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to be chopped off. Aretine is too trite an in- of charity, which has been generally overlooked
he had laid the Sophi of Persia under contribu
Accurit quidam, notus mihi nomine tantum ;
Though in the various examples which I have N° 24. WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28, 1710-11. here drawn together, these several great men behaved themselves very differently towards the wits of the age who had reproached them; they all of them plainly showed that they were very sensible of their reproaches, and consequently that they received them as very great injuries. For my own part, I would never trust a man that I thought was capable of giving these secret wounds; and cannot but think that he would hurt the person whose re- THERE are in this town a great number of insignifiputation he thus assaults, in his body or in his for- cant people, who are by no means fit for the bettune, could he do it with the same security. There ter sort of conversation, and yet have an imperti is, indeed, something very barbarous and inhuman nent ambition of appearing with those to whom in the ordinary scribblers of lampoons. An inno- they are not welcome. If you walk in the Park, cent young lady shall be exposed for an unhappy one of them will certainly join with you, though feature. A father of a family turned to ridicule you are in company with ladies; if you drink a for some domestic calamity. A wife be made un-bottle, they will find your haunts. What makes easy all her life for a misinterpreted word or ac- such fellows the more burdensome is, that they tion. Nay, a good, a temperate, and a just man, neither offend nor please so far as to be taken noshall be put out of countenance by the representa- tice of for either. It is, I presume, for this reason tion of those qualities that should do him honour. that my correspondents are willing by my means So pernicious a thing is wit, when it is not tem- to be rid of them. The two following letters are pered with virtue and humanity. writ by persons who suffer by such impertinence.
I have indeed heard of heedless inconsiderate A worthy old bachelor, who sets in for a dose of
As this weekt is in a manner set apart and dedi-a supper, which I always make at a tavern. I am cated to serious thoughts, I shall indulge myself in constant to an hour, and not ill-humoured; for such speculations as may not be altogether unsuit-which reasons, though I invite nobody, I have able to the season; and in the mean time, as the no sooner supped, than I have a crowd about me settling in ourselves a charitable frame of mind is of that sort of good company that know not whi a work very proper for the time, I have in this ther else to go. It is true, every man pays his paper endeavoured to expose that particular breach share; yet, as they are intruders, I have an undoubted right to be the only speaker, or at least
* Peter Aretine, a native of Arezzo, who lived in the 16th the loudest; which I maintain, and that to the century, was infamous for his satirical writings; and was so bold great emolument of my audience. I sometimes as to carry his invectives even against sovereigns; whence he fgot the title of the Scourge of Princes. He used to boast, that tell them their own in pretty free language; and bejhis lampoons did more service to the world than sermons; and sometimes divert them with merry tales, according t was said of him, that he had subjected more princes by his as I am in humour. I am one of those who live in as ten, than the greatest warriors had ever done by their arms. Corretine wrote also many irreligious and obscene pieces. Some taverns to a great age, by a sort of regular inteme that he afterwards changed his loose, libertine principles; perance: I never go to bed drunk, but always t however this may be, it is certain that he composed several flustered; I wear away very gently; am apt to be
seven, at leass of devotion. He was author likewise of some comedies, eminen were esteemed pretty good of their kind; and died in the peevish, but never angry. Mr. Spectator, if you to take 356, being about 65 years old. It is said by some, that he have kept various company, you know there is in it! a a fit of laughter, on some conver
him in dat he overturned the chair upon which he sat, and that, every tavern in town some old humourist or other head, and died upon the spot.
• See N° 9.
HOR. 1 Sat, ix. 3.
Comes up a fop, (I knew him but by fame)
who is master of the house as much as he that Jing one another at home, go in the same party to keeps it. The drawers are all in awe of him; and a benefit play, and smile at each other, and put all the customers who frequent his company, yield down glasses as we pass in our coaches. Thus we him a sort of comical obedience. I do not know may enjoy as much of each other's friendship as but I may be such a fellow as this myself. But we are capable of: for there are some people who appeal to you, whether this is to be called a club, are to be known only by sight, with which sort of because so many impertinents will break in upon friendship, I hope you will always honour, me, and come without appointment? Clinch of 'MADAM, Barnet has a nightly meeting, and shows to every Your most obedient humble servant, one that will come in and pay; but then he is the only actor. Why should people miscall things? If his is allowed to be a concert, why may not mine
'P. S. I subscribe myself by the name of the be a lecture? However, sir, I submit it to you, day I keep, that my supernumerary friends may
know who I am.'
