페이지 이미지







F all the impertinent wishes which ed resignation to their appetites, they

we hear expressed in conversation, give to sober minds a prospect of a des there is not one more unworthy a gen. spicable age, which, if not interrupted tleman, or a man of liberal education, by death in the midst of their follies, than that of wishing one's self younger. mult certainly come. When an old man I have observed this wilh is usually made bewails the loss of such gratifications upon fight of some object which gives which are palt, he discovers a monstrous the idea of a past action, that it is no inclination to that which it is not in the dishonour to us that we cannot now re course of Providence to recal. The peat; or else on what was in itself shame. state of an old man, who is dissatisfied ful when we performed it. It is a cer- merely for his being such, is the most tain sign of a foolish or a dissolute mind if out of all measures of reason and good we want our youth again only for the sense of any being we have any account strength of bones and linews which we of from the highelt angel to the lowest once were masters of. It is, as my au

How miserable is the contemthor has it, as absurd in an old man to plation to consider a libidinous old man, with for the strength of a youth, as it while all created things, besides himself would be in a young man to wish for and devils, are following the order of the frength of a bull or a horse. These Providence, fretting at the course of wishes are both equally out of nature, things, and being almost the fole malewhich should direčt in all things that content in the creation ! But let us are not contradictory to justice, law, and a little reflect upon what he has loft reason. But though every old man has by the number of years; the passions been young, and every young one hopes which he had in his youth are not to be to be old, there seems to be a most un- obeyed as they were then, but reason is natural misunderstanding between those more powerful now without the disturba two stages of life. This unhappy want ance of them. An old gentleman the of commerce arises from the insolent ar other day in discourse with a friend of rogance or exultation in youth, and the his, reflecting upon some adventures irrational despondence or self-pity in they had in youth together, cried out age. A young man whose passion and · Oh, Jack, those were happy days!'ambition is to be good and wise, and an • That is true,' replied his friend, but old one who has no inclination to be "methinks we go about our business lewd or debauched, are quite uncon . more quietly than we did then.' One cerned in this speculation; but the would think it should be no small fatis. cocking young fellow who treads upon faction to have gone fo far in our jour: the toes of his elders, and the old fool ney that the heat of the day is over with who envies the saucy pride he fees in us. When life itself is a fever, as it is him, are the objects of our present con in licentious youth, the pleasures of it tempt and decision. Contempt and de. are no other than the dreams of a man rifon are harsh words; but in what man in that diftemper; and it is as absurd to Dies can one give advice to a youth in with the return of that season of life, as the pursuit and possession of fensual plea for a man in health to be forry for the fures, or afford pity to an old man in loss of gilded palaces, fairy walks, and the impotence and desire of enjoying flowery pastures, with which he remem: them? When young men in public places bers he was entertained in the troubled betray in their deportment in abandone fumbers of a fit of fickness.


As to all the rational and worthy plea- of youth. If to be faluted, attended, sures of our being, the conscience of a and consulted with deference, are ingood faine, the contemplation of ano. stances of pleasure, they are such as iter life, the respect and commerce of never fail a virtuous old age. In the honeft men, our capacities for such en- enuineration of the imperfections and joyments are enlarged by years. While advantages of the younger and later Lealth endures, the latter part of life, in . years of man, they are so near in their the eye of reason, is certainly the more condition, that, methinks, it should be eligible. The memory of a well-spent, incredible we fee so little commerce of youth gives a peaceable, unmixed, and kindness between them. If we consider elegant pleasure to the mind; and to youth and age with Tully, regarding Such who are so unfortunate as not to the affinity to death, youth has many be able to look back on youth with fa more chances to be near it than age; tisfaction, they may give themselves no what youth can say more than an old little consolation that they are under no man, he shall live until night? Youth temptation to repeat their follies, and catches distempers more easily, it's sick. that they at present despise them. It ness is more violent, and it's recovery was prettily faid- He that would be more doubtful. The youth indeed

