« PreviousContinue »
paration of his cargo, and the manufacture of his peturns, he furnishes employment and fubfiftenec to greater numbers than the richeft nobleman; and even the nobleman is obliged to him for finding out foreign markets for the produce of his eftate, and for making a great addition to his rents; and yet it is certain, that none of all these things could be done by him without the exercise of his skill in numbers,
This is the oeconomy of the merchant; and the conduct of the gentlemad must be fame, unless by fcorning to be the steward, he resolves the steward shall be the gentleman. The gentleman, no more than the merchanr, is able, without the help of numbers, to account for the success of any action; or the prudence of any adventure. If, for instances the.chace is his whole adventure, his only returns must be the stag's horns in the great hall, and the fox's nose upon the stable door. Without doubt Sir Roger knows the full value of these returns : and if beforehand he had computed the charges of the chace, a gentleman of his discretion would certainly have hanged up all his dogs, he would never have brought back so many fine horses to the ken." nel, he would never have gone so often, like a blast, over fields of corn. If such too had been the conduct of all his ancestors, he inight truly have boasted at this day, that the antiquity of his family had never been sullied by a trade; a merchani had, never been permitted with his whole estate to purchase a room for his picture in the gallery of the COVER LEYS, or to claim his descent from ihe maiel.. of honopr. But it is very happy for Sir ROGER that the merchant paid so dear for his ambition. It is the misfortune of many other gentlemen torurn out of the seats of their ancestors, to make way for such new masters as have been more exact in their accounts than themselves ; and certainly he deserves the estate a great deal better, who has goc
it by his industry, than he who has loft it by his negligence.
NO 175: THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20.
Proximus: a teltis ignis defenditur ægre.
Ovid. Rein. Am, ver. 625. To save your house from neighb'ring fire is hard.
T SHALL this day entertain my readers with two or
three letters I have received froin my correspondents : The first discovers to me a species of females which have hitherto escaped my notice, and is as follows.
Mr. SPECTATOR, I AM a young gentleman of a competent for
tunc, and a fufficient taste of learning, to spend five or fix lours every day, very agreeably • among my books. That I night have nothing to • divert me from my studies, and to avoid the
noises of coaches and chairmen, I have taken
lodgings in a very narrow street not far from. • Whitehall; but it is my misfortune to be fo pofted, ' that my lodgings are directly opposite to those of a Jezebel. You are to know, Sir, that a Jezebel (so called by the neighbourhood from displaying her pernicious charms at her window) appears
constantly dressed at her fasli, and has a thou• fand little tricks and fooleries to attract the eyes of * all the young fellows in the neighbourhood. I • have seen inore than fix persons at once from
their several windows observing the Jezebel I am
now complaining of. I at first looked on her . inyself with the highest contempt, could divert
myself with her airs for half an hour, and after' wards take up my Plutarch with great tranquility of mind ; but was a little vexed to find that in
less than a month she had confiderably stolen upon my time, so that I resolved to look at her no more. But the Jezebel, who, as I suppose, might think it a diminution to her honour to have the number of her gazers lefsened, resolv• ed not to part with me fo, and began to play fo. many new tricks at her window, that it was im.
poffible for me to forbear observing her. I veri"Iy believe she put herself to the expence of a new!
wax-baby on purpose to plague me; the used to • dandle and play with this figure as impertinently
as if it had been a real child: Sometimes she would let fall a glove or a pin-cushion in the street, and “ fhut and open her cafenient three or four times • in a minute. When I had almost 'weaned myself • from this she came in her shift-sleeves, and drefi-.
ed at the window. I had no way left but to let 'down my curtains, which I subunitted to though ' it considerably darkened my rooin, and was pleaf'ed to think that I had at last got the better of her ;. .but was surprised the next morning to hear her • talking out of her window quite cross the street, ' with another woman that lodges over me : I am ' fince informed, that she made her a visit, and
got acquainted with her within three hours after " the fall of
my window-curtains. Sir, I am plagued every moment in the day; one way or other, in my own chambers; and the
Jezebel has the fatisfaction to know, that though ! I am not looking at her, I am listening to her
impertinent dialogues that pass over my head.' I ''would immediately change my lodgings, but that . I think it might look like a plain confession, that .I am conquered ; and besides this, I am told
that most quarters of the town are infested with ' these creatures. If, they are so, I am sure it is ' such an abuse, as a lover of learning and filence 'ought to take notice of.
I am, Sir Yours, &c.'
I am afraid, by some lines in this letter, that my young student istouched with a distemper which he hardly seems to dream of, and is too far gone in it to receive advice. However, I shall aninadvert in due time on the abuse which he mentions,' having myself observed a' neft of Jezebels near the Temple, who make it their diversion to draw up the eyes of young Templars, that at the same time they may see them stumble in an unlucky gutterwhich runs under the window.
« Mr. SPECTATOR, I
Have lately read the conclusion of your forty
seventh speculation upon Butts with great pleasure, and have ever since been thoroughly • persuaded that one of those gentleman is ex• tremely neceffary to enliven conversation. I had
an entertaininent last week upon the water for a Lady to whom I make my addresses, with several
of our friends of both sexes. To divert the com'pany in general, and to thew my mistress in pár. ticular my genius for rallery, I took one of the ..most celebrated Butts in town along with me. It o is with the utinoft shame and confusion that I 'must acquaint you with the fequel of my
adventure : As soon as we were got into the boat, I played a sentence or two at my Butt wbich I
thought very smart, when my ill-genius, who I • verily believe inspired him purely for my destruc
tion, suggested to him such a reply, as got all the laughter on his fide. I was dashed at fo unex
pected a turn; which the Butt perceiving, re. folved not let me recover myself, and pursu
ing his victory, rallied and tossed me in a most unmerciful and barbarous manner until we came
to Chelsea. I had some small fuccess while we • were eating cheese-cakes ; but coming home, he renewed his attacks with his former good-fortune, and equal diversion to the whole company.
• In short, Sir, I must ingenuously own that I was
never so handled in all my life; and to complete • my misfortune, I am fince told that the Butt, ' flushed with his late victory, has made a visit or
two to the dear object of my wishes, so that I am • at once in danger of losing all my pretensions to . wit, and my mistress into the bargain. This, • Sir, is a true account of my present troubles, 6 which you are the more obliged to affist ine in,
as you were yourself in a great measure the cause • of them, by recommending to us an instrument, • and not instructing us at the same time how to • play upon it.
I have been thinking whether it might not be highly convenient that all Butts should wear an • inscription affixed to some part of their bodies,
shewing on which fide they are to be come at; . and if any of them are persons of unequal tem
pers, there should be some method taken to in• form the world at what time it is safe to attack • them, and when you had best to let them alone. • But submitting these matters to your more serious • confideration,
• Yours, &c.' I have, indeed, feen and heard of several young gentlemen under the same misfortune with my present correspondent. The best rule I can lay down for them to avoid the like calamities for the future, is thoroughly to confider not only Whether their companions are weak, but Whether themselves are wits.
The following letter comes to me from Exeter, and being credibly informed that what it contains is matter of fact, I shall give it my reader as it was fent me. · Mr. SPECTATOR,
Exeter, Sep. 7 YOU. notice of the inconvenience we lie under in