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Honour's a sacred Tye, the Law of Kings,
To the Author of the New-England Courant.
Honour is a Word that Sounds big and makes a most ravishing Entrance into Men's Ears, while a Just and proper Notion of it, is mistaken by most, and the Rules and Measures of it, are comply'd with but by few.
Hence it comes to pass, that some who make a conspicuous Figure in the World, (Thro' their Ignorance of this Nobile Principle,) falsly imagine themselves to be treading in the Paths of Honour, while they are but greedily pursuing in their Ambitious Designs, and Impatiently Gratifying their Lusts of Pride and Covetousness.
Honour indeed, according to the vulgar Notion of it, is nothing more than an empty Name. The Actions of many Men, speak their sentiments of it; and render it obvious, that they suppose it to consist only in Flattering Titles, and high Posts and Preferments, be they Acquir'd in the most Shameful and Dishonourable Ways. But how often do such Precipitate themselves into Open Shame? and when they fondly imagine they have grasp'd the Airy Phantom, and arriv'd to the utmost Pitch of Humour, Behold, it Vanishes into nothing, perishes even in the using and leaves a lasting brand of Infamy on their Memory.
Now seeing nothing is more Pernicious, than a Principle of Action not rightly apprehended, it may not he improper, First. To hint at some Things, which have the shadow and Appearance of Honour, but in reality are infamous and Dishonourable; and Then, to give some brief Description of this Superior Principle.
With respect then to Posts of Honour and Honourary Titles, (and some Men have no other Idea of Honour than what results from such Empty Names as there,) it may be said in the Words of an Ingenious Writer, But Whatever Wealth and Dignities Men may arrive at, they ought to consider, that every one stands as a Blot in the Annals of his Country, who arrives at the Temple of Honour, by any other Way than Through that of Vertue He that advanceth himself to units of Honour, by cursed Bribery, or sordid Flattery, or and other base and unworthy Arts, lays his Honour in the Dust and Exposes himself to lasting Infamy and Reproach. It is also highly Dishonourable for a Man, when any Particular Accomplishment is requisite to Qualify him for Preferment, to climb thereto by Sham Pretences, and mere Imposture. He that will thus Impose on the World, it is no Wonder, if he Act by Secret commissions, and carry on Designs in the Dark that are ruinous to his Country, and Infamous to himself. But the true Reason why Men are guilty of such Action is, Their Beast were never once warm'd with one single Spark of true Honour.
It is also Dishonourable, for men to rise to Pieces of Honour by Calumny any Detraction, or other sordid Arts; which their Envy, Ambition, or Avarice prompt them to Improve, the more easily to undermine and supplant others, who are Perhaps more Righteous and worthy of Honour than themselves.
But above all, how vile and inglorious is it, for Men hotly to pursue Preferrment with this Design and View, that they may Square and Oppress their Brethren: that they may Crush and Trample them in the Dust How amazing is it, that Men who pretend to Reason and Religion, should thus Desire to Act the Tyrant and the Brute! May we not reasonably conclude of Such, that they never yet Entertain'd a just Idea of true Honour. The Driving of such Men, is commonly like the Driving of the Son of Nimshi; and to such a high Degree of impetuosity, do their Passions sometimes swell, that the Man Is Dismounted, looses the Reins, and is Dragg'd wither the fury of the Beast directs.
Men of Arbitrary Spirits, what wont they comply with through what Rules of Vertue and Humanity will they not
break, that they may attain their Ends? Too many such there are (says Mr. Dummer, In his Defence of the N. E. Charters, pag. 42) who are contented to be saddled themselves, Provided they may Ride others under the chief Rider.
