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nions of Pharamond, by the force of a tyrant custom, which is misnamed a point of honour, the duellist kills his friend whom he loves; and the judge condemns the duellist, while he approves his behaviour. Shame is the greatest of all evils; what avail laws, when death only attends the breach of them, and shame obe dience to them? As for me, oh Pharamond, were it possible to describe the nameless kinds of compunctions and tendernesses I feel, wben I reflect upon the little accidents in our former familiarity, my mind swells into sorrow which cannot be resisted enough to be silent in the presence of Pharamond. (With that he fell into a flood of tears, and wept aloud.) Why should not Pharamond hear the anguish he only can relieve others from in time to come? Let him hear from me, what they feel who have given death by the false mercy of his administration, and form to himself the vengeance called for by those who have perished by his negligence *.”
FASHIONABLE AND COURTLY
Hic vivimus ambitiosa
JUV. Sat. iii, 183. “ The face of wealth in poverty we wear." THE most improper things we commit in the con
duct of our lives, we are led into by the force of fashion. Instances might be given, in which a prevailing custom makes us act against the rules of nature, law, and common-sense; but at present I shall confine
This essay is written by Steele, who often wrote with great ardour, and strong reasoning, against duel. ling. The reader will find an account of a duel of his
own, and of the anxiety which resulted to him from success, in his Life, prefixed to this edition.
my consideration to the effect it has upon men's minds, by looking into our behaviour when it is the fashion to go into mourning. The custom of representing the grief we bave for the loss of the dead by our habits, certainly had its rise from the real sorrow of such as were too much distressed to take the proper care they ought of their dress. By degrees it prevailed, that such as had this inward oppression upon their minds, made an apology for not joining with the rest of the world in their ordinary diversions by a dress suited to their condition. This therefore was at first assumed by such only as were under real distress; to whom it was a relief that they had nothing about them so light and gay as to be irksome to the gloom and melancholy of their inward reflections, or that might misrepresent them to others. In process of time this laudable distinction of the sorrowful was lost, and mourning is now worn by heirs and widows. You see nothing but magnificence and solemnity in the equipage of the relict, and an air of release from servitude in the pomp of a son who has lost a wealthy father. This fashion of sor. row is now become a generous part of the ceremonial between princes and sovereigns, who in the language of all nations are styled brothers to each other, and pat on the purple* upon the death of any potentate with whom they live in amity. Courtiers, and all who wisb themselves such, are immediately seized with grief from head to foot upon this disaster to their prince; so that one may kaow by the very buckles of a gentleman-usher, what degree of friendship any deceased monarch maintained with the court to which he belongs. A good courtier’s habit and behaviour is hie. roglyphical on these occasions. He deals much in wbispers, and you may see he dresses according to the best intelligence.
The general affectation among men, of appearing greater than they are, makes the whole world run into
* Royal and princely mourners are clad in parple,
the habit of the court. You see the lady, who the day before was as various as the rainbow, upou the time appointed for beginning to mourn, as dark as a clond. This humour does not prevail only on those whose fortunes can support any change in their equipage, por on those only wbose incomes-demand the wantonness of new appearances; but on such also who bave just enough to clothe them. An old acquaintance of mine, of ninety pounds a year, who has naturally the vanity of being a man of fashion deep at his heart, is very much put to it to bear the mortality of princes. He made a new black suit upon the death of the King of Spain, he turned it for the King of Portugal, and he now keeps his chamber while it is scouring for the Emperor. He is a good economist in his extravagance, and makes only a fresh black button upon his iron-grey suite for any potentate of small territories; he indeed adds his crape bat band for a prince whose exploits be has admired in the Gazette: but whatever compliments may be made on these occasions, the true mourners are the mercers, silkinen, lacemen, and milliners. A prince of a merciful and royal disposition would reflect with great anxiety upon the prospect of his death, if he considered what numbers would be reduced to misery by that accident only. He would think it of moment enough to direct, that in the notifcation of bis departure, the honour done to him might be restrained to those of the household of the prince to whom it should be signified. He would think a general mourning to be in a less degree the same ceremony which is practised in barbarous nations, of killing their slaves to attend the obsequies of their kings.
I had been wonderfully at a loss for many njonths together, to guess at the character of a man who came now and then to our coffee house. He ever ended a news-paper with this reflection, “ Well, I see all the foreign princes are in good health.” If yoa asked, Pray, Sir, what says the Postman from Vienna?"
“ Make us thankful, the German princes
are all well.”_" What does he say from Barcelona?" « He does not speak but that the country agrees very well with the new queen.” After very much inquiry, I found this man of universal loyalty was a wholesale dealer in silks and ribbons. His way is, it seems, if he bires a weaver or workman, to have it inserted in his articles, “ that all this shall be well and truly performed, provided no foreign potentate shall depart this life within the time above-mentioned.' It happens in all public mournings, that the many trades wbich depend upon our babits, are during that folly either pinched with present want, or terrified with the apparent approach of it. All the atonement which men can make for wanton expenses (which is a sort of in. sulting the scarcity under which others labour) is, that the superfluities of the wealthy give supplies to the necessities of the poor; but instead of any other good arising from the affectation of being in courtly habits of mourning, all order seems to be destroyed by it: and the true bonour which one court does to another on that occasion, loses its force and efficacy. When a foreign minister beholds the court of a nation (which flourishes in riches and plenty) lay aside, upon the loss of his master, all marks of splendour and magnificence, thongh the head of such a joyful people, he will conceive a greater idea of the hononr done to his master, than when he sees the generality of the people in the saine habit. When one is afraid to ask the wife of a tradesman whom she has lost of her family; and after some preparation endeavours to know whom she mourns for; how ridiculous is it to hear her explain herself, “ That we have Jost one of the house of Austria !” Princes are elevated so highly above the rest of mankind, that it is a presumptuous distinction to take a part in honours done to their memories, except we have authority for it, by being related in a particular manner to the court which pays the veneration to their friendship, and seems to express on such an occa.
sion, the sense of the uncertainty of buman life in general, by assuming the habit of sorrow, though in the full possession of triumph and loyalty.
ERRORS OF FEMALE EDUCATION.
Motus doceri gaudet Ionicos
Tam nunc, et incestos amores
THE general mistake aniong us in the educating our
children is, that in our daughters we take care of their persons, and neglect their minds; in our sous we are so intent upon adorning their minds, that we wholly neglect their bodies. It is from this that you shall see a young lady celebrated and admired in all the assemblies about town, when her elder brother is afraid to come into a room. From this ill management it arises, that we frequently observe a man's life is half spent before he is taken notice of, and a woman in the prime of her years is ont of fashion and neg. lected. When a girl is safely brought from ber nurse, before she is capable of forming one simple notion of any thing in life, she is delivered to the hands of ber dancing-master; and with a collar round her neck, the pretty wild thing is taught a fantastical gravity of behaviour, and forced to a particular way of holding her head, heaving her breast, and moving with her whole body, and all this under pain of never having