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is my intention to erect a lion's head in imitation of those I have described in Venice, through which all the private intelligence of that commonwealth is said to pass. This head is to open a most wide and voracious mouth, which shall take in such letters and papers as are conveyed to me by my correspondents, it being my resolution to have a particular regard to all such matters as come to my hands through the mouth of the lion. There will be under it a box, of which the key will be in my own custody, to receive such papers as are dropped into it. Whatever the lion swallows I shall digest for the use of the public. This head requires some time to finish, the workman being resolved to give it several masterly touches, and to represent it as ravenous as possible. It will be set up in Button's coffee-house in Covent Garden, who is directed to show the way to the lion's-head, and to instruct any young author how to convey his works into the mouth of it with safety and secrecy.'
No. 99. SATURDAY, JULY 4.
Justum, et tenacem propositi virum
Mente quatit solidâ, neque Auster
Impavidum ferient ruinæ. HOR. THERE is no virtue so truly great and godlike as justice. Most of the other virtues are the virtues of created beings, or accommodated to our nature as we are men. Justice is that which is practised by God himself, and to be practised
This whole paper is excellent. But the project of the lion, so finely introduced by No. 71, is above all to be admired. This highly humorous idea came very seasonably to the relief of Nestor Ironside, who was almost, as we may say, at his wit's end, when his friend started this new object for him. Lady Lizard and her tea-table was grown a stale joke ; and if the lion had not roared in the nick of time, the public was in imminent danger of falling asleep; and then the Guardian had shared the fate of so many other projects, which are said to have dropped after a few unsuccessful essays.—The reader will own the obligation he has to the lion when he feels, as he goes along, how much the humour of this paper, henceforth, depends upon him.
in its perfection by none but him. Omniscience and Omni. potence are requisite for the full exertion of it. The one to discover every degree of uprightness or iniquity in thoughts, words, and actions. The other, to measure out and impart suitable rewards and punishments.
As to be perfectly just is an attribute in the Divine nature, to be so to the utmost of our abilities is the glory of a man. Such an one who has the public administration in his hands, acts like the representative of his Maker, in recompensing the virtuous, and punishing the offender. By the extirpating of a criminal, he averts the judgments of heaven, when ready to fall upon an impious people; or, as my friend Cato expresses it much better in a sentiment conformable to his character,
When by just vengeance impious mortals perish,
And lay the uplifted thunder-bolt aside. When a nation once loses its regard to justice;' when they do not look upon it as something venerable, holy, and inviol. able; when any of them dare presume to lessen, affront, or terrify those who have the distribution of it in their hands; when a judge is capable of being influenced by anything but law, or a cause may be recommended by anything that is foreign to its own merits; we may venture to pronounce that such a nation is hastening to its ruin.
For this reason the best law that has ever past in our days, is that which continues our judges in their posts during their good behaviour, without leaving them to the mercy of such who in ill times might, by an undue influence over them, trouble and pervert the course of justice. I dare say the extraordinary person who is now posted? in the chief station of the law, would have been the same had that act never past ; but it is a great satisfaction to all honest men, that while we see the greatest ornament of the profession in its highest post, we are sure he cannot hurt himself by that assiduous, regular, and impartial administration of justice, for which he is so universally celebrated by the whole kingdom. Such men are to be reckoned among the greatest national
1 Though this paper be drawn in very general terms, it might possibly glance at certain partialities, then felt or apprehended in the judicature of the nation, when the rage of party so much prevailed.
2 Posted, see the note in No. 48 of the Freeholder.
blessings, and should have that honour paid them whilst they are yet living, which will not fail to crown their memory when dead.
I always rejoice when I see a tribunal filled with a man of an upright and inflexible temper, who, in the execution of his country's laws, can overcome all private fear, resentment, solicitation, and even pity itself. Whatever passion enters into a sentence or decision, so far will there be in it a tincture of injustice. In short, justice discards party, friendship, kindred, arid is therefore always represented as blind, that we may suppose her thoughts are wholly intent on the equity of a cause, without being diverted or prejudiced by objects foreign to it.
I shall conclude this paper with a Persian story which is very suitable to my present subject. It will not a little please the reader, if he has the same taste of it which I myself have.
