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                     BOSTON AND LONDON
                   by Benjamin Franklin

_Silence Dogood, No. 1_

_To the Author of the_ New-England Courant.

_Sir,_ It may not be improper in the first Place to inform your

Readers, that I intend once a Fortnight to present them, by the Help of this Paper, with a short Epistle, which I presume will add somewhat to their Entertainment.

And since it is observed, that the Generality of People, now a days, are unwilling either to commend or dispraise what they read, until they are in some measure informed who or what the Author of it is, whether he be _poor_ or _rich_, _old_ or _young_, a _Schollar_ or a _Leather Apron Man_, &c. and give their Opinion of the Performance, according to the Knowledge which they have of the Author's Circumstances, it may not be amiss to begin with a short Account of my past Life and present Condition, that the Reader may not be at a Loss to judge whether or no my Lucubrations are worth his reading.

At the time of my Birth, my Parents were on Ship-board in their Way from _London_ to _N. England._ My Entrance into this troublesome World was attended with the Death of my Father, a Misfortune, which tho' I was not then capable of knowing, I shall never be able to forget; for as he, poor Man, stood upon the Deck rejoycing at my Birth, a merciless Wave entred the Ship, and in one Moment carry'd him beyond Reprieve. Thus was the _first Day_ which I saw, the _last_ that was seen by my Father; and thus was my disconsolate Mother at once made both a _Parent_ and a _Widow._

When we arrived at _Boston_ (which was not long after) I was put to Nurse in a Country Place, at a small Distance from the Town, where I went to School, and past my Infancy and Childhood in Vanity and Idleness, until I was bound out Apprentice, that I might no longer be a Charge to my Indigent Mother, who was put to hard Shifts for a Living.

My Master was a Country Minister, a pious good-natur'd young Man, & a Batchelor: He labour'd with all his Might to instil vertuous and godly Principles into my tender Soul, well knowing that it was the most suitable Time to make deep and lasting Impressions on the Mind, while it was yet untainted with Vice, free and unbiass'd. He endeavour'd that I might be instructed in all that Knowledge and Learning which is necessary for our Sex, and deny'd me no Accomplishment that could possibly be attained in a Country Place; such as all Sorts of Needle-Work, Writing, Arithmetick, &c. and observing that I took a more than ordinary Delight in reading ingenious Books, he gave me the free Use of his Library, which tho' it was but small, yet it was well chose, to inform the Understanding rightly, and enable the Mind to frame great and noble Ideas.

Before I had liv'd quite two Years with this Reverend Gentleman, my indulgent Mother departed this Life, leaving me as it were by my self, having no Relation on Earth within my Knowledge.

I will not abuse your Patience with a tedious Recital of all the frivolous Accidents of my Life, that happened from this Time until I arrived to Years of Discretion, only inform you that I liv'd a chearful Country Life, spending my leisure Time either in some innocent Diversion with the neighbouring Females, or in some shady Retirement, with the best of Company, _Books._ Thus I past away the Time with a Mixture of Profit and Pleasure, having no Affliction but what was imaginary, and created in my own Fancy; as nothing is more common with us Women, than to be grieving for nothing, when we have nothing else to grieve for.

As I would not engross too much of your Paper at once, I will defer the Remainder of my Story until my next Letter; in the mean time desiring your Readers to exercise their Patience, and bear with my Humours now and then, because I shall trouble them but seldom. I am not insensible of the Impossibility of pleasing all, but I would not willingly displease any; and for those who will take Offence where none is intended, they are beneath the Notice of
                                         _Your Humble Servant,_
                                                 SILENCE DOGOOD.

_The New-England Courant_, April 2, 1722

_Silence Dogood, No. 2_

_To the Author of the_ New-England Courant.

_SIR,_ Histories of Lives are seldom entertaining, unless they contain

something either admirable or exemplar: And since there is little or nothing of this Nature in my own Adventures, I will not tire your Readers with tedious Particulars of no Consequence, but will briefly, and in as few Words as possible, relate the most material Occurrences of my Life, and according to my Promise, confine all to this Letter.

My Reverend Master who had hitherto remained a Batchelor, (after much Meditation on the Eighteenth verse of the Second Chapter of _Genesis_,) took up a Resolution to marry; and having made several unsuccessful fruitless Attempts on the more topping Sort of our Sex, and being tir'd with making troublesome Journeys and Visits to no Purpose, he began unexpectedly to cast a loving Eye upon Me, whom he had brought up cleverly to his Hand.

There is certainly scarce any Part of a Man's Life in which he appears more silly and ridiculous, than when he makes his first Onset in Courtship. The aukward Manner in which my Master first discover'd his Intentions, made me, in spite of my Reverence to his Person, burst out into an unmannerly Laughter: However, having ask'd his Pardon, and with much ado compos'd my Countenance, I promis'd him I would take his Proposal into serious Consideration, and speedily give him an Answer.

As he had been a great Benefactor (and in a Manner a Father to me) I could not well deny his Request, when I once perceived he was in earnest. Whether it was Love, or Gratitude, or Pride, or all Three that made me consent, I know not; but it is certain, he found it no hard Matter, by the Help of his Rhetorick, to conquer my Heart, and perswade me to marry him.

This unexpected Match was very astonishing to all the Country round about, and served to furnish them with Discourse for a long Time after; some approving it, others disliking it, as they were led by their various Fancies and Inclinations.

We lived happily together in the Heighth of conjugal Love and mutual Endearments, for near Seven Years, in which Time we added Two likely Girls and a Boy to the Family of the _Dogoods_: But alas! When my Sun was in its meridian Altitude, inexorable unrelenting Death, as if he had envy'd my Happiness and Tranquility, and resolv'd to make me entirely miserable by the Loss of so good an Husband, hastened his Flight to the Heavenly World, by a sudden unexpected Departure from this.

I have now remained in a State of Widowhood for several Years, but it is a State I never much admir'd, and I am apt to fancy that I could be easily perswaded to marry again, provided I was sure of a good-humour'd, sober, agreeable Companion: But one, even with these few good Qualities, being hard to find, I have lately relinquish'd all Thoughts of that Nature.

At present I pass away my leisure Hours in Conversation, either with my honest Neighbour _Rusticus_ and his Family, or with the ingenious Minister of our Town, who now lodges at my House, and by whose Assistance I intend now and then to beautify my Writings with a Sentence or two in the learned Languages, which will not only be fashionable, and pleasing to those who do not understand it, but will likewise be very ornamental.

I shall conclude this with my own Character, which (one would think) I should be best able to give. _Know then_, That I am an Enemy to Vice, and a Friend to Vertue. I am one of an extensive Charity, and a great Forgiver of _private_ Injuries: A hearty Lover of the Clergy and all good Men, and a mortal Enemy to arbitrary Government & unlimited Power. I am naturally very jealous for the Rights and Liberties of my Country; & the least appearance of an Incroachment on those invaluable Priviledges, is apt to make my Blood boil exceedingly. I have likewise a natural Inclination to observe and reprove the Faults of others, at which I have an excellent Faculty. I speak this by Way of Warning to all such whose Offences shall come under my Cognizance, for I never intend to wrap my Talent in a Napkin. To be brief; I am courteous and affable, good-humour'd (unless I am first provok'd,) and handsome, and sometimes witty, but always,
                                    _Your Friend, and Humble Servant,_
                                         SILENCE DOGOOD.

_The New-England Courant_, April 16, 1722

_Silence Dogood, No. 3_

_To the Author of the_ New-England Courant.

_SIR,_ It is undoubtedly the Duty of all Persons to serve the Country

they live in, according to their Abilities; yet I sincerely acknowledge, that I have hitherto been very deficient in this Particular; whether it was for want of Will or Opportunity, I will not at present stand to determine: Let it suffice, that I now take up a Resolution, to do for the future all that _lies in my Way_ for the Service of my Countrymen.

I have from my Youth been indefatigably studious to gain and treasure up in my Mind all useful and desireable Knowledge, especially such as tends to improve the Mind, and enlarge the Understanding: And as I have found it very beneficial to me, I am not without Hopes, that communicating my small Stock in this Manner, by Peace-meal to the Publick, may be at least in some Measure useful.

I am very sensible that it is impossible for me, or indeed any _one_ Writer to please _all_ Readers at once. Various Persons have different Sentiments; and that which is pleasant and delightful to one, gives another a Disgust. He that would (in this Way of Writing) please all, is under a Necessity to make his Themes almost as numerous as his Letters. He must one while be merry and diverting, then more solid and serious; one while sharp and satyrical, then (to mollify that) be sober and religious; at one Time let the Subject be Politicks, then let the next Theme be Love: Thus will every one, one Time or other find some thing agreeable to his own Fancy, and in his Turn be delighted.

According to this Method I intend to proceed, bestowing now and then a few gentle Reproofs on those who deserve them, not forgetting at the same time to applaud those whose Actions merit Commendation. And here I must not forget to invite the ingenious Part of your Readers, particularly those of my own Sex to enter into a Correspondence with me, assuring them, that their Condescension in this Particular shall be received as a Favour, and accordingly acknowledged.

I think I have now finish'd the Foundation, and I intend in my next to begin to raise the Building. Having nothing more to write at present, I must make the usual excuse in such Cases, of _being in haste_, assuring you that I speak from my Heart when I call my self, The most humble and obedient of all the Servants your Merits have acquir'd,
                                         SILENCE DOGOOD.

_The New-England Courant_, April 30, 1722

_Silence Dogood, No. 4_

_An sum etiam nunc vel Graece loqui vel Latine docendus?_ Cicero.

_To the Author of the_ New-England Courant.

_SIR,_ Discoursing the other Day at Dinner with my Reverend Boarder,

formerly mention'd, (whom for Distinction sake we will call by the Name of _Clericus_,) concerning the Education of Children, I ask'd his Advice about my young Son _William_, whether or no I had best bestow upon him Academical Learning, or (as our Phrase is) _bring him up at our College_: He perswaded me to do it by all Means, using many weighty Arguments with me, and answering all the Objections that I could form against it; telling me withal, that he did not doubt but that the Lad would take his Learning very well, and not idle away his Time as too many there now-a-days do. These Words of _Clericus_ gave me a Curiosity to inquire a little more strictly into the present Circumstances of that famous Seminary of Learning; but the Information which he gave me, was neither pleasant, nor such as I expected.

As soon as Dinner was over, I took a solitary Walk into myOrchard, still ruminating on _Clericus_'s Discourse with much Consideration, until I came to my usual Place of Retirement under the _Great Apple-Tree_; where having seated my self, and carelesly laid my Head on a verdant Bank, I fell by Degrees into a soft and undisturbed Slumber. My waking Thoughts remained with me in my Sleep, and before I awak'd again, I dreamt the following DREAM.

I fancy'd I was travelling over pleasant and delightful Fields and Meadows, and thro' many small Country Towns and Villages; and as I pass'd along, all Places resounded with the Fame of the Temple of LEARNING: Every Peasant, who had wherewithal, was preparing to send one of his Children at least to this famous Place; and in this Case most of them consulted their own Purses instead of their Childrens Capacities: So that I observed, a great many, yea, the most part of those who were travelling thither, were little better than Dunces and Blockheads. Alas! alas!

At length I entred upon a spacious Plain, in the Midst of which was erected a large and stately Edifice: It was to this that a great Company of Youths from all Parts of the Country were going; so stepping in among the Crowd, I passed on with them, and presently arrived at the Gate.

The Passage was kept by two sturdy Porters named _Riches_ and _Poverty_, and the latter obstinately refused to give Entrance to any who had not first gain'd the Favour of the former; so that I observed, many who came even to the very Gate, were obliged to travel back again as ignorant as they came, for want of this necessary Qualification. However, as a Spectator I gain'd Admittance, and with the rest entred directly into the Temple.

In the Middle of the great Hall stood a stately and magnificent Throne, which was ascended to by two high and difficult Steps. On the Top of it sat LEARNING in awful State; she was apparelled wholly in Black, and surrounded almost on every Side with innumerable Volumes in all Languages. She seem'd very busily employ'd in writing something on half a Sheet of Paper, and upon Enquiry, I understood she was preparing a Paper, call'd, _The New-England Courant._ On her Right Hand sat _English_, with a pleasant smiling Countenance, and handsomely attir'd; and on her left were seated several _Antique Figures_ with their Faces vail'd. I was considerably puzzl'd to guess who they were, until one informed me, (who stood beside me,) that those Figures on her left Hand were _Latin_, _Greek_, _Hebrew_, &c. and that they were very much reserv'd, and seldom or never unvail'd their Faces here, and then to few or none, tho' most of those who have in this Place acquir'd so much Learning as to distinguish them from _English_, pretended to an intimate Acquaintance with them. I then enquir'd of him, what could be the Reason why they continued vail'd, in this Place especially: He pointed to the Foot of the Throne, where I saw _Idleness_, attended with _Ignorance_, and these (he informed me) were they, who first vail'd them, and still kept them so.

Now I observed, that the whole Tribe who entred into the Temple with me, began to climb the Throne; but the Work proving troublesome and difficult to most of them, they withdrew their Hands from the Plow, and contented themselves to sit at the Foot, with Madam _Idleness_ and her Maid _Ignorance_, until those who were assisted by Diligence and a docible Temper, had well nigh got up the first Step: But the Time drawing nigh in which they could no way avoid ascending, they were fain to crave the Assistance of those who had got up before them, and who, for the Reward perhaps of a _Pint of Milk_, or a _Piece of Plumb-Cake_, lent the Lubbers a helping Hand, and sat them in the Eye of the World, upon a Level with themselves.

The other Step being in the same Manner ascended, and the usual Ceremonies at an End, every Beetle-Scull seem'd well satisfy'd with his own Portion of Learning, tho' perhaps he was _e'en just_ as ignorant as ever. And now the Time of their Departure being come, they march'd out of Doors to make Room for another Company, who waited for Entrance: And I, having seen all that was to be seen, quitted the Hall likewise, and went to make my Observations on those who were just gone out before me.

Some I perceiv'd took to Merchandizing, others to Travelling, some to one Thing, some to another, and some to Nothing; and many of them from henceforth, for want of Patrimony, liv'd as poor as Church Mice, being unable to dig, ~and asham'd to beg, and to live by their Wits it was impossible. But the most Part of the Crowd went along a large beaten Path, which led to a Temple at the further End of the Plain, call'd, _The Temple of Theology._ The Business of those who were employ'd in this Temple being laborious and painful, I wonder'd exceedingly to see so many go towards it; but while I was pondering this Matter in my Mind, I spy'd _Pecunia_ behind a Curtain, beckoning to them with her Hand, which Sight immediately satisfy'd me for whose Sake it was, that a great Part of them (I will not say all) travel'd that Road. In this Temple I saw nothing worth mentioning, except the ambitious and fraudulent Contrivances of _Plagius_, who (notwithstanding he had been severely reprehended for such Practices before) was diligently transcribing some eloquent Paragraphs out of _Tillotson_'s Works, _&c._ to embellish his own.

Now I bethought my self in my Sleep, that it was Time to be at Home, and as I fancy'd I was travelling back thither, I reflected in my Mind on the extream Folly of those Parents, who, blind to their Childrens Dulness, and insensible of the Solidity of their Skulls, because they think their Purses can afford it, will needs send them to the Temple of Learning, where, for want of a suitable Genius, they learn little more than how to carry themselves handsomely, and enter a Room genteely, (which might as well be acquir'd at a Dancing-School,) and from whence they return, after Abundance of Trouble and Charge, as great Blockheads as ever, only more proud and self-conceited.

