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bability, as it was a received doctrine among
• Mr. Spectator,
IF you ever read a letter which is fent with the more pleasure for the reality of its complaints, this may have reafon to hope for a favourable acceptance; and if time be the " most irretrievable lofs, the regrets which fol
to have ended them both. The occafion of this feems to be the want of fome necessary employment, to put the fpirits in motion, and awaken them out of their lethargy if I had lefs leifure, I fhould have more; for I fhould then find my time diftinguished into portions, fome for bufinefs, and others for the indulging of pleasures: but now one face of indolence overfpreads the whole, and I have no land'mark to direct myself by. Were one's time a little ftraitened by bufinefs, like water inclofed in its banks, it would have fome determined courfe; but unless it be put into fome channel it has no current, but becomes a deluge "without either ufe or motion.
When Scanderbeg, prince of Epirus, was dead, the Turks who had but too often felt the force of his arm in the battles he had won from them, imagined that by wearing a piece of his bones near their heart, they should be 'animated with a vigour and force like to that which infpired him when living. As I am like to be but of little ufe whilft I live, I am refolved to do what good I can after my • decease; and have accordingly ordered my bones to be difpofed of in this manner for the good of my countrymen, who are troubled with too exorbitant a degree of fire. All foxhunters, upon wearing me, would in a fhort time be brought to endure their beds in a morning, and perhaps even quit them with regret at ten: instead of hurrying away to teize a poor animal, and run away from their ' own thoughts, a chair or a chariot would be thought the most defirable means of performing a remove from one place to another. I fhould be a cure for the unnatural defire of John Trot for dancing, and a specific to leffen the inclination Mrs. Fidget has to motion, to the prefent place fhe is in. In fine, no and caufe her always to give her approbation Egyptian mummy was ever half fo ufeful in phyfic, as I fhould be to these feverish conftitutions, to reprefs the violent fallies of youth, and give each action its proper weight and • repose.
I can ftifle any violent inclination, and op. pofe a torrent of anger, or the folicitations of revenge, with fuccefs. But indolence is a ⚫ftream which flows flowly on, but yet undermines the foundation of every virtue. A vice of a more lively nature were a more defirable tyrant than this ruft of the mind, which gives a tincture of its nature to every action of one's life. It were as little hazard to be toffed in a ftorm, as to lie thus perpetually becalmed; and it is to no purpose to have within one the feeds of a thoufand good qualities, if we the vigour and refolution neceffary for the exerting them. Death brings all perfons back to an equality; and this image of it, this number of the mind, leaves no difference between the greatest genius and the meaneft understanding: a faculty of doing things remarkably praife-worthy thus concealed, is of no more ufe to the owner, than a heap of gold to the man who dares not use it.
To-morrow is fill the fatal time when all is to be rectified: to-morrow comes, it goes, and ftill I pleafe myself with the fhadow, "whilft I lofe the reality; unmindful that the present time alone is ours, the future is yet unborn, and the paft is dead, and can only 3 F 2
low will be thought, I hope, the most justifi-want
live, as parents in their children, in the actions it has produced.
The time we live ought not to be computed by the number of years, but, by the ufe that ⚫ has been made of it; thus it is not the extent of ground, but the yearly rent which gives the value to the estate. Wretched and thought
lefs creatures, in the only place where cove, No 317. TUESDAY, MARCH 4. ⚫ tousness were a virtue we turn prodigals! Nothing lies upon our hands with fuch uneafi nefs, nor has there been fo many devices for
-Fruges confumere nati.
any one thing, as to make it flide away im-
Hor. Ep. 2. lib. 1. ver. 27.
