circumstance intervening may spoil it. He who directs the heart of man at his pleasure, and understands the thoughts long before, may by ten thousand accidents, or an immediate change in the inclinations of men, disconcert the most subtle project, and turn it to the benefit of his

own servants.

In the next place we should consider, though the evil we imagine should come to pass, it may be much more supportable than it appeared to be. As there is no prosperous state of life without its calamities, so there is no adversity without its benefits. Ask the great and powerful if they do not feel the pangs of envy and ambition. Inquire of the poor and needy if they have not tasted the sweets of quiet and contentment. Even under the pains of body, the infidelity of friends, or the misconstructions. put upon our laudable actions; our minds, when for some time accustomed to these pressures, are sensible of secret flowings of comfort, the present reward of a pious. resignation. The evils of this life appear like rocks and precipices, rugged and barren at a distance; but at our nearer approach we find little fruitful spots, and refreshing springs, mixed with the harshness and deformities of nature.

In the last place we may comfort ourselves with this consideration, that, as the thing feared may not reach us, so we may not reach what we fear. Our lives may not extend to that dreadful point which we have in view. He who knows all our failings and will not suffer us to be tempted beyond our strength, is often pleased, in his tender severity, to separate the soul from its body and miseries together.

If we look forward to him for help, we shall never be in danger of falling down those precipices which our imagination is apt to create. Like those who walk upon a line, if we keep our eye fixed upon one point, we may step forward securely; whereas an imprudent or cowardly glance on either side will infallibly destroy us.

No. 616. FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 1714%.

Qui bellus homo est, Cotta, pusillus homo est.
MART. Ep. x. 1. 1.

A pretty fellow is but half a man.

CICERO hath observed, that a jest is never uttered with a better grace than when it is accompanied with a serious countenance. When a pleasant thought plays in the features, before it discovers itself in words, it raises too great an expectation and loses the advantage of giving surprise. Wit and humour are no less poorly recommended by a levity of phrase, and that kind of language which may be distinguished by the name of Cant. Ridicule is never more strong than when it is concealed in gravity. True humour lies in the thought, and arises from the representation of images in odd circumstances and uncommon lights. A pleasant thought strikes us by the force of its natural beauty; and the mirth of it is generally rather palled than heightened, by that ridiculous phraseology which is so much in fashion among the pretenders to humour and pleasantry. This tribe of men are like our mountebanks; they make a man a wit by putting him in a fantastic habit.

Our little burlesque authors, who are the delight of ordinary readers, generally abound in these pert phrases, which have in them more vivacity than wit.

I lately saw an instance of this kind of writing, which gave me so lively an idea of it, that I could not forbear begging a copy of the letter from the gentleman who shewed it to me. It is written by a country wit, upon the occasion of the rejoicings on the day of the king's coronation.

Past two o'clock, and a frosty morning. DEAR JACK,

I HAVE just left the right worshipful and his myrmidons about a sneaker of five gallons. The whole magistracy was pretty well disguised before I gave them the slip. Our friend the alderman was half-seas over before the bonfire was out. We had with us the attorney, and two or three other bright fellows. The doctor plays least in sight.

At nine o'clock in the evening we set fire to the whore of Babylon. The devil acted his part to a miracle. He has made his fortune by it. We equipped the young dog with a tester apiece. Honest old Brown of England was very drunk, and shewed his loyalty to the tune of a hundred rockets. The mob drank the king's health on their marrowbones, in mother Day's double. They whipped us half a dozen hogsheads. Poor Tom Tyler had like to have been demolished with the end of a skyrocket, that fell upon the bridge of his nose as he was drinking the king's health, and spoiled his tip. The mob were very loyal until about midnight, when they grew a little mutinous for more liquor. They had like to have dumfounded the justice; but his clerk came in to his assistance, and took them all down in black and white.

When I had been huzzaed out of my seven senses, I made a visit to the women, who were guzzling very comfortably. Mrs. Mayoress clipped the king's English. Clack was the word.