While I was in the midst of these unpleasant Reflections, _Clericus_ (who with a Book in his Hand was walking under the Trees) accidentally awak'd me; to him I related my Dream with all its Particulars, and he, without much Study, presently interpreted it, assuring me, _That it was a lively Representation of_ HARVARD COLLEGE, _Etcetera_.
                                 _I remain, Sir,_
                                   _Your Humble Servant,_
                                         SILENCE DOGOOD.

_The New-England Courant_, May 14, 1722

_Silence Dogood, No. 5_

_Mulier Mulieri magis congruet._ Ter.

_To the Author of the_ New-England Courant.

_Sir,_ I shall here present your Readers with a Letter from one, who

informs me that I have begun at the wrong End of my Business, and that I ought to begin at Home, and censure the Vices and Follies of my own Sex, before I venture to meddle with your's: Nevertheless, I am resolved to dedicate this Speculation to the Fair Tribe, and endeavour to show, that Mr. _Ephraim_ charges Women with being particularly guilty of Pride, Idleness, _&c._ wrongfully, inasmuch as the Men have not only as great a Share in those Vices as the Women, but are likewise in a great Measure the Cause of that which the Women are guilty of. I think it will be best to produce my Antagonist, before I encounter him.

_To Mrs._ DOGOOD. `_Madam,_
`My Design in troubling you with this Letter is, to desire you

would begin with your own Sex first: Let the first Volley of your Resentments be directed against _Female_ Vice; let Female Idleness, Ignorance and Folly, (which are Vices more peculiar to your Sex than to our's,) be the Subject of your Satyrs, but more especially Female Pride, which I think is intollerable. Here is a large Field that wants Cultivation, and which I believe you are able (if willing) to improve with Advantage; and when you have once reformed the Women, you will find it a much easier Task to reform the Men, because Women are the prime Causes of a great many Male Enormities. This is all at present from
                                         _Your Friendly Wellwisher,_
                                                 Ephraim Censorious.'

After Thanks to my Correspondent for his Kindness in cutting out Work for me, I must assure him, that I find it a very difficult Matter to reprove Women separate from the Men; for what Vice is there in which the Men have not as great a Share as the Women? and in some have they not a far greater, as in Drunkenness, Swearing, _&c._? And if they have, then it follows, that when a Vice is to be reproved, Men, who are most culpable, deserve the most Reprehension, and certainly therefore, ought to have it. But we will wave this Point at present, and proceed to a particular Consideration of what my Correspondent calls _Female Vice._

As for Idleness, if I should Quaere, Where are the greatest Number of its Votaries to be found, with us or the Men? it might I believe be easily and truly answer'd, _With the latter._ For notwithstanding the Men are commonly complaining how hard they are forc'd to labour, only to maintain their Wives in Pomp and Idleness, yet if you go among the Women, you will learn, that _they have always more Work upon their Hands than they are able to do_, and that _a Woman's Work is never done_, &c. But however, Suppose we should grant for once, that we are generally more idle than the Men, (without making any Allowance for the _Weakness of the Sex_,) I desire to know whose Fault it is? Are not the Men to blame for their Folly in maintaining us in Idleness? Who is there that can be handsomely supported in Affluence, Ease and Pleasure by another, that will chuse rather to earn his Bread by the Sweat of his own Brows? And if a Man will be so fond and so foolish, as to labour hard himself for a Livelihood, and suffer his Wife in the mean Time to sit in Ease and Idleness, let him not blame her if she does so, for it is in a great Measure his own Fault.

And now for the Ignorance and Folly which he reproaches us with, let us see (if we are Fools and Ignoramus's) whose is the Fault, the Men's or our's. An ingenious Writer, having this Subject in Hand, has the following Words, wherein he lays the Fault wholly on the Men, for not allowing Women the Advantages of Education.

"I have (says he) often thought of it as one of the most barbarous Customs in the World, considering us as a civiliz'd and Christian Country, that we deny the Advantages of Learning to Women. We reproach the Sex every Day with Folly and Impertinence, while I am confident, had they the Advantages of Education equal to us, they would be guilty of less than our selves. One would wonder indeed how it should happen that Women are conversible at all, since they are only beholding to natural Parts for all their Knowledge. Their Youth is spent to teach them to stitch and sow, or make Baubles: They are taught to read indeed, and perhaps to write their Names, or so; and that is the Heigth of a Womans Education. And I would but ask any who slight the Sex for their Understanding, What is a Man (a Gentleman, I mean) good for that is taught no more? If Knowlege and Understanding had been useless Additions to the Sex, God Almighty would never have given them Capacities, for he made nothing Needless. What has the Woman done to forfeit the Priviledge of being taught? Does she plague us with her Pride and Impertinence? Why did we not let her learn, that she might have had more Wit? Shall we upbraid Women with Folly, when 'tis only the Error of this inhumane Custom that hindred them being made wiser."

So much for Female Ignorance and Folly; and now let us a little consider the Pride which my Correspondent thinks is _intollerable._ By this Expression of his, one would think he is some dejected Swain, tyranniz'd over by some cruel haughty Nymph, who (perhaps he thinks) has no more Reason to be proud than himself. _Alas-a-day!_ What shall we say in this Case! Why truly, if Women are proud, it is certainly owing to the Men still; for if they will be such _Simpletons_ as to humble themselves at their Feet, and fill their credulous Ears with extravagant Praises of their Wit, Beauty, and other Accomplishments (perhaps where there are none too,) and when Women are by this Means perswaded that they are Something more than humane, what Wonder is it, if they carry themselves haughtily, and live extravagantly. Notwithstanding, I believe there are more Instances of extravagant Pride to be found among Men than among Women, and this Fault is certainly more hainous in the former than in the latter.

Upon the whole, I conclude, that it will be impossible to lash any Vice, of which the Men are not equally guilty with the Women, and consequently deserve an equal (if not a greater) Share in the Censure. However, I exhort both to amend, where both are culpable, otherwise they may expect to be severely handled by
                                    _Your Humble Servant,_
                                         SILENCE DOGOOD.
N. B. _Mrs._ Dogood _has lately left her Seat in the Country, and come to_ Boston, _where she intends to tarry for the Summer Season, in order to compleat her Observations of the present reigning Vices of the Town._

_The New-England Courant_, May 28, 1722

_Silence Dogood, No. 6_

_Quem Dies videt veniens Superbum, Hunc Dies vidit fugiens jacentem._

_To the Author of the_ New-England Courant.

_Sir,_ Among the many reigning Vices of the Town which may at any Time

come under my Consideration and Reprehension, there is none which I am more inclin'd to expose than that of _Pride._ It is acknowledg'd by all to be a Vice the most hateful to God and Man. Even those who nourish it in themselves, hate to see it in others. The proud Man aspires after Nothing less than an unlimited Superiority over his Fellow-Creatures. He has made himself a King in _Soliloquy_; fancies himself conquering the World; and the Inhabitants thereof consulting on proper Methods to acknowledge his Merit. I speak it to my Shame, I my self was a Queen from the Fourteenth to the Eighteenth Year of my Age, and govern'd the World all the Time of my being govern'd by my Master. But this speculative Pride may be the Subject of another Letter: I shall at present confine my Thoughts to what we call _Pride of Apparel._ This Sort of Pride has been growing upon us ever since we parted with our Homespun Cloaths for _Fourteen Penny Stuffs_, &c. And the _Pride of Apparel_ has begot and nourish'd in us a _Pride of Heart_, which portends the Ruin of Church and State. _Pride goeth before Destruction, and a haughty Spirit before a Fall_: And I remember my late Reverend Husband would often say upon this Text, That a Fall was the _natural Consequence_, as well as _Punishment_ of Pride. Daily Experience is sufficient to evince the Truth of this Observation. Persons of small Fortune under the Dominion of this Vice, seldom consider their Inability to maintain themselves in it, but strive to imitate their Superiors in Estate, or Equals in Folly, until one Misfortune comes upon the Neck of another, and every Step they take is a Step backwards. By striving to appear rich they become really poor, and deprive themselves of that Pity and Charity which is due to the humble poor Man, who is made so more immediately by Providence.

This Pride of Apparel will appear the more foolish, if we consider, that those airy Mortals, who have no other Way of making themselves considerable but by gorgeous Apparel, draw after them Crowds of Imitators, who hate each other while they endeavour after a Similitude of Manners. They destroy by Example, and envy one another's Destruction.

I cannot dismiss this Subject without some Observations on a particular Fashion now reigning among my own Sex, the most immodest and inconvenient of any the Art of Woman has invented, namely, that of _Hoop-Petticoats._ By these they are incommoded in their General and Particular Calling, and therefore they cannot answer the Ends of either necessary or ornamental Apparel. These monstrous topsy-turvy _Mortar-Pieces_, are neither fit for the Church, the Hall, or the Kitchen; and if a Number of them were well mounted on
_Noddles-Island_, they would look more like Engines of War for bombarding the Town, than Ornaments of the Fair Sex. An honest Neighbour of mine, happening to be in Town some time since on a publick Day, inform'd me, that he saw four Gentlewomen with their Hoops half mounted in a Balcony, as they withdrew to the Wall, to the great Terror of the Militia, who (he thinks) might attribute their irregular Volleys to the formidable Appearance of the Ladies Petticoats.

I assure you, Sir, I have but little Hopes of perswading my Sex, by this Letter, utterly to relinquish the extravagant Foolery, and Indication of Immodesty, in this monstrous Garb of their's; but I would at least desire them to lessen the Circumference of their Hoops, and leave it with them to consider,Whether they, who pay no Rates or Taxes, ought to take up more Room in the King's High-Way, than the Men, who yearly contribute to the Support of the Government.
                                 _I am, Sir,_
                                    _Your Humble Servant,_
                                         SILENCE DOGOOD.

_The New-England Courant_, June 11, 1722

_Silence Dogood, No. 7_

_Give me the Muse, whose generous Force, Impatient of the Reins,
Pursues an unattempted Course,
Breaks all the Criticks Iron Chains._

_To the Author of the_ New-England Courant.

_Sir,_ It has been the Complaint of many Ingenious Foreigners, who

have travell'd amongst us, _That good Poetry is not to be expected in_ New-England. I am apt to Fancy, the Reason is, not because our Countreymen are altogether void of a Poetical Genius, nor yet because we have not those Advantages of Education which other Countries have, but purely because we do not afford that Praise and Encouragement which is merited, when any thing extraordinary of this Kind is produc'd among us: Upon which Consideration I have determined, when I meet with a Good Piece of _New-England_ Poetry, to give it a suitable Encomium, and thereby endeavour to discover to the World some of its Beautys, in order to encourage the Author to go on, and bless the World with more, and more Excellent Productions.

There has lately appear'd among us a most Excellent Piece of Poetry, entituled, _An Elegy upon the much Lamented Death of Mrs._ Mehitebell Kitel, _Wife of Mr._ John Kitel _of_ Salem, _&c._ It may justly be said in its Praise, without Flattery to the Author, that it is the most _Extraordinary_ Piece that ever was wrote in _New-England._ The Language is so soft and Easy, theExpression so moving and pathetick, but above all, the Verse and Numbers so Charming and Natural, that it is almost beyond Comparison,
The Muse _disdains
Those Links and Chains,
Measures and Rules of vulgar Strains,
And o'er the Laws of Harmony a Sovereign Queen she reigns._

I find no English Author, Ancient or Modern, whose Elegies may be compar'd with this, in respect to the Elegance of Stile, or Smoothness of Rhime; and for the affecting Part, I will leave your Readers to judge, if ever they read any Lines, that would sooner make them _draw their Breath_ and Sigh, if not shed Tears, than these following.
_Come let us mourn, for we have lost a Wife, a Daughter, and a Sister,
Who has lately taken Flight, and greatly we have mist her._

In another Place,

Some little Time _before she yielded up her Breath, She said, I ne'er shall hear one Sermon more on Earth. She kist her Husband_ some little Time _before she expir'd, Then lean'd her Head the Pillow on, just out of Breath and tir'd._

But the Threefold Appellation in the first Line
                ------ _a Wife, a Daughter, and a Sister,_

must not pass unobserved. That Line in the celebrated _Watts_,
_GUNSTON the Just, the Generous, and the Young,_

is nothing Comparable to it. The latter only mentions three Qualifications of _one_ Person who was deceased, which therefore could raise Grief and Compassion but for _One._ Whereas the former, _(our most excellent Poet)_ gives his Reader a Sort of an Idea of the Death of _Three Persons_, viz.
                 ------ _a Wife, a Daughter, and a Sister,_

which is _Three Times_ as great a Loss as the Death of _One_, and consequently must raise _Three Times_ as much Grief and Compassion in the Reader.

I should be very much straitned for Room, if I should attempt to discover even half the Excellencies of this Elegy which are obvious to me. Yet I cannot omit one Observation, which is, that the Author has (to his Honour) invented a new Species of Poetry, which wants a Name, and was never before known. His Muse scorns to be confin'd to the old Measures and Limits, or to observe the dull Rules of Criticks;
_Nor_ Rapin _gives her Rules to fly, nor_ Purcell _Notes to Sing._

Now 'tis Pity that such an Excellent Piece should not be dignify'd with a particular Name; and seeing it cannot justly be called, either _Epic_, _Sapphic_, _Lyric_, or _Pindaric_, nor any other Name yet invented, I presume it may, (in Honour and Remembrance of the Dead) be called the _KITELIC._ Thus much in the Praise of _Kitelic Poetry._

It is certain, that those Elegies which are of our own Growth, (and our Soil seldom produces any other sort of Poetry) are by far the greatest part, wretchedly Dull and Ridiculous. Now since it is imagin'd by many, that our Poets are honest, well-meaning Fellows, who do their best, and that if they had but some Instructions how to govern Fancy with Judgment, they would make indifferent good Elegies; I shall here subjoin a Receipt for that purpose, which was left me as a Legacy, (among other valuable Rarities) by my Reverend Husband. It is as follows,

_A RECEIPT to make a_ New-England _Funeral ELEGY._

For the Title of your Elegy. _Of these you may have enough ready made to your Hands; but if you should chuse to make it your self, you must be sure not to omit the Words_ Aetatis Suae, _which will Beautify it exceedingly._

For the Subject of your Elegy. _Take one of your Neighbours who has lately departed this Life; it is no great matter at what Age the Party dy'd, but it will be best if he went away suddenly, being_ Kill'd, Drown'd, _or_ Froze to Death.

_Having chose the Person, take all his Virtues, Excellencies,_ &c. and if he have not enough, you may borrow some to make up a sufficient Quantity: To these add his last Words, dying Expressions,_ &c. _if they are to be had; mix all these together, and be sure you_ strain _them well. Then season all with a Handful or two of Melancholly Expressions, such as,_ Dreadful, Deadly, cruel cold Death, unhappy Fate, weeping Eyes, _&c. Have mixed all these Ingredients well, put them into the empty Scull of some_ young Harvard; _(but in Case you have ne'er a One at Hand, you may use your own,) there let them Ferment for the Space of a Fortnight, and by that Time they will be incorporated into a Body, which take out, and having prepared a sufficient Quantity of double Rhimes, such as,_ Power, Flower; Quiver, Shiver; Grieve us, Leave us; tell you, excel you; Expeditions, Physicians; Fatigue him, Intrigue him; _&c. you must spread all upon Paper, and if you can procure a Scrap of Latin to put at the End, it will garnish it mightily; then having affixed your Name at the Bottom, with a_ Maestus Composuit, _you will have an Excellent Elegy.

