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in a private capacity, will appear by reading me the two or three next days with diligence and attention. There is no other paper in being which tends to this purpose. They are most of them histories, or advices of public transactions; but as those representations affect the passions of my readers, I shall sometimes take care, the day after a foreign mail, to give them an account of what it has brought. The parties amongst us are too violent to make it possible
them by without observation. As to these matters, I shall be impartial, though I cannot be neuter: I am, with relation to the government of the church, a Tory; with regard to the state, a Whig.
The charge of intelligence, the pain in compiling and digesting my thoughts in proper style, and the like, oblige me to value my paper a half-penny above all other half-sheets.* And all persons who have any thing to communicate to me, are desired to direct their letters (postage-paid) to Nestor Ironside, Esq. at Mr. Tonson's in the Strand. I declare, before-hand, that I will at no time be conversed with any other way than by letter: for as I am an ancient man, I shall find enough to do to give orders proper for their service, to whom I am by will of their parents Guardian, though I take that to be too narrow a scene for me to pass my whole life in. But I have got my wards so well off my hands, and they are so able to act for themselves, that I have little to do but give a hint, and all that I desire to be amended is altered accordingly.
My design upon the whole is no less than to make the pulpit, the bar, and the stage, all act in concert in the care of piety, justice, and virtue; for I am past all the regards of this life, and have nothing to manage with any person or party, but to deliver myself as becomes an old man with one foot in the grave, and one who thinks he is passing to eternity. All sorrows which can arrive at me are comprehended in the sense of guilt and pain; if I can keep clear of these two evils, I shall not be apprehensive of any other. Ambition, lust, envy, and revenge, are excrescences of the mind, which I have cut off long ago, but as they are excrescences which do not only deform, but torment those on whom they grow, I shall do all I can to persuade all others to take the same measures for their cure which I have.
* Price two-pence. Guard. in Folio.
No 2. FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 1713. "HE readiest way to proceed in my great undertaking,
is to explain who I am myself that promise to give the town a daily half-sheet: I shall therefore enter into my own history, without losing any time in preamble. I was born in the year 1642, at a lone house within half a mile of the town of Brentford, in the county of Middlesex; my parents were of ability to bestow upon me a liberal education, and of a humour to think that a great happiness even in a fortune which was but just enough to keep me above want. In
I was admitted a commoner of Magdalen-hall in Oxford. It is one great advantage, among many more, which men educated at our Universities do usually enjoy above others, that they often contract friendships there, which are of service to them in all the parts of their future life. This good fortune happened to me; for during the time of my being an undergraduate, I became intimately acquainted with Mr. Ambrose Lizard, who was a fellow-commoner of the neighbouring college. I have the honour to be well known to Mr. Josiah Pullen,* of our hall above-mentioned; and attribute the florid old age I now enjoy to my constant morning walks up Hedington-hill, in his cheerful company. If the gentleman be still living, I hereby give him my humble service. But as I was going to say, I contracted in my early youth an intimate friendship with young Mr. Lizard, of Northamptonshire. He was sent for a little before he was of bachelor's standing, to be married to Mrs. Jane Lizard, an heiress, whose father would have it so for the sake of the name. Mr. Ambrose knew nothing of it till he came to Lizard-hall, on Saturday night; saw the young lady at dinner the next day, and was married, by order of his father, Sir Ambrose, between eleven and twelve the Tuesday following. Some years after, when my friend came to be Sir Ambrose himself, and finding upon proof of her, that he had lighted upon a good wife, he gave the curate who joined their hands the parsonage of Welt, not far off Wellingborough. My friend was married in the year 62, and every year following for eighteen years together I left the college (except that year wherein I was chosen fellow of Lincoln), and sojourned at Sir Ambrose's for the months of June, July, and August. I remember very well, that it was on the 4th of July in the year 1674, that I was reading in an arbour to my friend, and stopped of a sudden, observing he did not attend. Lay by your book,” said he, “and let us take a turn in the grass-walk, for I have something to say to you." After a silence for about forty yards, walking both of us with our eyes downward, one big to hear, the other to speak a matter of great importance, Sir Ambrose expressed himself to this effect: “My good friend," said he, you may have observed that from the first moment I was in your company at Mr. Willis's chambers at University college, I ever after sought and courted you; that inclination towards you has improved from similitude of manners, if I may so say, when I tell you I have not observed in any man a greater candour and simplicity of mind than in yourself. You are a man that are not inclined to launch into the world, but prefer secu. rity and ease in a collegiate or single life, to going into the cares which necessarily attend a public character, or that of a master of a family. You see within, my son Marmaduke, my only child ; I have a thousand anxieties upon me concerning him, the greater part of which I would transfer to you, and when I do so, I would make it, in plain English, worth your while.” He would not let me speak, but proceeded to inform me, that he had laid the whole scheme of his affairs upon that foundation. As soon as we went into the house, he gave me a bill upon his goldsmith* in London, of two thousand pounds, and told me with that he had purchased me, with all the talents. I was master of, to be of his family, to educate his son, and to do all that should ever lie in my power for the service of him and his to my life's end, according to such powers, trusts and instructions, as I should hereafter receive.
