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HE defire of life is fo natural and strong a paffion, that I have long fince ceased to wonder at the great encouragement which the practice of phyfic finds among us. Well conftituted governments have always made the profeffion of a phyfician both honourable • and advantageous. Homer's Machaon and Virgil's lapis were men of renown, heroes in < war, and made at least as much havock among ⚫ their enemies as among their friends. Those who have little or no faith in the abilities of a quack will apply themselves to him, either becaufe he is willing to fell health at a reasonable profit, or because the patient, like a drowning man, catches at every twig, and hopes for relief from the moft ignorant, when the most able phyficians give him none. Though impudence and many words are as neceffary to these itinerary Galens, as a laced hat or a merry Andrew, yet they would turn very little 'to the advantage of the owner, if there were not fome inward disposition in the fick man to favour the pretenfions of the mountebank. Love of life in the one, and of money in the other, creates a good correfpondence between
There is scarce a city in Great-Britain but ❝ has one of this tribe who takes it into his ' protection, and on the market-day harangues the good people of the place with aphorifms and receipts. You may depend upon it, he ⚫ comes not there for his own private interest, but out of a particular affection to the town. I remember one of thefe public-spirited artists ' at Hammersmith, who told his audience, "That he had been born and bred there, and "that having a fpecial regard for the place of "his nativity, he was determined to make a "present of five fhillings to as many as would "accept of it." The whole croud food agape, " and ready to take the doctor at his word: when putting his hand into a long bag, as every one was expecting his crown piece, he drew out a handful of little packets, each of which he informed the fpectators was conftantly fold at five-fhillings and fix-pence, but that he would bate the odd five fhillings to every inhabitant of that place: the whole affembly immediately clofed with this generous offer, and took off all his phyfic, after the doctor had made them vouch for one another, that therewere no foreigners among them, but that they were all Hammersmith men.
There is another branch of pretenders to this art, who, without either horfe or pickle herring, lie fnug in a garret, and fend down notice to the world of their extraordinary parts and abilities by printed bills and adver'tisements. Thefe feem to have derived their 'custom from an Eastern nation which Herodo
tus fpeaks of, among whom it was a law, that whenever any cure was performed, both the method of the cure, and an account of the diftemper, fhould be fixed in fome public place; but as cuftoms will corrupt, thefe our moderns provide themfelves of perfons to atteft the cure, before they publish or make an experiment of the prescription. I have heard of a porter, who ferves as a knight of the poft under one of thefe operators, and, though he was never fick in his life, has been cured of all the difeafes in the difpenfary. Thefe are the men whofe fagacity has invent
ed elixirs of all forts, pills and lozenges, and take it as an affront if you come to them be. 'fore you are given over by every body else. 'Their medicines are infallible, and never fail of fuccefs, that is, of enriching the doctor, and fetting the patient effectually at reft,
'I lately dropped into a coffee-house at Weftminster, where I found the room hung round ' with ornaments of this nature. There were 'elixirs, tinctures, the Anodyne Fotus, English pills, electuaries, and in fhort more remedies than I believe there are difeafes. At the fight of fo many inventions, I could not but 'imagine myself in a kind of arfenal or `ma'gazine, where ftore of arms was repofited against any sudden invafion. Should you be attacked by the enemy fide-ways, here was an 'infallible piece of defenfive armour to cure the pleurify fhould a diftemper beat up your head quarters, here you might purchase an impenetrable helmet, or, in the language of the artist, a cephalic tincture: if your main body be affaulted, here are various onfets. I 6 began to congratulate the prefent age upon the happiness men might reasonably hope for in life, when death was thus in a manner defeated; and when pain itself would be of fo 'fhort a duration, that it would but just ferve to enhance the value of pleasure. While I was in these thoughts, I unluckily called to mind a ftory of an ingenious gentleman of the laft age, who lying violently afflicted with the gout, a perfon came and offered his fer'vice to cure him by a method which he affured ' him was infallible; the fervant who received
the meffage carried it up to his master, who inquiring whether the perfon came on foot or ' in a chariot; and being informed that he was
on foot: "Go," fays he, "fend the knave "about his business was his method as in"fallible as he pretends, he would long be"fore now have been in his coach and fix," In like manner I concluded, that had all thefe advertifers arrived to that skill they pretend to they would have had no need for fo many years fucceffively to publifh to the ' world the place of their abode, and the vir tues of their medicines. One of thefe gentlemen indeed pretends to an effectual cure for leannefs: what effects it may have upon thofe who have tried it I cannot tell; but I am 'credibly informed, that the call for it has been fo great, that it has effectually cured the doctor himself of that distemper. Could each of them produce fo good an inftance of the fuccefs of his medicines, they might foon perfuade the world into an opinion of them.
