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• greatest Commendation not to be talked of one way
Monday, June 4.
Caput domina venale fub hafta. Juv. DASSING under Ludgate the other Day, I heard a P Voice bawling for Charity, which I thought I had
somewhere heard before. Coming near to the Grate, the Prisoner called me by my Name, and desired I would throw fomething into the Box': I was out of Countenance for him, and did as he bid me, by putting in half-a-Crown. I went away reflecting upon the ftrange Conftitution of some Men, and how meanly they behave themselves in all Sorts of Conditions. The Per. fon who begged of me is now, as I take it, Fifty : I was well acquainted with him till about the Age of Twentyr five; at which Time a good Eftate fell to him by the Death of a Relation. Upon coming to this unexpe&ed good Fortune, he ran into all the Extravagancies imaginable ; was frequently in drunken Disputes, broke Drawers Heads, talked and swore loud, was unmannerly to those above him, and infolent to those below him. I could not but remark, that it was the fame Baseness of Spirit which worked in his Behaviour in both Fortuines : The fame little Mind wasinfolent in Riches, and shameless in Poverty. This Accident made me muse upon the Circum ftance of being in Debt in general, and solve in my Mind what Tempers were most apt to fall into this Error af Life, as well as the Mistortune it must needs be to languisa under fnch Pressures. As for my self, my natural Aversion to that fort of Conversation which inakes a Figure' with the Generality of Mankind, exempes me from any Temptations to Expence; and all my Business lies. wichin a very narrow Compass, which is only to give an honest Man who takes care of my Estate, proper Vouchers for his quarterly Payments to me, and observe
what Linnen my Laundress brings and takes away with her once a week: My Steward brings his Receipt ready for my Signing; and I have a pretty Implement with the respective Names of Shirts, Cravats, Handkerchiefs and Stockings, with proper Numbers to know how to reckon with my Laundress. This-being almost all the Business I have in the World for the Care of my own Affairs, I am at full Leisure to observe upon whar. others do, with relation to their Equipage and Oeconomy.
When I walk the Street, and observe the Hurry about me in this Town
Where with like Haste, tho' different Ways, they runs:: Some to unde, and some to be undone ;
I say, when I behold' this vast Variety of Persons and Humours, with the Pains they both take for the Accomplishment of the Ends mentioned in the above Verses of Denham, I cannot much wonder at the Endeavour after Gain, but am extreamly astonished that Men can be so insensible of the Danger of running into Debt. One would think it impoflible a Man who is given to con tract Debts should know, that his Creditor has from that Moment in which he transgresses Payment, so much as that Demand comes to in his Debtor's Honour, Liberty and Fortune. One would think he did not know, that bis Creditor can say the worst Thing imaginable of him, to wit, That be is unjust, without Defamation; and can Seize his Person, without being guilty of an Assault. Yes Such is the loose and abandoned Turn of some Mens Minds, that they can live under these constant Appreis hensions, and fill go on to encrease the Cause of them, Can there be a more low and servile Condition, than to be ashamed; or afraid, to see any one Man breathing? Yet he that is much in Debt, is in that Condition with relation to twenty different People. There are indeed Circumstances wherein Men of honeft. Nagures may become liable to Debts, by some unadvised Behaviour in any great Point of their' Life, or mortgaging a Man's Honesty as a Security for that of another, and the like; but shese Instances are so particular and circumftantiated, that they cannot come wickin general Confiderations :
NFS2: The SPECTATOR. : 13 For one such Case as one of these, there are ten, where a Man, to keep up a Farce of Retinue and Grandeur within his own House, Ihall Ihrink at the Expectation of farly Demands at his Doors. The Debtor is the Credis tor's Criminal, and all the Officers of Power and State, whom we behold make so great a Figure, are no other shan so many persons in Authority to make good his Charge against him. Human Society depends upon his having the Vengeance Law allots him; and the Debtor owes his Liberty to his Neighbour, as much as the Murs derer does his Life to his Prince.