'Your most obedient, &c.
To prevent all mistakes that may happen among gentlemen of the other end of the town, who come bui once a week to St. James's coffee-house, either by miscalling the servants, or requiring such things from them as are not properly within their respective pro
'You and I were pressed against each other last winter in a crowd, in which uneasy posture we offered together for almost half an hour. I thank you for all your civilities ever since, in being of vinces; this is to give notice, that Kidney, keeper of my acquaintance wherever you meet me. But the the book debts of the outlying customers, and observer other day you pulled off your hat to me in the of those who go off without paying, having resigned Park, when I was walking with my mistress. She that employment, is succeeded by John Sowton; to did not like your air, and said she wondered what whose place of enterer of messages and first coffeestrange fellows I was acquainted with. Dear sir, grinder, William Bird is promoted; and Samuel consider it is as much as my life is worth, if she Burdock comes as shoe-cleaner in the room of the should think we were intimate; therefore I earn- said Bird. estly entreat you for the future to take no manner of notice of,
'Your obliged humble servant,
No 25. THURSDAY, MARCH 29, 1710-11.
A like impertinence is also very troublesome to
VIRG. En. xii. 46.
the superior and more intelligent part of the fair
to add to the furniture of the house (by filling an
empty chair) than to the conversation they come
into when they visit. A friend of mine hopes for I AM one of that sickly tribe who are commonly redress in this case, by the publication of her let-known by the name of Valetudinarians; and do ter in my paper; which she thinks those she would confess to you, that I first contracted this ill habit be rid of will take to themselves. It seems to be of body, or rather of mind, by the study of physic. watten with an eye to one of those pert, giddy, I no sooner began to peruse books of this nature, anthinking girls, who, upon the recommendation but I found my pulse was irregular: and scarce only of an agreeable person and a fashionable air, ever read the account of any disease that I did not take themselves to be upon a level with women of fancy myself afflicted with. Dr. Sydenham's the greatest merit. learned treatise of fevers threw me into a lingering hectic, which hung upon me all the while I ITSKE this way to acquaint you with what com- was reading that excellent piece. I then applied mon rules and forms would never permit me to myself to the study of several authors, who have tell you otherwise; to wit, that you and I, though written upon phthisical distempers, and by that equals in quality and fortune, are by no means means fell into a consumption; till at length, grow. suitable companions. You are, it is true, very ing fat, I was in a manner shamed out of this ima pretty, can dance, and make a very good figure gination. Not long after this I found in myself all
a public assembly; but alas, madam, you the symptoms of the gout, except pain; but was must go no further; distance and silence are cured of it by a treatise upon the gravel, written your best recommendations; therefore let me by a very ingenious author, who (as it is usual for beg of you never to make me any more visits. physicians to convert one distemper into another) You come in a literal sense to see one, for you eased me of the gout by giving me the stone. I at have nothing to say. I do not say this, that I length studied myself into a complication of dis would by any means lose your acquaintance; but tempers; but, accidentally taking into my han I would keep it up with the strictest forms of that ingenious discourse written by Sanctorius,
Addison never had a regular pulse.'
good-breeding. Let us pay visits, but never see one another. If you will be so good as to deny yourself always to me, I shall return the obligation by giving the same orders to my servants. medicine in the university of Padua in the beginning the When accident makes us meet at a third place, we own invention, made many curious and important discoves reay mutually lament the misfortune of never find-lative to insensible perspiration. He published at Valce, in 1634, an ingenious book, entitled "De Medicina Staties which is the work here alluded to,
and, means of a
*See No. 31.