long an old man, muit begin early to hopes for many more days, fo cannot • be one. It is too late to relign a thing the old man. The youth's hopes are after a mın is robbed of it; therefore ill-grounded; for what is more foolish it is neceffary that before the arrival of than to place any confidence upon an 'age we bid adieu to the pursuits of uncertainty? But the old man has net youth, otherwise sensual habits will live

room so much as for hope; he is still in our imaginations when our limbs happier than the youth, he has already cannot be lubservient to them. The enjoyed what the other does but hope poor fellow who lost his arm last fiege, for: one wishes to live long, the other will tell you, he feels the fingers that has lived long. But alas, is there any were buried in Flanders ake every cold thing in human life, the duration of morning at Chelsea.

which can be called long? There is The fond liumour of appearing on the nothing which must end to be valued gav and fashionable world, and being for it's continuance. If hours, days, applauded for trivial excellencies, is months, and years, pass away, it is no what makes youth have age in contempt, matter what hour, what day, what and makes age resign with fo ill a grace month, or what year, we die. The apthe qualifications of youth: but this in plause of a good actor is due to him at both fexes is inverting all things, and whatever scene of the play he makes his turning the natural course of our minds, exit. It is thus in the life of a man of which Thould build their approbations sense, a Mort life is sufficient to manifest and dislikes upon what nature and rea himself a man of honour and virtue; fon di&tate, into chimera and confusion. when he ceases to be such he has lived

Age, in a virtuous person, of either too long; and while he is such, it is of fex, carries in it an authority which 110 consequence to him how long he hall makes it preferable to all the pleasures be fo, provided he is so to his life's end.





with women, or you would know the COU are frequent in the mention of generality of them are not so angry a$

matters which concern the femi you imagine at the general vices among nine world, and take upon you to be I am apt to believe, begging your very severe against men upon all those pardon, that you are still what I myself occasions: but all this while I am afraid was once, a queer modeft fellow; and you have been very little conversant therefore, for your information, tha!!

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

give you a short account of myself, and

upon coming among people of figure in the realons why I was forced to wench, London, yet not so much but that the drink, play, and do every thing which ladies who had formerly laughed at me, is neceifary to the character of a man said Bless us! how wonderfully that of wit and pleasure, to be well with the gentleman is improved ?' Some faladies.

miliarities about the playhouses towards You are to know then that I was the end of the ensuing winter, made me bred a gentleman, and had the finishing conceive new hopes of adventures; and part of my education under a man of inttead of returning the next summer to great probity, wit, and learning, in one Aftrop or Bury, I thought myself qua. of our universities. I will not deny but lified to go to Epsom, and followed a this made my behaviour and mien bear young woman, whose relations were in it a figure of thought rather than ac jealous of my place in her favour, to tion; and a man of a quite contrary Scarborough. I carried my point, and character, who never thought in his life, in my third year aspired to go to Tunrallied me one day upon it, and said, he bridge, and in the autumn of the fame believed I was fill a virgin. There year made my appearance at Bath. I was a young lady of virtue present, and was now got into the way of talk proI was not displeased to favour the inti per for ladies, and was run into a vast nuation; but it had a quite contrary ef- acquaintance among them, which I al. feet from what I expected. I was ever ways improved to the best adyantage. after treated with great coldness both by In all tris course of time, and some that lady and all the rest of my acquaint years following, I found a sober modest ance. In a very little time I never came man was always looked upon by both into a room but I could hear a whisper sexes as a precise unfashioned fellow of - Here comes the maid.' A girl of no life or spirit. It was ordinary for a humour would on some occasion lay- man who had been drunk in good com• Why how do you know more than pany, or passed a night with a wench, to ' any of us?' An expression of that speak of it the next day before women kind was generally followed by a loud for whom he had the greatest respect. laugh: in a word, for no other fault in He was reproved, perhaps, with a blow the world than that they really thought of the fan, or an Oh fy!' but the anme as innocent as themielves, I became gry lady still preserved an apparent apof no consequence among them, and probation in her countenance: he was was received always upon the foot of a called a strange wicked fellow, a fad jeft. This made so itrong an impress wretch; he shrugs his shoulders, swears, fion upon me, that I resolved to be as receives another blow, swears again he agreeable as the best of the men who did not know he fwore, and all was laughed at me; but I observed it was well. You might often see men game nonsense for me to be impudent at first in the presence of women, and throw at among those who knew me; my cha. once for more than they were worth, to racter for moleity was so notorious recommend themselves as men of spirit. wherever I had hitherto appeared, that I found by long experience that the I resolved to thew my face in new loosest principles and moit abandoned quarters of the world. My first Itep I behaviour, carried all before them in chofe with judgment; for I went to pretentions to women of fortune. The Altrop, and came down among a crowd encouragement given to people of this of Academics, at one dash, the impu. itamp, made me soon throw off the redentelt fellow that they had ever seen in maining impressions of a sober educa. their lives. Flushed with this success, tion. In the above-mentioned places, I made love and was happy. Upon this as well as in town, I always kept com. conquest I thought it would be unlike pany with those who lived inott at large; a gentleman to itay longer with my mis and in due process of time I was a pretty tress, and crofled the country to Bury: rake among the men, and a very pretty I could give you a very good account fellow among the women. I must conof myself at that place allo. At these fess, I had loine melancholy hours upon two ended my first summer of gallantry. the account of the narrowness of 'my The winter following, you would wone fortune, but my conscience at the same der at it, but I relapsed into modesty time gave me the comfort that I had


