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part, and a strong inclination to exert myfelf • on mine, have had an effect upon me that makes me acceptable wherever I go. Thus, Mr. Sperator, by this gentleman's favour and patronage, it is my own fault if I am not wifer and richer every day I live. I speak this as well by fubfcribing the initial letters of my name to thank him, as to incite others to an imitation of his virtue. It would be a worthy work to show what great charities are to be done without expence, and how many noble actions are loft, out of inadvertency in perfons capable of performing them, if they were put in mind of it. If a gentleman of figure in the country would make his family a pattern of fobriety, good fenfe, and breeding, and would kindly endeavour to influence the education and growing profpects of the younger gentry about him, I am apt to believe it would fave " him a great deal of ftale beer on a public occafion, and render him the leader of his country ८ from their gra itude to him, inftead of being a 6 cave to their riots and tumults in order to be made their representative. The fame thing might be recommended to all who have made any progrefs in any parts of knowledge, or are arrived at any degree in a profeffion; others may < gain preferments and fortunes from their pa· trons, but I have, I hope, received from mine

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good habits and virtues. I repeat to you, Sir,
my request to print this, in return for all the
evil an helpless orphan fhall ever efcape, and all
the good he thall receive in this life; both which
are wholly owing to this gentleman's favour to,
SIR,
Your most obedient fervant,
'S. P.'

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Mr. Spectator,

AM a lad of about fourteen. I find a mighty pleasure in learning. I have been at the < Latin school four years. I do not know I ever played truant, or neglected any task my mafter fet me in my life. I think on what I read in fchool as I go home at noon and night, and fo intently, that I have often gone half a mile out of my way, not minding whither I went. Our maid tells me, fhe often hears me talk Latin in my flcep; and I dream two or three nights in a week I am reading Juvenal and Homer. My mafter feems as well pleased with my perform ances as any boy's in the fame class. I think, if I know my own mind, I would choofe rather to * be a scholar, than a prince without learning. I have a very good affectionate father; but tho' very rich, yet fo mighty near, that he thinks much of the charges of my education. He • often tells me he believes my fchooling will ruin him; that I coft him God knows what in books. I tremble to tell him I want one. I am forced to keep my pocket< money and lay it out for a book, now and then, that he does not know of. He has ordered my mafter to buy no more books for me but fays he will buy them himself. 1 afked him for Horace the other day, and he told me in a paffion he did not believe I was fit for it, but only my mafter had a mind to make him think I had got a great way in my learning. I am fometimes a month behind other boys in getting the books my mafter gives orders for. All the boys in the fchool, but I, have the claffic authors in ufum Delphini, gilt and lettered

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on the back. My father is often reckoning up how long I have been at school, and tells me he 'fears I do little good. My father's carriage fo difcourages me, that he makes me grow dull and melancholy. My mafter wonders what is the matter with me; I am afraid to tell him; for he is a man that loves to encourage learning, and would be apt to chide my father, and 'not knowing his temper, may make him worse. Sir, If you have any love for learning, I beg you would give me fome inftructions in this cafe, and perfuade parents to encourage their children when they find them diligent and de'firous of learning. I have heard fome parents fay, they would do any thing for their children, if they would but mind their learning: I would 'be glad to be in their place. Dear Sir, pardon my boldness. If you will but confider and pity my cafe, I will pray for your prosperity as 'long as I live. London, March 2, 1711.

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No. 331.

Your humble fervant,
"James Difciplus.

THURSDAY, March 20.

-Stolidam præbet tibi vellere barbam.
PERS. Sat. 2. 1. 28.

Holds out his foolish beard for thee to pluck.

