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ancient or modern, would not be unacceptable to you.
The philosophers of this sect are, in the language of our university, called Loungers. I am of opinion, that as in many other things, so likewise in this, the ancients have been defective, viz. in mentioning nô philosophers of this
Some indeed will affirm that they are a kind of Peripatetics, because we see them continually walking about. But I would have these gentlemen consider, that though the ancient Peripatetics walked much, yet they wrote much also (witness, to the sorrow of this sect, ARISTOTLE and others): whereas it is notorious that most of our professors never lay out a farthing either in pen, ink, or paper. Others are for deriving them from Diogenes, because several of the leading 'men of the sect have a great deal of the cynical humour in them, and delight much in sunshine. But then a. gain, Diogenes was content to have his constant habitation in a narrow ub, whilst our philosophers are so far from being of his opinion, that it is death to them to be confined within the limits of a good handsome convenient chamber but for half an hour. Others there arę, who from the clearness of their heads deduce the pedigree of Loungers from that great man (I think it was either Plato or Socrates), who, after all his study and learning, professed, that all he then knew was that he knew nothing. You easily see this is but a shallow argument, and may be soon confuted. “ I have with great pains and industry made my
ob servations, from time to time, upon these sages; and having now all materials ready, am compiling a treatise, wherein I shall set forth the rise and progress of this famous sect, together with their maxims, austerities, manner of living, &c. Having prevailed with a friend who designs shortly to publish a new edition of DiogeNES LAERTIUS, to add this treatise of mine by way of supplement, I shall now, to let the world see what may be expected from me (first begging Mr SPECTATOR'S leave that the world may see it), briefly touch upon some of nny
chief observations, and then subscribe myself your humble servant. In the first place, I shall give you two or three of their máxims: The fundamental one, upon which their whole system is built, is this, viz.
That time being an implacable enemy to, and destroyer of, all things, ought to be paid in his own coin, and be destroyed and murdered without mercy, by all the ways that can be invented. Another favourite saying of theirs is, that business was designed only för knaves, and study for blockheads. A third seems to be a ludicrous one, but has a great effect upon their lives; and is this, that the devil is at home. Now for their manner of living : and here I have a large field to expatiate in; but I shall reserve particulars for my intended discourse, and now only mention one or two of their principal exercises.
The elder proficients employ themselves in inspecting. mores hominum nultorum, in getting acquainted with all the signs and windows in the town. Some arrived to so great knowledge, that they can tell every time any butcher kills a calf, every time an old woman's cat is in the straw; and a thousand other matters as important. One ancient philosopher contemplates two or three hours: every day over a sun-dial, and is true to the dial,
As, the dial to ile sun,
Although it be not shoze upon. Our younger students are content to carry their specu• lations as yet no farther than bowling-greens, billiard tables, and such i like places. This may serve for a sketch of my design ; in which I hope I shall have your encouragement. I ain's
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I must be so just as to observe I have formerly seen of this sect at our other university ; though not distinguished by the appellation which the learned historian, my correspondent, reports they bear at Cambridge. They were ever looked upon as a people that impaired themselves more by their strict application to the rules of their order, than any other students whatever. Others seldom hurt themselves any further than to gain weak eyes and sometimes headaches; but these philosophers are seized all over with a general inability, indolence, and weariness, and a certain impatience of the place they are in, with a heaviness in removing to another.
The Loungers are satisfied with being merely part of the number of mankind, without distinguishing themselves from
among them. They may be said rather to suffer their time to pass, than to spend it, without re. gard to the past, or prospect of the future. All they know of life is only the present instant, and do not taste even that.
When one of this order happens to be a man of fortune, the
of his time is transferred to his coach and horses, and his life is to be measured by: their motion, not his own enjoyments or sufferings. The chief entertainment one of these philosophers can possibly propose to himself, is to get a relish of dress. This, methinks, might diversify the person he is weary of (his own dear self) to himself. I have known these two a. musements make one of these philosophers make a tolerable figure in the world; with variety of dresses-in pube lic assemblies in town, and quick motion of his horses out of it, now to Bath, now, to Tunbridge, then to Newmarket, and then to London, he has in process of time brought it to pass, that his coach and his horses have been mentioned in all those places. When the Loungers leave an academic life, and instead of this more ele. gant way of appearing in the polite world, retire to the seats of their ancestors, they usually join a pack of dogs, and employ their days in defending their poultry from foxes. I do not know any other method that any of this order has ever taken to make a noise in the world; but I shall inquire into such about this town as have arrived at the dignity of being Loungers by the force of natural parts, without having ever seen an univer. sity ; and send my correspondent, for the embellishment
" of his book, the names and history of those who pass their lives without any incidents at all ; and how they shift coffee houses and chocolate houses from hour to hour, to get over the insupportable labour of doing nothing
NO. 55.-THURSDAY, MAY 30 8711.
Intus et in jecore ægro
PARS. SAT. V. 129.
LUXURY AND AVARICE.
Most of the trades, professions, and ways of living a. mong mankind, take their original either from the love of pleasure, or the fear of want. 'The forner, when it becomes too violent, degenerates into Luxury, and the latter into Avarice. As these two principles of action draw different ways, Persius has given us a very hua moursome account of a young fellow, who was roused out of his bed, in order to be sent upon a long voyage by AVARICE, and afterwards over-persuaded and kejt at home by LUXURY. I shall set down at lengih the pleadings of these two imaginary persons, as they are in the original, with Mr DRYDEN'S translation of them.
Mane, piger, stertis: surge, inquit AVARITIA ; eja
Vive menor lethi: fugit hora. Hoc quod loquor, inde esta -> En quid agis? Duplici in diversum scinderis kino.
Hunecine, an huncce sequeris? ---
SAT, V. 131,
Whether alone, or in thy harlot's lap,
Resolv'd for sea, the slaves thy baggage pack,
and one refase. When a government flourishes in conquests, and is se cure from foreign attacks, it naturally falls into all the pleasures of luxury; and as these pleasures are very expensive, they put those who are addicted to them
upon raising fresh supplies of money, by all the methods of rapaciousness and corruption ; so that avarice and luxury very often become one complicated principle of action, in those whose hearts are wholly set upon ease, magnificence, and pleasure. The most elegant and correct of all the Latin historians observes, that in his