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latent virtue and perfection, which without such helps i are never able to make their appearance.
If my reader will give me leave to change the allusion so soon upon him, I shall make use of the same instance ; to illustrate the force of education, which Aristotle has brought to explain his doctrine of substantial forms, when he tells us that a statue lies hid in a block of marble ; and that the art of the statuary, only clears
the fuperfluous matter, and removes the rubbish. The figure is in the stone, the sculptor only finds it. What fculpture is to a block of marble, education is to an human soul. The philosopher, the faint, or the hero, the wise, the good, or the great man, very often lie hid and concealed in a plebeian, which a proper education might have dis-interred, and have brought to light. I am therefore much delighted with reading the accounts of savage nations, and with contemplating those virtues which are wild and uncultivated ; to see courage exerting itself in fierceness, resolution in obAinacy, wisdom in cunning, patience in fullenness and despair.
Mens passions operate variously, and appear in different kinds of actions, according as they are more or less rectified and swayed by reason. When one hears of negroes, who upon the death of their masters, or upon changing their service, hang themselves upon the next tree, as it frequently happens in our American plantations, who can forbear admiring their fidelity, though it expresses itself in so dreadful a manner? What might not that savage greatness of soul which appears in these poor wretches on many occasions, be raised to, were it rightly cultivated ? And what colour of excuse can there be for the contempt with which we treat this part of our species ? That we should not put them upon the common foot of humanity, that we should only set an insignificant fine upon the man who murders them ; nay, that we should, as much as in us lies, cut them off from the prospects of happiness in another world as well as n this, and deny them that which we look upon as the proper means for attaining it ?
Since I am engaged on this subject, I cannot forbear Mentioning a story which I have lately heard, and which
is so well attested, that I have no manner of reason to suspect the truth of it. I may call it a kind of wild tragedy that passed about twelve years ago at St. Chriftopher's, one of our British leeward illands. The negroes, who were the persons concerned in it, were all of them the Naves of a gentleman who is now in England.
This gentleman among his negroes had a young woman, who was looked upon as a most extraordinary beauty by those of her own complexion. He had at the same time two young fellows who were likewise negroes and laves, remarkable for the comeliness of their persons, and for the friendthip which they bore to one another. It unfortunately happened that both of them fell in love with the female negroe abovementioned, who would have been very glad to have taken either of them for her husband, provided they could agree between themselves which should be the
But they were both so passionately in love with her, that neither of the could think of giving her up to his rival ; and at the same tiine were so true to one another, that neither of them would think of gaining her without his friend's consent. The torinents of these two lovers were the discourse of the family to which they belonged, who could not forbear observing the strange complication of passions which perplexed the hearts of the poor negroes, that often dropped expressions of the uneasiness they underwent, and how impossible it was for either of them ever to be happy.
After a long struggle between love and friendship, truth and jealousy, they one day took a walk together into a wood, carrying their mistress along with. them: where, after abundance of lamentations, they ftabbed her to the heart, of which she immediately died. A Nave who was at his work not far from the place where this astonishing piece of cruelty was conmitted, hearing the shrieks of the dying perfon, ran to see what was the occasion of them. He there discovered the woman lying dead upon the ground, with the two negroes on each lide of her, kissing the dead corps, weeping over it, and beating their breasts in the utmost agonies of
grief and despair. He immediately ran to the English family with the news of what he had seen į who upon coming to the place saw the woman dead, and the two negroes expiring by her with wounds they had given themselves.
We see in this amazing instance of barbarity, what strange disorders are bred in the minds of those men whose passions are not regulated by virtue, and disciplined by reason. Though the action which I have recited is in itself full of guilt and horror, it proceeded from a temper' of mind which might have produced very noble fruits, had it been informed and guided by a suitable education.