W

HEN I was last with my friend Sir Roger in Westminster-Abbey, I obferved that he stood longer than ordinary before the buft of a venerable old man. I was at a lofs to guess the reafon of it, when after fome time he pointed to the figure, and asked me if I did not think that our forefathers looked much wifer in their beards than we do without them. For my part, says he, when I am walking in my gallery in the country, and fee my ancestors, who many of them died before they were of my age, I cannot forbear regarding them as fo many cld patriarchs, and at the fame time looking upon myself as an idle fmock-faced young fellow. I love to see your Abrahams, your Ifaacs, and your Jacobs, as we have them in old pieces of tapestry with beards below their girdles, that cover half the hangings. The knight added, if would recommend beards in one of my papers, and endeavour to restore human faces to their antient dignity, that upon a months warning he would undertake to lead up the fashion himself in a pair of whiskers.

I fmiled at my friend's fancy; but after we parted, could not forbear reflecting on the metamorphofis our faces have undergone in this particular.

The beard, conformable to the notion of iny friend Sir Roger, was for many ages looked upon as the type of wisdom. Lucian more than once rallies the philofophers of his time, who endeavoured to rival one another in beards; and reprefents a learned man who food for a profefforihip in philofophy, as unqualified for it by the fhortnefs of his beard.

Elian, in his account of Zoilus, the pretended critic, who wrote again Homer and Plato, and thought himfelf wifer than all who had gone before him, tells us that this Zoilus had a very long beard that hung down upon his breaft, but had no hair upon his head, which he always kept clofe fhaved, regarding, it feems,

the

the hairs of his head as fo many fuckers, which if they had been fuffered to grow might have drawn away the nourishment from his chin, and by that means have ftarved his beard.

I have read fomewhere that one of the popes

refused to accept an edition of a faint's works, which were prefented to him, becaufe the faint, in his effigies before the book, was drawn without a beard.

His tawny beard was th' equal grace
Both of his wifdom, and his face;
In cut and dye fo like a tyle,

A fudden view it would beguile :
The upper part whereof was whey,
The nether orange mixt with grey.

The whifker continued for fome time among us after the extirpation of beards; but this is a fubject which I fhall not here enter upon, having difcuffed it at large in a diftinct treatife, which I keep by me in manufcript, upon the Muftachoe.

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on horse-back. They already appear in hats and feathers, coats and perriwigs; and I fee no reafon why we may not fuppofe that they would have their riding-beards on the fame occafion.

We fee by these inftances what homage the world has formerly paid to beards; and that a barber was not then allowed to make thofe depredations on the face of the learned, which have been permitted him of late years.

Accordingly feveral wife nations have been fo He cannot bear the raillery of the age. extremely jealous of the least ruffle offered to their beards, that they feem to have fixed the point of honour principally in that part. The Spaniards were wonderfully tender in this particular. Don Quevedo, in his third vision on the laft judgment, has carried the humour very far, when he tells us that one of his vain-glorious countrymen, after having received fentence, was taken into custody by a couple of evil fpirits; but that his guides happening to disorder his mustachoes, they were forced to recompose them with a pair of curlingirons before they could get him to file off.

If we look into the hiftory of our own nation, we shall find that the beard flourished in the Saxon heptarchy, but was very much difcouraged under the Norman line. It fhot out, however, from time to time, in feveral reigns under different fhapes. The laft effort it made seems to have been in queen Mary's days, as the curious reader may find, if he pleases to perufe the figures of cardinal Poole, and bishop Gardiner; though at the fame time, I think it may be queftioned, if zeal against popery has not induced our proteftant painters to extend the beards of these two perfecutors beyond their natural dimenfions, in order to make them appear the more terrible.

I find but few beards worth taking notice of in the reign of king James the first.

During the civil wars there appeared one, which makes too great a figure in story to be paffed over in filence; mean that of the redoubted Hudibras, an account of which Butler has tranfmitted to pofterity in the following lines.

If my friend Sir Roger's project of introducing beards fhould take effect, I fear the luxury of the prefent age would make it a very expensive fashion. There is no queftion but the beaux would foon provide themfelves with falfe ones of the lightest colours, and the moft immoderate lengths.. A fair beard, of the tapeftry-fize, which Sir Roger feems to approve, could not come under twenty guineas. The famous golden beard of Æfculapius would hardly be more valuable than one made in .the extravagance of the fashion.

