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" Things went on pretty well, as we threw our eyes oc
casionally over the tree, when unfortunately he percei• ved a merchant-tailor, perched on a bough, who was said greatly to have increased the cftate; he was just agoing to cut him off, if he had rot seen Gewt. after the name of his son; who was recorded to hare mortgaged one of the manors his honest father had purchased. ' A weaver who was burnt for his religion in the reign of
queen Nlary, was pruned away without mercy; as was • likewise a yeoman, who died of a fall from his own
But great was our triumph in one of the blood who was beheaded for high-treason; which nevertheless was not a little allayed by another of our ancestors who was hanged for stealing shecp. The expectations of my good cousin were wonderfully raised by a match into the • family of a knight, but unfortunately for us, this branch • prored barren : on the other hand Nlurgery the milk• maid being twined round a bough, it flouriihed out into so
many fhoots, and bent with so much fruit, that the old gentleman was quite out of countenance. To comfort
me, under this disgrace, he singled out a branch ten s times more fruitful than the other, which he told me he ' valued more than any in the tice, and bade me be of * good comfort. This enormous bough was a graft out
of a Il'els, heiress, with so many op's upon it that it might have made a little grove by itself. From the • trunk of the pedigree, which was chiefly composed of laóbourers and shepherds, arcfe a huge sprout of farmers.; " this was branched out into yeomen; and ended in a fhe' riff of the country, who was knighted for his good fer'vice to the crown in bringing up an address. Several of • the names that seemed to disparage the family, being • looked upon as mistakes, were lupped off as retten er • withered; as, on the contrary, fio finall number appearing without any titles, my cousin, to supply the defects of the manuscript, added Esq; at the end of cach of them.
This tree fo pruned, dressed, and cultivated, was., * within a few days, transplanted into a large sheet of
vellum, and placed in the great hall, where it attracts • the veneration of his tenants every Sunday morning, • while they wait till his worthip is ready to go to church; wondering that a man, who had so many fathers before
• him, should not be made a knight, or at least a justice • of the peace.'
Friday, October 29.
Studiis ficrentem ignobilis ori.
Virg. Georg. 4. v. 564.
Afelling studies of less noisy praise.
T is reckoned a piece of ill breeding for one man to
engross the whole talk to himself. For this reason, since I keep three visiting-day's in the week, I am content now and then to let
friends put in a word. There are several advantages hereby accruing both to my readers and to myself. As first, young and modelt writers have an opportunity of getting into print: again, the town enjoys the pleasure of variety; and posterity will see the humour of the present age, by the help of these little lights into private and domestic life. The bencfiis I receive from thence, are such as these : I gain more time for future speculations; pick up hints which I improre for the public good ; give advice; redress grievances ; and, by lcaving commodious spaces between the several letters that I print, furnish out a Spectator with little labour and great oftentation.
on every reader.
' worked up in such a manner, as cannot but firike up
But give me leave to make this re* mark : that while you write so pathetically on contentment, and a retired life, you footh the passion of me. lancholy, and depress the mind from actions truly glocrious. Titles and honours are the reward of virtue :
we therefore ought to be affected with them: and though * light minds are 100 much puffed up with exterior pomp,
yet I cannot see why it is not as truly philosophical, to • admire the glowing ruby, or the sparkling green of an
emerald, as the fainter and less permanent beauties of a • rose or a myrtle. If there are men of extraordinary capacities who lie concealed from the world, I should impute it to them as a blot in their character, did not I • believe it owing to the meanness of their fortune rather • than of their spirit. Cowley, who tells the story of Ag
laus with so much pleasur?, was no stranger to courtsy * nor insensible of praise.