was resolved to direct myself by a scheme of rules, in a flight than in a battle; and may be applied to which I had collected from his observations. The those multitudes of imaginary sick persons that learned world are very well acquainted with that break their constitutions by physic, and throw gentleman's invention; who, for the better carry-themselves into the arms of death, by endeavouring ing on of his experiments, contrived a certain to escape it. This method is not only dangerous, mathematical chair, which was so artificially hung but below the practice of a reasonable creature. upon springs, that it would weigh any thing as well To consult the preservation of life, as the only end as a pair of scales. By this means he discovered of it, to make our health our business, to engage how many ounces of his food passed by perspira-in no action that is not part of a regimen, or course tion, what quantity of it was turned into nourish-of physic, are purposes so abject, so mean, so unment, and how much went away by the other chan-worthy human nature, that a generous soul would nels and distributions of nature. rather die than submit to them. Besides, that a Having provided myself with this chair, I used continual anxiety for life vitiates all the relishes of to study, eat, drink, and sleep in it: insomuch that it, and casts a gloom over the whole face of na. I may be said, for these last three years, to have ture, as it is impossible we should take delight in lived in a pair of scales. I compute myself, when any thing that we are every moment afraid of I am full in health, to be precisely two hundred losing. weight, falling short of it about a pound after a I do not mean, by what I have here said, that I day's fast, and exceeding it as much after a full think any one to blame for taking due care of meal; so that it is my continual employment to trim their health. On the contrary, as cheerfulness of the balance between these two volatile pounds in mind, and capacity for business, are in a great my constitution. In my ordinary meals I fetch measure the effects of a well-tempered constitumyself up to two hundred weight and half a tion, a man cannot be at too much pains to cultipound: and if, after having dined, I find myself fall vate and preserve it. But this care, which we are short of it, I drink just so much small beer, or eat prompted to, not only by common sense, but by such a quantity of bread, as is sufficient to make duty and instinct, should never engage us in groundme weight. In my greatest excesses I do not trans-less fears, melancholy apprehensions, and imaginary gress more than the other half pound: which, for distempers, which are natural to every man who is my health's sake, I do the first Monday in every more anxious to live than how to live. In short, month. As soon as I find myself duly poised after the preservation of live should be only a secondary dinner, I walk till I have perspired five ounces concern, and the direction of it our principal. If and four scruples; and when I discover, by my we have this frame of mind, we shall take the best chair, that I am so far reduced, I fall to my books, means to preserve life, without being over solicitand study away three ounces more. As for the ous about the event; and shall arrive at that point2 remaining parts of the pound, I keep no account of felicity which Martial has mentioned as the perof them. I do not dine and sup by the clock, but fection of happiness, of neither fearing nor wishby my chair; for when that informs me my pounding for death.
of food is exhausted, I conclude myself to be In answer to the gentleman who tempers his hungry, and lay in another with all diligence. In health by ounces and by scruples, and instead of my days of abstinence I lose a pound and a half, complying with those natural solicitations of hunger and on solemn fasts am two pounds lighter than on and thirst, drowsiness or love of exercise, governs other days in the year. himself by the prescriptions of his chair, I shall tell me
'I allow myself, one night with another, a quar-him a short fable. Jupiter, says the mythologist, ter of a pound of sleep, within a few grains more to reward the piety of a certain countryman, pro or less; and if, upon my rising, I find that I have mised to give him whatever he would ask. The not consumed my whole quantity, I take out the countryman desired that he might have the manage rest in my chair. Upon an exact calculation of ment of the weather in his own estate. He ob what I expended and received the last year, which tained his request, and immediately distributed I always register in a book, I find the medium to rain, snow, and sunshine, among his several fields, be two hundred weight, so that I cannot discover as he thought the nature of the soil required. At that I am impaired one ounce in my health during the end of the year, when he expected to see a a whole twelvemonth. And yet, sir, notwithstand-more than ordinary crop, his harvest fell infinitely ing this my great care to ballast myself equally short of that of his neighbours. Upon which (says every day, and to keep my body in its proper the fable) he desired Jupiter to take the weather poise, so it is, that I find myself in a sick and lan-again into his own hands, or that otherwise he guishing condition. My complexion is grown very should utterly ruin himself.
sallow, my pulse low, and my body liydropical. Let me therefore beg you, sir, to consider me as your patient, and to give me more certain rules to walk by than those I have already observed, and you will very much oblige
"Your humble servant.'