Men of Tyrannical Principles, with what abhorrence are they to be Look'd on, by all who have any Sense of Honour? Such it may be presum'd had they Power equal to their Will, would soon, not only Sacrifice Honour, and Conscience, but even all Mankind, to their Voracious Appetites. They are to be Esteem'd, (as Dr. Cotton Mather calls them) the Basest of Men. Such Sons of Nimrod, Ners, & Old Lewis, are viler than the Earth they tread on; it groans under them as a Intolerable Plague, and insupportable Burthen. Tyranny and Honour, cannot Reign together in the same Breast. And (to mention nothing more) it is very Dishonourable, for Men to make rash and hasty Promises; relating to any Thing Where in the Interest of the Publick is nearly concern'd, and then to say, they will retain their Integrity forever, or till Doomsday, presenting it is for fear of violating their Word and Honour. The Talents, Interest, or Experience of such Men (say one) make them very often useful in all Parties, and at all Times. They Ridicule every Thing as Romantick, that comes in Competition with their Present Interests; and treat those Persons as Visionaries, who dare Stand up in a corrupt Age, for what has not its Immediate Reward annexed to it.
But let us now charge the Scene, and see what true Honour is. And no doubt, the reverse of what has been said is truly Honourable. True Honour, (as a Learned Writer defines it) is the Report of Good and Vertuous Actions, issuing from the Conscience into the Discovery of the PEOPLE with whom we live, and which (by a Reflection on our selves) gives us the Testimony of what others believe concerning us, and to the Soul becomes a great Satisfaction. True Honour, (says another) tho' it be a different Principle from Religion, is that which Produces the same Effects. The Lines of Action, tho' drawn from different Parts, Terminate in the same Point. Religion Embraces Vertue, as it is enjoin'd by the Laws of GOD; Honour as it is Graceful and Ornamental to Humane Nature. The Religious Man fears, the Man of Honour Scorns to do an ill Action. A Noble Soul, would rather die, than commit an Action that should make his Children Blush, when he is in his Grave, and be look'd upon as a Repoach to those who shall live a Hundred Years after him.
In a word, He is the Honourable Man, who is Inflenc'd and Acted by a Publick Spirit, and fit'd with a Generous Love to Mankind in the worst of times; Who lays aside his private Views, and foregoes his own Interest, when it comes in competition with the Publick: Who dares adhere to the Cause of Truth, Manfully Defend the Liberties of his Country when boldly Invaded, and Labour to retrieve them when they are Lost. Yea, the Man of Honour, (when contracted sordid Spirits desert the Cause of Vertue and the Publick) will stand himself alone, and (like Atlas) bear up the Massy Weight on his Shoulders: And This he will do, in Spite of Livid Envy, Snakey Malice, and vile Destruction. This is true Honour indeed: and the Man who thus Gloriously acquits himself, shall shine in the Records of Fame, with a peculiar Lustre: His Name shall be mention'd with Reverence in Future Ages, and all Posterity shall call him Blessed.
To the Author of the New-England Courant.
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 Enterainment. 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 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, shall never be able to forget; for as he, poor Man, stood upon the Deck rejoycing at my Birth, a merciless Wave entered 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 Distrance 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 instill 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 Posssibly 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 cheerful Country Life, spending my leisure Time either in some innocent Diversion with the neighboring 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, when we have nothing else to grieve for. As I would not engross too much of your Paper at once, I will defer the Remainer 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
As the Favour of Mrs. Dogood's Correspondence is acknowledged by the Publisher's of this Paper, lest any of her Letters should miscarry, he desires they may for the future be deliver'd at his Printing-House, or at the Blue Ball in Union Street, and no Questions shall be ask'd of the Bearer.
To the Author of the New-England Courant.
Newport Rhode-Island, March 30. There has lately a surprizing Appearance been at Narraganset, which is the Occasion of much Discourse here, and is Variously represented, but for the Substance of it, it is Matter of Fact beyond Dispute, it having been seen by Abundance of People, and one Night by about two Persons at the same Time, who came together for that Purpose. The truth, as near as we can gather from the Relations of several Persons, is as follows.
