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ever been very careful of his Person, and always had No. 2. a very easie Fortune, Time has made but very little Friday, March 2, Impression, either by Wrinkles on his Forehead, or Traces in his Brain. His Person is well turn'd, of a good Height. He is very ready at that sort of Discourse with which Men usually entertain Women. He has all his Life dressed very well, and remembers Habits as others do Men, He can smile when one speaks to him, and laughs easily. He knows the History of every Mode, and can inform you from which of the French King's Wenches our Wives and Daughters had this Manner of curling their Hair, that Way of placing their Hoods; whose Frailty was covered by such a Sort of Petticoat, and whose Vanity to shew her Foot_made_that Part of the Dress so short in such a Year. In a Word, all his Conversation and Knowledge has been in the female World: As other Men of his Age will take Notice to you what such a Minister said upon such and such an Occasion, he will tell you when the Duke of Monmouth danced at Court such a Woman was then smitten, another was taken with him at the Head of his Troop in the Park. In all these important Relations, he has ever about the same Time received a kind Glance or a Blow of a Fan from some celebrated Beauty, Mother of the Present Lord such-a-one. If you speak of a young Commoner that said a lively thing in the House, he starts up, 'He has good Blood in his Veins, Tom Mirabell begot him, the Rogue cheated me in that affair; that young Fellow's Mother used me more like a Dog than any Woman I ever made Advances to. This way of Talking of his very much enlivens the Conversation among us of a more sedate Turn; and I find there is not one of the Company, but my self, who rarely speak at all, but speaks of him as of that Sort of Man, who is usually called a well-bred fine Gentleman. To conclude his Character, where Women are not concern'd, he is an honest worthy Man.
I cannot tell whether I am to account him whom I am next to speak of, as one of our Company; for he visits us but seldom, but when he does it adds to every Man else a new Enjoyment of himself. He is a Clergy
man, a very philosophick Man, of general Learning, great Sanctity of Life, and the most exact good Breeding. He has the Misfortune to be of a very weak Constitution, and consequently cannot accept of such Cares and Business as Preferments in his Function would oblige him to He is therefore among Divines what a Chamber Counsellor is among Lawyers. The Probity of his Mind, and the Integrity of his Life, create him Followers, as being eloquent or loud advances others. He seldom introduces the Subject he speaks upon; but we are so far gone in Years, that he observes, when he is among us, an Earnestness to have him fall on some divine Topick, which he always treats with much Authority, as one who has no Interests in this World, as one who is hastening to the Object of all his Wishes, and conceives Hope from his Decays and Infirmities. These are my ordinary Companions.
Saturday, March 3.
Et quo quisque fere studio devinctus adhaeret
In somnis eadem plerumque videmur obire.—Lucr. L. 4.
N one of my late Rambles, or rather Speculations, I looked into the great Hall where the Bank is kept, and was not a little pleased to see the Directors, Secretaries, and Clerks, with all the other Members of that wealthy Corporation, ranged in their several Stations, according to the Parts they act in that just and regular Oeconomy. This revived in my Memory the many Discourses which I had both read and heard concerning the Decay of Publick Credit, with the Methods of restoring it, and which, in my Opinion, have always been defective, because they have always been made with an Eye to separate_Interests, and Party Principles.
The Thoughts of the Day gave my Mind Employ ment for the whole Night, so that I fell insensibly into a kind of Methodical Dream, which dispos'd all my Contemplations into a Vision or Allegory, or what else the Reader shall please to call it.
Methoughts I returned to the Great Hall, where I had No. 3. been the Morning before, but, to my Surprize, instead of Saturday, March 3, the Company that I left there, I saw towards the upper end of the Hall, a beautiful Virgin seated on a Throne of Gold, Her Name (as they told me) was Publick Credit. The Walls, instead of being adorn'd with Pictures and Maps, were hung with many Acts of Parliament written in Golden Letters. At the Upper end of the Hall was the Magna Charta, with the Act of Uniformity on the right Hand, and the Act of Toleration on the left, At the Lower end of the Hall was the Act of Settlement, which was placed full in the Eye of the Virgin that sat upon the Throne, Both the Sides of the Hall were covered with such Acts of Parliament as had been made for the Establishment of Publick Funds. The Lady seemed to set an unspeakable Value upon these several Pieces of Furniture, insomuch that she often refreshed her Eye with them, and often smiled with a Secret Pleasure, as she looked upon them; but, at the same time, showed a very particular Uneasiness, if she saw any thing approaching that might hurt them. She appeared indeed infinitely timorous in all her Behaviour: And, whether it was from the Delicacy of her Constitu tion, or that she was troubled with Va Vapours, as I was afterwards told by one who I found was none of her Well-wishers, she changed Colour, and startled at every thing she heard. She was likewise (as I afterwards found) a greater Valetudinarian than any I had ever met with, even in her own Sex, and subject to such Momentary Consumptions, that in the twinkling of an Eye, she would fall away from the most florid Com plexion, and the most healthful State of Body, and wither into a Skeleton. Her Recoveries were often as sudden as her Decays, insomuch that she would revive in a Moment out of a wasting Distemper, into a Habit of the highest Health and Vigour.