This letter puts me in mind of an Italian epitaph written on the monument of a valetudinarian ; | Stavo ben, ma per star meglio, sto qui: which it is impossible to translate.* The fear of death often Doves mortal, and sets people on methods to save their lives, which infallibly destroys them. This is a reflection made by some historians, upon observing that there are many more thousands killed
*I was well; I would be better; and here I am; is nearly a verbal translation.
N° 26. FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 1711.
Pallida mors æquo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas,
HOR. 1 Od, iv. 13.
With equal foot, rich friend, impartial fate
WHEN I am in a serious humour, I very often walk by myself in Westminster Abbey; where the
gloominess of the place, and the use to which it is conceive an idea of the ignorance or politeness of applied, with the solemnity of the building, and a nation from the turn of their public monuments the condition of the people who lie in it, are apt and inscriptions, they should be submitted to the to fill the mind with a kind of melancholy, or ra-perusal of men of learning and genius before they ther thoughtfulness, that is not disagreeable. I are put in execution. Sir Cloudesly Shovel's moyesterday passed a whole afternoon in the church-nument has very often given me great offence. yard, the cloisters, and the church, amusing myself Instead of the brave rough English admiral, which with the tomb-stones and inscriptions that I met was the distinguishing character of that plain galwith in those several regions of the dead. Most of lant man, he is represented on his tomb by the them recorded nothing else of the buried person, figure of a beau, dressed in a long periwig, and rebut that he was born upon one day, and died upon posing himself upon velvet cushions under a caanother: the whole history of his life being com-nopy of state. The inscription is answerable to the prehended in those two circumstances that are monument; for, instead of celebrating the many common to all mankind. I could not but look upon remarkable actions he had performed in the service these registers of existence, whether of brass or of his country, it acquaints us only with the manner marble, as a kind of satire upon the departed per- of his death, in which it was impossible for him to sons; who had left no other memorial of them, reap any honour. The Dutch, whom we are apt but that they were born, and that they died. They to despise for want of genius, show an infinitely put me in mind of several persons mentioned in greater taste of antiquity and politeness in their the battles of heroic poems, who have sounding buildings and works of this nature, than what we meet with in those of our own country. The monuments of their admirals, which have been erected at the public expense, represent them like themselves, and are adorned with rostral crowns and naval ornaments, with beautiful festoons of sea-weed, shells, and coral.
names given them, for no other reason but that they may be killed, and are celebrated for nothing but being knocked on the head.
* Γλαυκόν τε, Μέδοντα τε, Θερσίλογον τε.
'Glaucamque, Medontaque, Thersilochumque.'
But to return to our subject. I have left the repository of our English kings for the contemplation of another day, when I shall find my mind The life of these men is finely described in holy disposed for so serious an amusement. I know writ by the path of an arrow, which is immedi- that entertainments of this nature are apt to raise ately closed up and lost. dark and dismal thoughts in timorous minds and Upon my going into the church, I entertained gloomy imaginations; but for my own part, though myself with the digging of a grave: and saw in I am always serious, I do not know what it is to every shovel full of it that was thrown up, the frag-be melancholy; and can therefore take a view of ment of a bone or skull intermixed with a kind of nature in her deep and solemn scenes, with the esh mouldering earth, that some time or other same pleasure as in her most gay and delightful ad a place in the composition of an human body. ones. By this means I can improve myself with Upon this I began to consider with myself what those objects, which others consider with terror. umerable multitudes of people lay confused to. When I look upon the tombs of the great, every gether under the pavement of that ancient cathe-emotion of envy dies in me when I read the epitral; how men and women, friends and enemies, taphs of the beautiful, every inordinate desire goes riests and soldiers, monks and prebendaries, out; when I meet with the grief of parents upon ere crumbled amongst one another, and blended a tombstone, my heart melts with compassion; gether in the same common mass; how beauty, when I see the tomb of the parents themselves, I trength, and youth, with old age, weakness, and consider the vanity of grieving for those whom we eformity, lay undistinguished in the same promis. must quickly follow. When I see kings lying by mous heap of matter. those who deposed them, when I consider rival After having thus surveyed this great magazine wits placed side by side, or the holy men that dimortality, as it were in the lump, I examined vided the world with their contests and disputes, more particularly by the accounts which I found I reflect with sorrow and astonishment on the little several of the monuments which are raised in competitions, factions, and debates of mankind. very quarter of that ancient fabric. Some of them When I read the several dates of the tombs, of Here covered with such extravagant epitaphs, that some that died yesterday, and some six hundred it were possible for the dead person to be ac- years ago, I consider that great day when we shall inted with them, he would blush at the praises all of us be contemporaries, and make our appearich his friends have bestowed upon him. There ance together.
