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It is offensive for a man to speak much of himself, and few men can do it with so good a grace as Montaigne. I wish I could, or that I could be half so entertaining. The Marquis of Halifax, in a letter to Charles Cotton, Esq., who translated Montaigne's Essays, says it is the book in the world with which he is best entertained, and that Montaigne did not write for praise but to give the world a true picture of himself and of mankind. My subject, however, will be my apology, and I am sure it will draw no envy upon me. Bodily deformity is visible to every eye, but the effects of it are known to very few, intimately known to none but those who feel them, and they generally are not inclined to reveal them. As, therefore, I am furnished with the necessary materials, I will treat this uncommon subject at large, and to view it in a philosophical light is a speculation which may be useful to persons so oddly (I will not say unhappily) distinguished and perhaps not unentertaining to others. I do not pretend to be so ingenious as Montaigne, but it is in my power to be as ingenuous. I may, with the same naïveté, remove the veil from my mental and personal imperfections and expose them naked to the world.And when I have thus anatomized myself, I hope my heart will be found sound and untainted, and my intentions honest and sincere.Longinus says that Cecilius wrote of the sublime in a low way; on the contrary, Mr. 4 Pope calls Longinus "the great sublime he draws." Let it be my ambition to imitate Longinus in style and sentiment, and like Cecilius, to make these appear a contrast to my subject: to write of deformity with beauty, and by a finished piece to atone for an ill-turned person.
In the beginning of his treatise on the sublime, 4 in his essay on criticism, if any reader imagines that 5 a print of me in the frontispiece of this work would give him a clearer idea of the subject, I have no objection; provided he will be at the expense of engraving. But for want of it, let him know that I am scarce five feet high, that my back was bent in my mother's womb, and that in person I resemble Aesop, the Prince of Orange, Marshal Luxembourg, Lord Treasurer Salisbury, Scarron, and Mr. Pope, not to mention Liberates and Richard the Third, whom I do not claim as members of our society: 6 the first being a child of the poet's fancy, the last misrepresented by historians who thought they must draw a devil in a bad shape. But I will not (on this occasion) accept Richard's statue from the hand of any historian or even of Shakespeare himself but only from that of his own biographer, who tells us (and he ought to know) that Richard was a handsome man.
As I have the greatest Reason to thank God, that I was born in this Island, and enjoy the Blessings of his Majesty’s Reign; let me not be unthankful, that I was not born in Sparta! where I had no sooner seen the Light, but I should have been deprived of it, and have been thrown as a useless thing, into a Cavern by Mount Taygetus! Inhuman Lycurgus, thus to destroy your own Species! Surrounded by the Innocents, whom you have murdered, may I not haunt you among the Shades below for this Barbarity? That It was ill Policy, the glorious List of Names, which I have produced, is a Proof: your own Agefilaus confutes your Maxim: and I hope to confute it too by my own Behaviour. Is the Carcass the better Part of the Man? And is it to be valued by Weight, like that of Cattle in a Market? In dead of this Lacedemonian Severity, those, who had the Care of my Infancy, fell into another Extreme, and, out of Tenderness, tried every Art to correct the Errors of Nature; but in vain: as I think it is Mr. Dryden says, "God did not make his Works for Man to mend." When they could not do that, they endeavoured to conceal them: and taught me to be ashamed of my Person, instead of arming me with true Fortitude to despise any Ridicule or Contempt of it.
This has caused me much uneasiness in my younger days, and it required many years to conquer this weakness. Of which I hope now there are but little remains left. This ill management gave me too an insuperable bashfulness, and although I have passed the course of my whole life among the better part of mankind, I have always felt a reluctance to produce a bad figure, which may be some obstruction to a man's advancement in the world, but an advantage in refraining his fondness for it. Unmerited reflections on a man's person are hard of digestion. Men of understanding have felt them. Even Mr. Pope was not invulnerable in this part. For when the dunces were foiled by his writings, they printed a caricature of his figure, and it is evident that this stung him more than a better answer, for he ranks it among the most atrocious injuries. I never in my life received the least affront on this head from any gentleman I ever conversed with, or from anyone who had the least pretension to that name, for I should be a churl indeed if I esteemed as such any little innocent pleasantry of a friend, which is rather an instance of sincere kindness. In his Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot, are these lines.
The Morals blacken’d, when the Writings escape, The liberal Person, and the figured Shape, etc. (9) Kindness and Affection: and I should be unfit to sit at Table with him, should I relent his congratulations on my emerging from an Eclipse of a Sirloin of Roast beef, or of a Bowl of Punch, that stood between us. But the scene changes extremely when I get into a Mob; where Insolence grows in Proportion, as the Man sinks in Condition: and where I can scarce pass without hearing some Affront. But I am now unmoved with that Scurrility, which used to affect me when I was young. Their Title of Lord I never much valued; and now I entirely despise; and yet they will force it upon me as an Honour, which they have a Right to bestow, and which I have none to refuse. This Abuse is grown into such a Habit with the Rabble, that an Irish Chairman often uses it when he asks me to take a Chair; and sometimes a Beggar, when he demands an Alms. This (10) difference of behaviour towards me hath given me the strongest Idea of the Force of Education; and taught me to set a right Value upon it. It is certainly the Stamp of a Man’s Character. It distinguishes the base from the valuable Metal; and is the Barrier between the Mob and the civilized Part of Mankind.
This usage hath also been a great advantage to me: for it hath made me (like Horace) fly from the vulgar to the company and conversation of my superiors, where I am free to be easy. I have ever enjoyed it; and though I want polite qualities to recommend me, I cannot say, I was ever ill-received by them. Moreover, these abuses from my inferiors often furnish me with generous reflections. I sometimes recollect the expression of Brutus in Shakespeare, "Your words pass by me as the idle wind, which God profane vulgus, & arceo" (Ode 1, 3). which I regard not. At other times, a saying (I think) of Socrates, "Shall I be angry if an ass kick at me? It is his nature so to do." But personal reflections of this kind are almost unknown among persons of high rank. It must, therefore, be only a French romance that gave rise to the report that our great and glorious deliverer once called Luxemburg a crooked-back fellow, who replied that he could not know that he was so, for he had never seen his back. When by some uncommon accident I have been drawn into a country fair, cock-pit, bear-garden, or the like riotous assemblies, after I have got from them, I have felt the pleasure of one escaped from the danger of a wreck: for all the time I am present, I consider myself as liable to affront without a power of showing any resentment, which would expose me to ten-fold ridicule.