which is above the price of an eftate, is flung Aguftus, a few moments before his death,
away with difregard and contempt. There is nothing now. a-days fo much avoided, as a ⚫ folicitous improvement of every part of time; it is a report must be fhunned as one tenders the name of a wit and a fine genius, and as one fears the dreadful character of a laborious plodder: but notwithstanding this, the great eft wits any age has produced thought far otherwife; for who can think either Socrates or Demosthenes loft any reputation, by their continual pains both in overcoming the de⚫fects and improving the gifts of nature. All are acquainted with the labour and affiduity with which Tully acquired his eloquence. Seneca in his letters to Lucilius affures him, there was not a day in which he did not either 'write fomething, or read and epitomize fome good author; and I remember Pliny in one of his letters, where he gives an account of the various methods he used to fill up every vacancy of time, after feveral employments 'which he enumerates; fometimes, fays he, I hunt; but even then I carry with me a pocket book, that whilft my fervants are bufied in difpofing of the nets and other matters, I may be employed in fomething that may be useful to me in ftudies; and that If I mifs of my C game, I may at the leaft bring home fome of · my own thoughts with me, and not have the ⚫ mortification of having caught nothing all day.
afked his friends who flood about him, if they thought he had acted his part well; and upon receiving fuch an answer as was due to his extraordinary merit, "Let me then," fays he, "go off the ftage with your applaufe;" ufing the expreffion with which the Roman actors made their exit at the conclufion of a dramatic piece. I could with that men, while they are in health, would confider well the nature of the part they are engaged in, and what figure it will make in the minds of thofe they leave behind them: whether it was worth coming into the world for; whether it be fuitable to a reasona ble being; in fhort, whether it appears graceful in this life, or will turn to an advantage in the next. Let the fycophant or buffoon, the fatirift, or the good companion, confider with himself, when his body fhall be laid in the grave, and his foul pass into another state of existence, how much it would redound to his praife to have it faid of him, that no man in England eat better, that he had an admirable talent at turning his friends into ridicule, that nobody out-did him at an ill-natured jeft, or that he never went to bed before he had difpatched his third bottle. Thefe are, however, very common funeral orations, and elogiums on deceafed perfons who have acted among mankind with fome figure and reputation.
Thus, Sir, you fee how many examples I recal to my mind, and what arguments I ufe 'with myfelf, to regain my liberty: but as I am afraid it is no ordinary perfuafion that will be of fervice, I fhall expect your thoughts on this fubject, with the greatest impatience, ⚫efpecially fince the good will not be confined to me alone, but will be of univerfal ufe. For these is no hopes of amendment where ⚫ men are pleased with their ruin, and whilft they think laziness is a defirable character: ⚫ whether it be that they like the ftate itfelf, or that they think it gives them a new luftre when they do exert themfelves, feemingly to be able to do that without labour and application, which others attain to but with the greatest diligence,
'1 am, Sir,
all thofe qualifications you expect in him
Your most obliged humble fervant,
Your most humble fervant,
Clytander to Cleone.
Ermiffion to love you is all that I defire, to conquer all the difficulties thofe about 6 you place in my way, to furmount and acquire
But if we look into the bulk of our fpecies, they are fuch as are not likely to be remembered a moment after their difappearance. They leave behind them no traces of their existence, but are forgotten as though they had never been. They are neither wanted by the poor, regretted by the rich, nor celebrated by the learned. They are neither miffed in the commonwealth, nor lamented by private perfons. Their actions are of no fignificancy to mankind, and might have been performed by creatures of much lefs digni ty than those who are diftinguished by the faculty of reafon. An eminent French author fpeaks fomewhere to the following purpose; I have often feen from my chamber window two noble creatures, both of them of an erect countenance and endowed with reafon. These two intellectual beings are employed from morning to night, in rubbing two fmooth ftones one upon another; that is, as the vulgar phrafe is, in polishing marble,
My friend, Sir Andrew Freeport, as we were fitting in the club last night, gave us an account of a fober citizen, who died a few days fince. This honeft man being of greater confequence in his own thoughts, than in the eye of the world, had for fome years paft kept a journal of his life. Sir Andrew fhewed us one week of it. Since the occurrences fet down in
Nine of the clock. Wafhed hands and face, fhaved, put on my double-foaled shoes.
