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cried the whole pack of them, opening upon me all at once. By your leave, gentlemen, answered I, two to one is odds at foot-ball; but having a hero's cause to defend, I find myself possessed with a hero's vigour and resolution, and don't doubt but I shall bring you over to my party. That age, therefore, is the most heroical which is the boldest and bravest; the ancients, I grant you, got drunk and cut throats as well as we do; but, gentlemen, they did not sin upon the same foot as we, nor had so many discouragements to deter them; so 'tis a plain case, you see, that the heroism lies on our side. To apply this, then, to my royal master; he has filled all Christendom with blood and confusion; he has broke through the most solemn treaties sworn at the altar; he has strayed and undone infinite numbers of poor wretches; and all this for his own glory and ambition, when he's assured that hell gapes every moment for him. Now, Itell me, whether your Jasons, your Agamemnons, or Alexanders, durst have ventured so heroically; or whether your pitiful emperors of Germany, your mechanic kings of England and Sweden, or your lousy states of Holland, have courage enough to write after so illustrious a copy.
Thus, sir, you may see with what zeal I appear in your majesty's behalf, and that I omit no opportunity of magnifying your great exploits to the utmost of my poor abilities. At the same time, I must freely own to you, that I have met with some rough-hewn saucy rascals, that have stopped me in my full career when I have been expatiating upon your praises, and have so dumbfounded me with their villanous objections, that I could not tell how to reply to them.
An Exhortatory Letter to an Old Lady that Smoked Tobacco.
Madam-Though the ill-natured world censures you for smoking, yet I would advise you, madam, not to part with so innocent a diversion. In the first place, it is healthful; and, as Galen rightly observes, is a Sovereign remedy for the toothache, the constant persecutor of old ladies. Secondly, tobacco, though it be a heathenish weed, it is a great help to Christian meditations; which is the reason, I suppose, that recommends it to your parsons, the generality of whom can no more write a sermon without a pipe in their mouths, than a concordance in their hands; besides, every pipe you break may serve to put you in mind of mortality, and show you upon what slender accidents man's life depends. I knew a dissenting minister who, on fast-days, used to mortify upon a rump of beef, because it put him, as he said, in mind that all flesh was grass; but, I am sure, much more is to be learnt from tobacco. It may instruct you that riches, beauty, and all the glories of the world, vanish like a vapour. Thirdly, it is a pretty plaything. Fourthly, and lastly, it is fashionable, at least 'tis in a fair way of becoming so. Cold tea, you know, has been a long while in reputation at court, and the gill as naturally ushers in the pipe, as the sword-bearer walks before the lord mayor.
[An Indian's Account of a London Gaming-House.]
The English pretend that they worship but one God, but for my part I don't believe what they say; for besides several living divinities, to which we may see them daily offer their vows, they have several other inanimate ones to whom they pay sacrifices, as I have observed at one of their public meetings, where I happened once to be.
In this place there is a great altar to be seen, built round and covered with a green wachum, lighted in the midst, and encompassed by several persons in a sitting posture, as we do at our domestic sacrifices. At the very moment I came into the room, one of
those, who I supposed was the priest, spread upon the altar certain leaves which he took out of a little book that he held in his hand. Upon these leaves were represented certain figures very awkwardly painted; however, they must needs be the images of some divinities; for, in proportion as they were distributed round, each one of the assistants made an offering to it, greater or less, according to his devotion. I observed that these offerings were more considerable than those they make in their other temples.
After the aforesaid ceremony is over, the priest lays his hand in a trembling manner, as it were, upon the rest of the book, and continues some time in this posture, seized with fear, and without any action at all. All the rest of the company, attentive to what he does, are in suspense all the while, and the unmoveable assistants are all of them in their turn possessed by different agitations, according to the spirit which happens to seize them. One joins his hands together, and blesses Heaven; another, very earnestly looking upon his image, grinds his teeth; a third bites his fingers, and stamps upon the ground with his feet. Every one of them, in short, makes such extraordinary postures and contortions, that they seem to be no longer rational creatures. But scarce has the priest returned a certain leaf, but he is likewise seized by the same fury with the rest. He tears the book, and devours it in his rage, throws down the altar, and curses the sacrifice. Nothing now is to be heard but complaints and groans, cries and imprecations. Seeing them so transported and so furious, I judge that the God that they worship is a jealous deity, who, to punish them for what they sacrifice to others, sends to each of them an evil demon to possess him.