Nor am I formed for a Masquerade; where such a figure would soon be discovered; nor escape Abuse from the lower Class, whom the Masque introduces to their Betters; and where all indulge a greater Liberty of Behaviour. I always had an Aversion in my Childhood to Dancing-masters: and studied all Evasions to avoid their Lessons; when they were forced upon me: for I was ever conscious to myself, what an untoward Subject they had to work on. I carried this a little too far; and have sometimes wished I had sacrificed a little more to the Graces. The Neglect of this has left behind it an Awkwardness in some Parts of my outward Gesture and Behaviour: and I am sensible, that I might by Care and Habit have corrected some Things now grown inveterate; and that from a natural Dislike to Trifles I neglected some Forms too much. Bodily Deformity is very rare: and therefore a Person so distinguished must naturally think, that he has had ill Luck in a Lottery, where there are above a thousand Prizes to one Blank. Among 558 Gentlemen in the House of Commons I am the only one that is so. Thanks to my worthy Constituents, who never objected to my Person; and I hope never to give them cause to object to my Behaviour. They are not like a venal Borough, of which there goes a Story; that, though they never took Exceptions to any Man's Character, who came up to their Price; yet they once rejected the best Bidder, because he was a Negro. I never was, nor ever will be, a Member of the Ugly Club: and I would advise those Gentlemen to meet no more. For though they may be a very ingenious and facetious Society; yet it draws the Eyes of the World too much upon them, and theirs too much from the World.
For who would choose to be always looking at bad pictures, when there is so great a collection to be met with of good ones, especially among the fair sex, who, if they will not admit them to be intimates, will permit them to be distant admirers? When deformed persons appear together, it doubles the ridicule because of the similitude, as it does when they are seen with very large persons because of the contrast. Let them therefore call Minerva to their aid in both cases. (Spectator, No. 17)
There are many great and tall men with whom I shall always esteem it an honour to converse, and though their eyes are placed in a much higher parallel, they take care never to overlook me and are always concerned if, by chance, they happen to strike my hat with their elbow. When standing or walking, we indeed find some difficulty in the conversation, for they are obliged to stoop down, as in search of a pin, while I am looking up, as if taking the height of a star with a quadrant. And I own I sometimes use a little policy, that the contrast may not be too remarkable. General O. is brother in blood and in worth to one of the greatest and best men of the age, and a brave spirit is lodged in a large person. The man who stood intrepid by His Majesty's side in the glorious day of Dettingen and afterwards by that of His Royal Highness in the more unfortunate one of Fontenoy is now placed at the head of a troop of Horse Grenadiers, to guard that Prince whom he has so long and faithfully served. I have the honour to be well known to him and I once accidentally accompanied him to see the horses of his troop. I never was more humbled than when I walked with him among his tall men, made still taller by their caps.
I seemed to myself a worm and no man, and could not but inwardly grieve, that when I had the same inclination to the service of my country and prince, I wanted their strength to perform it. As a member of the House of Commons, I sometimes use the precaution to place myself at some distance from the General, though I am commonly of the same side of the house. Lord D. is another brave officer at the head of one of His Majesty’s Troops of Guards; and one of the tallest of his subjects: an ancient Peer: an able Senator: and (what is much to the honour of any Peer) a useful Magistrate in the country. I am always proud of meeting his Lordship at the Quarter Sessions: but I always take care to have the Chairman at least between us on the bench; that it may not be too visible to the country what a prodigious disparity there is in every respect between us. But I will now divide my text, in order to discuss it more thoroughly: and will consider the natural consequences of bodily deformity; first, how it affects the outward circumstances, and lastly, what turn it gives to the mind.
It is certain that the human frame, being warped and disproportioned, is lessened in strength and activity; and rendered less fit for its functions. Scarron had invented an engine to take off his hat; and I wish I could invent one to buckle my shoe, or to take up a thing from the ground, which I can scarcely do without kneeling; for I can bend my body no farther than it is bent by nature. For this reason, when ladies drop a fan or glove, I am not the first to take them up: and often restrain my inclination to perform those little services, rather than expose my spider-like shape. And I hope it will not be construed as pride if I do not always rise from my seat when I ought: for if it is low, I find some trouble in it; and my center of gravity is so ill placed that I am often like to fall back. Things, hanging within the reach of others, are out of mine. And what they can execute with ease, I want strength to perform. I am in danger of being trampled on or stifled in a crowd; where my back is a convenient lodgment for the elbow of any tall person that is near.
I can feel nothing; and my whole employment is to guard my person. I have forbear to attend his Majesty in the House of Peers, since I was like to be squeezed to death there against the wall. I would willingly come thither when his Majesty commands, but he is too gracious to expect impossibilities. Besides, when I get in, I can never have the pleasure of seeing on the throne one of the best princes who ever sat on it. These and many others are the inconveniences continually attending a figure like mine. They may appear grievous to persons not used to them; but they grow easier by habit: and though they may a little disturb, they are not sufficient to destroy the happiness of life; of which, at an average, I have enjoyed as great a share as most men. And perhaps one proof of it may be my writing this essay, not intended as a complaint against Providence for my lot, but as an innocent amusement to myself and others.
I cannot tell what effect deformity may have on health: but it is natural to imagine that as the inward parts of the body must in some measure comply with the outward mould, the form of the latter being irregular, the first cannot be so well placed and disposed to perform their functions; and that generally deformed persons would not be healthy or long-lived. But this is a question best determined by facts: and in this case, the instances are too few, or unobserved, to draw a general conclusion from them. And health is, more than is commonly thought, in a man's own power; and the reward of temperance, more than the effect of constitution: which makes it still more difficult to pass a judgment. Aesop could not be young when he died; and might have lived longer if he had not been murdered at Delphi. The Prince of Orange scarce passed the median of life; and the Duke of Luxembourg died about the age of sixty-seven. The Lord Treasurer Burleigh (the honour of whose company I claim on the authority of Osborne) lived to seventy-eight; but his son, the Earl of Salisbury, who died about fifteen years after him, could not reach near that age.
I have heard (but know not if it is true) that Mr. Pope's father was deformed, and he lived to seventy-five: whereas the son died in middle age; if he may be said to die, whose works are immortal. My father was not deformed, but active, and my mother a celebrated beauty, and I, who am so unlike them, have lived to a greater age; and daily see my acquaintances, of a stronger frame, quitting the stage before me. But I leave it to better naturalists to determine whether deformity, abstractedly considered, is prejudicial to health; for in its consequences, I believe, it is most commonly an advantage. Deformed persons have a less share of strength than others, and therefore should naturally be more careful to preserve it, and as temperance is the great preservative of health, it may incline them to be more temperate. I have reason to think that my own weak frame and constitution have prolonged my life to this present date. But I should impose upon my reader, and affront heaven, if I ascribed that to virtue, which took its rise from necessity. Being of a consumptive disposition, I was alarmed when young, with frequent spitting of blood: this made me abstain from wine and all strong liquors, which I have now done for near thirty years. But (incidit in Scyllam cupiens vitare Charybdim) by this, I fell into another misfortune; and the stone was the consequence of my drinking raw water: but care and perseverance with abstinence have so far subdued that distemper that at present, it is but little interruption to my ease or happiness. And weak as I am, I daily see many dying before me, who were designed by nature for a much longer life. And I cannot but lament that the generality of mankind so wantonly throw away health (without which life is not life) when it is so much in their own power to preserve it.