N. B. _This Receipt will serve when a Female is the Subject of your Elegy, provided you borrow a greater Quantity of Virtues, Excellencies,_ &c.
                                    _Your Servant,_
                                         SILENCE DOGOOD.

_P. S._ I shall make no other Answer to _Hypercarpus_'s Criticism on my last Letter than this, _Mater me genuit, peperit mox filia matrem._

The following Lines coming to Hand soon after I had receiv'd the above Letter from Mrs. _Dogood_, I think it proper to insert them in this Paper, that the _Dr._ may at once be paid for his Physical Rhimes administred to the Dead.
        _To the Sage and Immortal Doctor_ H ------ k, _on his
Incomparable ELEGY, upon the Death of Mrs._ Mehitebell Kitel, _&c._

                              A PANEGYRICK.

Thou hast, great Bard, in thy Mysterious Ode, Gone in a Path which ne'er before was trod, And freed the World from the vexatious Toil, Of Numbers, Metaphors, of Wit and Stile, Those Childish Ornaments, and gravely chose The middle Way between good Verse and Prose. Well might the Rhiming Tribe the Work decline, Since 'twas too great for every Pen but thine. What Scribbling Mortal dare the Bayes divide? Thou shalt alone in Fame's bright Chariot ride; For thou with matchless Skill and Judgment fraught, Hast, Learned Doggrell, to Perfection brought. The Loftyest Piece renowned LAW can show, Deserves less Wonder, than to thine we owe. No more shall TOM's, but henceforth thine shall be, The Standard of Eleg'ac Poetry.
The healing Race thy Genius shall admire, And thee to imitate in vain aspire:
For if by Chance a Patient you should kill, You can Embalm his Mem'ry with your Quill. What tho' some captious Criticks discommend What they with all their Wit, can't comprehend, And boldly doom to some Ignoble Use,
The Shining Product of thy Fertile Muse? From your exhaustless Magazine of Sence To their Confusion keen Replies dispence; And them behold with a Contemptuous Mien, Since not a Bard can boast of such a Strain. By none but you cou'd _Kitel_'s Worth be shown; And none but your great Self can tell your Own; Then least what is your due should not be said, Write your own Elegy against you're Dead.

_The New-England Courant_, June 25, 1722

_Silence Dogood, No. 8_

_To the Author of the_ New-England Courant.

_SIR,_ I prefer the following Abstract from the London Journal to any

Thing of my own, and therefore shall present it to yourReaders this week without any further Preface.

'Without Freedom of Thought, there can be no such Thing as Wisdom; and no such Thing as publick Liberty, without Freedom of Speech; which is the Right of every Man, as far as by it, he does not hurt or controul the Right of another: And this is the only Check it ought to suffer, and the only Bounds it ought to know.

'This sacred Privilege is so essential to free Governments, that the Security of Property, and the Freedom of Speech always go together; and in those wretched Countries where a Man cannot call his Tongue his own, he can scarce call any Thing else his own. Whoever would overthrow the Liberty of a Nation, must begin by subduing the Freeness of Speech; a _Thing_ terrible to Publick Traytors.

'This Secret was so well known to the Court of _King Charles the First_, that his wicked Ministry procured a Proclamation, to forbid the People to talk of Parliaments, which those Traytors had laid aside. To assert the undoubted Right of the Subject, and defend his Majesty's legal Prerogative, was called Disaffection, and punished as Sedition. Nay, People were forbid to talk of Religion in their Families: For the Priests had combined with the Ministers to cook up Tyranny, and suppress Truth and the Law, while the late _King James_, when _Duke of York_, went avowedly to Mass, Men were fined, imprisoned and undone, for saying he was a Papist: And that _King Charles the Second_ might live more securely a Papist, there was an Act of Parliament made, declaring it Treason to say that he was one.

'That Men ought to speak well of _their Governours_ is true, while _their Governours_ deserve to be well spoken of; but to do publick Mischief, without hearing of it, is only the Prerogative and Felicity of Tyranny: A free People will be shewing that they are _so_, by their Freedom of Speech.

'The Administration of Government, is nothing else but the Attendance of the _Trustees of the People_ upon the Interest and Affairs of the People: And as it is the Part and Business of the People, for whose Sake alone all publick Matters are, or ought to be transacted, to see whether they be well or ill transacted; so it is the Interest, and ought to be the Ambition, of all honest Magistrates, to have their Deeds openly examined, and publickly scann'd: Only the _wicked Governours_ of Men dread what is said of them; _Audivit_ Tiberius _probra queis lacerabitur, atque_ perculsus est. The publick Censure was true, else he had not felt it bitter.

'Freedom of Speech is ever the Symptom, as well as the Effect of a good Government. In old _Rome_, all was left to the Judgment and Pleasure of the People, who examined the publick Proceedings with such Discretion, & censured those who administred them with such Equity and Mildness, that in the space of Three Hundred Years, not five publick Ministers suffered unjustly. Indeed whenever the _Commons_ proceeded to Violence, the great Ones had been the Agressors.

'_GUILT_ only dreads Liberty of Speech, which drags it out of its lurking Holes, and exposes its Deformity and Horrour to Day-light. _Horatius_, _Valerius_, _Cincinnatus_, and other vertuous and undesigning Magistrates of the Roman Commonwealth, had nothing to fear from Liberty of Speech. _Their virtuous_ Administration, the more it was examin'd, the more it brightned and gain'd by Enquiry. When _Valerius_ in particular, was accused upon some slight grounds of affecting the Diadem; he, who was the first Minister of _Rome_, does not accuse the People for examining his Conduct, but approved his Innocence in a Speech to them; and gave such Satisfaction to them, and gained such Popularity to himself, that they gave him a new Name; _inde cognomen factum Publicolae est_; to denote that he was their Favourite and their Friend -- _Latae deinde leges -- Ante omnes de provocatione_ ADVERSUS MAGISTRATUS AD POPULUM, Livii, lib. 2. Cap. 8.

'But Things afterwards took another Turn. _Rome_, with the Loss of its Liberty, lost also its Freedom of Speech; then Mens Words began to be feared and watched; and then first began the _poysonous Race of Informers_, banished indeed under the righteous Administration of _Titus_, _Narva_, _Trajan_, _Aurelius_, &c. but encouraged and enriched under the _vile Ministry_ of _Sejanus_, _Tigillinus_, _Pallas_, and _Cleander_: _Queri libet, quod in secreta nostra non inquirant principes, nisi quos Odimus_, says _Pliny_ to _Trajan._

'The best Princes have ever encouraged and promoted Freedom of Speech; they know that upright Measures would defend themselves, and that all upright Men would defend them. _Tacitus_, speaking of the Reign of some of the Princes above-mention'd, says with Extasy, _Rara Temporum felicitate, ubi sentire quae velis, & quae sentias dicere licet_: A blessed Time when you might think what you would, and speak what you thought.

'I doubt not but old _Spencer_ and his _Son_, who were the _Chief Ministers_ and _Betrayers_ of _Edward the Second_, would have been very glad to have stopped the Mouths of all the honest Men in _England._ They dreaded to be called _Traytors_, because they were _Traytors_. And I dare say, Queen _Elizabeth's Walsingham_, who deserved no Reproaches, feared none. Misrepresentation of publick Measures is easily overthrown, by representing publick Measures truly; when they are honest, they ought to be publickly known, that they may be publickly commended; but if they are knavish or pernicious, they ought to be publickly exposed, in order to be publickly detested.'
                                 _Yours, &c.,_
                                         SILENCE DOGOOD.

_The New-England Courant_, July 9, 1722

_Silence Dogood, No. 9_

_Corruptio optimi est pessima._ _To the Author of the_ New-England Courant.

_Sir,_ It has been for some Time a Question with me, Whether a

Common-wealth suffers more by hypocritical Pretenders to Religion, or by the openly Profane? But some late Thoughts of this Nature, have inclined me to think, that the Hypocrite is the most dangerous Person of the Two, especially if he sustains a Post in the Government, and we consider his Conduct as it regards the Publick. The first Artifice of a _State Hypocrite_ is, by a few savoury Expressions which cost him Nothing, to betray the best Men in his Country into an Opinion of his Goodness; and if the Country wherein he lives is noted for the Purity of Religion, he the more easily gains his End, and consequently may more justly be expos'd and detested. A notoriously profane Person in a private Capacity, ruins himself, and perhaps forwards the Destruction of a few of his Equals; but a publick Hypocrite every day deceives his betters, and makes them the Ignorant Trumpeters of his supposed Godliness: They take him for a Saint, and pass him for one, without considering that they are (as it were) the Instruments of publick Mischief out of Conscince, and ruin their Country for God's sake.

This Political Description of a Hypocrite, may (for ought I know) be taken for a new Doctrine by some of your Readers; but let them consider, that _a little Religion, and a little Honesty, goes a great way in Courts._ 'Tis not inconsistent with Charity to distrust a Religious Man in Power, tho' he may be a good Man; he has many Temptations "to propagate _publick Destruction_ for _Personal Advantages_ and Security:" And if his Natural Temper be covetous, and his Actions often contradict his pious Discourse, we may with great Reason conclude, that he has some other Design in his Religion besides barely getting to Heaven. But the most dangerous Hypocrite in a Common-Wealth, is one who _leaves the Gospel for the sake of the Law_: A Man compounded of Law and Gospel, is able to cheat a whole Country with his Religion, and then destroy them under _Colour of Law_: And here the Clergy are in great Danger of being deceiv'd, and the People of being deceiv'd by the Clergy, until the Monster arrives to such Power and Wealth, that he is out of the reach of both, and can oppress the People without their own blind Assistance. And it is a sad Observation, that when the People too late see their Error, yet the Clergy still persist in their Encomiums on the Hypocrite; and when he happens to die _for the Good of his Country_, without leaving behind him the Memory of _one good Action_, he shall be sure to have his Funeral Sermon stuff'd with _Pious Expressions_ which he dropt at such a Time, and at such a Place, and on such an Occasion; than which nothing can be more prejudicial to the Interest of Religion, nor indeed to the Memory of the Person deceas'd. The Reason of this Blindness in the Clergy is, because they are honourably supported (as they ought to be) by their People, and see nor feel nothing of the Oppression which is obvious and burdensome to every one else.

But this Subject raises in me an Indignation not to be born; and if we have had, or are like to have any Instances of this Nature in _New England_, we cannot better manifest our Love to Religion and the Country, than by setting the Deceivers in a true Light, and undeceiving the Deceived, however such Discoveries may be represented by the ignorant or designing Enemies of our Peace and Safety.

I shall conclude with a Paragraph or two from an ingenious Political Writer in the _London Journal_, the better to convince your Readers, that Publick Destruction may be easily carry'd on by _hypocritical Pretenders to Religion_.

"A raging Passion for immoderate Gain had made Men universally and intensely hard-hearted: They were every where devouring one another. And yet the Directors and their Accomplices, who were the acting Instruments of all this outrageous Madness and Mischief, set up for wonderful pious Persons, while they were defying Almighty God, and plundering Men; and they set apart a Fund of Subscriptions for charitable Uses; that is, they mercilesly made a whole People Beggars, and charitably supported a few _necessitous_ and _worthless FAVOURITES._ I doubt not, but if the Villany had gone on with Success, they would have had their Names handed down to Posterity with Encomiums; as the Names of other _publick Robbers_ have been! We have _Historians_ and _ODE MAKERS_ now living, very proper for such a Task. It is certain, that most People did, at one Time, believe the _Directors_ to be _great and worthy Persons_. And an honest Country Clergyman told me last Summer, upon the Road, that _Sir John_ was an excellent publick-spirited Person, for that he had beautified his Chancel.

Upon the whole we must not judge of one another by their best Actions; since the worst Men do some Good, and all Men make fine Professions: But we must judge of Men by the whole of their Conduct, and the Effects of it. Thorough Honesty requires great and long Proof, since many a Man, long thought honest, has at length proved a Knave. And it is from judging without Proof, or false Proof, that Mankind continue Unhappy."
                                 _I am, SIR,_
                                    _Your humble Servant,_
                                         SILENCE DOGOOD.

_The New-England Courant_, July 23, 1722

_Silence Dogood, No. 10_

_Optime societas hominum servabitur._ Cic. _To the Author of the_ New-England Courant.

_Sir,_ Discoursing lately with an intimate Friend of mine of the

lamentable Condition of Widows, he put into my Hands a Book, wherein the ingenious Author proposes (I think) a certain Method for their Relief. I have often thought of some such Project for their Benefit my self, and intended to communicate my Thoughts to the Publick; but to prefer my own Proposals to what follows, would be rather an Argument of Vanity in me than Good Will to the many Hundreds of my Fellow-Sufferers now in _New-England_.

"We have (says he) abundance of Women, who have been Bred well, and Liv'd well, Ruin'd in a few Years, and perhaps, left Young, with a House full of Children, and nothing to Support them; which falls generally upon the Wives of the Inferior Clergy, or of Shopkeepers and Artificers.

"They marry Wives with perhaps 300 _l._ to 1000 _l._ Portion, and can settle no Jointure upon them; either they are Extravagant and Idle, and Waste it, or Trade decays, or Losses, or a Thousand Contingences happen to bring a Tradesman to Poverty, and he Breaks; the Poor Young Woman, it may be, has Three or Four Children, and is driven to a thousand shifts, while he lies in the _Mint_ or _Fryars_ under the _Dilemma_ of a Statute of Bankrupt; but if he Dies, then she is absolutely Undone, unless she has Friends to go to.

"Suppose an Office to be Erected, to be call'd _An Office of Ensurance for Widows_, upon the following Conditions;

"Two thousand Women, or their Husbands for them, Enter their Names into a Register to be kept for that purpose, with the Names, Age, and Trade of their Husbands, with the Place of their abode, Paying at the Time of their Entring 5 _s._ down with 1 _s._ 4 _d. per_ Quarter, which is to the setting up and support of an Office with Clerks, and all proper Officers for the same; _for there is no maintaining such without Charge_; they receive every one of them a Certificate, Seal'd by the Secretary of the Office, and Sign'd by the Governors, for the Articles hereafter mentioned.

"If any one of the Women becomes a Widow, at any Time after Six Months from the Date of her Subscription, upon due Notice given, and Claim made at the Office in form, as shall be directed, she shall receive within Six Months after such Claim made, the Sum of 500 _l._ in Money, without any Deductions, saving some small Fees to the Officers, which the Trustees must settle, that they may be known.

"In Consideration of this, every Woman so Subscribing, Obliges her self to Pay as often as any Member of the Society becomes a Widow, the due Proportion or Share allotted to her to Pay, towards the 500 _l._ for the said Widow, provided her Share does not exceed the Sum of 5 _s._

"No Seamen or Soldiers Wives to be accepted into such a Proposal as this, on the Account before mention'd, because the Contingences of their Lives are not equal to others, unless they will admit this general Exception, supposing they do not Die out of the Kingdom.

