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This letter he sent by his steward, and soon after went up to town himself to complete the generous act he had now resolved on. By his friendship and assistance Amanda's father was quickly in a condition of retrieving his perplexed affairs. To conclude, he married Amanda, and enjoyed the double satisfaction of having restored a worthy family to their former prosperity, and of making himself happy by an alliance to their virtues.
N° 376. MONDAY, MAY 12, 1712.
Pavone ex Pythagoreo.
Pers. Sat. vi. 11.
From the Pythagorean peacock.
"I HAVE observed that the officer you some time ago appointed as inspector of signs, has not done his duty so well as to give you an account of very many strange occurrences in the public streets, which are worthy of, but have escaped, your notice. Among all the oddnesses which I have ever met with, that which I am now telling you gave me most delight. You must have observed that all the criers in the street attract the attention of the passengers, and of the inhabitants in the several parts, by something very particular in their tone itself, in the dwelling upon a note, or else making themselves wholly unintelligible by a scream. The person I am so delighted with has nothing to sell, but very gravely receives the bounty of the people, for no other merit but the homage they pay to his manner of signifying to them that he wants a subsidy. You must sure have heard speak of an old man who walks about the city, and that part of the suburbs which lies beyond the Tower, performing the office of a day-watchman, followed by a goose, which bears the bob of his ditty, and confirms what he says with a Quack, quack. I gave little heed to the mention of this known circumstance till, being the other day in those quarters, I passed by a decrepit old fellow with a pole in his hand, who just then was bawling out, · Half an hour after one o'clock !' and immediately a dirty goose behind made her response, • Quack, quack. I could not forbear attending this grave procession for the length of half a street, with no small amazement to find the whole place so familiarly acquainted with a melancholy midnight voice at noon-day, giving them the hour, and exhorting them of the departure of time, with a bounce at their doors. While I was full of this novelty, I went into a friend's house, and told him how I was diverted with their whimsical monitor and his equipage. My friend gave me the history; and interrupted my commendation of the man, by telling me the livelihood of these two animals is purchased rather by the good parts of the goose than of the leader; for it seems the peripatetic who walked before her was a watchman in that neighbourhood; and the goose of herself, by frequent hearing this tone, out of her natural vigilance, not only observed, but answered it very regularly from time to time. The watchman was so affected with it, that he bought her, and has taken her in partner, only altering their hours of duty from night to day. The town has come into it, and they live very
comfort, ably. This is the matter of fact. Now I desire you, who are a profound philosopher, to consider this alliance of instinct and reason. Your specula
tion may turn very naturally upon the force the superior part of mankind may have upon the spirits of such as, like this watchman, may be very near the standard of geese. And you may add to this practical observation, how, in all ages and times, the world has been carried away by odd unaccountable things, which one would think would pass upon no creature which had reason; and, under the symbol of this goose, you may enter into the manner and method of leading creatures with their eyes open through thick and thin, for they know not what, they know not why.
• All which is humbly submitted to your spectatorial wisdom, by,
my care the government and education of
young ladies, which trust I have endeavoured to discharge with due regard to their several capacities and fortunes. I have left nothing undone to imprint in every one of them an humble courteous mind, accompanied with a graceful becoming mien, and have made them pretty much acquainted with the household part of family affairs; but still I find there is something very much wanting in the air of my ladies, different from what I have observed in those who are esteemed your fine-bred women. Now, Sir, I must own to you, I never suffered my girls to learn to dance; but since I have read your discourse of dancing, where you have described the beauty and spirit there is in regular motion, I own myself your convert, and resolve for the future to give my young ladies that accomplishment. But upon imparting
my design to their parents, I have been made very uneasy for some time, because several of them have declared, that if I did not make use of the master they recommended, they would take away their children. There was colonel Jumper's lady, a colonel of the train-bands, that has a great interest in her parish; she recommends Mr. Trott for the prettiest master in town; that no man teaches a jig like him; that she has seen him rise six or seven capers together with the greatest ease imaginable ; and that his scholars twist themselves more ways than the scholars of any master in town; besides, there is Madam Prim, an alderman's lady, recommends a master of their own name, but she declares he is not of their family, yet a very extraordinary man in his way; for, besides a very soft air he has in dancing, he gives them a particular behaviour at a tea-table, and in presenting their snuff-box; teaches to twirl, slip, or flirt a fan, and how to place patches to the best advantage, either for fat or lean, long or oval faces; for my lady says there is more in these things than the world imagines. But I must confess, the major part of those I am concerned with leave it to me. I desire therefore, according to the inclosed direction, you would send your correspondent who has writ to you on that subject to my house. If proper application this way can give innocence new charms, and make virtue legible in the countenance, I shall spare no charge to make my scholars, in their very features and limbs, bear witness how careful I have been in the other parts of their education.
I am, SIR, - Your most humble servant, T.
N° 377. TUESDAY, MAY 13, 1712.
Quid quisque vitei, nunquam homini satis
Hor. 2 (d. xiij. 13,
Love was the mother of poetry, and still produces, among the most ignorant and barbarous, a thousand imaginary distresses and poetical complaints. It makes a footman talk like Oroondates, verts a brutal rustic into a gentle swain. T'he most ordinary plebeian or mechanic in love bleeds and pines away with a certain elegance and tenderness of sentiments which this passion naturally inspires.
These inward languishings of a mind infected with this softness have given birth to a phrase which is made use of by all the melting tribe, from the highest to the lowest-I mean that of dying for love.'
Romances, which owe their very being to this passion, are full of these metaphorical deaths. Heroes and heroines, knights, squires, and damsels, are all of them in a dying condition. There is the same kind of mortality in our modern tragedies, where every one gasps, faints, bleeds, and dies. Many of the poets, to describe the execution which is done by this passion, represent the fair sex as basilisks, that destroy with their eyes ; but I think Mr. Cowley has, with great justness of thought, compared a beautiful woman to a porcupine, that sends an arrow from every part.
I have often thought that there is no way so effectual for the cure of this general infirmity, as