If every virtue, in its consequence, is its own reward, temperance is eminently so; and everyone immediately feels its good effects. And I am persuaded that many might arrive at Cornaro's age if they did but follow his example. On thinking upon this subject, I have adopted many maxims, which to the world will seem paradoxes; as certain true geographical theorems do to those who are unacquainted with the globe. I hold as articles of faith (but which may be condemned as heresies in many a general council assembled about a large table) that the smallest liquors are best. That there never was a good bowl of punch; nor a good bottle of champagne, burgundy, or claret. That the best dinner is one dish. That an entertainment grows worse in proportion as the number of dishes increases. That a fast is better than a Lord Mayor's feast. That no connoisseur ever understood good eating. That no minister of state or ambassador ever gave a good entertainment. No king ever sat down to a good table. And that the peasant fares better than the prince, etc., etc. Being inspired with such sentiments, what wonder is it if I sometimes break out into such ejaculations. "O temperance! Thou goddess most worthy to be adored! Thou palloneess of health! Thou protector of beauty! Thou prolonger of life! Thou insurer of pleasure! Thou promoter of business! Thou guardian of the person! Thou preserver of the understanding! Thou parent of every intellectual improvement, and of every moral virtue!" Another great preservative of health is moderate exercise; which few deformed persons can want strength to perform. I never chose long journeys, and they have been fatiguing to me; but I never found myself worse for fatigue. And (before I was troubled with the stone) I have, on occasion, ridden fifty miles in a day, or walked near twenty. And, though now slow in my motions, I can be on my feet the greatest part of the day, and cannot be said to lead a sedentary life.
As a deformed person is not formed for violent exercise, he is less liable to such disorders as are the natural consequence of it. He will also escape many accidents to which men of athletic make, and who glory in their strength, are always exposing themselves to make trial and proof of it. If he cannot carry an ox, like Milo; he will not, like Milo, be hand-cuffed in the oak, by attempting to rend it. He will not be the man that shall ride from London to York in a day, or to Windsor in an hour for a wager; or that shall be perpetually performing surprising long journeys in a surprising short time, for no earthly business but the pleasure of relating them. Conscious of his own weakness, he will be cautious of running into places or occasions of danger. I deny myself some entertainments, rather than venture into a crowd, knowing how unequal I am to a struggle in it; and if any sudden quarrel should arise, how ill I am qualified for such an encounter. One blow from a Slack or a Broughton would infallibly consign me over to Charon. Nature too calls on deformed persons to be careful not to offer such affronts, as may call them forth into the field of false honour, where they cannot acquit themselves well for want of strength and agility; and they are securer from such affronts themselves, since others will consider the little credit they will gain, by compelling them to appear on that scene. On the whole, I conclude that deformity is a protection to a man's health and person, which (strange as it may appear) are better defended by feebleness than strength.
Let me now consider the influence of bodily deformity on a man's fortune. Among the lower class, he is cut off from many professions and employments. He cannot be a soldier, he is under standard: he cannot be a sailor, he wants activity to climb the rigging: he cannot be a chairman or porter, he wants strength to bear the burden. In higher life, he is ill-qualified for a lawyer, he can scarcely be seen over the bar: for a divine, he may drop from his hassock out of sight in his pulpit. The improvement of the mind is his proper province: and his business only such as depends on ingenuity. If he cannot be a dancing-master to adjust the heels, he may be a schoolmaster to instruct the head. He cannot be a graceful actor on the stage, but he may produce a good play. He would appear ill as a herald in a procession, but may pass as a merchant on the exchange. He cannot undergo the fatigue of the campaign, but he may advise the operations of it. He is designed by nature, rather to sleep on Parnassus than to descend on the plains of Elis. He cannot be crowned at the Olympic Games, but may be the Pindar to celebrate them. He can acquire no glory by the sword, but he may by the pen: and may grow famous by only relating those exploits, which are beyond his power to imitate. Lord Bacon (that extensive and penetrating genius, who pointed out every part of nature for examination) in his essay on deformity says, "that, in their superiors, it quenches jealousy towards them, as persons that they think they may at pleasure despise: and it lays their competitors and emulators asleep; as never believing they should be in a possibility of advancement, till they see them in possession."
But it is much to be doubted whether this is not more than counterbalanced by the Contempt of the World, which it requires no mean Parts to conquer. For if (as I have somewhere read) a good person is a letter of recommendation, deformity must be an obstruction in the way to favour. In this respect, therefore, deformed persons set out in the world to a disadvantage, and they must first surmount the prejudices of mankind before they can be on a par with others. And must obtain by a course of behaviour that regard which is paid to beauty at first sight. When this point is once gained, the tables are turned, and then the game goes in their favour: for others sensible of their first injustice to them, no sooner find them better than they expected, than they believe them better than they are; whereas in the beautiful person, they sometimes find themselves imposed upon, and are angry that they have worshipped only a painted idol. For (again take Lord Bacon's words) "neither is it almost seen, that very beautiful persons are otherwise of great virtue: they prove accomplished, but not of great spirit; and study rather behaviour than virtue. Whereas, deformed persons, if they be of spirit, will free themselves from scorn, which must be either by virtue or malice; and therefore let it not be marvelled if they sometimes prove excellent persons, as was Agesilaus, Zanger, the son of Solomon, Aesop, Gaca President of Peru; and Socrates may likewise go amongst them, with others." Nay, he says, "in a great wit deformity is an advantage to rising." And, in another part of his works, "that they who by accident have some inevitable and indelible mark on their persons or fortunes, as deformed persons, bastards, etc., if they want not virtue, generally prove fortunate."
