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ances for hypocrisy in others; so that I believe no men see less of the truth and reality of things, than these great refiners upon incidents, who are so wonderfully subtle and over-wise in their conceptions.
Now, what these men fancy they know of women by reflexion, your lewd and vicious men believe they have learned by experience. They have seen the poor husband so misled by tricks and artifices, and in the midst of his inquiries so lost and
bewildered in a crooked intrigue, that they still suspect an under10 plot in every female action; and especially where they see any
resemblance in the behaviour of two persons, are apt to fancy it proceeds from the same design in both. These men therefore bear hard upon the suspected party, pursue her close through all her turnings and windings, and are too well acquainted with the chace to be flung off by any false steps or doubles; besides, their acquaintance and conversation has lain wholly among the vicious part of woman kind, and therefore it is no wonder they censure all alike, and look upon the whole sex as a species of impostors.
But if, notwithstanding their private experience, they can get 20 over these prejudices, and entertain a favourable opinion of some
women, yet their own loose desires will stir up new suspicions from another side, and make them believe all men subject to the same inclinations with themselves.
Whether these or other motives are most predominant, wę learn from the modern histories of America, as well as from our own experience in this part of the world, that jealousy is no northern passion, but rages most in those nations that lie nearest the influence of the sun. It is a misfortune for a woman to
be born between the tropics; for there lie the hottest regions of 30 jealousy, which as you come northward cools all along with
the climate, till you scarce meet with any thing like it in the polar circle. Our own nation is very temperately situated in this respect; and if we meet with some few disordered with the violence of this passion, they are not the proper growth of our country, but are many degrees nearer the sun in their constitutions than in their climate. After this frightful account of jealousy, and the persons
who are most subject to it, it will be but fair to shew by what means
the passion may be best allayed, and those who are possessed 40 with it set at ease. Other faults indeed are not under the wife's
jurisdiction, and should, if possible, escape her observation ; but jealousy calls upon her particularly for its cure, and deserves all her art and application in the attempt: besides, she has this for her encouragement, that her endeavours will be always pleasing, and that she will still find the affection of her husband rising towards her in proportion as his doubts and suspicions vanish; for, as we have seen all along, there is so great a mixture of love in jealousy as is well worth the separating.
No. 177. On Good Nature, considered as a virtue ; its tests; story of Eugenius; illustrative quotations.
Quis enim bonus, aut face dignus
Juv. Sat. xv. 140. In one of my last week's papers? I treated of good-nature, 10 as it is the effect of constitution: I shall now speak of it as it
is a moral virtue. The first may make a man easy in himself and agreeable to others, but implies no merit in him that is possessed of it.
A man is no more to be praised upon this account, than because he has a regular pulse or a good digestion. This good-nature however in the constitution, which Mr. Dryden somewhere calls a milkiness of blood, is an admirable ground-work for the other. In order therefore to try our good-nature, whether it arises from the body or the mind, whether it be founded in the
animal or rational part of our nature,-in a word, whether it 20 be such as is intitled to any other reward, besides that secret
satisfaction and contentment of mind which is essential to it, and the kind reception it procures to us in the world, we must examine it by the following rules.
First, whether it acts with steadiness and uniformity in sickness and in health, in prosperity and in adversity; if otherwise, it is to be looked upon as nothing else but an irradiation of the mind from some new supply of spirits, or a more kindly circulation of the blood. Sir Francis Bacon mentions a cunning solicitor,
who would never ask a favour of a great man before dinner; but 30 took care to prefer his petition at a time when the party
1 No. 169: omitted from this selection.
petitioned had his mind free from care, and his appetites in good humour. Such a transient temporary good-nature as this is not that philanthropy, that love of mankind, which deserves the title of a moral virtue.
The next way of a man's bringing his good-nature to the test, is, to consider whether it operates according to the rules of reason and duty: for if, notwithstanding its general benevolence to mankind, it makes no distinction between its objects, if it
exerts itself promiscuously towards the deserving and undeserv10 ing, if it relieves alike the idle and the indigent, if it gives itself
up to the first petitioner, and lights upon any one rather by accident than choice,-it may pass for an amiable instinct, but must not assume the name of a moral virtue.