I obferve that most of the bills agree in one expreffion, viz. that, "with God's blef"fing" they perform fuch and fuch cures this expreffion is certainly very proper emphatical, for that is all they have for it. And if ever a cure is performed on a patient where they are concerned, they can claim no greater share in it than Virgil's Iapis in the curing of Æneas; he tried his fkill, was 6 very affiduous about the wound, and indeed was the only visible means that relieved the hero but the poet affures us it was the particular affiftance of a deity that speeded the operation. An English reader may fee the whole story in Dryden's translation
"Prop'd on his lance the penfive hero ftood, "And heard and faw unmov'd, the mourning "croud.
"The fam'd phyfician tucks his robes around,
"But now the goddess mother, mov'd with
And pierc'd with pity hastens her relief. "A branch of healing Dittany fhe brought, "Which in the Cretan fields with care the "fought; "Rough is the item, which woolly leaves fur"round;
"The leaves with flow'rs, the flow'rs with "purple crown'd:
"Well known to wounded goats; a fure relief
"Th' extracted liquor with Ambrofian dews,
"And pours it in a bowl already crown'd
"The leech, unknowing of fuperior art,
"And in a moment ceas'd the raging smart..
"The fteel, but fcarcely touch'd with teader
"Moves up and follows of its own accord;
"And fend the willing chief, renew'd to war.
No. 573. WEDNESDAY, JULY 28.
our companions; but you never reflect what hufbands we have buried, and how fhort a forrow the lofs of them was capable of occafioning. For my own part, Mrs. Prefident as you call me, my first husband I was married to at fourteen by my uncle and guardian (as I afterwards difcovered) by way of fale, for the third part of my fortune. This fellow looked upon me as a mere child, he might breed up after his own fancy; if he kiffed my chambermaid before my face, I was fuppofed fo ignorant, how could I think there was any hurt in it? When he came home roaring drunk at five in the morning, it was the custom of all men that live in the world. I was not to fee a pen
ny of money, for poor thing, how could I manage it? He took a handfome coufin of his into the houfe (as he faid) to be my houfekeeper, and to govern my fervants; for how 'fhould I know how to rule a family? and while fhe had what money the pleased, which · was but reafonable for the trouble fhe was at for my good, I was not to be fo cenforious as to diflike familiarity and kindnefs between near relations. I was too great a coward to
contend, but not fo ignorant a child to be thus impofed upon. I refented his contempt as I ought to do, and as the moft poor paffive blind'ed wives do, until it pleafed Heaven to take
away my tyrant, who left me free poffeflion of my own land, and a large jointure. My youth ' and money brought me many lovers, and feveral endeavoured to establish an intereft in my heart while my husband was in his laft ficknefs; the honourable Edward Waitfort was one of the first who addreffed to me, advised to it by a coufin of his that was my intimate friend, and knew to a penny what I was worth. Mr. Waitfort is a very agreeable man, and every body would like him as well as he does himself, if they did not plainly fee that his efteem, and love is all taken up, and by fuch an object, as it is impoffible to get the better of. I mean himself. He made no doubt of marrying me within four or five months, and began to proceed with fuch an affured eafy air, that piqued my pride not to banish him; quite contrary, out of pure malice, I heard his first declaration 'with fo much innocent furprise, and blushed fo prettily, I perceived it touched his very heart, and he thought me the best natured filly poor thing on earth. When a man has fuch a notion of a woman, he loves her better than he thinks he does. I was overjoyed to be thus revenged on him, for defigning on my fortune; and finding it was in my power to make his heart ake, I refolved to complete my conqueft, and entertained feveral other pretenders. The 'first impreffion of my undefigning innocence
Juv. Sat. 2. ver. 35. Chaftifed, the accufation they retort.
