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among us, that he made a discourse against it at the club; which he concluded with this remark, that he had not heard one compliment made in our fociety fince its commencement. Every one was pleated with his conclufion; and as each knew his good-will to the reft, he was convinced that the many profellions of kindness and fervice, which we ordinarily meet with, are not natural where the heart is well inclined, but are a prostitution of fpeech, feldom intended to mean any part of what they exprefs; never to mean all they exprefs. Our reverend friend, upon this topic, pointed to us two or three paragraphs on this fubject in the first fermon of the first volume of the late archbishop's posthumous works. I do not know that I ever read any thing that pleafed me more, and as it is the praife of Longinus, that he speaks of the fublime in a ftile fuitable to it, fo one may fay of this author upon fincerity, that he abhors any pomp of rhetoric on this occafion, and treats it with more than ordinary fimplicity, at once to be a preacher and an example. With what command of himself does he lay before us, in the language and temper of his profeffion, a fault, which by the leaft liberty and warmth of expreffion would be the moft lively wit and fatire? But his heart was better difpofed, and the good man chaftifed the great wit in fuch a manner, that he was able to speak as follows:

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"Amongst too many other inftances of the great "corruption and degeneracy of the age wherein we live, "the great and general want of fincerity in converfation " is none of the icaft. The world is grown fo full of "diffimulation and compliment, that mens words are “hardly any fignification of their thoughts; and if any man measure his words by his heart, and fpeaks as he "thinks, and do not exprefs more kindness to every man than men ufually have for any man, he can "hardly escape the cenfure of want of breeding. The "old English plainnefs and fincerity; that generous in"tegrity of nature and honesty of difpofition which always argues true greatness of mind, and is ufually ac"companied with undaunted courage and refolution, is "in a great measure loft amongft us; there hath been a

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long endeavour to transform us into foreign manners and fashions, and to bring us to a fervile imitation of none of the best of our neighbours in fome of the worst "of their qualities. The dialect of conversation is now66 a-days to fwelled with vanity and compliment, and fo 66 furfeited, as I may fay, of expreffions of kindness and "refpect, that if a man that lived an age or two ago "fhould return into the world again, he would really want a dictionary to help him to understand his own 66 language, and to know the true intrinfic value of the phrase in fashion, and would hardly at first believe at "what a low rate the highest strains and expreffions of "kindnefs imaginable do commonly pass in current pay66 ment; and when he fhould come to understand it, it "would be a great while before he could bring himfelf "with a good countenance and a good confcience to "converfe with men upon equal terms, and in their own " way.

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"And in truth it is hard to fay, whether it fhould more provoke our contempt or our pity, to hear what "folemn expreffions of refpect and kindness will pass

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between men, almoft upon no occafion; how great "honour and efteem they will declare for one whom "perhaps they never saw before, and how entirely they are all on the fudden devoted to his fervice and intereft, for no reafon; how infinitely and externally obliged to him for no benefit; and how extremely they "will be concerned for him, yea and afflicted too, for no caufe. I know it is faid, in juftification of this "hollow kind of converfation, that there is no harm

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nor real deceit in compliment, but the matter is well "enough, fo long as we understand one another; et "verba valent ut nummi, “words are like money :" and "when the current value of them is generally under"food, no man is cheated by them. This is fomething "if fuch words were any thing; but being brought into "the account, they are mere cyphers. However, it is "ftill a juft matter of complaint, that fincerity and plain"nefs are out of fashion, and that our language is run66 ning into a lie; and that men have almoft quite per"verted the use of speech, and made words to fignify no

"thing; that the greateft part of the converfation of "mankind is little elfe but driving a trade of diffimula ❝tion; infomuch that it would make a man heartily "fick and weary of the world, to fee the little fincerity "that is in ufe and practice among men."

When vice is placed in this contemptible light, he argues unanswerably against it, in words and thoughts fo natural, that any man who reads them would imagine he himfelf could have been the author of them.

"If the fhow of any thing be good for any thing, I 66 am fure fincerity is better; for why does any man dif"femble, or feem to be that which he is not, but be"cause he thinks it good to have fuch a quality as he "pretends to? For to counterfeit and diffemble, is to put "on the appearance of some real excellency. Now the ❝best way in the world to seem to be any thing, is really "to be what he would feem to be. Besides, that it is many "times as troublesome to make good the pretence of a "good quality as to have it; and if a man have it not, it 66 is ten to one but he is difcovered to want it; and then "all his pains and labour to feem to have it, is lost.”

