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heels, a patch, or any other particularity in his dress, she cannot take too much care of her person. These are baits not to be trifled with, charms that have done a world of execution, and made their way into hearts which have been thought impregnable. The force of a man with these qualifications is so well known, that I am credibly informed there are several 'female undertakers about the 'Change, who, upon the arrival of a likely man out of a neighbouring kingdom, will furnish him with a proper dress from head to foot, to be paid for at a double price on the day of marriage.
We must, however, distinguish between fortunehunters and fortune-stealers. The first are those assiduous gentlemen who employ their whole lives in the chase, without ever coming to the quarry. Suffenns has combed and powdered at the ladies for thirty years together; and taken his stand in a side. box, until he has grown wrinkled under their eyes. He is now laying the same snares for the present generation of beauties, which he practised on their mothers. Cottilus, after having made his applications to more than you meet with in Mr. Cowley's ballad of mistresses, was at last smitten with a city lady of 20,0001. sterling; but died of old age before he could bring matters to bear. Nor must I here omit my worthy friend Mr. Honeycomb, who has often told us in the club, that for twenty years successively, upon the death of a childless rich man, he immediately drew on his boots, called for his horse, and made up to the widow. When he is rallied
upon his ill success, Will, with his usual gaiety, tells us, that he always found her pre-engaged.
Widows are indeed the great game of your fortunc-hunters. There is scarce a young fellow in the town of six foot high that has not passed in review before one or other of these wealthy relicts. Hudi. bras's Cupid, who
took his stand
is daily employed in throwing darts, and kindling flames. But as for widows, they are such a subtle generation of people, that they may be left to their own conduct; or if they make a false step in it, they are answerable for it to nobody but themselves. The young innocent creatures who have no know. ledge and experience of the world, are those whose safety I would principally consult in this specula. tion. The stealing of such an one should, in my opinion, be as punishable as a rape. Where there is no judgment there is no choice; and why the in. veigling a woman before she is come to years of discretion should not be as criminal as the seducing of her before she is ten years old, I am at a loss to com. prehend.
* The name of the widow here alluded to was Tomson, See Grey's edit. of Hudibras, vol. i. part i. canto iii. p. 212
N° 312. WEDNESDAY, FEB. 27. 1711-12.
Quod huic officium, quæ laus, qued decus erit tanti, quod adipisci
cum dolore corporis velit, qui dolorem summum malum sibi persuaserit ? Quam porrò quis ignominiam, quam turpitudinem non pertulerit, ut effugiat dolorem, si id summum malum esse decreverit?
TULL. What duty, what praise, or what honour will he think
worth enduring bodily pain for, who has persuaded himself that pain is the chief evil? Nay, to what ignominy, to what baseness, will he not stoop, to avoid pain, if he has determined it to be the chief evil?
Ir is a very melancholy reflexion, that men usually so weak, that it is absolutely necessary for them to know sorrow and pain, to be in their right senses. Prosperous people (for happy there are none) are hurried away with a fond sense of their present condition, and thoughtless of the mutability of fortune. Fortune is a term which we must use in such discourses as these, for what is wrought by the unseen hand of the Disposer of all things. But methinks the disposition of a mind which is truly great, is that which makes misfortunes and sorrows little when they befal ourselves, great and lamentable when they befal other men.
The most unpar. donable malefactor in the world going to his death, and bearing it with composure, would win the pity of those who should behold him; and this not be. cause his calamity is deplorable, but because he seems himself not to deplore it. We suffer for him who is less sensible of his own misery, and are in. clined to despise him who sinks under the weight
of his distresses. On the other hand, without any touch of envy, a temperate and well-governed mind looks down on such as are exalted with success, with a certain shame for the imbecility of human nature, that can so far forget how liable it is to calamity, as to grow giddy with only the suspence of sorrow which is the portion of all men.
He there. fore who turns his face from the unhappy man, who will not look again when his eye is cast upon mo. dest sorrow, who shuns affliction like a contagion, does but pamper himself up for a sacrifice, and con. tract in himself a greater aptitude to misery by at. tempting to escape it. A gentleman, where I happened to be last night, fell into a discourse which I thought shewed a good discerning in him. He took notice, that whenever men have looked into their heart for the idea of true excellence in human nature, they have found it to consist in suffering after a right manner, and with a good grace. Heroes are always drawn bearing sorrows, struggling with adversities, undergoing all kinds of hardships, and having, in the service of mankind, a kind of appetite to difficulties and dangers. The gentleman went on to observe, that it is from this secret sense of the high merit which there is in patience under calamities, that the writers of romances, when they attempt to furnish out characters of the highest ex. cellence, ransack nature for things terrible; they raise a new creation of monsters, dragons, and giants; where the danger ends, the hero ceases : when he has won an empire, or gained his mistress, the rest of his story is not worth relating. My friend carried his discourse so far as to say, that it was for higher beings than men to join happiness and greatness in the same idea ; but that in our condition we have no conception of superlative excellence, or heroism, but as it is surrounded with a shade of disa
It is certainly the proper education we should give ourselves, to be prepared for the ill events and acci. dents we are to meet with in a life sentenced to be a scene of sorrow: but instead of this expectation, we soften ourselves with prospects of constant delight, and destroy in our minds the seeds of fortitude and virtue, which should support us in hours of anguish. The constant pursuit of pleasure has in it something insolent and improper for our being. There is a pretty sober liveliness in the ode of Horace to Delius, where he tells him, loud mirth, or immoderate sorrow, inequality of behaviour either in prosperity or adversity, are alike ungraceful in man that is born to die. Moderation in both circumstances is peculiar to generous minds. Men of that sort ever taste the gratifications of health, and all other advantages of life, as if they were liable to part with them, and, when bereft of them, resign them with a greatness of mind which shews they know their value and duration. The contempt of pleasure is a certain preparatory for the contempt of pain, Without this the mind is, as it were, taken suddenly by an un. foreseen event; but he that has always, during health and prosperity, been abstinent in his satisfactions, enjoys, in the worst of difficulties, the reflexion, that his anguish is not aggravated with the comparison of past pleasures which upbraid his present condition. Tully tells us a story after Pompey, which gives us a good taste of the pleasant manner the men of wit and philosophy had in old times, of alleviating the distresses of life by the force of reason and philosophy. Pompey, when he came to Rhodes, had a curiosity to visit the famous phi. losopher Possidonius; but finding him in his sick bed, he bewailed the misfortune that he should not hear a discourse from him : But you may,' answered Possidonius; and immediately entered into