was fo strong in his head, he attributed all my followers to the inevitable force of my charms; and from several blushes and fide glances, con⚫cluded himfelf the and when I used
Y paper on the club of widows has
Mbrought me in feveral letters; and, him like a dog for my diverfion, he thought it
nong the rest," a long one from Mrs. President, as follows:
was all prudence and fear, and pitied the violence I did my own inclinations to comply with my friends, when I married Sir Nicholas Fribble of fixty years of age. You know; Sir, the cafe of Mrs. Medlar, I hope you would not have had me cry out my eyes for fuch a husband. I fhed tears enough for my widowhood a week after my marriage, and when he was put in his grave, reckoning he had been
< Smart Sir,
OU are pleased to be very merry, as you feem to ground your fatire on our receiving confolation fo foon after the death of our dears, and the number we are pleafed to admit for
two years dead, and myfelf a widow of that ftanding, I married three weeks afterwards John Sturdy, Efq; his next heir. I had indeed fome thoughts of taking Mr. Waitfort, but I found he could ftay, and befides he thought it indecent to ask me to marry again, until my year was out; fo privately refolving him for my fourth, I took Mr. Sturdy for the prefent. Would you believe it, Sir, Mr. Sturdy was juft five and twenty, about fix foot high, and the ftouteft fox-hunter in the country, and I believe I wifhed ten thousand times for my old Fribble again; he was following his dogs all the day, C and all the night keeping them up at table with him and his companions: however I think • myfelf obliged to them for leading him a chace in which he broke his neck. Mr. Waitfort began his addreffes anew, and I verily believe I had married him now, but there was a young. officer in the guards that had debauched two or three of my acquaintance, and I could not forbear being a little vain of his courtship. Mr. Waitfort heard of it, and read me fuch an infolent lecture upon the conduct of women, 1 married the officer that very day, out of pure " spite to him. Half an hour after I was married I received a penitential letter from the honourable Mr. Edward Waitfort, in which he begged pardon for his paffion, as proceeding from the violence of his love; I triumphed when I read it, and could not help, out of the pride of my heart, fhewing it to my new spouse; and we were very merry together upon it. Alas! my mirth lafted a short time; my young husband was very much in debt when I married him, and his firft action afterwards was to fet up a gilt chariot and fix in fine trappings 'before and behind. I had married fo hastily I had not the prudence to referve my estate in my own hands; my ready money was loft in two nights at the Groom-porter's; and my diamond necklace, which was ftole I did not know how, I met in the ftreet upon Jenny Wheedle's neck. My plate vanished piece by piece, and I had been reduced to downright pewter, if my officer had not been deliciously C killed in a duel, by a fellow that had cheated 6 him of five hundred pounds, and afterwards, at his own request, satisfied him and me too, by running him through the body, Mr. Waitfort was ftill in love, and told me fo again; and to prevent all fears of ill ufage, he defired me to referve every thing in my own hands: but now my acquaintance began to with me joy of his • conftancy, my charms were declining, and I could not refift the delight I took in fhewing · the young flirts about town, it was yet in my 6 power to give pain to a man of fenfe: this, and fome private hopes he would hang himself, and what a glory would it be for me, and how I fhould be envied, made me accept of being third wife to my Lord Friday. I propofed from my rank and his eftate, to live in all the " joys of pride, but how was I mistaken? he was 'neither extravagant nor ill-natured, nor debauched. I fuffered however more with him than with all my others. He was fplenetic. I was forced to fit whole days hearkening to his imaginary ails; it was impoffible to tell what would pleafe him; what he liked when the fun shined, made him fick when it rained; he had no diftemper, but lived in conftant 1 fear of them all; my good genius dictated to
