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ON THE POLICY OF CONCEALING OUR
WANTS OR POVERTY.
TT is usually said by grammarians, thal the use of 1 language is to express our wants and desires : but men who kuow the world hold, and I think with some show of reason, that he who best knows how to keep his necessities private, is the most likely person to have them redressed; and that the true use of speech is not so much to express our wants as to conceal them.
When we reflect on the manner in which mankind generally confer their favours, there appears something so attractive in riches, that the large heap generally collects from the smaller: and the poor find as much pleasure in increasing the enormous mass of the rich, as the miser, who owns it, sees happiness in its increase. Nor is there in this any thing repugnant to the laws of morality. Se. neca himself allows, that, in conferring benefits. the present should always be suited to the dignity of the receiver. Thus the rich receive large presents, and are thanked for accepting them. Men of middling stations are obliged to be content with presents something less; while the beggar, who may be truly said to want indeed, is well paid if a far. thing rewards his warmest solicitations.
Every man who has seen the world, and has had his ups and downs in lite, as the expression is, must have frequently experienced the truth of this doctrine; and must know, that to have much, or to seem to have it, is the only way to have more. Ovid finely compares a man of broken fortune to a falling column; the lower it sinks, the greater weight it is obliged to sustain. Thus, when a man's
they bortow, will always want money when they should come to pay. To say the truth, sir, money is money now; and I believe it is all sunk in the bottom of the sea, for my part; he that has got a Jillle, is a fool if he does not keep what he has got.'
Not quite disconcerted by this refusal, our adven. turer was resolved to apply to another, who he knew was the very best friend he had in the world. The gentleman whom he now addressed, received his proposal with all the affability that could be expected from generous friendship. 'Let me see; you want a hundred guineas; and pray, dear Jack, would not fifty answeri'- If you have but fifty to spare, sir, I must be contented.'-- Fifty to spare! I do not say that, for I believe I have but twenty about me. Then I must borrow the other thirty from some other friend.'-'And pray,' replied the friend, would it not be the best way to borrow the whole money from that other friend, and then one note will serve for all, you know? You know, my dear sir, that you need make no ceremony with me at any time; you know I'm your friend; and when you chuse a bit of dinner or so- You, Tom, see the gentleman down. You won't forget to dine with us now and then. Your very humble servant.' .
Distressed, but not discouraged, at this treatment, he was at last resolved to find that assistance from love, which he could not have from friendsbip. A young lady, a distant relation by the mother's side, had a fortune in her own hands; and, as she had already made all the advances that her sex's mos desty would permit, he made his proposal with con, fidence. He soon, however, perceived that po bankrupt ever found the fair one kind. She had Jately fallen deeply in love with another, who had more money, and the whole neighbourhood thought it would be a match.
Every day now began to strip, my poor friend of
his former finery; his clothes flew, piece by piece, to the pawnbroker's, and he seemed at length equipped in the genuine livery of misfortune. But still he thought hiinself secure from actual pecessity; the numberless invitations he had received to dine, even after his losses, were yet unanswered: he was therefore now resolved to accept of a dinner, because he wanted one; and in this manner he actually lived among his friends a whole week without being openly affronted. The last place I saw him in was at a reverend divine's. He had, as he fancied, just nicked the time of dinner, for he came in as the cloth was laying. He took a' chair without being desired, and talked for some time without being attended to. He assured the company, that nothing procured so good an appetite as a walk in the Park, where he had been that morning. He went on, and praised the figure of the damask tablecloth; talked of a feast where he had been the day before, but that the venison was over done. But all this procured him no invitation: finding, therefore, the gentleman of the house insensible to all his fetches, he thought proper, at last, to retire, and mend his appetite by a second walk in the Park. All
You then, ye beggars of my acquaintance, whether in rags or lace, whether in Kent.street or the Mall, whether at the Smyrna or St. Giles's, night I be permitted to advise as a friend, never seem to want the favour which you solicit. Apply to every passion but bunian pity for redress : you may find permanent relief from vanity, from self. interest, or from avarice, but from compassion never. The very eloquence of a poor man is disgusting; and that moutl, which is opened even by wisdom, is seldom expected to close without the horrors of a petition.
To'ward off the gripe of Poverty, you must pretend to be a stranger to her, and she will at least use you with ceremony, If you be caught dining upon in halfpenny porrenger of peas-soup and po