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which an orator ought to have in perfection, as the tongue, the teeth, the lips, the nose, the palate, and the wind pipe.. Upon which, fays my friend, you have omitted the most material organ of them all, and that is the forehead.
But notwithstanding an excess of modesty obstructs the tongue, and renders it unfit for its offices, a due proportion of it is thought so requisite to an orator, that rhetoricians have recomended it to their disciples as a particular in their art. Cicero tells us, that he never liked an orator who did not appear in fome little confusion at the beginning of his speech, and confesses that he himself never entered upon an oration without treinbling and concern. It is indeed a kind of deference which is due to a great afsembly, and seldom fails to raise a benevolence in the audience towards the person who speaks. My correspondent has taken notice that the braveft men often appear timorous on these occasions, as indeed we may observe, that there is generally no creature more impudent than a coward.
- Lingua inelior, fed frigida bello Dextera
VIRG. Æn. II. v. 358.
- Bold at the council board ; But cautious in the field he lhunn'd the sword.
A BOLD tongue and a feeble arm are the qualifications of Drances in Virgil; as Homer, to express a man both timorous and faucy, makes use of a kind of point, which is very rarely to be met with in his writings; namely, that he had the eyes of a dog, but the heart of a deer.
A Just and reasonable modesty does not only recommend eloquence, but lets off every great talent which a man can be possessed of. It heiglitens all the virtues which it accompanies ; like the shades in paintings, it raises and rounds every figure, and makes the colours more beautiful, though not so glaring as they would be without it.
MODESTY is not only an ornament, but also a guard to virtue. It is a kind of quick and delicate feeling in the soul, which makes her shrink and withdraw herself from every thing that has danger in it. It is such an exquisite VOL. III.
sensibility, as warns her to shun the first appearance of every thing which is hurtful.
I CANNOT at present recollect either the place or time of what I am going to mention ; but I have read somewhere in the history of ancient Greece, that the women of the country were seized with an unaccountable melancholy, which disposed several of them to make away with themselves. The fenate, after having tried many expedients to prevent this self-murder, which was so frequent among them, published an edict, That if any woman whatever should lay violent hands upon herself, her corpse should be exposed naked in the street, and dragged about the ci. ty in the most public inanner. This ediêt immediately put a stop to the practice which was before so common. We may see in this instance the strength of female modesty, which was able to overcome the violence even of mad. ness and despair. The fear of shame in the fair sex, was in those days more prevalent than that of death.
IF modesty has fo great an influence over our actions, and is in many cases fo iinpregnable a fence to virtue; what can more undermine morality than that politeness which reigns among tle unthinking part of mankind, and treats as unfashionable the most ingenuous part of our behaviour.; which recommends impudence as good-breeding, and keeps a man always in countenance, not because he is innocent, but because he is Lhameless ?
SENECA thought modesty so great a check to vice, that he prescribes to us the practice of it in secret, and advises us to raise it in ourselves upon imaginary occasions, when such as are real do not offer themselves; for this is the meaning of his precept, that when we are by ourselves, and in our greatest -folitudes, we should fancy that Cato stands before us, and sees every thing we do. In short, if you banih modesty out of the work, lhe carries away with her half the virtue that is in it.
AFTER these reflections on modesty, as it is a virtue, I must observe, that there is a vicious modesty, which justly deserves to be ridiculed, and which those persons very often discover, who value themselves most upon a wellbred confidence. This happens when a man is ashamed to act up to his reason, and would not, upon any consideration, be surprised in the practice of those duties, for
the performance of which he was sent into the world. Many an impertinent libertine would blush to be caught in a serious discourse, and would scarce be able to shew his head, after having disclosed a religious thought. Decency of behaviour, all outward show of virtue, and abhorrence of vice, are carefully avoided by this set of shame-faced people, as what would disparage their gaiety of temper, and infallibly bring them to dishonour. This is such a poorne's of fpirit, such a despicable cowardice, fuch a degenerate, abject state of mind, as one would think human nature incapable of, did we not meet with frequent instances of it in ordinary conversation.
THERE is another kind of vicious modesty which makes a man ashamed of his perfon, his birth, his
P ofesion, lis poverty, or the like misfortunes, which it was not in bis choice to prevent, and is not in his power to rectify. 1€ a man appears ridiculous by any of the afore-inentioned circumstances, he becomes much more so by being out of countenance for them. They should rather give him occasion to exert a noble spirit, and to palliate those imperfections which are not in his power, by those perfections which are; or, to use a very witty allusion of an eminent author, he should imitate Gefar, who, because his head was bald, covered that defect with laurels.
