Зображення сторінки

he is poor,

is tlie

very same man in nature, with him who is haughty because he is rich. . When


gone thus far, as to consider the figure they make towards you; you will please, muy dear, nexi to consider the appearance you make towards them. If they are men of discerning, they çan observe the motives of your heart ; aud Florio can see when he is disregarded only upon account of fortune, which makes you to him a mercenary creature; and you are stiil the same thing to Strephon, in taking him for his wealth only: you are therefore to consider whether you had rather oblige, than receive an obligation.

• The marriage-life is always an insipid, a vexatious, or a happy condition. The first is, when two people of no genius or taste for themselves meet together, upon such a settlement as has been thought easonable by parents and conveyancers from an exact valuation of the land and cash of both parties. In this case the young lady's person is no more regarded, than the house and improvements in purchase of an estate; but she goes with her fortune, rather than her fortune with her. These make up the crowd or vulgar of the rich, and fill up the lumber of human race, without beneficence towards those below them, or respect towards those above them; and lead a despicable, independent, and useless life, without sense of the laws of kindness, goodnature, mutual offices, and the elegant satisfactions which flow from reason and virtue.

• The vexatious life arises from a conjunction of two people of quick taste and resentment, put together for reasons well known to their friends, in which especial care is taken to avoid (what they think the chief of evils) poverty, and insure to them riches, with every evil besides. These good people live in a constant constraint before company, and too great

familiarity alone. When they are within observation they fret at each other's carriage and behaviour; wben alone they revile each other's person and conduct. In company they are in a purgatory, when only together in a hell.

• The happy marriage is, where two persons meet and voluntarily make choice of each other, without principally regarding or neglecting the circumstances of fortune or beauty. These may still love in spite of adversity or sickness: the former we may in some measure defend ourselves from, the other is the portion of our very make. When you have a true notion of this sort of passion, your humour of living great will vanish out of your imagination, and you will find love has nothing to do with state. Solitude, with the person beloved, has a pleasure, even in a woman's mind, beyond show or pomp. You are therefore to consider which of your lovers will like

you hest undressed, which will bear with you most when out of humour; and your way to this is to ask of yourself, which of them you value most for his own sake? and by that judge which gives the greater instances of his valuing you for yourself After

you have expressed some sense of the humble approach of Florio, and a little disdain at Strephon's assurance in his address, you cry out, “ What an unexceptionable husband could I make out of both!” It would therefore, metbinks, be a good way to determine yourself. Take him in whom what you like is not transferable to another ; for if choose otherwise, there is no hopes your husband will ever have what you liked in his rival ; but intrinsic qualities in one man may very probably purchase every thing that is adventitious in another. In plainer terms: he whom you take for his personal perfections will sooner arrive at the gifts of fortune,


[ocr errors]


than he whom you take for the sake of his fortune attain to personal perfections. If Streplion is not as accomplished and agreeable as Florio, marriage to you will never make him so; but marriage to you may make Florio as rich as Strephon. Therefore to make a sure purchase, employ fortune upon certainties, but do not sacrifice certainties to fortune.

I am, your most obedient,

humble servant.'. T.



Nil habet infelix paupertas durius in se
Quàm quòd ridiculos homines facit.

JUV. Sat. iii. 152.
Want is the scorn of every wealthy fool,
And wit in rags is turn'd toʻridicule.


As I was walking in my chamber the morning before 'I went last into the country, I heard the hawkers with great vehemence crying about a paper, intitled, The Ninety-nine Plagues of an Empty Purse. I had indeed some time before observed, that the orators of Grub-street had dealt very much in plagues. They have already published in the same month, The Plagues of Matrimony, The Plagues of a Single Life, The Nineteen Plagues of a Chambermaid, The Plagues of a Coachman, The Plagues of a Footman, and . The Plague of Plagues.' cess these several plagues met with, probably gave occasion to the above-mentioned poem on an empty purse. However that be, the same noise so fre

The suc

quently repeated under my window, drew me insensibly to think on some of those inconveniences and mortifications which usually attend on poverty, and, in short, gave birth to the present speculation : for after my fancy had run over the most obvious and common calamities which mean fortunes are liable to, it descended to those little insults and contempts, which though they may seem to dwindle into nothing when a man offers to describe them, are perhaps in themselves more cutting and insupportable than the former. Juvenal with a great deal of humour and reason telis us, that nothing bore harder upon a poor man in his time, than the continual ridicule which his habit and dress afforded to the beaux of Rome :

Quid, quòd materiam præbet caususque jocorum
Omnibus hic idem ; si fæda et scissa lacerna,
Si toga sordidula est, et ruptâ calceus ulter
Pelle patet, vel si consuto vulnere crassum
Atque recens linum ostendit non una cicatrix.

JUV. Sat, iii. 147.

Add that the rich have still a gibe in store,
And will be monstrous witty on the poor;
For the torn surtout and the tatter'd vest,
The wretch and all his wardrobe are a jest;
The greasy gown sully'd with often turning,
Gives a good hint to say the man's in mourning ;
Or if the shoe be ript, or patch is put,
He's wounded, see the plaster on his foot.


It is on this occasion that he afterwards adds the reflection which I have chosen for my motto :

Want is the scorn of every wealthy fool,
And wit in rags is turn'd to ridicule.


It must be confessed that few things make a man appear more despicable, or more prejudice his hear


ers against what he is going to offer, than an awkward or pitiful dress; insomuch that I fancy, had Tully himself pronounced one of his orations with a blanket about his shoulders, more people would have laughed at his dress than have admired his eloquence. This last reflection made me wonder at a set of men, who, without being subjected to it by the unkindness of their fortunes, are contented to draw upon

themselves the ridicule of the world in this particular. I mean such as take it into their heads, that the first regular step to be a wit is to commence a sloven. It is certain nothing has so much debased that, which must have been otherwise so great a character; and I know not how to account for it, unless it may possibly be in complaisance to those narrow minds who can have no notion of the same persons possessing different accomplishments; or that it is a sort of sacrifice which some men are contented to make to calumny, by allowing it to fasten on one part of their character, while they are endeavouring to establish another.

Yet however unaccountable this foolish custom is, I am afraid it could plead a long prescription; and probably gave too much occasion for the vulgar de finition still remaining among us of an' heathen philosopher.

I have seen the speech of a Terra-filius, spoke in King Charles the Second's reign ; in which he describes two very eminent men, who were perhaps the greatest scholars of their age; and after having mentioned the intire friendship between them, 'concludes, that they had but one mind, one purse, one chamber, and one hat. The men of business were also infected with a sort of singularity little better than this. I have heard my father say, that a broad brimmed hat, short hair, and unfolded handkerchief, were in his time absolutely necessary to denote a

« НазадПродовжити »