In another part of the fame difcourfe he goes on to fhew, that all artifice muft naturally tend to the difappointment of him that practises it.

"Whatsoever convenience may be thought to be in "falfehood and diffimulation, it is foon over; but the in"convenience of it is pe petual, because it brings a man "under an everlasting jealoufy and fufpicion, fo that he "is not believed when he speaks truth, nor trufted when "perhaps he means honeftly. When a man hath once "forfeited the reputation of his integrity, he is set fast, ❝and nothing will then ferve his turn, neither truth or "falfehood."

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would be a nobler improvement, or rather a recovery of what we call good-breeding, if nothing were

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to pafs amongst us for agreeable which was the leaft tranfgreffion against that rule of life called decorum, or a regard to decency. This would command the respect of mankind, because it carries in it deference to their good opinion; as humility lodged in a worthy mind is always attended with a certain homage, which no haughty foul, with all the hearts imaginable, will ever be able to purchafe. Tully fays, virtue and decency are fo nearly related, that it is difficult to separate them from each other but in our imagination. As the beauty of the body always accompanies the health of it, fo certainly is decency concomitant to virtue; as beauty of body, with an agreeable carriage, pleafes the eye, and that pleasure confifts in that we obferve all the parts with a certain elegance are proportioned to each other, fo does decency of behaviour which appears in our lives obtain the approbation of all with whom we converfe, from the order, confiftency, and moderation of our words and actions. This flows from the reverence we bear towards every good man, and to the world in general; for to be negligent of what any one thinks of you, does not only fhew you arrogant but abandoned. In all thefe confiderations we are to diftinguifh how one virtue differs from another; as it is the part of justice never to do violence, it is of modefty never to commit offence. In this laft particular lies the whole force of what is called decency; to this purpofe that excellent moralist above-mentioned talks of decency; but this quality is more eafily comprehended by an ordinary capacity than expreffed with all his eloquence. This decency of behaviour is generally tranfgreffed among all orders of men; nay, the very women, though themfelves created it as it were for ornament, are often very much mistaken in this ornamental part of life. It would methinks be a fhort rule for behaviour, if every young lady in her drefs, words, and actions were only to recommend herself as a fifter, daughter, or wife, and make herself the more esteemed in one of those characters. The care of themselves, with regard to the families in which women are born, is the best motive for their being courted to come into the alliance of other houfes. Nothing can promote

this end more than a strict prefervation of decency. I fhould be glad if a certain equeftrian order of ladies, fome of whom one meets in an evening at every outlet of the town, would take this fubject into their ferious confideration: in order thereunto the following letter may not be wholly unworthy their perufal.

• Mr. Spectator,

GOING lately to take the air in one of the moft ⚫ beautiful evenings this feafon has produced, as I was • admiring the ferenity of the fky, the lively colours of the fields, and the variety of the landfkip every way around me, my eyes were fuddenly called off from thefe inanimate objects by a little party of horsemen I faw paffing the road. The greater part of them efcaped my particular obfervation, by reafon that my whole attention was fixed on a very fair youth who rode in the midst of them, and seemed to have been dreffed by fome defcription in a romance. His features, complexion, and habit, had a remarkable effeminacy, and a certain languishing vanity appeared in his air: his hair, well curled and powdered, hung to a confiderable length on his fhoulders, and was wantonly tied, as if by the hands of his mistress, in a scarlet ribbon, which played like a ftreamer behind him; he had a coat and waistcoat of blue camblet, trimmed and em⚫broidered with filver; a cravat of the fineft lace; and wore, in a finart cock, a little beaver hat edged with filver, and made more fprightly by a feather: his horfe too, which was a pacer, was adorned after the fame airy manner, and feemed to fhare in the vanity of the rider. As I was pitying the luxury of this young perfon, who appeared to me to have been educated only as an object of fight, I perceived on my nearer approach, and as I turned my eyes downward, a part of the equipage I had not obferved before, which was a petticoat of the fame with the coat and waistcoat. After this difcovery I looked again on the face of the fair Amazon who had thus deceived me, and thought those features which had before offended me by their soft'ness, were now ftrengthened into as improper a bold

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