these Occasions, and to see the silly Creatures sighing over them, it could not but be Matter of Mirth as well as Pity. A little Prentice : Girl of mine has been for some time applied to by an Irish Fellow, who dresses very fine, and struts in a lac'd Coat, and is the Admiration of Semstresses who are under Age in Town. Ever since I have had some Knowledge of the Matter, I have debarred my Prentice from Pen, Ink, and Paper. But the other Day he be.
spoke some Cravats of me: I went out of the Shop, and No. 182. left his Mistress to put them up into a Band-Box in order Friday, to be sent to him when his Man called. When I came
17ű, into the Shop again I took Occasion to send her away, and found in the Bottom of the Box written these Words, Why would you ruin a harmless Creature that loves you? then in the Lid, There is no resisting Strephon: I searched a little further, and found in the Rim of the Box, At eleven of Clock at Night come in an Hackney Coach at the End of our Street. This was enough to alarm me; I sent away the things, and took my Measures accordingly. An Hour or two before the appointed Time I examined my young Lady, and found her Trunk stuffed with impertinent Letters, and an old Scrole of Parchment in Latin, which her Lover had sent her as Settlement of fifty Pounds a Year; among other things there was also the best Lace I had in my Shop to make him a Present for Cravats. I was very glad of this last Circumstance, because I could very conscienciously swear against him that he had enticed my Servant away, and was her Accomplice in robbing me. I procured a Warrant against him accordingly. Every thing was now prepared, and the tender Hour of Love approaching, I who had acted for my self in my Youth the same senseless Part, knew how to manage accord ingly. Therefore after having locked up my Maid, and not being so much unlike her in Height and Shape, as in a huddled way not to pass for her, I delivered the Bundle designed to be carried off to her Lover's Man, who came with the Signal to receive them. Thus I followed after to the Coach, where when I saw his Master take them in, I cryed out Thieves! Thieves ! and the Constable with his Attendants seized my ex pecting Lover. I kept my self unobserved 'till I saw the Crowd sufficiently encreased, and then appeared to declare the Goods to be mine ; and had the Satisfaction to see my Man of Mode put into the Round-house with the stolen Wares by him, to be produced in Evidence against the next Morning. This Matter is notoriously known to be Fact, and I have been contented to save my Prentice, and take a Year's Rent of this mortified