* See Wood's Athena Oxon. Vol. II. p. 915, edit. 1691.
+ This is a mixture of truth and fiction! - A.
The reader will here make many speeches for me, and, without doubt, suppose I told my friend he had retained me with a fortune to do that which I should have thought myself obliged to by friendship: but, as he was a prudent man, and acted upon rules of life, which were least liable
• A banker was called a goldsmith in 1713,
to the variation of humour, time, or season, I was contented to be obliged by him in his own way; and believed I should never enter into any alliance which should divert me from pursuing the interests of his family, of which I should hereafter understand myself a member. Sir Ambrose told me, he should lay no injunction upon me, which should be inconsistent with any inclination I might have hereafter to change my condition. All he meant was, in general, to insure his family from that pest of great estates, the mercenary men of business who act for them, and in a few years become creditors to their masters in greater sums than half the income of their lands amounts to, though it is visible all which gave rise to their wealth was a slight salary, for turning all the rest, both estate and crédit of that estate, to the use of their principals. To this purpose we had a very long conference that evening, the chief point of which was, that his only child Marmaduke was from that hour under my care, and I was engaged to turn all my thoughts to the service of the child in particular, and all the concerns of the family in general. My most excellent friend was so well satisfied with my behaviour, that he made me his executor, and guardian to his son. My own conduct during that time, and my manner of educating his son Marmaduke to manhood, and the interest I had in him to the time of his death also, with
niy present conduct towards the numerous descendants of my old friend, will make, possibly, a series of history of common life, as useful as the relations of the more pompou's passages in the lives of princes or statesmen. The widow of Sir Ambrose, and the no less worthy relict of Sir Marmaduke, are both living at this time.
I am to let the reader know, that his chief entertainment will arise from what passes at the tea-table of my Lady Lizard. That lady is now in the forty-sixth year of her age, was married in the beginning of her sixteenth, is blessed with a numerous offspring of each sex, no less than four sons and five daughters. She was the mother of this large family before she arrived at her thirtieth which time she lost her husband Sir Marmaduke Lizard, a gentleman of great virtue and generosity. He left behind him an improved paternal estate of six thousand pounds a year to his eldest son, and one year's revenue in ready money as a portion to each younger child. My lady's Christian name is Aspasia; and as it may give a certain dignity to our style to mention her by that name, we beg leave at discretion to say Lady Lizard or Aspasia, according to the matter we shall treat of. When she shali be consulting about her cash, her rents, her household affairs, we will use the more familiar name; and when she is employed in the forming the minds and sentiments of her children, exerting herself in the acts of charity, or speaking of matters of religion or piety, for the elevation of style we will use the word Aspasia. Aspasia is a lady of great understanding and noble spirit. She has passed several years in widowhood, with that abstinent enjoyment of life, which has done honour to her deceased husband, and devolved reputation upon her children. As she has both sons and daughters marriageable, she is visited by many on that account, but by many more for her own merit. As there is no circumstance in human life, which may not directly or indirectly concern a woman thus related, there will be abundant matter offer itself from passages in this family, to supply my readers with diverting, and perhaps useful, notices for their conduct in all the incidents of human life. Placing money on mortgages, in the funds, upon bottomry, and almost all other ways of improving the fortune of a family, are practised by my Lady Lizard with the best skill and advice.
The members of this family, their cares, passions, interests, and diversions, shall be represented from time to time, as news from the tea-table of so accomplished a woman as the intelligent and discreet Lady Lizard.
N° 3. SATURDAY, MARCH 14, 1713. Quicquid est illud, quod sentit, quod sapit, quod vult, quod viget, cæleste et divinum est, ob eamque rem æternum sit necesse est.
CICERO. Whatever that be, which thinks, which understands, which wills, which
acts, it is something celestial and divine, and, upon that account, must necessarily be eternal.
of my particular concerns, by casting my eye upon a treatise, which I could not overlook without an inexcusa