Monday, November 26.
Nihil largiundo gloriam adeptus eft."
Y wife and good friend, Sir Andrew Freeport, di
vides himself almost equally between the town and the country; his time in town is given up to the public, and the management of his private fortune; and, after every three or four days spent in this manner, he retires for as many to liis seat within a few miles of the town, to the enjoyment of himself, his family, and his friend. Thus business and pleafure, or rather, in Sir Andrew, labour and rest, recommend each other : they take their • turns with so quick a vicillitude, that neither becomes a babit, or takes possession of the whole man; nor is it pof
fible he should be surfeited with either. I often see hiin at our club in good humour, and yet sometimes too with an air of care in his looks: but in his country retreat he is always unbent, and fuch a companion as I could desire;. and therefore I seldom fail to make one with him when he is pleased to invite me.
The other day, as soon as we were got into his cha. riot, two or three beggars on each side hung upon the.
ors, and solicited our charity with the usual. rhetoric of a. fick wife or husband at home, three or four helpless little children all starving with cold and hunger. We were: forced to part with some money to get rid of their impora tunity; and then we proceeded on our journey, witli the. blessings and acclamations of these people.
“ WELL then; says Sir Airdrew, we go off with the as
prayers and good wilhes of the beggars, and perhaps.
too our healths will be drunk at the next ale house: so, in all we shall be able to value ourselves upon, is, that we “ have promoted the trade of the virtualler, and the ex“ cises of the government. But how few ounces of wool “ do we see upon the backs of those poor creatures ? And “ when they shall next fall in our way, they will hardly. " be better drest; they must always live in rags to look “ like objects of compassion. If their families too are “ such as they are represented, it is certain they cannot “ be better clothed, and must be a great deal worse fed;
one would think potatoes should be all their bread, and “ their drink the, ure element; and then what goodly cuf.
tomers are the farmers like to have for their wool, corn, «« and cattle? Such customers, and such a confumption,
cannot chufe but advance the landed interest, and hold " up the rents of the gentlemen!
" But of all men living, we merchants, who live by: « buying and felling, ought never to encourage beggars. “ The goods which we export are indeed the product of “ the lands, but much the greatest part of their value is s the labour of the people: but how much of these peo“ ples labour shall weesport whilst we hire them to fititill? “ The very alıns they receive from us, are the wages of " idleness. I have often thought that no man should be “permitted to take relief from the parish, or to ask it in < the street, till he has first purchased as much as possible
66 labour upon
" of his own liveliehood by the labour of his own hands " and then the public ought only to be taxed to make “ good the deficiency. If this rule was ftri&tly observed,
we should see every where fuch a multitude of new la«« bourers, as would in all probability reduce the prices of “ all our manufactures. It is the very life of merchandise “ to buy cheap and sell dear. The merchant ought to “ make his out-Set as cheap as possible, that he may find
the greater profit upon his returns; and nothing will " enable him to do this like the reduction of the price of
all our manufactures. This too would be " the ready way to increase the number of our foreign “ markets: the abatement of the price of the manufac
ture would pay for the carriage of it to more diftant « countries ; and this consequence would be equally be“ neficial both to the landed and trading interests. As so
great an addition of labouring hands would produce this “ happy consequence both to the merchant and the gentle
man; our liberality to common beggars, and every 66 other obstruction to the increase of labourers, must be "! equally pernicious to both.
SIR Andrew then went on to affirm, That the reduce tion of the prices of our manufaétures by the addition of fo many new hands, would be no inconvenience to any man :. but observing I was something startled at the affertion, he made a short pause, and then resumed the difcourse. “It may seem, says he, a paradox, that the price 66 of labour should be reduced without an abatement of wages, or that wages can be abated without
incon. «« venience to the labourer, and yet nothing is more cer“ tain, than that both these things may happen. The wages of the labourers make the greateft part of the
every thing that is useful';, and if, in proportion: “ with the wages, the prices of all other things shall be « abated, every labourer with less wages would still be 6 able to purchafe as many necessaries of life ;. Where then « would be the inconvenience. But the price of labour
may be reduced by the addition of inore hands to a ma66. nufacture, and yet the wages of persons remain as high
The admirable Sir William Petty las given examples of this in some of his writings: one of them, be as I remember, is that of a watch, which I shall en