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age and ammunition, from Lisle and Tournay, and the canals and dikes we have made to turn the waters off the Scarp and La Cense to Bouchain ; but are in a readiness by marching from the right, to possess themselves of the field of battle marked out betwixt Vitry and Montigny, or from the left to gain the lines of circumvallation betwixt Fierin and Dechy : so that whatever way the enemy shall approach to attack us, whether by the plains of Lens, or by Bouchain and Valenciennes, we have but a very small movement to make, to possess ourselves of the ground on which it will be most advantageous to receive them. The enemy marched this morning from their left, and are encamped with their right at Oisy, and their left towards Arras, and according to our advices, will pass the Scarp to-morrow, and enter on the plains of Lens, though several regiments of horse, the German and Liege troops, which are destined to compose part of their army, have not yet joined them. If they pass the Scarp, we shall do the like at the same time, to possess ourselves with all possible advantage of the field of battle : but if they continue where they are, we shall not remove, because in our present station we sufficiently cover from all insults both our siege and convoys.
Monsieur Villars cannot yet go without crutches, and it is believed will have much difficulty to ride. He and the Duke of Berwick are to command the French army, the rest of the marshals being only to assist in council.
Last night we entirely perfected four bridges over the Avant Fosse at both attacks ; and our saps are so far advanced, that in three or four days batteries will be raised on the glacis, to batter in breach both the out-works and ramparts of the town.
Letters from the Hague of the 27th, N. S. say, that the deputies of the States of Holland, who set out for Gertruydenberg on the 23d, to renew the conferences
with the French ministers, returned on the 26th, and had communicated to the states general the new overtures that were made on the part of France, which it is believed, if they are in earnest, may produce a general treaty.
No. CLXXV. TUESDAY, MAY 23.
From my own Apartment, May 22. IN the distribution of the apartments in the new Bedlam, proper regard is had to the different sexes, and the lodgings accommodated accordingly. Among other necessaries, as I have thought fit to appoint story-tellers to sooth the men, so I have allowed talebearers to indulge the intervals of my female patients. But before I enter upon disposing of the main of the great body that wants my assistance, it is necessary to consider the human race abstracted from all other distinctions and considerations except that of sex. This will lead us to a nearer view of their excellencies and imperfections, which are to be accounted the one or the other, as they are suitable to the design for which the persons so defective or accomplished came into the world.
To make this enquiry aright, we must speak of the life of people of condition, and the proportionable applications to those below them will be easily made, so as to value the whole species by the same rule. We will begin with the woman, and behold her as a virgin in her father's house. This state of her life is infinitely more delightful than that of her brother at the same age. While she is entertained with learning melodious airs at her spinnet, is led round a room in the most complaisant manner to a fiddle, or is entertained with applauses of her beauty and perfection in the ordinary conversation she meets with; the. young man is under the dictates of a rigid school-mas
ter or instructor, contradicted in every word he speaks, and curbed in all the inclinations he discovers. Mrs. Elizabeth is the object of desire and admiration, looked upon with delight, courted with all the powers of cloquence and address, approached with a certain wort ship, and defended with a certain loyalty. This is her case as to the world: in her domestic character, she is the companion, the friend and confidant of her mother, and the object of a pleasure, something like the love between angels, to her father. Her youth, her beauty, her air, are by him looked upon with an ineffable transport beyond any other joy in this life, with as much purity as can be met with in the next. · Her brother William, at the same years, is but in the rudiments of those acquisitions which must gain him esteem in the world. His heart beats for applause among men, yet he is fearful of every step towards it. If he propose to himself to make a figure in the world, his youth is damped with a prospect of difficulties, dangers and dishonours; and an opposition in all generous attempts, whether they regard his love or his ambition.
In the next stage of life she has little else to do, but (what she is accomplished for by the mere gifts of nature) to appear lovely and agreeable to her husband, tender to her children, and affable to her servants: but a man when he enters in this way, is but in the first scene, far from the accomplishment of his designs. He is now in all things to act for others as well as himself. He is to have industry and frugality in his private affairs, and integrity and addresses in public. To these qualities, he must add a courage and resolution to support his other abilities, lest he be interrupted in the prosecution of his just endeavours, in which the honour and interest of his posterity are as much concerned as his own personal welfare.
This little sketch may in some measure give an idea of the different parts which the sexes have to act,
and the advantageous, as well as inconvenient terms, on which they are to enter upon their several parts of life. This may also be some rule to us in the examination of their conduct. In short I shall take it for a maxim, that a woman who resigns the purpose of being pleasing, and the man who gives up the thoughts of being wise, do equally quit their claim to the true causes of living; and are to be allowed the diet and discipline of my charitable structure to reduce them to reason.
On the other side, the woman who hopes to please by methods which should make her odious, and the man who would be thought wise by a behaviour that renders him ridiculous, are to be taken into custody for their false industry, as justly as they ought for their negligence.
6 N. B. Mr. Bickerstaff is taken extremely ill with " the tooth-ach, and cannot proceed in this discourse."!
No. CLXXVI. THURSDAY, MAY 25.
Nullum numen abest, si sit prudentia.
From my own Apartment, May 23. THIS evening, after a little ease from the raging pain caused by so small an organ as an aching tooth, under which i had behaved myself so ill as to have broke two pipes and my spectacles, I began to reflect with admiration on those heroic spirits, which in the conduct of their lives seem to live so much above the condition of our make, as not only under the agonies of pain to forbear any intemperate word or gesture, but also in their general and ordinary behaviour, to resist the impulses of their very blood and constitution. This watch over a man's self and the command of his
temper, I take to be the greatest of human perfections, and is the effect of a strong and resolute mind. It is not only the most expedient practice for carrying on our own designs, but is also very deservedly the most amiable quality in the sight of others. It is a winning deference to mankind, which creates an immediate imitation of itself wherever it appears, and prevails upon all (who have to do with a person endued with it) either through shame or emulation. I do not know how to express this habit of mind, except you will let me call it equanimity. It is a virtue which is necessary at every hour, in every place, and in all conversations, and is the effect of a regular and exact prudence. He that will look back upon all the acquaintances he has had in his whole life, will find, he has seen more men capable of the greatest employments and performances, than such as could in the general bent of their carriage, act otherwise than according to their own complexion and humour. But the indulgence of ourselves in wholly giving way to our natural propensity, is so unjust and improper a licence, that when people take it up, there is but very little difference, with relation to their friends and families, whether they are good or ill-natured men : for he that errs by being wrought upon by what we call the sweetness of his temper, is as guilty as he that offends through the perverseness of it,
It is not therefore to be regarded what men are in themselves, but what they are in their actions. Eucrates is the best natured of all men ; but that natural softness' has effects quite contrary to itself, and for want of due bounds to his benevolence, while he has a will to be a friend to all, he has the power of being such to none. His constant inclination to please - makes him never fail of doing so; though (without
being capable of falsehood) he is a friend only to those who are present ; for the same humour which makes him the best companion, renders him the worst cor