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N° 348. earneftly pray and exhort all Husbands, Fathers, Houfekeepers and Mafters of Families, in either of the aforefaid Cities, not only to repair themselves to their refpe&tive Habitations at early and seasonable Hours; but also to keep their Wives and Daughters, Sons, Servants and Apprentices,from appearing in the Streets at thofe Times and Seafons which may expofe them to a military Difcipline, as it is practifed by our good Subjects the Mohocks : and we do further promife, on our Imperial Word, that as foon as the Reformation aforefaid fhall be brought about, we will forthwith caufe all Hoftilities to cease.

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Given from our Court at the Devil-
Tavern, March 15, 1712.

CMXXNOXSXCUNO

N° 348. Wednesday, April 9.

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Invidiam placare paras virtute relicta ?

Mr. SPECTATOR,

Hor.

X.

HAVE not feen you lately at any of the Places where I vifit, fo that I am afraid you are wholly unacquainted with what paffes among my part of the World, who are, tho' I lay it, without Controverfy, the moft accomplished and beft bred of the Town. Give me leave to tell you, that I am extremely difcomposed when I hear Scandal, and am an utter Enemy to all manner of Detraction, and think it the greatest Meannefs that People of Diftinction can be guilty of: However, it is hardly poffible to come into Company, where you do not find them pulling one another to pieces, and that from no other Provocation but that of hearing any one commended. Merit, both as to Wit and Beauty, ⚫ is become no other than the Poffeffion of a few trifling People's Favour, which you cannot poffibly arrive at, if you have really any thing in you that is deferving. What they would bring to pafs, is, to make all Good and Evil confist in Report, and with Whispers, Calum

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nies and Impertinencies, to have the Conduct of thole Reports. By this means Innocents are blafted upon their firft Appearance in Town; and there is nothing more required to make a young Woman the Object of Envy and Hatred, than to deferve Love and Admiration. This abominable Endeavour to fupprefs or leffen every thing that is praife-worthy, is as frequent among the Men as the Women. If I can remember what paffed at a Vifit last Night, it will ferve as an Inftance that the Sexes are equally inclined to Defamation, with equal Malice, with equal Impotence. Jack Triplett came into my Lady Airy's about Eight of the Clock. You know the manner we fit at a Vifit, and I need not defcribe the Circle; but Mr. Triplett came in, introduced by two Tapers fupported by a fpruce Servant, whofe Hair is under a Cap till my Lady's Candles are all lighted up, and the Hour of Ceremony begins: 1 fay, Jack Triplett came in, and finging (for he is really good Company) Every Feature, charming Creature,- he went on, It is a moft unreasonable thing that People cannot go peaceably to fee their Friends, but thefe Murderers are let loose. Such a Shape! fuch an Air! what a Glance was that as her Chariot pafs'd by mine My Lady herfelf interrupted him; Pray who is this fine Thing I warrant, fays another, 'tis the Creature I was telling your Ladyship of just now. You were telling of? fays Fack; I wish I had been so happy as to have come in and heard you, for I have not Words to say what she is: But if an agreeable Height, a modeft Air, a Virgin Shame, and Impatience of being beheld, amidst a Blaze of ten thoufand Charms- The whole Room flew Oh Mr. Triplett!- When Mrs. Lofty, a known Prude, faid fhe believed fhe knew whom the Gentleman meant; but fhe was indeed, as he civilly represented her, impatient of being beheld Then turning to the Lady next to her- The most unbred Creature you ever faw. Another purfued the Difcourfe: As unbred, Madam, as you may think her, fhe is extremely bely'd if fhe is the Novice fhe appears; fhe was laft Week at a Ball till two in the Morning; Mr. Triplett knows whether he was the happy Man that took Care of • her home; but - This was followed by fome parti

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'cular Exception that each Woman in the Room made to fome peculiar Grace or Advantage; fo that Mr. Triplett · was beaten from one Limb and Feature to another, till he was forced to refign the whole Woman. In the

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end, I took notice Triplett recorded all this Malice in his Heart; and faw in his Countenance, and a certain waggish Shrug, that he defign'd to repeat the Converfation: I therefore let the Difcourfe die, and foon after took an Occafion to commend a certain Gentleman of my Acquaintance for a Perfon of fingular Modesty, Courage, Integrity, and withal as a Man of an entertaining Converfation, to which Advantages he had a Shape and Manner peculiarly graceful. Mr. Triplett, who is a Woman's Man, feem'd to hear me with Patience enough commend the Qualities of his Mind: He never heard indeed but that he was a very honest Man, and no Fool; but for a fine Gentleman, he must ask pardon. Upon no other Foundation than this, Mr. Triplett took occafion to give the Gentleman's Pedigree, by what Methods fome part of the Eftate was acquired, how much it was beholden to a Marriage for the pre⚫ fent Circumstances of it: After all, he could fee nothing but a common Man in his Perfon, his Breeding or Understanding.

