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This literary collection is not, however, in all refpe&s, to be compared to those beautiful gardens in which we meet only with the most valuable flowers, and the choicest fruits. Ona' closer inspection, we are sorry to observe among them, some of the rankelt weeds, and most noxious plants t, which we cannot but view with disgust and surprize : for how shall we account for their appearance among those admirable productions to which they are in their nature lo heterogeneous, and fo difgraceful? That Lord Chesterfield should happen to disseminate the feeds of this baleful crop, may not seem altogether ftrange to those who knew him to have been, what a witty Lady once farcastically styled him, “ a Gentleman of eafy virtue" but that the Fair Gardener * who undertook the care and culture. of the soil Mould suffer them to grow in it, is matter of amazement to us, and, Turely, will not reflect honour upon her!
The exceptionable passages here chiefly, alluded to, are those in which Lord C. in the excess of his solicitude beft bis son should be unnaturally insensible to the calis of pleasure, and coo much addicted to books or to business, advises, nay preffes him to female attachments. We have not the least objection to any of those agreeable attentions to the Fair, which perhaps equally contribute to the polishing and refinement of both sexes; nor are we at all inclined to contravert his lordship's maxim--that
the concurrence of the two f-xes is as necessary to the perfection of our being, as to the formation of it.” But when this noble, modern Ariftippus comes to recommend to his young disciple so unrestrained an indulgence of his inclinations as the invasion of another man's bed, we start with astonishment, and view the feductive, licentious Counsellor with horror. The Reader shall fee that we have but too much, ground for this severity of stricture.
A propos, I am assured that Madam de Blot-is exceflively pretty,--and yet has been scrupulously constant to her husband, though the has now been married above a year. Surely the does not reflect, that woman wants polishing. I would have you polith one another reciprocally. Force, affiduities, attentions, tender looks, and passionate declarations, on your side, will produce fome irreio. lute wishes, at least, on hers; and when even the flightest wishes arise, the rest will soon follow,' Lett. xxx, addressed to Mr. Stanhope at Paris, 1751.
Let not the prevailing modes of gallantry in France be urged in excuse for this fatherly piece of advice to a young man of fashion, sent thither to complete his education, and acquire les maniéres, les agrémens, les graces, to perfection.- Are
of The richer the foil, the more fruitful of weeds, is a trite but true observation. Mrs. Stanhope, who committed these Letters to the press.
CHASTITY, HONOUR, and Virtue to be facrificed to fuch refinements ? rather perith, for ever, the agrémens and the graces of Lord Chefterfield, and his lordfhip's fame and memory with them!
Left it fhould be thought that we have ungenerously taken advantage of a single, a casual, and poffibly a problematical passage, in order to detract from the praise which his Lord thip has lo deservedly acquired, by the more just, and sensible, and moral parts of his letters, we could produce a number of similar extracts, which would put the guilt of Lord C. beyond all doubt, and all exculpation : but one more will suffice:
. I hope you have been-thanked by the Ladies, if not paid in money, for the Mohairs t, which I sent by a Courier to Paris.Do they like you the better for getting them ? La petite Blot devrait au moins paier de la personne. As for Madame de Polignac, I believe you will very willingly hold her excufed from personal payment.'
There are more hints of this fort ; but we have cited enough.
It is with real 'regret that we have pointed out these grofs imperfections in the system of so very ingenious, sensible, and pleasing a Writer; but, for Virtue's sake, we could not suffer his Lordship's libertinisin to pass uncensured, -nor for our own fakes, left our filence should be co:ftrued into an approbation of what no friend !o human society (religion out of the question)
could poffibly approve. —Nor muft we omit to remark the absurdity, as well as the immorality, of the Preceptor who prompts his pupil to debauch his female acquaintance, even without fuppofing the natural inducement of paffiin, to plead in pals liarion of the crime.
After this act of justice, to Mew that we are not cynically, or as Lord C. in one of these letters, has it, parfonically disposed to damn chis noble finner beyond all hope of redemption, we will now (as in our two former * articles) give some more agreeable as well as useful specimens, of what may be called Lord Chesterfield's Councels of Prudence. And now, grave and gentle Readers, what lay ye to a sermon - A Sermon ! Yes, and an admirable, though not a pious discourse it is ! There will be no accalion to call for night.caps. Attend !
