« ElőzőTovább »
Plenty, (the first minister of his antagonist) to be a much more destructive counsellor than Poverty ; for that he was perpetually suggesting pleasures, banishing all the necessary cautions against want, and consequently undermining those principles on which the government of Avarice was founded. At last, in order to an accommodation, they agreed upon this preliminary ; that each of them should immediately dismiss his privy counsellor. When things were thus far adjusted towards a peace, all other differences were soon accommodated, insomuch, that for the future, they resolved to live as good friends and confederates, and to share between them whatever conquests were made on either side. For this reason, we now find Luxury and Avarice taking possession of the same heart, and dividing the same person between them. To which I shall only add, that since the discarding of the counsellors above mention. ed, Avarice supplies Luxury, in the room of Plenty, us Luxury prompts Avarice, in the place of Poverty.
XIX.-Hercules's Choice. WHEN Hercules was in that part of his youth in which it was natural for him to consider what course of life he ought to pursue, he one day retired into a desert, where the silence and solitude of the place very much favoured his meditations. As he was musing on his present condition, and very much perplexed in himself, on ihe state of life he should choose, he saw two women of a larger stature than ordinary, approaching towards him. One of them had a very noble air and graceful deportment; her beauty was natural and easy, her person clean and unspotted, her eyes cast towards the ground, with an agreeable reserve, her inotions and behaviour full of modesty, and her raiment was wbite as snow.
The other had a great deal of health and floridness in her countenance, which she had helped with an artificial white and red ; and she endeavoured to appear more graceful than ordinary in her mein, by a mixture of affectation in all her gestures. She had a wonderfui confidence and assurance in her looks, and all the variety of colours in her dress, that she thought were the most proper to show her complexion to advantage. She cast her eyes upon herself, then turned them on those that were present to see how they liked her; and often looked on the figure she made in her own shadow. Upon her nearer approach to Hercules, she stepped before the other lady, who cama
forward with a regular composed carriage; and running up to him, accosted him after the following manuer :
My dear Hercules," says she, “ I find you are very much divided in your thoughts, upon the way of life that you ought to choose ; be my friend, and follow me; I will lead you into the possession of pleasure, and out of the reach of pain, and remove you from all the noise and disquietude of business. The affairs of either peace or war, shall have no power to disturb you. Your whole employment shall be to make your life easy, and to entertain every sense with its proper gratifications. Sumptuous tables, beds of roses, clouds of perfuines, concerts of music, crowds of beauties, are all in readiness to receive you. Come along with me into this region of delights, this world of pleasure, and bid farewell forever, to care, to pain, to business.'
Hercules, hearing the lady talk after this manner, desired to know her name; to which she answered, “ My friends, and those who are well acquainted with me, call me Happiness; but my enemies, and those who would injure my reputation, have given me the name of Pleasure."
By this time the other lady came up, who addressed herself to the young hero in a very different manner.
“ Hercules," says she, “ I offer myself to you, because I know you are descended from the gods, and give proofs of that desceat by your love to virtue, and application to the studies proper
for your age. This makes me hope you will gain, both for yourself and me, an immortal reputation. But, before I invite you into my society and friendship, I will be open and sincere kith you, and must lay dowo this, as an established truth, that there is nothing truly valuable which can be purchased without pains and labour. The gods have set a price upon every real and noble pleasure. If you would gain the favour of the Deity, you must be at the pains of worshipping him: if the friendship of good men, you must study to oblige them : if you would be honoured by your country, you must take care to serve it. lu short, if you would be eminent in war or peace, you must become master of all the qualifications that can make you These are the only terms and conditions upon
which I can propose happiness." The goddess of Pleasure here broke in ipon her discourse : “ You see," said she, “ Hercules, .by her own confession, the way to her pleasures is long and difficult ; whereas, that which I propose is short ind easy." " Alus !" said the other lady, whose visage
glowed with passion, made up of scorn and pity," what are the pleasures you propose ? To eat before you are hungry, drink before you are athirst, sleep before you are tired ; to gratify your appetites before they are raised, and raise such appetites as nature never planted. You never heard the most delicious music, which is the praise of one's own self; por saw the most beautiful object, which is the work of one's own hands. Your votaries pa s away their youth in a dream of mistaken pleasures, while they are hoarding up anguish, torment and remorse for old age.
“ As for me, I am the friend of gods and of good men, an agreeable companion to the artisan, an household guardian to the fathers of families, a patron and protector of servants, an associate in all true and generous friendships. The banquets of my votaries are never costly, but always delicious ; for none eat and drink at then, who are not invited by hunger and thirst. Their slumbers are sound, and their wakings cheerful. My young men have the pleasure of hearing themselves praised by those who are in years; and those who are in years, of being honoured by ihose who are young. To a word, my followers are favoured by the gods, beloved by their acquaintance, esteemed by their country, and after the close of their labours, honoured by posterity."
