After you have expressed some Sense of the humble Approach of Florio, and a little Disdain at Strephon’s Assurance in his Address, you cry out, What an unexceptionable Husband could I make out of both? It would therefore methinks be a good way to determine your self: Take him in whom what you like is not transferable to another; for if you choose otherwise, there is no Hopes your Husband will ever have what you liked in his Rival; but intrinsick Qualities in one Man may very probably purchase every thing that is adventitious in [another.] In plainer Terms: he whom you take for his personal Perfections will sooner arrive at the Gifts of Fortune, than he whom you take for the sake of his Fortune attain to Personal Perfections. If Strephon is not as accomplished and agreeable as Florio, Marriage to you will never make him so; but Marriage to you may make Florio as rich as Strephon? Therefore to make a sure Purchase, employ Fortune upon Certainties, but do not sacrifice Certainties to Fortune.
I am, Your most Obedient, Humble Servant.
[Footnote 1: any other.]
* * * * *
No. 150. Wednesday, August 22, 1711. Budgell.
infelix paupertas durius in se,
Quam quod ridiculos homines facit ...’
As I was walking in my Chamber the Morning before I went last into the Country, I heard the Hawkers with great Vehemence crying about a Paper, entitled, The ninety nine Plagues of an empty Purse. I had indeed some Time before observed, that the Orators of Grub-street had dealt very much in Plagues. They have already published in the same Month, The Plagues of Matrimony, The Plagues of a single Life, The nineteen Plagues of a Chambermaid, The Plagues of a Coachman, The Plagues of a Footman, and The Plague of Plagues. The success these several Plagues met with, probably gave Occasion to the above-mentioned Poem on an empty Purse. However that be, the same Noise so frequently repeated under my Window, drew me insensibly to think on some of those Inconveniences and Mortifications which usually attend on Poverty, and in short, gave Birth to the present Speculation: For after my Fancy had run over the most obvious and common Calamities which Men of mean Fortunes are liable to, it descended to those little Insults and Contempts, which though they may seem to dwindle into nothing when a Man offers to describe them, are perhaps in themselves more cutting and insupportable than the former. Juvenal with a great deal of Humour and Reason tells us, that nothing bore harder upon a poor Man in his Time, than the continual Ridicule which his Habit and Dress afforded to the Beaus of Rome.