As one of the sultans lay encamped on the plains of Avala, a certain great man of the army entered by force into a peasant's house, and finding his wife very handsome, turned the good man out of his dwelling, and went to bed to her. The peasant complained the next morning to the sultan, and desired redress; but was not able to point out the criminal. The emperor, who was very much incensed at the injury done to the poor man, told him that probably the offender might give his wife another visit, and if he did, commanded him immediately to repair to his tent and acquaint him with it. Accordingly, within two or three days, the officer entered again the peasant's house, and turned the owner out of doors; who thereupon applied himself to the imperial tent, as he was ordered. The sultan went in person, with his guards, to the poor man's house, where he arrived about midnight. As the attendants carried each of them a flambeau in their bands, the sultan, after having ordered all the lights to be put out, gave the word to enter the house, find out the criminal, and put him to death. This was immediately executed, and the corpse laid out upon the floor by the emperor's command. He then bid every one light his flambeau, and stand about the dead body. The sultan approaching it looked upon the face, and immediately fell upon his knees in prayer. Upon his rising up he ordered
. the peasant to set before him whatever food he had in the
house. The peasant brought out a great deal of coarse fare, of which the emperor eat very heartily. The peasant seeing him in good humour, presumed to ask of him, why he had ordered the flambeaux to be put out before he had commanded the adulterer should be slain ? Why, upon their being lighted again, he looked upon the face of the dead body, and fell down by it in prayer? and why, after this, he had ordered meat to be set before him, of which he now eat so heartily? The sultan, being willing to gratify the curiosity of his host, answered him in this manner. “Upon hearing the greatness of the offence which had been committed by one of the army, I had reason to think it might have been one of my own sons, for who else would have been so audacious and presuming? I gave orders, therefore, for the lights to be extinguished, that I might not be led astray, by partiality or compassion, from doing justice on the criminal. Upon the lighting of the flambeaux a second time, I looked upon the face of the dead person, and, to my unspeakable joy, found that it was not my son.
It was for this reason that I immediately fell upon my knees, and gave thanks to God. As for my eating heartily of the food you have set be
will cease to wonder at it, when you know that the great anxiety of mind I have been in, upon this occasion, since the first complaints you brought me, has hindered my eating anything from that time till this very moment."
fore me, you
No. 100. MONDAY, JULY 6.
Hoc vos præcipuè, niveæ, decet, hoc ubi vidi,
Osculo ferre humero, quà patet, usque libet. Ovid. THERE is a certain female ornament, by some called a tucker, and by others the neck-piece, being a slip of fine linen or muslin that used to run in a small kind of ruffle round the uppermost verge of the women's stays, and by that means covered a great part of the shoulders and bosom. Having thus given a definition, or rather description, of the tucker, I must take notice, that our ladies have of late thrown aside this fig-leaf, and exposed, in its primitive nakedness, that gentle swelling of the breast, which it was used to conceal. What their design by it is, they themselves best know.
I observed this as I was sitting the other day by a famous she visitant at my Lady Lizard's, when accidentally, as I was looking upon her face, letting my sight fall into her bosom, I was surprised with beauties which I never before discovered, and do not know where my eye would have run, if I had not immediately checked it. The lady herself could not forbear blushing, when she observed, by my looks, that she had made her neck too beautiful and glaring an object, even for a man of my character and gravity. I could scarce forbear making use of my hand to cover so unseemly a sight.
If we survey the pictures of our great-grandmothers in Queen Elizabeth's time, we see them clothed down to the very wrists, and up to the very chin. The hands and face were the only samples they gave of their beautiful persons. The following age of females made larger discoveries of their complexion. They first of all tucked up their garments to the elbow, and notwithstanding the tenderness of the sex, were content, for the information of mankind, to expose their arms to the coldness of the air and injuries of the weather. This artifice hath succeeded to their wishes, and betrayed many to their arms, who might have escaped them, had they been still concealed.
About the same time, the ladies considering that the neck was a very modest part in a human body, they freed it from those yokes, I mean those monstrous linen ruffs, in which the simplicity of their grandmothers had enclosed it. In proportion as the age refined, the dress still sunk lower, so that when we now say a woman has a handsome neck, we reckon into it many of the adjacent parts. The disuse of the tucker has still enlarged it, insomuch that the neck of a fine woman at present takes in almost half the body.
Since the female neck thus grows upon us, and the ladies seem disposed to discover themselves to us more and more,
would fain have them tell us once for all, how far they intend to go, and whether they have yet determined among themselves where to make a stop.
For my own part, their necks, as they call them, are no more than busts of alabaster in my eye. Ι look
upon The yielding marble of a snowy breast,