Laconics, or New Maxims of State and Conversation.
Though a soldier in time of peace is like a chimney in summer, yet what wise man would pluck down his chimney because his almanac tells him it is the middle of June?
War, as the world goes at present, is a nursery for the gallows, as Hoxton is for the meetings, and Bartholomew fair for the two playhouses.
Covetousness, like jealousy, when it has once taken root, never leaves a man but with his life. A rich banker in Lombard Street, finding himself very ill, sent for a parson to administer the last consolations of the church to him. While the ceremony was performing, old Gripewell falls into a fit. As soon as he was a little recovered, the doctor offered the chalice to him. No no,' cries he; 'I can't afford to lend you above twenty shillings upon't; upon my word I can't now.'
Though a clergyman preached like an angel, yet he ought to consider that two hour-glasses of divinity are too much at once for the most patient constitution. In the late civil wars, Stephen Marshal split his text into twenty-four parts. Upon this, one of the congregation immediately runs out of church. Why, what's the matter?' says a neighbour. Only going for my night-gown and slippers, for I find we must take up quarters here to-night.'
If your friend is in want, don't carry him to the tavern, where you treat yourself as well as him, and entail a thirst and headache upon him next morning. To treat a poor wretch with a bottle of Burgundy, or fill his snuff-box, is like giving a pair of lace ruffles to a man that has never a shirt on his back. Put something into his pocket.
What is sauce for a goose is sauce for a gander. When any calamities befell the Roman empire, the pagans used to lay it to the charge of the Christians: when Christianity became the imperial religion, the Christians returned the same compliment to the pagaus.
That which passes for current doctrine at one juncture, and in one climate, won't do so in another. The cavaliers, in the beginning of the troubles, used to trump up the 12th of the Romans upon the parliament; the parliament trump'd it upon the army, when they would not disband; the army back again upon the parliament, when they disputed their orders. Never was poor chapter so unmercifully tossed to and fro again.
Not to flatter ourselves, we English are none of the most constant and easy people in the world. When the late war pinched us, Oh! when shall we have a peace and trade again? We had no sooner a peace, but, Huzza, boys, for a new war! and that we shall soon be sick of.
It may be no scandal for us to imitate one good quality of a neighbouring nation, who are like the turf they burn, slow in kindling, but, when once thoroughly lighted, keep their fire.
What a fine thing it is to be well-mannered upon occasion! In the reign of King Charles II., a certain worthy divine at Whitehall thus addressed himself to the auditory at the conclusion of his sermon :'In short, if you don't live up to the precepts of the gospel, but abandon yourselves to your irregular appetites, you must expect to receive your reward in a certain place, which 'tis not good manners to mention here.'
To quote St Ambrose, or St Jerome, or any other red-lettered father, to prove any such important truth as this, That virtue is commendable, and all excess to be avoided, is like sending for the sheriff to come with the posse comitatus to disperse a few boys at foot-ball, when it may be done without him.
Some divines make the same use of fathers and councils as our beaus do of their canes, not for support or defence, but mere ornament or show; and cover themselves with fine cobweb distinctions, as Homer's gods did with a cloud.
Some books, like the city of London, fare the better for being burnt.
'Twas a merry saying of Rabelais, that a man ought to buy all the bad books that come out, because they will never be printed again.
SIR GEORGE MACKENZIE.
During this period Scotland produced many eminent men, but scarcely any who attempted composition in the English language. The difference between the common speech of the one country and that which was used in the other, had been widening ever since the days of Chaucer and James I., but particularly since the accession of James VI. to the English throne; the Scotch remaining stationary or declining, while the English was advancing in refinement of both structure and pronunciation. Accordingly, except the works of Drummond of Hawthornden, who had studied and acquired the language of Drayton and Jonson, there did not appear in Scotland any estimable specimen of vernacular prose or poetry between the time of Maitland and Montgomery and that of SIR GEORGE MACKENZIE, Lord Advocate under Charles II. and James II. (1636-1691), who seems to have been the only learned man of his time that maintained an acquaintance with the lighter departments of contemporary English literature. Sir George was a friend of Dryden, by whom he is mentioned with great respect; and he himself composed poetry, which, if it has no other merit, is at least in pure English, and appears to have been fashioned after the best models of the time. He also wrote some moral essays, which possess the same merits. These are entitled, On Happiness; The Religious Stoic;
Sir George Mackenzie.