OUR Gentry are, generally speaking, -in Debt; and many Families have put it into a Kind of Method of being so from Generation to Generation. The Father mortgages when his Son is very young: and the Boy is to marry as soon as he is at Age to redeem it, and find Portions for his Sisters. This, forsooth, is no great Inconvenience to him ; for he may Wench, keep a publick Table, or feed Dogs, like a worthy English Gen. tleman, till he has out-run half his Eftate, and leave the same Incumbrance upon his First-born, and so on, till one Man of more. Vigour than ordinary goes quite through the Estate, or some Man of Sense comes into it, and scorns to have an Estate in Partnership, that is to say, liable to the Demand or Insult of any Man living, There is my Friend Sir ANDREW, tho' for many Years a great and general Trader, was never the Defendant in a Law-Suit, in all the Perplexity of Business, and the Iniquity of Mankind at present. No one had any Co. lour for the least Complaint against his Dealings with him. This is certainly as uncommon, and in its Proportion as laudable in' a Citizen, as it is in a General never to have suffered a Disadvantage in Fight. How different from this Gentleman is Jack Truepenny, who has been an old Acquaintance of Sir ANDREW and my self from Boys, but could never learn our Caution.
Fack has a whorish unrefifting good Nature, which makes him incapable of having a Property in any Thing. His Fortune, his Reputation, his Tiine and his Capa. city, are at any Man's Service that comes first. When he was at School, he was whipped thrice a Week for Faults he took upon him to excuse others; since he
came into the Business of the World, he has been arrested twice or thrice a Year for Debts he had nothing to do with, but as Surety for others; and I remember when a Friend of his had suffered in the Vice of the Town, all the Phyfick his Friend took was conveyed to him by Fack, and inscribed, ' A Bolus or an Electuary for Mr.
Truepen ny.' Jack had a good Estate left him, which came to nothing; because he believed all who pretended to Demands upon it. This Easiness and Credulity de. Atroy all the other Merit he has; and he has all his Life beén a Sacrifice to others, without ever receiving Thanks, or doing one good Action.
I will end this Discourse with a Speech which I heard Fack make to one of his Creditors, (of whom he deserv. ed gentler Usage) after lying a whole Night in Cuftody at his Suit,
, SIR, 6 VOUR Ingratitude for thie many Kindnesfes I have
I done you, shall not make me unthankful for the • Good you have done me, in letting me fee there is such • a Man as you in the World. I am obliged to you for the • Diffidence I shall have all the rest of my Life: I fall • bereafter truft no Man so far as to be in his Debt. R
N° 83. Tuesday, June 5.
Diversions without Doors, I frequently make a
Jittle Party with two or three select Friends, to visit any thing curious that may be seen under Covert. My principal Entertainments of this Nature are Pi&ures, insomuch that when I have found the Weather set in to be very bad, I have taken a whole Day's Journey to see a Gallery that is furnished by the Hands of great MaMers. By this means, wben the Heavens are filled with
Clouds, Clonds, when the Earth swims in Rain, and all Nature wears a low'ring Countenance, I withdraw my self from these uncomfortable Scenes into the visionary Worlds of Art; where I meet with shining Landskips, gilded Triumphs, beautiful Faces, and all thole other objects that fill the Mind with gay Ideas, and disperse that Gloga miness which is apt to hang upon it in those dark disconfolate Seasons.
I was some Weeks ago in a Course of these Diverfions: which had taken such an entire Poffeffion of my Imagination, that they formed in it a short Morning's Dream, which I shall communicate to my Reader, rather as the first Sketch and Ouclines of a Vifion, than as a finished Piece
I dreamt that I was admitted into a long spacious Gallery, which had one fide covered with Pieces of all the famous Painters who are now living, and the other with the Works of the greateft Mafters that are dead.
ON the side of the Living, I saw several Persons busie in Drawing, Colouring, and Designing; on the side of the Dead Painters, I could not discover more than one Perfoniac. Work, who was exceeding flow in his Mo tions, and wonderfully nice in his Touches,
I was resolved to examine the several Artists that stood before me, and accordingly applied my Self to the Side of the Living. The first I observed at Work in this part of the Gallery was VANITY, with his Hair tied beb hind him in a Ribbon, and dressed like a Frenchman. All the Faces he drew were very remarkable for their Smiles, and a certain smirking Air which he bestowed indifferently on every Age and Degree of either Sex. The Toujours Gai appeared even in his Judges, Bishops, and Privy-Counsellors: In a Word, all his Men were Petits Maitres, and all his Women Coquets. The Drapery of his Figures was extremely well-suited to his Faces, and was made up of all the glaring Colours that could be mixt together; every part of the Dress was in a Flutter, and endeavoured to distinguish it self above the rest.
On the left Hand of VANITY stood a laborious Workunan, who I found was his humble Admiret, and