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on her hand, which must be discharged very suddenly, and that she cannot lose her money as becomes a woman of her fashion, if she makes me any abatements in this article. I hope, sir, you will take an occasion from hence to give your opinion upon a subject which you have not yet touched, and inform us if there are any precedents for this usage among our ancestors; or whether you find any mention of pin-money in Grotius, Puffendorf, or any other of the civilians." I am ever the humblest of your admirers,
Josiau FRIBBLE, Esq.
As there is no man living who is a more professed advocate for the fair sex than myself, so there is none that would be more unwilling to invade any of their ancient rights and privileges ; but as the doctrine of pin-money is of a very late date, unknown to our great grandmothers, and not yet received by many of our modern ladies, I think it is for the interest of both sexes to keep it from spreading
Mr. Fribble may not, perhaps, be much mistaken where he intimates, that the supplying a man's wife with pin-money, is furnishing her with arms against himself, and in a manner becoming accessary to his own dishonour. We may, indeed, generally observe, that in proportion as a woman is more or less beautiful, ard her husband advanced in years, she stands in need of a greater or less number of pins, and upon a treaty of marriage, rises or falls in her demands accordingly. It must likewise be owned, that high quality in a mistress does very much inflame this article in the marriage reckoning.
But where the age and circumstances of both parties are pretty much upon a level, I cannot but think the insisting upon pin-money is very extraordinary; and yet we find several matches broken off upon
head. What would a foreigner, or one
who is a stranger to this practice, think of a lover that forsakes his mistress, because he is not willing to keep her in pins; but what would he think of the mistregs, should he be informed that she asks five or six hundred pounds a year for this use? Should a man unacquainted with our customs be told the sums which are allowed in Great Britain, under the title of pin-money, what a prodigious consumption of pins would he think there was in this island ? 'A pin a day (says our frugal proverb) is a groat a year;' so that according to this calculation, my friend Fribble's wife must every year make use of eight millions six hundred and forty thousand new pins.
I am not ignorant that our British ladies alledge they comprehend under this general term several other conveniencies of life; I could therefore wish, for the honour of my country-women, that they had rather called it needle-money, which might have implied something of good housewifery, and not have given the malicious world occasion to think, that dress and trifle have always the uppermost place in a woman's thoughts.
I know several of my fair readers urge, in defence of this practice, that it is but a necessary provision to make for themselves, in case their husband proves a churl or a miser; so that they consider this allowance as a kind of alimony, which they may lay their claim to without actually separating from their husbands. But with submission, I think a woman who will give up herself to a man in marriage, where there is the least room for such an apprehension, and trust her person to one whom she will not rely on for the common necessaries of life, may very properly be accused (in the phrase of an homely proverb) of being 'penny wise and pound foolish.'
It is observed of over-cautious generals, that they never engage in a battle without securing a retreat, in case the event should not answer their expectations; on the other hand, the written in English, have been so much perused as Doctor Sherlock's discourse upon Death; though at the same time I must own, that he who has not perused this excellent piece, has not per. haps read one of the strongest persuasives to a religious life that ever was written in any language.
The consideration, with which I shall close this essay upon Death, is one of the most ancient and most beaten morals that has been recommended to mankind.
But its being so very common, and so universally received, though it takes away from it the grace of novelty, adds very much to the weight of it, as it shews that it falls in with the general sense of mankind. In short, I would have every one consider, that he is in this life nothing more than a passenger, and that he is not to set up his rest here, but keep an attentive eye upon that state of being to which he approaches every moment, and which will be for ever fixed and permanent. This single consideration would be sufficient to extin. guish the bitterness of hatred, the thirst of avarice, and the cruelty of ambition.
I am very much pleased with the passage of Antiphanes, a very ancient poet, who lived near an hundred years before Socrates, which represents the life of man under this view, as I have here translated it word for word. Be not grieved,' says be, 'above measure, for thy deceased friends. They are not dead, but have only finished that journey which it is necessary for every one of us to take: we ourselves must go to that great place of reception in which they are all of them assembled, and in this general rendezvous of mankind, live together in another state of being.'
I think I have, in a former paper, taken notice of those beautiful metaphors in scripture, where life is termed a pilgrimage, and those who pass through it are called strangers and sojourners upon earth. I shall conclude this with a story, which I have somewhere read in the travels of Sir John Chardin ; that gentleman,
after having told us, that the inns which receive the caravans in Persia, and the eastern countries, are called by the name of car: avansaries, gives us a relation to the following purpose.
A dervise, travelling through Tartary, being arrived at the town of Balk, went into the king's palace by a mistake, as thinking it to be a public inn or caravansary. Having looked about him for some time he entered into a long gallery, where he laid down his wallet, and spread his carpet, in order to repose himself upon it after the manner of the eastern nations. He had not been long in this posture before he was discovered by some of the guards, who asked him what was his business in that place ? The dervise told them he intended to take up his night's lodging in that caravansary. The guards let him know, in a very angry manner,
that the house he was in, was not a caravansary, but the king's palace. It happened that the king himself passed through the gallery during this debate, and smiling at the mistake of the dervise, asked him how he could possibly be so dull as not to distinguish a palace from a caravansary ? 'Sir, (says the dervise,) give me leave to ask your majesty a question or two. the
persons that lodged in this house when it was first built ?' The king replied, his ancestors. “And who, (says the dervise) was the last person that lodged here?' The king replied, his father.
"And who is it, (says the dervise) that lodges here at present ?' The king told him, that it was he himself.
"And who (says the dervise) will be here after you?' The king answered, the young prince, his son. Ah sir, (said the dervise,) a house that changes its inhabitants so often, and receives such a perpetual succession of guests, is not a palace but a caravansary.'
No. 293. TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 5.
Πασιν γαρ ευφρονούσι συμμαχεί τύχη. .
FRAG. VET. POET.
The famous Gratian,' in his little book wherein he lays down maxims for a man's advancing himself at court, advises his reader to associate himself with the fortunate, and to shun the company of the unfortunate; which notwithstanding the baseness of the precept to an honest mind, may have something useful in it for those who push their interest in the world. It is certain a great part of what we call good or ill fortune, rises out of right or wrong measures and schemes of life. When I hear a man complain of his being unfortunate in all his undertakings, I shrewdly suspect him for a very weak man in his affairs. In conformity with this way of thinking, Cardinal Richlieu used to say, that unfortunate and imprudent were but two words for the same thing. As the cardinal himself had a great share both of prudence and good-fortune, his famous antagonist, the Count d'Olivarez, was disgraced at the court of Madrid, because it was
Balthazar Gratian, a Jesuit, who died 1658, about the year 1637, began to publish six or seven little books in that branch of science which Lord Bacon styles the Doctrine of Business, under the titles of El Heroe, Agudeza, El Politico, Fernando, El Discreto, El Criticon, and El Oraculo Manual y arte de Prudencia. They contain many curious observations, wise maxims, and useful precepts; but having often disjoined the wis. dom of the serpent from the innocence of the dove,' and recommended, as in the instance here mentioned, dishonorable principles and immoral artifices for rising in life, he is really what the Italians call 'a sower of thorns,' and just such a moralist as his countryman Don Quixote was a hero. The Sieur Amelot de la Houssaie, in 1707, published a French translation of Gratian's El Oraculo Manual, &c., with comments and extracts from his El Heroe, and El Discreto, under the title of L'Homme de Cour, which is the little book here quoted. See Spectu, Nos. 379 and 409, and Guardian, No. 24.-C.