Osborn in his History and Memoirs of Queen Elizabeth informs us that ‘she chose the goodliest persons for her household servants, but in her councillors did not put by sufficiency, though accompanied with a crooked person; as it chanced in a father and a son of the Cecils, both incomparable for prudence.' It is well known that the Queen would make the father (Burleigh) sit in her presence, telling him that she did not use him for his legs but his head. But the son (afterwards Lord Treasurer and Earl of Salisbury) was not so civilly treated by the populace; and it is an instance, not only that envy pursues a great man, but that the highest post cannot redeem a deformed one from contempt. It attends him like his shadow, and like that too is ever reminding him of his ill-figure, which is often objected for want of real crimes. For the same writer says of the same great man; ‘that the misfortunes accompanying him from his birth did not a little add to that cloud of detraction that fell upon all that he said or did: a mulct in nature, like an optic spectacle, multiplying much in the light of the people the apparitions of ill.' Nor was this contempt buried with him: it trampled on his ashes and insulted his grave, as appears by an epitaph which Osborn cites, as void of wit as it is full of scurrility; in one line of which there is an epithet not so elegant as descriptive of his person, viz. ‘Little Bossy Robin, that was so great.' Such contempt, in general, joined with the ridicule of the vulgar, is another certain consequence of bodily deformity.
For men naturally despise what appears less beautiful or useful, and their pride is gratified when they see such foils to their own persons. It is this sense of superiority, which is testified by laughter in the lower sort, while their betters, who know how little any man whatsoever has to boast of, are restrained by good sense and good breeding from such an insult. But it is not easy to say why one species of deformity should be more ridiculous than another, or why the mob should be more merry with a crooked man than one that is deaf, lame, squinting, or purblind. Or why should they backbite me (if I may use the expression) to my face, and not laugh at my face itself for being harrowed by the smallpox. It is a back in alto relievo that bears the ridicule, though one would think a prominent belly a more reasonable object of it, since the last is generally the effect of intemperance and of a man's own creation. Was ugly, but not contemptible, and I have seen men of very mean appearance and though contemned on that account, not ridiculed. For as Montaigne says, "Deformity is not a reason for contempt, but it is often a reason for laughter." In his Essays on Physiognomy. (36) "Features are but a superficial ugliness, and of little certainty in the opinion of men; but a deformity of limbs is more substantial and strikes deeper in." As it is more uncommon, it is more remarkable, and that perhaps is the true reason why it is more ridiculed by the vulgar. Since this is the case, I appeal to my fraternity whether it is not sound policy to use stratagem to guard against their attacks as much as may be; and since they are deceived by outward appearances, to call in the aid of the tailor to present them with better shapes than nature has bestowed.
Against so unfair an adversary, such fraud is justifiable, though I do not approve of it in general. When I was a child, I was drawn like a Cupid, with a Bow and Arrow in my Hands, and a Quiver on my Shoulder. I afterward thought this an abuse, which ought to be corrected, and when I sat for my picture some years ago, I insisted on being drawn as I am, and that the strong marks of the Small Pox might appear in my face, for I did not choose to color over a lie. The painter said he never was allowed such liberty before and advised me, if I hoped to be in vogue, never to assume it again, for flatterers succeed best in the world, and of all flatterers, painters are the least liable to be detected by those they flatter. Nor are the ladies the only persons concerned for their looks. Alexander chose to have his picture drawn by Apelles, and his statue formed by Lysippus. And the Spartan Agefilaus (conscious of his ill figure) would never suffer any picture or statue of him to be taken. He was one of the most considerable persons of his age both for civil and military virtues, inasmuch that he justly acquired the appellation of Agefilam the Great. But though nature had been uncommonly liberal to him in the nobler endowments of the mind, she had treated him very unfavorably in those of the body. He was remarkably low of stature, had one leg shorter than the other, and so very despicable a countenance that he never failed of raising contempt in those who were unacquainted with his moral and intellectual excellencies.
It is no wonder, therefore, that he was unwilling to be delivered down to posterity under the disadvantages of so unpromising a figure. I have given the words of a late very elegant translation of Cicero's letters. On the whole, I could wish that mankind would be more candid and friendly with us, and instead of ridiculing a distorted person, would rally the irregularities of the mind, which generally are as visible as those of the person; but being more common, they pass with little notice as well in high as low life. Maecenas would laugh at any irregularity in Mice's dress but not at any caprice in his behavior because it was common and fashionable. So a man's person, which is the dress of his soul, only is ridiculed, while the vicious qualities of it escape. Let me add that if ridiculing another's person is in no case to be justified, the ill-treatment of it must be highly criminal. What then must we think of Balbus, a Roman quaestor in Spain, who wantonly exposed to wild beasts a certain noted auctioneer at Seville for no other reason but because he was deformed? This is related in a letter to Cicero by Asinius Pollio, the most accomplished gentleman of that age, who calls Balbus a monster for this and other acts of barbarity. I am glad he has preserved the memory of this poor man whom I here consecrate to fame and place foremost in the glorious list of our martyrs.
I will now follow Lord Bacon as my guide in tracing out such passions and affections as most naturally result from deformity, for he says, "There certainly is a consent between the body and the mind, and where nature errs in the one, she ventureth in the other; and therefore deformity may be best considered, in this respect, as a cause which seldom fails of the effect, and not as a sign, which is more deceivable; for as there is an election in man touching the frame of his mind, the stars of natural inclination are sometimes eclipsed by the sun of discipline and virtue."
He begins by saying that "deformed persons are commonly even with nature; for as nature hath done ill by them, so do they by nature, being for the most part (as the scripture says) void of natural affection." I cannot find this passage in scripture, nor can I give my assent or negative to a proposition until I am well acquainted with the terms of it. If by natural affection is meant universal benevolence and deformity necessarily implies a lack of it, a deformed person must then be a complete monster. But however common the case may be, my own sensations inform me that it is not universally true. If by natural affection is meant a partial regard for individuals, I believe the remark is judicious and founded in human nature. Deformed persons are despised, ridiculed, and ill-treated by others, are seldom favorites, and commonly most neglected by parents, guardians, and relations. Therefore, as they are not indebted for much fondness, it is no wonder if they repay but little.
It is the command of Scripture not to set our affections on things below. It is the voice of reason not to overvalue what we must soon part with. And therefore, to be so fond of others as not to be able to bear their absence or to survive them is neither a religious nor moral duty, but a childish and womanish weakness. And I must congratulate deformed persons who, by example, are early taught another lesson.
And I will now lay open my own heart to the reader, that he may judge if Lord Bacon's position is verified in me. I hope it proceeds not from a malignity of heart, but I never am much affected with the common accidents of life, whether they befall myself or others. I am little moved when I hear of death, loss, or misfortune. I think the case is common, "Tristius, et lacrymosa dies" (Ovid), and as this is always likely to happen, I am not surprised when it does.
If I see a person cry or beat his breast on any such occasion, I cannot bear his company, but I am not a Democritus to laugh at his folly. I read of battles and fields covered with slain, of cities destroyed by sword, famine, pestilence, and earthquake; I do not shed a tear. I suppose it is because they are the usual storms to which the human species are exposed, proceeding from the just judgments of God or the mistaken and false principles of rulers. I read of persecutions, tortures, murders, massacres; my compassion for the sufferers is great, but my tears are stopped by resentment and indignation against the contrivers and perpetrators of such horrid actions.
