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and it is a noble piece of knight-errantry to enter the list against so many armed pedagogues. It is pity but we had a set of men, polite in their behaviour and method of teaching, who should be put into a condition of being above flattering or fearing the parents of those they instruct. We might then possibly see learning become a pleasure, and children delighting themselves in that which they now abhor for coming upon such hard terms to them. What would be still a greater happiness arising from the of such instructors, would be, that we should have no more pedants, nor any bred to learning who had not genius for it. I am with the utmost sincerity,
SIR, - Your most affectionate humble servant.'
MR. SPECTATOR, Richmond, Sept. 5, 1711.
and have for this last year been under the tuition of a doctor of divinity, who has taken the school of this place under his care. From the gentleman's great tenderness to me and friendship to my father, I am very happy in learning my book with pleasure. We never leave off our diversions any farther than to salute him at hours of play when he pleases to look
It is impossible for any of us to love our own parents better than we do him. He never gives any of us a harsh word, and we think it the greatest punishment in the world when he will not speak to any of us. My brother and I are both together inditing this letter. He is a year older than I am, but is now ready to break his heart that the doctor has not taken any notice of him these three days. If you
* This was Dr. Nicholas Brady, who joined in the new version of the Psalms, and was author of several volumes of sermons.
please to print this he will see it, and, we hope, taking it for my brother's earnest desire to be restored to his favour, he will again smile upon him. . • Your most obedient servant,
• You have represented several sorts of impertinents singly; I wish you would now proceed and describe some of them in sets. It often happens in public assemblies, that a party who came thither together, or whose impertinencies are of an equal pitch, act in concert, and are so full of themselyes as to give disturbance to all that are about them. Sometimes you have a set of whisperers who lay their heads together in order to sacrifice every body within their observation; sometimes a set of laughers that keep up an insipid mirth in their own corner, and by their noise and gestures shew they have no respect for the rest of the company. You frequently meet with these sets at the opera, the play, the water-works *, and other public meetings, where their whole business is to draw off the attention of the spectators from the entertainment, and to fix it upon themselves; and it is to be observed that the impertinence is ever loudest, when the set happens to be made up of three or four females who have
call a woman's man among them. I am at a loss to know from whom people of fortune should learn this behaviour, unless it be from
* This was the Water-theatre, a famous shew of those times, invented by one Mr. Winstanley, and exhibited at the lower end of Piccadilly; consisting of sea-gods, goddesses, nymphs, mermaids, tritons, &c. playing and spouting out water, and fire mingled with water, &c. performed every evening between five and six.
the footmen who keep their places at a new play, and are often seen passing away their time in sets at all-fours in the face of a full house, and with a perfect disregard to the people of quality sitting on each side of them.
For preserving therefore the decency of public assemblies, methinks it would be but reasonable that those who disturb others should
at least a double price for their places ; or rather women of birth and distinction should be informed, that a levity of behaviour in the eyes of people of understanding degrades them below their meanest attendants; and gentlemen should know that a fine coat is a livery, when the person who wears it discovers no higher sense than that of a footman.
· I am, SIR,
• Your most humble servant.'
• Bedfordshire, Sept. 1, 1711. · I am one of those whom every body calls a poacher, and sometimes go out to course with a brace of greyhounds, a mastiff, and a spaniel or two; and when I am weary with coursing, and have killed hares enough, * go to an alehouse to refresh myself. I beg the favour of you (as you set up for a reformer) to send us word how many dogs you
will allow us to go with, how many full pots of ale to drink, and how many hares to kill in a day, and you will do a great piece of service to all the sportsmen. Be quick then, for the time of coursing is come on.
• Yours in haste, T.
N° 169. THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 1711.
Sic vita erat : fucilè omnes perferre ac pati :
TER, Andr. Act. i. Sc. 1.
His manner of life was this: to bear with every body's humours; to comply with the inclinations and pursuits of those he conversed with ; to contradict nobody; never to assume a superiority over others. This is the ready way to gain applause, without exciting envy.
Man is subject to innumerable pains and sorrows by the very condition of humanity, and yet, as if nature had not sown evils enough in life, we are continually adding grief to grief, and aggravating the common calamity by our cruel treatment of one another. Every man's natural weight of afflictions is still made more heavy by the envy, malice, treachery, or injustice of his neighbour.
At the same time that the storm beats upon the whole species, we are falling foul upon one another.
Half the misery of human life might be extinguished, would men alleviate the general curse they lie under, by mutual offices of compassion, benevolence, and humanity. There is nothing therefore which we ought more to encourage in ourselves and others, than that disposition of mind which in our language goes under the title of good-nature, and which I shall choose for the subject of this day's speculation.
Good-nature is more agreeable in conversation than wit, and gives a certain air to the countenance, which is more amiable than beauty. It shews virtue in the fairest light, takes off in some measure from the deformity of vice, and makes even folly and impertinence supportable.
There is no society or conversation to be kept up in the world without good-nature, or something which must bear its appearance, and supply its place. For this reason mankind have been forced to invent a kind of artificial humanity, which is what we express by the word good-breeding. For if we examine thoroughly the idea of what we call so, we shall find it to be nothing else but an imitation and mimickry of goodnature, or, in other terms, affability, complaisance, and easiness of temper reduced into an art.
These exterior shows and appearances of humanity render a man wonderfully popular and beloved, when they are founded upon a real good-nature ; but without it are like hypocrisy in religion, or a bare form of holiness, which, when it is discovered, makes a man more detestable than professed impiety.
Good-nature is generally born with us : health, prosperity, and kind treatment from the world are great cherishers of it where they find it; but nothing is capable of forcing it up, where it does not grow of itself. It is one of the blessings of a happy constitution, which education may improve, but not produce.
Xenophon in the life of his imaginary prince, whom he describes as a pattern for real ones, is always celebrating the philanthropy or good-nature of his hero, which he tells us he brought into the world with him, and gives many remarkable instances of it in his childhood, as well as in all the several parts