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He forced a smile at the end of my story, and "About a fortnight after I received from him the following letter.
I am infinitely obliged to you for bringing me news of my angel. I have since married her, and think the low circumstances she was reduced to, a piece of good luck to both of us, since it has quite removed that little pride and vanity, which was the only part of her character that I disliked, and given me an opportunity of showing her the constant and sincere affection, which I professed to her in the time of her prosperity.
This might have been widen for Tel Bats
"Yours, R. T."
No. 160. MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14.
Solventur risu tabulæ, tu missus abibis. HOR.
FROM writing the history of lions, I lately went off to that of ants, but, to my great surprise, I find that some of my good readers have taken this last to be a work of invention, which was only a plain narrative of matter of fact. They will, several of them, have it, that my last Thursday and Friday's papers are full of concealed satire, and that I have attacked people in the shape of pismires, whom I durst not meddle with in the shape of men. I must confess, that I write with fear and trembling, ever since that ingenious person, the Examiner, in his little pamphlet, which was to make way for one of his following papers, found out treason in the word Expect.
But I shall, for the future, leave my friend to manage the controversy in a separate work, being unwilling to fill with disputes a paper which was undertaken purely out of good will to my countrymen. I must, therefore, declare, that those jealousies and suspicions, which have been raised in some weak minds, by means of the two above-mentioned discourses concerning ants or pismires, are altogether groundless. There is not an emmet in all that whole narrative, who is either Whig or Tory; and I could heartily wish, that
the individuals of all parties among us, had the good of their country at heart, and endeavoured to advance it by the same spirit of frugality, justice, and mutual benevolence, as are visibly exercised by members of those little commonwealths. After this short preface, I shall lay before my reader a letter or two which occasioned it.
I have laid a wager, with a friend of mine, about the pigeons that used to peck up the corn which belonged 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 frighted 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 oblige two of your "DAILY READERS."
Why so rusty? Will you never leave your innuendoes? 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 a nest of hornets.
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 anything 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 I 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 papers 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. Dissertations 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 these worlds of wonders which are transacted in the midst of them, and not to be acquainted with those
objects which are everywhere before their eyes. To which I might further 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 that1 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
1 As you are a person that.] In our management of the relatives, who, which, that, it may be a good general rule, to apply who to persons; which, to things; and that, to things chiefly. But, when the antecedent is the second person, not only that, but which, is used for who, by our best writers. And this use, which is enough authorized, may be worth retaining, not merely for the grace of variety, but for the convenience of pronunciation.
As to the second person singular, we have an instance of that, for who, in the passage before us-" You are a person that very eminently distinguish yourself;" and elsewhere, frequently. But, when a vowel follows the relative, it seems preferable to who, as "It is thou, O king, that art become strong." Dan. iv. 22.-And again, “Thou that art named the house of Jacob." Micah ii. 7.-Which, in the same circumstance, is preferred to who," Our Father, which art in heaven"-plainly, to avoid the ill effect, which the open vowels in-who art-would have on the ear, in both cases. So, likewise, in the second person plural, "Ye that are of the fountain of Israel," Ps. lxviii. 26, [marginal reading in our Bibles,]—and, "Ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness." Gal. vi. 1.
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. This paper, 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 as something that is beneath him, the other as something that is offensive to the Divine Being; the one as what is unbecoming, the other as what is forbidden. Thus Seneca speaks in the natural and genuine language of a man of honour, when he declares, that, were there no God,