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' in this undertaking in such a manner, that all English
men who have skill in music may be furthered in • it for their profit or diversion by what new things we • shall produce; never pretending to surpafs others, or asserting that
any. thing which is a science is not attain• able by all men of all nations who have proper genius
for it: we say, Sir, what we hope for is not expected • will arrive to us by contemning others, but through the utmost diligence recommending ourselves. • We are, Sir, Your most humble servants,
« Thomas Clayton.
· Nicolino Haym. T
• Charles Dieupart.'
Thursday, December 27.
Quod decet honeftum eft, & quod honeftum eft decet. Tull. What is becoming is honourable, and what is honour
able is becoming.
*HERE are some things which cannot come under
need them. Of this kind are outward civilities and falutations. These one would imagine might be regulated by every man's common sense, without the help of an instructor; but that which we call common sense. suffers under that word; for it sometimes implies no more than that faculty which is common to all men, but sometimes. fignifies right reason, and what all men should consent to. In this latter acceptation of the phrase, it is no great wonder people err so much against it, since it is not every one who is possessed of it, and there are fewer, who, against common rules and fashions, dare obey its dictates. As to salutations, which I was about to talk of, I observe, as I stroll about town, there are great enormities committed with regard to this particular.
You shall sometimes see a man begin the offer of a salutation, and observe a forbidding air, or escaping eye, in the person he is going to falute, and stop short in the pole of his neck. This in the person who believed he could do it with a good grace, and was refused the opportunity, is justly resented with a coldness the whole ensuing seafoni. Your great beauties, people in much favour, or by any means or for any purpose over-fattered, are apt to practise this, which one may call the preventing aspect, and throw their attention another way, left they should confer a bow or a courtesy upon a person who might not appear to deserve that dignity. Others you shall find so obsequious, and so very courteous, as there is no escaping their favours of this kind. Of this sort may be a man who is in the fifth or fixth degree of favour with a minister; this good creature is resolved to thew the world, that great honours cannot at all change his manners; he is the same civil person he ever was; he will venture his neck to bow out of a coach in full speed, at once, to : fhew he is full of business, and yet is not so taken up as to forget his old friend. With a man who is not so well formed for courtship and elegant behaviour, such a gentleman as this seldom finds his account in the return of his compliments, but he will still go on, for he is in hisown way, and must not omit; let the neglect fall on your fide, or where it will, his business is still to be wellbred to the end. I think I have read, in one of our English comedies, a description of a fellow that affected knowing every body, and for want of judgment in time and place, would bow and smile in the face of a judge fitting in the court, would fit in an opposite gallery and smile in the minister's face as he came up into the pulpit, and nod as if he alluded to some familiarities between them in another place. But now I happen to speak of falutation at church, I must take notice that several of my correspondents have importuned me to consider that fubject, and settle the point of decorum in that particular.
I do not pretend to be the best courtier in the world, but I have often on public occasions thought it a very great absurdity in the company (during the royal prefenee) to exchange falutations from all parts of the room,
when certainly common sense should suggest, that all regards at that time should be engaged, and cannot be diverted to any other object, without disrespect to the sovereign. But as to the complaint of my correspondents, it is not to be-imagined what offence some of them take at the custom of faluting in places of worship. I have a very angry letter from a lady, who tells me of one of her acquaintance, who, out of mere pride and a pretence to be rude, takes upon her to return no civilities done to her in time of divine service, and is the most religious woman for no other reason but to appear a woman of the best quality in the church. This absurd custom had better be abolished than retained, if it were but to prevent evils of no higher a nature than this is; but I am informed of objections much more considerable : a dissenter of rank and distinction was lately prevailed upon by a friend of his to come to one of the greatest congregations of the church of England about town: after the service was over, he declared he was very well satisfied with the little ceremony which was used towards God Almighty; but at the same time he feared he should not be able to go through those required towards one another : as to this point he was in a state of despair, and feared he was not well-bred enough to be a convert. There have been many scandals of this kind given to our protestant dissenters from the outward pomp and respect we take to ourselves in our religious assemblies. A quaker who came one day into a church, fixed his eye upon an old lady with a car. pet larger than that from the pulpit before her, expecting when she would hold forth. An anabaptist who designs to come over himself, and all his family, within few months, is fenfible they want breeding enough for our congregations, and has sent his two eldest daughters to learn to dance, that they may not misbehave themselves at church: it is worth considering whether, in regard to aukward people with scrupulous consciences, a good christian of the best air in the world ought not rather to deny herself the opportunity of Thewing so many graces, than keep a bahful profelyte without the pale of the church.
