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lum, I appeal to the people, was the usual saying of a very excellent dramatic poet, when he had any disputes with particular persons about the justness and regularity of his productions. It is but a melancholy comfort for an author to be satisfied that he has written up to the rules of art, when he finds he has no admirers in the world besides himself. Common modesty should, on this occasion, make a man suspect his own judgment, and that he misapplies the rules1 of his art, when he finds himself singular in the applause which he bestows upon his own writings.
The public is always even with an author who has not a just deference for them. The contempt is reciprocal.I laugh at every one, said an old cynic, who laughs at me. Do you so? replied the philosopher; then let me tell you, you live the merriest life of any man in Athens.
It is not, therefore, the least use of this my paper, that it gives a timorous writer, and such is every good one, an opportunity of putting his abilities to the proof, and of sounding the public before he launches into it. For this reason I
look upon my paper as a kind of nursery for authors, and question not but some, who have made a good figure here, will hereafter flourish under their own names in more long and elaborate works.
After having thus far enlarged upon this particular, I have one favour to beg of the candid and courteous reader, that when he meets with anything in this paper which may appear a little dull or heavy,2 (though I hope this will not be often,) he will believe it is the work of some other person, and not of Nestor Ironside.
I have, I know not how, been drawn into tattle of myself, more majorum, almost the length of a whole Guardian. I shall therefore fill up the remaining part of it with what still relates to my own person, and my correspondents. Now I would have them all know, that on the twentieth instant it
1 Suspect his own judgment, and that he misapplies the rules.] This way of making a substantive, and a whole sentence, depend on the same verb, is not accurate, because it does violence to the mind, in turning the attention suddenly two different ways. He might have said-" suspect his own judgment, and conclude that he misapplies,"—or, what I think bettersuspect his judgment and the application of his own rules."
Pleasantly said; but with a secret reference, I make no doubt, to certain papers in this collection by his coadjutor, though bearing the name of Nestor Ironside,
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.1
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
1 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 Omnipotence 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,
When a nation once loses its regard to justice; when they do not look upon it as something venerable, holy, and inviolable; 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 posted2 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
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, and 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 hands, 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 before me, you 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."
No. 100. MONDAY, JULY 6.
Hoc vos præcipuè, niveæ, decet, hoc ubi vidi,
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