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deavour the gratification of others, but regulate their behaviour merely by their own will, will soon evince the necessity of established modes and formalities to the happiness and quiet of common life.
Wisdom and virtue are by no means sufficient, without the supplemental laws of good-breeding, to fecure freedom from degenerating to rudeness, or felf-esteem from swelling into infolence; a thousand incivilities may be committed, and a thousand offices neglected, without any remorse of conscience, or reproach from reason.
The true effect of genuine politeness seems to be rather ease than pleasure. The power of delighting must be conferred by nature, and cannot be delivered by precept, or obtained by imitation ; but though it be the privilege of a very finall number to ravish and to charm, every man may hope by rules and caution not to give pain, and may, therefore, by the help of good-breeding, enjoy the kindness of mankind, though he should have no claim to higher distinctions.
The universal axiom in which all complaisance is included, and from which flow all the formalities which custom has established in civilised nations, is, That no man shall give any preference to himself. A rule fo comprehensive and certain, that, perhaps, it is not easy for the mind to image an incivility, without supposing it to be broken.
There are, indeed, in every place some particular modes of the ceremonial part of good-breeding, which, being arbitrary and accidental, can be learned only by habitude and conversation ; such are the forms of falutation, the different gradations of reve
rence, and all the adjustments of place and precedence. These, however, may be often violated without offence, if it be sufficiently evident, that neither malice nor pride contributed to the failure; but will not atone, however rigidly observed, for the tumour of infolence, or petulance of contempt.
I have, indeed, not found among any part of mankind, less real and rational complaisance, than anong those who have passed their time in paying and receiving visits, in frequenting public entertainments, in studying the exact measures of ceremony, and in watching all the variations of fashionable courtesy.
They know, indeed, at what hour they may beat the door of an acquaintance, how many steps they must attend him towards the gate, and what interval should pass before his visit is returned ; but seldom extend their care beyond the exterior and unessential parts of civility, nor refuse their own vanity any gratification, however expensive to the quiet of another.
Trypherus is a man remarkable for splendour and expence; a man, that having been originally placed by his fortune and rank in the first class of the community, has acquired that air of dignity, and that readiness in the exchange of compliments, which courts, balls, and levees, easily confer.
But Trypherus, without any settled purposes of malignity, partly by his ignorance of human nature, and partly by the habit of contemplating with great satisfaction his own grandeur and riches, is hourly giving disgust to those whom chance or expectation subject to his vanity.
To a man whose fortune confines him to a small house, he declaims upon the pleasure of spacious apartments, and the convenience of changing his lodging-room in different parts of the year; tells him, that he hates confinement ; and concludes, that if his chamber was less, he fhould never wake without thinking of a prison.
To Eucretas, a man of birth equal to himself, but of much less estate, he shewed his services of plate, and remarked that such things were, indeed, nothing better than costly trifles, but that no man must pretend to the rank of a gentleman without them; and that for his part, if his estate was smaller, he should not think of enjoying but increasing it, and would inquire out a trade for his eldest son.
He has, in imitation of some more acute observer than himself, collected a great many shifts and artifices by which poverty is concealed ; and among the ladies of small fortune, never fails to talk of frippery and slight filks, and the convenience of a general mourning.
I have been insulted a thousand times with a catalogue of his pictures, his jewels, and his rarities, which, though he knows the humble neatness of my habitation, he feldom fails to conclude by a declaration, that wherever he sees a house meanly furnished, he despises the owner's taste, or pities his poverty.
This, Mr. Rambler, is the practice of Trypherus, by which he is become the terrour of all who
are less wealthy than himself, and has raised innu. merable enemies without rivalry, and without malevolence.
Yet though all are not equally culpable with Trypherus, it is scarcely possible to find any man who does not frequently, like him, indulge his own pride by forcing others into a comparison with himself when he knows the advantage is on his fide, without considering that unnecessarily to ob. trude unpleasing ideas, is a species of opprestion ; and that it is little more criminal to deprive another of some real advantage, than to interrupt that fora getfulness of its absence which is the next happiness to actual possession.
I am, &c.
Numb. 99. TUESDAY, February 26, 1751.
Scilicet ingeniis aliqua eft concordia jun&tis,
Et fervat studii fædera quisque sui,
Re&orem dubia navita puppis amat.
Congenial passions souls together bind,
servation of order in the immense variety of nature, and for the regular propagation of the several classes of life with which the elements are peopled, that every creature should be drawn by some secret attraction to those of his own kind; and that not only the gentle and domestick animals which natural. ly unite into companies, or cohabit by pairs, should continue faithful to their species; but even those ravenous and ferocious savages which Aristotle observes never to be gregarious, should range moun, tains and deserts in search of one another, rather than pollute the world with a monstrous birth.
As the perpetuity and distinction of the lower tribes of the creation require that they should be determined to proper mates by some uniform motive of choice, or some cogent principle of instinct ; it is necessary likewise, that man, whose wider capacity demands more gratifications, and who feels in himself innumerable wants, which a life of folitude