But there are many things that bring tears into my eyes, whether I will or not; and when I reflect, I am often at a loss in searching out the secret source from whence they flow. What makes me weep (for weep I do) when I read of virtue or innocence in distress, of a good man helpless and forsaken, unmoved by the greatest insults and cruelties, or courageously supporting himself against oppression in the article of death? I suppose it is to see vice triumphant and virtue so ill rewarded (45) in this life. May I judge by myself, I should imagine that few sincere Christians could read the sufferings of their Saviour, or Englishmen those of a Cranmer, Ridley, or Latimer without tears; the first dying to establish his religion, the last to rescue it from corruption.
When I read of "Regulus returning to torment, and John of France to imprisonment, against the persuasion of friends, to keep faith with their enemies; Donee labantes consilio patres Firmaret auctor nunquam alias dato, Interque moerentes amicos Egregius properaret exul. Atqui seiebat quae sibi barbarus Tortor pararet; ———stamen Dimovit obstans propinquos, Et populum rectius morantem." Hor. 5.1.3, En vain ses ministres et les plus considerables seigneurs du Royaume firent tous leurs efforts, pour le faire changer de resolution. II repondait a tout ce qu'on lui disait la-dessus, que quand la bonne foy serait bannie du reste du monde, il fallait qu'on la trouvat toujours dans la bouche des Rois. Histoire de France, par le P.G. Daniel,
I weep to think there is scarce another instance of such exalted virtue. Those who often hear me read know that my voice changes and my eyes are full when I meet with a generous and heroic saying, action, or character, especially of persons whose example or command may influence mankind. I weep when I hear a Titus say that he had lost the day in which he did no good, when Adrian tells his enemy that he had escaped by his being Emperor, or when Louis XII says that he is not to revenge the affronts of the Duke of Orleans.
These are the first instances that happen to occur to me: I might collect many, too many to insert in this essay; yet all are but few compared to instances of cruelty and revenge. Perhaps I am concerned that they are so rare; perhaps too, I inwardly grieve that I am not in a situation to do the like. I am entertained, but not moved, when I read Voltaire's History of Charles XII. but I melt into tears on reading Hanway's character of his antagonist Peter the Great. The former is the story of a madman, the other of a father, friend, and benefactor of his people, whose character (as the author observes in the conclusion of it) will command the admiration of all succeeding generations. And I suppose I lament that God is pleased to advance to royalty so few such instruments of good to mankind. Henry IV of France had every quality to make a prince amiable: courage, humanity, clemency, generosity, affability, politeness. His behavior on every occasion is charming, and I cannot read the account of him given us by his prime minister (Sully) without emotion. I do not wonder if what is reported is true: that at least fifty persons have written his history, and that he has been celebrated in poems and panegyrics by above five hundred. There are few such subjects to be met with, and few princes who have so justly deserved the title of great. His grandson had the same title bestowed on him, but how little did he deserve it!
He has been celebrated by as many Historiographers and Poets, but they are mostly such as he hired for that purpose, and none of them, even Voltaire himself, will be able to pass him for a great man on unprejudiced posterity. Compare him with his grandfather, you will find him the reverse. Henry was bred to toil and hardships; Louis in luxury and effeminacy. Henry pleasant, easy, and affable; Louis formal, haughty, and reserved. Henry's Moreri's Dictionary. — Turkish Spy, Vol. I. B. 2. Let. 20. (49) Henry brave and exposing himself to all dangers; Louis cautious and always in a secure port. The one gaining victories by himself and his own personal valor; the other by his generals and superiority of numbers. The one pleased with performing great actions; the other with being flattered for those which he never performed. The first ambitious of true glory, and the last of false glory. Henry stabbed by Jesuits; Louis governed by them. The one forgiving rebels and assassins; the other encouraging both. Henry persecuted; Louis a persecutor. The first granting liberty of conscience; the last taking it away. Henry promoting the silk manufacture in France; Louis in England. One treating his subjects as his children; the other as his slaves. Henry bravely asserting his own rights; Louis basely encroaching on those of his neighbors. Henry extricating his country from misery and laying the foundation (50) of her grandeur; Louis squandering her blood and treasure and reducing her from grandeur to the brink of destruction. Henry forming schemes for the perpetual peace of Europe; Louis perpetually to disturb it.
How little is Lewis compared to Henry the Great! But to return to my subject. I am uneasy when I see a dog, a horse, or any other animal ill-treated; for I consider them as endowed with quick sense, and no contemptible share of reason; and that God gave man dominion over them not to play the tyrant but to be a good prince and promote the happiness of his subjects. But I am much more uneasy at any cruelty to my own species and heartily with Procrujus disciplined in his own bed, and Phalaris in his bull. A man bruised all over in a boxing match or cut to pieces in fighting a prize is a shocking spectacle, and I think I could with less horror see a thousand fall in battle than human nature thus depreciated and disgraced. Violence, when exerted in wantonness or passion, is brutality, and can be termed bravery only when it is sanctified by justice and necessity. A mangled carcass is not a pleasing sight. Why therefore do men pay for it? And the great vulgar encourage these disorders among the small? It is not choice, but affectation. As many who neither love nor understand music go to an opera to gain the reputation of connoisseurs, many go to Broughton's theater to avoid the imputation of being cowards. But when they are at so much pains to avoid the imputation, it raises a suspicion that they are so. I have been in a situation to see not a little of the pomp and vanity, as well as of the necessity and misery of mankind, but the last only affect me, and if, as a magistrate, I am ever guilty of partiality, it is in favor of the poor. When I am at church among my poor but honest neighbors, in the Country; and see them serious in performing the Ceremonies prescribed; Tears sometimes roll down my Cheek, on reflecting that they are doing and hearing many Things they do not understand; while those who understand them better neglect them: that they, who labor and live hard, are more thankful to Heaven than those who fare luxuriously on the Fruits of their Labor: and are keeping and repeating the fourth Commandment, at the very instant the others are breaking it. These are some of the Sensations I feel; which I have freely and fairly disclosed; that the Reader may judge, how far I am an Instance of a deformed Person wanting natural Affection. And I am a good Subject of Speculation; for all in me is Nature: for to own the Truth, I have taken but little Pains (though much, I ought to have taken) to correct my natural Defects. Lord Bacon's next Portion is, "That deformed Persons are extremely bold. First in their own Defence, as being exposed to Scorn; but in process of Time by a general Habit."