"It might also be an Exception, That if the Widow, that Claim'd, had really, _bona fide_, left her by her Husband to her own use, clear of all Debts and Legacies, 2000 _l._ she shou'd have no Claim; the Intent being to Aid the Poor, not add to the Rich. But there lies a great many Objections against such an Article: As

"1. It may tempt some to forswear themselves.

"2. People will Order their Wills so as to defraud the Exception.

"One Exception must be made; and that is, Either very unequal Matches, as when a Woman of Nineteen Marries an old Man of Seventy; or Women who have infirm Husbands, I mean known and publickly so. To remedy which, Two things are to be done.

`The Office must have moving Officers without doors, who shall inform themselves of such matters, and if any such Circumstances appear, the Office should have 14 days time to return their Money, and declare their Subscriptions Void.

`2. No Woman whose Husband had any visible Distemper, should claim under a Year after her Subscription.

`One grand Objection against this Proposal, is, How you will oblige People to pay either their Subscription, or their Quarteridge.

`To this I answer, _By no Compulsion_ (tho' that might be perform'd too) but altogether voluntary; only with this Argument to move it, that if they do not continue their Payments, they lose the Benefit of their past Contributions.

`I know it lies as a fair Objection against such a Project as this, That the number of Claims are so uncertain, That no Body knows what they engage in, when they Subscribe, for so many may die Annually out of Two Thousand, as may perhaps make my Payment 20 or 25 _l. per Ann_, and if a Woman happen to Pay that for Twenty Years, though she receives the 500 _l._ at last she is a great Loser; but if she dies before her Husband, she has lessened his Estate considerably, and brought a great Loss upon him.

`_First_, I say to this, That I wou'd have such a Proposal as this be so fair and easy, that if any Person who had Subscrib'd found the Payments too high, and the Claims fall too often, it shou'd be at their Liberty at any Time, upon Notice given, to be released and stand Oblig'd no longer; and if so, _Volenti non fit Injuria_; every one knows best what their own Circumstances will bear.

`In the next Place, because Death is a Contingency, no Man can directly Calculate, and all that Subscribe must take the Hazard; yet that a Prejudice against this Notion may not be built on wrong Grounds, let's examine a little the Probable hazard, and see how many shall die Annually out of 2000 Subscribers, accounting by the common proportion of Burials, to the number of the Living.

`Sir _William Petty_ in his _Political Arithmetick_, by a very Ingenious Calculation, brings the Account of Burials in _London_, to be 1 in 40 Annually, and proves it by all the proper Rules of proportion'd Computation; and I'le take my Scheme from thence. If then One in Forty of all the People in _England_ should Die, that supposes Fifty to Die every Year out of our Two Thousand Subscribers; and for a Woman to Contribute 5 _s._ to every one, would certainly be to agree to Pay 12 _l._ 10 _s. per Ann._ upon her Husband's Life, to receive 500 _l._ when he Di'd, and lose it if she Di'd first; and yet this wou'd not be a hazard beyond reason too great for the Gain.

`But I shall offer some Reasons to prove this to be impossible in our Case; First, Sir _William Petty_ allows the City of _London_ to contain about a Million of People, and our Yearly Bill of Mortality never yet amounted to 25000 in the most Sickly Years we have had, Plague Years excepted, sometimes but to 20000, which is but One in Fifty: Now it is to be consider'd here, that Children and Ancient People make up, one time with another, at least one third of our Bills of Mortality; and our _Assurances_ lies upon none but the Midling Age of the People, which is the only age wherein Life is any thing steady; and if that be allow'd, there cannot Die by his Computation, above One in Eighty of such People, every Year; but because I would be sure to leave Room for Casualty, I'le allow one in Fifty shall Die out of our Number Subscrib'd.

`Secondly, It must be allow'd, that our Payments falling due only on the Death of Husbands, this One in Fifty must not be reckoned upon the Two thousand; for 'tis to be suppos'd at least as many Women shall die as Men, and then there is nothing to Pay; so that One in Fifty upon One Thousand, is the most that I can suppose shall claim the Contribution in a Year, which is Twenty Claims a Year at 5 _s._ each, and is 5 _l. per Ann_. and if a Woman pays this for Twenty Year, and claims at last, she is Gainer enough, and no extraordinary Loser if she never claims at all: And I verily believe any Office might undertake to demand at all Adventures not above 6 _l. per Ann_. and secure the Subscriber 500 _l._ in case she come to claim as a Widow.'

I would leave this to the Consideration of all who are concern'd for their own or their Neighbour's Temporal Happiness; and I am humbly of Opinion, that the Country is ripe for many such _Friendly Societies_, whereby every Man might help another, without any Disservice to himself. We have many charitable Gentlemen who Yearly give liberally to the Poor, and where can they better bestow their Charity than on those who become so by Providence, and for ought they know on themselves. But above all, the Clergy have the most need of coming into some such Project as this. They as well as poor Men (according to the Proverb) generally abound in Children; and how many Clergymen in the Country are forc'd to labour in their Fields, to keep themselves in a Condition above Want? How then shall they be able to leave any thing to their forsaken, dejected, & almost forgotten Wives and Children. For my own Part, I have nothing left to live on, but Contentment and a few Cows; and tho' I cannot expect to be reliev'd by this Project, yet it would be no small Satisfaction to me to see it put in Practice for the Benefit of others.
                                 _I am, SIR,_ &c.
                                         SILENCE DOGOOD.

_The New-England Courant_, August 13, 1722

_Silence Dogood, No. 11_

_Neque licitum interea est meam amicam visere._

_To the Author of the_ New-England Courant.

_Sir,_ From a natural Compassion to my Fellow-Creatures, I have

sometimes been betray'd into Tears at the Sight of an Object of Charity, who by a bear Relation of his Circumstances, seem'd to demand the Assistance of those about him. The following Petition represents in so lively a Manner the forlorn State of a Virgin well stricken in Years and Repentance, that I cannot forbear publishing it at this Time, with some Advice to the Petitioner.

_To Mrs_. Silence Dogood. _The Humble Petition of_ Margaret Aftercast,
"1. That your Petitioner being puff'd up in her younger Years

with a numerous Train of Humble Servants, had the Vanity to think, that her extraordinary Wit and Beauty would continually recommend her to the Esteem of the Gallants; and therefore as soon as it came to be publickly known that any Gentleman address'd her, he was immediately discarded.

"2. That several of your Petitioners Humble Servants, who upon their being rejected by her, were, to all Appearance in a dying Condition, have since recover'd their Health, and been several Years married, to the great Surprize and Grief of your Petitioner, who parted with them upon no other Conditions, but that they should die or run distracted for her, as several of them faithfully promis'd to do.

"3. That your Petitioner finding her self disappointed in and neglected by her former Adorers, and no new Offers appearing for some Years past, she has been industriously contracting Acquaintance with several Families in Town and Country, where any young Gentlemen or Widowers have resided, and endeavour'd to appear as conversable as possible before them: She has likewise been a strict Observer of the Fashion, and always appear'd well dress'd. And the better to restore her decay'd Beauty, she has consum'd above Fifty Pound's Worth of the most approved _Cosmeticks_. But all won't do.

"Your Petitioner therefore most humbly prays, That you would be pleased to form a Project for the Relief of all those penitent Mortals of the fair Sex, that are like to be punish'd with their Virginity until old Age, for the Pride and Insolence of their Youth.
"And your Petitioner (as in Duty bound) shall ever pray, _&c._
                                                 _Margaret Aftercast_."

Were I endow'd with the Faculty of Matchmaking, it should be improv'd for the Benefit of Mrs. _Margaret_, and others in her Condition: But since my extream Modesty and Taciturnity, forbids an Attempt of this Nature, I would advise them to relieve themselves in a Method of _Friendly Society_; and that already publish'd for Widows, I conceive would be a very proper Proposal for them, whereby every single Woman, upon full Proof given of her continuing a Virgin for the Space of Eighteen Years, (dating her Virginity from the Age of Twelve,) should be entituled to 500 _l._ in ready Cash.

But then it will be necessary to make the following Exceptions.

1. That no Woman shall be admitted into the Society after she is Twenty Five Years old, who has made a Practice of entertaining and discarding Humble Servants, without sufficient Reason for so doing, until she has manifested her Repentance in Writing under her Hand.

2. No Member of the Society who has declar'd before two credible Witnesses, _That it is well known she has refus'd several good Offers since the Time of her Subscribing_, shall be entituled to the 500 _l._ when she comes of Age; that is to say, _Thirty Years._

3. No Woman, who after claiming and receiving, has had the good Fortune to marry, shall entertain any Company with Encomiums on her Husband, above the Space of one Hour at a Time, upon Pain of returning one half the Money into the Office, for the first Offence; and upon the second Offence to return the Remainder.
                                 _I am, SIR,_
                                    _Your Humble Servant,_
                                         SILENCE DOGOOD.

_The New-England Courant_, August 20, 1722

_Silence Dogood, No. 12_

_Quod est in cordi sobrii, est in ore ebrii._

_To the Author of the_ New-England Courant.

_Sir,_ It is no unprofitable tho' unpleasant Pursuit, diligently to

inspect and consider the Manners & Conversation of Men, who, insensible of the greatest Enjoyments of humane Life, abandon themselves to Vice from a false Notion of _Pleasure_ and _good Fellowship_. A true and natural Representation of any Enormity, is often the best Argument against it and Means of removing it, when the most severe Reprehensions alone, are found ineffectual.

I would in this Letter improve the little Observation I have made on the Vice of _Drunkeness_, the better to reclaim the _good Fellows_ who usually pay the Devotions of the Evening to _Bacchus_.

I doubt not but _moderate Drinking_ has been improv'd for the Diffusion of Knowledge among the ingenious Part of Mankind, who want the Talent of a ready Utterance, in order to discover the Conceptions of their Minds in an entertaining and intelligible Manner. 'Tis true, drinking does not _improve_ our Faculties, but it enables us to _use_ them; and therefore I conclude, that much Study and Experience, and a little Liquor, are of absolute Necessity for some Tempers, in order to make them accomplish'd Orators. _Dic. Ponder_ discovers an excellent Judgment when he is inspir'd with a Glass or two of _Claret_, but he passes for a Fool among those of small Observation, who never saw him the better for Drink. And here it will not be improper to observe, That the moderate Use of Liquor, and a well plac'd and well regulated Anger, often produce this same Effect; and some who cannot ordinarily talk but in broken Sentences and false Grammar, do in the Heat of Passion express themselves with as much Eloquence as Warmth. Hence it is that my own Sex are generally the most eloquent, because the most passionate. "It has been said in the Praise of some Men, (says an ingenious Author,) that they could talk whole Hours together upon any thing; but it must be owned to the Honour of the other Sex, that there are many among them who can talk whole Hours together upon Nothing. I have known a Woman branch out into a long extempore Dissertation on the Edging of a Petticoat, and chide her Servant for breaking a China Cup, in all the Figures of Rhetorick."

But after all it must be consider'd, that no Pleasure can give Satisfaction or prove advantageous to a _reasonable Mind_, which is not attended with the _Restraints of Reason_. Enjoyment is not to be found by Excess in any sensual Gratification; but on the contrary, the immoderate Cravings of the Voluptuary, are always succeeded with Loathing and a palled Appetite. What Pleasure can the Drunkard have in the Reflection, that, while in his Cups, he retain'd only the Shape of a Man, and acted the Part of a Beast; or that from reasonable Discourse a few Minutes before, he descended to Impertinence and Nonsense?

I cannot pretend to account for the different Effects of Liquor on Persons of different Dispositions, who are guilty of Excess in the Use of it. 'Tis strange to see Men of a regular Conversation become rakish and profane when intoxicated with Drink, and yet more surprizing to observe, that some who appear to be the most profligate Wretches when sober, become mighty religious in their Cups, and will then, and at no other Time address their Maker, but when they are destitute of Reason, and actually affronting him. Some shrink in the Wetting, and others swell to such an unusual Bulk in their Imaginations, that they can in an Instant understand all Arts and Sciences, by the liberal Education of a little vivifying _Punch_, or a sufficient Quantity of other exhilerating Liquor.

And as the Effects of Liquor are various, so are the Characters given to its Devourers. It argues some Shame in the Drunkards themselves, in that they have invented numberless Words and Phrases to cover their Folly, whose proper Significations are harmless, or have no Signification at all. They are seldom known to be _drunk_, tho they are very often _boozey_, _cogey_, _tipsey_, _fox'd_, _merry_, _mellow_, _fuddl'd_, _groatable_, _Confoundedly cut_, _See two Moons_, are _Among the Philistines_, _In a very good Humour_, _See the Sun_, or, _The Sun has shone upon them_; they _Clip the King's English_, are _Almost froze_, _Feavourish_, _In their Altitudes_, _Pretty well enter'd_, &c. In short, every Day produces some new Word or Phrase which might be added to the Vocabulary of the _Tiplers_: But I have chose to mention these few, because if at any Time a Man of Sobriety and Temperance happens to _cut himself confoundedly_, or is _almost froze_, or _feavourish_, or accidentally _sees the Sun_, &c. he may escape the Imputation of being _drunk_, when his Misfortune comes to be related.
                                 _I am SIR,_
                                    _Your Humble Servant,_
                                         SILENCE DOGOOD.

_The New-England Courant_, September 10, 1722

_Silence Dogood, No. 13_

_To the Author of the_ New-England Courant.

_Sir,_ In Persons of a contemplative Disposition, the most indifferent

Things provoke the Exercise of the Imagination; and the Satisfactions which often arise to them thereby, are a certain Relief to the Labour of the Mind (when it has been intensely fix'd on more substantial Subjects) as well as to that of the Body.

In one of the late pleasant Moon-light Evenings, I so far indulg'd in my self the Humour of the Town in walking abroad, as to continue from my Lodgings two or three Hours later than usual, & was pleas'd beyond Expectation before my Return. Here I found various Company to observe, and various Discourse to attend to. I met indeed with the common Fate of _Listeners_, (who _hear no good of themselves_,) but from a Consciousness of my Innocence, receiv'd it with a Satisfaction beyond what the Love of Flattery and the Daubings of a Parasite could produce. The Company who rally'd me were about Twenty in Number, of both Sexes; and tho' the _Confusion of Tongues_ (like that of _Babel_) which always happens among so many impetuous Talkers, render'd their Discourse not so intelligible as I could wish, I learnt thus much, That one of the Females pretended to know me, from some Discourse she had heard at a certain House before the Publication of one of my Letters; adding, _That I was a Person of an ill Character, and kept a criminal Correspondence with a Gentleman who assisted me in Writing._ One of the Gallants clear'd me of this random Charge, by saying, _That tho' I wrote in the Character of a Woman, he knew me to be a Man; But,_ continu'd he, _he has more need of endeavouring a Reformation in himself, than spending his Wit in satyrizing others._

I had no sooner left this Set of Ramblers, but I met a Crowd of _Tarpolins_ and their Doxies, link'd to each other by the Arms, who ran (by their own Account) after the Rate of _Six Knots an Hour_, and bent their Course towards the _Common_. Their eager and amorous Emotions of Body, occasion'd by taking their Mistresses _in Tow_, they call'd _wild Steerage_: And as a Pair of them happen'd to trip and come to the Ground, the Company were call'd upon to _bring to_, for that _Jack_ and _Betty_ were _founder'd_. But this Fleet were not less comical or irregular in their Progress than a Company of Females I soon after came up with, who, by throwing their Heads to the Right and Left, at every one who pass'd by them, I concluded came out with no other Design than to revive the Spirit of Love in Disappointed Batchelors, and expose themselves to Sale to the first Bidder.