me to bring him acquainted with Dr. Gruel : from that day he was always contented, becaufe he had names for all his complaints; the good doctor furnished him with reafons for all his pains, and defcriptions for every fancy that 'troubled him; in hot weather he lived upon 'juleps, and let blood to prevent fevers; when it grew cloudy he generally apprehended a confumption; to fhorten the hiftory of this wretch'ed part of my life, he ruined a good conftitution by endeavouring to mend it, and took ' feveral medicines, which ended in taking the grand remedy, which cured both him and me ' of all our uneafineffes. After his death, I did "not expect to hear any more of Mr. Waitfort, "I knew he had renounced me to all his friends, " and been very witty upon my choice, which he affected to talk of with great indifferency; I gave over thinking of him, being told that he was engaged with a pretty woman and a great fortune; it vexed me a little, but not enough to make me neglect the advice of my 'coufin Wishwell, that came to fee me the day " my lord went into the country with Ruffel; fhe told me experimentally, nothing put an unfaithful lover and a dear husband fo foon ' out of one's head, as a new one; and at the 'fame time, proposed to me a kinfman of hers: • you understand enought of the world (faid fhe) 'to know money is the most valuable confide'ration; he is very rich, and I am fure cannot live long; he has a cough that must carry him ' off foon. I knew afterwards she had given the felf-fame character of me to him; but however I was fo much perfuaded by her, I haftened on the match for fear he should die before the time came; he had the fame fears, and was fo preffing, I married him in a fortnight, refolving to 'keep it private a fortnight longer. During this fortnight Mr. Waitfort came to make me a 'vifit: he told me he had waited on me fooner, ' but had that refpéct for me, he would not in· terrupt me in the first day of my affliction for " my dead lord; that as foon as he heard I was at liberty to make another choice, he had broke off a match very advantageous for his fortune 'just upon the point of conclufion, and was 'forty times more in love with me than ever.
never received more pleasure in my life than 'from this declaration, but I compofed my face
to a grave air, and faid the news of his engagement had touched me to the heart, that in a 'rafh jealous fit, I had married a man I could ' never have thought on, if I had not loft all hopes of him. Good-natured Mr. Watifort had like to have dropt down dead at hearing this, but went from me with fuch an air as 'plainly fhewed me he laid all the blame upon himself, and hated those friends that had ad'vifed him to the fatal application; he feemed as much touched by my misfortune as his own, for he had not the leaft doubt I was still paffionately in love with him. The truth of the ftory is, my new husband gave me reason to repent I had not ftaid for him; he had mar ried me for my money, and 1 foon found he loved money to distraction; there was nothing he would not do to get it, nothing he would not fuffer to preferve it; the fmalleft expence kept him awake whole nights, and when he paid a bill it was with as many fighs, and after as " many delays, as a man that endures the lofs of a limb. I heard nothing but reproofs for exS&& travagancy
travagancy in whatever I did. I faw very well that he would have starved me, but for lofing my jointures; and he suffered agonies between the grief of feeing me have fo good a ftomach, and the fear that if he made me faft, it might prejudice my health. I did not doubt he would have broke my heart, if I did not break his, which was allowable by the law of felf-defence. The way was very eafy. I refolved to spend as much money as I could, and, before he was aware of the ftroke, appeared before him in a a two thousand pound diamond necklace; he faid nothing, but went quietly to his chamber, and, as it is thought, compofed himself with a dofe of opium. I behaved myself fo well upon the occafion that to this day I believe he died of an apoplexy. Mr. Waitfort was refolved not to be too late this time, and I heard from him in two days. I am almoft out of my weeds. at this prefent writing, and very doubtful, whether I will marry him or no. I do not think of a feventh, for the ridiculous reafon you men" tion, but out of pure morality that I think fo · much conftancy fhould be rewarded, though I may not do it after all perhaps. I do not believe all the unreasonable malice of mankind can give a pretence why I fhould have been conftant to the memory of any of the deceased, or have spent so much time in grieving for an infolent, infignificant, negligent, extravagant, fplenetic or covetous husband; my first infulted me, my fecond was nothing to me, my third difgufted me, the fourth would have ruined me, the fifth tormented me, and the fixth 'would have ftarved me. If the other ladies you name would thus give in their husbands pictures at length, you would fee they have had as little reafon as myself, to lofe their hours in weeping and wailing.'
