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so much quarter from the soberer part of mankind, has been that some men of great talents have sacrificed themselves to it. The shining qualities of such people have given a beauty to whatever they were engaged in, and a mixture of wit has recommended madness. For let any man who knows what it is to have passed much time in a series of jollity, mirth, wit, or humorous entertainments, look back at what he was all that while a-doing, and he will find that he has been at one instant sharp to some man he is sorry to have offended, impertinent to some one it was cruelty to treat with such freedom, ungracefully noisy at such a time, unskilfully open at such a time, unmercifully calumnious at. such a time; and from the whole course of his applauded satisfactions, unable in the end to recollect any circumstance which can add to the enjoyment of his own mind alone, or which he would put his

with other men. Thus it is with those who are best made for becoming pleasures ; but how monstrous is it in the generality of man. kind who pretend this way, without genius or inclination towards it! The scene then is wild to an extravagance: this is, as if fools should mimic mad. men. Pleasure of this kind is the intemperate meals and loud jollities of the common rate of country gentlemen, whose practice and way of enjoyment is to put an end as fast as they can to that little particle of reason they have when they are sober. These men of wit and pleasure dispatch their senses as fast as possible by drinking till they cannot taste, smoking till they cannot see, and roaring till they cannot hear,


character upon,


N° 152. FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 1711.

Oιη σες φυλλων γενεη,

τομηδε και ανδρων.

HOM. il. vi. 146.
Like leaves on trees the race of man is found.

РОРЕ. There is no sort of people whose conversation is

HERE so pleasant as that of military men, who derive their courage and magnanimity from thought and reflection. The many adventures which attend their way of life makes their conversation so full of incidents, and gives them so frank an air in speaking of what they have been witnesses of, that no company can be more amiable than that of men of sense who are soldiers. There is a certain irregular way in their narrations or discourse, which has something more warm and pleasing than we meet with, among men who are used to adjust and methodize their thoughts.

I was this evening walking in the fields with my friend captain Sentry, and I could not, from the many

relations which I drew him into of what passed when he was in the service, forbear expressing my wonder, that the fear of death, which we, the rest of mankind, arm ourselves against with so much contemplation, reason and philosophy, should appear so little in camps, that common men march. into open breaches, meet opposite battalions, not only without reluctance but with alacrity. My friend answered what I said in the following manner: 'What you wonder at may very naturally be the subject of admiration to all who are not conversant in

camps; but when a man has spent some time in that way of life, he observes a certain mechanic courage which the ordinary race of men become masters of from acting always in a crowd. They see indeed many drop, but then they see many more alive ; they observe themselves escape very narrowly, and they do not know why they should



not again. Besides which general way of loose thinking, they usually spend the other part of their time in pleasures upon which their minds are so entirely bent, that short labours or dangers are but a cheap purchase of jollity, triumph, victory, fresh quarter:, new scenes, and uncommon adventures. Such are the thoughts of the executive part of an army, and indeed of the gross of mankind in general; but none of these men of mechanical courage have ever made any great figure in the profession of arms. Those who are formed for command, are such as have reasoned themselves, out of a consideration of greater good than length of days, into such a negligence of their being, as to make it their first position, That it is one day to be resigned : and since it is in the prosecution of worthy actions and service of mankind, they can put it to habitual hazard. The event of our designs, they say,

it lates to others, is uncertain; but as it relates to ourselves it must be prosperous, while we are in the pursuit of our duty, and within the terms upon which providence has insured our happiness, whether we die or live. All that nature has prescribed must be good; and as death is natural to us, it is an absurdity to fear it. Fear loses its purpose when we are sure it cannot preserve us, and we should draw resolution to meet it from the impossibility to escape it. Without a resignation to the necessity of dying, there can be no capacity in man to attempt any thing that is glorious: but when they have once attained to that perfection, the pleasures of a life spent in martial adventures, are as great as any of which the human mind is capable. The force of reason gives a certain beauty, mixed with the conscience of well-doing and thirst of glory, to all which before was terrible and ghastly to the imagination. Add to this, that the fellowship of danger, the common good of mankind, the general cause, and the manifest virtue you may observe in so many men, who made ne figure till that day, are so many

incentives to destroy the little consideration of their

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own persons, Such are the heroic part of soldiers who are qualified for leaders. As to the rest whom I before spoke of, I know not how it is, but they arrive at a certain habit of being void of thought, insomuch that on occasion of the most imminent danger they are still in the same indifference. Nay I remember an instance of a gay Frenchman*, who was led on in battle by a superior officer, (whose conduct it was his custom to speak of always with contempt and raillery) and in the beginning of the action received a wound he was sensible was mor. tal; his reflection on this occasion was, “I wish I could live another hour, to see how this blundering coxcomb will get clear of this business.'

I remember two young fellows who rid in the same squadron of a troop of horse, who were ever together ; they eat, they drank, they intrigued; in a word, all their passions and affections seemed to tend the same way, and they appeared serviceable to each other in them. We were in the dusk of the evening to march over a river, and the troop these gentlemen belonged to were to be transported in a ferry-boat, as fast as they could. One of the friends was now in the boat, while the other was drawn up with others by the water-side, waiting the return of the boat. A disorder happened in the passage by an unruly horse ; and a gentleman who had the rein of his horse negligently under his arm, was forced into the water by his horse's jumping over. The friend on the shore cried out, i Who is that is drowned, trow ?' He was immediately answered, 'Your friend Harry Thomson.' He very gravely replied, “Ay, he had a mad horse.? I his short epitaph from such a familiar, without inore words, gave me, at that time under twenty, a very moderate opinion of the friendship of companions. Thus is affection and every other motive of life in the generality rooted out by the present busy scene about them : they lament no man whose ca

* This was the Chevalier de Flourilles, a licutenant-general under the Prince of Conde, at the drawn battle of Senef, in Brabant, 1674.

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pacity can be supplied by another; and where men converse without delicacy, the next man you meet will serve as well as he whom you have lived with half your life. To such the devastation of countries, the misery of inhabitants, the cries of the pil. laged, and the silent sorrow of the great unfortunate, are ordinary objects; their minds are bent upon the little gratifications of their own senses and appetites, forgetful of compassion, insensible of glory, avoiding only shame; their whole hearts taken up with the trivial hope of meeting and being merry. These are the people who make up the gross of the soldiery. But the fine gentleman in that band of men is such a one as I have now in my eye, who is foremost in all danger to which he is ordered. His officers are his friends and companions, as they are men of honour and gentlemen; the private men his brethren, as they are of his species. He is beloved of all that behold him. They wish him in danger as he views their ranks, that they may have occasions to save him at their own hazard. Mutual love is the order of the files where he commands; every man afraid for himself and his neighbour, not lest their commander should punish them, but lest he should be offended. Such is his regiment who knows mankind, and feels their distrésses so far as to prevent them. Just in distributing what is their due, he would think himself below their taylor to wear a snip of their clothes in lace

his own; and below the most rapacious

l; agent should he enjoy a farthing above his own pay. Go on, bráve man, immortal glory is thy fortune, and immortal happiness thy reward *.'



* This character has been supposed to allude to Lieutenant-general Cornelius Wood, mentioned by Prior, in his " Letter to Monsieur Boileau Despreaux occasioned, by the victory of Blenheim, 1704," with the epithet, “bonest Wool,

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