wars, and a great part of the tillage is left to the weaker hands of so many women and children. Whatever was the loss, it must undoubtedly be placed to the account of his ambition.

"And so must also the destruction or banishment of 3 or 400,000 of his reformed subjects; he could have no other reasons for valuing those lives so very cheap, but only to recommend himself to the bigotry of the Spanish nation.

"How should there be industry in a country where all property is precarious? What subject will sow his land, that his prince may reap the whole harvest? Parsimony and frugality must be strangers to such a people; for will any man save to-day, what he has reason to fear will be taken from him to-morrow? And where is the encouragement for marrying? Will any man think of raising children, without any assurance of clothing for their backs, or so much as food for their bellies? And thus, by his fatal ambition, he must have lessened the number of his subjects, not only by slaughter and destruction; but, by preventing their very births, he has done as much as was possible towards destroying posterity itself.

"Is this then the great, the invincible Lewis? this the immortal man, the tout puissant, or the almighty, as his flatterers have called him? Is this the man that is so celebrated for his conquests? For every subject he has acquired, has he not lost three that were his inheritance? Are not his troops fewer, and those neither so well fed, or clothed, or paid, as they were formerly, though he has now so much grreater cause to exert himself? And what can be the reason of all this, but that his revenue is a great deal less, his subjects are either poorer, or not so many to be plundered by constant taxes for his use?



It is well for him he had found out a way to steal a kingdom; if he had gone on conquering as he did before, his ruin had been long since finished. This brings to my mind a saying of King Pyrrhus, after he had a second time beat the Romans in a pitched battle, and was complimented by his generals; Yes,' says he, 'such another victory and I am quite undone.' And since I have mentioned Pyrrhus, I will end with a very good, though known story of this ambitious madman. When he had shown the utmost fondness for his expedition against the Romans, Cyneas, his chief minister, asked him what he proposed to himself by this war? Why,' says Pyrrhus, 'to conquer the Romans, and reduce all Italy to my obedience.' 'What then?' says Cyneas. To pass over into Sicily,' says Pyrrhus, and then all the Sicilians must be our subjects.' 'And what does your majesty intend next?' Why truly,' says the king, to conquer Carthage, and make myself master of all Africa.' And what, sir,' says the minister, is to be the end of all your expeditions?' 'Why then,' says the king, for the rest of our lives we will sit down to good wine.' 'How, sir,' replied Cyneas, to better than we have now before us? Have we not already as much as we can drink?'




"Riot and excess are not the becoming characters of princes; but if Pyrrhus and Lewis had debauched like Vitellius, they had been less hurtful to their people.

"Your humble servant,



The kingdom of Spain, seized by Louis XIV. in 1701, for his grandson, as left him by the will of Charles II. which the enemies of France looked upon as forged, or made when Charles was non compos.


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No. 181. THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 1711.

His lacrymis vitam damus, et miserescimus ultrò.
VIRG. ÆN..ii.. 145.
Moved by these tears, we pity and protect.

I AM more pleased with a letter that is filled with
touches of nature than of wit. The following one
is of this kind:


"AMONG all the distresses which happen in fa-
milies, I do not remember that you have touched
upon the marriage of children without the consent
of their parents. I am one of these unfortunate per-
sons. I was about fifteen when I took the liberty
to choose for myself; and have ever since languished
under the displeasure of an inexorable father, who,
though he sees me happy in the best of husbands,
and blessed with very fine children, can never be
prevailed upon to forgive me. He was so kind to
me before this unhappy accident, that indeed it
makes my breach of duty in some measure inex-
cusable; and at the same time creates in me such a
tenderness towards him, that I love him above all
things, and would die to be reconciled to him. I
have thrown myself at his feet, and besought him
with tears to pardon me; but he always pushes me
away, and spurns me from him. I have written se-
veral letters to him, but he will neither open nor
receive them. About two years ago I sent my little
boy to him, dressed in a new apparel; but the child
returned to me crying, because he said his grand-

father would not see him, and had ordered him to be put out of his house. My mother is won over to my side, but dares not mention me to my father, for fear of provoking him. About a month ago he lay sick upon his bed, and in great danger of his life: I was pierced to the heart at the news, and could not forbear going to inquire after his health. My mother took this opportunity of speaking in my behalf: she told him, with abundance of tears, that I was come to see him, that I could not speak to her for weeping, and that I should certainly break my heart if he refused at that time to give me his blessing, and be reconciled to me. He was so far from relenting towards me, that he bid her speak no more of me, unless she had a mind to disturb him in his last moments; for, Sir, you must know that he has the reputation of an honest and religious man, which makes my misfortune so much the greater. God be thanked! he has since recovered: but his severe usage has given me such a blow, that I shall soon sink under it, unless I may be relieved by any impressions which the reading of this in your paper may make upon him.

"I am," &c.

Of all hardnesses of heart there is none so inexcusable as that of parents towards their children. An obstinate, inflexible, unforgiving, temper, is odious upon all occasions; but here it is unnatural. The love, tenderness, and compassion, which are apt to arise in us towards those who depend upon us, is that by which the whole world of life is upheld. The Supreme Being, by the transcendent excellency and goodness of his nature, extends his mercy towards all his works; and, because his creatures have not such a spontaneous benevolence and compassion towards those who are under their care and protection, he has implanted in them an instinct that supplies

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the place of this inherent goodness. I have illustrated this kind of instinct in former papers, and have shown how it runs through all the species of brute creatures as indeed the whole animal creation subsists by it.

This instinct in man is more general and uncircumscribed than in brutes, as being enlarged by the dictates of reason and duty. For if we consider ourselves attentively, we shall find that we are not only inclined to love those who descend from us, but that we bear a kind of orogy, or natural affection, to every thing which relies upon us for its good and preservation. Dependance is a perpetual call upon humanity, and a greater incitement to tenderness and pity, than any other motive whatsoever.

The man, therefore, who, notwithstanding any passion or resentment, can overcome this powerful instinct, and extinguish natural affection, debases his mind even below brutality; frustrates, as much as in him lies, the great design of Providence, and strikes out of his nature one of the most divine principles that is planted in it.


Among innumerable arguments which might be brought against such an unreasonable proceeding, I shall only insist on one. We make it the condition of our forgiveness that we forgive others. In our very prayers we desire no more than to be treated by this kind of retaliation. The case, therefore, before us seems to be what they call a case in point: the relation between the child and father being what comes nearest to that between a creature and its Creator. If the father is inexorable to the child who has offended, let the offence be of never so high a nature, how will he address himself to the Supreme Being, under the tender appellation of a Father, and desire of him such a forgiveness as he himself refuses to grant.

To this I might add many other religious, as well

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