This probably is so among the inferior sort, who are in the way of continual insults: for a return of abuse is a natural weapon of self-defense; and in some measure justified by the law of retaliation: to upbraid a man with a personal defect, which he cannot help, is also an immoral act; and he who does it, has reason to expect no better quarter than to hear of faults, which it was in his own power not to commit. But I find this observation far from being verified in myself: an unbecoming bashfulness has been the consequence of my ill figure, and of the worse management of me in my childhood. I am always uneasy, when anyone looks steadfastly on so bad a picture: and cannot look with a proper confidence in the face of another. I have ever reproached myself with this weakness, but am not able to correct it.
And it may be a disadvantage to a man in the opinion of those he converses with: for though true modesty is amiable, the false is liable to misinterpretation; and when a man is out of countenance for no reason, it may be imagined that he has some bad reason for being so. In point of assurance, I am indeed a perfect riddle to myself: for I, who feel a reluctance in eroding a drawing-room, or in opening my mouth in private company before persons with whom I am not well acquainted, find little in delivering my sentiments in public and exposing my discourse, often as trifling as my person, to the ears of a thousand. From what cause this proceeds I know not: may be, partly from hopes of wiping off any ill impressions from my person by my discourse; partly from a sense of doing my duty; and partly from a security in public assemblies from any gross personal reflections. Lord Bacon compares the case of deformed persons to that of eunuchs; "in whom kings were wont to put great trust as good spials and whisperers, for they that are envious towards all, are more obnoxious and officious towards one."
But with submission to so good a judge of human nature, I own, I can discover no uncommon qualifications in them for spies; and very few motives to envy peculiar to themselves. Spies submit to that base and ungenerous office, either for the sake of interest or power: if for interest, it is to gratify their covetousness; if for power, their ambition or revenge: which passions are not confined to the eunuch or deformed; but indiscriminately seize all classes of men. Envy too may prompt a man to mean actions, in order to bring down the person envied to his own level; but if it is on account of superiority of fortune, it will operate alike on men of all shapes. Eunuchs have but one peculiar motive to envy: but that (as Lord Bacon expresses it) makes them envious towards all; because it is for a pleasure, which all but themselves may enjoy. Deformed persons are deprived only of beauty and strength, and therefore those alone are to be deemed the extraordinary motives to their envy; for they can no more be beautiful or strong than eunuchs be successful lovers.
As to myself; whatever sparks of envy might be in my constitution, they are now entirely extinguished: for by frequent and serious reflection, I have long been convinced of the small value of most things which men value the most. There is another passion to which deformed persons seem to be more exposed than to envy, which is jealousy: for being conscious that they are less amiable than others, they may naturally suspect that they are less loved. I have the happiness to speak this from conjecture, and not from experience: for it was my lot many years ago to marry a young lady, very piously educated and of a very distinguished family, and whose virtues are an honour to her family and her sex: so that I had never any trial of my temper; and can only guess at it by emotions I have felt in my younger days when ladies have been more liberal of their smiles to those whom I thought, in every respect but person, my inferiors. The most useful inference from all this to a deformed person is to be upon his guard against those frailties to which he is more particularly exposed, and to be careful that the outward frame does not distort the soul. "Orandum est ut sit mens sana in corpore sano," says Juvenal, "for a sound mind in a healthy body"; and every deformed person should add this petition, "ut sit mens recta in corpore curvo," for an upright mind in a crooked one. And let him frequently apply to himself this article of self-examination, "Lenior et melior fis accedente senecta?" As age approaches, do your temper and morals improve?
It is a duty peculiarly incumbent, for if beauty adds grace to virtue itself, vice must be doubly hideous in deformity. Ridicule (Sat. X. 1) and contempt are a certain consequence of deformity, and therefore what a person cannot avoid, he should learn not to regard. He should bear it like a man, forgive it as a Christian, and consider it as a philosopher. And his triumph will be complete if he can exceed others in pleasantry on himself. Wit will give over when it sees itself outdone, and so will malice when it finds it has no effect. And if a man's behavior affords no cause to those who contemn him without cause, he will succeed.
It sometimes happens that persons with whom I have a slight acquaintance will take notice of me on some days and overlook me on others, well knowing that they ought to treat one of my shape with the precise degree of ceremony which suits their present humor. I will not say this is a pleasure, but I can truly say it is no mortification. It excites in me no resentment, but only speculation. And not able to find out a very good reason for their behavior, I endeavor to find as good a one as I can.
I consider with myself what it is which makes them at that juncture of such particular importance to themselves, and ask myself many questions of this sort: Is his father dead? Has he written a play? Has he dined with my Lord Mayor? Has he made a speech? Has he been presented at court? Has he been spoken to at a levee? Has he a new equipage or title? Has he had a good run? Has he got a place? Is he going to marry a fortune? Has he been congratulated on the performance of his French cook or his French tailor? Is he reckoned a man of taste? Is he admitted of Whites or of the Royal Society? Such are the topics of my speculations, and though I am a person of no great penetration, I sometimes hit on the right cause. Fine clothes attract the eyes of the vulgar, and therefore a deformed person should not assume those borrowed feathers which will render him doubly ridiculous. He could scarce expose himself more by dancing at court than by appearing the finest there on a birthday. Ever since I arrived at years of discretion, I have worn a plain dress which, for near thirty years, has been of the same grave colour, and which I find not the least inclination to alter. It would be monstrous in me to bestow any ornament on a person which is incapable of it, and should I appear in lace or embroidery, my friends might assign it as no unreasonable pretence for a commission of lunacy against me. I can scarce forbear digressing on this subject when I reflect what numbers, who should know better, set a value upon these trifles, which are fit amusements only for children. If they are pleased with the finery only, they are no better than children. If it is to gain respect, such respect must come from the vulgar and not from men of sense. Is it to show their quality? It does not, for even apprentices are fine. Is it to be an evidence of their riches?
It is not; for the most needy are finest, as tailors know to their cost. Do their figure or reputation depend on their dress? Then they are entirely in the hand of the tailor: he is the engineer to guard and defend them, the god to save or destroy. Do they dress to please the ladies? That is the most reasonable end: yet very few of them but are wiser than to be taken with the coat instead of the man: and what can be taking in a man, who invades their province, and appears by his adornments to be one of them?—If it is a lady that is fond of finery, I ask her why? If she is a beauty, she wants no ornament: if plain, she cannot be transformed. Her dress indeed may enliven her poet's fancy, and save him a journey to the sun and stars for his similes and allusions. If the lady had not put on her finery, we might have lost this polite and ingenious stanza, "The adorning thee with so much art is but a barbarous skill: 'tis like the poisoning of a dart, too apt before to kill." Every mother (like her in Satire 8 of Juvenal) has prayed in the temple of Venus for the most exquisite beauty in her children. But since the goddess has been thus deaf and unkind, I cannot advise any one of my seed to be her professed votary; for she will be as little propitious to his wills, as she was to his mother's prayer.
