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longed to the ants. I say that by these pigeons you meant the Palatines. He will needs have it that they were the Dutch. We both agree that the papers upon the strings, which frightened them away, were Pamphlets, Examiners, and the like. We beg you will satisfy us in this particular, because the wager is very considerable, and you will much obligé two of your
“ DAILY READERS."
OLD IRON, " Why so rusty? will you never leave your innuéndoes? do you think it hard to find out who is the tulip in your last Thursday's paper? or can you imagine that three nests of ants is such a disguise, that the plainest reader cannot see three kingdoms through it? The blowing up of the neighbouring settlement, where there was a race of poor beggarly ants, under a worse form of government, is not so difficult to be explained as you imagine. Dunkirk is not yet demolished. Your ants are enemies to rain, are they? Old Birmingham, no more of your ants, if you do not intend to stir up å nest of hornets.
- DEAR GUARDIAN, “ CALLING in yesterday at a coffee-house in the city, I saw a very short, corpulent, angry man reading your paper about the ants. I observed that he reddened and swelled over every sentence of it. After having perused it throughout, he laid it down upon the table, called the woman of the coffee-house to him, and asked her, in a magisterial voice, if she knew what she did in taking in such papers.
The woman was in such a confusion, that I thought it a piece of charity to interpose in her behalf, and asked him whether he had found any thing in it of dangerous import. “Sir,' said he, it is a republican paper from one end to the other, and if the author had his deserts- He here grew so exceeding choleric and fierce, that he
could not proceed; until, after having recovered himself, he laid his finger upon the following sentence, and read it with a very stern voice-Though ants are very knowing, I do not take them to be conjurers: and therefore they could not guess that I had put some corn in that room. I perceived, for several days, that they were very much perplexed, and went a great way to fetch their provisions. I was not willing, for some time, to make them more easy; for I had a mind to know, whether they would at last find out the treasure, and see it at a great distance, and whether smelling enabled them to know what is good for their nourishment.' Then throwing the paper upon the table
Sir,' says he, 'these things are not to be suffered—Í would engage, out of this sentence, to draw up an indictment that He here lost his voice a second time, in the extremity of his rage, and the whole company, who were all of them tories, bursting out into a sudden laugh, he threw down his penny in great wrath, and retired with a most formidable frown.
“ This, Sir, I thought fit to acquaint you with, that you may make what use of it you please. I only wish that you would sometimes diversify your paper with many other pieces of natural history, whether of insects or animals; this being a subject which the most common reader is capable of understanding, and which is very diverting in its nature; besides, that it highly redounds to the praise of that Being who has inspired the several parts of the sensitive world with such wonderful and different kinds of instinct, as enable them to provide for themselves, and preserve their species in that state of existence wherein they are placed. There is no party concerned in speculations of this nature, which, instead of inflaming those unNatural heats that prevail among us, and take up most of our thoughts, may divert our minds to subjects that are useful, and suited to reasonable creatures. Dis sertations of this kind are the more proper for your purpose, as they do not require any depth of mathematics, or any previous science, to qualify the reader for the understanding of them. To this I might add, that it is a shame for men to be ignorant of those worlds of wonders which are transacted in the midst of them, and not be acquainted with those objects which are every where before their eyes. To which I might farther add, that several are of opinion, there is no other use in many of these creatures than to furnish matter of contemplation and wonder to those inhabitants of the earth, who are its only creatures that are capable of it.
“I am, sir, “ Your constant reader and humble servant,"
After having presented my reader with this set of letters, which are all upon the same subject, I shall here insert one that has no relation to it. But it has always been my maxim, never to refuse going out of my way to do any honest man a service, especially when I have an interest in it, myself.
MOST VENERABLE NESTOR, “As you are a person that very eminently distinguish yourself in the promotion of the public good, I desire your friendship in signifying to the town, what concerns the greatest good of life, health. I do'assure you, Sir, there is in a vault, under the Exchange in Cornhill, over-against Pope's-Head-Alley, a parcel of French wines, full of the seeds of good humour, cheerfulness, and friendly mirth. I have been told, the learned of our nation agree, there is no such thing as bribery in liquors, therefore I shall presume to send you of it, lest you should think it inconsistent with integrity to recommend what you do not understand by experience. In the mean time please to insert this, that every man may judge for himself.
“I am, SIR, &c."
No. 161. TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15.
-incoctum generoso pectus honesto. Pers. Every principle, that is a motive to good actions, ought to be encouraged, since men are of so different a make, that the same principle does not work equally upon all minds.
What some men are prompted to by conscience, duty, or religion, which are only different names for the same thing, others are prompted to by honour.
The sense of honour is of so fine and delicate a nature, that it is only to be met with in minds which are naturally noble, or in such as have been cultivated by great examples, or a refined education. per therefore is chiefly designed for those, who, by means of any of these advantages, are, or ought to be, actuated by this glorious principle.
But, as nothing is more pernicious than a principle of action when it is misunderstood, I shall consider honour with respect to three sorts of men. First of all, with regard to those who have a right notion of it. Secondly, with regard to those who have a mistaken notion of it. And, thirdly, with regard to those who treat it as chimerical, and turn it into ridicule.
In the first place, true honour, though it be a different principle from religion, is that which produces the same effects. The lines of action, though drawn from different parts, terminate in the same point, Religion embraces virtue, as it is enjoined by the laws of God; honour, as it is graceful and ornamental to human nature. The 'religious man fears, the man of honour scorns, to do an ill action. The one considers vice a's something that is offensive to the Divine Being. The one as what is unbecoming, the other as what is for. bidden. Thus Seneca speaks in the natural and
genuine language of a man of honour, when he declares, that were there no God to see or punish vice, he would not commit it, because it is of so mean, so base, and so vile a nature.
I shall conclude this head with the description of honour in the
. In the second place, we are to consider those who have mistaken notions of honour, and these are such as establish any thing to themselves for a point of honour, which is contrary either to the laws of God, or of their country; who think it more honourable to revenge, than to forgive an injury; who make no scrų, ple of telling a lie, but would put any man to death that accuses them of it; who are more careful to guard their reputation by their courage, than by their vir, tue. True fortitude is indeed so becoming in human nature, that he who wants it scarce deserves the name of a man; but we find several who so much abuse this notion, that they place the whole idea of honour in a kind of brutal courage; by which means we have had many among us who have called themselves men of honour, that would have been a disgrace to a gibbet, In a word, the man who sacrifices any duty of a reasonable creature to a prevailing mode or fashion, who looks upon any thing as honourable that is displeasing to his Maker, or destructive to society, who thinks himself obliged by this principle to the practice of some virtues and not of others, is by no means to be reckoned among true men of honour.
Timogenes was a lively instance of one actuated by false honour, Timogenes would smile at a man's jest who ridiculed his Maker, and, at the same time, run a man through the body that spoke ill of his friend. Timogenes would have scorped to have betrayed a secret, that was intrusted with him, though the fate of his country depended upon the discovery of it. Ti