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other most, and for my own part, I think it is the happiest circumstance in a great estate or title, that it qualifies a man for choosing out of such a learned and valuable body of men as that of the English clergy, a friend, a spiritual guide, and a companion. The letter I have received from one of this order, is as follows.
I HOPE you will not only indulge me in the liberty of two or three questions, but also in the solution of them.
I have had the honour many years of being chaplain in a noble family, and of being accounted the highest servant in the house, either out of respect to my cloth, or because I lie in the uppermost garret.
Whilst my old lord lived, his table was always adorned with useful learning and innocent mirth, as well as covered with plenty. I was not looked upon as a piece of furniture fit only to sanctify and garnish a feast, but treated as a gentleman, and generally desired to fill up the conversation an hour after I had done my duty. But now my young lord is come to the estate, I find I am looked upon as a censor morum, an obstacle to mirth and talk, and suffered to retire constantly with "Prosperity to the church" in my mouth. I declare solemnly, sir, that I have heard nothing from all the fine gentlemen who visit us, more remarkable, for half a year, than that one young lord was seven times drunk at Genoa, and another had an affair with a famous courtesan at Venice. I have lately taken the liberty to stay three or four rounds beyond the church, to see what topics of discourse
they went upon, but to my great surprise, have hardly heard a word all the time besides the toasts. Then they all stare full in my face, and shew all the actions of uneasiness till I am gone. Immediately upon my departure, to use the words in an old comedy, "I find by the noise they make, that they had a mind to be private." I am at a loss to imagine what conversation they have among one another, which I may not be present at; since I love innocent mirth as much as any of them, and am shocked with no freedoms whatsoever, which are consistent with Christianity. I have, with much ado, maintained my post hitherto at the dessert, and every day eat tart in the face of my patron; but how long I shall be invested with this privilege I do not know. For the servants, who do not see me supported as I was in my old lord's time, begin to brush very familiarly by me, and thrust aside my chair, when they set the sweetmeats on the table. I have been born and educated a gentleman, and desire you will make the public sensible, that the Christian priesthood was never thought in any age or country to debase the man who is a member of it. Among the great services which your useful papers daily do to religion, this perhaps will not be the least, and will lay a very great obligation on your unknown servant, G. W.
6 VENERABLE NESTOR,
I was very much pleased with your paper of the 7th instant, in which you recommend the study of useful knowledge to women of quality or fortune. I have since that met with a very elegant poem, written by the famous sir Thomas More. It is inscribed to a friend of his who was then seeking out a wife; he advises him on that
occasion to overlook wealth and beauty, and if he desires a happy life, to join himself with a woman of virtue and knowledge. His words on this last head are as follow:
"Proculque stulta sit,
Jucunda sic erit
Semper nec unquam erit Inane gaudium ;
Vitæ comes tuæ ; Quæ docta parvulos Docebit, et tuos Cum lacte literas Olim nepotulos. Jam te juvaverit Viros relinquere, Doctæque conjugis
Si quando deprimat
Talem olim ego putem
Fuisse conjugem ;
(Quâ nulla charior
The sense of this elegant description is as follows.
May you meet with a wife who is not always stupidly silent, not always prattling nonsense! May she be learned, if possible, or at least capable of being made so! A woman thus accomplished will be always drawing sentences and maxims of virtue out of the best authors of antiquity. She will be herself in all changes of fortune, neither blown up in prosperity, nor broken with adversity. You will find in her an even, chearful, good-humoured friend, and an agreeable companion for life. She will infuse knowledge into your children with their milk, and from their infancy train them up to wisdom. Whatever company you are engaged in you will long to be at home, and retire with delight from the society of men into the bosom of one who is so dear, so knowing, and so amiable. If she touches her lute, or sings to it any of her own compositions, her voice will sooth you in your solitudes, and sound more sweetly in your ear than that of the nightingale. You will waste with pleasure whole days and nights in her conversation, and be ever finding out new beauties in her dis
course. She will keep your mind in perpetual serenity, restrain its mirth from being dissolute, and prevent its melancholy from being painful.
Such was doubtless the wife of Orpheus; for who would have undergone what he did to have recovered a foolish bride? Such was the daughter of Ovid, who was his rival in poetry. Such was Tullia as she is celebrated by the most learned and most fond of fathers. And such was the mother of the two Gracchi, who is no less famous for having been their instructor, than their parent."
N° 164. FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 1713.
– simili frondescit virga metallo.
VIRG. Æn. vi. 144.
The same rich metal glitters on the tree.
AN eminent prelate of our church observes that there is no way of writing so proper, for the refining and polishing a language, as the translating of books into it, if he who undertakes it has a competent skill of the one tongue, and is a master of the other. When a man writes his own thoughts, the heat of his fancy, and the quickness of his mind, carry him so much after the notions themselves, that for the most part he is too warm to judge of the aptness of words, and the justness of