Befides we are not certain that the ladies would not come into the mode, when they take the air

ther paper.
I may give the moral of this difcourfe in ano-
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No 332. FRIDAY, MARCH 21.

Naribus borum hominum-
-Minùs aptis acutis

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HOR. Sat. 3. 1. 1. V. 29.

• Dear fhort Face,

IN

N your fpeculation of Wednesday last you have given us fome account of that worthy fociety of brutes the Mohocs; wherein you have particularly fpecified the ingenious per'formances of the lion-tippers, the dancing-mafters, and the tumblers: but as you acknow. 'ledge you had not then a perfect hiftory of the 'whole club, you might very easily omit one of the most notable fpecies of it, the Sweaters, ' which may be reckoned a fort of dancing-mafIt is, it feems, the cuftom for half

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a dozen, or more, of thefe well difpofed favages, as foon as they have inclofed the perfon upon 'whom they defign the favour of a fweat, to whip ' out their fwords, and holding them parrallel to the horizon, they defcribe a fort of magic circle round about him with the points. As foon as this piece of conjuration is performed, and the patient without doubt already beginning 'to wax warm, to forward the operation, that 'member of the circle, towards whom he is fo rude as to turn his back firft, runs his fword directly into that part of the patient wherein 'fchool-boys are punished; and as it is very natural to imagine this will foon make him tack about to fome other point, every gentleman does himfelf the fame juftice as often as he receives the 'affront. After this jig has gone two or three times round, and the patient is thought to have fweat fufficiently, he is very handsomely rubbed ' down by fome attendants, who carry inftruments for that purpofe, and fo difcharged. This relation I had from a friend of mine, who has lately been under this difcipline. He tells < me he had the honour to dance before the em< peror himself, not without the applaufe and acclamations both of his imperial majefty, and the whole ring; though dare fay, neither I nor any of his acquaintance ever dreamt he would have merited any reputation by his ⚫ activity.

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CREECH.

I can affure you, Mr. Spec, I was very near being qualified to have given you a faithful and painful account of this walking bagnio, if I may fo call it, myself: for going the other night along Fleet-ftreet, and having, out of curiofity, just entered into difcourfe with a wandering female who was travelling the fame way, a couple of fellows advanced towards us, drew their fwords, and cried out to each other, A fweat! A fweat! Whereupon fufpecting they were fome of the ringleaders of the bagnio, I alfo drew my fword, and demanded a parley; but finding none would be granted me, and perceiving others behind them filing off with 6 great

6 great diligence to take me in flank, I began to fweat for fear of being forced to it: but very < luckily betaking myfelf to a pair of heels, which

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< I had good reafon to believe would do me juftice, I inftantly got poffeffion of a very fnug corner in a neighbouring alley that lay in my rear; which poít I maintained for above half an hour with great firmnefs and refolution, though not letting this fuccefs fo far overcome me, as to make me unmindful of the circumfpection that was neceffary to be observed upon my advancing again towards the ftreet; by which T prudence and good management I made a handfome and orderly retreat, having fuffered no other damage in this action than the lofs of my

vocat in certamina divos.

VIRG, Æn. 6. v. 172. He calls embattled deities to arms.

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baggage, and the dislocation of one of my hoe N° 333. SATURDAY, MARCH 22. heels, which last I am just now informed is in a fair way of recovery. Thefe fweaters, by what I can learn from my friend, and by as near a view as I was able to take of them myfelf, feem to me to have at prefent but a rude kind of difcipline amongst them. It is probable, if you would take a little pains with them, they might ⚫ be brought into better order. But I will leave this to your own difcretion; and will only add, that if you think it worth while to infert this by way of caution to thofe, who have a mind to preferve their fkins whole from this fort of cupping, and tell them at the fame time the hazard of treating with night-walkers, you will perhaps oblige others, as well as

E are now entering upon the fixth book of Paradife Loft, in which the poet defcribes the battle of angels; having raised his reader's expectation, and prepared him for it by feveral paffages in the preceding books. I omitted quoting these paffages in my obfervations on the former books, having purpofely referved them for the opening of this, the fubject of which gave occafion to them. The author's imagination was fo inflamed with this great scene of action, that where-ever he speaks of it, he rifes, if poffible, above himself. Thus where he mentions Satan in the beginning of his poem.

