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Thefe are fome of the Senfations I feel"; which I Jiave freely and fairly difclofed, that the Reader may judge, how far lam an Inltance of a deformed Perfon wanting natural Affection. And I am a good Subject of Speculation; for all in me is Nature: for to own the Truth, I have taken but little Pains (though much I ought to have taken) to correct my natural Defe&s.
Lord Bacon's next Pofition is, "That deformed «« Perfons are extfemt-ly bold. Firft in their own "Defence, as being expofed to Scorn j but in Pro"cefs of Time by a general Habit." — This, probably is fo among the inferior Sort, who are in the way of continual Infults; for a return of Abufe is a natural Weapon of Self-defence; and in fome Meafure juftified by the Law of Retaliation: to upbraid a Man with a perfonal Defect, which he cannot help, is alfo an immoral Adl; and he who does it, has reafon to expect no better Quarter than to hear of Faults, which it was in his own Power not t» commit. But I find this Obfervation far from being verified in myfelf; an unbecoming Bafhfulnefs has been the Confequence of my ill Figure, and of the wcrfe Management of me in my Childhood. I am always uneafy, when any one looks ftedfaftly on fo bad a Picture; and cannot look with a proper Confidence in the Face of another. I have ever reproached myfelf with this Weaknefs, but am not able to correct it. And it may be a Difadvantage to a Man in the Opinion of tbofe he converfes with; for
through true Modefty is amiable, the falfe is liable to Mifconftru&iqn: and when a Man is out of Countenance for no Reafon, it may be imagined, that he has fome bad Reafon for being Co. In point of Aflurance, I am indeed a perfect Riddle to myfelf; for 1, who feel a Reluctance in croffing a Drawing-room, or in opening my Mouth in private Company before Perfons with whom 1 am not well acquainted, find little in delivering my Sentiments in Publick, and expofing my Difcourfe, often as trifling as my Perfon, to the Ears of a Thoufand. From what Caule this proceeds I know not: it mav be, partly from Hopes of wiping off any ill Impreffions from my Perfon by my Difcourfe ; partly from a Senfe of doing n;y Duty; and partly from a Security in public Aflemblies from any grofs perfonal Reflexions.
Lord Bacon compares the Cafe of deformed Perfons to that of Eunuchs; -« in whom Kings were wont ," to put great Truft as good Spials and Whifperers; ?' for they that are envious towards all, are more "obnoxious and officious towards one."—But, with Submiffion to fo good a Judge of Human Nature, I own, I can difcover no uncommon Qualification in them for Spies; and very few motives to Envy peculiar to themfelves. Spies.fubmit to that bafe and ungenerous Office, either for the Sake of Intereft or Power: jf for Intereft, it is to gratify their Covetoufnefs; if for Power, their Ambition or Revenge: which Paffions are not confined to the Eunuch or Deformed; but indifcriminately feize all CLfles of Men. Envy fpo may prompt a Man to mean Actions> in order to
bring bring down the Perfon envied to his own Level; but if it is on account of Superiority of Fortune, it will operate alike on Men of all Shapes. Eunuchs have but one peculiar Motive to Envy; but that (as Lord Bacon exprefles it) makes them envious towards all: becaufe ii is for a Pleaiure, which all but themfelves may enjoy. Deformed Perfons are deprived only of Beauty and Strength, and therefore thofe alone are to he deemeH the extraordinary Motives to their Envy; for they can no more be beautiful or ftrong, than Eunuchs be fuccefsful Lovers. As to myfelf, whatever Sparks of Envy might be in my Conftitution, they are now entirely extinguifhed; for, by frequent and ferious Reflexion, I have long been convinced of the fmall Value of moft Things which Men value the moft.
There is another Paffion to which deformed Perfons feem to be more expofed, than to Envy; which is Jealoufy; for, being confcious that they are lefs amiable than others, they may naturally fufpect, that they are lefs beloved. I have the Happinefs to fpealc this from Conjecture, and not from Experience; for it was my Lot, many Years ago to marry a young Lady, very pioufly educated, and of a very diftinguifhed Family, and whofe Virtues are an Honour to her Family, and her Sex; fo that I had never any Trial of my Temper; and can only guefs at it by Emotions I have felt in my younger Days; when Ladies have been more liberal of their Smiles to thofe, whom I thought in every refpect, but Perfon, my Inferiors.
The moft ufeful Inference from all this to a deformed Perfon, is to be upon his Guard againft thofe Frailties to which he is more particularly expofed; and to be careful, that the outward Frame do net cjiftort the Soul. [»'] Orandum e/i, let us pray, fays Juvenal, ut jit nuns fana in carport fano, for a found Mind in a healthy Body; and every deformed Perfon ihould add this Petition, ut fit mem refta in carport curvo, for an upright Mind in a crucked one. And let him frequently apply to himfelf this Article of Self-examination, [k} Lenior *3 mlior fis acctdentt fenetta? as Age approaches, do your Temper and Morals improve? It is a Duty peculiarly incumbent; for if Beauty adds Grace to Virtue itfelf, Vice muft be doubly hideous in Deformity.
Ridicule and Contempt are a certain-Confequence of Deformity; and therefore what a Perfon cannot avoid, he fhould learn not to regard. He fhould bear it like a Man; forgive k as a Chriftian; and confider it as a Philofopher. And his Triumph wiU be complete, if he can exceed others in Pleafantry on himfelf. Wit will give over, when it fees itfelf out-done; and fo will Malice, when it finds it ha* no Effect: And if a Man's Behaviour afford no Caufe of Contempt, it will fall upon thofe, who condemn him without Caufe. It fometimes happens, that Perfons, with whom I have a flight Acquaintance, will take notice of me on fome Days, and overlook me on others; well knowing that they
[i] Sat. x. [*] H«r. Ep. u. 1. a.
ought ought to treat one of my Shape, with the precifc Degree of Ceremony, which fuits their prefent Humour. I will not fay, this is a Pleafure; but I can truly fay, it is no Mortification, it excites in me no Refentment, but only Speculation. And not able to find out a very good Reafon for their Behaviour, I endeavour to find as good a one as I can. I conlider with myfelf, what it is which makes them at that Junctureof fuch particular Importance to themfelves; and afk myfelf many Queftions of this Sort. Is his Father dead? Has he written a Play? Has he dined with my Lord Mayor? Has he made a Speech? Has he been prefented at Court? Has he been fpoke to at a Levee? Has he a new Equipage, or Title? Has he had a good Run? Has he got a Place? Is he go. ing to marry a Fortune? Has he been congratulated on the Performance of his French Cook, or his French Taylor? Is he reckoned a Man of Tafte? Is he admitted of White's, or of the Royal Society ?—Such are the Topicks of my Speculations; and though I am a Perfon of no great Penetration, I fometimes hit on the right Caufe.
Fine Cloaths attract the Eyes of the Vulgar; and therefore a deformed Perfon mould not aflume thofe borrowed Feathers, which will render him doubly ridiculous. He could fcarce expofe himfelf more by dancing at Court, than by appearing the fineft there on a Birth-day. Ever n'nce I have arrived at Years of Difcretion, I have worn a plain Drefs; which, for near thirty Years, has been of the fame grave Colour; and which I find not the leaf t Inclination