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heart that I find myself honoured as a gentlemanusher to the arts and sciences. Mr. Tickell and Mr. Pope have, it seems, this idea of me. The former has writ me an excellent paper of verses, in praise, forsooth, of myself; and the other enclosed for my perusal an admirable poem,* which I hope will shortly see the light. In the mean time I cannot suppress any thought of his, but insert this sentiment about the dying words of Adrian. I will not determine in the case he mentions, but have thus much to say in favour of his argument, that many of his own works which I have seen, convince me that very pretty and very sublime sentiments may be lodged in the same bosom without diminution of its greatness.
'I WAS the other day in company with five or six men of some learning: where, chancing to mention the famous verses which the emperor Adrian spoke on his death-bed, they were all agreed that it was a piece of gaiety unworthy that prince in those circumstances. I could not but dissent from this opinion. Methinks it was by no means a gay, but a very serious soliloquy to his soul at the point of his departure: in which sense I naturally took these verses at my first reading them, when I was very young, and before I knew what interpretation the world generally put upon them.
"Animula vagula, blandula,
*The Temple of Fame.
"Alas, my soul! thou pleasing companion of this body, thou fleeting thing that art now deserting it, whither art thou flying? to what unknown region? Thou art all trembling, fearful, and pensive. Now what is become of thy former wit and humour? Thou shalt jest and be gay.no
'I confess I cannot apprehend where lies the trifling in all this; it is the most natural and obvious reflexion imaginable to a dying man: and, if we consider the emperor was a heathen, that doubt concerning the future state of his soul will seem so far from being the effect of want of thought, that it was scarce reasonable he should think otherwise not to mention that here is a plain confession included of his belief in its immortality. The diminutive epithets of vagula, blandula, and the rest, appear not to me as expressions of levity, but rather of endearment and concern: such as we find in Catullus, and the authors of Hendecasyllabi after him, where they are used to express the utmost love and tenderness for their mistresses. If you think me right in my notion of the last words of Adrian, be pleased to insert this in the Spectator; if not, to suppress it.
I am, &c.'
TO THE SUPPOSED AUTHOR OF THE SPECTATOR.
'IN courts licentious, and a shameless stage, How long the war shall wit with virtue wage? Enchanted by this prostituted fair,
Our youth run headlong in the fatal snare;
Thy spotless thoughts unshock'd the priest may hear,
Thy glass betrays what treach'rous love would hide;
Nor harsh thy precepts, but, infus'd by stealth,
'The brainless stripling, who, expell'd to town,
• Such readers scorn'd, thou wing'st thy daring flight
Such hints alone could British Virgil lend,
And fame when shar'd with him is double fame.
'Permit these lines by thee to live-nor blame A muse that pants and languishes for fame;
* Mr. Tickell here alludes to Steele's papers against the sharpers, &c. in the Tatler, and particularly to a letter in Tat. No. 75, signed Will Trusty, and written by Mr. John Hughes.
That fears to sink when humbled themes she sings,
So some weak shoot, which else would poorly rise,
·C TO THE SPECTATOR GENERAL.
Mr. JOHN SLY humbly showeth,
THAT upon reading the deputation given to the said Mr. John Sly, all persons passing by his observatory behaved themselves with the same decorum as if your honour yourself had been present.
'That your said officer is preparing, according to your honour's secret instructions, hats for the several kinds of heads that make figures in the realms of Great Britain, with cocks significant of their powers and faculties.
'That your said officer has taken due notice of your instructions and admonitions concerning the internals of the head from the outward form of the same. His hats for men of the faculties of law and physic do but just turn up, to give a little life to their sagacity; his military hats glare full in the face; and he has prepared a familiar easy cock for all good companions between the abovementioned extremes. For this end he has consulted the most learned of his acquaintance for the true form and dimensions of the lepidum caput, and made a hat fit for it.
* By Mr. Thomas Tickell.
'Your said officer does further represent, that the young divines about town are many of them got into the cock military, and desires your instructions therein.
'That the town has been for several days very well behaved, and further your said officer saith T.
No. 533. TUESDAY, NOV. 11, 1712.
Imme duas dabo, inquit ille, una si parum est :
Nay, says he, if one is too little, I will give you two;
TO THE SPECTATOR.
'You have often given us very excellent discourses against that unnatural custom of parents, in forcing their children to marry contrary to their inclinations. My own case, without further preface, I will lay before you, and leave you to judge of it. My father and mother both being in declining years would fain see me, their eldest son, as they call it, settled. I am as much for that as they can be: but I must be settled, it seems, not according to my own, but their liking. Upon this account I am teased every day, because I have not yet fallen into love, in spite of nature, with one of a neighbouring gentleman's daughters; for, out of their abundant generosity, they give me the choice of four. "Jack," begins my father," Mrs. Catharine is a fine woman."