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advantagious to Mankind, to be instructed in Wisdom and Virtue, than in Politicks; and to be made good Fathers, Husbands, and Sons, than Counsellours and Statesmen. Had the Philosophers and great Men of Antiquity, who took so much Pains in order to inftruct Mankind, and leave the World wiser and better than they found it; bad they, I say, been possessed of the Art of Printing, there is no Question but they would have made such an Advantage of it, in dealing out their Lectures to the Publick. Our common Prints would be of great Use were they thus calculated to diffuse good Sense through the Bulk of a People, to clear up their Understandings, animate their minds with Virtue, disfipate the Sorrows of a heavy Heart, or unbend the Mind from its more severe Employments with innocent Amusements. When Knowledge, instead of being bound up in Books, and kept in Libraries and Retirements, is thus obtruded upon the Publick; when it is canyasted in every Assembly, and exposed upon every Table; I cannot forbear reflecting upon that Passage in the Proverbs, Wisdom crieth without, she uttereth her Voice in the Streets; She cryeth in the chief Place of Concourse, in the Openings of the Gates. In the City she uttereth her Words, Saying, How long, ye fimple ones, will ye love Simplicity ? and the Scorners delight in their Scorning and Fools hate Knowledge ?
THE many Letters which come to me from Persons of the best Sense in both Sexes, ( for I may pronounce their Characters from their way of Writing) do not a little encourage me in the Prosecution of this my Undertaking: Besides that, my Bookseller tells me, the Demand for these my Papers increases daily. It is at his Instance that I shall continue my rural speculations to the end of this Month; several having made up Sepa. rate Sets of them, as they have done before of those relating to Wit, to Operas, to Points of Morality, or Subjects of Humour.
I am not at all mortified, when sometimes I see my Works thrown aside by men of no Taste nor Learning. There is a kind of Heaviness and Ignorance that hangs upon the Minds of ordinary Men, which is too thick for
Knowledge Knowledge to break through. Their Souls are not to be enlightned.
- Nox atra cava circumvolat umbra.
To these I must apply the Fable of the Mole. That after having consulted many Oculists for the bettering of his Sight, was at last provided with a good pair of Spectacles; but upon his endeavouring to make use of them, his Mother told him very prudently, " That “ Spectacles, though they might help the Eye of a « Man, could be of no use to a Mole." It is not therefore for the Benefit of Moles that I publish these my daily Essays.
But besides such as are Moles through Ignorance, there are others who are Moles through Envy. As it is said in the Latin Proverb, “ That one Man is a Wolf “ to another;" fo, generally speaking, one Author is a Mole to another Author.' It is impossible for them to discover Beauties in one another's Works; they have Eyes only for Spots and Blemishes: They can indeed see the Light, as it is said of the Animals which are their Namesakes, but the Idea of it is painful to them; they immediately shut their Eyes upon it, and withdraw themselves into a wilful Obscurity, I have already caught two or three of these dark undermining Vermin, and intend to make a String of them, in order to hang them up in one of my Papers, as an Example to all such voluntary Moles.
Tuesday, July 24.
Ne pueri, ne tanta animis assuescite bella :
N AY worthy Friend Sir ROGER, when we are talk.
| ing of the Malice of Parties, very frequently tells
us an Accident that happened to him when he was a School-Boy, which was at a time when the Feuds ram high berwen the Round-heads and Cavaliers. This worthy Knight being then but a Stripling, had Occasion to enquire which was the Way to St. Anne's Lane, upon which the Person whom he spoke to, instead of answering his Question, called him a young Popish Cur, and asked him who had made Anne a Saint! The Boy being in some Confusion, enquired of the next he met which was the Way to Anne's Lane; but was callid a prick-eared for his Pains, and instead of being shewn the Way, was told that she had been a Saint before he was born, and would be one after he was hanged. Upon this, says Sir ROGER, I did not think fit to repeat the former Question, but going into every Lane of the Neighbourhood, asked what they called the Name of that Lane. By which ingenious Artifice he found out the Place he enquired after, without giving Offence to any Party. Sir ROGER generally closes this Narrative with Reflexions on the Mischief that Parties do in the Country: how they fpoil good Neighbourhood, and make honest Gentlemen hate one another ; besides that they manifestly tend to the Prejudise of the Land-Tax, and the Destru&tion of the Game.
