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which nevertheless was not a little allayed by another of our ancestors who was hanged for stealing sheep. The expectations of my good cousin were wonderfully. raised by a match into the family of a knight ; but, unfortunately for us, this branch proved barren : on the other hand, Margery the milk-maid being twined round a bough, it flourished out into so many shoots, and bent with so much fruit, that the old gentleman was quite out of countenance. To comfort me under this disgrace, he singled out a branch ten times more fruitful than the other, which, he told me, he valued more than any in the tree, and bade me be of good comfort. This enormous bough was a graft out of a Welsh heiress, with so many Ap's upon it that it might have made a little grove by itself. From the trunk of the pedigree, which was chiefly composed of labourers and shepherds, arose a huge sprout of farmers : this was branched out into
and ended in a sheriff of the county, who was knighted for his good service to the crown in bringing up an address, Several of the names that seemed to disparage the family, being looked upon as mistakes, were lopped off as rotten or withered ; as, on the contrary, no small number appearing without any titles, my cousin, to supply the defects of the manuscript, added esq. at the end of each of them.
This tree so pruned, dressed, and cultivated, was, within a few days, transplanted into a large sheet of vellum, and placed in the great hall, where it attracts the veneration of his tenants every Sunday morning, while they wait until his worship is ready to go to church ; wondering that a man, who had so many fathers before him, should not be made a knight, or at least a justice of the peace.
ON CLEANLINESS. No. 631. I had occasion to go a few miles out of town, some days since, in a stage-coach, where I had for my fellow-travellers a dirty beau, and a pretty young quaker woman. Having no inclination to talk much at that time, I placed myself backward, with a design to survey them and pick a Speculation out of my two companions. Their different figures were sufficient of themselves to draw my attention. The gentleman was dressed in a suit the ground whereof had been black, as I perceived from some few spaces that had oscaped the powder, which was incorporated with the greatest part of his coat: his periwig, which cost no small sum*, was after so slovenly a manner cast over his shoulders that it seemed not to have been combed since the year 1712: his linen, which was not much concealed, was daubed with plain Spanish from the chin to the lowest button; and the diamond upon his finger (which naturally dreaded the water) put me in mind how it sparkled amidst the rubbish of the mine where it was first discovered. On the other hand, the pretty quaker appeared in all the elegance of cleanliness. Not a speck was to be found upon her. A clear, clean oval face, just edged about with little thin plaits of the purest cambric, received great advantages from the shade of her black hood; as did the whiteness of her arms from that sober-coloured stuff in which she had clothed herself. The plainness of her dress was very well suited to the simplicity of her phrases; all which put together, though they could not give me a great opinion of her religion, they did of her innocence. This adventure occasioned my throwing together a * Duumvir's fair wig cost forty guincas,
few hints upon cleanliness,' which I shall consider as one of the half-virtues, as Aristotle calls them, and shall recommend it under the three following heads : as it is a mark of politeness ; as it produces love; and as it bears analogy to purity of mind.
First, It is a mark of politeness. It is universally agreed upon, that no one unadorned with this virtue can go into company without giving a manifest offence. The easier or higher any one's fortune is, this duty rises proportionably. The different nations of the world are as much distinguished by their cleanliness as by their arts and sciences. The more any country is civilized, the more they consult this part of polite
We need but compare our ideas of a female hottentot and an English beauty to be satistied of the truth of what hath been advanced.
In the next place, cleanliness may be said to be the foster-mother of love. Beauty indeed most' commonly produces that passion in the mind, but cleanliness preserves it. An indifferent face and person, kept in perpetual neatncss, hath won many a heart from a pretty slattern. Age itself is not unamiable, while it is preserved clean and unsullied ; like a piece of metal constantly kept smooth and bright, we look on it with more pleasure than on a new vessel that is cankered with rust,
I might observe further, that as cleanliness renders usagreeable to others, so it makes us easy to ourselves; that it is an excellent preservative of health; and that several vices, destructive both to niind and body, are inccnsistent with the habit of it. But these reflexions I shall leave to the leisure of my readers, and shall observe in the third place, that it bears a great analogy
with purity of mind, and naturally inspires refined sentiments and passions.
We find from experience, that through the prevalence of custom the most vicious actions lose their horror, by being made familiar to us. On the contrary, those who live in the neighbourhood of good examples fly from the first appearances of what is shocking. It fares with us much after the same manner as our ideas, Our senses, which are the inleis to all the images conveyed to the mind, can only transmit the impression of such things as usually surround them. So that pure and unsullied thoughts are naturally suggested to the mind, by those objects that perpetually encompass us, when they are beautiful and elegant in their kind.
In the East, where the warmth of the climate makes cleanliness more immediately necessary iban in colder countries, it is made one part of their religion : the Jewish law and the Mahometan, which in some things copies after it) is filled with bathings, purifications, and other rites of the like nature.
I shall conclude this essay with a story which I have somewhere read in an account of Mahometan superstitions.
A dervise of great sanctity one morning had the misfortune, as he took up a crystal cup which was consecrated to the prophct, to let it fall upon the ground and dash it in picces. His son coming in some time after, he stretched out bis hand to bless him, as his manner was every morning : but the youth going out stuinbled over the threshold and broke his arm. As the old man wondered at these events, a caravan passed by in its way from Mecca. The dervise ap
proached it to beg a blessing; but as he stroked one of the holy camels, he received a kick from the beast that sorely bruised him, His sorrow and amazement increased upon him, until he recoilected that through hurry and inadvertency he had that morning come abroad without washing his hands.
CRITIQUE ON MILTON'S PARADISE LOST: No. 267.
There is nothing in nature so irksome as general discourses, especially when they turn chiefly upon words. For this reason I shall wave the discussion of that point which was started some years since, whether Milton's Paradise Lost may be called a heroic poem? Those who will not give it that title may call it (if they please) a divine poem. It will be sufficient to its perfection, if it has in it all the beauties of the highest kind of poetry; and as for those who allege it is not a heroic poem, they advance no more to the diminution of it, than if they should say Adam is not Æneas, or Eve Helen.
I shall therefore examine it by the rules of epic poetry, and see whether it falls short of the Iliad or Æneid in the beauties which are essential to that kind of writing. The first thing to be considered in an epic poem is the fable, which is perfect or imperfect, according as the action which it relates is more or less so. This action should have three qualifications in it. First, It should be but one action. Secondly, It should be an entire action. Thirdly, It should be a great action. To consider the action of the Iliad, Æneid, and Paradise Lost, in these three several lights. Homer to preserve the unity of his action 3.