It is not in the Power of all Men to leave illustrious Names or great Fortunes to their Posterity, but they can very much conduce to their having Industry, Probity, Valour and Justice: It is in every Man’s Power to leave his Son the Honour of descending from a virtuous Man, and add the Blessings of Heaven to whatever he leaves him. I shall end this Rhapsody with a Letter to an excellent young Man of my Acquaintance, who has lately lost a worthy Father.
’I know no Part of Life more impertinent than the Office of administring Consolation: I will not enter into it, for I cannot but applaud your Grief. The virtuous Principles you had from that excellent Man whom you have lost, have wrought in you as they ought, to make a Youth of Three and Twenty incapable of Comfort upon coming into Possession of a great Fortune. I doubt not but that you will honour his Memory by a modest Enjoyment of his Estate; and scorn to triumph over his Grave, by employing in Riot, Excess, and Debauchery, what he purchased with so much Industry, Prudence, and Wisdom. This is the true Way to shew the Sense you have of your Loss, and to take away the Distress of others upon the Occasion. You cannot recal your Father by your Grief, but you may revive him to his Friends by your Conduct.’
[Footnote 1: “to”, and in the first reprint.]
[Footnote 2: and his]
* * * * *
No. 193. Thursday, October 11, 1711. Steele.
Ingentem foribus domus alta superbis
Mane salutantum totis vomit oedibus undam.’
When we look round us, and behold the strange Variety of Faces and Persons which fill the Streets with Business and Hurry, it is no unpleasant Amusement to make Guesses at their different Pursuits, and judge by their Countenances what it is that so anxiously engages their present Attention. Of all this busie Crowd, there are none who would give a Man inclined to such Enquiries better Diversion for his Thoughts, than those whom