Ten, eleven, twelve. lington,
Took a walk to If
One. Took a pot of Mother Cob's mild. Between two and three. Returned, dined on a knuckle of veal and bacon. Mem. Sprouts wanting.
Two. Dined as ufual. Stomach good, Three. Nap broke by the falling of a pewter difh. Mem. Cook-maid in love and grown careless. From four to fix. Coffee-house. Read the news. A difh of twist. Grand Vifier ftran
From fix to ten. At the club. Mr. Nifby's account of the great Turk. Ten. Dream of the Grand Vifier. deep.
Wednesday, eight of the clock, Tongue of my fhoe-buckle broke. Hands but not face. Nine. Paid off the butcher's bill, Mem. To be allowed for the laft leg of mutton. Ten, eleven. At the coffee-houfe. More work in the North, Stranger in a black wig afked me how stocks went,
Walked in the fields.
From twelve to one. Wind to the fouth. From one to two. Smoked a pipe and a half.
Two. Nap broke by the falling of a pewter difh. Mem, Cook-maid in love, and grown careless.
From four to fix. At the coffee-houfe. Advice from Smyrna, that the Grand Vifier was first of all strangled, and afterwards beheaded.
Six of the clock in the evening. Was half an hour in the club before any body elfe came, Mr. Niby of opinion that the Grand Vifier was not ftrangled the fixth inftant.
Ten at night. Went to bed. Slept without waking until nine next morning.
Thursday, nine of the clock. Staid within until two of the clock for Sir Timothy; who did not bring me my annuity according to his promife.
Two in the afternoon. Sat down to dinner. Lofs of appetite. Small-beer four. Beef overcorned.
Three. Could not take my nap.
Four and five. Gave Ralph a box on the ear. Turned off my cook-maid. Sent a melfenger to Sir Timothy. Mem. I did not go to the club to-night. Went to bed at nine o'clock.
Twelve of the clock Bought a new head to my cane, and a tongue to my buckle, Drank a glafs of purl to recover appetite.
Two and three. Dined and flept well.
From four to fix. Went to the coffee-house. Met Mr. Niby there. Smoked feveral pipes. Mr. Niby of opinion that laced coffee is bad for the head.
Six of the clock. At the club as fteward. Sat late.
Twelve of the clock. Went to bed, dreamt that I drank small-beer with the Grand Vifier.
I question not but the reader will be furprifed to find the above-mentioned journalist taking fo much care of a life that was filled with fuch inconfiderable actions, and received fo very fmall improvements; and yet, if we look into the behaviour of many whom we daily converfe with, we fhall find that most of their hours are taken up in thofe three important articles of eating, drinking, and fleeping. I do not fuppofe that a man lofes his time, who is not engaged in public affairs, or in an illuftrious courfe of action. On the contrary, I believe our hours may very often be more profita. bly laid out in fuch tranfactions as make no fi gure in the world, than in fuch as are apt to draw upon them the attention of mankind. One may become wifer and better by feveral me thods of employing one's felf in fecrecy and filence, and do what is laudable without noife or oftentation. I would, however, recommend to every one of my readers, the keeping a journal of their lives for one week, and fetting down punctually their whole feries of employments during that space of time. This kind of felfexamination would give them, a true state of themselves, and incline them to confider feri. oufly what they are about, One day would rectify the omiffions of another, and make a man weigh all those indifferent actions, which, though they are easily forgotten, must certainly be accounted for.
