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How, Sir, replyed Cyneas, to better than we have now • before us? Have we not already as much as we can drink?
RIOT and Excess are not the becoming Characters o of Princes; but if Pyrrhus and Lewis bad debauched like Vitellius, they had been less burtful to their people.
Your humble Servant,
N° 181. Thursday, September 27.
His lacrymis vitam damus, dos miferescimus ultrò. Virg. T Am more pleased with a Letter that is filled with | Touches of Nature than of Wit. The following one
is of this Kind.
SIR, CA MONG all the Distresses which happen in Fami
A lies, I do not remember that you have touched • upon the Marriage of Children without the Consent
of their parents. I am one of these unfortunate Per
fons. I was about Fifteen when I took the Liberty (to chuse for my self; and have ever since languished • under the Displeasure of an inexorable Father, who, • though he sees me happy in the best of Husbands, and • blessed with 'very fine Children, can never be prevailed • upon to forgive me. He was so kind to me before • this unhappy Accident, that indeed it makes my Breach • of Duty, in some measure, inexcusable ; and at the • fame Time creates in me such a Tenderness towards
• him, that I love him above all things, and would die •• to be reconciled to him. I have thrown my self at his
• Feet, and besought him with Tears to pardon me; but • he always pushes me away, and spurns me from him: • I have written several Letters to him, but he will aci
ther open nor receive them. About two Years ago I i sent my little Boy to him, dressed in a new Apparel; , but the Child returned to me crying, because he said
his Grand-father would not see him, and had ordered 'i him to be put out of his House. My Mother is won
s over to my side, but dares not mention me to my Fa-'
ther took this opportunity of speaking in my Behalf:
gious Man, which makes my Misfortune so much the o greater. God be thanked he is fince recovered: But his • severe Usage has given me such a Blow, that I shall soon o sink under it, unless I may be relieved by any Imprel« fions which the reading of this in your Paper may make s upon him,
I am, &c.
: O F all Hardnesses of Heart, there is none so inexcu
sable as that of Parents towards their Children. An obftinate, inflexible, unforgiving Temper is odious upon all Occasions, but here it is unnatural. The Love, Tenderness, and Compassion which are apt to arise in us, towards those who depend upon us, is that by which
the whole World of Life is upheld. The Supreme Bee . ing by the transcendent Excellence and Goodness of his · Nature, extends his Mercy towards all his Works; and · because his Creatures have not such a fpontaneous Bene
volence and Compassion towards those who are under their Care and Protection, he has implanted in them an Instinct, that supplies the Place of this inherent Good- .
Ress. I have illustrated this kind of Instinct in former Pa. pers, and have Mewn how it runs thro' all the Species of brute Creatures, as indeed the whole Animal Creation subfifts by it.
THIS Instinct in Man is more general and uncircumscribed than in Brutes, as being enlarged by the Dictates of Reason and Duty. For if we confider our felves attentively, we Thall find that we are not only enclined to love those who descend from us, but that we bear a kind of sogn, or natural Affection, to every Thing which relies upon us for its Good and Preservation. Dependance is a perpetual Call upon Humanity, and a greater Incitement to Tenderness and Pity than any other Motive whatsoever. · THE Man therefore who, notwithstanding any Para fion or Resentment, can overcome this powerful Instinct, and extinguish natural Affection, debases bis Mind even below Brutality, frustrates, as much as in him lies, the great Design of Providence, and strikes out of his Nature one of the most Divine Principles that is planted in it.
AMONG innumerable Arguments which might be brought against such an unreasonable Proceeding, I shall only insist on one. We make it the Condition of our Forgivenefs that we forgive others. In our very Prayers we desire no more than to be treated by this kind of Retaliation. The Case therefore before us seems to be what they call a Cafe in Point; the Relation between the Child and Father being what comes nearest to that between a Creature and its Creator. If the Father is inexorable to the Child who has offended, let the Offence be of never so high a Nature, how will he address himself to the Su. preme Being, under the tender Appellation of a Father, and defire of him such a Forgiveness as he himself refuses to grant? .
TO this I might add many other religious, as well as many prudential Considerations ; but if the last mentioned Motive does not prevail, I despair of succeeding by any other, and shall therefore conclude my Paper with a very remarkable Story, which is recorded in an Vol. III,
si old old Chronicle published by Freher among the Writers of the German History.
EGINHART, who was Secretary to Charles the Great, became exceeding popular by his Behaviour in that Post. His great Abilities gained him the Favour of his Master, and the Esteem of the whole Court. Imma, the Daughter of the Emperor, was so pleased with his Person and Conversation, that the fell in Love with him. As she was one of the greatest Beauties of the Age, Eginhart answered her with a more than equal Return of Passion. They stifled their Flames for some Time, under Apprehension of the fatal Consequences that might ensue. Eginhart ar length resolving to hazard all, rather than live deprived of one whom his Heart was fo much fet upon, conveyed himself one Night into the Princess's Apartment, and knocking gently at the Door, was admitted as a Perfon who had something to communicate to her from the Emperor. He was with her in private most part of the Night ; but upon his preparing to go away about Break of Day, he observed that there had fallen a great Snow during his Stay with the Princess. This very much perplexed him, left the Prints of his Feet in the Snow might make Discoveries to the King, who often used to visit his Daughter in the Morn. ing. He acquainted the Princess Imma with his Fears ; who, after some Confultations upon the Matter, prevailed upon him to let her carry him through the Snow upon her own Shoulders. It happened, that the Emperor not being able to sleep, was at that Time up and walking in his Chamber, when upon looking through the Window he perceived his Daughter tottering under her Burden, and carrying his first Minister across the Snow; which he had no sooner done, but she returned again with the utmost Speed to her own Apartment. The Emperor was extremely troubled and astonished at this Accident ; but resolved to speak nothing of it till a proper Opportunity. In the mean time Eginhart know. ing that what he had done could not be long a Secret, determined to retire from Court ; and in order to it begged the Emperor that he would be pleased to dismiss him, pretending a kind of Discontent at his not
having been rewarded for his long Services. The Emo peror would not give a direct Answer to his Petition, but told him he would think of it, and appointed a certain Day when he would let him know his Pleasure. He then called together the most faithful of his Counsellors, and acquainting them with his Secretary's Crime, asked them their Advice in so delicate an Affair. They most of them gave their opinion, that the Person could not be too severely punished who had thus dishonoured his Master. Upon the whole Debate, the Emperor de clared it was his Opinion, that Eginhart's Punishment would rather cncrease than diminish the Shame of his Family, and that therefore he thought it the most adviseable to wear out the Memory of the Fact, by marrying him to his Daughter. Accordingly Eginhart was called in, and acquainted by the Emperor, that he should no longer have any Pretence of complaining his Services were not rewarded, for that the Princess Imma should be given him in Marriage, with a Dower suitable to her Quality ; which was soon after performed accordingly.
Plus aloes quàm mellis habet Juv.
S all Parts of humane Life come under my Obfera, A vation, my Reader must not make uncharitable In-,
f erences from my speaking knowingly of that Sort of Crime which is at present treated of. He will, I hope, fuppose I know it only from the Letters of Correspons dents, tivo of which you shall have as follow.
Mr. SPECTATOR, ( TT is wonderful to me that among the many Enor
T'mities you have treated of, you have not mention ed that of Wenching, and particularly the Insna.