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N° 1 Thursday, March 1, 1710-11.


Non fumum ex fulgore, fed ex fume dare lucem
Cogitat, ut fpeciofa dehinc miracula promat.
Hor. Ars Poet, v. 143.

One with a Flafh begins, and ends in Smoke ;;
The other out of Smoke brings glorious Light,
And (without raifing Expectation high)

Surprises us with dazzling Miracles. ROSCOMMON


HAVE obferved, that a Reader feldom perufes a Book with Pleasure, 'till he knows whether the Writer of it be a black or a fair Man, of a mild or cholerick Difpofition, Married or a Bachelor, with other Particulars of the like Nature, that conduce very much to the right underftanding of an Author. To gratify this Curiofity, which is fo natural to a Reader, I defign this Paper and my next as Prefatory Difcourfes to my following Writings, and fhall give fome Account in them of the feveral Perfons that are engaged in this Work. As the chief Trouble of Compiling, Digefting, and Correcting will fall to my

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Share, I muft do myself the Juftice to open the Work with my own History.

I was born to a fmall Hereditary Eftate, which according to the Tradition of the Village where it lies, was bounded by the fame Hedges and Ditches in William the Conqueror's Time that it is at prefent, and has been deliver'd down from Father to Son whole and entire without the Lofs or Acquifition of a single Field or Meadow, during the Space of fix hundred Years. There runs a Story in the Family, that when my Mother was gone with Child of me about three Months, fhe dreamt that he was brought to bed of a Judge: Whether this might proceed from a Law-Suit which was then depending in the Family, or my Father's being a Juftice of the Peace, I cannot determine; for I am not fo vain as to think it presaged any Dignity that I should arrive at in my future Life, though that was the Interpretation which the Neigbourhood put upon it. The Gravity of my Behaviour at my very firft Appearance in the World, and all the time that I fucked, feemed to favor my Mother's Dream: For, as fhe has often told me, I threw away my Rattle before I was two Months old, and would not make use of my Coral 'till they had taken away the Bells from it.

AS for the rest of my Infancy, there being nothing in it remarkable, I fhall pass it over in Silence. I find, that, during my Nonage, I had the Reputation of a very fullen Youth, but was always a Favorite of my Schoolmafter, who used to say, that my Parts were folid, and would wear well. I had not been long at the Univerfity, before I diftinguished myself by a moft profound Silence; for during the Space of eight Years, excepting in the public Exercifes of the College, I scarce utter'd the Quantity of an hundred Words; and indeed do not remember that I ever spoke three Sentences together in my whole Life. Whilft I was in this learned Body, I applied myfelf with fo much Diligence to my Studies, that there are very few celebrated Books, either in the learned or the modern Tongues, which I am not acquainted with.

UPON the Death of my Father, I was refolved to travel into foreign Countries, and therefore left the Univerfity, with the Character of an odd unaccountable Fel


low, that had a great deal of Learning, if I would but fhew it. An infatiable Thirft after Knowledge carried me into all the Countries of Europe, in which there was any thing new or ftrange to be feen; nay, to fuch a Degree was my Curiosity raised, that having read the Controverfies of fome great Men concerning the Antiquities of Egypt, I made a Voyage to Grand Cairo, on purpofe to take the Meafure of a Pyramid: And as foon as I had fet myself right in that Particular, returned to my native Country with great Satisfaction.

I have paffed my latter Years in this City, where I am frequently feen in most public Places, tho' there are not above half a dozen of my select Friends that know me; of whom my next Paper fhall give a more particular. Account. There is no Place of general Refort, wherein I do not often make my Appearance; fometimes I am feen thrufting my Head into a Round of Politicians at Will's, and liftning with great Attention to the Narra tives that are made in those little circular Audiences. Sometimes I fmoke a Pipe at Child's, and whilft I feem attentive to nothing but the Poftman, overhear the Converfation of every Table in the Room.. I appear on Sunday Nights at St. James's Coffee-houfe, and fometimes join the little Committee of Politics in the Inner-Room, as one who comes there to hear and improve. My Face: is likewise very well known at the Grecian, the CocoaTree, and in the Theatres both of Drury-Lane and the Hay-Market. I have been taken for a Merchant upon the Exchange for above thefe ten Years, and fometimes pafs. for a few in the Affembly of Stock Jobbers at Fonathan's: In fhort, wherever I fee a Clufter of People, I always mix with them, though I never open my Lips. but in my own Club..

THUS I live in the World' rather as a Spectator of Mankind, than as one of the Species, by which means, I have made myfelf a Speculative Statefman, Soldier, Merchant, and Artifan, without ever medling with any practical Part in Life. I am very well versed in the Theory of a Husband or a Father, and can difcern the Errors in the Oeconomy, Bufinefs and Diverfion of others, better than thofe who are engaged in them; as Standers-by discover Blots, which are apt to escape.


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