THUS, Mr. SPECTATOR, this impertinent Humour of diminishing every one who is produced in Converfation to their Advantage, runs thro' the World and I am, I confefs, fo fearful of the Force of ill Tongues, that I have begged of all those who are my • Well-wishers never to commend me,for it will but bring my Frailties into Examination, and I had rather be unobferved, than confpicuous for disputed Perfections. I am confident a a thousand young People, who would have been Ornaments to Society, have, from Fear of Scan dal, never dared to exert themselves in the polite Arts of Life. Their Lives have paffed away in an odious Rufticity, in spite of great Advantages of Perfon, Genius and Fortune. There is a vicious Terror of being blamed ' in fome well-inclin'd People, and a wicked Pleasure in fuppreffing them in others; both which I recommend to your Spectatorial Wifdom to animadvert upon; and if you can be fuccessful in it, I need not fay how much you

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will deferve of the Town; but new Toafts will owe to your their Beauty, and new Wits their Fame, I am,

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I

Quos ille timorum

Maximus haud urget lethi metus: inde ruendi
In ferrum mens prona viris, animaque capaces

Mortis

Lucan.

Am very much pleafed with a Confolatory Letter of Phalaris, to one who had loft a Son that was a young Man of great Merit. The Thought with which he comforts the afflicted Father, is, to the best of my Memory, as follows; That he fhould confider Death had fet a kind of Seal upon his Son's Character, and placed him out of the Reach of Vice and Infamy: That while he liv'd he was ftill within the Poffibility of falling away from Virtue, and lofing the Fame of which he was poffeffed. Death only clofes a Man's Reputation, and determines it as good or bad.

THIS, among other Motives, may be one Reafon why we are naturally averfe to the launching out into a Man's Praife till his Head is laid in the Duft. Whilft he is capable of changing, we may be forced to retract our Opinions. He may forfeit the Efteem we have conceived of him, and fome time or other appear to us under a different Light from what he does at prefent. In fhort, as the Life of any Man cannot be call'd happy or unhappy, fo neither can it be pronounced vicious or virtuous, before the Conclufion of it.

IT was upon this Confideration that Epaminondas, being asked whether Chabrias, Iphricates, or he himfelf, deferved moft to be esteemed? You must firft fee us die, faid he, before that Queftion can be answered,

AS

AS there is not a more melancholy Confideration to a good Man than his being obnoxious to fuch a Change, fo there is nothing more glorious than to keep up an Uniformity in his Actions, and preferve the Beauty of his Character to the laft.

THE End of a Man's Life is often compared to the winding up of a well-written Play, where the principal Perfons ftill act in Character, whatever the Fate is which they undergo. There is fcarce a great Perfon in the Grecian or Roman Hiftory, whofe Death has not been remarked upon by fome Writer or other, and cenfured or applauded according to the Genius or Principles of the Perfon who has defcanted on it. Monfieur de St. Evremont is very particular in fetting forth the Conftancy and Courage of Petronius Arbiter during his laft Moments, and thinks he discovers in them a greater Firmnefs of Mind and Refolution than in the Death of Seneca, Cato, or Socrates. There is no queftion but this polite Author's Affectation of appearing fingular in his Remarks, and making Difcoveries which had escaped the Obfervation of others, threw him into this courfe of Reflection. It was Petronius's Merit, that he died in the fame Gaiety of Temper in which he lived; but as his Life was altogether loofe and diffolute, the Indifference which he fhewed at the Close of it is to be looked upon as a piece of natural Careleffefs and Levity, rather than Fortitude. The Refolution of Socrates proceeded from very different Motives, the Consciousnefs of a well-fpent Life, and the Profpect of a happy Eternity. If the ingenious Author abovementioned was fo pleafed with Gaiety of Humour in a dying Man, he might have found a much nobler Inftance of it in our Countryman Sir Thomas More.

THIS great and learned Man was famous for enlivening his ordinary Difcourfes with Wit and Pleafantry; and, as Erafmus tells him in an Epiftle Dedicatory, acted in all parts of Life like a fecond Democritus.

HE died upon a Point of Religion, and is refpected as a Martyr by that Side for which he fuffer'd. That innocent Mirth which had been fo confpicuous in his Life, did not forfake him to the laft: He maintain'd the fame Chearfulness of Heart upon the Scaffold, which he ufed to fhew at his Table; and upon laying his Head on the Block,

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