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if you would enter into the matter more deeply,and give us your thoughts upon the common sense the ordinary people have of the demonstrations of grief, who prescribe rules and fashions to the most solemn affliction ; such as the loss of the nearest relations and dearest friends. You cannot go to visit a sick friend, but some impertinent waiter about him observes the muscles of your face, as strictly as if they were prognostics of his death or recovery. If he happens to be taken from you, you are immediately surrounded with numbers of these spectators, who expect a melancholy shrug of your shoulders, a pathetical shake of your head, and an expressive distortion of your face, to measure your affection and value for the deceased. But there is nothing, on these occasions, so much in their favour as immoderate weeping: As all their passions are superficial, they imagine the seat of love and friendship to be placed visibly in the eyes. They judge what stock of kindness you had for the living, by the quantity of tears you pour out for the dead; so that if one body wants that quantity of salt-water another abounds with, he is in great danger of being thought insensible or ill-patured. They are strangers to friendship, whose grief happens not to be moist enough to wet such a parcel of handkerchiefs. But experience has told us, nothing is so fallacious as: this outward sign of sorrow; and the natural history of our bodies will teach us that this flux of the eyes, this faculty of weeping, is peculiar only to soine constitutions. We observe in the tender bodies of children, when crossed in their little wills and expectations, how dissolvable they are into tears, If this were what grief is in men, nature would not be able to support them in the excess of it for one mo ment. Add to this observation, how quick is their transition from this passion to that of their joy! will not say we see often, in the next tender things to children, tears shed without much grieving. Thus it-is common to shed tears without much sorrow, and as common to suffer much sorrow without shedding tears. Grief and weeping are indeed frequent companions : but, I believe, never in their highest excesses. As laughter does not proceed from profound joy, so neither does weeping from profound sorrow. The sorrow which appears so easily at the eyes, cannot have pierced deeply into the heart. The heart distended with grief, stops all the passages for tears or lamentations..
• Now, sir, what I would incline you to in all this is, that you would inform the shallow critics and observers upon sorrow, that true affliction labours to be invisible, that it is a stranger to ceremony, and that it bears in its own nature a dignity much above the little circumstances which are affected under the notion of decency. You must know, sir, I have lately lost a dear friend, for whom I have not yet shed a tear, and for that reason your animadversions on that subject would be the more acceptable to,
June the 15th. “As I hope there are but few who have so little gratitude as not to acknowledge the usefulness of your pen, and to esteem it a public benefit ; so I am sensible, be that as it will, you must nevertheless find the secret and incomparable pleasure of doing good, and be a great sharer in the entertainment you give. I acknowledge our sex to be much obliged, and I hope improved by your labours, and even your intentions more particularly for our service. If it be true, as it is sometimes said, that our sex have an influence on the other, your paper may be a yet more
general good. Your directing us to reading, is certainly the best means to our instruction ; but I think with you, caution in that particular very useful, since the improvement of our understandings may, or may not be of service to us, according as it is managed. It has been thought we are not generally so ignorant as ill-taught, or that our sex does so often want wit, judgment, or knowledge, as the right application of tl:em. You are so well-bred, as to say your fair readers are already deeper scholars than the beaux, and that you could name some of them that talk much better than several gentlemen that make a figure at Will's. This may possibly be, and no great compliment, in my opinion, even supposing your comparison to reach Ton's and the Grecian. Surely you are too wise to think that the real commendation of a woman. Were it not rather to be wished we improved in our own sphere, and approved ourselves better daughters, wives, mothers, and friends ?
• I cannot but agree with the judicious trader in Cheapside (though. I am not at all prejudiced in his favour) in recommending the study of arithmetic; and must dissent even from the authority which you mention, when it advises the making our sex scholars. Indeed a little more philosophy, in order to the subduing our passions to our reason, might be sometimes serviceable, and a treatise of that nature I should approve of, even in the exchange for Theodosius, or the Force of Love ; but as I well know you want not hints, I will proceed no further than to recommend the Bishop of Cambray's Education of a Daughter, as it is translated into ihe only language I have any knowledge of, though perhaps very much to its disadvantage. I have heard it objected against that piece, that its instructions are not of general use, but only fitted for a great lady; but I confess I am not of that opinion; for I do not remember that there are any rules laid down for the expences of a woman, in which particular only I think a gentlewoman ought to differ from a lady of the best fortune, or highest quality, and not in their principles of justice, gratitude, sincerity, prudence, or modesty. I ought perhaps to make an apology for this long epistle ; but as I rather believe you a friend to sincerity, than ceremony, shall only assure you I am,
Your most hun ble servant,
N° 96. WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20, 1711.
HOR. 2 Sat. vii. 2.
* MR. SPECTATOR,
• I HAVE frequently read your discourse upon servants, and as I am one myself, have been much offended, that in that variety of forms wherein you considered the bad, you found no place to mention the good. There is however one observation of yours I approve, which is, “ That there are men of wit and good sense among all orders of men, and that servants report most of the good or ill which is spoken of their masters.” That there are men of sense who live in servitude, I have the vanity to say I liave felt to my woeful experience. You attribute very justly the source of our gencial iniquity to board
wages, and the manner of living out of a domestic way: but I cannot give you iny thoughts on this subject any way so well, as by a short account of my own life to this the forty-fifth year of my age ; that is to say, from my being first a footboy at fourteen, to my present station of a nobleman's porter in the year of my age above mentioned..
< Know then, that my father was a poor tenant to the family of Sir Stephen Rackrent. Sir Stephen put me to school, or rather made me follow his son Harry to school, from my ninth year; and there, though Sir Stephen paid something for my learning, I was used like a servant, and was forced io get what scraps of learning I could by my own industry, for the schoolmaster took very little notice of me. My young master was a lad of very sprightly parts; and my being constantly about him, and loving him, was no small advantage to me. My master loved me extremely, and has often been whipped for not keeping me at a distance. He used always to say, that when he came to his estate I should have a lease of my father's tenęment for nothing. I came up to town with him to Westminster-school; at which time he taught me at night all he learnt; and put me to find out words in the dictionary when he was about his exercise. It was the will of providence that master Harry was taken very ill of a fever, of which he died within ten days after his first falling sick. Here was the first sorrow I ever knew; and I assure you, Mr. Spectator, I remember the beautiful action of the sweet youth in his fever, as fresh as if it were yesterday. If he wanted any thing, it must be given him by Tom. When I let any thing fall through the grief I was under, he would cry, - Do not beat the poor boy: give him some more julep for me, no body else shall give it me." He would strive to hide his being so bad, when he saw I could not bear his being in so much danger, and