The third trial of good-nature will be the examining ourselves, whether or no we are able to exert it to our own disadvantage, and employ it on proper objects, notwithstanding any little pain, want, or inconvenience, which may arise to ourselves from it; in a word, whether we are willing to risk any part of our fortune,
our reputation, or health, or ease, for the benefit of mankind. 20 Among all these expressions of good nature, I shall single out
that which goes under the general name of charity, as it consists in relieving the indigent; that being a trial of this kind which offers itself to us almost at all times, and in every place.
I should propose it as a rule to every one who is provided with any competency of fortune more than sufficient for the necessaries of life, to lay aside a certain proportion of his income for the use of the poor. This I would look upon as an offering to
Him who has a right to the whole, for the use of those whom, in 30 the passage hereafter mentioned, he has described as his own
representatives upon earth. At the same tiine we should manage our charity with such prudence and caution, that we may not hurt our own friends and relations, whilst we are doing good to those who are strangers to us.
This may possibly be explained better by an example than by a rule.
Eugenius is a man of an universal good-nature, and generous beyond the extent of his fortune; but withal so prudent in the
æconomy of his affairs, that what goes out in charity is made up 40 by good management. Eugenius has what the world calls two
hundred pounds a year: but never values himself above ninescore, as not thinking he has a right to the tenth part, which he always appropriates to charitable uses. To this sum he frequently makes other voluntary additions, insomuch that in a good year, for such he accounts those in which he has been able to make greater bounties than ordinary, he has given above twice that sum to the sickly and indigent. Eugenius prescribes to himself many particular days of fasting and abstinence, in order
to increase his private bank of charity, and sets aside what would 10 be the current expences of those times for the use of the poor.
He often goes afoot where his business calls him, and at the end of his walk has given a shilling, which in his ordinary method of expence would have gone for coach hire, to the first necessitous person that has fallen in his way. I have known him, when he has been going to a play or an opera, divert the money which was designed for that purpose, upon an object of charity whom he has met with in the street; and afterwards pass his evening in the coffee-house, or at a friend's fire-side, with much greater
satisfaction to himself than he could have received from the most 20 exquisite entertainments of the theatre. By these means he is
generous, without impoverishing himself, and enjoys his estate by making it the property of others.
There are few men so cramped in their private affairs, who may not be charitable after this manner, without any disadvantage to themselves, or prejudice to their families. It is but sometimes sacrificing a diversion or convenience to the poor, and turning the usual course of our expences into a better channel. This is, I think, not only the most prudent and con
venient, but the most meritorious piece of charity which we 30 can put in practice. By this method we in some measure
share the necessities of the poor at the same time that we relieve them, and make ourselves not only their patrons, but their fellow-sufferers.
Sir Thomas Brown, in the last part of his Religio Medici, in which he describes his charity in several heroic instances, and with a noble heat of sentiments, mentions that verse in the Proverbs of Solomon, He that giveth to the poor, lendeth to the Lord: • There is more rhetoric in that one sentence,' says he, 'than in
a library of sermons; and indeed if those sentences were under40 stood by the reader, with the same emphasis as they are delivered
by the author, we needed not those volumes of instructions, but might be honest by an epitome.'
This passage in scripture is indeed wonderfully persuasive: but I think the same thought is carried much farther in the New Testament, where our Saviour tells us in a most pathetic manner, that he shall hereafter regard the clothing of the naked, the feeding of the hungry, and the visiting of the imprisoned, as offices done to himself, and reward them accordingly. Pur
suant to those passages in holy scripture, I have somewhere 10 met with the epitaph of a charitable man, which has very much
pleased me. I cannot recollect the words, but the sense of it is to this purpose: What I spent I lost; what I possessed is left to others; what I gave away remains with me.
Since I am thus insensibly engaged in sacred writ, I cannot forbear making an extract of several passages which I have always read with great delight in the book of Jobl. It is the account which that holy man gives of his behaviour in the days of his prosperity, and, if considered only as a human com
position, is a finer picture of a charitable and good-natured man 20 than is to be met with in any other author.
Oh that I were as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me: when his candle shined upon my head, and when by his light I walked thro' darkness : when the Almighty was yet with me : when my children were about me: when I washed my steps with butter, and the rock poured out rivers of oil.
When the ear heard me, then it blessed me : and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me. Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to
help him. The blessing of him that was ready to perish came 30 upon me, and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. I
was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame; I was a father to the poor, and the cause which I knew not I searched out. Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? Was not my soul grieved for the poor? Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity. If I did despise the cause of my man-servant, or of my maid-servant, when they contended with me: what then shall I do when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him ? Did not he that made me in the womb, make him ? and did not one fashion us in