It is therefore an unspeakable blessing to be born in those parts of the world where wisdom and knowledge flourish; though it mult be confessed, there are, even in these parts, several poor uninstructed perfons, who are but little above the inhabitants of those nations of which I have been here speaking ; as those who have bad the advantage of a more liberal education, rise above one another by several different degrees of perfection. For to return to our statue in the block of marble, we see it sometimes only begun to be chipped, sometimes roughhewn, and but just sketched into an human figure ; foınetimes we see the man appearing distinctly in all his limbs and features, and sometimes we find the figure wrought up to a great elegancy, but seldom meet with any to which the hand of a Phidias or Praxiteles could not give several nice touches and finishings. Discourses of morality, and reflections upon
human nature, are the best means we can make use of to improve our minds, and gain a true knowledge of ourselves, and consequently to recover our souls out of the vice, ignorance, and prejudice, which naturally cleave to them. I have all along profest myself in this paper a promoter of these great ends; and I flatter myself that I do from day to day contribute something to the polithing of meis minds : at least my design is laudable, whatever the execution inay be. I must confess I am not a little encouraged in it by many letters which I receive from. unknown hands, in approbation of my endeavours ; and must take this opportuniiy of returning my thanks to those who write them, and excusing myself for not inserting several of them in my papers, which I am sensible would be a very great ornament to them. Should I publish the praises which are so well penned, they would do honour to the persons who write them, but my publishing of them would I fear be a sufficient instance to the world that I did not deserve them. C.
Wednesday, November 7.
Siquidem herclè poffis, nil prius, neque fortius ;
Atque, ubi pati non poteris, cùm nemo expetet,
Ter. Eun. Act. 1. Sc. F. If indeed you can keep to your resolution, you will act a noble and a manly part: but if, when you
have fet about it, your courage fails you, and you make a voluntarysubmission, acknowledging the violence of your passion, and your inability to hold out any longer, all is over with you : you are undone, and may go bang yourself ; she will insult over you, when she finds
you her flave.
This is to inform you, that Mr. Freeman had no • sooner taken coach, but his lady was taken with • a terrible fit of the vapours, which it is feared will • make her miscarry, if not endanger her life ; there• fore, dear fir, if you know of any receiąt that is good
against this fashionable reigning distemrær, be pleased
to communicate it for the good of the public, and you • will oblige
• Mr. SPECTATOR, • THE uproar was fo great as soon as I had read • the Spectator concerning Mrs. Freeman, that after
many revolutions in her temper, of raging, swooning, railing, fainting, pitying herself, and reviling her hufband, upon an accidental coming in of a neighbouring lady, who says she has writ to you also, The had nothing left for it but to fall in a fit. I had the honour to read the paper to her, and have a pretty
good command of my countenance and temper on ' such occasions ; and soon found my historical name to .be Tom Meggot in your writings, but concealed myself ' until I saw how it affected Mrs. Freeman. She looked ' frequently at her husband, as often at me ; and she
did not tremble-as fhe filled tea ; until she came to the ' circumstance of Armstrong's writing out a piece of
Tully for an opera tune : then she burst out, She was exposed, she was deceived, she was wronged and abused. The tea-cup was thrown in the fire ; and without taking vengeance on her spouse, she said of me, that I
was a pretending coxcomb, a meddler that knew not what it was to interpose in so nice an affair as between a man and his wife. To which Mr. Freeman, Madam, were I less ford of you than I an!, I should not have taken this way of writing to the SPECTATOR,
to in-' ' forin a woman whom God and nature has placed
under my direction, with what I request of her ; but since you are so indiscreet'as not to take the hint which I gave you in that paper, I must tell you, ma
dam, in so many words, that you have for a long and • tedious space of time acted a part unsuitable to the
sense you ought to have of the subordination in which you are placed. And I must acquaint you once for all, that the fellow without, ha Tom! (here the footnian entered and answered, madamı) sirrah, do not you know my voice? look upon me when I speak to you: 1 say,
I niadam, this fellow here is to know of me myself,
whether I am at leisure to see company or not, " from this hour master of this house; and
business in it, and every where else, is to behave myself in such ' a manner, as it shall be hereafter an honour to you to