THERE cannot a greater Judgment befall aCountry than such a dreadful Spirit of Division as rends a Govern. ment into two distinct People, and makes them greater Strangers and more averse to one another, than if they were actually two different Nations. The Effects of such
a Division are pernicious to the last degree, not only with regard to those Advantages which they give the Common Enemy, but to those private Evils which they produce in the Heart of almost every particular Person. This Influerice is very fatal both to Mens Morals and their Understandings; It sinks the Virtue of a Nation, and not only fo, but destroys even Common Sense.
A furious Party-Spirit, when it rages in its full Vio: lence, exerts it self in Civil War and Bloodshed; and when it is under its greatest Restraints naturally breaks out in Fallhood, Detraction, Calumny, and a partial Admini. ftration of Justice. Ina Word, it fills a Nation with Spleen and Rancour, and extinguishes all the Seeds of GoodNature Compassion and Humanity.
PLUTARCH says very finely, That a Man should not allow himself to hate even his Enemies, because, says he, if you indulge this Passion in some Occasions, it will rise of it self in others; if you hate your Enemies, you will contract such a vicious Habit of Mind, as by Degrees will break out upon those who are your Friends, or those who are indiffent to you. I might here observe how admirably this Precept of Morality (which derives the Malignity of Hatred from the Passion it self, and not from its Object) answers to that great Rule which was dictated to the World about an Hundred Years before this Philosopher wrote, but instead of that, I shall only take Notice, with a real Grief of Heart, that the Minds of many good Men among us appear fowered with Party-Principles, and alienated from one another in such a manner, as seems to me altogether inconsistent with the Dictates either of Reason or Religion. Zeal for a Publick Cause is apt to breed Pallions in the Hearts of virtuous Persons, to which the Regard of their own private Interest would never have betrayed them.
IF this Party-Spirt has so ill an Effect on our Morals, it has likewise a very great one upon our Judgments, We often hear a poor insipid Paper or Pamphlet cryed up, and sometimes a noble Piece depreciated, by those who are of a different Principle from the Author. One who is actuated by this Spirit is almost under an Incapacity of difcerning either real Blemishes or Beauties. A Man of Merit in a different Principle, is like an
Object Object feen in two different Mediums, that appears crooked or broken, however streight and intire it may be in it self. For this Reason there is searce a Person of any Figure in England, who does not go by two contrary Characters, as opposite to one another as Light and Darkness. Knowledge and Learning suffer in a particular manner from this strange Prejudice, which at present prevails amongst all Ranks and Degrees in the British Nae tion. As Men formerly became eminent in learned so. cieties by their Parts and Acquisitions, they now distinc guila themselves by the warmth and Violence with which they espouse their respective Parties. Books are valued upon the like Considerations : An Abusive scurrilous Style paffes for Satyr, and a dull Scheme of Party-Notions is called fine Writing.
THERE is one Piece of Sophiftry pra&ised by both Sides, and that is the taking any fcandalous Story that has been ever whispered or invented of a private Man, for a known undoubted Truth, and raising suitable Specula, tions upon it. Calumnies that have been never proved, or have been often refuted, are the ordinary Poftula tums of thefe infamous Scriblers, upon which they proceed as upon first Principles granted by all Men, though in their Hearts they know they are false, or at best very doubtful. When they have laid these Foundations of Scur. rility, it is no wonder that their Superstructure is every way answerable to them. If this shameless Practice of the present Age endures much longer, Praise and Reproach will cease to be Motives of A&tion in good Men.
THERE are certain Periods of Time in all Govern ments when this inhuman Spirit prevails. Italy was long torn in pieces by the Guelfes and Gibellines, and France by those who were for and against the League: But it is very unhappy for a Man to be born in such a stormy and tempestuous Season. It is the restless Ambition of artful Men that thus breaks a People into Factions, and draws seveveral well-meaning Persons to their Interest by a Specious Concern for their Country. How many honest Minds are filled with uncharitable and barbarous Notions, out of their Zeal for the Publick Good? What Cruelties and Outrages would they not commit against Men of an adverse Party, whom they would honour and