[ocr errors]


qualified myself for marrying a fore your panegyrics on the fair-sex, give

them fonie lectures upon their filly apWhen I had lived in this manner for probations. It is that I am weary of some time,and became thus accoinplished, vice, and that it was not my natural I was now in the twenty-seventh year of way, that I am now so far recovered as my age, about the forty-seventh of my not to bring this believing dear creaiure constitution, any health and eltate wait. to contempt and poverty for her gene. ing very fat; when I happened to fall rosity to me. At the same time tell the into the company of a very pretty young youth of good education of our sex, that lady in her own disposal. I entertained they take too little care of improving the company, as we men of gailantry theinselves in little things; a good air generally do, with the many haps and at entering into a room, a proper audaditaiters, watchings under windows, city in expressing himtelf with gaiety escapes from jealous butbands, and le and gracefulness, would make a young veral other perils. Tire young thing gentleman of virtue and sense capable of was wonderfully charmed with one that discountenancing the fhallow impudent kuew the world 10 well, and talked fo rogues that thine among the women. fine; with Deidemona, all her lover said Mr. Spectator, I do not doubt but atlected lier-' It was thange, it was you are a very fagacious person, but you ( wonderous strange.' In a word, I law

are so great with Tully of late, that I the imp.eflion I had made upon her, fear you will contemn thele things as and with a very litde application the matters of no consequence: but believe pretty thing has married me. There is

me, Sir, they are of the higheit importso much charm in beri innocence and ance to human life; and if you can do beauty, that I do now as much deteit

any thing towards opening fair eyes, the course I have been in for many you will lay an obligation - upon all years, as I ever did before I entered

your contemporaries who are fathers, into it.

husbands, or brothers to females. Your What I intend, Mr. Spectator, by molt affectionate humble fervant, writing all this to yoii, is, that you


SIMON HONEYCOMB. would, before you go any further with



HOR. ARS POET. V. 451.




Have inore than once taken notice of wanis understanding or breeding: One

an indecent licence taken in ricourie, or two of these complaints I shall it wherein the convertation on one part

down. involuntary, and the effect of feine neceilary circumstances. This happeus in