FRIDAY, JULY 30,
First of all, a man should always confider how much he has more than he wants. I am wonderfully pleased with the reply which Aristippus made to one who condoled him upon the lofs of a farm: "Why," faid he, "I have three farms "ftill, and you have but one; fo that I ought " rather to be afflicted for you, than you for "me." On the contrary, foolish men are more apt to confider what they have loft than what they poffefs; and to fix their eyes upon those who are richer than themselves, rather than on those who are under greater difficulties. All the real pleasures and conveniences of life lie in a narrow compafs; but it is the humour of mankind to be always looking forward, and strainHOR. Od. 9. 1. 4. ver. 45. ing after one who has got the start of them in wealth and honour. For this reafon, as there are none can be properly called rich, who have not more than they want: there are few rich men in any of the politer nations but among the middle fort of people, who keep their wishes within their fortunes, and have more wealth than they know how to enjoy. Perfons of a higher rank live in a kind of fplendid poverty, and are perpetually wanting, because, inftead of acquiefcing in the folid pleasures of life, they endeavour to outvy one another in fhadows and appearances. Men of fenfe have at all times beheld with a great deal of mirth this filly game that is playing over their heads, and by contracting their defires, enjoy all that secret satisfaction which others are always in queft of. The truth is, this ridiculous chace after imaginary pleasures cannot be fufficiently expofed, as it is the great fource of thofe evils which generally undo a nation. Let a man's estate be what it will, he is a poor man if he does not live within it, and naturally sets himself to fale to any one that can give him his price. When Pittacus, after the death
Nomen beati, qui deorum
flame, flame into light, and light into glory. He further added, that a fingle ray of it diffipates pain, and care, and melancholy, from the perfon on whom it falls, In short, fays he, its presence naturally changes every place into a kind of heaven. After he had gone on for fome time in this unintelligible cant, I found that he jumbled natural and moral ideas together in the fame difcourse, and that his great fecret was nothing else but content.
Believe not thofe that lands poffefs,
But rather thofe that know
WAS once engaged in difcourfe with a Roficrucian about "the great fecret." As this kind of men (I mean thofe of them who are not profeffed cheats) are over-run with enthusiasm and philofophy, it was very amufing to hear this religious adept defcanting on his pretended dif. covery. He talked of the fecret as of a fpirit which lived within an emerald, and converted every thing that was near it to the highest perfection it is capable of. It gives a luftre, fays he, to the fun, and water to the diamond. It irradiates every metal, and enriches lead with all the properties of gold. It heightens smoke into
This virtue does indeed produce in fome meafure, all thofe effects which the alchymift ufually afcribes to what he calls the philofopher's ftone; and if it does not bring riches, it does the fame thing, by banishing the defire of them. If it cannot remove the difquietudes arifing out of a man's mind, body, or fortune, it makes him eafy under them. It has indeed a kindly inflyence on the foul of man, in respect of every being to whom he stands related. It extinguishes all murmur, repining and ingratitude towards that Being who has allotted him his part to act in this world. It destroys all inordinate ambition, and every tendency to corruption, with re gard to the community wherein he is placed. It gives fweetnefs to his converfation, and a perpetual ferenity to all his thoughts.
Among the many methods which might be made use of for the acquiring of this virtue, I fhall only mention the two following. First of all, a man fhould always confider how much he has more than he wants: and fecondly, How much more unhappy he might be than he really is.
death of his brother, who had left a good estate, was offered a great fum of money by the king of Lydia, he thanked him for his kindnefs, but told him he had more by half than he knew what to do with. In short, content is equivalent to wealth, and luxury to poverty; or to give the thought a more agreeable turn, "Content is natural wealth," fays Socrates; to which I fhall add, "Luxury is
artificial poverty." I fhall therefore recommend to the confideration of those who are always aiming after fuperfluous and imaginary enjoyments, and will not be at the trouble of contracting their defires, an excellent faying of Bion the philofopher; namely, "That no man has "fo much care, as he who endeavours after the "moft happiness."
In the fecond place, every one ought to reflect how much more unhappy he might be than he really is. The former confideration took in all those who are fufficiently provided with the means to make themselves eafy; this regards fuch as actually lie under fome preffure or misfortune. Thefe may receive great alleviation from fuch a comparison as the unhappy perfon may make between himself and others, or between the miffortunes which he suffers, and greater misfortunes which might have befallen him.
