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gratitude towards that Being who has ałotted him his part to act in this world. le destroys all inordinate ambition, and every tendency to corruption, with regard to the community wherein he is placed. It gives lweetness to his conversation, and a perpetual sertnity to all his thoughts.
Among the many methods which might be made use of for the acquiring of this virtue, I fall only mentios the two following
Fi of all, a man fhould always consider how much he has more than he wants; and lecondly, how much more unhappy he might be than he really is.
First of all, a man should always consider how much he has more than he wants. I am wonderfully pleased with the reply which Aristippus made to one who condoled him upon the loss of a farın : “ Why,” said he, “ I have three farms itill, and you liave but one ; fo that I ought rather to be afflicted for you than you for me.” On the contrary, foolish men are more apt to confider what they have lost than what they poffels ; and to fix their eyes upon
those wlio are richer than themselves, rather than on those who are under greater difficulties. All the real pleatures and conveniencies of life lie in a narrow compass; but it is the humour of mankind to be always looking forward, and straining after one who has got the ftart of them in wealth and honour. For this reason, as there are none can be properly called rich, who have not more than they want; there are few rich men in any of the politer nations but among the middle sort of people, who keep their wishes within their fortunes, and have more wealth than they know how to enjoy. Perfons of a higher rank live in a kind of splendid poverty; and are perpetually wanting, because, instead of acquiefcing in the folid pleasures of life, they endeavour to ourvie one another in shadows and appearances. Men of sense have at all times beheld with a great deal of mirtli this filly game that is playing over their heads; and, by contracte ing their desires, enjoy all that secret satisfaction which others are always in queft of. The truth is, this ridiculous chase after imaginary pleasures cannot be sufficient. ly exposed, as it is the great source of those evils which generally undo a nation. Let a man's estate be what it. Will, he is a poor man if he does not live within it, and naturally sets himself to fale to any one that can give bim his price. When Pittacus, after the death of his brother, who had left him a good estate, was offered a great fum of money by the king of Lydia, he thanked him for his kindness, but told him he had already more by half than he knew what to do with. In short, content is equivalent to wealth, and luxury to poverty; or, to give the thought a more agreeable turn,
« Content is natural wealth,” says Socrates ; to which I shall add, Luxury is artificial poverty. I shall therefore recommend to the confideration of those who are always aiming after superfluous and imaginary enjoyments, and will not be at the trouble of contracting their desires an excellent · saying of Bion the philosopher, namely, “ That no man has so much care, as he who endeavours after the most happiness."
In the second place, every one ought to reflect how much more unhappy he might be than he really is. The former consideration took in all those who are lufficiently provided with the means to make themfelves easy; this regards such as a&tually lie under some pressure or misfortune. These may receive great alleviation from such a comparison as the unhappy person may make between himself and others, or between the misfortune which lie suffers, and greater misfortunes which might have befallen him."
I like the story of the honest Dutchman, who, upon breaking his leg by a fall from the main-malt, told the standers by, it was a great mercy that it was not his neck. To which, since I am got into quotations, give me leave to add the saying of an old philofopher, who, after having invited some of his friends to dine with him, was ruffled by his wife that came into the room in a paft fion, and threw down the table that stood before them : “ Every one,” says he;" has his calamity, and he is a bappy man that has no greater than this. We find an instance to the same purpose in the life of Doctor Ham.. mond, written by. Bishop Fell. . As this good man was troubled with a complication of distempers, when he had the gout upon him, he ufed to thank God that it was
not the stone ; and when he had the stone, that he had not both these distempers on him at the same time.
I cannot conclude this essay without observing that there was never any lyfter besides that of Christianity, which could effectually produce in the mind of man the virtne I have been hitherto speaking of In order to make us contented with o'r condition, many of the present philofophers tell us, that our discontent only. hurts ourselves, without being able to make any altera-tion in our circumstances; others, that whatever evi} be. fals us. is derived to us by a fatal necessity, to which the gods themselves are subject; while others very gravely tell the man who is miserable, that it is necessary he fhould be fo to keep up the harmony of the universe, and that the scheme of Providence would be troubled and pervérted were he otherwise. These and the like confidera. tions rather silence than fatisfy a man.. They may thow him that his discontent is unreasonable, but are by na means fufficient to relieve it. They rather give despair than confolation. In a word, a man might reply to one of these comforters, as Auguftus did to his friend who advised hiin not to grieve for the death of a person whom he loved, because his grief could not fetch liim again :: “ It is for that very reason," said the emperorg: u that I grieve.”