Your very humble Servant,
'Jack Lightfoot.

P. S. My friend will have me acquaint you, that though he would not willingly detract from the merit of that extraordinary strokes-man Mr. Sprightly, yet it is his real opinion, that fome of thofe fellows, who are employed as rubbers to this new-fashioned bagnio, have ftruck as • bold ftrokes as ever he did in his life.

I had fent this four and twenty hours fooner, if I had not had the misfortune of being in a " great doubt about the orthography of the word bagnio. I confulted feveral dictionaries, but ⚫ found no relief; at laft having recourse both to the bagnio in Newgate-ftreet, and to that in Chancery-lane, and finding the original manufcripts upon the fign-pofts of each to agree literally with my own fpelling, I returned home, full of fatisfaction, in order to difpatch this epiftle.'

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Mr. Spectator,

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S you have taken most of the circumftances of human life into confideration, 6 we the under-written thought it not improper for us alfo to reprefent to you cur condition. We are three ladies who live in the country, and the greatest improvement we make is by reading. We have taken a fmall journal of our lives, and find it extremely oppofite to your last Tuefday's fpeculation. We rife by feven, and pafs the beginning of cach day in devotion, and looking into thofe affairs that fall within the occurrences of a retired life; in the afternoon we fometimes enjoy the company of fome friend or neighbour, or elfe work or read; at night we retire to our chambers, and take leave of each other for the whole night at ten o'clock. We take particular care never to be fick of a Sunday. Mr. Spectator, we are all very good maids, but ambitious of characters which we think

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more laudable, that of being, good wives. If any of your correfpondents inquire for a fpoufe for an honeft country gentleman, whofe eftate is not dipped, and wants a wife that can fave half his revenue, and yet make a better figure than any of his neighbours of the fame eftate, with 'finer bred women, you shall have further notice from,

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SIR,

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Your courteous readers,
Martha Bufy.
'Deborah Thrifty.
• Alice Early.'

Hurl'd headlong flaming from th' etherial sky,
-Him the almighty Power
With hideous ruin and combuftion, down
To bottomless perdition, there to dwell
In adamantine chains and penal fire,
Who durft defy th' Omnipotent to arms.

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Thus Satan; and him thus the Anarch old, With fault'ring speech, and visage incompos'd, Answer'd. I know thee, ftranger, who thou art, That mighty leading angel, who of late Made head againstHeav'n's King, tho' overthrown. I faw and heard; for fuch a num'rous hoft Fled not in filence through the frighted deep With ruin upon ruin, rout on rout, Confufion worse confounded; and Heav'n's gates Pour'd out by millions her victorious bands Purfuing

It required great pregnancy of invention, and ftrength of imagination, to fill this battle with fuch circumftances as fhould raife and aftonifh the mind of the reader; and at the fame time an exactnefs of judgment, to avoid every thing that might appear light or trivial. Thofe who look into Homer, are furprised to find his battles ftill rifing one above another, and improving in horror to the conclufion of the Iliad. Milton's fight of angels is wrought up with the fame beauty. It is ushered in with fuch figns of wrath as are fuitable to Omnipotence incenfed. The first engagement is carried on under a cope of fire, occafioned by the flights of innumerable burning darts and arrows which are difcharged from

either hoft. The fecond onfet is ftill more ter

rible, as it is filled with thofe artificial thunders, which feem to make the victory doubtful, and

produce a kind of confternation even in the good angels. This is followed by the tearing up of mountains and promontories; till in the laft place, the Meffiah comes forth in the fullness of majesty and terror. The pomp of his appearance amidst the roarings of his thunders, the fashes of his lightnings, and the noife of his chariotwheels, is defcribed with the utmoft flights of human imagination.

