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thoughts on this subject, that, if possible, they may appeur before the disbanding of the army.
“I am, sir,
Themistocles, the great Athenian general, being asked whether he would choose to marry his daughter to an indigent man of merit, or to a worthless man of an estate, replied, that he would prefer a man without an estate, to an estate without a man. The worst of it is our modern fortune-hunters are those who turn their heads that way, because they are good for nothing else. If a young fellow finds he can make nothing of Cook and Littleton, he provides himself with a ladder of ropes, and by that means very
upon the premises.
The same art of scaling has likewise been practised with good success by many military engineers. Stratagems of this nature make parts and industry superfluous, and cut short the way to riches.
Nor is vanity a less motive than idleness to this kind of mercenary pursuit. A fop who admires his person in a glass, soon enters into a resolution of making his fortune by it, not questioning but every woman that falls in his
will do him as much justice as he does himself. When an heiress sees a man throwing particular graces into his ogle, or talk. ing loud within her hearing, she ought to look to herself; but if withal she observes a pair of red-heels, a patch, or any other particularity in his dress, she cannot take too much care of her person. These are baits not to be trifled with, charms that have done a world of execution, and made their way into hearts which have been thought impregnable. The force of a man with these qualifications is so well known, that I am credibly informed there are several female undertakers about the Change, who upon the arrival of a likely man out of a neighbouring kingdom, will furnish him with proper dress from head to foot, to be paid for at a doublo price on the day of marriage.
We must, however, distinguish between fortune-hunters and fortune-stealers. The first are those assiduous gentlemen who employ their whole lives in the chase, without ever coming at the quarry. Suffenus has combed and powdered
at the ladies for thirty years together, and taken his stand in a side box, till he is grown wrinkled under their eyes. He is now laying the same snares for the present generation of beauties, which he practised on their mothers. Cottilus, after having made his applications to more than you meet with in Mr. Cowley's ballad of mistresses, was at last smitten with a city lady of £20,000 sterling; but died of old age before he could bring matters to bear. Nor must I here omit my worthy friend Mr. Honeycomb, who has often told us in the club, that for twenty years successively, upon the death of a childless rich man, he immediately drew on his. boots, called for his horse, and made up to the widow. When he is rallied upon his ill success, WILL. with his usual gaiety tells us, that he always found her pre-engaged.
Widows are indeed the great game of your fortune-hunters. There is scarce a young fellow in the town of six foot high, that has not passed in review before one or other of these wealthy relics. Hudibras's Cupid, who
-took his stand
Upon a widow's jointure land, is daily employed in throwing darts and kindling flames. But as for widows, they are such a subtle generation of people, that they may be left to their own conduct; or if they make a false step in it, they are answerable for it to nobody but themselves. The young innocent creatures who have no knowledge and experience of the world, are those whose safety I would principally consult in this speculation. The stealing of such an one should, in my opinion, be as punishable as a rape. Where there is no judgment, there is no choice; and why the inveigling a woman before she is come to
years of discretion, should not be as criminal as the seducing of her before she is ten years old, I am at a loss to comprehend.
No. 317. TUESDAY, MARCH 4.
—fruges consumere nati. HOR. AUGUSTUS, a few moments before his death, asked his friends who stood about him, if they thought he had acted Lis part well; and upon receiving such an answer as was due
to his extraordinary merit, “ Let me, then, (says ke,) go off the stage with your applause;" using the expression with which the Roman actors made their exit at the conclusion of a dramatic piece. I could wish that men, while they are in health, would consider well the nature of the part they are engaged in, and what figure it will make in the minds of those they leave behind them: whether it was worth coming into the world for, whether it be suitable to a reasonable being; in short, whether it appears graceful in this life, or will turn to an advantage in the next. Let the sycophant, or buffoon, the satirist, or the good companion, consider with himself, when his body shall be laid in the grave, and his soul pass into another state of existence, how much it will redound to his praise to have it said of him, that no man in England eat better, that he had an admirable talent at turning his friend into ridicule, that nobody out-did him at an ill-natured jest, or that he never went to bed before he had despatched his third bottle. These are, however, very common funeral orations, and eulogiums on deceased persons who have acted among mankind with some figure and reputation.