I like the ftory of the honest Dutchman, who, upon breaking his leg by a fall from the mainmaft, fold the ftanders-by, it was a great mercy that it was not his neck. To which, fince I am got into quotations, give me leave to add the faying of an old philofopher, who, after having invited fome of his friends to dine with him, was ruffled by his wife that came into the room in a paffion, and threw down the table that stood before them; "Every one," fays he, " has his calamity, and
he is a happy man that has no greater than "this." We find an inftance to the fame purpofe in the life of Dr. Hammond, written by Bishop Fell. As this good man was troubled with a complication of distempers, when he had the gout upon him, he used to thank God that it was not the ftone; and when he had the ftone, that he had not both these diftempers on him at the fame time.
I cannot conclude this effay without obferving that there was never any fyftem befides that of Christianity, which could effectually produce, in the mind of man the virtue I have been hitherto fpeaking of. In order to make us content with our prefent condition, many of the ancient philofophers tell us that our difcontent only hurts ourfelves, without ever being able to make any alteration in our circumftances; others, that whatever evil befals us is derived to us by a fatal ne ceffity, to which the gods themselves are fubject; while others very gravely tell the man who is miferable, that it is neceffary he should be fo to keep up the harmony of the univerfe, and that the fcheme of Providence would be troubled and perverted were he otherwise. These, and the like confiderations, rather filence than fatisfy a man. They may fhew him that his difcontent is unreafonable, but are by no means fufficient to relieve it. They rather give defpair than confolation. In a word, a man might reply to one of thefe comforters, as Auguftus did to his friend who advifed him not to grieve for the death of a perfen whom he loved, because his grief could not fetch him again: It is for that very reafon," faid the emperor, that I grieve,”
On the contrary, religion bears a more tender regard to human nature. It prefcribes to every miferable man the means of bettering his condition; nay, it fhews him that the bearing of his afflictions as he ought to do will naturally end in the removal of them; it makes tim eafy here, because it can make him happy hereafter.
Upon the whole, a contented mind is the greatest bleffing a man can enjoy in this world; and if in the prefent life his happiness arifes from the subduing of his defires, it will arife in the next from the gratification of them. :
LEWD young fellow feeing an aged hermit go by him barefoot, " Father," fays he, "you are in a very miferable condition if there is not another world." "True fon," faid the hermit, "but what is thy condition if there "is "Man is a creature defigned for two different ftates of being, or rather for two different lives. His first life is fhort and tranfient; his fecond permanent and lafting. The question we are all concerned in, is this, in which of these two lives it is our chief intereft to make ourfelves happy? Or in other words, whether we fhould endeavour to fecure to ourfelves the pleasures and gratifications of a life which is uncertain and precarious, and at its utmost length of a very inconfiderable duration; or to fecure to ourfelves the pleafures of a life which is fixed and fettled, and will never end? Every man, upon the first hearing of this question, knows very well which fide he ought to clofe with. But however right we are in theory, it is plain that in practice we adhere to the wrong fide of the queftion. We make provifions for this life as though it were never to have an end, and for the other life as though it were never to have a beginning.
Should a fpirit of fuperior rank, who is a ftranger to human nature, accidentally alight upon the earth, and take a furvey of its inhabitants; what would his notion of us be? Would not he think that we are a fpecies of beings made for quite different ends and purposes than what we really are? Muft not he really imagine that we were placed in this world to get riches and honours? Would not he think that it was our duty to toil after wealth, and station, and title? Nay, would not he believe we were forbidden poverty by threats of eternal punishment, and enjoined to pursue our pleasures under the pain of damnation? He would certainly imagine that we were influenced by a fcheme of duties quite oppofite to thofe which are indeed prefcribed us. And truly, according to fuch an imagination, he must conclude that we are a fpecies of the most obedient creatures in the univerfe; that we are conftant to our duty; and that we keep a steady eye on the end for which we were fent hither.
But how great would be his aftonishment, when he learnt that we were beings not defigned to exift in this part of the world above threefcore and ten years; and that the greatest part of this bufy fpecies fall fhort even of that age? How would