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exist together. Persuade a prince that he is irresistible, and he will take care not to let so glorious an attribute lie dead and useless by him. An arbitrary power has something so great in it, that he must be more than man who is endowed with it, but never exerts it. This
consequence of the doctrine I have been speaking of, is very often a fatal one to the people ; there is another which is no less destructive to the prince. A late unfortunate king very visibly owed his ruin to it. He relied upon the assurances of his people, that they would never resist him upon any pretence whatsoever, and accordingly began to act like a king who was not under the restraint of laws, by dispensing with them, and taking on him that power which was vested in the whole legislative body. And what was the dreadful end of such a proceeding? It is too fresh in every body's memory. Thus is a prince corrupted by the professors of this doctrine, and afterwards betrayed by them. The same persons are the actors, both in the temptation and the punishment. They assure him they will never resist, but retain their obedience under the utmost sufferings : he tries them in a few instances, and is deposed by them for his credulity.
I remember at the beginning of King James's reign the Quakers presented an address, which gave great offence to the high-churchmen of those times. But, notwithstanding the uncourtliness of their phrases, the sense was very honest. The address was as follows, to the best of my memory, for I then took, great notice of it; and may serve as a counterpart to the foregoing one.
“THESE are to testify to thee our sorrow for our friend Charles, whom we hope thou wilt follow in every thing that is good.
“We hear that thou art not of the religion of the land any more than we, and, therefore, may reasonably expect that thou wilt give us the same liberty that thou takest thyself.
“We hope that in this, and all things else, thou wilt promote the good of thy people, which will oblige us to pray that thy reign over us may be long and prosperous.
Had all King James's subjects addressed him with the same integrity, he had, in all probability, sat upon his throne till death had removed him from it.
No. 10. THURSDAY, MARCH 18, 1714.
Magis illa placent quæ pluris emuntur. I HAVE lately been very much teased with the thought of Mrs. Anne Page, and the memory of those many cruelties which I suffered from that obdurate fair one. Mrs. Anne was, in a particular manner, very fond of china ware, against which I had unfortunately declared my aversion.
I do not know but this was the first occasion of her coldness towards me, which makes me sick at the very sight of a china dish ever since. This is the best introduction I can make for my present discourse, which may serve to fill up a gap
till I am more at leisure to resume the thread of my amours.
There are no inclinations in women which more surprise me than their passions for chalk and china. The first of these maladies wears out in a little time; but when a woman is visited with the second, it generally takes possession of her for life. China vessels are playthings for women of all ages. An old lady of fourscore shall be as busy in cleaning an Indian mandarin, as her great grand-daughter is in dressing her baby.
The common way of purchasing such trifles, if I may believe my female informers, is by exchanging old suits of clothes for this brittle ware. The potters of china have, it seems, their factors at this distance, who retail out their several manufactures for cast clothes and superannuated garments. I have known an old petticoat metamorphosed into a punch-bowl, and a pair of breeches into a tea-pot. For this reason my friend Tradewell, in the city, calls his great room, that is nobly furnished out with china, his wife's wardrobe. 'In yonder corner,' says he, "are above twenty suits of clothes, and on that scrutoire above a hundred yards of furbelowed silk. You cannot imagine how many night-gowns, stays, and mantùas, went to the raising of that pyramid. The worst of it is,' says he, 'a suit of clothes is not suffered to last its time, that it may be the more vendible; so that in reality this is but a more dexterous way of picking the husband's pocket, who is often purchasing a great vase of china, when he fancies that he is buying a fine head, or a silk gown for his wife.' There is likewise another inconvenience in this female passion for china, namely, that it administers to them great wrath and sorrow. How much anger and affliction are produced daily in the hearts of my dear countrywomen, by the breach of this frail furniture! Some of them pay half their servants wages in china fragments, which their carelessness has produced. “If thou hast a piece of earthen ware, consider,' says Epictetus, that it is a piece of earthen ware, and very easy and obnoxious to be broken: be not, therefore, so void of reason as to be angry or grieved when this comes to pass.' In order, therefore, to exempt my fair readers from such additional and supernumerary calamities of life, I would advise them to forbear dealing in these perishable commodities, till such time as they are philosophers enough to keep their temper at the fall of a tea-pot, or a china cup. I shall farther recommend to their serious consideration these three particulars; First, that all china ware is of a weak and transitory nature. Secondly, that the fashion of it is changeable: and, Thirdly, that it is of no use. And first of the first: the fragility of china is such as a reasonable being ought by no means to set his heart upon, though, at the same time, I am afraid I may complain, with Seneca, on the like occasion, that this very consideration recommends them to our choice; our luxury being grown wanton, that this kind of treasure becomes the more valuable, the more easily we may be deprived of it, and that it receives a price from its brittleness. There is a kind of ostentation in wealth, which sets the possessors of it upon distinguishing themselves in those things where it is hard for the poor to follow them. For this reason I have often wondered that our ladies have not taken pleasure in egg-shells, especially in those which are curiously stained and streaked, and which are so very tender, that they require the nicest hand to hold without breaking them. But as if the brittleness of this ware were not sufficient to make it costly, the very fashion of it is changeable, which brings me to my second particular. It
may chance that a piece of china may survive all those accidents to which it is by nature liable, and last for some years, if rightly situated and taken care of. To remedy, therefore, this inconvenience, it is so ordered, that the shape of it shall grow unfashionable, which makes new supplies always necessary, and furnishes employment for life to women of great and generous souls, who cannot live out of the mode. self remember when there were few china vessels to be seen that held more than a dish of coffee ; but their size is so gradually enlarged, that there are many at present, which are capable of holding half a hogshead. The fashion of the tea-cup is also greatly altered, and has run through a wonderful variety of colour, shape, and size.
But, in the last place, china ware is of no use. Who would not laugh to see a smith's shop furnished with anvils and hammers of china ? the furniture of a lady's favourite room is altogether as absurd: you see jars of a prodigious capacity that are to hold nothing. I have seen horses and herds of cattle in this fine sort of porcelain, not to mention the several Chinese ladies, who, perhaps, are naturally enough represented in these frail materials.
Did our women take delight in heaping up piles of