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No. 480. Wednes day,
I need not tell you with what Disadvantages Men of Sept 10, low Fortunes and great Modesty come into the World, 1712.
what wrong Measures their Diffidence of themselves, and Fear of offending, often obliges them to take, and what a Pity it is that their greatest Virtues and Qualities, that should soonest recommend them, are the main Obstacle in the Way of their Preferment
This, Sir, is my Case; I was bred at a Country School, where I learned Latin and Greek The Misfortunes of my Family forced me up to Town, where a Profession of the politer Sort has protected me against Infamy and Want. I am now Clerk to a Lawyer, and, in Times of Vacancy and Recess from Business, have made my self Master of Italian and French; and though the Progress I have made in my Business has gain'd
me Reputation enough for one of my Standing, yet my Mind suggests to me every Day, that it is not upon that Foundation I am to build my Fortune.
The Version I have my present Dependence upon, has it in his Nature, as well as in his Power, to advance me, by recommending me to a Gentleman that is going be. yond Sea in a publick Employment. I know the Printing this Letter would point me out to those I want Confidence to speak to, and I hope it is not in your Power to refuse making any Body happy. September 9,
Yours, &c. 1712.
M, D. т
Thursday, September 11.
Compositus melius cum Bitho Bacchius. In jus
Notions, which different Persons have of the same Thing, If Men of low Condition very often set a Value on Things, which are not prized by those who are in an
higher Station of Life, there are many Things these No. 481. esteem, which are of no Value among Persons of an Thursday, inferior Rank Common People are, in particular, very 152
. much astonished, when they hear of those solemn Contests and Debates, which are made among the Great upon the Punctilios of a publick Ceremony, and wonder to hear that any Business of Consequence should be retarded by those little Circumstances, which they represent to them selves as trifling and insignificant I am mightily pleased with a Porter's Decision, in one of Mr. Southern's Plays, which is founded upon that fine Distress of a virtuous Woman's marrying a second Husband, while her first was yet living. The first Husband, who was supposed to have been dead, returning to his House after a long Absence, raises a noble Perplexity for the Tragick Part of the Play. In the mean while, the Nurse and the Porter conferring upon the Difficulties that would ensue in such a Case, Honest Sampson thinks the Matter may be easily decided, and solves it very judiciously, by the old Proverb, that if his first Master be still living, The Man must have his Mare again. There is nothing in my Time which has so much surprized and confounded the greatest Part of my honest Countrymen, as the present Controversy between Count Rechteren and Monsieur Mesnager, which employs the wise Heads of so many Nations, and holds all the Affairs of Europe in Suspense.
Upon my going into a Coffee-house Yesterday, and lending an Ear to the next Table, which was encompassed with a Circle of inferior Politicians ; one of them, after having read over the News very attentively, broke out into the following Remarks, I am afraid, says he, this unhappy Rupture between the Footmen at Utrecht will retard the Peace of Christendom. I wish the Pope may not be at the Bottom of its His Holiness has a very good Hand at fomenting a Division, as the poor Swiss Cantons have lately experienced to their Cost. If Monsieur What d'ye-call-him's Domesticks will not come to an Accommodation, I do not know how the Quarrel can be ended but by a Religious War,
Why truly, says a Wiseacre that sate by him, were I as
No. 481. the King of France, I would scorn to take part with the
stands still, because Monsieur Mesnager's Man has had
Upon this, one, that had held his Tongue hitherto, began to exert himself; declaring, That he was very well pleased the Plenipotentiaries of our Christian Princes took this Matter into their serious Consideration; for that Lacqueys were never so saucy and pragmatical as they are now.adays, and that he should be glad to see them taken down in the Treaty of Peace, if it might be done without Prejudice to the Publick Affairs.
One, who sate at the other End of the Table, and seemed to be in the Interests of the French King, told them, that they did not take the Matter right for that his most Christian Majesty did not resent this Matter because it was an Injury done to Monsieur Messager's Footmen, for, says he, what are Monsieur Mesnager's Footmen to him? But because it was done to his Subjects: Now, says he, let me tell you, it would look very odd for a Subject of France to have a bloody Nose, and his Sovereign not to take Notice of it. He is obliged in Honour to defend his People against Hostilities and if the Dutch will be so insolent to a Crowned Head, as, in any wise, to cuff or kick those who are under His Protection, I think he is in the Right to call them to an Account for it.