I had very soon an Opportunity of observing these quick Turns and Changes in her Constitution. There sat at her Feet a Couple of Secretaries, who received every Hour Letters from all Parts of the World, which the one or the other of them was perpetually reading
No. 3. to her; and, according to the News she heard, to Saturday, which she was exceedingly attentive, she changed March 3, Colour, and discovered many Symptoms of Health or
Behind the Throne was a prodigious Heap of Bags of Mony, which were piled upon one another so high that they touched the Ceiling. The Floor, on her right Hand and on her left, was covered with vast Sums of Gold that rose up in Pyramids on either side of her: But this I did not so much wonder at, when I heard, upon Enquiry, that she had the same Virtue in her Touch, which the Poets tell us a Lydian King was formerly possess'd of; and that she could convert what ever she pleas'd into that precious Metal.
little Dizziness, and confused Hurry of Thought, which a Man often meets with in a Dream, methoughts the Hall was alarm'd, the Doors flew open, and there enter'd half a dozen of the most hideous Phantoms that I had ever seen (even in a Dream) before that Time. They came in two by two, though match'd in the most dissociable Manner, and mingled together in a kind of Dance. It would be tedious to describe their Habits and Persons; for which Reason I shall only inform my Reader that the first Couple were Tyranny and Anarchy, the second were Bigotry and Atheism, the third the Genius of a Common Wealth, and a young Man of about twenty two Years of Age, whose Name I could not learn. He had a Sword in his right Hand, which in the Dance he often brandished at the Act of Settlement; and a Citizen, who stood by me, whisper'd in my Ear, that he saw a Spunge in his left Hand. The Dance of so many jarring Natures put me in mind of the Sun, Moon, and Earth, in the Rehearsal, that danced together for no other end but to eclipse one another.
The Reader will easily suppose, by what has been before said, that the Lady on the Throne would have been almost frighted to Distraction, had she seen but any one of these Spectres; what then must have been her Condition when she saw them all in a Body? She fainted and dyed away at the Sight
Et neque jam color est mixto candore rubori;
There was as great a Change in the Hill of Mony Bags, and the Heaps of Mony, the former shrinking, and falling into so many empty Bags, that I now found not above a tenth part of them had been filled with Mony. The rest that took up the same Space, and made the same Figure as the Bags that were really filled with Mony, had been blown up with Air, and calied into my Memory the Bags full of Wind, which Homer tells us his Hero receiv'd as a Present from
olus. The great Heaps of Gold, on either_side_the Throne, now appeared to be only Heaps of Paper, or little Piles of notched Sticks, bound up together in Bundles, like Bath-Faggots,
Whilst I was lamenting this sudden Desolation that had been made before me, the whole Scene vanished: In the Room of the frightful Spectres, there now enter'd a second Dance of Apparitions very agreeably matched together, and made up of very amiable Phantoms. The first Pair was Liberty with Monarchy at her right Hand: The second was Moderation leading in Religion; and the third a Person whom I had never seen, with the genius of Great Britain. At their first Entrance the Lady revived, the Bags swell'd to their former Bulk, the Piles of Faggots and Heaps of Paper changed into Pyramids of Guineas: And for my own part I was so transported with Joy, that I awaked, tho', I must confess, I would fain have fallen asleep again to have closed my Vision, if I could have done it
Monday, March 5.
Egregii mortalem altique silenti!-Hor.
N Author, when he first appears in the World, is very apt to believe it has nothing to think of but his Performances. With a good Share of this Vanity in my Heart, I made it my Business these three Days to listen after my own Fame; and, as I have sometimes