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me, unless she had a mind to disturb him in his ' last moments; for, Sir, you must know that he • has the reputation of an honest and religious
man, 'which makes my misfortune so much the greater. God be thanked he is fince recovered :
But his severe usage has given me such a blow, " that I shall soon link under it, unless I
be • relieved by any impression which the reading of • this in your paper may
. I am,
Of all hardneffes of heart there is none so inexcusable as that of parents towards their children. An obftinate, inflexible, unforgiving temper is odious upon all occasions; but here it is unnatural. The love, tenderness, and compassion, which are apt co 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 protec- . tion, he has implanted in them an instinct, that supplies the place of this inherent goodness. I have ila lustrated this kind of instinct in former papers, and have shewn how it runs through all the species of "brute creatures, as indeed the whole animal creation fubfifts by it.
This instinct in man is more general and uncir. cumscribed than in brutes, as being enlarged by the dictates of reason and duty. For if we contider ourselves attentively, we shall find that we are not only inclined to love those who descend from us, but that we bear a kind of copyr, or natural affection, to every thing which relies upon us for good and preservation. Dependence is a perpetual call upon humanity, and a greater incite.
ment to tenderness and picy than any other motive whatsoever.
The man therefore who, notwithstanding any passion of resentment, can overcome this powerful instinct, and extinguish natural affection, debafes his mind even below brutality, frustrates, as much as in him lies, the great design of Providence, and ftrikes out of his nature one of the most divine principles that is planted in it.
Among innumerable arguments which might be brought against such an unreasonable proceeding, I shall only insist on one.
We make it the condition of our forgiveness that we forgive others. In our very prayers we defire no inore than to be treated by this kind of retaliation. The case therefore before us seems to be what they call a Cafe in Point ; the relation between the child and father being what comes nearest to that between a creature and his Creator. If the father is inexorable to the child who has offended, let the offence be of never so high a nature, how will he address himself to the Supreme Being under the tender appellation of a Father, and desire of him such a forgiveness as he himself refuses to grant ?
To this I might add many other religious, as well as many prudential considerations ; but if the lastmentioned inotive does not prevail, I despair of fucceeding 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 court. Immai, the daughter of the Emperor, was so pleafed with his person and conversation, that she fell in lose 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 apprehension of the fatal consequences that might ensue. Eginhart at length resolving to hazard all, rather than be deprived of one whom his heart was so much fet 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 perplexed him, left the prints of his feet in the Inow might make discoveries to the King, who often used to visit his daughter in the morning. He acquainted the princess Imma with his fears; who, after some consultations upon the matter, prevailed upon him to let her carry him through the snow upon her own fhoulders. It happened, that the Emperor not being able to sleep, was at that time up and walking in his chamber, when upon looking through the window he perceived his daughter tottering under her burden, and carrying his first mi nister across the snow ; which she had no fooner done but she returned again with the utmost speed to her
apartment. The Emperor was extremely troubled and astonished at this accident; but refolv. ed to speak nothing of it until a proper opportunity. In the mean time, Eginhart knowing that what he had done could not be long a secret, determined to retire from court; and, in order to it, begged the Emperor that he would be pleased to dismiss him, pretending a kind of discontent at his not having been rewarded for his long services. The Emperor would not give a direct antwer to his petition, but told him he would think of it, and appointed a certain day when he would let him
know his pleasure. He then called together the most faithful of his counsellors, and acquainting them with his secretary's crime, asked them their advice in so delicate an affair. The most of them gave their opinion, that the person could not be too feverely punished who had thus dishonoured his master. Upon the whole debate, the Emperor declared it was his opinion, that Eginhart's punishment would rather increase than diminish the shame of his fainily, and that therefore he thought it the most adviseable to wear out the memory of the fact, by marrying him to his daughter. Accordingly Eginhart was called in, and acquainted by the Emperor, that he should no longer have any pretence of complaining his services were not rewarded, for that the Princess Imma should be given him in marriage, with a dower suitable to her quality ; which was foon after performed accordingly.
NO 182. FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28.
Plus aloës quan mellis habet
Juv. Sat. vi. ver. 180. The bitter overbalances the sweet. AS all parts of human life come under my obser
vation, my reader must not make uncharitable inferences from my speaking knowingly of that fort of crime which is at present treated of. He will, I hope, suppose I know it only from the letters of correspondents, two of which you shall have as follow.
Mr. SPECTATOR, I? T is wonderful to me that among the many en
ormities which you have treated of, you have not mentidaed that of wenching, and particu
“ larly 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 myfelf am a woman who have been
one of the unhappy that have fallen into this mif* fortune, and that by the infinuation of a very
worthless fellow, who served others in the same ' manner both before my ruin and since that « time. I had, as foon as the rafcal left me, fo * much indignation and resolution, as not to go
upon the town, as the phrafe is, but took to * work for my living in an obfcure place, out of * the knowledge of all with whom I was before ac• quainted.
It is the ordinary practice and business of life, « with a set of idle fellows about this town, to
write letters, send messages, and forin appointments with little raw unthinking girls, and leave • them' after pofleffion of them without any mercy, ' to tha ne, infamy, poverty, and difease. Were
you to read the nauseous impertinencies which are i written on these occasions, and to see the filly
creatures singing over them, it could not but bc o matter of mirth as well as pity. . A little prentice • girl of mine has been for fome time applied to by
an Irish fellow, who dresses very fine, and struts sin a laced ccat, and is the admiration of seam
stresses who are under age in town. Ever * since I have had soine knowledge of the matter, · I have debarred my prentice from pen, ink, and
paper. But the other day he bespoke some cra
vats of me: I went out of the shop, and left his * mistress to put them up into a bandbox, in order is to be sent to him when his man called. Wheri • I came into the shop again, I took occafion to 'fend 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 refifling Strephon: I searched a little VOL. III.