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the comforts which they reap from them, are balm to all other sorrows, and disappoint the injuries of time. Parents of children repeat their lives in their offspring : and their concern for them is so near, that they feel all their sufferings and enjoyments as much as if they regarded their own proper persons, But it is generally so far otherwise, that the common race of esquires in this kingdom use their sons as persons that are waiting only for their funerals, and spies upon their wealth and happiness; as indeed they are, by their own making them such. In cases where a man takes the liberty after this manner to reprehend others, it is commonly said, Let him look at home. I am sorry to own it; but there is one branch of the house of the Bickerstaffs, who have been as erroneous in their conduct this way as any other family whatsoever. The head of this branch is now in town, and has brought up with him his son and daughter, who are all the children he has, in order to be put some way into the world, and see fashions. They are both very
ill-bred cubs ; and having lived together from their infancy, without knowledge of the distinctions and decencies that are proper to be paid to each other's sex, they squabble like two brothers. The father is one of those who knows no better than that all pleasure is debauchery, and imagines, when he sees a man become his estate, that he will certainly spend it. This branch are a people who never had among them one man eminent either for good or ill : however, have all along kept their heads just above water, not by a prudent and regular economy, but by expedients in the matches they have made into their house. When one of the family has, in the pursuit of foxes, and in the entertainment of clowns run out the third part of the value of his estate, such a spendthrift has dressed up his eldest son, and married what they call a good fortune: who has supported the father as a tyrant over them during his life, in the same house or neighbourhood. The son, in succession, has just taken the same method to keep up his dignity, until the mortgages, he has ate and drank himself into, have reduced him to the necessity of sacrificing his son also, in imitation af his progenitor. This had been, for many generations, the whole that had happened in the family of Sam Bickerstaff, until the time of my present cousin Samuel, the father of the young people we have just now spoken of.
Samuel Bickerstaff, esquire, is so happy as that by several legacies from distant relations, deaths of maiden sisters, and other instances of good fortune, he has, besides his real estate, a great sum of ready money. His son at the same time knows he has a good fortune, which the father cannot alienate ; though he strives to make him believe, he depends only on his will for maintenance. Tom is now in his nineteenth year, Mrs. Mary in her fifteenth. Cousin Samuel, who understands no one point of good behaviour as it regards all the rest of the world, is an exact critic in the dress, the motion, the looks, and gestures of his children. What adds to their misery is, that he is excessively fond of them, and the greatest part of their time is spent in the presence of this nice observer. Their life is one continued restraint. The girl never turns her head, but she is warned not to follow the proud minxes of the town. The boy is not to turn fop, or be quarrelsome; at the same time, not to take an affront. I had the good fortune to dine with him to-day, and heard his fatherly table-talk as we sat at dinner, which, if my memory does not fail me, for the benefit of the world, I shall set down as he spoke it; which was much as follows, and may be of great use to those parents who seem to make it a rule, that their children's turn to enjoy the world is not to commence, until they themselves have left it.
“ Now, Tom, I have bought you chambers in the inns of court. I allow you to take a walk once or twice a day round the garden. If you mind your business, you need not study to be as great a lawyer as Coké upon Littleton. I have that, that will keep you; but be sure you keep an exact account of your
linen. Write down what you give out to your laundress, and what she brings home again. Go as little as possible to the other end of the town; but if you do, come home early. I believe I was as sharp as you for your years; and I had my hat snatched off my head coming home late at a stop by St. Clement's church, and I do not know from that day to this who took it. I do not care if you
learn to fence a little ; for I would not have
be made a fool of. Let me have an account of every thing every post; I am willing to be at that charge, and I think you need not spare your pains. As for you, daughter Molly, do not mind one word that is said to you in London ; for it is only for your money."
No 190. TUESDAY, JUNE 27, 1710.
- T'imeo Dangos & dona ferentes.
VIRG. Æn. ii. 48. Trojans all Greeks and Grecian gifts distrust.
Sheer-lane, June 26. THERE are some occasions in life, wherein regardl to a man's self is the most pitiful and contemptible of all passions; and such a time certainly is, when the true public spirit of a nation is run into a faction against their friends and benefactors. I have hinted heretofore some things which discover the real sorrow I am in at the observation that it is now very much so in Great Britain, and have had the honour to be pelted with several epistles to expostulate with me on that subject. Among others, one from a per
son of the number of those they call Quakers, who seems to admonish me out of pure zeal and goodwill. But as there is no character so unjust as that of talking in party upon all occasions, without respect to merit or worth on the contrary side; so there is no part we can act so justifiable as to speak our mind when we see things urged to extremity, against all that is praise-worthy or valuable in life, upon general and groundless suggestions. But if I have talked too frankly upon such reflections, my correspondent has laid before me, after his
the error of it in a manner that makes me indeed thankful for his kindness, but the more inclinable to repeat the imprudence from the necessity of the circumstance. 66 Friend Isaac,
The 23rd of the 6th month,
which is the month of June. “ Forasmuch as I love thee, I cannot any longer refrain declaring my mind unto thee concerning some things. Thou didst thyself indite the epistle inserted in one of thy late lucubrations, as thou wouldst have us call them; for verily thy friend of stone, and I speak according to knowledge, hath no fingers; and though he hath a mouth, yet speaketh he not therewith ; nor yet did that epistle at all come unto thee from the mansion-house of the scarlet whore. It is plain, therefore, that the truth is not in thee; but since thou wouldst lie, couldst not thou lie with more discretion? Wherefore shouldst thou insult over the afflicted, or add sorrow unto the heavy of heart? Truly this gall proceedeth not from the spirit of meekness. I tell thee, moreover, the people of this land be marvellously given to change ; insomuch that it may likely come to pass, that before thou art many years nearer to thy dissolution, thou mayst behold him sitting on a high place whom now thou laughest to scorn: and then how wilt thou be glad to humble thyself to the ground, and lick the dust of his feet, that thou mayst find favour in his sight? If thou didst meditate as much upon the word, as thou dost upon the profane scribblings of the wise ones of this generation, thou wouldst have remembered what happened unto Shimei, the son of Gera the Benjamite, who cursed the good man David in his distress. David pardoned his transgression ; yet was he afterwards taken as in a snare by the words of his own mouth, and fell by the sword of Solomon the chief ruler. Furthermore, I do not remember to have heard in the days of my youth and vanity, when, like thine, my conversation was with the Gentiles, that the men of Rome, which is Babylon, ever sued unto the men of Carthage for tranquillity, as thou dost
Neither was Hannibal, the son of Hamilcar, called home by his countrymen, until these saw the sword of their enemies at their gates; and then was it not time for him, thinkest thou, to return ? It appeareth therefore that thou dost prophecy backwards; thou dost row one way, and look another; and indeed in all things art thou too much a timeserver; yet seemest thou not to consider what a day may bring forth. Think of this and take tobacco. Thy friend,
If the zealous writer of the above letter has any meaning it is of too high a nature to be the subject of my. Lucubrations. I shall therefore wave such high points, and be as useful as I can to persons of less moment than any he hints at. When a man runs into a little fame in the world, as he meets with a great deal of reproach which he does not deserve, so does he also a great deal of esteem to which he has in himself no pretensions. Were it otherwise, I am sure no one would offer to put a law-case to me; but because I am an adept in physic,