dard writers on the law of Scotland, and likewise published various political and antiquarian tracts. An important historical production of his pen, entitled Memoirs of the Affairs of Scotland, from the Restoration of Charles II., lay undiscovered in manuscript till the present century, and was not printed till 1821. Though personally disposed to humanity and moderation, the severities which he was instrumental in perpetrating against the covenanters, in his capacity of Lord Advocate under a tyrannical government, excited against him a degree of popu lar odium which has not even yet entirely subsided.
He is more honourably distinguished as the founder of the library of the Faculty of Advocates in Edin burgh. At the Revolution, he retired to England,
No passion here but love: here is no wound
Display'd in Cælia, when she will be kind!
We may cure envy in ourselves, either by considering how useless or how ill these things were, for which we envy our neighbours; or else how we possess as much or as good things. If I envy his greatness, I consider that he wants my quiet: as also I consider that he possibly envies me as much as I do him; and that when I begun to examine exactly his perfections, and to balance them with my own, I found myself as happy as he was. And though many envy others, yet very few would change their condition even with those whom they envy, all being considered. And I have oft admired why we have suffered ourselves to be so cheated by contradictory vices, as to contemn this day him whom we envied the last; or why we envy so many, since there are so few whom we think to deserve as much as we do. Another great help against envy is, that we ought to consider how much the thing envied costs him whom we envy, and if we would take it at the price. Thus, when I envy a man for being learned, I consider how much of his health and time that learning consumes: if for being great, how he must flatter and serve for it; and if I would not pay his price, no reason I ought to have what he has got. Sometimes, also, I consider that there is no reason for my envy: he whom I envy deserves more than he has, and I less than I possess. And by thinking much of these, I repress their envy, which grows still from the contempt of our neighbour and the overrating ourselves. As also I consider that the perfections envied by me may be advantageous to me; and thus I check myself for envying a great pleader, but am rather glad that there is such a man, who may defend my innocence: or to envy a great soldier, because his valour may defend my estate or country. And when any of my countrymen begin to raise envy in me, I alter the scene, and begin to be glad that
Scotland can boast of so fine a man; and I remember, that though now I am angry at him when I compare him with myself, yet if I were discoursing of my nation abroad, I would be glad of that merit in him which now displeases me. Nothing is envied but what appears beautiful and charming; and it is strange that I should be troubled at the sight of what is pleasant. I endeavour also to make such my friends as deserve my envy; and no man is so base as to envy his friend. Thus, whilst others look on the angry side of merit, and thereby trouble themselves, I am pleased in admiring the beauties and charms which burn them as a fire, whilst they warm me as the sun.
I smile to see underling pretenders, and who live in a country scarce designed in the exactest maps, sweat and toil for so unmassy a reputation, that, when it is hammered out to the most stretching dimensions, will not yet reach the nearest towns of a neighbouring country: whereas, examine such as have but lately returned from travelling in most flourishing kingdoms, and though curiosity was their greatest errand, yet ye will find that they scarce know who is chancellor or president in these places; and in the exactest histories, we hear but few news of the famousest pleaders, divines, or physicians; and by soldiers these are undervalued as pedants, and these by them as madcaps, and both by philosophers as fools.
I define bigotry to be a laying too much stress upon any circumstantial point of religion or worship, and the making all other essential duties subservient thereto.
The first pernicious effect of bigotry is, that it obtrudes on us things of no moment as matters of the greatest importance. Now, as it would be a great defect in a man's sense to take a star for the sun, or in an orator to insist tenaciously on a point which deserved no consideration, so it must be a much greater error in a Christian to prefer, or even to equal, a mere circumstance to the solid points of religion.