This last Winter there was a Women dy'd at Narraganset of the smallpox, and since the was buried, there has appeared upon her Grave cheifly, and in various other Places, a bright Light, as the Appearance of Fire. This Appearance com- monly begins about 9 to 10 of Clock at Night, and sometimes as soon as it is dark. It appears variously as to Time, Place, Shape and Magnitude, but commonly on or about the Grave, and sometimes about and upon the harn and adjecement Trees; sometimes in several Parts, but commonly one entire Body. The first Appearance is commonly small, but increases to a great Higness and Brightness, so that in a Jark Night they can see the Grass and bark of the Trees very plainly; and When it at the Highth, they can see Sparks fly from the Appearance like Sparks of Fire, and the Likeness of a Person in the midst wrapt in a Sheer with its Arms folded. This Appearance moves with incredible Swiftness, Sometimes the Distance of half a Mile from one Place to another in the Twinkling of an Eye. It commonly appears every Night, and continues till Break of Day. A Women in That Neigh- bourhood says she has seen it every Night for there Six Weeks past.
Custom House, Newport, March 30. Entred Inwards. Clarles Whitfield from South Carolina, William Davis from St. Christophers.
John Brewer for Antigua, Joseph Wheeton, and James Straehah for Barbadoes, Philip Boiles for New York, Cornelius Dumham for Boston.
Cambridge, March 28. Yesterday the learned and ingenious Mr. Judah Monis, (sometime Rabbi of the Synagogue is Jamaita, and afterwards in New-York, who commenced Mash kil Venabon, the Jewish Academies of Leghorn and Amsterstam, &c.) made a Publick Profession of the Christian Religion, and was Baptised here by the Rev. Mr. Appleton. The Rev. Mr. Colman, before his Baptism, entertain'd the Audience with an excellent Discourse upon Joh. 5.46. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believe me; for he wrote of me. From which Words he shewed how exactly several notable Passages of Moses's Writings have been accomplished in our Savior Jesus Christ, concluding with a solemn Address to the Rabbi, who followed this with a learned Doscours, answering (from the holy Scriptures and their own approved Authors) Nine of the chief Aruments brought by the modern Jews to prove that the Messiah is not yet come. He introduced his Discourse with those Words, Pial. 116. 10. I believed, therefore have I spoken; I was greatly afficted; and concluded with a solemn Profession of his Faith in the Messiah already come. The Solemnity was attended in the Common-Hall at Harvard College, by a considerable part of the Church in this Town, and as numerous an Assembly as this place would admit.
Boston, April 2. On Monday Night last a Man Belonging to the Cattle, going board a ship at the Long Wharf, fell off the Plank,& was taken up dead the next Morning.
The next Day at Night a Fire Broke out at the Prison in Queen-Street, but was extinguish'd without much Damage.
On Thursday Night last the Hon. Samuel Sewall Esq; was married to Mrs. --- Gibbs of this Place.
Some Day last Week a Man's Bones were taken up in a Garden at the South End of the Town, by some Carpenters who were digging Post-Holes for a Fence.
They write from Philadelphia, that the General Assembly of that Province (for the Encouragement of the Undertakers in their godd Design of raising Hemp) have Pass'd the following vote. viz. that a bounty of One Penny per Pound shall be paid for all merchantable Hemp, made of the Growth of this Province; and that Hemp shall be current Pay in this Province, for all Debts and in all Cases, at a certain Price set upon it by them.
Custom-House Boston. Entered Inwards.
Zech. Stode, Ralf Ellingwood, and John Stevens from New Hampshire, Jeremiah Owen and William Beckman from New York, John Royal and john Snoad from North Carolina, Ri- chard Thomas and Nicholas George from Surranam, John Bulsinch from Barbadoes.
John Hedge for Rhode-Island and Connecticut, Jabez Gorham for Connecticut, Lemuel Bosworth and Nich. Rymeh for Canso, David Carmer for New York, John Burlet for Philadelphia, and John Barnard for West Indies.
-------Sloop Jolly for New York, Rich Shute for Canso.
--------Brig. William and Mary for West Indies, and William Winter for Newfoundland.
Any Person that wants a Wet Nurse into the House, may hear of one by enquiring of the Printer hereof.
BOSTON Printed and Sold by J. Franklin in Queen-Street, over against Mr. Sheaf's School, where Advertisements and Letters are taken. Advertisements are like taken in by F. Edwards at the Corner Shop on the North Side of the Town-House. Price 3 d. fragle or to a Year.