There is nothing in the first and last day's engagement which does not appear natural, and agreeable enough to the ideas moft readers would conceive of a fight between two armies of angels.

the defcriptions of the Latin and Greek poets; and at the fame time improved every great hint which he met with in their works upon this fubjet. Homer in that paffage, which Longinus has celebrated for its fublimenefs, and which Virgil and Ovid have copied after him, tells us, the giants threw Offa upon Olympus, and Pelion upon Offa. He adds an epithet to Pelion (vosipov) which very much fwells the idea, by bringing up to the reader's imagination all the woods that grew upon it. There is further a great beauty in his fingling out by name thefe three remarkable mountains, fo well known to fcene of Milton's war ould not poffibly furnish the Greeks. This laft is fuch a beauty, as the him with. Claudian, in his fragment upon the giants war, has given full fcope to that wildness of imagination which was natural to him. He tells us that the giants tore up whole islands by fcribes one of them in particular taking up LemHe dethe roots, and threw them at the Gods. nos in his arms, and whirling it to the skies, with all Vulcan's shop in the midft of it. Another tears up mount Ida, with the river Enipeus, which ran down the fides of it; but the poet not content to defcribe him with this mountain upon his thoulders, tells us that the river flowed down his to every judicious reader, that fuch ideas favour back as he held it up in that posture. It is visible proceed from a wantonnefs of imagination, and more of burlesque, than of the fublime. They rather divert the mind than aftonish it. Milton has taken every thing that is fublime in these several paffages, and compofes out of them the following great image.

The fecond day's engagement is apt to ftartle an imagination, which has not been raised and qualified for fucli a defcription, by the reading of the ancient poets, and of Homer in particular. It was certainly a very bold thought in our author, to afcribe the firft ufe of artillery to the rebel-angels. But as fuch a pernicious invention may be well supposed to have proceeded from fuch authors, fo it enters very properly into the ..thoughts of that being, who is all along defcribed as afpiring to the majefty of his Maker. Such engines were the only inftruments he could have made ufe of to imitate those thunders, that in all poetry, both facred and profane, are reprefented as the arms of the Almighty. The tearing up the hills was not altogether fo daring a thought as the former. We are, in fome measure prepared for fuch an incident by the defcription of the giants war, which we meet with among the ancient poets. What ftill made this circumftance the more proper for the poet's ufe, is the opinion of many learned men, that the fable of the giants war, which makes fo great a noife in antiquity, and gave birth to the fublimeft defcription in Hefiod's works, was an allegory founded upon this very tradition of a fight between the good and bad angels.

It may, perhaps, be worth while to confider with what judgment Milton, in this narration, has avoided every thing that is mean and trivial in

From their foundations loos'ning to and fro,
They pluck'd the feated hills, with all their load,
Rocks, waters, woods, and by the shaggy tops
Uplifting bore them in their hands.

We have the full majefty of Homer in this fhort defcription, improved by the imagination of Claudian, without its puerilities.

I need not point out the defcription of the fallen angels feeing the promontories hanging over their heads in fuch a dreadful manner, with the other numberlefs beauties in this book, which are fo confpicuous, that they cannot escape the notice of the most ordinary reader.

There are indeed fo many wonderful strokes of poetry in this book, and such a variety of sublime ideas, that it would have been impoffible to have given them a place within the bounds of this paper. Befides that I find it in a great measure done to my hand at the end of my lord Rofcom-` mon's Effay on tranflated poetry. I fhall refer my reader thither for fome of the mafter-strokes of the fixth book of Paradife Loft, though at the fame time there are many others which that noble author has not taken notice of.

Milton, notwithstanding the fublime genius he was mafter of, has in this book drawn to his affiftance all the helps he could meet with among the ancient poets. The fword of Michael, which makes fo great a havock among the bad angels, was given him, we are told, out of the armory of God.

