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No. 214. After all this Treatment, I must still add the pleasantest Monday, Insolence of all, which I have once or twice seen; to Nov. 5,
wit, That when a silly Rogue has thrown away one 1711.
Part in three of his Life in unprofitable Attendance, it is taken wonderfully ill that he withdraws, and is resolved to employ the rest for himself.
When we consider these things, and reflect upon so many honest Natures (which one, who makes Observa, tion of what passes may have seen) that have miscarried by such sort of Applications, it is too melancholy a Scene to dwell upon; therefore I shall take another Opportunity to discourse of good Patrons, and distinguish such as have done their Duty to those who have der pended upon them, and were not able to act without their Favour. Worthy Patrons are like Plato's Guardian Angels, who are always doing good to their Wards ; but negligent Patrons are like Épicurus's Gods, that lye lolling on the Clouds, and instead of Blessings pour down Storms and Tempests on the Heads of those that are offering Incense to them,
Tuesday, November 6.
CONSIDER an Human Soul without Education like
Marble in the Quarry, which shews none of its inherent Beauties, till the Skill of the Polisher fetches out the Colours, makes the Surface shine, and discovers every ornamental Cloud, Spot and Vein that runs thro' the Body of itEducation, after the same manner, when it works upon a noble Mind, draws out to View every latent Virtue and Perfection, which without such Helps are never able to make their Appearance.
If my Reader will give me leave to change the Allusion so soon upon him, I shall make use of the same Instance to illustrate the Force of Education, which Aristotle has brought to explain his Doctrine of Substantial Forms, when he tells us, that a Statue lies hid in
a Block of Marble, and that the Art of the Statuary No. 215. 1 only clears
away the superfluous Matter, and removes Tuesday. the Rubbish. The Figure is in the Stone, the Sculptor
1711. only finds it. What Sculpture is to a Block of Marble, Education is to an Human Soul. The Philosopher, the Saint, or the Hero, the Wise, the Good, or the Great Man, very often_lie hid and concealed in a Plebean, which a proper Education might have disenterred, and have brought to Light I am therefore much delighted with Reading the Accounts of Savage Nations, and with contemplating those Virtues which are wild and uncul tivated to see Courage exerting it self in Fierceness, Resolution in Obstinacy, Wisdom in Cunning, Patience in Sullenness and Despair,
Men's Passions operate variously, and appear in different kinds of Actions, according as they are more or less rectified and swayed by Reason.
When one hears of Negroes, who upon the Death of their Masters, or upon changing their Service, hang themselves upon the next Tree, as it frequently happens in our American Plantations, who can forbear admiring their Fidelity, though it expresses it self in so dreadful a manner What might not that Savage Greatness of Soul, which appears in these poor Wretches on many Occasions, be raised to, were it rightly cultivated ? And what Colour of Excuse can there be for the Contempt with which we treat this part of our Species; That we should not put them upon the common foot of Humanity, that we should only set an insignificant Fine upon the Man who murders them; nay, that we should, as much as in us lies, cut them off from the Prospects of Happiness in another World as well as in this, and deny them that which we look upon as the proper Means for attaining it?
Since I am engaged on this Subject, I cannot forbear mentioning a Story which I have lately heard, and which is so well attested, that I have no manner of reason to suspect the Truth of it. I may call it a kind of wild Tragedy that passed about twelve Years ago at St Christopher's, one of our British Leeward Islands. The Negroes who were the Persons concerned in it
No. 215. were all of them the Slaves of a Gentleman who is
This Gentleman among his Negroes had a young 1711.