We know by the life of this.memorable hero, to which of these two ladies he gave up his heart ; and I believe every one who reads this, will do him the justice to approve choice.
XX-Will Honeycomb's Spectator. MY friend, Will Honeycoinb, has told me, for above this half year, that he had a great mind to try his hand at a Specta!or, and that he would faiu have one of his writings in my works. This morning I received from him the following letter; which, after having reciified some little orthographical mistakes, I shall make a present of to the public.
s6 Dear Spec-I was about two nights ago in cornpany with very agreeable young people, of both sexes, where, talking of some of your papers, which are written on conjugal love, there arose a dispute among us, whether there were not more bad husbands in the world than bad wives. A gentleman, who was advocate for the ladies, took this occasion to tell us the story of a famous siege in Germany, which I have since found related in my historical dictionary, after the following manner. When' the emperor Conrad III. had besieged Guelphus, duke of Bavaria, in the city of
his tion, gave
Hensberg, the women, finding that the town could not possibly hold out long, petitioned the emperor that they might depart oựt of it, with so much as each of them could carry. The emperor, knowing they could not convey away many of their effects, granted then their petition ; when the women, to his great surprize, came out of the place, with every one ber husband upon her back. T'he emperor was so moved at the sight, that he burst into tears; and after having very much extolled the women for their conjugal affec
the men to their wives, and received the duke into his favour,
“ The ladies did not a little triumph at this story ; asko ing is at the same time, whether in our consciences, we believed that the men in any tower of Great-Britain would, upon the same offer, and at the same conjuncture, have loaded theinselves with their wives? Or rather, whether they would not have been glad of such an opportunity to get rid of them ? To this my very good friend, Tom Dapa perwit, who took upon him to be the mouth of our sex, replied, that they would be very much to blame, if they would not do the same good office for the women, considering that their strength would be greater, and their burdens lighter. "As we were amusing ourselves with discourses of this nature, in order to pass away the evening, which now began to grow tedious, we fell into that laudable and primitive diversion of questions and commands. I was no sooner vested with the regal authority, but I enjoined all the ladies, under pain of any displeasure, to tell the company ingenuously, in case they had been in the siege above mentioned, and had the same offers made then as the good women of that place, what every one of them would have brought off with her, and have thonght inost worth the saving ? - There were seva eral merry answers made to iny question, which entertained us till bed-tinie: This filled my mind with such a huddle of ideas, that upon my going to sleep, I fell into the following dream :
“ I saw a town of this island, which shall be nameless, invested on every side, and the inhabitants of it so straitened as to cry for quarter. The general refused any
other terms than those granted to the above mentioned town of Hensberg ; painely, that the married women might come out, with what they could bring along with them. Immediately the city gates flew open, and a fernale procession appeared, multitudes of the sex following one another in a row, and staggering under their respective burdens. I took my staud upon an eminence, jo the enemy's camp, which was appointed for the general rendezvous of these female carriers, being very desirous to look into their several ladings.' The first of them had a huge sack opon her shoulders, which she set down with great care : upon the opening of it, when I expected to have seen ber husband shoot out of it, I found it was filled with china ware.
The next appeared in a more decent figure, carrying a handsome young fellow upon her back : I could not forbear commending the young woman for her conjugal affection, when to my great surprise, I found that she had left the good man at home, and brought away her gallant. I saw a third at some distance, with a little withered face peeping over her shoulder, whom I could not suspect for any other but her spouse, till upon her setting him down, I heard her call him dear pug, and found him to be her favourite monkey. A fourth brought a huge bale of cards along with her; and the fifth a Bologna lapdog; for ber husband, it seems, being a very bulky man, she thought it would be less trouble for her to bring away little cupid. The next was the wife of a rich usurer, loaded with a bag of gold : she told us that her spouse was very old, and by the course of nature, could not expect to live long; and that to shew her tender regard for him, she had saved that which the poor man loved better than his life. The next came towards us with her son upon her back, who we were told, was the greatest rake in the place, but so much the mother's darling, that she left her husband behind, with a large family of hopeful sous and daughters, for the sake of this graceless youth.
" It would be endless to mention the several persons, with their several loads, that appeared to me in this strange vision. All the place about me was covered with packs of ribbands, broaches, embroidery, and ten thousand other materials, sufficient to have furnished a whole street of toyshops. One of the women, having a husband who was none of the beava iest, was bringing him off upon her shoulders, at the same time that she carried a great bundle of Flanders lace under her arm ; but finding herself so overloaden that she could not save both of them, she dropped the good mai), and brought away the bundle. In short, I found but one husband among
this great mountain of baggage, who was a lively cobler, that kicked and spurred all the while his wife was carrying him off, and, as it was said, had scarce passed a