• Mr. Spectators
Certain vice which you have lately at
has not yet
you as growing fo deep in the heart of man, that the affectation out-lives the practice of it. You must have obferved that men who have ⚫ been bred in arms preferve to the most extreme and feeble old-age a certain daring in their afpect: in like manner, they who have · paffed their time in gallantry and adventure, keep up, as well as they can, the appearance · of it, and carry a petulant inclination to their laft moments. Let this ferve for a preface to a relation I am going to give you of an old C beau in town, that has not only been amo· rous, and a follower of women in general, but alfo, in fpite of the admonition of gray hairs, been from his fixty-third year to his prefent feventieth, in an actual purfuit of a young lady, the wife of his friend, and a man of merit. The gay old Efcalus has wit, good health, and is perfectly well-bred; but from the fashion and manners of the court when he was in his bloom, has such a natural tendency to amorous adventure, that he thought it ⚫ would be an endless reproach to him to make C no ufe of a familiarity he was allowed at a gentleman's houfe, whofe good-humour and confidence expofed his wife to the addreffes of any who should take it in their head to do him the good office. It is not impoffible that Efcalus might alfo refent that the husband was particularly negligent of him; and though he gave many intimations of a paffion towards the wife, the hufband either did not fee them, or put him to the contempt of overlooking them. In the mean time Ifabella, for fo we 'fhall call our heroine, faw his paffion, and rejoiced in it as a foundation for much diverfion, and an opportunity of indulging herself in the dear delight of being admired, addreffed to, and flattered, with no ill confe· quence to her reputation. This lady is of a free and difengaged behaviour, ever in goodhumour, fuch as is the image of innocence with thofe who are innocent, and an encouragement to vice with those who are abandoned. From this kind of carriage, and an apparent approbation of his gallantry, Efcalus had frequent opportunities of laying amorous epiftles in her way, of fixing his eyes attentively upon her action, of performing a thoufand little offices which are neglected by the unconcerned, but are fo many approaches towards happinefs with the enamoured, It was now, as is above hinted, almoft the end of the feventh year of his paffion, when Efcalus from general terms, and the ambiguous refpe&t which criminal lovers retain in their addreffes, began to bewail that his paflion grew too violent for him to anfwer any longer for his be haviour towards her; and that he hoped fhe would have confideration for his long and patient respect, to excufe the motions of a
heart now no longer under the direction of the ⚫ unhappy owner of it. Such for fome months had been the language of Efcalus, both in his talk and his letters to Ifabella; who returned the collection of fifty years with "I must not all the profufion of kind things which had been "hear you; you will make me forget that you "are a gentleman; I would not willingly lofé
you as a friend;" and the like expreffions, which the fkilful interpret to their own advantage, as well knowing that a feeble denial is á 'modeft affent. I fhould have told you, that Ifabella, during the whole progrefs of this amour, communicated it to her husband; and that an account of Efcalus's love was their ufual entertainment after half a day's abfence: 'Ifabella therefore, upon her lover's late more " open affaults, with a fmile told her husband 'fhe could hold out no longer, but that his fate " was now come to a crifis. After the had ex'plained herself a little farther, with her hufband's approbation fhe proceeded in the fol 'lowing manner. The next time that Efcalus was alone with her, and repeated his impor tunity, the crafty Isabella looked on her fan with an air of great attention, as confidering of what importance fuch a fecret was to her; and upon the repetition of a warm expreffion, the looked at him with an eye of fondness, and told him he was paft that time of life, 'which could make her fear he would boast of a lady's favour; then turned away her head, with a very well acted confufion, which favoured the escape of the aged Efcalus. This adventure was matter of great pleafantry to 'Ifabella and her fpoufe; and they had enjoyed it two days before Efcalus could recollect him felf enough to form the following letter.
WHAT happened the other day, gives me a lively image of the inconfiftence "of human paffions and inclinations. We pur "fue what we are denied, and place our affec"tions on what is abfent, though we neglected "it when prefent. As long as you refufed my "love, your refufal did fo strongly excite my "paffion, that I had not once the leifure to "think of recalling my reafon to aid me against "the defign upon your virtue. But when that "virtue began to comply in my favour, my rea"fon made an effort over my love, and let me "fee the bafenefs of my behaviour in attempt ❝ing a woman of honour. I own to you, it "was not without the most violent struggle, "that I gained this victory over myself; nay,
will confefs my fhame, and acknowledge I "could not have prevailed but by flight. How
ever, Madam, I beg that you will believe a "moment's weakness has not destroyed the ef❝teem I had for you, which was confirmed by "fo many years of obftinate vittue. You have "reafon to rejoice that this did not happen
within the obfervation of one of the young "fellows, who would have expofed your weak"nefs, and gloried in his own brutish inclina❝tions.