-But the fword Of Michael from the armory of God Was given him temper'd fo, that neither keen Nor folid might refift that edge: it met The fword of Satan, with steep force to fmite Defcending, and in half cut fhecr→→→

This paffage is a copy of that in Virgil, wherein the poet tells us, that the sword of Æneas, which was given him by a deity, broke into pieces the fword of Turnus, which came from a mortal forge. As the moral in this place is divine, fo by the way we may obferve that the beftowing on a man who is favoured by Heaven fuch an allegorical weapon, is very conformable to the old eaftern way of thinking. Not only Homer has made ufe of it, but we find the Jewish hero in the book of Maccabees, who had fought the battles of the chofen people with fo much glory and fuccefs, receiving in his dream a fword from the hand of the prophet Jeremiah. The following paffage, wherein Satan is defcribed as wounded by the fword of Michael, is in imitation of Homer. The griding fword with difcontinuous wound Pafs'd thro' him; but th' ethereal substance clos'd, Not long divifible; and from the gash A ftream of nectarous humour iffuing flow'd Sanguine, fuch as celeftial spirits may bleed, And all his armour ftain'd

Homer tells us in the fame manner, that upon Diomedes wounding the gods, there flowed from the wound an Ichor, or pure kind of blood, which was not bred from mortal viands; and that though the pain was exquifitely great, the wound foon closed up and healed in thofe beings who are vefted with immortality.

I queftion not but Milton in his description of his furious Moloch flying from the battle, and bellowing with the wound he had received, had his eye on Mars in the Iliad; who, upon his being wounded, is represented as retiring out of the fight, and making an outcry louder than that of a whole army when it begins the charge. Homer adds, that the Greeks and Trojans, who were engaged in a great battle, were terrified on each fide with the bellowing of this wounded deity. The reader will easily obferve how Milton has kept all the horror of this image, without running into the ridicule of it.

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his imagination with the fight of the gods in Homer, before he entered into this engagement of the angels. Homer there gives us a fcene of men, heroes and gods, inixed together in battle. Mars animates the contending armies, and lifts up his voice in fuch a manner, that it is heard diftinétly amidst all the fhouts and confufion of the fight. Jupiter at the fame time thunders over their heads; while Neptune raifes fuch a tempeft, that the whole field of battle and all the tops of the mountains shake about them. The poet tells us, that Pluto himself, whofe habitation was in the very centre of the earth, was fo affrighted at the fhock, that he leapt from his throne. Homer afterwards defcribes Vulcan as pouring down a ftorm of fire upon the river Xanthus, and Minerva as throwing a rock at Mars; who, he tells us, covered feven acres in

his fall.

The reader will eafily difcover many other ftrokes of the fame nature.

There is no question but Milton had heated

As Homer has introduced into his battle of the gods every thing that is great and terrible in nature, Milton has filled his fight of good and bad angels with all the like circumftances of horror. The fhout of armies, the ratling of brazen chariots, the hurling of rocks and mountains, the earthquake, the fire, the thunder, are all of them employed to lift up the reader's imagination, and give him a fuitable idea of so great an action. With what art has the poet reprefented the whole body of the earth trembling, even before it was created?

-All Heaven

Refounded, and had earth been then, all earth Had to her centre shook—

In how fublime and just a manner does he afterwards defcribe the whole Heaven fhaking under the wheels of the Meffiah's chariot, with that exception to the throne of God?

-Under his burning wheels

The stedfast Empyrean fhook throughout, All but the throne itself of God

Notwithstanding the Meffiah appears cloathed with fo much terror and majefty, the poet has ftill found means to make his readers conceive an idea of him, beyond what he himself is able to defcribe.

In a word, Milton's genius, which was fo great in itself, and so strengthened by all the helps of learning, appears in this book every way equal to his fubject, which was the most fublime that could enter into the thoughts of a poet. As he knew all the arts of affecting the mind, he knew it was neceffary to give it certain resting places and opportunities of recovering itself from time to time: he has therefore with great address intersperfed feveral fpeeches, reflexions, fimilitudes, and the like reliefs to diverfify his narration, and ease the attention of the reader, that he might come fresh to his great action, and by such a contraft of ideas, have a more lively taste of the nobler parts of his defçription. L

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