A Helen will run away with a Paris: but where is the Nymph that will listen to such a Corydon? In vain will he summon the Muses to his aid, unassisted as he is by the Graces. His Sacharissa, Myra, Cloe, or Belinda may perhaps tickle her ear but will never touch her heart: not words alone please her. Or if, as Waller expresses it, her high pride should descend to mark his follies, it is the greatest honour he can expect, unless in a merry mood she should take it into her head to treat him like Falstaff or Squire Slender. He will be the choicest of Cupid's April Fools, and I will not say Sacharissa belongs to Waller, Myra to Langton, Cloe to Prior, and Belinda to Pope. "Milton, Par. Lost, b. 8" in his poem on love. "The Merry Wives of Windsor (Act 5, Scene 5) say 'An egregious ass, but a willing horse, to bear his burdens.'" But let this be some consolation to him, that while he is not suffered to regale on the sweets of the hive, he is secured from its sting. But, not to make ugly persons out of love with themselves, I will now exhibit some advantages arising from deformity. Instead of repining, a deformed person ought to be thankful to Providence for giving him such a guard to his virtue and repose.
Thousands are daily ruined by a handsome person: for Beauty is a Flower, that everyone wants to gather in its Bloom, and spare no Pains or Stratagem to reach it. All the Poetical Stones concerning it have their Moral. A Helen occasions War and Confusion. The Hyacinths and Ganymedes are seized on for Catamites: the Endymions and Adonis for Gallants. Narcissus can admire nobody but himself; and grows old, before he is cured of that Passion. Who is a Stranger to the Story of Liettoretta, killing herself for her violated Chastity? or of Virginia, killed by her Father to preserve it? In those Circumstances, says Juvenal, she might wish to change Persons with Ruflia, the only Lady I know among the Ancients celebrated for a Hump-Back. The handsomest Men are chosen for Eunuchs and Gallants: and when they are caught in exercising the last Function, both Horace and Juvenal inform you of, "Sed vetat optari faciem Lucretia, qualm Ipsa habuit. Cuperet Rutilae Virginia gibbum Accipere, atque suam Rutilae dare." -Sat. 20. s —— Nullus ephebum Deformem severa callidavit in arce tyrannus. Nec praetextatum rapuit Nero loripedem, nec Strumosum, atque utero pariter gibboque tumentem. ibid. Hie se praeceps tulit: ille flagellis Ad mortem caesus: fugiens hic decidit aerem (67) of the Penalties and Indignities they undergo. Stylus was converted by the insatiable Messalina into a Husband: and Sporus by the Monster Nero into a Wife.
The last mentioned poet shows that praying for beauty is praying for a curse, and Persius refuses to join in such a prayer. And have not I reason to thank my stars that have placed me more out of danger than even virtue could? For that could not praedonum in turbam: dedit hic pro corpore nummos. Hunc perminxerunt calones. Quinetiam illud accidit, ut cuidam testes caudamque falacem demeteret ferrum. -- Hor. Sat. l. i. Quosdam masculos sicut mugilis intrat. -- Juv. Sat. viii. Optimus hic et formosissimus idem gentis patriciae rapitur miser extinguendus Meffalinae oculis. -- Juv. Sat. x. Suetonius. Hunc optent generum rex et regina; pueris hunc rapiant; quicquid calcaverit hic, rosa fiat. At ego nutrici nonmando vota; negato Jupiter haec illi. -- Sat. ii. (68) Not guard a Jofeph, an Hippolytus, or Bellerophon, and others, against the revenge of slighted love. Another great advantage of deformity is that it tends to the improvement of the mind.
A Man, that cannot shine in his Person, will have recourse to his Understanding: and attempt to adorn that Part of him, which alone is capable of Ornament: when his Ambition 1 Gen, c. 39.———Quid profuit olim Hippolyto grave propositum? Quid Bellerophonti? Erubuit nempe hsec sive fastidita repulsa: Nec Sthenobcea minus quam Creusa excanduit, & se concussere ambae—Juv. Sat. io. Ut Praetum mulier perfida credulum Falsis impulerit criminibus, nimis Callo Bellerophonti Maturare necem, refert. Narrat pene datum Pelea Tartaro 9 Magnam Hippolyten dum fugit abstinens. Hor. Od. 7. 1. 3. (69) ambition prompts him to begin, with Cowley, to ask himself this Question, What shall I do to be forever known? And make the Age to come my own? On looking about him, he will find many Avenues to the Temple of Fame barred against him: but some are still open through that of Virtue: and those, if he has a right Ambition, he will most probably attempt to pass.
The more a Man is inactive in his Person, the more his Mind will be at work: and the Time which others spend in Action, he will pass in Study and Contemplation: by these he may acquire Wisdom, and by Wisdom Fame. The Name of Socrates is as much founded, as those of Alexander and Caesar; and is recorded in much fairer Characters. He gained Renown by Wisdom and Goodness; they by Tyranny and Oppression: he by instructing; they by destroying Mankind: and happy it is, that their evil Deeds were confined to their Lives; while he continues to instruct us to this Day. A deformed Person will naturally consider, where his Strength and his Foible lie; and as he is well acquainted with the last, he will easily find out the first; and must know, that (if it is anywhere) it is not, like Samson's, in the Hair; but must be in the Lining of the Head. He will say to himself, "I am weak in Person; unable to serve my Country in the Field; I can acquire no military Glory: but I may, like Socrates, acquire Reputation by Wisdom and Probity: let me, therefore, be wise and honest."
My figure is very bad, and I should appear but ill as an orator, either in the pulpit or at the bar. Let me therefore pass my time in my study, either in reading what may improve myself, or in writing what may entertain or instruct others. I have not the strength of Hercules; nor can I rid the world of so many monsters; but perhaps I may get rid of some myself. If I cannot draw out Cacus from his den, I may pluck the villain from my own breast. I cannot cleanse the stables of Augeas; but I may cleanse my own heart from filth and impurity. I may demolish the hydra of vices within me; and should be careful too, that while I lop off one, I do not suffer more to grow up in its stead. Let me be serviceable in any way that I can; and if I am so, it may in some measure be owing to my deformity, which at least should be a restraint on my conduct, lest my conduct make me more deformed. Few persons have a house entirely to their mind, or the apartment in it disposed as they could wish. And there is no deformed person who does not will that his soul had a better habitation, which is sometimes not lodged according to its quality.