Friday, December 28.
Singula de nobis anni prædantur euntes.
Hor. Ep. 2. 1. 2. ver. 55.
« Mr. Spectator,
Am now in the fixty-fifth year of my age, and hav-. ing been the greater part of my days a man of
pleasure, the decay of my faculties is a stagna* tion of my life. But how is it, Sir, that my appetices
are increased upon me with the loss of power to gratify " them? I write this, like a criminal, to warn people to
enter upon what reformation they please to make in • themselves in their youth, and not expect they shall be • capable of it from a fond opinion some have often in • their mouths, that if we do not leave our desires they I will leave us. It is far otherwise ; I am now as vain « in my drefs, and as flippant if I see a pretty woman,
as when in my youth I stood upon a bench in the pit to survey the whole circle of beauties. The folly is so extravagant
with me, and I went on with so little check • of my desires, or resignation of them, that I can assure
you, I very often, merely to entertain my own thoughts, • fit with my fpectacles on, writing love-letters to the < beauties that have been long since in their graves. • This is to warm my heart with the faint memory
of delights which were once agreeable to me; but how
much happier would my life have been now, if I could • have looked back on any worthy action done for my
country? If I had laid out that which I profused in : • luxury and wantonness, in acts of generosity or charity?. • I have lived a bachelor to this day; and instead of a * numerous offspring, with which, in the regular ways of life, I might possibly have delighted myself, I have
only to amuse myself with the repetition of old stories ' and intrigues which no one will believe I ever was con• cerned in. I do not know whether you have ever treat• ed of it or not; but you cannot fall on a better fub
ject, than that of the art of growing old. In such a ' lecture you must propose, that no one let his heart upon
what is transient; the beauty grows wrinkled while we
are yet gazing at her. The witty man finks into an 'humourist imperceptibly, for want of reflecting that all • things around him are in a flux, and continually change
ing: thus he is in the space of ten or fifteen years sur : • rounded by a new set of people, whose manners are as
natural to them as his delights, method of thinking, • and mode of living, were formerly to him and his • friends. But the mischief is, he looks upon the same • kind of errors which he himself was guilty of with an
eye of scorn, and with that sort of ill-will which men • entertain against each other for different opinions : 'thus a crazy constitution, and an uneasy mind is fretted • with vexatious passions for young men's doing foolishly • what it is folly to do at all. Dear Sir, this is my pres. • sent state of mind; I hate those I should laugh at, and envy
those I contemn. The time of youth and vigorous manhood, passed the way in which I have disposed, • of it, is attended with these consequences; but to those
who live and pass away life as they ought, all parts of • it are equally pleasant; only the memory of good and • worthy actions is a feast which must give a quicker re• lifh to the foul than ever it could poslibly taste in the
highest enjoyments or jollities of youth. As for me, ' if I fit down in my great chair and begin to ponder,
the vagaries of a child are not more ridiculous than the • circumstances which are heaped up in my memory ; • 'fine gowns, country dances, ends of tunes, interrupted ' conversations, and midnight quarrels, are what muit
neceffarily compose my foliloquy. I beg of you to print this, that some ladies of my acquaintance, and
my years, may be persuaded to wear warm night-caps o this cold feason: and that my old end Jack Tawdry
may buy him a cane, and not creep with the air of a 6 strut. Í must add to all this, that if it were not for
one pleasure, which I thought a very mean one until