Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

The au

example of the above-mentioned Airs, and coming up to town, over against his title-page, in a very becoming periwig, and a flowing robe or mantle, inclosed in a circle of foliages; below his portraiture, for our farther satisfaction as to the age of that useful writer, is subscribed Johannes Ward de civitat. Cestriæ, ætat. suæ 58. An. Dom. 1706. The serene aspect of these writers, joined with the great encouragement I observe is given to another, or what is indeed to be suspected, in which he indulges himself, confirmed me in the notion I have of the prevalence of ambition this way. thor whom I hint at shall be nameless, but his countenance is communicated to the public in several views and aspects drawn by the most eminent painters, and forwarded by engravers, artists by way of mezzo-tinto, etchers, and the like *. There was, I remember, some years ago, one John Gale, a fellow that played upon a pipe, and diverted the multitude by dancing in a ring they made about him, whose face became generally known, and the artists employed their skill in delineating his features, because every man was a judge of the similitude of them. There is little else, than what this John Gale arrived at, in the advantages men enjoy from common fame; yet do I fear it has always a part in moving us to exert ourselves in such things, as ought to derive their beginnings from nobler considerations. But I think it is no great matter to the publick what is the incentive which makes men bestow time in their service, provided there be any thing useful in what they produce; I shall proceed therefore to give an account of my

* Dr. Sacheverell, who was highly honoured in this way, being placed in effigy on handkerchiefs, fans, urinals, &c.

intended labours, not without some hope of having my vanity, at the end of them, indulged in the sort abovementioned.

I should not have assumed the title of Guardian, had I not maturely considered, that the qualities, necessary for doing the duties of that character, proceed from the integrity of the mind, more than the excellence of the understanding. The former of these qualifications it is in the power of every man to arrive at; and the more he endeavours that way, the less will he want the ad. vantages of the latter; to be faithful, to be honest, to be just, is what you will demand in the choice of your Guardian; or if you find added to this, that he is pleasant, ingenious, and agreeable, there will overflow satisfactions which make for the or. nament, if not so immediately to the use of your life. As to the diverting part of this paper, by what assistance I shall be capacitated for that, as well as what proofs I have given of my behaviour as to integrity in former life, will appear from my. history to be delivered in ensuing discourses. The main purpose of the work shall be, to protect the modest, the industrious; to celebrate the wise, the valiant; to encourage the good, the pious; to confront the impudent, the idle; to contemn the vain, the cowardly; and to disappoint the wicked and profane. This work cannot be carried on but by preserving a strict regard, not only to the duties but civilities of life, with the utmost impartiality towards things and persons. The unjust application of the advantages of breeding and fortune, is the source of all calamity both public and private; the correction therefore, or rather admonition, of a Guardian in all the occurrences of a various being,

if given with a benevolent spirit, would certainly be of general service.

In order to contribute as far as I am able to it, I shall publish in respective papers whatever I think may conduce to the advancement of the conversation of gentlemen, the improvement of ladies, the wealth of traders, and the encouragement of artificers. The circumstance relating to those who excel in mechanicks, shall be considered with particular application. It is not to be immediately conceived by such as have not turned themselves to reflections of that kind, that Providence, to enforce and endear the necessity of social life, has given one man's hands to another man's head, and the carpenter, the smith, the joiner, are as immediately necessary to the mathematician, as my amanuensis will be to me, to write much fairer than I can myself. I am so well convinced of this truth, that I shall have a particular regard to mnechanicks; and to shew my honour for them, I shall place at their head the painter. This gentleman is, as to the execution of his work, a mechanick; but as to his conception, his spirit, and design, he is hardly below even the poet, in liberal art. It will be from these considerations useful to make the world see, the affinity between all works which are beneficial to mankind is much nearer, than the illiberal arrogance of scholars will at all times allow. But I am from experience convinced of the importance of mechanick heads, and shall therefore take them all into my care from Rowley, who is improving the globes of the earth and heaven in Fleet-street, to Bat. Pigeon *, the hair cutter in the Strand.

* A shop was kept under this name, till very lately, almost opposite Arundel-street.

But it will be objected upon what pretensions I take upon me to put in for the prochain ami, or nearest friend of all the world. How my head is accomplished for this employment towards the publick, from the long exercise of it in a private capacity, will appear by reading me the two or three next days with diligence and attention. There is no other paper in being which tends to this purpose. They are most of them histories, or advices of publick transactions; but as those representations affect the passions of my readers, I shall sometimes take care, the day after a foreign mail, to give them an account of what it has brought. The parties amongst us are too violent to make it possible to pass them by without observation. As to these matters, I shall be impartial, though I cannot be neuter: I am, with relation to the government of the church, a tory, with regard to the state, a whig.

The charge of intelligence, the pain in compiling and digesting my thoughts in proper stile, and the like, oblige me to value my paper a half-penny above all other half-sheets *. And all persons who have any thing to communicate to me, are desired to direct their letters (postage-paid) to Nestor Ironside, esq. at Mr. Tonson's in the Strand. I declare beforehand, that I will at no time be conversed with any other way than by letter: for as I am an ancient man I shall find enough to do to give orders proper for their service, to whom I am by will of their parents Guardian, though I take that to be too narrow a scene for me to pass my whole life in. But I have got my Wards so well off my hands, and they are so able to act for them.

* Price two-pence. Guard, in folio.

selves, that I have little to do but give an hint, and all that I desire to be amended is altered accordingly.

My design upon the whole is no less than to make the pulpit, the bar, and the stage, all act in concert in the care of piety, justice and virtue ; for I am past all the regards of this life, and have nothing to manage with any person or party, but to deliver myself as becomes an old man with one foot in the grave, and one who thinks he is passing to eternity. All sorrows which can arrive at me are comprehended in the sense of guilt and pain ; if I can keep clear of these two evils, I shall not be apprehensive of any other. Ambition, lust, envy, and revenge, are excrescences of the mind, which I have cut off long ago :'but as they are excrescences which do not only deform, but also torment those on whom they grow, I shall do all I can to persuade all others to take the same measures for their cure which I have.

N° 2. FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 1713.

The readiest way to proceed in my great undertaking, is to explain who I am myself that promise to give the town a daily half-sheet: I shall therefore enter into my own history, without losing any time in preamble. I was born in the year 1642, at a lone house within half a mile of the town of Brentford, in the county of Middlesex; my parents were of ability to bestow upon me a liberal edu

« ZurückWeiter »