This distinction set the Controversy upon a new Foot, and seemed to be very well approved by most that heard it, 'till a little warm Fellow, who declared himself a Friend to the House of Austria, fell most unmercifully upon his Gallic Majesty, as encouraging his Subjects to make Mouths at their Betters, and afterwards screening them from the Punishment that was due to their Insolence, To which he added, that the French Nation was so ada dicted to Grimace, that if there was not a Stop put to it at the General Congress, there would be no walking the Streets for them in a Time of Peace, especially if they continued Masters of the West Indies. The little Man
proceeded with a great deal of Warmth, declaring, that if No. 481. the Allies were of his Mind, he would oblige the French Thursday, King to burn his Gallies, and tolerate the Protestant Sept. 11,
1712. Religion in his Dominions before he would sheath his Sword. He concluded with calling Monsieur Mesnager an_insignificant Prig.
The Dispute was now growing very warm, and one does not know where it would have ended, had not young Man of about One and twenty, who seems to have been brought up with an Eye to the Law, taken the Debate into his Hand, and given it, as his Opinion, that neither Count Rechteren, nor Monsieur Mesnager had bebav'd themselves right in this Affair. Count Rechteren, says he, should have made Affidavit that his Servants bad been affronted, and then Monsieur Mesnager would have done him Justice, by taking away their Liveries from them, or some other way that he might have thought the most proper ; for let me tell you, if a Man makes a Mouth at me, I am not to knock the Teeth out of it for his Pains. Then again, as for Monsieur Mesoager, upon his Servants being beaten, why! he might have had his Action of Assault and Battery. But as the Case now stands, if you will have my opinion, I think they ought to bring it to Referees.
I heard a great deal more of this Conference, but I must confess with little Edification ; for all I could learn at last from these honest Gentlemen was, that the Matter in Debate was of too high a Nature for such Heads as theirs, or mine, to comprehend.
Friday, September 12.
in with the popular Taste, and pleases more than ordinary, it always brings me in a great Return of Letters. My Tuesday's
Discourse, wherein I gave several Admonitions to the Fraternity of the Henpeck'd, has already produced me very many Correspondents, the Reason 1 cannot guess at, unless it be that such a Discourse is of IV. с
No. 482. general Use, and every married Man's Money. An honest Friday, Tradesman, who dates his Letter from Cheapside, sends Sept. 12,
me Thanks in the Name of a Club, who, he tells me, meet 1712.
as often as their Wives will give them Leave, and stay together 'till they are sent for Home. He informs me, that my Paper has administred great Consolation to their whole Club, and desires me to give some further Account of Socrates, and to acquaint them in whose Reign he lived, whether he was a Citizen or a Courtier, whether he buried Xantippe, with many other Particulars : For that by his Sayings he appears to have been a very wise Man, and a good Christian. Another, who writes him self Benjamin Bamboo, tells me, that being coupled with a Shrew, he had endeavoured to tame her by such lawful Means as those which are mentioned in my last Tuesday's Paper, and that in his Wrath he had often gone further than Bracton allows in those Cases; but that for the future he was resolved to bear it like a Man of Temper and Learning, and consider her only as one who lives in his House to teach him Philosophy. Tom Dapperwit says, that he agrees with me in that whole Discourse, excepting only the last Sentence, where I affirm the married State to be either an Heaven or an Hell, Tom has been at the Charge of a Penny upon this Occasion, to tell me, that by his Experience it is neither one nor the other, but rather that middle Kind of State commonly known by the Name of Purgatory,
The Fair Sex have likeways obliged me with their Reflections upon the same Discourse. A Lady, who calls herself Euterpe, and seems a Woman of Letters, asks me whether I am for establishing the Salick Law in every Family, and why it is not fit that a Woman who has Dis. cretion and Learning should sit at the Helm, when the Husband is weak and illiterate? Another, of a quite contrary Character, subscribes herself Xantippe, and tells me, that she follows the Example of her Name-sake ; for being married to a bookish Man, who has no Know ledge of the World, she is forced to take their Affairs into her own Hands, and to spirit him up now and then, that he may not grow musty, and unfit for Con versation