"I am, Madam,
Your most devoted humble fervant."
Ifabella, with the help of her husband, returned the following anfwer.
various cocks of their hats, all flatter us in this opinion.
I had an humble fervant last fummer, who the first time he declared himself, was in a full-bottomed wig; but the day after, to my no fimall furprife, he accofted me in a thin natural one. I received him at this our fecond interview, as a perfect ftranger, but was extremely confounded, when his fpeech difcovered who he was. I refolved, therefore, to fix his face in my memory for the future; but as I was walking in the Park the fame evening, he appeared to me in one of thofe wigs that I think you call a night-cap, which had altered ‹ him more effectually than before. He after'wards played a couple of black riding wigs
upon me with the fame fuccefs; and in fhort, affumed a new face, almost every day in the first month of his courtship.
I obferved afterwards, that the variety of cocks into which he moulded his hat, had not a little contributed to his impofitions upon me. 'Yet as if all these ways were not fufficient to < diftinguish their heads, you must doubtless, Sir, have obferved, that great numbers of young fellows, have, for feveral months laft paft, taken upon them to wear feathers.
We hope, therefore, that these may, with as much justice, be called Indian princes, as you have ftiled a woman in a coloured hood 'an Indian queen; and that you will, in due time, take these airy gentlemen into confidera• tion.
Ex Cannot but account myfelf a very happy woman, in having a man for a lover that can write fo well. and give fo good a turn to 663 a difappointment. Another excellence you "have above all other pretenders I ever heard "C of, on occafions where the moft reasonable men lofe all their reafon, you have your's moft powerful. We have each of us to thank our genius that the paffion of one abated in proportion as that of the other grew violent. "Does it not yet come into your head, to ima 66 gine that I knew my compliance was the greatest cruelty I could be guilty of towards you? In return for your long and faithful paffion, I must let you know that you are old << enough to become a little more gravity; but "if you will leave me and coquet it any where elfe, may your mistress yield!
Have endeavoured in the courfe of my papers to do justice to the age, and have taken care as much as poffible to keep myself a neuter between both fexes. I have neither fpared the ladies out of complaifance, nor the men out of partiality; but notwithstanding the great integrity with which I have acted in this particular, I find myself taxed with an inclination to favour my own half of the fpecies. Whether it be that the women afford a more fruitful field for fpeculation, or whether they run more in my head than the men, I cannot tell, but I fhall iet down the charge as it is laid against me in the following letter
tions every morning. I am at prefent commiffioned by our whole affembly, to let you know, that we fear you are a little inclined to be partial towards your own fex. We must however acknowledge, with all due gratitude, that in fome cafes you have given us our revenge on the men, and done us juftice. . We could not eafily have forgiven you feveral ftrokes in the diffection of the coquette's heart, • if you had not much about the fame time made a facrifice to us of a beau's fcull.
You may further, Sir, please to remember, that not long fince you attacked our hoods and < commodes in fuch manner, as, to ufe your own expreffion, made very many of us afhamed to fhew our heads. We muft, therefore, beg leave to reprefent to you, that we are in hopes, if you would please to make due inquiry, the men in all ages would be found to have been little lefs whimsical in adorning that part, than ourselves. The dif• ferent forms of their wigs, together with the
We the more earnestly beg that you would 'put a stop to this practice, fince it has already loft us one of the most agreeable members of ' our fociety, who after having refused several good eftates, and two titles, was lured from · us laft week by a mixed feather.
'I am ordered to prefent you the refpects of 6 our whole company, and am, Sir, Your very humble fervant,
I am not now at leifure to give my opinion upon the hat and feather; however, to wipe off
Always make one among a company of
I prefent my
Note. The perfon wearing the feather, though our friend took him for an officer in the guards, has proved to be an errant linen'draper.'
correfpondent, I fhall here print a letter which I lately received from a man of mode, who feems to have a very extraordinary genius in his way.