« PreviousContinue »
ut Jit metis recta in corpore cufvo, for an uprighj Miftd in a crooked one. And let him frequently apply to himself this Article of Self-examination, £*] Leniori^ melior fit accedente fine eta? as Age approaches, do your Temper and Morals improve? It is a-Dtitypeculiarly incumbent; for if Beauty adds Grace to Virtue itself, Vice must be doubly hideous in Deformity.
Ridicule and Contempt ate a certain Consequence «f Deformity ; and therefore what a Person cannot avoid, he mould learn not to regard. He- mould bear it like a Man ; forgive it as a Christian; and consider it as a Philosopher. And his Triumph will be complete, if he can exceed ofhers iri Pleafantry on himself. Wit will give over, when it sees itself out-done; and so will Malice, when it finds it has no Effect: And if a Man's Behaviour afford no Cause of Contempt, it will sall upon those, who condemn him without Cause. It sometimes happens, that Persons, with whom I have A slight Acquaintance, will take notice of me on some Days, and overlook me on others; well knowing that they ought to treat one of my Shape, with the precise Degree of Ceremony, which suit* their present Humour. I will not fay, this isa Pleasure; but I can truly fay, it is no Mortisication. ft excites in me no Resentment, but only Speculation. And not able to find out a very good Reason for their Behaviour, I endeavour to find as good a one as I can. I consider with myself, what it is which makes them at that Juncture of such particular Importance to themselves j and ask myself many Questions of this
[*] Hor. Ep. ii. L a"
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 presented at Court? Has he beei* spoke to at a Levee ?' Has he a new Equipage, or Tide? Has he had a good Run Has he got a Place? Is he going to marry a For_ tune? Has he been congratulated on the Perfor. manee of his French Cook, or hifc French Taylor? Is he reckoned a Man of Taste? Is he admitted of Whites, or of the Royal Society ?•— Such are the Tppicks of my Speculations; and though I am a. Person of no great Penetration, I sometimes hit on the right Cause.
Fine Cloaths attract the Eyes of the Vulgar* and therefore a deformed Person should not assume those borrowed Feathers, which will render him doubly ridiculous. He could scarce expose himself more by dancing at Court, than by appearing the finest there on a. Birth-day. Ever. since I hare; aprived at Years of Discretion, I have worn a plajo Dress; which, for near thirty Years,. has been of the fame grave Colour; antr' which I find not th* least Inclination to alter. It would be monstrous ui me to bestow atiy Or-nament on a Parses* which is incapable of it; awJ.stiouW-I appeac in. Lace or Embroidery, my Friends might assign it;as no unreasonable Pretence for a Commission oflLunacy against me—I can scarce forbear digressing on this Subject, when I reflect, what- Numbers,. who should know better, set a Value upon these Trifles, which are fit Aœusementooply. fpg Chilihwn. If th«y are pleased with the Fioei-y only; they are no better than Children. If it is to gain respect;
p j such such respect most come from the Vulgar, and not sromMenof Sense.' Is it to shew their Quality? it dpes not, for even Apprentices are fine. Is it to be an Evidence of their Riches > it is not; for the most necessitous arc finest, as Taylors know to their Cost. Do their Figure or Reputation depend on their Dress: then they are entirely in the hand of the Taylor. He is the Engineer to guard and defend them; the' God to fave or destroy. Do they dress to. please the Ladies? that is the most reasonable End; yet very few of them but are wiser than to be taken with the Coat instead of the M;in; and what can be taking in a Man, who invades their Province, and appears by his Actions to be one of them 1—If it is a Lady that is fond of Finery; I alk her why? I? she is a Beauty, she wants no Ornament; if plain^ .flie cannot be transformed. Her Dress indeed may enliven her Poet's Fancy, and fave him a Journey to the Sun and Stars for his Similies and Allusions. If the Lady had npt put on her Finery, we might ^ave lost this pojite and ingenious Stanza^
. I. Ib" adornin-gibee with so much Art - , ;•• Jsrbut a barbarous Skill:
ffu.ltke tie poisoning os a Dart-j • v .-;; Too apt besore to kill.
Every Mother (like her in J7], Juvenpl) hath prayed. in the Temple of Venus, sor the most ex
. , [/] Formam optat modico pueris, majors pyh^lis .- - Nli|tmure( cjim. Veneris sanutavidet anxia mater,. Usque ad delicias votorum. Sat. x.
quiiTte Beauty in her Children. But since the Goddess hath been thus deaf and unkind, I cannot advise any one of my Sect to be her professed Votary; for she will be as little propitious to his Wishes, as she was to his Mother's Prayer. A Helen will run away with a Parti; but where is the Nymph that will listen to such a Corydon? In vain will he summon the Muses to his Aid, unassisted as he is by the Graces. His \ni] Sacbarijsa, Myra, Che, or Belinda, may, perhaps, tickle her Ear, but will never touch her Heart:
[i3 Not Words alone please her.
Or if (as [<?] Waller expresses it) her high Pride; should descend to mark his Follies, it is the greatest Honour he can expect; unless, in a merry Mood, she should take it into her Head to treat him like [/>] Falflaff, or Squire Slender. He will. be the choicest of Cupid's April Fools; and I will not fay an egregious Ass, but Camel, to bear his. - Burthens. But let this be some Consolation to him, that, while he is not suffered to regale on the Sweets of the Hive, he is secured from its
Bus, not to make ugly Persons out of Love with themselves, I will now exhibit some Advantages arising from Deformity.. .. :1
[m] Sachariffa belongs to Waller, Myra to Lans— doivn, Clae to Prior, and Belinda to Pope.
[n] Milton's Paradise lost, Book viiu ;' ''•
F 4 Instead!
Instead of repining, a deformed Person ought to be thankful to Providence for giving him such a Guard to his Virtue and Repose. Thoufands are dairy; rained by a handsome Person; for Beauty is, & Flower, that every one wants to gather in its Bloom, andspare no Pains or Stratagem to reach its AU the Poetical Stories concerning it have their Moral. A Helen occasions War and Confusion: The Hyacinths and Ganymedes are seized on for Catamites: The Endymions and Adonises for Gallants: Narcissus can admire nobody but himself; and grows old before he is cured of that Pasfion. Who is a Stranger to she Story of Lucretia killing herself for her violated Chastity? or of Virginia killed by her Father to preserve it?' By those Circumstances, fays [q] Juvenal, (he might •*i<b to change Persons vntkRutila, the onh/ Lady I knew, among rheAiic-ients, celebrated for» Slump-back. The [r] handsomest-Men-gr* chosen for Eunuchs and Gallants; and wlieft they »*• eatched in exercising the last Function, both |/f
[f] Sed vetat optari factem Lucretia, quatem-
Accipere, atque suam Rutilæ dare. Sat., x, .
JrJ' ——— Nullui ephebum
Desormem feva castravit inarce tyranmis. ' r Nec praetextaturo rapuit Nero loripidera, see Strumosum, atque utero pariter gibboque tumentem." ibid. §■] Hie se præcipitenrv tecto dedit: tMe flagelfe
Ad aiortem cæsus: fugiens hie decidit acrem . Prstdonutu in turbain; dedit hie pr»«ttpOTe:nummos:... :.',': Hu"C permin?f runt calones: quraeriao* ilhid Accidii, ut cuidam testes caudamqjw solaces*
Demeteret lerrum Hor. Sal. n. V I.
. -Qaosdam mecchos & mngilii intrat. Juv. ib.