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had a sense of passion, for not apprehending the smile of Lalage was what pleased Horace; and I verily believe, the stripes I suffered about “ Digito male per“ tinaci” has given me that irreconcileable aversion, which I shall carry to my grave, against coquets.
As for the elegant writer of whom I am talking, his excellencies are to be observed as they relate to the different concerns of his life ; and he is always to be looked upon as a lover, a courtier, or a man of wit. His admirable odes have numberless instances of hiş merit in each of these characters. His epistles and satires are full of proper notices for the conduct of life in a court; and what we call good breeding, most agreeably intermixed with his morality. His addresses to the persons who favoured him are so inimitably engaging, that Augustus complained of him for so seldom writing to him, and asked him, whether he was afraid posterity should read their names together? Now for the generality of men to spend their time in such writings, is as pleasant a folly as any he ridicules. Whatever the crowd of scholars may pretend, if their way of life, or their own imaginations, do not lead them to a taste of him, they may read, nay write fifty volumes upon him, and be just as they were when they began. I remember to have heard a great painter say, there are certain faces for certain painters, as well as certain subjects for certain poets. This is as true in the choice of studies; and no one will ever relish an author thoroughly well, who would not have been fit company for that author, had they lived at the same time. All others are mechanics in learning, and take the sentiments of writers like-waiting servants, who report what passed at their master's table ; but debase every thought and expression, for want of the air with which they were uttered.
No. CLXXIV. SATURDAY, MAY 20.
Quem mala stultitia, aut quæcuncq; inscitia veri,
From my own Apartment, March 20. THE learned Scotus, to distinguish the race of mankind, gives every individual of that species what he calls a seity, something peculiar to himself, which makes him different from all other persons in the world. This particularity renders him either venerable or ridiculous, according as he uses his talents, which always grow out into faults, or improve into virtues. In the office I have undertaken, you are to observe, that I have hitherto presented only the more insignificant and lazy part of mankind under the denomination of dead men, together with the degrees towards non-existence, in which others can neither be said to live or be defunct, but are only animals merely dressed up like men, and differ from each other but as flies do by a little colouring or fluttering of their wings. Now as our discourses heretofore have chiefly regarded the indolent part of the species, it remains that we do justice also upon the impertinently active and enterprising. Such as these I shall take particular care to place in safe custody, and have used all possible diligence to run up my edifice in Moorfields for that service.
We who are adepts in astrology, can impute it to several causes in the planets, that this part of our great city is the region of such persons as either never had, or have lost the use of reason. It has indeed been time out of mind the reception of fools as well as madmen. The care and information of the former I assign to other learned men, who have for that end taken up their habitation in those parts ;, as, among others, te
the famous Dr. Trotter, and my ingenious friend Dr. Langham. These oraculous proficients are day and night employed in deep searches, for the direction of such as run astray after their lost goods : but at present they are more particularly serviceable to their country, in foretelling the fate of such as have chances in the public lottery. Dr. Langham shews a peculiar generosity on this occasion, taking only one half-crown for a prediction, eighteen pence of which to be paid out of the prizes ; which method the doctor is willing to comply with in favour of every adventurer in the whole lottery. Leaving therefore the whole generation of such enquirers to such Literati as I have now mentioned, we are to proceed towards peopling our house, which we have erected with the greatest cost and care imaginable.
It is necessary in this place to premise, that the superiority and force of mind, which is born with men of great genius; and which, when it falls in with a noble imagination, is called poetical fury, does not come under my consideration ; but the pretence to such an impulse without natural warmth, shall be allowed a fit object of his charity ; and all the volumes written by such hands, shall be, from time to time, placed in proper order upon the rails of the unhoused booksellers, within the district of the college, (who have long inhabited this quarter) in the same manner as they are already disposed soon after their publication. I promise myself from these writings my best opiates for those patients, whose high imaginations, and hot spirits have waked them into distraction........ Their boiling tempers are not to be wrought upon by my gruels and julaps, but must ever be employed, or appear to be so, or their recovery will be impracticable. I shall therefore make use of such poets, as preserve so constant a mediocrity, as never to elevate the mind into joy, or depress it into sadness, yet at the same time keep the faculties of the readers in
suspense, though they introduce no ideas of their own. By this means, a disordered mind, like a broken limb, will recover its strength by the sole benefit of being out of use, and lying without motion. But as reading is not an entertainment that can take up the full time of my patients, I have now, in pension, a proportionable number of story-tellers, who are by turns to walk about the galleries of the house, and by their narrations second the labours of my pretty good poets. There are among these story-tellers some that have so earnest countenances, and weighty brows, that they will draw a madman, even when his fit is just coming on, into a whisper, and by the force of shrugs, nods and busy gestures, make him stand amazed so long as that we may have time to give him his broth without danger.
But as fortune has the possession of men's minds, a physician may cure all the sick people of ordinary degree in the whole town, and never come into reputation. I shall therefore begin with persons of condition ; and the first I shall undertake, shall be the Lady Fidget, the general visitant, and Will Voluble, the fine talker. These persons shall be first locked up, for the peace of all whom the one visits, and all whom the other talks to.
The passion which first touched the brain of both these persons, was envy ; and has had such wondrous effects, that to this, Lady Fidget owes that she is so courteous, to this, Will Voluble that he is eloquent. Fidget has a restless torment in hearing of any one's prosperity, and cannot know any quiet till she visits her, and is eye-witness of something that lessens it. Thus her life is a continual search after what does not concern her, and her companions speak kindly even of the absent and the unfortunate, to teaze her. She was the first that visited Flavia after the small pox, and has never seen her since, because she is not altered. Call a young woman handsome in her company, and she
it is a pity she has no fortune : say she is rich, and she is sorry that she is silly. With all this ill-nature, Fidget is herself young, rich, and handsome; but loses the pleasure of all those qualities, because she has them in common with others.
To make up her misery, she is well-bred, she hears commendations till she is ready to faint for want of venting herself in contradiction. This madness is not expressed by the voice; but is uttered in the eyes and features: its first symptom is, upon beholding an agreeable object, a sudden approbation immediately checked with dislike.
This lady I shall take the liberty to conduct into a bed of straw and darkness, and have some hopes, that after long absence from the light, the pleasure of seeing at all may reconcile her to what she shall see, though it proves to be never so agreeable.
My physical remarks on the distraction of envy in other persons, and particularly in Will Voluble, is in. terrupted by a visit from Mr. Kidney, with advices which will bring matter of new disturbance to many possessed with this sort of disorder, which I shall publish to bring out the symptoms more kindly, and lay the distemper more open to my view.
St. James's Coffee-house, May 19. THIS evening a mail from Holland brought the following advices :
From the camp before Douay, May 26. N. S. On the 23d the French assembled their army, and encamped with their right near Bauchain, and their left near Creuveuceur. Upon this motion of the enemy; · the Duke of Marlborough and prince Eugene made a movement with their army on the 24th, and encamped from Arlieux to Vitry and Isez Esqerchien, where they are so advantageously posted, that they not only cover the siege, secure our convoys of provisions, for