But it would take up too much Room in your Paper to mention all the Occasions of Diversion I met with in this Night's Ramble. As it grew later, I observed, that many pensive Youths with down Looks and a slow Pace, would be ever now and then crying out on the Cruelty of their Mistresses; others with a more rapid Pace and chearful Air, would be swinging their Canes, and clapping their Cheeks, and whispering at certain Intervals, _I'm certain I shall have her! This is more than I expected! How charmingly she talks!_ &c.

Upon the whole I conclude, That our _Night-Walkers_ are a Set of People, who contribute very much to the Health and Satisfaction of those who have been fatigu'd with Business or Study, and occasionally observe their pretty Gestures and Impertinencies. But among Men of Business, the _Shoemakers_, and other Dealers in Leather, are doubly oblig'd to them, inasmuch as they exceedingly promote the Consumption of their Ware: And I have heard of a _Shoemaker_, who being ask'd by a noted Rambler, _Whether he could tell how long her Shoes would last_; very prettily answer'd, _That he knew how many Days she might wear them, but not how many Nights; because they were then put to a more violent and irregular Service than when she employ'd her self in the common Affairs of the House._
                                 _I am, SIR,_
                                    _Your Humble Servant,_
                                         SILENCE DOGOOD.

_The New-England Courant_, September 24, 1722

_Silence Dogood, No. 14_
_Earum causarum quantu quaeque valeat, videamus._

_To the Author of the_ New-England Courant.

_Sir,_ It often happens, that the most zealous Advocates for any Cause

find themselves disappointed in the first Appearance of Success in the Propagation of their Opinion; and the Disappointment appears unavoidable, when their easy Proselytes too suddenly start into Extreams, and are immediately fill'd with Arguments to invalidate their former Practice. This creates a Suspicion in the more considerate Part of Mankind, that those who are thus _given to Change_, neither _fear God_, nor _honour the King_. In Matters of Religion, he that alters his Opinion on a _religious Account_, must certainly go thro' much Reading, hear many Arguments on both Sides, and undergo many Struggles in his Conscience, before he can come to a full Resolution: Secular Interest will indeed make quick Work with an immoral Man, especially if, notwithstanding the Alteration of his Opinion, he can with any Appearance of Credit retain his Immorality. But, by this Turn of Thought I would not be suspected of Uncharitableness to those Clergymen at _Connecticut_, who have lately embrac'd the Establish'd Religion of our Nation, some of whom I hear made their Professions with a Seriousness becoming their Order: However, since they have deny'd the Validity of _Ordination_ by the Hands of _Presbyters_, and consequently their Power of Administring the _Sacraments_, &c. we may justly expect a suitable Manifestation of their Repentance for invading the _Priests_ Office, and living so long in a _Corah_-like Rebellion. All I would endeavour to shew is, That an indiscreet Zeal for spreading an Opinion, hurts the Cause of the Zealot. There are too many blind Zealots among every Denomination of Christians; and he that propagates the Gospel among _Rakes_ and _Beaus_ without reforming them in their Morals, is every whit as ridiculous and impolitick as a Statesman who makes Tools of Ideots and Tale-Bearers.

Much to my present Purpose are the Words of two Ingenious Authors of the _Church of England_, tho' in all Probability they were tainted with _Whiggish_ Principles; and with these I shall conclude this Letter.

`I would (says one) have every zealous Man examine his Heart thoroughly, and, I believe, he will often find that what he calls a Zeal for his Religion, is either Pride, Interest or Ill-nature. A Man who differs from another in Opinion sets himself above him in his own Judgment, and in several Particulars pretends to be the wiser Person. This is a great Provocation to the Proud Man, and gives a keen Edge to what he calls his Zeal. And that this is the Case very often, we may observe from the Behaviour of some of the most Zealous for Orthodoxy, who have often great Friendships and Intimacies with vicious immoral Men, provided they do but agree with them in the same Scheme of Belief. The Reason is, because the vicious Believer gives the Precedency to the virtuous Man, and allows the good Christian to be the worthier Person, at the same Time that he cannot come up to his Perfections. This we find exemplified in that trite Passage which we see quoted in almost every System of Ethicks, tho' upon another Occasion;
                 ------ _Video meliore proboque
                         Deteriora sequor_ ------

On the contrary, it is certain if our Zeal were true and genuine, we should be much more angry with a Sinner than a Heretick, since there are several Cases which may excuse the latter before his great Judge, but none which can excuse the former.'
`I have (says another) found by Experience, that it is

impossible to talk distinctly without defining the Words of which we make use. There is not a Term in our Language which wants Explanation so much as the Word _Church_. One would think when People utter it, they should have in their Minds Ideas of Virtue and Religion; but that important Monosyllable drags all the other Words in the Language after it, and it is made use of to express both Praise and Blame, according to the Character of him who speaks it. By this means it happens, that no one knows what his Neighbour means when he says such a one is for or against the Church. It has happen'd that he who is seen every Day at Church, has not been counted in the Eye of the World a Churchman; and he who is very zealous to oblige every one to frequent it but himself, has been a very good Son of the Church. This Praepossession is the best Handle imaginable for Politicians to make use of, for managing the Loves and Hatreds of Mankind to the Purposes to which they would lead them. But this is not a Thing for Fools to meddle with, for they only bring Disesteem upon those whom they attempt to serve, when they unskilfully pronounce Terms of Art. I have observed great Evils arise from this Practice, and not only the Cause of Piety, but also the secular Interest of Clergymen, has extreamly suffered by the general unexplained Signification of the Word _Church_.'
                                 _I am, SIR,_
                                    _Your Humble Servant,_
                                         SILENCE DOGOOD.
_The New-England Courant_, October 8, 1722
_Hugo Grim on Silence Dogood_

Mr. _Couranto_, Since Mrs. DOGOOD has kept SILENCE for so long a Time, you have

no doubt lost a very valuable Correspondent, and the Publick been depriv'd of many profitable Amusements, for which reason I desire you to convey the following Lines to Her, that so if she be in the Land of the Living we may know the Occasion of her _Silence._

Mrs. _Dogood._ I greatly wonder why you have so soon done exercising your

Gifts, and _hid your Talent in a Napkin._ You told us at first that you intended to favour the Publick with a Speculation _once a Fortnight_, but how comes it to pass that you have laid aside so _Good_ a Design? Why have you so soon _withdrawn your Hand from the Plough_ (with which you tax'd some of the Scholars) and grown weary of _Doing Good_?

Is your Common-Place Wit all Exhausted, your stock of matter all spent? We thought you were well stor'd with that by your striking your first blow at the _College._ You say (in your No 2.) that you _have an Excellent Faculty at observing and reproving the Faults of others_, and are the Vices of the Times all mended? Is there not Whoring, Drinking, Swearing, Lying, Gaming, Cheating and Oppression, and many other Sins prevailing in the Land? Can you _observe_ no faults in others (or your self) to _reprove_? Or are you married and remov'd to some distant Clime, that we hear nothing from you? Are you (as the Prophet supposed _Baal_ that sottish Deity) _asleep_, or _on a Journey_, and cannot write? Or has the Sleep of _inexorable unrelenting Death_ procur'd your _Silence_? and if so you ought to have told us of it, and appointed your Successor. But if you are still in Being, and design to amuse the Publick any more, proceed in your usual Course; or if not, let us know it, that some other hand may take up your Pen.
                                 _Your Friend,_
                                         HUGO GRIM.


_If any Person or Persons will give a true Account of Mrs._ Silence Dogood, _whether Dead or alive, Married or unmarried, in Town or Countrey, that so, (if living) she may be spoke with, or Letters convey'd to her, they shall have Thanks for their Pains_.

_The New-England Courant_, December 3, 1722

_Rules for The New-England Courant_

_Vide quam rem agas._

_To the Author of the_ New-England Courant.

_Sir,_ Seeing your Courant is a Paper which (like the Primitive

Christians) begins to be _every where spoken against_, It is our _humble Opinion_ that it is high Time for you to think of some Method wherein to carry it on without ministring just occasion of Offence to any, especially to the polite and _pious_ People, of whom there are considerable numbers in this Land.

It is a common saying; _that it is a bad thing to have a Bad Name_; when a Man has once got a bad Name, people are apt to misrepresent, and misconstrue whatever he says or does, tho' it be Innocent, nay, good and laudable in it self, and tho' it proceed from a good Intention, which is absolutely necessary to denominate any Action Good.

Hence it is that so many good people, have entertain'd strong prejudices against your Courant, because, say they, _there can no good thing come out of that Paper_; let a Discourse be ever so good, instructive, and Edifying in it self, and strengthen'd by many Texts of Scripture, and quotations from the Works of the most _Eminent Divines_, who have _great Names_ in all the Universities of Europe; -- yet, they say, it is base and vile, and has a wicked Tendency, it is written with a bad intention, with a design to mock and deride Religion, and the serious, consciencious professors of it.

Now, tho' we are of Opinion that this matter has been strain'd a little too far, by persons whose Zeal is not sufficiently poiz'd with Knowledge and Prudence, yet, it may be very proper to lay before you some Rules, which if duly observ'd will render your Paper not only inoffensive, but pleasant and agreeable. Our present purpose therefore is, to suggest several things to you by way of Direction, which may conduce to so desireable an end.

1. In the first place then, Whatever you do, be very tender of the _Religion of the Country_, which you were brought up in and Profess. The Honour of Religion ought ever to ly near our Hearts; nor should any thing grieve us so much as to see That reflected on, and brought into contempt. Religion is our safety and security, and if we lose the Honour of that, no small part of our strength and Glory will be lost with it.

2. Take great care that you do not cast injurious Reflections on the _Reverend and Faithful Ministers of the Gospel_, or any of them. We think New-England may boast of almost an unparallel'd Happiness in its MINISTERS; take them in general, there is scarce a more _Candid_, _Learned_, _Pious_ and _Laborious_ Set of Men under Heaven. But tho' they are the _Best of Men_, yet they are but Men at the best, and by consequence subject to like _Frailties_ and _Passions_ as other Men; And when we hear of the _Imprudencies_ of any of them, we should cover them with the mantle of Love and Charity, and not profanely expose and Aggravate them. _Charity covers a multitude of Sins._ Besides, when you abuse the Clergy you do not consult your own Interest, for you may be sure they will improve their influence to the uttermost, to suppress your Paper.

3. Be very careful of the reputation of the People of this Land in general. Indeed, it must be confess'd that there is a visible Declension and Apostacy among us, from the good ways of our Fore-Fathers, but yet we hope there is a great number of serious Christians, many more then _Seven Thousand_ who have not bowed the Knee to the Image of _Baal_: And therefore you ought to take great care that you are not _too general_ in your reflections. Here it may be you will say, there has been more said and printed in some Sermons on this Head, than ever you published. To this we Answer, that there are many things good and proper in the _Pulpit_, which would be vile and wicked in a _Courant._ And what if all men are not moulded according to your Humour? must you presently stigmatize them as Knaves and Hypocrites? Certainly on no Account whatsoever.

4. By no means cast any Reflections on the _Civil Government_, under the Care and Protection of which you live. Blessed be God, we sit under the Administration of Wise and Good Rulers; let us prize them and be thankful for them. But if you will be so Fool-hardy as to cast scurrilous and unjust Reflections on them, we think you ought to smart for it without any pity: And here we would caution you to avoid with care those Rocks, on which you have once and again almost suffered Shipwrack. Furthermore, when you abuse and villify Rulers, you do in some sense resist a _Divine Ordinance_, and _he that resisteth shall receive to himself Damnation._ Princes, Magistrates, and Grandees, can by no means endure their Conduct should be scann'd by the meanest of their Subjects; and such may justly be offended when private Men, of as private parts, presume to intermeddle with their _Arcana_, and fault their Administration.

5. We advise you to avoid Quotations from prophane and scandalous Authors, which will be but like so many _dead Flies_ in your Courant; And in particular, we think it by no means proper to Introduce your Speculations with Lines out of _Butler's Hudibras_, for he was no _Pious Author_, but a profane Wit, who set himself up to Burlesque the _Brethren_ and Lampoon the _Saints_ that liv'd in his Time. On the other hand, we think it very unsuitable to bring in Texts of _Sacred Scripture_ into your Paper, (unless on extraordinary Occasions) for hereby Men lose that Reverence & Veneration which is due to the Divine Oracles, nay, sometimes they come to be profanely droll'd on in _Taverns_ and _Coffee-Houses_, which ought not to be.

6. In writing your Courants, we advise you carefully to avoid the Form and Method of Sermons, for that is vile and impious in such a Paper as yours. Here, perhaps you will say, you do not set up for a _Preacher_; to which we Answer, that to print your Paper _Sermon-wise_ is as bad as if you preach'd. And besides, for a private Man to Exhort and Admonish in such a method, is _boldly to invade the Province of others_, and comes little short of a _Corah-like_ Usurpation. Nor is it suitable, as we conceive, to fill your Paper with Religious Exhortations of any kind; or to conclude your Letters with _the words of the Psalmist_, or any other sacred writer.

7. Be very general in your Writings, and when you condemn any Vice, do not point out particular Persons; for that has offended many Good People, and may occasion great disturbances in Families and Neighbourhoods.

8. _And Lastly_, BEWARE of casting dirty Reflections on that worthy Society of _Gentlemen_, scoffingly call'd, _The CANVAS CLUB_. Truly, they are Gentlemen of as good Credit and Reputation as any we have; and some of them are Men of Power and Influence, and (if you offend them) may contribute not a little to the crushing of your Paper.

Thus we have offered you some plain Directions, which if you wisely follow, we doubt not but you will steer clear of Rocks, Shelves and Quick-sands; This will render your Performances at once both pleasant and profitable, even to Persons of the most Different Apprehensions among us, and your own Innocence and Vertue will protect and secure you in so good a Work.
                     _We are your hearty Friends and Wellwishers,_
                                     A, B, C, _&c._

_The New-England Courant_, January 28, 1722/3
                        _To "your Honour":
Defense of James Franklin to Samuel Sewall_

        I am inform'd that your Honour was a leading Man in the late
Extraordinary procedure against F ------ _n_ the Printer: And
inasmuch as it cannot be long before you must appear at _Christ_'s
enlightned Tribunal, where every Man's work shall be tryed, I humbly
beseech you, in the Fear of GOD, to consider & Examine, whether that
Procedure be according to _the strict Rules of Justice and Equity_? It is manifest, that this Man had broke no _Law_; and you know, Sir, that where there is no Law, there can be no Transgression: And, Sir, methinks you cannot but know, that it is highly _unjust_ to punish a Man by a _Law_, to which the Fact committed is _Antecedent._ The Law ever looks _forward_, but never _backward_; but if once we come to punish Men, by vertue of Laws _Ex post Facto_, Farewel _Magna Charta_, and _English Liberties_, for no Man can ever be _safe_, but may be punished for every Action he does by Laws made afterwards. This in my humble Opinion, both the Light of Nature and Laws of Justice abhor, and is what ought to be detested by all Good Men.

_Summum jus, est summa injuria._

Moreover, this is not according to the procedure of the _supream Judge of all the Earth_, (who cannot but do right) which is the most perfect Rule for _Humane Gods_ to copy after. You know, Sir, that he will Judge and punish Men, according to that _Light and Law_ they were favour'd with; And that he will not punish the _Heathen_ for disobeying the Gospel, of which they were intirely ignorant.