But these mistakes become more dangerous, by inducing their votaries to believe that, because they are orthodox in these matters, they are the only people of God, and all who join not are aliens to the commonwealth of Israel. And from this springs, first, that they, as friends of God, may be familiar with Him, and, as friends do one to another, may speak to Him without distance or premeditation. * Bigotry having thus corrupted our reasoning in matters of religion, it easily depraves it in the whole course of our morals and politics.
The bigots, in the second place, proceed to fancy that they who differ from them are enemies to God, because they differ from God's people; and then the Old Testament is consulted for expressions denouncing vengeance against them: all murders become sacrifices, by the example of Phineas and Ehud; all rapines are hallowed by the Israelites borrowing the earrings of the Egyptians; and rebellions have a hundred forced texts of Scripture brought to patronise them. But I oftentimes wonder where they find precedents in the Old Testament for murdering and robbing men's reputation, or for lying so impudently for what they think the good old cause, which God foreseeing, has commanded us not to lie, even for his sake.
The third link of this chain is-That they, fancying themselves to be the only Israel, conclude that God sees no sin in them, all is allowable to them; and (as one of themselves said) 'they will be as good to God another way.'
The fourth is-That such as differ from them are bastards, and not the true sons of God, and therefore they ought to have no share of this earth or its government: hence flow these holy and useful maxims Dominion is founded in grace, and the saints have the only right to govern the earth which being once upon an occasion earnestly pressed in Cromwell's little parliament, it was answered by the president of his council-That the saints deserved all things, but that public employment was such a drudgery, that it would be unjust to condemn the saints to it; and that the securest way to make the commonwealth happy, was to leave them in a pious retirement, interceding for the nation at the throne of grace.
The fifth error in their reasoning is-That seeing their opinions flow immediately from heaven, no earthly government can condemn anything they do in prosecution of these their opinions; thence it is that they raise seditions and rebellions without any scruple of conscience and, believing themselves the darlings and friends of God, they think themselves above kings, who are only their servants and executioners.
to soften the appearing rigours of philosophy, is a design which, if I thought it not worthy of a sweeter pen, should be assisted by mine; and for which I have, in my current experience, gathered together some loose reflections and observations, of whose cogency I have this assurance, that they have often moderated the wildest of my own straying inclinations, and so might pretend to a more prevailing ascendant over such whose reason and temperament make them much more reclaimable. But at present my answer is, that philosophy enjoins not the crossing of our own inclinations, but in order to their accomplishment; and it proposes pleasure as its end, as well as vice, though, for its more fixed establishment, it sometimes commands what seems rude to such as are strangers to its intentions in them. Thus temperance resolves to heighten the pleasures of enjoyment, by defending us against all the insults of excess and oppressive loathing; and when it lessens our pleasures, it intends not to abridge them, but to make them fit and convenient for us; even as soldiers, who, though they propose not wounds and starvings, yet, It may seem strange that such principles as bigotry if without these they cannot reach those laurels to suggests should be able to produce so strange effects; which they climb, they will not so far disparage their and many fanciful persons pretend it to be from God, own hopes, as to think they should fix them upon because it prevails so. But this wonder will be much anything whose purchase deserves not the suffering lessened if we consider, first, that the greatest part of of these. Physic cannot be called a cruel employmankind are weak or dishonest, and both these sup-ment, because, to preserve what is sound, it will cut port bigotry with all their might. Many virtuous off what is tainted; and these vicious persons, whose men also promote its interest from a mistaken good laziness forms this doubt, do answer it, when they nature, and vain men from a design of gaining popu- endure the sickness of drunkenness, the toiling of larity. Those who are disobliged by the government, avarice, the attendance of rising vanity, and the join their forces with it to make to themselves a watchings of anxiety; and all this to satisfy inclinaparty; and those who are naturally unquiet or fac- tions, whose shortness allows little pleasures, and tious, find in it a pleasant divertisement; whereas, whose prospect excludes all future hopes. Such as on the other side, few are so concerned for moderation disquiet themselves by anxiety (which is a frequently and truth, as the bigots are for their beloved conceits. repeated self-murder), are more tortured than they There is also a tinsel devotion in it, which dazzles could be by the want of what they pant after; that the eyes of unthinking people; and this arises either longed-for possession of a neighbour's estate, or of a from the new zeal, that, like youth, is still vigorous, public employment, makes deeper impressions of grief and has not as yet spent itself so as that it needs to by their absence, than their enjoyment can repair. languish; or else from the bigot's being conscious And a philosopher will sooner convince himself of that his opinions need to be disguised under this hypo- their not being the necessary integrants of our happicritical mask. ness, than the miser will, by all his assiduousness, gain them.