L E T T E R XXV. • My dear friend, · I mentioned to you, fome time ago, a fentence; which I would moi earnestly with you always to retain in your thoughts, and observe in your conduct. It is fitaviter in modo, fortiter in ni. I do not know any one rule so unexceptionably useful and necelfary in every part of life. I hall therefore take it for my text to day; and, as old men love preaching, and I have some right to preach to you. I
+ By Mohairs. we leoppofe bis Lordship means Tabbies, t Editor's note. • See Reviews for way and Junei,
here present you with my sermon upon these words. To proceed then regularly and pulpitically; I will first show you, my beloved, the necessary connection of the two members of my text, fuaviter in modo; fortiter in re In the next place, I shall set forth the advantages and utility resulting from a ktrict observance of the precept con. tained in my text; and conclude with an application of the whole.
The suaviter in modo alone would degenerate and fink into a mean, timid complaisance, and passiveness, if pot supported and dignified by the fortiter in re; which would also run into impetuofity and bru. tality, if not tempered and softened, by the suaviter in modo : hową, ever, they are seldom united. The warm, choleric man, with strong animal spirits, despises the fuaviter in modo, and thinks to carry ali before him by the fortiter in re. He may possibly, by great accident, now and then succeed, when he has only weak and timid people to deal with ; but his general fate will be, to shock, offend, be hared, and fail. On the other hand, the cunning, crafty man, thinks to gain all his ends by the fuaviter in modo only: be becomes all things to all mer; he seems to have no opinion of his own, and servilely adopts the present opinion of the present person : he infinuates himself only into the esteem of fools, bat is foon detected, and surely dispised by every body else. The wise man (who differs as much from the cun., ning, as from the choleric man) alone joios the fuaviter in modo with the fortiter in re. Now to the advantages ariqing from the ftri& obfervance of this precept.
• If you are in authority, and have a right to command, your commands delivered fuaviter in modo will be willingly, chearfully, and consequently well obeyed; whereas, if given anly fortiter, thar is brutally, they will rather, as Tacitus says, be interpreted than executed. For my own part, if I bid my footman bring me a glass of wine, in a rough insulting manner, I should expect, that in obeying me, he would contrive to spill some of it upon me, and I am fure I should deserve it. A cool steady resolution should show, that where you have a right to command, you will be obeyed; but, at the same time, a gentleness in the manner of enforcing that obedience, should make it a chearful one, and soften, as much as poslible, the mortifying consciousness of inferiority. If you are to aik a favour, or even to solicit your due, you muft do it fuaviter in modo, or you will give those, who have a mind to refuse you either, a pretence to do it, by resenting the manner; but, on the other hand, you must, by a steady perseverance and decent tenaciousness, show the fortiter in re. The right motives are seldom the true ones, of men's actions, especially of kings, minifters, and people in high ftations; who often give to importunity and fear, what they would refuse to juftice or to merit. By the fuaviter in modo engage their hearts, if you can; at least, prevent the pretence of offence: but take care to show enough of the fortiter in re to excort from their love of eafe, or their fear, what you might in vain hope for from their justice or good-nature. People in high life are hardened to the wants and distresses of mankind, as surgeons are to their bodily pains ; they fee and hear of them all day long, and even of so many fimulated ones, that they do not know which are real, and which not. Other sentiments are therefore to be applied to, than those of mere
justice jaftice and humanity; their favour muft be cap:ivated by the fuauiter in modo : their love of ease disturbed by unwearied importuoity, or their fears wrought upon by a decent intimation of implacable, cool, refentment; this is the true fortiter in re. This precept is the only way I know in the world, of being loved without being despised, and feared without being hated. It constitutes the dignity of character, which every wife man muft endeavour to establish.
. Now to apply what has been faid, and so conclude.
