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allowed the diet and discipline of my charitable structure, to reduce them to reason.
On the other side, the woman who hopes to please by methods which should make her odious, and the man who would be thought wise by a behaviour that renders bim ridiculous, are to be taken into custody for their false industry, as justly as they ought for their negligence.
N. B. Mr. Biekerstaff is taken extremely ill with the tooth-ache, and cannot proceed in this dis
St. James's Coffee House, May 22.
Advices from Flanders of the 30th instant, N. S. say, That the duke of Marlborough, having intelligence of the enemy's passing the Scarp on the 29th in the evening, and their march towards the plains of Lens, had put the coufederate army in motion, which was advancing towards the camp on the north side of that river between Vitry and Henin-Leitard. The confederates, since the approach of tbe enemy, have added several new redoubts to their camp, and drawn the cannon out of the lines of circumvallation in a readiness for the batteries.
It is not believed, notwithstanding these appear. ances, that the enemy will hazard a battle for the relief of Douay; the siege of which place is carried an with all the success that can be expected, considering the difficulties they meet with, occasioned by the inundations. On the 28th at night we made a lodgment on the salíant angle of the glacis of the second counterscarp, and our approaches are so far advanced, that it is believed the town will be obliged to surrender before the 8th of the next month.
No 176. THURSDAY, MAY 25, 1710.
Nullum numen abest, si sit prudentia.
Juv. Sat. x. 365.
Whoe'er takes Prudence for his guard and guide,
From my own Apartment, May 23. This evening, after a little ease from the raging pain caused by so small an organ as an aching tooth (under which I have behaved myself so ill as to have broke two pipes and my spectacles) I began to reflect with admiration on those heroic spirits, which in the conduct of their lives seem to live so much above the condition of our make, as not only under the agonies of pain to forbear any intemperate word or gesture, but also in their general and ordinary behaviour, to resist the impulses of their very blood and constitution. This watch over a man's self, and the command of his temper, I take to be the greatest of human perfections, and is the effect of a strong and resolute mind. It is not only the most expedient practice for carrying on our own designs; but is also very deservedly the most amiable quality in the sight of others. It is a winning deference to mankind, which creates an immediate imitation of itself wherever it appears; and prevails upon all, who have to do with a person endued with it, either through shame or emulation. I do not know how to express this habit of mind, except you will let me call it Equanimity. It is a virtue which is necessary at every hour, in every place, and in all
conversations; and it is the effect of a regular and exact prudence. He that will look back upon all the acquaintances he has had in his whole life, will find be has seen more men capable of the greatest employments and performances, than such as could, in the general bent of their carriage, act otherwise than according to their own complexion and humour. But the indulgence of ourselves, in wholly giving way to our natural propensity, is so unjust and improper a licence, that when people take it up, there is but very little difference, with relation to their friends and families, whether they are good or ill natured men: for he that errs by being wrought upon by what we call the sweetness of his temper, is as guilty as he that offends through the perverseness of it.
It is not therefore to be regarded what men are in themselves, but what they are in their actions. Euerates is the best-natured of all men; but that na. tural softness has effects quite contrary to itself; and for want of due bounds to his benevolence, while he has a will to be a friend to all, he has the power of being such to pone. His constant inclination to please, makes him never fail of doing so; though, without being capable of falsehood, he is a friend only to those who are present: for the same humour which makes him the best companion, renders him the worst correspondent. It is a melancholy thing to consider, that the most engaging sort of men in conversation, are frequently the most tyrannical in power, and the least to be depended upon in friendship. It is certain this is not to be imputed to their own disposition ; but he, that is to be led by others, has only good luck if he is not the worst, though in himself the best, man living. For this reason, we are no more wholly to indulge our good than our ill dispositions. I remember a
crafty old cit, one day speaking of a well-natured young fellow, who set up with a good stock in Lombard-street; “ I will,” says he, “lay no more money in his hands; for he never denied me any thing.” This was a very base, but with him a prudential, reason for breaking off commerce: and this acquaintance of mine carried this way of judging so far, that he has often told me, “ he never cared to deal with a man he liked; for that our affections must never enter into our business."
When we look round us in this populous city, and consider how credit and esteem are lodged, you find men have a great share of the former, without the least portion of the latter. He, who knows himself for a beast of prey, looks upon others in the same light; and we are so apt to judge of others by ourselves, that the man who has no mercy, is as careful as possible never to want it. Hence it is, that in many instances men gain credit by the very contrary methods by which they do esteem; for wary traders think every affection of the mind a key to their cash.
| But what led me into this discourse, was my impatience of pain; and I have, to my great disgrace, seen an instance of the contrary carriage in so high a degree, that I am out of countenance that I ever read Seneca. When I look upon the conduct of others in such occurrences, as well as behold their equanimity in the general tenor of their life, it very much abates the self-love, whieh is seldom well governed by any sort of men, and least of all by us authors.
The fortitude of a man, who brings his will to the obedience of his reason, is conspicuous, and carries with it a dignity in the lowest state imaginable. Poor Martius, who now lies languishing in the most violent fever, discovers in the faintest moments of his distemper such a greatness of mind,
that a perfect stranger, who should now behold him, would indeed see an object of pity, but at the same time, that it was lately an object of veneration. His gallant spirit resigns, but resigns with an air that speaks a resolution which could yield to nothing but fate itself. This is conquest in the philosophic sense; but the empire over ourselves is, methinks, no less laudable in common life, where the whole tenor of a man's carriage is in subservience to his own reason, and in conformity both to the good sense and inclination of other men.
Aristæus is, in my opinion, a perfect master of himself in all circumstances. He has all the spirit that man can have; and yet is as regular in his be. haviour as a mere machine. He is sensible of
every passion, but ruffled by none. In conversation, he frequently seems to be less kňowing to be more obliging; and chooses to be on a level with others, rather than oppress with the superiority of his genius. In friendship, he is kind without profession. In business, expeditious without ostentation. With the greatest softness and benevolence imaginable, be is impartial in spite of all importunity, even that of his own good-nature. He is ever clear in his judgment; but in complaisance to his company speaks with doubt; and never shows confidence in argument, but to support the sense of another. Were such an equality of mind the general endeavour of all men, how sweet would be the pleasures of conversation! He that is loud would then understand, that we ought to call a constable; and know, that spoiling good company is the most heinous way of breaking the peace. We should then be relieved from those zealots in society, who take upon them to be angry for all the company, and quarrel with the waiters to show they have no respect for any body else in the room.
To be in a rage