The end of Humane Law is to fix the boundaries within which Men ought to keep themselves; But if any are so hardy and presumptuous as to break through them, doubtless they deserve punishment. Now, If this _Printer_ had transgress'd any Law, he ought to have been presented by a Grand Jury, and a fair Tryal brought on.

I would further observe to your Honour the danger of ill Precedents, and that this Precedent _will not sleep_; And, Sir, can you bear to think that Posterity will have Reason to Curse you on the Account hereof! By this our Religion may suffer extreamly hereafter; for, whatever those Ministers (if any such there were) who have push'd on this matter, may think of it, they have made a Rod for themselves in times to come, Blessed be God, we have a good King at
present; but if it should please him for our Sins to punish us with a
bad one, we may have a _S_ ------ _y_ that will so _Supervise_ our
Ministers Sermons, as to suffer them to print none at all.

I would also humbly remind your Honour, that you were formerly led into an Error, which you afterwards Publickly and Solemnly (and I doubt not, Sincerely) Confess'd and repented of; and Sir, ought not this to make you the more Cautious & Circumspect in your Actions which relate to the publick all your Days?

_The New-England Courant_, February 4, 1722/3
_On Titles of Honour_
_Mero meridie si dixerit illi tenebras esse, credit._
There is nothing in which Mankind reproach themselves more

than in their Diversity of Opinions. Every Man sets himself above another in his own Opinion, and there are not two Men in the World whose Sentiments are alike in every thing. Hence it comes to pass, that the same Passages in the Holy Scriptures or the Works of the Learned, are wrested to the meaning of two opposite Parties, of contrary Opinions, as if the Passages they recite were like our Master _Janus_, looking _two ways at once_, or like Lawyers, who with equal Force of Argument, can plead either for the _Plaintiff_ or _Defendant._

The most absurd and ridiculous Opinions, are sometimes spread by the least colour of Argument: But if they stop at the first Broachers, _they_ have still the Pleasure of being wiser (in their own Conceits) than the rest of the World, and can with the greatest Confidence pass a Sentence of Condemnation upon the Reason of all Mankind, who dissent from the peculiar Whims of their troubled Brains.

We were easily led into these Reflections at the last Meeting of our Club, when one of the Company read to us some Passages from a zealous Author against _Hatt-Honour_, _Titular Respects_, &c. which we will communicate to the Reader for the Diversion of this Week, if he is dispos'd to be merry with the Folly of his Fellow-Creature.

`_Honour_, Friend, _says he_, properly ascends, & not descends; yet the Hat, when the Head is uncover'd, _descends_, and therefore there can be no Honour in it. Besides, Honour was from the _Beginning_, but Hats are an Invention of a _late Time_, and consequently true Honour standeth not therein.

`In old Time it was no disrespect for Men and Women to be call'd by their own Names: _Adam_, was never called _Master_ Adam; we never read of Noah _Esquire_, Lot _Knight_ and _Baronet_, nor the _Right Honourable_ Abraham, _Viscount_ Mesopotamia, _Baron of_ Carran; no, no, they were plain Men, honest Country Grasiers, that took Care of their Families and their Flocks. _Moses_ was a great Prophet, and _Aaron_ a Priest of the Lord; but we never read of the _Reverend_ Moses, nor the _Right Reverend Father in God_, Aaron, by Divine Providence, _Lord Arch-Bishop of_ Israel: Thou never sawest _Madam_ Rebecca in the Bible, my _Lady_ Rachel, nor _Mary_, tho' a Princess of the Blood after the Death of _Joseph_, call'd the _Princess Dowager of_ Nazareth; no, plain _Rebecca_, _Rachel_, _Mary_, or the _Widow_ Mary, or the like: It was no Incivility then to mention their naked Names as they were expressed.'

If common civility, and a generous Deportment among Mankind, be not put out of Countenance by the profound Reasoning of this Author, we hope they will continue to treat one another handsomely to the end of the World. We will not pretend an Answer to these Arguments against _modern Decency_ and _Titles of Honour_; yet one of our Club will undertake to prove, that tho' _Abraham_ was not styl'd _Right Honourable_, yet he had the Title of _Lord_ given him by his Wife _Sarah_, which he thinks entitles her to the Honour of _My Lady_ Sarah; and _Rachel_ being married into the same Family, he concludes she may deserve the Title of _My Lady_ Rachel. But this is but the Opinion of one Man; it was never put to Vote in the Society.

_P. S._ At the last Meeting of our Club, it was unanimously agreed, That all Letters to be inserted in this Paper, should come directed to old _Janus_; whereof our Correspondents are to take Notice, and conform themselves accordingly.

_The New-England Courant_, February 18, 1722/3

_High Tide in Boston_
                                         _Boston, March_ 4.
On Lord's Day, the 24th past, we were surprized with the

extraordinary Heighth of the Tide, which fill'd most of the Streets as well as Cellars near the Water, insomuch that many People living in Drawbridge-Street, Union-Street, and some other Places, were carry'd to their Houses in Canooes, after the Morning Service was over. In some Houses the Water rose so high in their lower Rooms as that they were oblig'd to run away with their Meat half dress'd upon their Spits and in their Potts into some of their Neighbours, or into their upper Rooms, their Fire being all put out, and the Wood floating about the Rooms. The Cordwood, Shingles, Staves, &c. were all wash'd off the Wharffs and carry'd into the Harbour, or left in the Streets after the Tide was down. The Water rose so high in the Ship Carpenters Yards, that they fear'd the Vessels would be carried off the Stocks, and made them fast with Ropes to the Tops of the Houses. The Loss sustain'd by this Tide (in Town and Country) is reckon'd by some to be as great as that by the Fire in 1711. Charlestown likewise suffer'd very much; and we hear a great Number of Whaleboats have been carry'd from the shore towards Cape Codd, where the Tide was never known to come before. They write from Newport on Rhode-Island, that the Tide has entirely wash'd away several Wharffs, and done great Damage in several Warehouses and Dwelling Houses near the Water. By an Article in the Boston News-Letter of Thursday last, we are told, that, _The many great Wharffs which since the last overflowing Tides have been run out into the Harbour, and fill'd so great a Part of the_ Bason, _have methinks contributed something not inconsiderable to the Rise of the Water upon us._ And upon the Authority of this News Letter, some begin to blame the Dutch for damming out the Sea, and sending the Tide over the Atlantick upon us: Some more reasonably conclude, that a large Fleet of Ships have been sunk in the Storm upon our Coast, (the Wind blowing hard at North East,) which occasion'd the rising of the Tide. Others have upon this Account, framed a new Hypothesis to solve the Ph;aenomena of Noah's Flood, and very rationally suppose, that the Antediluvians brought the Deluge upon themselves by running too many Great Wharffs out into their Harbours. So that the Notions _(which were not without their Probabilities)_ of _Burnet_, _Warren_, _Whiston_, &c. who were troubled with the Distemper called _Hypothesimania_, seem now less probable than ever.

_The New-England Courant_, March 4, 1722/3

_Timothy Wagstaff_
        _Quo semel est imbuta recens, servabit odorem Testa diu._ ------

_To old Master_ JANUS.

_Sir_, The extravagant Notions which some Men entertain from the

Influence of Education and Custom, may be thought worth Notice in your Paper, if we consider only, that the Sufferings of its late Publisher were owing in a great measure to his carrying it on in an _unusual Method._ Had he staid till some Gentlemen of the best Reputation in our Country had run the venture of being witty, and wrote a competent Number of _Joco-Serious Dialogues_, he might have continu'd his Paper without incurring the charge of _Shocking and Heaven-rending Blasphemy!_ I must ask Mr. _Symmes_'s Pardon, if I improve his late _Joco-Serious_ Discourse concerning Regular Singing, in Vindication of the _Courant_: And if I am as merry with the _Anti-Couranteers_ as he is with the scrupulous Consciences of his _Anti-Regular-Singers_, I may yet hope to find Five able Hands in Town and Country, who will (at least) approve of the _Substance_ and _Design_ of this Letter.

And now, you Gentlemen, who are the avowed Enemies of the _Courant_, let me beseech you to beware of a certain _Joco-Serious Dialogue_, wrote by a Clergyman, (Heaven forgive him!) which _inevitably tends to the Subversion of your Religion._ Have you not often said, that the _Courant_ offended GOD because it offended _good People_? And has not _he_ (think you) offended many a weak Brother, almost as weak as your selves, by declaring against the _good old Way_ of Singing? Are not the Select-Men of _Milton_ good Men, who have the _Protestant Religion_ so much at heart as to forbid the teaching of Regular Singing in their _Borders_, lest it should infect the whole Town with _Popery_; and will not they (think you) be offended with this abominable _Joco-Serious Confabulation_? You make a grievous Complaint against the _Courant_, because (you say) it _exposes the Failings of particular Persons._ And does not Mr. Symmes (not to mention all his broad Hints) in Scorn call one of his Neighbours a _good Man_ who is _shy of his Bible_, &c. Nay does he not say of one whom he calls a _Reverend Brother_, that _whatever he is for a Christian, he is but a poor Tool of a Scholar_, and ridicule him both in _English_ and _Latin_? Phy upon him! Has he never heard of the Fate of Mr. _Turner_ (a Gentleman of the Law) who was indicted
by the Grand-Jury of _Plymouth_ County for _prophaning the Name of
Justice_ O ------ s, for which he was oblig'd to stand at the Bar and
plead _Not Guilty_ before the whole Court?  And does he not know,
that a famous Country Justice sent a Warrant after poor _Jeremiah
Levett_ of _Rochester_, because he _(being of no good Name and Fame)
did upon the 19th Day of_ March, 1717,18. _give out and utter reviling and blasphemous Words against a Justice of the Peace_? I can assure him this is true, for I have a Copy of the Warrant now in my Hands. And is it not a greater Crime to _write Blasphemy against a Minister of the Gospel_, than to _give out and utter reviling and blasphemous Words against a Justice of the Peace_? But further Gentlemen, I desire you to consider how intollerably he has abus'd your _Ancestors_, by saying, that _some of your Fathers and Grandfathers could not read_, and that _they are gone to Heaven the wrong way._ The Reverend Mr. _Alsop_ indeed says, that some Men are _sent to Heaven upon pain of Death_; but shou'd you meet with such a Phrase in the _Courant_, wou'd you not presently affirm it to be _against the_ Principles _of Religion_? I have but one thing more to observe to you, Gentlemen, and that is, that you bitterly inveigh against the _Courant_ when you find things _serious_ and _comical_ inserted in the same Paper, tho' in different Pieces: But has not Mr. _Symmes_ quoted Texts of Scripture in the same Page wherein he reproaches the Anti-Regular-Singers with their Ignorance of the _Gun-Powder-Plot_? And has he not mixt the _Faithful Servants of Jesus Christ_, _Learning and Wisdom and Piety_, _Family Religion_, &c. in the same Page with _Barns_, _Ploughs_ and _Carts_, and whole _Barrels of Herring_? Is he not often very witty and good humour'd at the proper Cost and Charge of _Solomon_, the Prophets and Apostles? _&c._ What else can you make of his saying, (p. 34.) `In Plain English Neighbour, a _broad Laugh_, is all the Answer such _whymsical_ Objections deserve: or rather, a hearty _Scoul_ or deep _Sigh_, to observe the doleful Effects of Man's Apostacy. To be oppress'd with such Objections would _make a wise man mad_, Eccl. 7.7.?'

Upon the whole, Friend _Janus_, we may conclude, that the _Anti-Couranteers_ are a sort of _Precisians_, who mistaking Religion for the peculiar Whims of their own distemper'd Brain, are for cutting or stretching all Men to their own Standard of Thinking. I wish Mr. _Symmes_'s Character may secure him from the Woes and Curses they are so free of dispensing among their dissenting Neighbours, who are so unfortunate as to discover a Chearfulness becoming Christianity. Sir _Thomas Pope Blount_ in his _Essays_, has said enough to convince us of the Unreasonableness of this sour Temper among Christians; and with his Words I shall conclude.

`Certainly (_says he_) of all Sorts of Men, none do more mistake the Divine Nature, and by consequence do greater mischief to Religion, than those who would perswade us, That to be truly Religious, is to renounce all the Pleasures of Humane Life; As if Religion were a _Caput Mortuum_, a heavy, dull, insipid thing; that has neither Heat, Life, nor motion in it: Or were intended for a _Medusa_'s Head to transform Men into Monuments of Stone. Whereas (really) Religion is of an Active Principle, it not only elevates the Mind, and invigorates the Fancy; but it admits of Mirth, and pleasantness of Conversation, and indulges us in our Christian Liberties; and for this reason, says the Lord _Bacon_, _It is no less impious to shut where God Almighty has open'd, than to open where God Almighty has shut._ But, I say, if Men will suffer themselves to be thus impos'd upon, as to Believe, That Religion requires any such unnecessary Rigours and Austerities, all that can be said, is, The fault does not lye in Religion, but in their Understandings; Nor is this to paint Religion like her self, but rather like one of the Furies with nothing but Whips and Snakes about her. And so, they Worship _God_ just as the _Indians_ do the _Devil_, not as they love him, but because they are afraid of him. It is not therefore to be wonder'd, that since their Notions of God are such, their Way of Worship is agreeable thereunto; And hence it is, That these Men serve our God, just as some Idolaters Worship theirs; with painful Convulsions of Body, and unnatural Distortions of Face, and all the dismal solemnities of a gloomy Soul, and a dejected Countenance. Now these are the Men, who upon all Occasions are so apt to condemn their Brethren, and, as if they were of God's Cabinet Council, pretend to know the Final Decrees of the _Almighty._ But alas! who is sufficient for these Things? Certainly, no Man can render himself more foolishly ridiculous, than by meddling with these _Secrets_ of _Heaven_.'
                                 _I am, Sir, Your Humble Servant,_
                                         Timothy Wagstaff.

_The New-England Courant_, April 15, 1723

_Abigail Twitterfield_
_To assert, That because Posterity is a Blessing, therefore those who want it are cursed, is a meer_ Platonick Dream.
                             _Honest Doctor_ JANUS,

Seeing you have ever manifested a Readiness to assist the fair Sex as there has been Occasion, we flatter our selves that what we have now to offer, will by your next Paper be convey'd to the Publick, that so all the World may see to what a Pitch our Resentments are rais'd, and judge whether there be not just Occasion!

Know then, Sir, (and we would have it known to all Christian People) that we have not long since been intollerably affronted in the publick Assembly: Our Spiritual Guide taking Occasion to exclaim at an high Rate against the _Sin of Barrenness_, we Nine (now met together) thought our selves particularly singled out, and pointed at in his Discourse.

We readily confess, it is a great Blessing to have Posterity, but can by no means think the Want of it so heavy a Curse as was represented; and we think it was prov'd to be so in a very lame and sophistical manner: For, by this manner of _Ratiocination_, one may as well argue thus: _Earthly Riches, the Confluence of outward good things, is a Blessing_; Ergo, _Poverty is a Judgment and heavy Curse. Desirable Friends are a Blessing_; Ergo, _He that is bereft of them is cursed_, &c.