What shall I do to be for ever known,
And make the age to come my own? was the result of a laudable ambition. it was not tilt ' after frequent disappoitments, that he termed himself
the melancholy Cowley; and he praised folitude, when • he despaired of shining in a court. The soul of man is
an active principle. He therefore, who withdraws him• self from the scene before he has played his part, ought
to be hissed off the stage, and cannot be deemed virtuous, because he refuses to answer his end. I must own I am fired with an honest ambition to imitate every • illuftrious example. The battles of Blenheim and Ra• millies have more than once made me wish myself a sol• dier. And when I have seen those actions so nobly ce• lebrated by our poets, I have secretly aspired to be one
of that distinguished class. But in vain I wish, in vain I pant with the desire of action. I am chained down in obscurity, and the only pleasure I can take is in seeing • so many brighter genuises join their friendly lights, to . add to the splendor of the throne. Farewel then, dear
Spec, and believe me to be with great emulation, and
Your profeled admirer,
Middle-Temple, October 26. 1714. HOUGH you have formerly made Eloquence the
I do not subject of one or more of your papers, • remember that you ever considered it as possessed by a • set of people, who are so far from making Quintilian's
rules their practice, that, I dare say for them, they never heard of such an author, and yet are no less masters
of it than Tully or Demosthenes among the ancients, or ' whom you please among the moderns. The persons I • am speaking of are our common beggars about this town; and that what I say is true, I appeal to any man who has a heart one degree softer than a stone. As for my part, who don't pretend to more humanity than my neighbours, I have oftentimes
from chambers ' with money in my pocket, and returned to them not on
ly penniless, but destitute of a farthing, without bestowing of it any other way than on there seeming ob‘jects of pity. In short, I have seen more eloquence in
a look from one of these despicable creatures, than in the eye of the fairelt she I ever saw, yet no one a greater admirer of that sex than myself. What I have to de• fire of you is, to lay down some directions in order to guard against these powerful orators, or else I know nothing to the contrary, but I must myfclf be forced to • leave the profession of the law, and endeavour to get • the qualifications necessary to that more profitable one • of begging. But in whichsoever of these two capacities ' I mine, I shall always desire to be your constant reader, cand ever will be
Your most obedient humble servant,
PON reading a SPECTATOR last week, where Mrs
Fanny Fickle submitted the choice of a lover for : * life to your decisive determination, and imagining I
might claim the favour of your advice in an affair of the like, but much more difficult nature, I called for pen
and ink, in order to draw the characters of seven hum'ble servants, whom I have equally encouraged for some ·
But, alas ! while I was reflecting on the agreeable subject, and contriving an advantageous description * of the dear person I was most inclined to favour, I hap
pened to look into my glass. The fight of the smallpox, out of which I am just recovered, tormented me
at once, with the loss of my captivating arts, and my *captives. The confusion I was in, on this unhappy, unfeasonable discovery, is incxpreflible. Believe me,
Sir, I was so taken up with the thoughts of your fair * correspondent's case, and so intent on my own design,
that I fancied myself as triumphant in my conquests as
' Now, Sir, finding I was incapacitated to amuse myself on that pleasing subject, I resolved to apply myself to you, or your casuistical agent, for advice in my present
circumstances. I am sensible the tincture of my skin, ' and the regularity of my fcatures, which the malice of
my late illness has altered, are irrecoverable; yet don't despair but that loss, by your afliitance, may in some measure be repairable, if you'll pleale to propose a way for the recovery of one only of my fugitives.
'One of them is in a more particular manner beholden to me than the rest; for he for some private reasons being
desirous to be a lover incognito, always addressed me • with billet-doux, which I was so careful of in my sickness, "that I secured the key of my love-magazine under my • head, and hcaring a noise of opening a lock in my cham·ber, endangered my life by getring out of bed to prevent, • if it had been attempted, the discovery of that amour,
"I HAVE formerly made use of all those artifices which our sex daily practises over yours, to draw, as it were
undefignedly, the eyes of a whole congregation to my ' pew; I have taken a pride in the number of admirers at 'my afternoon's levee; but am now quite another crca
I think, could I regain the attractive influence I once had, if I had a legion of suitors, I should never • be ambitious of entertaining more than one. I have al
most contracted ar. antipathy to the trifling discourses of • impertinent lovers, though I must needs own, I have
thought it very cdd of late, to hear gentlemen, instead • of their usual complacencies, fall into disputes before me
of politics, or else weary me with the tedious repetition • of how thankful I ought to be, and satisfied with my recovery out of fo dangerous a distemper: this, though I
sensible of the blessing, yet I cannot but disike, because such advice from them rather seems to insult than comfort me, and reminds me too much of what I