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• subdued, and reason exalted. He waits the day of his
diffolution with a refignation mixed with delight, and
the son fears the accession of his father's fortune with 6.diffidence, lest he thould not enjoy or become it as well as his predeceffor. Add to this, that the father o knows he leaves a friend to the children of his • friends, an easy landlord to his tenants, and an
agreeable companion to his acquaintance. He be« lieves his 'son's behaviour will make him frequently I remembered, but never wanted. This conimerce is fo ..well cemented, that without the pomp of saying, « Son, be a friend to such a one when I am gone ; • Camillus knows, being in his favour, is direction . enough to the grateful youth who is to succeed him,
without the admonition of his mentioning it. These gentlemen are honoured in all their neighbourhood, and the same effect which the court has on the manners • of a kingdom, their characters have on all who live r within the influence of them.
My son and I are not of fortune to communicate our good actions or intentions to so many as these · gentlemen do; but I will be bold to fay, my fon has,
by the applause and approbation which his behaviour • towards me has gained him, cccasioned that many an
old man, besides myself, has rejoiced. Other men's • children follow the example of mine, and I have the • inexpreffible happiness of overhearing cur neighbours,
as we ride by, point to their children, and say, with a « voice of joy, there they go.
• You cannot, Mr. Spectator, pass your time better than in infinuating the delights which these relations • well regarded bestow upon each other. Ordinary pas• fages are no longer such, but mutual love gives an im
portance to the most indifferent things, and a merit to " actions the moit insignificant. When we look round < the world, and observe the many misunderstandings * which are created by the malice and insinuation of the (meaneft servants between people thus related, how ne<cessary will it appear that it were inculcated that men
would be upon their guard to support a constancy of
afection, and that grounded upon the principles of a reafun, not the impulses of inftin&t ?
If every father
• It is from the common prejudices which men receive 4s from their parents, that hatreds are kept alive from one
generation to another; and when men act by initinet, • hatreds will descend when good offices are forgotten. . For the degeneracy of human life is fuch, that our
anger is more easily transferred to our children than our love. Love always gives something to the obje&
it delights in, and anger spoils the person againt whom “it is moved of something laudable in hior: from this
degeneracy therefore, and a sort of self-love, we are more prone to take
the ill-will of our parents, than to follow them in their friendships.
One would think there should need no more to make men keep up this sort of relation with the utmost fanctity, than to examine their own hearts..
remembered his own thoughts and inclinations when • he was a son, and every son remembered what he ex'pected from his father, when he himself was in a state 6. of dependence, this one reflexion would preferve men ' from being diffolute or rigid in these several capacities. "The power and subjection between them, when broken, 6. make them more einphatically tyrants and rebels againit • each other, with greater cruelty of heart,, than the • disruption of ftates and empires can pollibly produce. ' I Mall end this application to you with two letters
which passed between a mother and son very lately, and. are as follows..
time, “ do not deny your mother so much of it, as to read fe
riously this letter. You said before Mr. Lemcre, that
an old woman might live very well in the country 6. upon half my jointure, and that your father was a fond ' fool to give me a rent-charge of eight hundred a year
to the prejudice of his son. What Letacre said to you upon that occasion, you: ought to have borne with
more decency, as he was your father's well-beloved • servant, than to have called him country-pur. In the 5. first place, Frank, I must tell you, I will have my rent 6. duly paid, for. I will make up to your fifters for the
' partiality I was guilty of, in making your father do so
much as he has done for you. I may, it seems, live upon half my jointure! I lived upon much less, Frank,
when I carried you from place to place in these arms, ' and could neither eat, dress, or mind any thing for feed
ing and tending you a weakly child, and shedding tears
when the convulsions you were then troubled with re' turned upon you. By my care you out-grew them,
to throw away the vigour of your youth in the arms of • harlots, and deny your mother what is not your's to • derain. Both your sisters are crying to see the passion which I smother; but if you please to go on thus like
a gentleman of the town, and forget all regards to • yourself and family, hall immediately enter upon
your estate for the arrear due to me, and without one tear more condemn you for forgetting the fondness of your mother, as much as you have the example of your father. O Frank, do I live to omit writing myself, • Your affectionate mother,
I A. T.' • Madam, I
Will come down to-morrow and pay the money
on my knees. Pray write so no more. I will • take care you never shall, for I will be for ever here• after
• Your most dutiful son,
• I will bring down new heads for my
fitters. • let all be forgotten.'
Wednesday, January 2.
- Secretum iter & fallentis femita vita.
Hor. Ep. 18. lib. 1. ver. 103, -Close retirement, and a life by stealth. CREECH, T has been from age to age an affectation to love the fibly be supposed qualified for paffing life in that
This people have taken up from reading the many agreeable things which have been writ on that fubject, for which we are beholden to excellent persons who delighted in being retired and abstracted from the pleasures that inchant the generality of the world. This way of life is recommended indeed with great beauty, and in such a manner as disposes the reader for the time to a pleasing forgetfulness, or negligence of the particular hurry of life in which he is engaged, together with a longing for that state which he is charmed with in description. But when we consider the world itself, and how few there are capable of a religious, learned, or philofophic folitude, we shall be apt to change a regard to that sort of solitude, for being a little fingular in enjoying time after the way a man himself likes best in the world, without going so far as wholly to withdraw from it. I have often oblerved, there is not a man breathing who does not differ from all other men, as much in the sentiments of his mind, as the features of his face. The felicity is, when any one is so happy as to find out and follow what is the proper bent of his genius, and turn all his endeavours to exert himself according as that. prompts him. Instead of this, which is an innocent method of enjoying a man's self, and turning out of the general tracks wherein you have crouds of rivals, there are those who pursue their own way out of a fourness and spirit of contradiction : these men do every thing which they are able to support, as if guilt and impunity could
not go together. They choose a thing only because another dislikes it; and affect forsooth an inviolable corStancy in matters of no manner of moment. Thus sometimes an old fellow shall wear this or that sort of cut in his clothes with great integrity, while all the rest of the world are degenerated into buttons, pockets, and loops unknown to their ancestors. As inlignificant as even this is, if it were searched to the bottom, you perhaps would find it net fincere, but that he is in the fashion in his heart, and holds out from mere obstinaçy. But I am running from my intended purpose, which was to celebrate a certain particular manner of passing away life, and is a contradiation to no man, but a resolution to contract none of the exorbitant defires by which others are enslaved. The best way of separating a man's self from the world, is to give up the defire of being known to it. After a man has pre served his innocence, and performed all duties incumbent upon him, his time spent his own way is what makes his life differ from that of a flave, if they who affect how and pomp knew how many of their spectators derided their trivial taste, they would be very much less elated, and have an inclination to examine the merit of all they have to do with : they would foon find out that there are many who make a figure below what their fortune or merit intitles them to, out of mere choice, and an elegant desire of ease and disincumbrance. It would took like a romance to tell you in this
age of an old man who is contented to pass for an humourist, and cne who does not understand the figure he ought to make in the world, while he lives in a lodging of ten shillings a week with only one fervant: while he dresses himself according to the season in cloth or in stuff, and has no one necessary attention to any thing but the bell which calls to prayers twice a day. I say it would look like a fable to report that this gentleman gives away all which is the overplus of a great fortune, by secret methods, to other men. If he has not the pomp of a numerous train, and of pro: fessors of service to him, he has every day he lives the conscience that the widow, the fatherless, the mourner, and the stranger bless his unseen hand in their prayers, This humourist gives up all the compliments which