For our own parts, tho' Children are witheld from us, and we see not the lovely _Olive Plants_ around our _Tables_, yet (we speak for our selves respectively) we live a chearful, thankful Life, rejoycing in the other outward Blessings which we have; nor do we envy (for _Envy_ is no _Vertue_, tho' falsly so call'd by some) those who enjoy the Blessing of Children. And seeing we are no more the _blameable Cause_ of this our Unhappiness, than Persons who are born blind, or Ideots, we are far from thinking such a _humbling Curse_ and _Reproach_ belongs to us, as we have been told: For which reason we think it the more intollerable, to be insulted with the bitter Names of _dry Sticks_, _sapless Trees_, _unfruitful Vines_, &c. Job.24.21. _He evil entreateth the barren that beareth not._

Who could hear themselves _tantaliz'd_ at such a Rate, and not be vext intollerably, beyond Measure!
_We went to Church to hear the Word,
But to our Grief we found
Our Ears oppress'd with things absurd;
A vain and empty sound._

But we were the more surpriz'd at this Entertainment, when we reckon'd up no less than Fourteen Persons (from the greatest to the least) below Stairs, besides a considerable Number above Stairs, who were call'd upon to be _humbled under the Reproach and Curse of Barrenness_; and when we consider'd, that Four of our Reverend Pastors in this Town are deny'd the Blessing of Children.

Upon the whole, we conclude, That if Ministers would deliver nothing but the plain substantial Truths of the Gospel, they would best _magnify their Office_, and edify their Hearers. They ought not to calculate their Discourses to the Circumstances of themselves and Families, when they are _marryed_, _bereav'd of near Relations_, or have _Children born to them_, &c. but should study _to know the State of their Flocks in general_, and acquit themselves in their Office accordingly.
                                         Abigail Twitterfield,
                                         _In the Name of the rest_.

_P. S._ It is reported, that there are nineteen _Virgins_ who are resolv'd to lead a Single Life, least they should incur the _Reproach and Curse of Barrenness_.

_The New-England Courant_, July 8, 1723 _A Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain_

_Whatever is, is in its Causes just Since all Things are by Fate; but purblind Man Sees but a part o' th' Chain, the nearest Link, His Eyes not carrying to the equal Beam
That poises all above._

                         To Mr. _J. R._

I have here, according to your Request, given you my _present_

Thoughts of the _general State of Things_ in the Universe. Such as they are, you have them, and are welcome to 'em; and if they yield you any Pleasure or Satisfaction, I shall think my Trouble sufficiently compensated. I know my Scheme will be liable to many Objections from a less discerning Reader than your self; but it is not design'd for those who can't understand it. I need not give you any Caution to distinguish the hypothetical Parts of the Argument from the conclusive: You will easily perceive what I design for Demonstration, and what for Probability only. The whole I leave entirely to you, and shall value my self more or less on this account, in proportion to your Esteem and Approbation.

SECT. I. _Of_ Liberty _and_ Necessity.

I. There is said to be a_ First Mover, _who is called_ GOD, _Maker of the Universe._

II. _He is said to be all-wise, all-good, all powerful._

These two Propositions being allow'd and asserted by People of almost every Sect and Opinion; I have here suppos'd them granted, and laid them down as the Foundation of my Argument; What follows then, being a Chain of Consequences truly drawn from them, will stand or fall as they are true or false.

III. _If He is all-good, whatsoever He doth must be good._

IV. _If He is all-wise, whatsoever He doth must be wise._

The Truth of these Propositions, with relation to the two first, I think may be justly call'd evident; since, either that infinite Goodness will act what is ill, or infinite Wisdom what is not wise, is too glaring a Contradiction not to be perceiv'd by any Man of common Sense, and deny'd as soon as understood.

V. _If He is all-powerful, there can be nothing either existing or acting in the Universe_ against _or_ without _his Consent; and what He consents to must be good, because He is good; therefore Evil doth not exist._

_Unde Malum?_ has been long a Question, and many of the Learned have perplex'd themselves and Readers to little Purpose in Answer to it. That there are both Things and Actions to which we give the Name of _Evil_, is not here deny'd, as _Pain_, _Sickness_, _Want_, _Theft_, _Murder_, &c. but that these and the like are not in reality _Evils_, _Ills_, or _Defects_ in the Order of the Universe, is demonstrated in the next Section, as well as by this and the following Proposition. Indeed, to suppose any Thing to exist or be done, _contrary_ to the Will of the Almighty, is to suppose him not almighty; or that Something (the Cause of _Evil_) is more mighty than the Almighty; an Inconsistence that I think no One will defend: And to deny any Thing or Action, which he consents to the existence of, to be good, is entirely to destroy his two Attributes of _Wisdom_ and _Goodness._

_There is nothing done in the Universe_, say the Philosophers, _but what God either does, or_ permits _to be done._ This, as He is Almighty, is certainly true: But what need of this Distinction between _doing_ and _permitting_? Why, first they take it for granted that many Things in the Universe exist in such a Manner as is not for the best, and that many Actions are done which ought not to be done, or would be better undone; these Things or Actions they cannot ascribe to God as His, because they have already attributed to Him infinite Wisdom and Goodness; Here then is the Use of the Word _Permit_; He _permits_ them to be done, _say they._ But we will reason thus: If God permits an Action to be done, it is because he wants either _Power_ or _Inclination_ to hinder it; in saying he wants _Power_, we deny Him to be _almighty_; and if we say Hewants _Inclination_ or _Will_, it must be, either because He is not Good, or the Action is not _evil_, (for all Evil is contrary to the Essence of _infinite Goodness._) The former is inconsistent with his before-given Attribute of Goodness, therefore the latter must be true.

It will be said, perhaps, that _God permits evil Actions to be done, for_ wise _Ends and Purposes._ But this Objection destroys itself; for whatever an infinitely good God hath wise Ends in suffering to _be_, must be good, is thereby made good, and cannot be otherwise.

VI. _If a Creature is made by God, it must depend upon God, and receive all its Power from Him; with which Power the Creature can do nothing contrary to the Will of God, because God is Almighty; what is not contrary to His Will, must be agreeable to it; what is agreeable to it, must be good, because He is Good; therefore a Creature can do nothing but what is good._

This Proposition is much to the same Purpose with the former, but more particular; and its Conclusion is as just and evident. Tho' a Creature may do many Actions which by his Fellow Creatures will be nam'd _Evil_, and which will naturally and necessarily cause or bring upon the Doer, certain _Pains_ (which will likewise be call'd _Punishments_;) yet this Proposition proves, that he cannot act what will be in itself really Ill, or displeasing to God. And that the painful Consequences of his evil Actions (_so call'd_) are not, as indeed they ought not to be, _Punishments_ or Unhappinesses, will be shewn hereafter.

Nevertheless, the late learned Author of _The Religion of Nature_, (which I send you herewith) has given us a Rule or Scheme, whereby to discover which of our Actions ought to be esteem'd and denominated _good_, and which _evil_: It is in short this, "Every Action which is done according to _Truth_, is good; and every Action contrary to Truth, is evil: To act according to Truth is to use and esteem every Thing as what it is, _&c._ Thus if _A_ steals a Horse from _B_, and rides away upon him, he uses him not as what he is in Truth, _viz._ the Property of another, but as his own, which is contrary to Truth, and therefore _evil_". But, as this Gentleman himself says, (Sect. I. Prop. VI.) "In order to judge rightly what any Thing is, it must be consider'd, not only what it is in one Respect, but also what it may be in any other Respect; and the whole Description of the Thing ought to be taken in:" So in this Case it ought to be consider'd, that _A_ is naturally a _covetous_ Being, feeling an Uneasiness in the want of _B_'s Horse, which produces an Inclination for stealing him, stronger than his Fear of Punishment for so doing. This is _Truth_ likewise, and _A_ acts according to it when he steals the Horse. Besides, if it is prov'd to be a _Truth_, that _A_ has not Power over his own Actions, it will be indisputable that he acts according to Truth, and impossible he should do otherwise.

I would not be understood by this to encourage or defend Theft; 'tis only for the sake of the Argument, and will certainly have no _ill Effect._ The Order and Course of Things will not be affected by Reasoning of this Kind; and 'tis as just and necessary, and as much according to Truth, for _B_ to dislike and punish the Theft of his Horse, as it is for _A_ to steal him.

VII. _If the Creature is thus limited in his Actions, being able to do only such Things as God would have him to do, and not being able to refuse doing what God would have done; then he can have no such Thing as Liberty, Free-will or Power to do or refrain an Action._

By _Liberty_ is sometimes understood the Absence of Opposition; and in this Sense, indeed, all our Actions may be said to be the Effects of our Liberty: But it is a Liberty of the same Nature with the Fall of a heavy Body to the Ground; it has Liberty to fall, that is, it meets with nothing to hinder its Fall, but at the same Time it is necessitated to fall, and has no Power or Liberty to remain suspended.

But let us take the Argument in another View, and suppose ourselves to be, in the common sense of the Word, _Free Agents._ As Man is a Part of this great Machine, the Universe, his regular Acting is requisite to the regular moving of the whole. Among the many Things which lie before him to be done, he may, as he is at Liberty and his Choice influenc'd by nothing, (for so it must be, or he is not at Liberty) chuse any one, and refuse the rest. Now there is every Moment something _best_ to be done, which is alone then _good_, and with respect to which, every Thing else is at that Time _evil._ In order to know which is best to be done, and which not, it is requisite that we should have at one View all the intricate Consequences of every Action with respect to the general Order and Scheme of the Universe, both present and future; but they are innumerable and incomprehensible by any Thing but Omniscience. As we cannot know these, we have but as one Chance to ten thousand, to hit on the right Action; we should then be perpetually blundering about in the Dark, and putting the Scheme in Disorder; for every wrong Action of a Part, is a Defect or Blemish in the Order of the Whole. Is it not necessary then, that our Actions should be over-rul'd and govern'd by an all-wise Providence? -- How exact and regular is every Thing in the _natural_ World! How wisely in every Part contriv'd! We cannot here find the least Defect! Those who have study'd the mere animal and vegetable Creation, demonstrate that nothing can be more harmonious and beautiful! All the heavenly Bodies, the Stars and Planets, are regulated with the utmost Wisdom! And can we suppose less Care to be taken in the Order of the _moral_ than in the _natural_ System? It is as if an ingenious Artificer, having fram'd a curious Machine or Clock, and put its many intricate Wheels and Powers in such a Dependance on one another, that the whole might move in the most exact Order and Regularity, had nevertheless plac'd in it several other Wheels endu'd with an independent _Self-Motion_, but ignorant of the general Interest of the Clock; and these would every now and then be moving wrong, disordering the true Movement, and making continual Work for the Mender; which might better be prevented, by depriving them of that Power of Self-Motion, and placing them in a Dependance on the regular Part of the Clock.

VIII. _If there is no such Thing as Free-Will in Creatures, there can be neither Merit nor Demerit in Creatures._

IX. _And therefore every Creature must be equally esteem'd by the Creator._

These Propositions appear to be the necessary Consequences of the former. And certainly no Reason can be given, why the Creator should prefer in his Esteem one Part of His Works to another, if with equal Wisdom and Goodness he design'd and created them all, since all Ill or Defect, as contrary to his Nature, is excluded by his Power. We will sum up the Argument thus, When the Creator first design'd the Universe, either it was His Will and Intention that all Things should exist and be in the Manner they are at this Time; or it was his Will they should _be_ otherwise _i. e._ in a different Manner: To say it was His Will Things should be otherwise than they are, is to say Somewhat hath contradicted His Will, and broken His Measures, which is impossible because inconsistent with his Power; therefore we must allow that all Things exist now in a Manner agreeable to His Will, and in consequence of that are all equally Good, and therefore equally esteem'd by Him.

I proceed now to shew, that as all the Works of the Creator are equally esteem'd by Him, so they are, as in Justice they ought to be, equally us'd.

SECT. II. _Of_ Pleasure _and_ Pain.

I. _When a Creature is form'd and endu'd with Life, 'tis suppos'd to receive a Capacity of the Sensation of_ Uneasiness _or_ Pain.

It is this distinguishes Life and Consciousness from unactive unconscious Matter. To know or be sensible of Suffering or being acted upon is _to live_; and whatsoever is not so, among created Things, is properly and truly _dead._

All _Pain_ and _Uneasiness_ proceeds at first from and is caus'd by Somewhat without and distinct from the Mind itself. The Soul must first be acted upon before it can re-act. In the Beginning of Infancy it is as if it were not; it is not conscious of its own Existence, till it has receiv'd the first Sensation of _Pain_; then, and not before, it begins to feel itself, is rous'd, and put into Action; then it discovers its Powers and Faculties, and exerts them to expel the Uneasiness. Thus is the Machine set on work; this is Life. We are first mov'd by _Pain_, and the whole succeeding Course of our Lives is but one continu'd Series of Action with a View to be freed from it. As fast as we have excluded one Uneasiness another appears, otherwise the Motion would cease. If a continual Weight is not apply'd, the Clock will stop. And as soon as the Avenues of Uneasiness to the Soul are choak'd up or cut off, we are dead, we think and act no more.

II. _This Uneasiness, whenever felt, produces_ Desire _to be freed from it, great in exact proportion to the Uneasiness._

Thus is _Uneasiness_ the first Spring and Cause of all Action; for till we are uneasy in Rest, we can have no Desire to move, and without Desire of moving there can be no voluntary Motion. The Experience of every Man who has observ'd his own Actions will evince the Truth of this; and I think nothing need be said to prove that the _Desire_ will be equal to the _Uneasiness_, for the very Thing implies as much: It is not _Uneasiness_ unless we desire to be freed from it, nor a great _Uneasiness_ unless the consequent Desire is great.

I might here observe, how necessary a Thing in the Order and Design of the Universe this _Pain_ or _Uneasiness_ is, and how beautiful in its Place! Let us but suppose it just now banish'd the World entirely, and consider the Consequence of it: All the Animal Creation would immediately stand stock still, exactly in the Posture they were in the Moment Uneasiness departed; not a Limb, not a Finger would henceforth move; we should all be reduc'd to the Condition of
Statues, dull and unactive: Here I should continue to sit motionless
with the Pen in my Hand thus ------ and neither leave my Seat nor
write one Letter more.  This may appear odd at first View, but a
little Consideration will make it evident; for 'tis impossible to
assign any other Cause for the voluntary Motion of an Animal than its
_uneasiness_ in Rest. What a different Appearance then would the Face of Nature make, without it! How necessary is it! And how unlikely that the Inhabitants of the World ever were, or that the Creator ever design'd they should be, exempt from it!

I would likewise observe here, that the VIIIth Proposition in the preceding Section, viz. _That there is neither Merit nor Demerit_, &c. is here again demonstrated, as infallibly, tho' in another manner: For since _Freedom from Uneasiness_ is the End of all our Actions, how is it possible for us to do any Thing disinterested? -- How can any Action be meritorious of Praise or Dispraise, Reward or Punishment, when the natural Principle of _Self-Love_ is the only and the irresistible Motive to it?