• If you find that you have a hattiness in your temper, which unguardedly breaks out into indiscreet fallies, or rough expressions, to either your fuperiors, your equals, or your inferiors, watch it narfowly, check it carefully, and call the fuaviter in modo to your afliftance: at the first impulse of passion, be filent, till you can be foft. Labour even to get the command of your countenance fo well, that those emotions may not be read in'it : a most unspeakable advantage in bufiness! On the other hand, let no complaisance, no gentleness of temper, no weak defire of pleasing on your part, no wheedling, coaxing, nor fiattery, on other people’s, make you recede one jos from any point that reason and prudence have bid you pursue ; but return to ihe charge, perfift, persevere, and you will find molt chings attainable that are poflible. A yielding timid meekness is always abused and insulted by the unjuft and the unfeeling; but when suftained by the fortiter in re, is always respected, commonly faccessful. in your friendthips and connections, as well as in your enmities, this rule is particularly useful; let your firmness and vigour, preserve and invite attachments to you ; but, at the same time, let your Manner hinder the enemies of your friends and dependants from ben coming yours : let your enemies be disarmed by the gentleness of your manner; but let them feel, at the same time, the steadiness of your juft resentment; for there is great difference between bearing malice, which is always ungenerous, and a resolute felf-defence, which is always prudent and justifiable. In negociations with foreign ministers, remember the fortiter in re; give up no point, accept of no expedient, till the utmost neceflity reduces you to it, and even then dispute the ground inch by inch ; but then, while you are contending with the miniller fortiter in re, remember to gain the man by the fuaviter in modo. If you engage his heart, you have a fair chance for impofing upon his understanding, and determining his will. Tell him, in a frank gallant manner, that your minilterial wrangles do not leffen your personal regard for his merit; but that, on the contrary, his zeal and ability, in the service of his master, increase it; and that, of all things, you desire to make a good friend of so good a servant. By these means you may and will very often be a gainer, you never can be a loser. Some people cannot gain, upon themselves to be easy and civil to those who are either their rivals, competitors, or opposers, though, independently of those aecidental circumstances, they would like and esteem them. They betray a shyness and an aukwardness in company with them, and catch at any little thing to expose them; and fo; from temporary and only occasional opponents, make them their personal enemies. This is exceedingly weak and detrimental, as, indeed; is all humour in business, which can only be carried on successfully, by unadul
terated good policy and right reasoning. In such fituations I would be more particularly and nobiemant civil, eafy, and frank, with the man whole designs I traverset; this is commonly called generosity and magnanimity, but is, in truth, good fenfe and policy. The manner is often as important as the matter, sometimes more fo; a favour may make an enemy, and an injury may make a friend, according to the different manner in which they are severally done, The countenance, the address, the words, the enunciation, the graces, add great efficacy to the juaviier in modo, and great dignity to the fortiter in re; and consequently they deserve the utmost attestion.
• From what has been said, I conclude with this obfervation, that gentleness of manners, with firmness of mind, is a short, but full des-ription of human perfection, on this side of religious and moral duties: that you may be seriouily convinced of this truth, and how ic in your life and conversation, is the molt fincere and ardent will of yours.'
We shall now add part of another Letter, chiefy for the sake of a parliamentary anecdote, which will be acceptable to our more scientific Readers.
• I acquainted you in a former letter, that I had brought a bill into the House of Lords for correcting and reforming our present calendar, which is the Julian ; and for adopting the Gregorian. I will now give you a more particular account of that affair; 'from which reflections will naturally occur to you, that I hope may be useful, and which I fear you have not made. It was notorious, that the Julian calendar was erroneous, and had overcharged the solar year with eleven days. Pope Gregory the 13th corrected this error; his reformed calendar was immediately received by all the Catholio powers of Europe, and afterwards adopted by all the Protestant ones, except Russia, Sweden, and England. It was not, in my opinion, very honourable for England to remain in a gross and avowed error, especially in such company; the inconveniency of it was likewise felt by all those who had foreign correspondences, whether political or mercantile. I determined, therefore, to attempt the reformation ; ! consulted the best lawyers, and the most skilful astronomers, and we cooked up a bill for that purpose. But then my difficulty began : 1 was to bring in this bill, which was necessarily composed of law jar. gon and altronomical calculations, to both which I am an uiter Itranger. However, it was absolutely necessary to make the House of Lords think that I knew something of the matter; and also, to make them believe that they knew something of it themselves, which they do not. For my own part, I could just as soon have talked Celtic or Sclavonian to them, as astronomy, and they would have understood me full as well: so I resolved to do better than speak to the purpose, and to please instead of informing them. I gave them, therefore, only an historical account of calendars, from the Egyptian down to the Gregorian, amusing them now and then with little episodes; but I was particularly attentive to the choice of my words, to the harmony and roundness of my periods, to my elocution, to my action. This succeeded, and ever will succeed; they thought I informed, because I pleased them: and many of them faid, that I had