Woman, who was looked upon as a most extraordinary Beauty by those of her own Complexion. He had at the same time two young Fellows who were likewise Negroes and Slaves, remarkable for the Comeliness of their Persons, and for the Friendship which they bore to one another, It unfortunately happened that both of them fell in Love with the Female Negro abovementioned, who would have been very glad to have taken either of them for her Husband, provided they could agree between themselves which should be the Man. But they were both so passionately in Love with her, that neither of them could think of giving her up to his Rival; and at the same time were so true to one another, that neither of them would think of gaining her without his Friend's Consent. The Torments of these two 'Lovers were the Discourse of the Family to which they belonged, who could not forbear observing the strange Complication of Passions which perplexed_the Hearts of the poor Negroes, that often dropped Expressions of the Uneasiness they underwent, and how impossible it was for either of them ever to be happy,
After a long Struggle between Love and Friendship, Truth and Jealousie, they one Day took a Walk together into a Wood, carrying their Mistress along with them: Where, after abundance of Lamentations they stabbed her to the Heart, of which she imme. diately died. A Slave who was at his Work not far from the Place where this astonishing piece of Cruelty was committed, hearing the Shrieks of the dying Person, ran to see what was the Occasion of them. He there discovered the Woman lying dead upon the Ground, with the two Negroes on each side of her, kissing the dead Corps, weeping over it, and beating their Breasts in the utmost Agonies of Grief and Despair. He immediately ran to the English Family with the News of what he had seen who upon coming to the Place saw the Woman dead, and the two Negroes
expiring by her with Wounds they had given them- No. 215. selves.
Tuesday, We see, in this amazing Instance of Barbarity, what Nov. 6, strange Disorders are bred in the Minds of those Men whose Passions are not regulated by Virtue, and dis. ciplined by Reason. Though the Action which I have recited is in it self full of Guilt and Horror, it proceeded from a Temper of Mind which might have produced very noble Fruits, had it been informed and guided by a suitable Education, It is therefore an unspeakable
Blessing to be born in those Parts of the World where Wisdom and Knowledge flourish; though it must be confest, there are, even in these Parts, several poor uninstructed Persons, who are but little above the Inhabitants of those Nations of which I have been here speaking, as those who have had the Advantages of a more liberal Education rise above one another, by several different degrees of Perfection. For to return to our Statue in the Block of Marble, we see it sometimes only, begun to be chipped, sometimes rougb-hewn and but just sketched into an human Figure, sometimes we see the Man appearing distinctly in all his Limbs and Features, sometimes we find the Figure wrought up to a great Elegancy, but seldom meet with any to which the Hand of a Phidias or Praxíteles could not give several nice Touches and Finishings.
Discourses of Morality, and Reflections upon human Nature, are the best Means we can make use of to improve our Minds, and gain a true Knowledge of our
selves, and consequently to recover our Souls out of the Vice, Ignorance and Prejudice which naturally
cleave to them. I have all along profest my self in this Paper a Promoter of these great Ends, and I flatter e my self that I do from Day to Day contribute some
thing to the polishing of Men's Minds; at least my Design is laudable, whatever the Execution may be.
I must confess I am not a little encouraged in it by many Letters, which I receive from unknown Hands, in Approbation of my Endeavours, and must take this Opportunity of returning my Thanks to those who
No. 215, write them, and excusing my self for not inserting
would be a very great Ornament to them. Should I
Wednesday, November 7.
To Mr. SPECTATOR
taken Coach, but his Lady was taken with a terrible Fit of the Vapours, which, 'tis feared, will make her miscarry, if not endanger her Life therefore, dear Sir, if you know of any Receipt that is good against this fashionable reigning Distemper, be pleased to communicate it for the Good of the Publick, and you will oblige
A. NOEWILL Mr. SPECTATOR The Uproar was so great as soon as I had read the Spectator concerning Mrs. Freeman, that after many Revolutions in her Temper of raging, swooning, railing, fainting, pitying her self, and reviling her Husband, upon an accidental coming in of a neighbouring Lady (who says she has writ to you also) she had nothing left for it but to fall in a Fit I had the Honour to read the Paper to her, and have a pretty good command of my Countenance and Temper on such Occasions; and soon found my historical Name to be Tom Meggot in your Writings, but concealed my self till I saw how it affected Mrs. Freeman. She looked frequently at her Husband,