But if we look into the bulk of our species, they are such as are not likely to be remembered a moment after their disappearance. They leave behind them no traces of their existence, but are forgotten as though they had never been. They are neither wanted by the poor, regretted by the rich, nor celebrated by the learned. They are neither missed in the commonwealth, nor lamented by private persons. Their actions are of no significancy to mankind, and might have been performed by creatures of much less dignity, than those who are distinguished by the faculty of reason. An eminent French author speaks somewhere to the following purpose : I have often seen from my chamber window two noble creatures, both of them of an erect countenance, and endowed with reason. These two intellectual beings are employed from morning till night, in rubbing two smooth stones one upon another; that is, as the vulgar phrase it, in polishing marble.
My friend, Sir Andrew Freeport, as we were sitting in the club last night, gave us an account of a sober citizen, who died a few days since. This honest man being of greater consequence in his own thoughts than in the eye of the world,
had for some years past kept a journal of his life. Sir Andrew showed us one week of it. Since the occurrences set down in it mark out such a road of action as that I have been speaking of, I shall present my reader with a faithful copy of it; after having first informed him, that the deceased person had in his youth been bred to trade, but finding himself not so well turned for business, he had for several years last past lived altogether upon a moderate annuity.
MONDAY, eight o'clock. I put on my clothes and walked into the parlour.
Nine o'clock ditto. Tied my knee-strings, and washed my hands.
Hours, ten, eleven, and twelve. Smoked three pipes of Virginia. Read the Supplement and Daily Courant. Things go ill in the North. Mr. Nisby's opinion thereupon.
One o'clock in the afternoon. Chid Ralph for mislaying my tobacco-box.
Two o'clock. Sat down to dinner. Mem. Too many plums, and no suet. From three to four. Took my
nap: From four to six. Walked into the fields. Wind, S. S. E.
From six to ten. At the club. Mr. Nisby's opinion about the peace.
Ten o'clock. Went to bed, slept sound.
TUESDAY, BEING HOLIDAY, eight o'clock. Rose as usual.
Vine o'clock. Washed hands and face, shaved, put on my double-soled shoes.
Ten, eleven, twelve. Took a walk to Islington.
Between two and three. Returned, dined on a knuckle of real and bacon. Mem. Sprouts wanting.
Three. Nap as usual.
From four to six. Coffee-house. Read the news. A dish of twist. Grand Vizier strangled.
From six to ten. At the club. Mr. Nisby's account of the great Turk.
Ten.. Dream of the Grand Vizier. Broken sleep.
WEDNESDAY, Eight o'clock. Tongue of my shoe-buckle broke. Hands, but not face.
Nine. Paid off he butcher's bill. Mem. To be allowed for the last leg of mutton.
Ten, eleven. At the coffee-house. More work in the North. Stranger in a black wig asked me how stocks went.
From twelve to one. Walked in the fields. Wind to the south.
From one to two. Smoked a pipe and a half.
Three. Nap broke by the falling of a pewter dish. Mem. Cook-maid in love, and grown careless.
From four to six. At the coffee-house. Advice from Smyrna, that the Grand Vizier was first of all strangled, and afterwards beheaded.
Six o'clock in the evening. Was half an hour in the club before anybody else came. Mr. Nisby of opinion that the Grand Vizier was not strangled the sixth instant.
Ten at night. Went to bed. Slept without waking till nine next morning.
THURSDAY, nine o'clock. Staid within till two o'clock for Sir Timothy, who did not bring me my annuity according to his promise.
Two in the afternoon. Sat down to dinner. Loss of apo petite. Small beer sour.
Beef overcorned. Three. Could not take my nap: Four and five. Gave Ralph a box on the ear. Turned off my cook-maid. Sent a message to Sir Timothy. Mem. I did not go to the club to-night. Went to bed at nine o'clock.
FRIDAY. Passed the morning in meditation upon Sır Timothy, who was with me a quarter before twelve.
Twelve o'clock. Bought a new head to my cane, tongue to my buckle. Drank a glass of purl to recover appetite.
Two and three. Dined and slept well.
From four to six. Went to the coffee-house. Met Mr. Nisby there. Smoked several pipes. Mr. Nisby of opinion that laced coffee is bad for the head.
Six o'clock. At the club as steward. Sat late.
Twelve o'clock. Went to bed, dreamt that I drank small beer with the Grand Vizier.