« ForrigeFortsett »
Record of the op'ning venly beaucoming face
• Record our monarch in a nobler strain,
And sing the op'ning wonders of his reign; • Bright Carolina's heavenly beauties trace, « Her valiant confort, and his blooming race. " A train of kings their fruitful love supplies, " A glorious scene to Albion's ravish'd eyes; ( Who sees by Brunswick's hand her sceptre sway'd,
And through his line from age to age conveyda!
N° 621. Wednesday, November 17, 1714.
Poftquam fe lumine puro
Lucan. ix. 11.
Rowe. THE following letter having in it fome ob
servations out of the common road, I shall make it the entertainment of this day.
• Mr. SPECTATOR, THE common topics against the pride T of man, which are laboured by Horid and declamatory writers, are taken from the * By Mr. Thomas Tickell.
< baseness of his original, the imperfections of • his nature, or the short duration of those goods • in which he makes his boast. Though it be « true that we can have nothing in us that ought • to raise our vanity, yet a consciousness of our • own merit may be sometimes laudable. The • folly therefore lies here; we are apt to pride • ourselves in worthless, or perhaps Thameful,
things; and on the other hand count that dif• graceful which is our truest glory.
. Hence it is that the lovers of praise take wrong measures to attain it. Would a vain man consult his own heart, he would find " that if others knew his weaknesses as well as he • himself doth, he could not have the impu« dence to expect the public esteem. Pride there• fore flows from want of reflection, and igno• rance of ourselves. Knowledge and humility ' come upon us together.
• The proper way to make an estimate of
ourselves, is to consider seriously what it is we • value or despise in others. A man who boasts • of the goods of fortune, a gay dress, or a new " title, is generally the mark of ridicule. We ' ought therefore not to admire in ourselves. • what we are so ready to laugh at in other men.
. Much less can we with reason pride our• selves in those things, which at some time of • our life we shall certainly despise. And yet, • if we will give ourselves the trouble of look• ing backward and forward on the several
changes which we have already undergone, . and hereafter must try, we shall find that the
• greater degrees of our knowledge and wisdom • serve only to thew us our own imperfections.
• As we rise from childhood to youth, we look with contempt on the toys and trifles which our hearts have hitherto been set upon. . When we advance to manhood, we are held • wise, in proportion to our Chame and regret • for the rashness and extravagance of youth. « Old age fills us with mortifying reflections • upon a life misspent in the pursuit of anxious • wealth, or uncertain honour. Agreeable to • this .gradation of thought in this life, it may be reasonably suppofed that, in a future state,
the wisdom, the experience, and the maxims, o of old age, will be looked upon by a separate 6 spirit, in much the same light as an ancient • man now sees the little follies and toying of • infants. The pomps, the honours, the poli• cies, and arts, of mortal men, will be thought • as trifling as hobby-horses, mock battles, or • any other sports that now employ all the cun• ning, and strength, and ambition, of rational • beings, from four years old to nine or ten. . If the notion of a gradual rise in beings from • the meanest to the most high be not a vain • imagination, it is not improbable that an angel • looks down upon a man as a man doth upon • a creature which approaches the nearest to
the rational nature. By the same rule, if I "may indulge my fancy in this particular, a • superior brute looks with a kind of pride
on one of an inferior species. If they could • reflect, we might imagine, from the gestures
• of some of them that they think themselves " the sovereigns of the world, and that all things " were made for them. Such a thought would not be more absurd in brute creatures than
one which men are apt to entertain, namely, • that all the stars in the firmament were created
only to please their eyes and amuse their ima• ginations. Mr. Dryden, in his fable of the • Cock and the Fox, makes a speech for his hero " the cock, which is a pretty instance for this ' purpose:
" Then turning, said to Partlet, fee, my dear, “ How lavish nature hath adorn’d the year; “ How the pale primrose and the violet spring, " And birds effay their throats, disus'd to fing: “ All these are ours, and I with pleasure fee “ Man ftrutting on two legs and aping me.”
o What I would observe from the whole is this, that we ought to value ourselves upon those things only which superior beings think
valuable, since that is the only way for us not ' to fink in our own esteem hereafter.'
** This day is published, “ The Examiner,” Number L. Printed for J. Roberts in Warwick-Lane, where advertisements will be taken in, &c. by J. Morphew. To be continued Wednesdays and Saturdays. Spect. in folio. N° 615. Wednesday, Nov. 3, 1914. See Tat. with Notes, vol. V. N° 210, Note on the Examiner, &c. and Preface to the “ Rea" der.” Editions of 1788 and 1789 in 12mo. and 8vo. with Notes.
** This day is published, “The Monthly Catalogue of books, plays, pamphlets, poems, and sermons,” in O&t. 1714, price 3d. Śpecr. in folio. N° 616. Friday, Nov. 5, 1714. VOL. VIII.
N° 622. Friday, November 19, 1714.
- Fallentis semita vita. Hor. 1. E.p. xviii. 103.
A safe private quiet, which betrays s Itself to ease, and cheats away the days. Pooly.
* Mr. SPECTATOR,
IN a former Speculation you have observed "I that true greatness doth not consist in that
pomp and noise wherein the generality of • mankind are apt to place it. You have there
taken notice that virtue in obscurity often • appears more illustrious in the eye of superior • beings, than all that passes for grandeur and • magnificence among men.
When we look back upon the history of " those who have borne the parts of kings, statel• men, or commanders, they appear to us atrip«ped of those outside ornaments that dazzle • their contemporaries; and we regard their • persons as great or little, in proportion to the • eminence of their virtues or vices. The wise • sayings, generous sentiments, or disinterested • conduct of a philosopher under mean circum* stances of life, fet him higher in our esteem than < the mighty potentates of the earth, when we • view them both through the long prospect of • many ages. Were the memoirs of an obscure • man, who lived up to the dignity of his nature • and according to the rules of virtue, to be