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fancy. His acquaintance with her by degrees grew into love, which in a mind trained up in all the sentiments of honor and virtue became a very uneasy passion. He despaired of gaining an heiress of so great a fortune, and would rather have died 5 than attempted it by any indirect methods. Leonilla, who was a woman of the greatest beauty joined with the greatest modesty, entertained at the same time a secret passion for Florio, but conducted herself with so much prudence, that she 10 never gave him the least intimation of it. Florio was now engaged in all those arts and improvements that are proper to raise a man's private fortune, and give him a figure in his country, but secretly tormented with that passion which burns with the 15 greatest fury in a virtuous and noble heart, when he received a sudden summons from Leontine, to repair to him in the country the next day: for it seems Eudoxus was so filled with the report of his son's reputation, that he could no longer withhold 20 making himself known to him. The morning after his arrival at the house of his supposed father, Leontine told him that Eudoxus had something of great importance to communicate to him; upon which the good man embraced him, and wept. 25 Florio was no sooner arrived at the great house that stood in his neighborhood, but Eudoxus took him by the hand, after the first salutes were over, and conducted him into his closet. He there
opened to him the whole secret of his parentage and education, concluding after this manner: "I have no other way of acknowledging my gratitude
to Leontine, than by marrying you to his daughter. 5 He shall not lose the pleasure of being your father
by the discovery I have made to you. Leonilla too shall be still my daughter; her filial piety, though misplaced, has been so exemplary, that it deserves the greatest reward I can confer upon
it. 10 You shall have the pleasure of seeing a great estate
fall to you, which you would have lost the relish of, had you known yourself born to it. Continue only to deserve it in the same manner you did
before you were possessed of it. I have left your 15 mother in the next room. Her heart yearns to
wards you. · She is making the same discoveries to Leonilla which I have made to yourself.” Florio was so overwhelmed with this profusion of happi
ness, that he was not able to make a reply, but 20 threw himself down at his father's feet, and amidst
a flood of tears, kissed and embraced his knees, asking his blessing, and expressing in dumb show those sentiments of love, duty, and gratitude that
were too big for utterance. To conclude, the happy 25 pair were married, and half Eudoxus's estate settled
upon them. Leontine and Eudoxus passed the remainder of their lives together; and received in the dutiful and affectionate behavior of Florio and Leonilla the just recompense, as well as the natural effects of that care which they had bestowed upon them in their education.
No. 23. Party Spirit
Ne, pueri, ne tanta animis assuescite bella;
Virg. Æn. vi. 832.
My worthy friend Sir Roger, when we are talking of the malice of parties, very frequently tells us an accident that happened to him when he was a 5 school-boy, which was at the time 2 when the feuds ran high between the Roundheads and Cavaliers. This worthy knight, being then but a stripling, had occasion to inquire which was the way to St. Anne's Lane? upon which the person whom he spoke to, 10 instead of answering his question, called him a young popish cur, and asked him who had made Anne a saint? The boy, being in some confusion, inquired of the next he met, which was the way to Anne's Lane? but was called a prick-eared cur for 15 his pains, and instead of being shown the way, was told that she had been a saint before he was born, and would be one after he was hanged. “Upon this,” says Sir Roger, “I did not think fit to repeat the former question, but going into every lane of 20 the neighborhood, asked what they called the name of that lane?” By which ingenious artifice he
found out the place he inquired after, without giving offence to any party. Sir Roger generally closes this narrative with reflections on the mischief that
parties do in the country; how they spoil good 5 neighborhood, and make honest gentlemen hate one
another; besides that they'manifestly tend to the prejudice of the land-tax, and the destruction of the game.
There cannot a greater judgment befall a country 10 than such a dreadful spirit of division as rends a
government into two distinct people, and makes them greater strangers and more averse to one another, than if they were actually two different
nations. The effects of such a division are perni15 cious to the last degree, not only with regard to
those advantages which they give the common enemy, but to those private evils which they produce in the heart of almost every particular person.
This influence is very fatal both to men's morals and 20 their understandings; it sinks the virtue of a nation, and not only so, but destroys even common sense.
A furious party spirit, when it rages in its full violence, exerts itself in civil war and bloodshed;
and when it is under its greatest restraints naturally 25 breaks out in falsehood, detraction, calumny, and
a partial administration of justice. In a word, it fills a nation with spleen and rancor, and extinguishes all the seeds of good-nature, compassion, and humanity.
Plutarch 3 says, very finely, “that a man should not allow himself to hate even his enemies, because,” says he, “if you indulge this passion in some occasions, it will rise of itself in others; if you hate your enemies, you will contract such a vicious habit of 5 mind, as by degrees will break out upon those who are your friends, or those who are indifferent to you." I might here observe how admirably this precept of morality (which derives the malignity of hatred from the passion itself, and not from its 10 object) answers to that great rule which was dictated to the world about an hundred years before this philosopher wrote; 4 but instead of that, I shall only take notice, with a real grief of heart, that the minds of many good men-among us appear soured 15 with party-principles, and alienated from another in such a manner, as seems to me altogether inconsistent with the dictates either of reason or religion. Zeal for a public cause is apt to breed passions in the hearts of virtuous persons, to which 20 the regard of their own private interest would never have betrayed them.
If this party-spirit has so ill an effect on our morals, it has likewise a very great one upon our judgments. We often hear a poor insipid paper or 25 pamphlet cried up, and sometimes a noble piece depreciated, by those who are of a different principle from the author. One who is actuated by this spirit is almost under an incapacity of discerning