The Spectator, Volume 2. eBook

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of his Labours.  When they see it, they shall be troubled with terrible Fear, and shall be amazed at the Strangeness of his Salvation, so far beyond all that they looked for.  And they repenting and groaning for Anguish of Spirit, shall say within themselves; This was he whom we had sometime in Derision, and a Proverb of Reproach.  We Fools accounted his Life Madness, and his End to be without Honour.  How is he numbered among the Children of God, and his Lot is among the Saints! [2]

If the Reader would see the Description of a Life that is passed away in Vanity and among the Shadows of Pomp and Greatness, he may see it very finely drawn in the same Place. [3] In the mean time, since it is necessary in the present Constitution of things, that Order and Distinction should be kept in the World, we should be happy, if those who enjoy the upper Stations in it, would endeavour to surpass others in Virtue, as much as in Rank, and by their Humanity and Condescension make their Superiority easy and acceptable to those who are beneath them:  and if, on the contrary, those who are in meaner Posts of Life, would consider how they may better their Condition hereafter, and by a just Deference and Submission to their Superiors, make them happy in those Blessings with which Providence has thought fit to distinguish them.


[Footnote 1:  Epict.  Enchirid. ch. 23.]

[Footnote 2:  Wisd., ch. v. 1-5.]

[Footnote 3:  Ch. v. 8-14.]

* * * * *

No. 220.  Monday, November 12, 1711.  Steele.

  Rumoresque serit varios

  Virg. [1]


Why will you apply to my Father for my Love?  I cannot help it if he will give you my Person; but I assure you it is not in his Power, nor even in my own, to give you my Heart.  Dear Sir, do but consider the ill Consequence of such a Match; you are Fifty-five, I Twenty-one.  You are a Man of Business, and mightily conversant in Arithmetick and making Calculations; be pleased therefore to consider what Proportion your Spirits bear to mine; and when you have made a just Estimate of the necessary Decay on one Side, and the Redundance on the other, you will act accordingly.  This perhaps is such Language as you may not expect from a young Lady; but my Happiness is at Stake, and I must talk plainly.  I mortally hate you; and so, as you and my Father agree, you may take me or leave me:  But if you will be so good as never to see me more, you will for ever oblige,

  Your most humble Servant,


  Mr. SPECTATOR, [2]

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The Spectator, Volume 2. from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.