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health, he muft ftill keep his chamber. When any one in Sir Roger's company complains he is out of order, he immediately calls for fome poffet-drink for him; for which reason that fort of people who are ever bewailing their conftitution in other places, are the cheerfulest imaginable when he is present.

It is a wonderful thing that fo many, and they not reckoned abfurd, fhall entertain those with whom they converse by giving them the history of their pains and aches; and imagine fuch narrations their quota of the converfation. This is of all other the meanest help to difcourfe, and a man must not think at all, or think himself very infignificant, when he finds an account of his head-ach answered, by another asking What news in the laft mail? Mutual good-humour is a drefs we ought to appear in wherever we meet; and we fhould make no mention of what concerns ourselves, without it be of matters wherein our friends ought to rejoice; but indeed there are crowds of people who put themselves in no method of pleafing themfelves or others; fuch are those whom we ufually call indolent perfons. Indolence is, methinks, an intermediate ftate between pleasure and pain, and very much unbecoming any part of our life after we are out of the nurfe's arins. Such an averfion to labour creates a conftant wearinefs, and one would think fhould make existence itself a burden. The indolent man defcends from the dignity of his nature, and makes that being which was rational merely vegetative; his life confifts only in the mere increase and decay of a body, which, with relation to the reft of the world, might as well have been uninformed as the habitation of a reasonable mind.

Of this kind is the life of that extraordinary couple, Harry Terfett and his lady. Harry was in the days of his celibacy one of those pert creatures who have much vivacity and little understanding: Mrs. Rebecca Quickly, whom he married, had all that the fire of youth and a lively manner could do towards making an agreeable woman. These two people of feeming merit fell into.. „each other's arms; and paffion being fated, and no reason

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or good fenfe in either to fucceed it, their life is now at a ftand; their meals are infipid, and their time tedious; their fortune has placed them above care, and their lofs of tafte reduced them below diverfion. When we talk of thefe as inftances of inexiftence, we do not mean, that in order to live it is neceffary we should always be in jovial crews, or crowned with chaplets of rofes, as the merry fellows among the ancients are defcribed; but it is intended by confidering these contraries to pleasure, indolence, and too much delicacy, to fhew that it is prudence to preferve a difpofition in ourselves to receive a certain delight in all we hear and fee.

This portable quality of good-humour seasons all the parts and occurrences we meet with, in fuch a manner, that there are no moments loft; but they all pafs with fo much fatisfaction, that the heaviest of loads, when it is a load, that of time, is never felt by us. Varilas has this quality to the higheft perfection, and communicates it wherever he appears: the fad, the merry, the fevere, the melancholy, fhew a new cheerfulness when he comes amongst them. At the fame time no one can repeat any thing that Varilas has ever faid that deferves repetition; but the man has that innate goodness of temper, that he is welcome to every body, because every man thinks he is fo to him. He does not feem to contribute any thing to the mirth of the company; and yet upon reflection you find it all happened by his being there. I thought it was whimfically faid of a gentleman, that if Varilas had wit, it would be the best wit in the world. It is certain, when a well-corrected lively imagination and good-breeding are added to a sweet difpofition, they qualify it to be one of the greatest bleflings, as well as pleafures of life.

Men would come into company with ten times the pleafure they do, if they were fure of hearing nothing which fhould fhock them, as well as expected what would please them. When we know every perfon that is fpoken of is reprefented by one who has no ill-will, and every thing that is mentioned defcribed by one that is apt to fet it in the best light, the entertainment must be delicate,

delicate, because the cook has nothing brought to his hand but what is the most excellent in its kind. Beautiful pictures are the entertainments of pure minds, and deformities of the corrupted. It is a degree towards the life of angels, when we enjoy converfation wherein there is nothing prefented but in its excellence; and a degree towards that of dæmons, wherein nothing is fhewn but in its degeneracy.


Romulus, & Liber pater, & cum Caftore Pollux,
Poft ingentia facta, deorum in templa recepti ;
Dum terras hominumque colunt genus, afpera bella
Componunt, agros affignant, oppida condunt;
Ploravere fuis non refpondere favorem

Speratum meritis :



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Edward and Henry, now the boaft of fame,
And virtuous Alfred, a more facred name,
After a life of gen'rous toils endur'd,
The Gaul fubdu'd, or property fecur'd,
Ambition humbled, mighty cities form'd,
Or laws eftablifh'd, and the world reform'd,-
Clos'd their long glories with a figh, to find
Th' unwilling gratitude of base mankind. POPE.

