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his impertinence, was silenced by a cinder-wench with a word speaking.
INSTEAD therefore of fuppressing this order of mortals, I would propose it to my readers to make the best advantage of their morning-falutations. A famous Macedonian prince, for fear of forgetting himself in the midst of his good fortune, had a youth to wait on him erery morning, and bid him remember that he was a man, A citizen who is waked by one of these criers, may regard him as a kind of remembrancer, come to admonish him that it is time to return to the circumstances he has overlooked all the night-time, to leave off fancying himself what he is
prepare to act suitably to the condition he is really placed in.
People may dream on as long as they please, but I shall take no notice of any imaginary adventures, that do not happen while the sun is on this side the horizon. For which reason I stifle Fritilla's dream at church last Sunday, who, while the rest of the audience were enjoying the benefit of an excellent discourse, was losing her money and jewels to a gentleman at play, till after a strange run of ill luck she was reduced to pawn three lovely pretty children for her last stake. When she had thrown them away her companion went off, discovering himself by his usual tokens, a cloven foot and a strong smell of brimstone; which last proved only a bottle of spirits, which a good old lady applied to her nose, to put her in a condition of hearing the preacher's third head concerning time.
If a man has no mind to pass abruptly from his imagined to his real circumstances, he may employ himself a while in that new kind of obfervation which iny
oneiro critical correspondent has directed him to make of himself. Pursuing the imagination through all its extravagancies, whether in sleeping or waking, is no improper method of correcting and bringing it to act in fubordinacy to reason, so as to be delighted only with such objects as will affect it with pleasure, when it is never so cool and fedate,
Friday, September 24.
Jamne igitur laudas, quod de fapientibus alter
Juv. sat. 10. v. 28.
Will you not now the pair of sages praise,
be divided into the and the M serious, who, Yoth of them, make a very good
figure in the species, so long as they keep their respective humours from degenerating into the neighbouring extreme; there being a natural rendency in the one to a melancholy moroseness, and in the other to a fantastic levity.
The merry part of the world are very amiable, whilst they diffuse a chearfulness through conversation at proper seasons and on proper occasions; but, on the contrary, a great grievance to fociety, when they infect every difcourse with insipid mirth, and turn into ridicule such subjects as are not suited to it. For though laughter is looked upon by the philosophers as the property of reason, the excess of it has been always considered as the mark of folly.
On the other side seriousness has its beauty, whilst it is attended with chearfulness and humanity, and does not come in unseasonably to pall the good humour of those with whom we converse.
These two sets of men, notwithstanding they each of them shine in their respective characters, are apt to bear a natural aversion and antipathy to one another.
What is more usual than to hear men of serious tempers and austere morals, enlarging upon the vanities and follies of the young and gay part of the species ; whilst they look with a kind of horror upon such pomps and diversions as are innocent in themselves, and only culpable when they draw the mind too much?
I COULD not but smile upon reading a passage in the account which Mr Baxter gives of his own life, whereia he represents it as a great bleffing, that in his youth he very narrowly escaped getting a place at court.
It must indeed be confessed that levity of temper takes a man off his guard, and opens a pass to his soul for any temptation that affaults it. It favours all the approaches of vice, and weakens all the resistance of virtue. For which reason a renowned statesman in queen Elisabeth's days, after having retired from court and public business, in order to give himself up to the duties of religion ; when any of his old friends used to visit him, had still this word of advice in his mouth, Be ferious.
An eminent Italian author of this cast of mind, speaking of the great advantage of a serious and composed temper, wishes very gravely, that for the benefit of mankind he had Trophonius's care in his possession; which, says he, would contribute more to the reformation of manners than all the workhouses and Bridewells in E24rope.