Lord Clarendon says of Sir Charles Cavendish (Brother to the Marquis of Newcastle) that he was a Man of the noblest and largest Mind, though of the least and most inconvenient Body, that lived. And everybody knows that the late Prince of Orange had many amiable Qualities. Therefore, in justice to such persons, I must suppose that they would not repine that their tenements were not in a more regular style of architecture. And let every deformed person comfort himself with reflecting that, though his soul hath not the most convenient and beautiful apartment, yet that it is a habitation, that the accommodation will serve in an inn upon the road, that he is but a tenant for life, or more properly, a will, and that while he remains in it, he is in a state to be envied by the deaf, the dumb, the lame, and the blind. When I die, I care not what becomes of the contemptible carcass, which is the subject of this essay.
I wonder at the Weakness of some of the old Patriarchs, that provided burying Places, that their Bones might be gathered to their Fathers. Doth one Clod of Earth delight in the Neighborhood of another? or is there any Conversation in the Grave? It must have been a Joke in Sir Samuel Garth, when he ordered himself and Lady to be buried at Harrow on the Hill: one of his Strength of Mind could have no Superstition of that Sort. It is of no Consequence where the Body rots: whether it rots immediately, or be preserved a few Years: or whether it be devoured by Birds or Beasts, or placed in a sumptuous Tomb. If a Man doth not provide himself a Monument by his Actions, and embalm his Memory in Virtue; the lying Marble will decay; and then his Memorial (even in that little Corner) will perish. "Quandoquidem data sunt ipsis quoque fata sepulchris." The Pharaohs are stolen from their Pyramids and their Mummies dispersed through the World, only as idle Curiosities. And though the Pyramids are more durable than common Sepulchers; yet their History is already unknown, and they must in the End undergo the same Fate. Mr. Addison admires the Humanity of Cyrus (or rather of Xenophon) in ordering his Body to be buried in the Earth, that it might be useful in manuring it.
My flesh, as usual, to the Spectator, 169. My flesh will afford but little manure, but in another respect my carcass may be of eminent service to mankind. Therefore, if I should die intestate or not mention it in my will, let the world take this as my dying request. As I have, for some years, been afflicted with the stone and owe the preservation and ease of life since to the continued taking of great quantities of soap, I desire my body may be opened and examined by eminent surgeons, that mankind may be informed of its effect. And if a stone should be found in my bladder (as I imagine there will), I desire it may be preserved among Sir Hans Sloane's collection. Until that time comes, I hope to employ the little remainder of life in pursuits not unbecoming a rational creature. I will here give a more particular account of myself with regard to that disorder, which I hope will be of more immediate service. For many years, red sand constantly came from me without pain or inconvenience. About nine years ago, I began to be uneasy, and before twelve months had passed, was so much out of order that I could no longer ride; the motion of a coach grew insupportable, and that of a chair or walking was generally attended with bloody water.
The regimen: I took Mrs. Stephens's medicine in the solid form, three ounces a day, for about five years; when I changed it for the same quantity of Castile soap; which about a year since I reduced to two ounces; and lately to one ounce, with about a pint of lime-water mixed with milk: being willing to regain my liberty, as far as is consistent with ease and (77) safety. This regimen I have incessantly pursued; except some few days that I have purposely omitted it, to observe the consequences of such omission.
The effects: While I pursue this regimen, I never discharge red sand; whenever I omit it for a few days, I constantly do. By a steady perseverance in it, my particular complaint has been gradually diminished; and my health in general improved. I believe I could now ride, though I have not tried. I seldom feel any uneasiness in a coach; and when I do, it is inconsiderable; though sometimes (but very rarely) it is attended with bloody water. And the motion of a chair or walking does not affect me. In short, I have exchanged pain for ease, and misery for comfort: and had it not been for this medicine,
I should (78) should not have been now alive to have told my story. My conclusions are these:
- Mrs. Stephens's Medicine or Castile Soap are safe remedies: and three ounces may be taken every day for years together (and probably during life) without any ill consequence.
- That health in general will improve by their use: for by their cleansing quality, I imagine, they better prepare the stomach for digestion, and the intestines for chylification.
- They are Preventives of the Stone, either by hindering the generation or formation of those particles of which it is composed, or by facilitating the discharge of them before concretion. And I am persuaded, that by taking them, persons who have not that disorder, will be secured from it; and those, who have it, from growing worse. And if on lessening my quantity I again find the appearance of red sand, I will increase it again to a quantity sufficient to prevent it.
- They are Lithontriptics. Of this I have often had ocular proof, and the discharged fragments are softened; and their parts more easily separated.
- They are Lenitives, where the stone is not entirely discharged: so that when a complete cure is not obtained, ease may; as I have happily experienced. But from what cause this proceeds, let physicians inquire and determine. I believe.
Men scarce differ so much in the Temper of their Bodies, as of their Minds: and though many cases may be very unlike my own, I am persuaded that a regular use of this Medicine would for the most part be as beneficial to others as to myself. Persons with whom it disagrees, in other respects, are excluded from this benefit: as the Intemperate are from the Benefit of this or any other Medicine. I have for a long Course of Years abstained from all strong Liquors; but drink everything that is small. I can eat anything, but not much; and like the most common Diet best. I prefer most things to Flesh; and of Flesh the whitest. I never altered my common Diet on Account of this Medicine; or the times of my Meals, which have ever been very irregular. I have always taken an Ounce at a time; sometimes before, sometimes at, and sometimes after Meals: and I have often made a Meal of the Medicine itself, only with a Glass of small Liquor (of any sort) and a little Bread, which I have always taken with it. I generally took the three Ounces at proper Intervals; and sometimes at very short ones.
This Medicine has always agreed with me, and I never once felt it on my Stomach or any other inconvenience from it. And I think it my duty to omit no opportunity of publishing its virtues to the world.
POSTSCRIPT. Since I finished this essay, I am in doubt whether I ought not to change the title. For I have heard of a very ingenious performance, called "The Analysis of Beauty," which proves incontrovertibly that it consists of curved lines. I congratulate my fraternity and hope that, in the future, the ladies will esteem them less "beaux garçons."
POST-POSTSCRIPT. I wonder that, in the first edition of this essay, I forgot to mention some inconveniences I suffer of a very grievous nature, and which have a right to a place in pages 18 and 19. When I am in a coach with a fair lady, I am hid by silk and whalebone. When I sit next to her at the table, my arm is so pinioned that I can neither help her nor myself. We are deprived of the pleasure of seeing each other, and she would scarcely know I was there if she did not sometimes hear me under her wing. I am in purgatory on the confines of paradise. I therefore beg one favor, and which she may grant with honor; that, since I despair of supplanting her lap-dog, she will allow me a cushion to raise me above such misfortunes.
N.B. Many ladies say that Shock is as ugly a cur as any thief and unworthy of his post. But nothing so disrespectful shall ever escape me, lest it would offend or be thought the envy of a rival.