MR.SPECTATOR, travelling together in the same hired I Keep a coffee-house, and an one of coacii, fiting near each other in any those whom you have thought fit to public aliembly, or the like. I have, mention as an idol fo:ne time ago. I upon making obfervations of this furt, fuifered a good deal of raillery upon that received innumerable montages from that occafion; but shall heartily forgive you; part of the fair-lex whole lot in life is who are the cause of it, if you will do to be of any trade or public way of life, me justice in another point. What I They are all to a woman urgeni with aík of you is, to acquaint my customers, me to lay before the world the uniappy who are otherwise very good ones, that circumstances they are under, from the I am unavoidabiy halped in my bar, unreasonable libeity which is taken in and cannot help hearing the improper their presence, to talk on what subject it discourses they are pleased to entertain is thought fit by every cox.comb who me with. They stive who hail fay


the most immodest things in my hearing. to another shop. Letters from "Change At the same time half a dozen of them Alley are full of the same evil, and the loll at the bar staring just in my face, girls' tell me except I can chase some realy to interpret my looks and geituies eminent merchants from their shops they according to their own imaginations. ' fall in a short time fail. It is very unIn this passive condition I know not accountable, that men can have to little where to cart my eyes, place my hands, deference to all mankind who pass by or what to employ myself in: but this them, as to bear being feen toying by confusion is to be a jeit, and I hear them two's and three's at a time, with no other fay in the end, with an insipid air of purpose but to appear gay enough to mirth and fubtlety- Let her alone, she keep up a light conversation of common• koows as well as we, for all the looks place jeits, to the injury of her whose "lo. Good Mr. Spectator, persuade credit is certainly hurt by it, though gentlemen that it is out of all decency: their own may be strong enough to bear say it is posible a woman may be mo it. When we come to have exact acdalt and yet keep a public-house. Be counts of these conversations, it is not pleased to argue, that in truth the affront to be doubted but that their discourses is the more unpardonable because I am will raise the usual itile of buying and obliged to suffer it, and cannot fly from felling: inftead of the plain downright it. I do assure you, Sir, the chearful. lying, and asking and bidding so uneness of life which would arise from the qually to what they will really give and honelt gain I have, is utterly lost to me, take, we may hope to liave from these fine from the endless, flat, impertinent plea- folks an exchange of compliments. fantries which I hear from morning to There mult certainly be a great deal night. In a word, it is too much for of pleasant difference between the comme to bear; and I desire you to acquaint merce of lovers, and that of all others them, that I will keep pen and ink at dealers, who are, in a kind, adversaries. the bar, and write down all they say to A sealed bond, or a bank-note, would me, and send it to you for the press.' It be a pretty gallantry to convey unseen is poffible when they see how emptyüto the hands of one whom a diretor what they speak, without the advantage is charmed with; otherwise the cityof an impudent countenance and geiture, loiterers are still more unreasonable than will appear, they may come to some sense those at the other end of the town : at of themselves, and the insults they are the New Exchange they are eloquent guilty of towards me, I am, Sir, your for want of calh, but in the city they most humble servant,

ought with cash to supply their want of The IDOL. eloquence.

It one might be serious on this preThis representation is fo juft, that it vailing folly, one might observe, that it is hard to speak of it without an indig is a melancholy thing, when the world nation which perhaps would appear too is mercenary even to the buying and elevated to such as can be guilty of this selling our very persons; that young inhuman treatment, where they see they women, though they have never so great affront a modeit, plain, and ingenuous attractions from nature, are never the behaviour. This correspondent is not nearer being happily dispored of in mar. the only fufferer in this kind, for I have riage; I say, it is very hard under this long letters both from the Royal and neceffity, it shall not be poflibie for them New Exchange on the fame subject. to go into a way of trade for their mainThey tell me that a young fop cannot tenance, but their very excellencies and bhly a pair of gloves, but he is at the personal perfe&tions Mall he a difade famne time ftraining for Tome ingenious vantage to them, and fubje&t them to be ribuldry to say to tlie young woman who treated as if they iteod there to sell their helps them on. It is no small addition persons to proftitution. There cannot to the calamity, that the logues buy as be a more melancholy circumstance to hard as the plainest and modeftcft curo one who has made any obtervation in tomers they have; befiles which, they the world, than one of those erring loll upon their counters half an hour creatures exposed to bankruptcy. When longer than they need, to drive away that happens, none of these toying fools other customers, who are to Mare their will do any more than any other man ir pertinences with the milliner, or gk they ineet to preserve her from infamy,

2 P 2


« 이전계속 »