e others so excessively modest, that they deliver e character of the person departed in Greek or Rebrew, and by that means are not understood
ce in a twelvemonth. In the poetical quarter, i found there were poets who had no monuments, and monuments which had no poets. I observed, deed, that the present war had filled the church ith many of these uninhabited monuments, which ad been erected to the memory of persons whose perhaps buried in the plains of Blenem, or in the bosom of the ocean. I could not but be very much delighted with several modern epitaphs, which are written with eat elegance of expression and justness of ought, and therefore do honour to the living as ell as the dead. As a foreigner is very apt to
No 27. SATURDAY, MARCH 31, 1711.
So slow th' unprofitable moments roll,
'I KNOW not with what words to express to you
THERE is scarce a thinking man in the world, who
Since then it is certain, that our own hearts deceive us in the love of the world, and that we cannot command ourselves enough to resign it, though we every day wish ourselves disengaged from its allurements; let us not stand upon a formal taking of leave, but wean ourselves from them while we are in the midst of them.
It is certainly the general intention of the greater part of mankind to accomplish this work, and live according to their own approbation, as soon as they possibly can. But since the duration of life is so uncertain, and that has been a common topic of discourse ever since there was such a thing as life itself, how is it possible that we should defer a moment the beginning to live according to the
rules of reason?
The man of business has ever some one point to carry, and then he tells himself he will bid adieu to all the vanity of ambition. The man of pleasure resolves to take his leave at least, and part civilly with his mistress; but the ambitious man is entangled every moment in a fresh pursuit, and the lover sees new charms in the object he fancied he could abandon. It is therefore a fantastical way of thinking, when we promise ourselves an alteration in our conduct from change of place, and dif. ference of circumstances; the same passions will attend us wherever we are, till they are conquer ed; and we can never live to our satisfaction in the deepest retirement, unless we are capable of living so, in some measure, amidst the noise and
business of the world.
"Your most obliged and
I AM entirely convinced of the truth of what you were pleased to say to me, when I was last with you alone. You told me then of the silly way was in; but you told me so, as I saw you loved tra me, otherwise I could not obey your commands in letting you know my thoughts so sincerely as I do at present. I know "the creature, for whom I resign so much of my character," is all that you said of her; but then the trifler has something in her so undesigning and harmless, that her guilt in one kind disappears by the comparison of her innocence in another. Will you virtuous men allow no alteration of offences? Must dear Chloe be called by the hard name you pious people give to common women? I keep the solemn promise I made you, in writing to you the state of my mind, after your kind admonition; and will endeavour to get the better of this fondness, which makes me so much her humble servant, that I am almost ashamed to subscribe myself yours,
THERE is no state of life so anxious as that of a man who does not live according to the dictates of his own reason. It will seem odd to you, when I assure you that my love of retirement first of all brought me to court; but this will be no riddle, when I acquaint you that I placed myself here with a design of getting so much money as might enable me to purchase a handsome retreat in the country. At present my circumstances enable me, and my duty prompts me, to pass away the remain ing part of my life in such a retirement as I at first proposed to myself: but to my great misfortune I have entirely lost the relish of it, and should now return to the country with greater reluctance than at first came to court. I am so unhappy, as to know that what I am fond of are trifles, and that what I neglect is of the greatest importance: in short, I find a contest in my own mind between reason and fashion. I remember you once told me, that I might live in the world, and out of it, at
I have ever thought men were better known by what could be observed of them from a perusal of their private letters, than any other way. My friend the clergyman, the other day, upon serious discourse with him concerning the danger of procrastination, gave me the following letters from persons with whom he lives in great friendship and the same time. Let me beg of you to explain this timacy, according to the good breeding and good paradox more at large to me, that I may conform nse of his character. The first is from a man of my life, if possible, both to my duty and my incli siness, who is his convert: the second from one nation.
Of chom he conceives good hopes: the third from
'I am yours, &c.