III. _This_ Desire _is always fulfill'd or satisfy'd,_

In the _Design_ or _End_ of it, tho' not in the _Manner_: The first is requisite, the latter not. To exemplify this, let us make a Supposition; A Person is confin'd in a House which appears to be in imminent Danger of Falling, this, as soon as perceiv'd, creates a violent _Uneasiness_, and that instantly produces an equal strong _Desire_, the _End_ of which is _freedom from the Uneasiness_, and the _Manner_ or Way propos'd to gain this _End_, is _to get out of the House._ Now if he is convinc'd by any Means, that he is mistaken, and the House is not likely to fall, he is immediately freed from his _Uneasiness_, and the _End_ of his Desire is attain'd as well as if it had been in the _Manner_ desir'd, viz. _leaving the House._

All our different Desires and Passions proceed from and are reducible to this one Point, _Uneasiness_, tho' the Means we propose to ourselves for expelling of it are infinite. One proposes _Fame_, another _Wealth_, a third _Power_, &c. as the Means to gain this _End_; but tho' these are never attain'd, if the Uneasiness be remov'd by some other Means, the _Desire_ is satisfy'd. Now during the Course of Life we are ourselves continually removing successive Uneasinesses as they arise, and the _last_ we suffer is remov'd by the _sweet Sleep_ of Death.

IV. _The fulfilling or Satisfaction of this_ Desire, _produces the Sensation of_ Pleasure, _great or small in exact proportion to the_ Desire.

_Pleasure_ is that Satisfaction which arises in the Mind upon, and is caus'd by, the accomplishment of our _Desires_, and by no other Means at all; and those Desires being above shewn to be caus'd by our _Pains_ or _Uneasinesses_, it follows that _Pleasure_ is wholly caus'd by _Pain_, and by no other Thing at all.

V. _Therefore the Sensation of_ Pleasure _is equal, or in exact proportion to the Sensation of_ Pain.

As the _Desire_ of being freed from Uneasiness is equal to the _Uneasiness_, and the _Pleasure_ of satisfying that Desire equal to the _Desire_, the _Pleasure_ thereby produc'd must necessarily be equal to the _Uneasiness_ or _Pain_ which produces it: Of three Lines, _A_, _B_, and _C_, if _A_ is equal to _B_, and _B_ to _C_, _C_ must be equal to _A._ And as our _Uneasinesses_ are always remov'd by some Means or other, it follows that _Pleasure_ and _Pain_ are in their Nature inseparable: So many Degrees as one Scale of the Ballance descends, so many exactly the other ascends; and one cannot rise or fall without the Fall or Rise of the other: 'Tis impossible to taste of _Pleasure_, without feeling its preceding proportionate _Pain_; or to be sensible of _Pain_, without having its necessary Consequent _Pleasure_: The _highest Pleasure_ is only Consciousness of Freedom from the _deepest Pain_, and Pain is not Pain to us unless we ourselves are sensible of it. They go Hand in Hand; they cannot be divided.

You have a View of the whole Argument in a few familiar Examples: The _Pain_ of Abstinence from Food, as it is greater or less, produces a greater or less _Desire_ of Eating, the Accomplishment of this _Desire_ produces a greater or less _Pleasure_ proportionate to it. The _Pain_ of Confinement causes the _Desire_ of Liberty, which accomplish'd, yields a _Pleasure_ equal to that _Pain_ of Confinement. The _Pain_ of Labour and Fatigue causes the _Pleasure_ of Rest, equal to that _Pain._ The _Pain_ of Absence from Friends, produces the _Pleasure_ of Meeting in exact proportion. _&c._

This is the _fixt Nature_ of Pleasure and Pain, and will always be found to be so by those who examine it.

One of the most common Arguments for the future Existence of the Soul, is taken from the generally suppos'd Inequality of Pain and Pleasure in the present; and this, notwithstanding the Difficulty by outward Appearances to make a Judgment of another's Happiness, has been look'd upon as almost unanswerable: but since _Pain_ naturally and infallibly produces a _Pleasure_ in proportion to it, every individual Creature must, in any State of _Life_, have an equal Quantity of each, so that there is not, on that Account, any Occasion for a future Adjustment.

Thus are all the Works of the Creator _equally_ us'd by him; And no Condition of Life or Being is in itself better or preferable to another: The Monarch is not more happy than the Slave, nor the Beggar more miserable than _Croesus._ Suppose _A_, _B_, and _C_, three distinct Beings; _A_ and _B_, animate, capable of _Pleasure_ and _Pain_, _C_ an inanimate Piece of Matter, insensible of either. _A_ receives ten Degrees of _Pain_, which are necessarily succeeded by ten Degrees of _Pleasure_: _B_ receives fifteen of _Pain_, and the consequent equal Number of _Pleasure_: _C_ all the while lies unconcern'd, and as he has not suffer'd the former, has no right to the latter. What can be more equal and just than this? When the Accounts come to be adjusted, _A_ has no Reason to complain that his Portion of _Pleasure_ was five Degrees less than that of _B_, for his Portion of _Pain_ was five Degrees less likewise: Nor has _B_ any Reason to boast that his _Pleasure_ was five Degrees greater than that of _A_, for his _Pain_ was proportionate: They are then both on the same Foot with _C_, that is, they are neither Gainers nor Losers.

It will possibly be objected here, that even common Experience shews us, there is not in Fact this Equality: "Some we see hearty, brisk and chearful perpetually, while others are constantly burden'd with a heavy Load of Maladies and Misfortunes, remaining for Years perhaps in Poverty, Disgrace, or Pain, and die at last without any Appearance of Recompence." Now tho' 'tis not necessary, when a Proposition is demonstrated to be a general Truth, to shew in what manner it agrees with the particular Circumstances of Persons, and indeed ought not to be requir'd; yet, as this is a common Objection, some Notice may be taken of it: And here let it be observ'd, that we cannot be proper Judges of the good or bad Fortune of Others; we are apt to imagine, that what would give us a great Uneasiness or a great Satisfaction, has the same Effect upon others: we think, for Instance, those unhappy, who must depend upon Charity for a mean Subsistence, who go in Rags, fare hardly, and are despis'd and scorn'd by all; not considering that Custom renders all these Things easy, familiar, and even pleasant. When we see Riches, Grandeur and a chearful Countenance, we easily imagine Happiness accompanies them, when oftentimes 'tis quite otherwise: Nor is a constantly sorrowful Look, attended with continual Complaints, an infallible Indication of Unhappiness. In short, we can judge by nothing but Appearances, and they are very apt to deceive us. Some put on a gay chearful Outside, and appear to the World perfectly at Ease, tho' even then, some inward Sting, some secret Pain imbitters all their Joys, and makes the Ballance even: Others appear continually dejected and full of Sorrow; but even Grief itself is sometimes _pleasant_, and Tears are not always without their Sweetness: Besides, Some take a Satisfaction in being thought unhappy, (as others take a Pride in being thought humble,) these will paint their Misfortunes to others in the strongest Colours, and leave no Means unus'd to make you think them thoroughly miserable; so great a _Pleasure_ it is to them _to be pitied_; Others retain the Form and outside Shew of Sorrow, long after the Thing itself, with its Cause, is remov'd from the Mind; it is a Habit they have acquir'd and cannot leave. These, with many others that might be given, are Reasons why we cannot make a true Estimate of the _Equality_ of the Happiness and Unhappiness of others; and unless we could, Matter of Fact cannot be opposed to this Hypothesis. Indeed, we are sometimes apt to think, that the Uneasinesses we ourselves have had, outweigh our Pleasures; but the Reason is this, the Mind takes no Account of the latter, they slip away un-remark'd, when the former leave more lasting Impressions on the Memory. But suppose we pass the greatest part of Life in Pain and Sorrow, suppose we die by Torments and _think no more_, 'tis no Diminution to the Truth of what is here advanc'd; for the _Pain_, tho' exquisite, is not so to the _last_ Moments of Life, the Senses are soon benumm'd, and render'd incapable of transmitting it so sharply to the Soul as at first; She perceives it cannot hold long, and 'tis an _exquisite Pleasure_ to behold the immediate Approaches of Rest. This makes an Equivalent tho' Annihilation should follow: For the Quantity of _Pleasure_ and _Pain_ is not to be measur'd by its Duration, any more than the Quantity of Matter by its Extension; and as one cubic Inch may be made to contain, by Condensation, as much Matter as would fill ten thousand cubic Feet, being more expanded, so one single Moment of _Pleasure_ may outweigh and compensate an Age of _Pain._

It was owing to their Ignorance of the Nature of Pleasure and Pain that the Antient Heathens believ'd the idle Fable of their _Elizium_, that State of uninterrupted Ease and Happiness! The Thing is intirely impossible in Nature! Are not the Pleasures of the Spring made such by the Disagreeableness of the Winter? Is not the Pleasure of fair Weather owing to the Unpleasantness of foul? Certainly. Were it then always Spring, were the Fields always green and flourishing, and the Weather constantly serene and fair, the Pleasure would pall and die upon our Hands; it would cease to be Pleasure to us, when it is not usher'd in by Uneasiness. Could the Philosopher visit, in reality, every Star and Planet with as much Ease and Swiftness as he can now visit their Ideas, and pass from one to another of them in the Imagination; it would be a _Pleasure_ I grant; but it would be only in proportion to the _Desire_ of accomplishing it, and that would be no greater than the _Uneasiness_ suffer'd in the Want of it. The Accomplishment of a long and difficult Journey yields a great _Pleasure_; but if we could take a Trip to the Moon and back again, as frequently and with as much Ease as we can go and come from Market, the Satisfaction would be just the same.

The _Immateriality_ of the Soul has been frequently made use of as an Argument for its _Immortality_; but let us consider, that tho' it should be allow'd to be immaterial, and consequently its Parts incapable of Separation or Destruction by any Thing material, yet by Experience we find, that it is not incapable of Cessation of _Thought_, which is its Action. When the Body is but a little indispos'd it has an evident Effect upon the Mind; and a right Disposition of the Organs is requisite to a right Manner of Thinking. In a sound Sleep sometimes, or in a Swoon, we cease to think at all; tho' the Soul is not therefore then annihilated, but _exists_ all the while tho' it does not _act_; and may not this probably be the Case after Death? All our Ideas are first admitted by the Senses and imprinted on the Brain, increasing in Number by Observation and Experience; there they become the Subjects of the Soul's Action. The Soul is a mere Power or Faculty of _contemplating_ on, and _comparing_ those Ideas when it has them; hence springs Reason: But as it can _think_ on nothing but Ideas, it must have them before it can _think_ at all. Therefore as it may exist before it has receiv'd any Ideas, it may exist before it _thinks._ To remember a Thing, is to have the Idea of it still plainly imprinted on the Brain, which the Soul can turn to and contemplate on Occasion. To forget a Thing, is to have the Idea of it defac'd and destroy'd by some Accident, or the crouding in and imprinting of great variety of other Ideas upon it, so that the Soul cannot find out its Traces and distinguish it. When we have thus lost the Idea of any one Thing, we can _think_ no more, or _cease to think_, on that Thing; and as we can lose the Idea of one Thing, so we may of ten, twenty, a hundred, _&c._ and even of all Things, because they are not in their Nature permanent; and often during Life we see that some Men, (by an Accident or Distemper affecting the Brain,) lose the greatest Part of their Ideas, and remember very little of their past Actions and Circumstances. Now upon _Death_, and the Destruction of the Body, the Ideas contain'd in the Brain, (which are alone the Subjects of the Soul's Action) being then likewise necessarily destroy'd, the Soul, tho' incapable of Destruction itself, must then necessarily _cease to think_ or _act_, having nothing left to think or act upon. It is reduc'd to its first inconscious State before it receiv'd any Ideas. And to cease to _think_ is but little different from _ceasing to be._

Nevertheless, 'tis not impossible that this same _Faculty_ of contemplating Ideas may be hereafter united to a new Body, and receive a new Set of Ideas; but that will no way concern us who are now living; for the Identity will be lost, it is no longer that same _Self_ but a new Being.

I shall here subjoin a short Recapitulation of the Whole, that it may with all its Parts be comprehended at one View.

1. _It is suppos'd that God the Maker and Governour of the Universe, is infinitely wise, good, and powerful._

2. _In consequence of His infinite Wisdom and Goodness, it is asserted, that whatever He doth must be infinitely wise and good;_

3. _Unless He be interrupted, and His Measures broken by some other Being, which is impossible because He is Almighty._

4. _In consequence of His infinite Power, it is asserted, that nothing can exist or be done in the Universe which is not agreeable to His Will, and therefore good._

5. _Evil is hereby excluded, with all Merit and Demerit; and likewise all preference in the Esteem of God, of one Part of the Creation to another._ This is the Summary of the first Part.

Now our common Notions of Justice will tell us, that if all created Things are equally esteem'd by the Creator, they ought to be equally us'd by Him; and that they are therefore equally us'd, we might embrace for Truth upon the Credit, and as the true Consequence of the foregoing Argument. Nevertheless we proceed to confirm it, by shewing _how_ they are equally us'd, and that in the following Manner.

1. _A Creature when endu'd with Life or Consciousness, is made capable of Uneasiness or Pain._

2. _This Pain produces Desire to be freed from it, in exact proportion to itself._

3. _The Accomplishment of this Desire produces an equal Pleasure._

4. _Pleasure is consequently equal to Pain._

From these Propositions it is observ'd,

1. _That every Creature hath as much Pleasure as Pain._

2. _That Life is not preferable to Insensibility; for Pleasure and Pain destroy one another: That Being which has ten Degrees of Pain subtracted from ten of Pleasure, has nothing remaining, and is upon an equality with that Being which is insensible of both._

3. _As the first Part proves that all Things must be equally us'd by the Creator because equally esteem'd; so this second Part demonstrates that they are equally esteem'd because equally us'd._

4. _Since every Action is the Effect of Self-Uneasiness, the Distinction of Virtue and Vice is excluded; and_ Prop. VIII. _in_ Sect. I. _again demonstrated._

5. _No State of Life can be happier than the present, because Pleasure and Pain are inseparable._

Thus both Parts of this Argument agree with and confirm one another, and the Demonstration is reciprocal.

I am sensible that the Doctrine here advanc'd, if it were to be publish'd, would meet with but an indifferent Reception. Mankind naturally and generally love to be flatter'd: Whatever sooths our Pride, and tends to exalt our Species above the rest of the Creation, we are pleas'd with and easily believe, when ungrateful Truths shall be with the utmost Indignation rejected. "What! bring ourselves down to an Equality with the Beasts of the Field! with the _meanest_ part of the Creation! 'Tis insufferable!" But, (to use a Piece of _common_ Sense) our _Geese_ are but _Geese_ tho' we may think 'em _Swans_; and Truth will be Truth tho' it sometimes prove mortifying and distasteful.

London, 1725 _Plan of Conduct_

Those who write of the art of poetry teach us that if we would write what may be worth the reading, we ought always, before we begin, to form a regular plan and design ofour piece: otherwise, we shall be in danger of incongruity. Iam apt to think it is the same as to life. I have never fixed aregular design in life; by which means it has been a confusedvariety of different scenes. I am now entering upon a newone: let me, therefore, make some resolutions, and form somescheme of action, that, henceforth, I may live in all respectslike a rational creature.

1. It is necessary for me to be extremely frugal for some time, till I have paid what I owe.

2. To endeavour to speak truth in every instance; to give nobody expectations that are not likely to be answered, but aim at sincerity in every word and action -- the most amiable excellence in a rational being.

3. To apply myself industriously to whatever business I take in hand, and not divert my mind from my business by any foolish project of growing suddenly rich; for industry and patience are the surest means of plenty.

4. I resolve to speak ill of no man whatever, not even in a matter of truth; but rather by some means excuse the faults I hear charged upon others, and upon proper occasions speak all the good I know of every body.

1726 .