On the contrary, religion, bears-a more tender regard to human nature, It prescribes to every miserable man: the means of bettering his condition : nay, it shows him, that the bearing of his afflictions as he ought to do, will naturally end in the removal of them. It makes him eafy here, because it can make him happy hereafter..
XI. Needle-work recommended to the Ladies. 'I HAVE a couple of nieces under my direction who
so often run gadding abroad, that I do not know. where to have them. Their dress, their tea, and their visits take up all their time, and they go to bed as tired with doing nothing, as I am after quilting a whole un. der-petticoat. The whole time they are not idle, is while they read your Spectators; which being dedicated to the interests of virtue, I desire you to recommend the long.neglected art of ncedle-work. Those hours
which in this age are thrown away in dress, play, visits, and the like, were employed, in my time, in writing out receipts, or working beds, chairs, and hangings for the family. For my part, I have plied my needle there fifty years, and by my good will would never have it out of my hand. It grieves - my heart to see a couple of proud idle Airts fipping their tea, for a whole after. noon, in a great room hung round with the industry of their great grandmother. Pray, Sir, take the laudable mystery of embroidery into your serious confideration, and as you have a great deal of the virtue of the lattı
you, continue your endeavours to reform the prefent.”
Liam, &c. In obedience to the commands of my venerable correfpondent, I have duly weighed this important subject, and promise myself, from the arguments here laid down, that all the fime ladies of England will be ready, as foon as their mourning is over, to appear covered, with the work of their own hands..
What a délightful entertainment must' it be to the.. fair sex, whom their native modesty and the tenderness of men towards them, exempts from public business, to pals their hours in imitating fruits and flowers, and transplanting all the beauties of nature into their own. dress, or railing a new creation in their closets and an partments. How pleasing is the amusement of walking among the shades and groves planted by themselves, in furveying heroes flain by their needle, or little Copids which they have brought into the world without pain !
This is, methinks, the most proper way wherein a lady can show a fine genius, and I cannnot forbear wishe ing, that several writers of that fex had chosen to apply themselves rather to tapestry than rhime. Your paftoral poetesles may vent their fancy in rural landskips, and place despairing shepherds under lilken willows,or drown them in a stream of mohair. The heroic writers may work up battles as successfully, and inflame them with gold or stain them with crimson. Even those who have only a turn to a fong or an epigram, may put many valuable stitches into a purse, and crowd a thousand graces into a pair of garters,
If I may, without breach of good manners, imagine that any pretty creature is void of genius, and would perform her part herein but very awkwardly, .I must nevertheless insist upon her working, if it be only to keep her out of harm's way:
Another argument for busying good women in works of fancy, is, because it takes them eff from scan: dal, the usual attendant of tea-tables and all other in. active scenes of life. While they are forming their birds and beasts, their neighbours will be allowed to be the fathers of their own children ; and Whig and Tory will be but seldom mentioned, where the great difpute is, whether blue or red is the more proper colour. How much greater glory would Sophronia do the general, if she would choose rather to work the battle of Blenheim, in tapestry, than fignalize herself with so much vehemence against those who are Frenchmen-in their hearts.
A third reason that I shall mention, is the profit that is brought to the family where these pretty arts așe en: couraged. It is manifest that this way of life not only keeps fair ladies from running out into expences, but is at the same time an actual improvement. How memor rable would that matron be, who shall have it inscribed upon her monument, “That she wrote out the whole bible-in tapestry, and died in a good old age, after baving covered three hundred yards of wall in the man. fion-house."
Thefe premises being confidered, I humbly submit the following proposals to all mothers in Great Britain.
I. That no young virgin whatsoever be alowed to receive the addresses of her firit lover, but in a suit of her own embroidering.
II. That before every fresh fervant fhe be obliged to appear with a new stomacher at the least.
III. That no one be actually married until she hath the child-bed pillows, &c. ready ftitched, as likewise the mantle for the boy quite finished.
These laws, if I mistake not, would effectually restore the decayed art of needle-work, and make the virgins of Great-Britain exceedingly. nimble-fingered in their business.