We have a very particular defcription of this case in Pausanias, who tells us, that it was made in the form of a huge oven, and had many particular circumstances, which disposed the person who was in it to be more pensive and thoughtful than ordinary; insoniuch that no man was ever observed to laugh all his life after, who had once made his entry into this cave. It was usual in those times, when any one carried a more than ordinary gloominess in his features, to tell him that he looked like one just come out of Trophonius's cave.
On the other hand, writers of a more merry complexion have been no less severe on the opposite party; and have had one advantage above them, that they have attacked them with more turns of wit and humour.
AFTER all, if a man's temper was at his own disposal, I think he would not chuse to be of either of these partics; since the most perfect character is that which is formed out of both of them. A man would neither chuse to be a hermit nor a buffcon: human nature is not so miserable, as that we should be always melancholy; nor so happy, as that we should be always merry. In a word, a man should
not live as if there was no God in the world; nor, at the same time, as if there were no men in it.
Monday, September 27.
Virg. Æn. 2. v. 369.
All parts refound with tumults, plaints, and fears.
self in some little indulgences which I never took in my youth. Among others is that of an afternoon's nap, which I fell into in the fifty-fifth year of my age, and have continued for the three last years past. By this means I enjoy a double morning, and rise twice a-day fresh to my speculations. It happens very luckily for me, that some of my dreams have proved instructive to my countrymen, so that I may be said to sleep, as well as to wake, for the good of the public. I was yesterday meditating on the account with which I have already entertained my readers concerning the cave of Trophonius. I was no sooner fallen into my usual slumber, but I dreamed that this cave was put into my possession, and that I gave public notice of its virtue, inviting every one to it, who had a mind to be a serious man for the remaining part of his life. Great multitudes immediately resorted to
The first who made the experiment was a Merry Andrew, who was put into my hands by a neighbouring justice of peace, in order to reclaim him from that profia gate kind of life. Poor Pickle-herring had not taken above one tarn in it, when he came out of the cave, like a hermit from his cell, with a penitential look, and a most
rueful countenance. I then put in a young laughing fop, - and, watching for his return, asked him, with a smile,
how he liked the place ? He replied, Prithee, friend, be not impertinent; and stalked by me as grave as a judge. A citizen then desired me to give free ingress and egress to his wife, who was dressed in the gayest coloured ribbons
I had ever seen. She went in with a flirt of her fan and a smirking countenance, but came out with the severity of a vestal, and throwing from her several female gewgaws, told me with a figh, that the resolved to go into deep mourning, and to wear black all the rest of her life. As I had many coquettes recommended to me by their parents, their husbands, and their lovers, I let them in all at once, desiring them to divert themselves together as well as they could. Upon their emerging again into day-light, you would have fancied my cave to have been a nunnery, and that you had seen a folemn procession of religious marching out, one behind another, in the most profound silence and the most exemplary decency. As I was very much delighted with so edifying a sight, there came towards me a great company of males and females laughing, singing, and dancing, in such a manner, that I could hear them a great while before I saw them. Upon my asking their leader, what brought them thither they told me all at once, that they were French Protestants lately arrived in Great Britain, and that finding themselves of too gay a humour for my country, they applied themselves to me in order to compose them for British conversation. I told them, that to oblige them I would soon spoil their mirth; upon which I admitted a whole shoal of them, who, after having taken a survey of the place, came out in very good order, and with looks entirely English. I afterwards put in a Dutchman, who had a great fancy to see the Kelder, as he called it, but I could not observe that it had made any manner of alteration in him.
A COMEDIAN who had gained great reputation in parts of humour, told me, that he had a mighty mind to act Alexander the Great, and fancied that he should succeed very well in it, if he could Itrike two or three laughing features out of his face: he tried the experiment, but contracted so very solid a look by it, that I am afraid he will be fit for no part hereafter but a Timon of othens, or a mute in The funeral.
I THEN clapt up an empiy fantastic citizen, in order to qualify him for an alderman. He was succeeded by a young rake of the Middlc-temple, who was brought to me by his grandmother; but to her great forrow and fur