I forgot to tell thee that every one of the posse had his hat cocked with a distich; the senators sent us down a cargo of ribbon and metre for the occasion.

Sir Richard, to shew his zeal for the protestant religion, is at the expence of a tar-barrel and a ball. I peeped into the knight's great hall, and saw a very pretty bevy of spinsters. My dear relict was amongst them, and ambled in a country dance as notably as the best of them. May all his majesty's liege subjects love him as well as his good people of this his ancient borough. Adieu.


No. 617. MONDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 1714.

Torva Mimalloneis implerunt cornua bombis,
Et raptum vitulo caput ablatura superbo
Bassaris, et lyncem Mænas flexura corymbis,
Evion ingeminat: reparabilis adsonat echo.

PERSIUS, Sat i. ver. 104.

Their crooked horns the Mimallonian crew
With blasts inspir'd; and Bassaris, who slew
The scornful calf, with sword advanc'd on high,
Made from his neck his haughty head to fly.
And Mænas, when, with ivy-bridles bound,
She led the spotted lynx, then Evion rung around,
Evion from woods and floods repairing echo's sound.


T HERE are two extremes in the style of humour, one of which consists in the use of that little pert phraseology which I took notice of in my last paper; the other in the affectation of strained and pompous expressions, fetched from the learned languages. The first savours too much of the town; the other of the college.

As nothing illustrates better than example, I shall here present my reader with a letter of pedantic humour, which. was written by a young gentleman of the University to his friend, on the same occasion, and from the same place, as the lively epistle published in my last Spectator:


Ir is now the third watch of the night, the greatest part of which I have spent round a capacious bowl of china, filled with the choicest products of both the Indies. I was placed at a quadrangular table, diametrically opposite to the mace-bearer. The visage of that venerable herald was, according to custom, most gloriously illuminated on this joyful occasion. The mayor and aldermen, those pillars of our constitution, began to totter; and if any one at the board could have so far articulated, as to have

* From the Armoric chom (to live together); one that lodges in the same room.

demanded intelligibly a reinforcement of liquor, the whole assembly had been by this time extended under the table. The celebration of this night's solemnity was opened by the obstreperous joy of drummers, who, with their parchment thunder, gave a signal for the appearance of the mob under their several classes and denominations. They were quickly joined by the melodious clank of marrowbone and cleaver, while a chorus of bells filled up the concert. A pyramid of stack-faggots cheered the hearts of the populace with the promise of a blaze; the guns had no sooner uttered the prologue, but the heavens were brightened with artificial meteors and stars of our own making; and all the High-street lighted up from one end to another with a galaxy of candles. We collected a largess for the multitude, who tippled eleemosynary until they grew exceedingly vociferous. There was a pasteboard pontiff, with a little swarthy demon at his elbow, who by his diabolical whispers and insinuations, tempted his holiness into the fire, and then left him to shift for himself. The mobile were very sarcastic with their clubs, and gave the old gentleman several thumps his triple head-piece*. Tom Tyler's phiz is something damaged by the fall of a rocket, which hath almost spoiled the gnomon of his countenance. The mirth of the commons grew so very outrageous, that it found out work for our friend of the quorum, who, by the help of his amanuensis, took down all their names and their crimes, with a design to produce his manuscript at the next quarter sessions, &c. &c. &c.'


I shall subjoin to the foregoing piece of a letter the following copy of verses translated from an Italian poet, who was the Cleveland of his age, and had multitudes of admirers. The subject is an accident that happened under the reign of Pope Leo, when a fire-work, that had been prepared upon the castle of St. Angelo, began to play before its time, being kindled by a flash of lightning. The author has written a poem in the same kind of style as that I have already exemplified in prose. Every line in it is a riddle, and the reader must be forced to consider it twice or thrice, before he will know that the Cynic's tenement is a tub, and Bacchus's cast-coat a hogshead, &c.

The tiara, or triple mitre.

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