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confonant to direct us. I mean, says I, after those words, the fleet that used to be the terror of the ocean, should be wind-bound for the sake of a -; after which ensues a chafm that, in my opinion, looks modeft encugh. Sir, says my antagonist, you may easily know his meaning by his gaping; I suppose he designs his chasm, as you call it, for an hole to creep out at, but I believe it will hardly serve his turn. Who can endure to see the great officers of state, the B-y's and T-t's treated after so fcurrilous a manner ? I can't for my life, says I, imagine who they are the SPECTATOR means? No! says he, Your humble servant, Sir! Upon which he flung himself back in his chair after a contemptuous manner, and smiled upon the other lethargic gentleman on his left hand, who I found was his great admirer. The whig, however, had begun to conceive a good-will towards me, and seeing my pipe out, very generously offered me the use of his box; but I declined it with great civility, being obliged to meet a friend about that time in another quarter of the city.
At my leaving the coffee-house, I could not forbear reflecting with myself upon that gross tribe of fools who may be terined the over-wise, and upon the difficulty of writing any thing in this censorious age, which a weak head may not conftrue into private satire and personal reflection.
A man who has a good nofe at an inuendo, smells treason and fedition in the most innocent words that can be put together, and never sees a vice or folly stigmatized, but finds out one or other of his acquaintance pointed at by the writer. I remember an empty pragmatical fellow in the country, who, upon reading over The Whole Duty of Man, had written the names of several persons in the village at the fide of every sin which is mentioned by that excellent author; so that he had converted one of the best books in the world into
a libel against the squire, church-wardens, overseers of the poor, and all other the most considerable persons in the parish. This book with these extraordi. nary marginal notes fell accidentally into the hands of one who had never seen it before ; upon which there arose a current report, that some body had written a book against the squire and the whole parish. The minister of the place having at that time a controversy with some of his congregation, upon account of his tithes, was under some fur. picion of being the author, until the good man set the people right, by shewing them that the fatirical paffages might be applied to several others of two or three neighbouring villages, and that the book was writ against all the finners in England.
MONDAY, JULY 19.
Reges dicuntur multis urgere culullis
Hor. Ars Poet. ver. 434. Wise were the kings, who never chose a friend, Till with full cups they had unmask'd his soul, And seen the bottom of his deepest thoughts.
RoscoMMON NO vives are fo incurable as those which men are apt to glory in,
One would wonder how drunkennefs Thould have the good luck to be of this number, Anarcharfs, being invited to a drinking-match at Corinth, demanded the prize very humourously, because he was drunk before any of the rest of the company: For, says he, when we run a race, he who arrives at the gaol first is intitled to the reward : On the contrary, in this thirsty gene. ration, the honour falls upon him who carries of
the greatest quantity of liquor, and knocks down the rest of the company. I was the other day with honest Will Funnel the West-Saxon, who was reckoning up how much liquor had past through him in the last twenty years of his life, which, according to his computation, amounted to twenty-three hogsheads of October, four tons of port, half a kilderkjn of small beer, nineteen barrels of cyder, and three glaffes of champagne ; besides which he had affifted at four hundred bowls of punch, not to mention lips, drams, and whets without number. I queftion not but every reader's memory will luggest to him feveral ambitious young men, who are as vain in this particular as Will Funnel, and can boast of as glorious exploits.
Oar modern philosophers observe, that there is a general decay of moisture in the globe of the earth. This they chiefly ascribe to the growth of vegetables, which incorporate into their own substance many fluid bodies that never return again to their former nature: But, with submission, they ought to throw into their account those innumerable rational beings which fetch their nourishment chiefly out of liquids ; especially when we confider that men, compared with their fellow.creatures, drink much more than comes to their share.
But, however highly this tribe of people may think of themselves, a drunken man is a greater monster than any that is to be found among all the creatures which God has made ; as indeed there is no character which appears more despicable and deformed, in the eyes of all reasonable persons, than that of a drunkard. Bonosus, one of our own countrymen, who was addicted to this vice, having set up for a share in the Roman empire, and being defeated in a great battle, hanged himself, When he was seen by the army in this melancholy situation, notwithstanding he had behaved himself very bravely, the common jest was, that the thing
they saw hanging upon the tree before them, was • not a man but a bottle.
This vice has very fatal effects on the mind, the body, and fortune of the person who is devoted
In regard to the mind, it first of all discovers every flaw in it. The fober man, by the strength of reason, may keep under and subdue every vice : or folly to which he is most inclined; but wine makes every latent feed sprout up in the soul, and Thew itfelf; it gives fury to the passions, and force to those objects which are apt to produce them. When a young fellow complained to an old philoSopher, that his wife was not handsome, Put less water in your wine, says the philosopher, and you will quickly make her fo. Wine heightens indifference into love, love into jealousy, and jealousy into ma ss. ften turns the good-natured man inte an idiot, and the choleric into an aflaflin. It gives bitterness to resentinent, it makes vanity insupportable, and displays every little spot of the foul in its utmoft deformity.
Nor does this vice only betray the hidden faults of a man, and thew them in the most odious colours, but often occasions faults to which he is not naturally subject. There is more of turn than of truth in a saying of Seneca, that drunkenness does not produce but discover faults. Common experience teaches the contrary. Wine throws a man out of himself, and infuses qualities into the mind which she is a stranger to in her fober moments. The person you converse with, after the third bottle, is not the same man who at first sat down at table with you.
Upon this máxim is founded one of the prettiest sayings I ever met with, which is inscribed to Publins Syrus, Qui ebrim ludificat la dit absentem; He who jefts upon a man that is drunk, injures the absent.
Thus does drunkenness act in direct contradiction
to reason, whose business is to clear the mind of every vice which is crept into it, and to guard it against all the approaches of any that endeavours to make its entrance. But, besides these ill effects. which this vice produces in the person who is actually under its dominion, it has also a bad influence on the mind even in its fober moments, as it infenfibly weakens the understanding, impairs the memory, and makes those faults habitual which are produced by frequent excesses.
I fhould now proceed to shew the ill effects which this vice has on the bodies and fortunes of men ; but there I shall reserve for the subject of some future paper:
No 570. WEDNESDAY, JULY 21.
HOR. Ars Poet. ver. 322. Chiming trifles.
ROSCOMMON. THERE Here is scarce a man living who is not actuat-.
ed by ambition. When this principle meets with an honest mind and great abilities, it does infinite service to the world ; on the contrary, when a man only thinks of distinguishing himself, without being thus qualified for it, lie becomes a very pernicious or a very ridiculous creature. I shall here confine myself to that pretty kind of ambition by which some men grow eminent for odd accomplishments, and trivial performances. How many are there whose whole reputation depends upon a pun or a quibble? You may often fee an artist in the streets gain a circle of admirers by carrying a. long pole upon his chin or forehead in a perpendicular posture. Ambition has taught some to write with their feet, and others to walk upon their