CENSURE," fays a late ingenious author, "is the tax a man pays to the public for being eminent." It is a folly for an eminent man to think of efcaping it, and a weakness to be affected with it. All the illuftrious perfons of antiquity, and indeed of every age in the world, have paffed through this fiery perfecution. There is no defence against reproach but obfcurity; it is a kind of concomitant to greatness, as fatires and invectives were an effential part of a Roman triumph.

If men of eminence are expofed to cenfure on one hand, they are as much liable to flattery on the other.


If they receive reproaches which are not due to them, they likewife receive praises which they do not deserve. In a word, the man in a high post is never regarded with an indifferent eye, but always confidered as a friend or an enemy. For this reafon perfons in great ftations have feldom their true characters drawn until feveral years after their deaths. Their perfonal friendships and enmities must cease, and the parties they were engaged in be at an end, before their faults or their virtues can have juftice done them. When writers have the least opportunities of knowing the truth, they are in the best difpofition to tell it.

It is therefore the privilege of pofterity to adjust the characters of illuftrious perfons, and to fet matters right between those antagonists who, by their rivalry for greatnefs, divided a whole age into factions. We can now allow Cæfar to be a great man, without derogating from Pompey; and celebrate the virtues of Cato, without detracting from thofe of Cæfar. Every one that has been long dead has a due proportion of praise allotted him; in which, whilft he lived, his friends were too profufe and his enemies too fparing.

According to Sir Ifaac Newton's calculations, the laft comet that made its appearance in 1680, imbibed fo much heat by its approaches to the fun, that it would have been two thousand times hotter than red hot iron, had it been a globe of that metal; and that fuppofing it as big as the earth, and at the fame diftance from the fun, it would be fifty thousand years in cooling, before it recovered its natural temper. In the like manner, if an Englishman confiders the great ferment into which our political world is thrown at prefent, and how intenfely it is heated in all its parts, he cannot fuppofe that it will cool again in lefs than three hundred years. In fuch a tract of time it is poffible that the heats of the prefent age may be extinguifhed, and our feveral claffes of great men reprefented under their proper characters. Some eminent hiftorian may then probably arife that will not write "recentibus odiis," as Tacitus expreffes it, with the paffions and prejudices of a cotemporary author,

thor, but make an impartial diftribution of fame among the great men of the prefent age.

I cannot forbear entertaining myfelf very often with the idea of fuch an imaginary hiftorian defcribing the reign of Anne the First, and introducing it with a preface to his reader, that he is no v entering upon the most fhining part of the English ftory. The great rivals in fame will be then diftinguished according to their refpective merits, and fhine in their proper points of light, Such an one, fays the hiftorian, though variously reprefented by the writers of his own age, appears to have been a man of more than ordinary abilities, great application, and uncommon integrity; nor was fuch an one, though of an opposite party and interest, inferior to him in any of these refpects. The feveral antagonists who now endeavour to depreciate one another, and are celebrated or traduced by different parties, will then have the fame body of admirers, and appear illuftrious in the opinion of the whole British nation. The deferving man, who can now recommend himself to the esteem of but half his countrymen, will then receive the approbations and applaufes of a whole age.

Among the feveral perfons that flourish in this glorious reign, there is no queftion but fuch a future hiftorian as the perfon of whom I am speaking, will make mention of the men of genius and learning, who have now any figure in the British nation. For my own part,

I often flatter myself with the honourable mention which will then be made of me; and have drawn up a paragraph in my own imagination, that I fancy will not be altogether unlike what will be found in fome page or other of this imaginary hiftorian.

It was under this reign, fays he, that the Spectator published thofe little diurnal effays which are ftill extant. We know very little of the name or perfon of this author, except only that he was a man of a very fhort face, extremely addicted to filence, and fo great a lover of knowledge, that he made a voyage to Grand Cairo for no other reafon but to take the measure of a pyramid. His chief friend was one Sir Roger de Cover


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