Severity also increases the number and zeal of bigots. Human nature inclines us wisely to that pity which we may one day need; and few pardon the severity of a magistrate, because they know not where it may stop. I have known also some very serious men, who have concluded, that since magistrates have not oftentimes in other things a great concern for devotion, their forwardness against these errors must arise either from the cruelty of their temper, or from some hid design of carrying on a particular interest, very different from, and ofttimes inconsistent with, the religious zeal they pretend. And generally, the vulgar believe that all superiors are inclined to triumph over those who are subjected to them; many have also a secret persuasion that the magistrates are still in league with the national church and its hierarchy, which they suspect to be supported by them because it maintains their interest, and they are apt to consider churchmen but as pensioners, and so as partisans, to the civil magistrate.
[Virtue more Pleasant than Vice.]
The first objection, whose difficulty deserves an answer, is, that virtue obliges us to oppose pleasures, and to accustom ourselves with such rigours, seriousness, and patience, as cannot but render its practice uneasy. And if the reader's own ingenuity supply not what may be rejoined to this, it will require a discourse that shall have no other design besides its satisfaction. And really to show by what means every man may make himself easily happy, and how
The best plea that avarice can make, is, that it provides against those necessities which otherwise would have made us miserable; but the love of money deserves not the name of avarice, whilst it proceeds no farther. And it is then only to be abhorred, when it cheats and abuses us, by making us believe that our necessities are greater than they are, in which it treats us as fools, and makes us slaves. But it is indeed most ridiculous in this, that ofttimes, after it has persuaded men that a great estate is necessary, it does not allow them to make use of any suitable proportion of what they have gained; and since nothing can be called necessary but what we need to use, all that is laid up cannot be said to be laid up for necessity. And so this argument may have some weight when it is pressed by luxury, but it is ridiculous when it is alleged by avarice.
I have, therefore, ofttimes admired how a person that thought it luxury to spend two hundred pounds, toiled as a slave to get four hundred a-year for his heir. Either he thought an honest and virtuous man should not exceed two hundred pounds in his expense, or not; if he thought he should not, why did he bribe his heir to be luxurious, by leaving him more! If he thought his heir could not live upon so little, why should he who gained it defraud himself of the true
I know some who preserve themselves against ava
rice, by arguing often with their own heart that they have twice as much as they expected, and more than others who they think live very contentedly, and who did bound their designs in the beginning with moderate hopes, and refuse obstinately to enlarge, lest they should thus launch out into an ocean that has
To meditate much upon the folly of others who are remarkable for this vice, will help somewhat to limit it; and to rally him who is ridiculous for it, may influence him and others to contemn it. I must here beg rich and avaricious men's leave, to laugh as much at their folly as I could do at a shepherd who would weep and grieve because his master would give him no more beasts to herd, or at a steward, because his lord gave him no more servants to feed. Nor can I think a man, who, having gained a great estate, is afraid to live comfortably upon it, less ridiculous than I would do him, who, having built a convenient, or it may be a stately house, should choose to walk in the rain, or expose himself to storms, lest he should defile and profane the floor of his almost idolised rooms. They who think that they are obliged to live as well as others of the same rank, do not consider that every man is only obliged to live according to his present estate. And, therefore, this necessity will also grow with our estates; and this temptation rather makes our necessities endless, than provides against them. And he who, having a paternal estate of a hundred pounds a-year, will not be satisfied to live according to it, will meet with the same difficulty when he comes to an estate of ten thousand pounds; and, like the wounded deer, he flies not from the dart, but carries it along with him. We are but stewards, and the steward should not be angry that he has not more to manage; but should be careful to bestow what he has; and if he do so, neither his master nor
the world can blame him.
[The True Path to Esteem.]
I have remarked in my own time, that some, by taking too much care to be esteemed and admired, have by that course missed their aim; whilst others of them who shunned it, did meet with it, as if it I had fallen on them whilst it was flying from the others; which proceeded from the unfit means these able and reasonable men took to establish their reputation. It is very strange to hear men value themselves upon their honour, and their being men of their word in trifles, when yet that same honour cannot tie them to pay the debts they have contracted upon solemn promise of secure and speedy repayment; starving poor widows and orphans to feed their lusts; and adding thus robbery and oppression to the dishonourable breach of trust. And how can we think them men of honour, who, when a potent and foreign monarch is oppressing his weaker neighbours, hazard their very lives to assist him, though they would rail at any of their acquaintance, that, meeting a strong man fighting with a weaker, should assist the stronger in his oppression?
The surest and most pleasant path to universal esteem and true popularity, is to be just; for all men esteem him most who secures most their private interest, and protects best their innocence. And all who have any notion of a Deity, believe that justice is one of his chief attributes; and that, therefore, whoever is just, is next in nature to Him, and the best picture of Him, and to be reverenced and loved. But yet how few trace this path! most men choosing rather to toil and vex themselves, in seeking popular applause, by living high, and in profuse prodigalities, which are entertained by injustice and oppression; as if rational men would pardon robbers because they feasted them upon a part of their own spoils; or did
let them see fine and glorious shows, made for the honour of the giver upon the expense of the robbed spectators. But when a virtuous person appears great by his merit, and obeyed only by the charming force of his reason, all men think him descended from that heaven which he serves, and to him they gladly pay the noble tribute of deserved praises.
NEWSPAPERS IN ENGLAND.
In a former section, we gave an account of the origin of newspapers, and mentioned the political use to which they were turned in England during the civil war. After the Restoration, their contentions were lessened, but the diversity of their contents increased. The Kingdom's Intelligencer, which was begun in London in 1662, contained a greater variety of useful information than any of its predecessors; it had a sort of obituary, notices of proceedings in parliament and in the law-courts, &c. Some curious advertisements also appear in its columns, such as The Faculties' Office for granting licenses (by act of parliament) to eat flesh in any part of England, is still kept at St Paul's Chain, near St Paul's churchyard.' The following warning is given to the public against a literary piracy: There is stolen abroad a most false and imperfect copy of a poem, called Hudibras, without name either of printer or bookseller, as fitting so lame and spurious an impression. The true and perfect edition, printed by the author's original, is sold by Richard Marriot, under St Dunstan's church in Fleet Street; that other nameless impression is a cheat, and will but abuse the buyer as well as the author, whose poem deserves to have fallen into been made, even at this early period, to report parIt would appear that efforts had liamentary speeches; for we find, by Lord Mountmorres's History of the Irish Parliament, that a warm debate occurred in that body during the year 1662, relative to the propriety of allowing the publication of its debates in the English diurnals; and the Speaker, in consequence, wrote to Sir Edward Nicholls, secretary of state, to enjoin a prohibition. In 1663, another paper called The Intelligencer, published for the satisfaction and information of the people,' was started by Roger L'Estrange. This venal author espoused with great warmth the cause of the crown on all occasions; and Mr Nicholls tells us that he infused into his newspapers more information, more entertainment, and more advertisements, than were contained in any succeeding paper whatever, previous to the reign of Queen Anne. L'Estrange continued his journal for two years, but dropped it upon the appearance of the London Gazette (first called the Oxford Gazette, owing to the earlier numbers being issued at Oxford, where the court was then holding, and the parliament sitting, in consequence of the plague raging in London): the first number was published on the 4th of February 1665. So rife did these little books of news, as they were called, become at this time, that between the years 1661 and 1668, no less than seventy of them were published under various titles; some of them of the most fantastic, and others of a very sarcastic description. For example, we have the Mercurius Fumigosus, or the Smoking Nocturnal; Mercurius Meretrix; Mercurius Radamanthus; Public Occurrences, truly stated, with allowance! News from the Land of Chivalry, being the pleasant and delectable History and Wonderful and Strange Adventures of Don Rugero de Strangmento, Knight of the Squeaking Fiddlestick, &c. Then, when we get about the time of the famed Popish Plot, we have the Weekly Visions of the Popish Plot; Discovery of the Mystery of Iniquity, &c. 'On